“Diana, it’s Steve from next door,” my neighbor calls out, standing by the window inside of my room. “I wanted to make sure that you’re okay. Molly and Silvia… they attacked me and I had to defend myself.”
I tighten my hold on my machete when I hear Steve walk towards my closet. I shake my head, trying to will Steve to go away and not open the closet. I do my best to quieten down my breathing, but I wonder if he can hear my heart that is pounding loudly against my chest.
“They said I should go look outside because it was beautiful. They said that the moon was huge, bright, and that I just had to see it for myself,” Steve continues, stopping outside of the closet. “They then attacked me and I had to kill them. I came over here to make sure that you and your cats are safe and to tell you that you should go outside. It’s definitely a beautiful night, and the moon is something you just have to see.”
I stifle a cry when I hear Steve say that he murdered his wife and daughter. My eyes open wide when I hear Steve’s hand rest on my closet door knob. I quietly reach towards the door knob to try to keep him from opening it, but another sound startles us both. We hear my toilet flush, then the bathroom door open and closes down the hall from my bedroom. Steve steps back away from the closet and glances at my closed bedroom door before he looks at his watch.
“You don’t live with anyone,” he mutters to himself, lowering his arm down. “It’s 3:07 in the morning and you have work, so why are you up? Do you possibly have a friend over, Diana, and you two are still up chatting? Or did you get up to get a glass of water then needed to use the guest restroom?”
I can hear him shifting his weight from foot to foot and I knew he was debating about opening the closet door or go see if I was in the kitchen. I hear my bedroom door open and I blow air out of my mouth, not having realized that I had been holding my breath. I quietly open my closet door and step out, my machete still in hand. I see spots of blood on my carpet, which tells me that Steve is walking around barefoot. With my eyes on the door, I inch my way carefully to the shattered window and take a quick peek outside. I feel the pull of the moon, but I only do a quick glance around my yard to see that it is empty before shutting out the bright moon with my blinds.
I sneak a peek under my bed to see Shadow and Tiger crouched close together, their green and yellow eyes shining in the darkness. I whisper for them to make their way to the closet in the hallway before I stand up and make my way towards my bedroom door. I sneak into the dark hallway, listening for Steve, hoping he hasn’t doubled back and is coming back towards me. I hear him humming as he enters my kitchen, his bare feet slapping on the tile floor.
“Diana? Where are you, Diana?” I hear Steve calling out as he stands in the middle of my kitchen, confused because I wasn’t there. “Diana, I just want to make sure you’re safe. We should really go outside now. It will be much safer out there, under the full gorgeous moon.”
I raise my machete, but an invisible hand stops me. I feel a chilly breeze as someone yanks me nearly off my feet and shoves me into the hallway closet. The door stays open for a moment as Tiger and Shadow race down the hallway and skitter inside to hide with me. Just as the door closes, I hear someone banging on my front door.
Steve walks to the door, throws it open, and is greeted by a bullet to the face. I nearly drop my machete when I hear the bang of the gun and Steve’s dead body drop to the floor. I hear someone mumbling about the moon and crazy people murdering each other. I hear the gun-wielding person shuffle their way inside my house.
“Close the door, Helen,” a male voice says.
I hear what sounds like three people walk around the front of my house before they start to open doors to peer inside to see if anyone else is in my house. I hold up my machete just as the closet door opens and I am glaring at the barrel of a shotgun.
“Diana? There you are!” the person behind the gun says, his hard glass green eyes softening when he sees my face, sighing in relief.
I lower my machete as the shotgun disappears from in front of my face and I see one of my older neighbors from down the street standing in front of me. “Rick! Oh man, did you ever scare me. Please tell me you aren’t going to shoot me like you did to Steve.” I feel my body shaking as I step out of the closet and look around to see who else is with Rick.
Rick chuckles and shakes his head, “Don’t worry, Diana, none of us have looked up at the deadly moon and gone murder crazy.” He points behind him to where Helen and another neighbor about my age in our 30s, Brandon, stand. “We shielded our eyes so whatever the moon is doing to the others won’t happen to us.”
Helen hurries around her husband, her sapphire blue eyes relieved when she sees me. The wrinkles around her eyes make me smile, and I put down the machete by my feet. I accept the hug, enjoying the smell of flowers from her perfume mingling with the distinct smells of mint from the ointment she uses for her arthritis. I take in a deep breath, letting the smell calm my nerves.
“Oh, my sweet, Diana, I am so glad you’re okay,” Helen says as she steps back and looks into my hazel eyes closely. “Her eyes aren’t clouded.”
“Diana, did you look at the moon this morning at all?” Brandon asks, walking over and placing a gentle hand on my shoulder, his deep brown eyes full of worry.
I shake my head. “No, it was too bright to even think about looking at. But I peeked outside, and that’s when I saw Steve in my backyard. He was staring up at the moon, blood dripping from his hands. I hid in my closet when he looked over at my window.” I shiver when I remember seeing his blank stare, his eyes glowing in the moonlight as he looked over at my window. “He broke my window and climbed in from there. And then, well…” I glance over at Steve’s still body. “He told me how he murdered Molly and Silvia and then he wanted to make sure I was okay and to take me outside. He came out here looking for me and then you all came to the rescue. I am so grateful you guys came when you did. Who knows what would have happened if you hadn’t?”
Rick chuckles as he looks down at the floor by my feet, “Looks like you would have been able to handle yourself with that thing but I am glad to have helped you out too so you didn’t have to get your hands dirty, Diana.”
Brandon smiles, but it quickly fades when he hears something in my bedroom. “I think we should make fixing that window in your bedroom a major priority at the moment.”
“Helen and I are going back out to see if we can find anyone else who hasn’t been affected by this strange full moon,” Rick says. “Will you two be okay if we leave you here?”
I nod, “We will be fine, but I don’t think you two should go back out there.” I plead with them to stay with Brandon and me in my house. “You’ll be safe here. We just have to wait for the sun to come up. Maybe that will make a difference. We only have a couple more hours left until that happens, right?”
Brandon only half listens as he walks towards my room, still hearing strange sounds coming from inside. I am still trying to convince Rick and Helen to stay in the house with us when we hear a scream from my room. I turn to look down the hallway, sliding my foot under my machete, and kicking it up into my waiting hand. Rick looks at me, impressed by my move as he lifts his shotgun, the barrel pointing down the hallway. Helen quickly hides behind Rick, peering cautiously over his shoulder at the door.