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Moonlight Promises -- FWG Flash Fiction for 10/2/2021

This week's piece is an adult fairy tale. Fairy tales were told to warn children of the dangers out there in the wide world. As we get older, we tend to discount or forget those lessons altogether. Sometimes, a reminder is a good idea.

"Moonlight Promises" is inspired by:

Moonlight Promises

She lied.

“The moon turns the creek to sliver.”

She lied again.

“All you have to do is dip you hand in and you’ll be rich.”

She lied … and he knew it. But he didn’t care. Her fetching smile, her blonde hair cascading down her shoulders, and the hint of curves beneath her traveling cloak convinced him. If she wanted to walk with him into the forest on a moonlit night, well, he was all for it.

“Show me,” he said as he set down his mug of ale.

With an even bigger smile and a flick of her eyebrows, she pulled the hood of her cloak up over her head, took his hand, and led him into the night.

Outside, she dropped his hand, giggled, and ran into the forest. Her cloak and hood shielded her as she darted between the trees and through the brambles, but his, tattered and worn as it was, did little to protect him. When he finally broke through onto the banks of the stream, she stood there awaiting him. The rising moon behind her shrouded her face in hooded shadow.

“There,” she murmured, her voice husky and low. Her shadow shifted and writhed across the forest floor as the moon leapt above the trees. She gestured toward the moonlight reflecting off the small stream. Sure enough, to his eyes, it seemed the water was frozen in place, transformed into gleaming riches.

Her implied promise forgotten, he stumbled past her and knelt on the muddy bank, only to find that his eyes, like his mind, had been deceived. The water was just that, water. Feeling foolish, he hung his head and noticed a low purring, which grew into a full-throated snarl. He spun around as the werecat dropped her cloak and pounced.

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