When the Moon Crawled Up

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The wind cut into my flesh, passing freely through the threads of my lousy coat. It was a particularly fierce October night-- but I didn’t mind the cold. It allowed me to think freely into the dark endless void and cleared my heads of impure thoughts. They always seemed to creep into my mind right about the time the sun shied away. Mother had always warned me that being idle often bred these sorts of things. And so it was that I enjoyed strolling through London and then, out into Croyden. It was a long wait, I’ll admit, but it often granted me a good night's rest when I returned home. I walked gaily through the streets, taking in ghoulish figurines that seemed to line each passing door. Squash carved in all sorts of fashion seemed to guide me through the ins and outs of each neighborhood as though they knew I needed distraction from my troubles.
However, I soon became aware of the many stares that seemed to follow me. I didn’t feel them at all, and then at once, the origin seemed to come from every direction. The weight of it all stopped me in my tracks.
“Aye, it’s Killer Adshead come out on All-Hallow’s Eve!”
I glanced away from the adornments and leveled my gaze with the local butcher. He was a tall, handsome man with hands twice the size of mine. I didn’t quite know his name but his face was one that I had often seen on my walks. Tonight his eyes were glassy, as though he’d had a pint or two. He quickly looked away and gestured towards his mates that they should heed with caution. For whatever reason. They ignored him and continued to spew filthy accusations as they walked towards another group of onlookers.
I tried to pay them no mind. The truth is, I never killed anyone. I was labeled an outcast some time ago without any particular reason and if I were honest, the whole matter made me furious when I thought deeply into the matter. Mother would have certainly stood up to these fools but I had not the patience nor the time. It was already half-past eleven and I hadn’t even left London yet.
However, despite my determination to shake their words from my head, I found I could not do anything but listen to the taunting men holler on and on! Screaming and howling, these red-faced men! It seemed to go on forever. And louder and louder. Finally, I put one foot in front of the other and thought it best to keep on at it, lest they get it in their heads that I was a real threat to them. I was ashamed on their behalf. I continued down the path and trekked on for miles it seemed without anyone to accompany me on my journey.
And so it was fate that I happened to come across an old pauper. Having felt privations of my own, it seemed fit that I have a word with him-- for his sake as well as mine. I made my way to approach his side and, having not seen me come upon him, he screeched into the cold air. The sound was high-pitch, yet soft and as it dispersed into the wind, I noted, the sounds were as one.
He was frightened, I observed. His clammy skin paled far beyond the moons’ capability. His eyes regained their natural sunken shape shortly and now stared back at me with bitterness. Vexation, even! I gave him a smile and told him I was sorry for startling him. I explained that I was just curious as to why a man should be out in the cold with no soup to keep him warm. I laughed at the humor of it. Of such, I may ponder later on, regarding my dear mate William Shakespear who is long gone but whom I see when the moon crawls up. The pauper who seemed to get little visitation quickly raked his flimsy excuse of hair. But I stared at him in adulation. For never in my years had I seen a man with so little, fight in the way he did to survive. I told him so, but he rolled his eyes.
“Might be better to be dead,” he mumbled.
I smiled, though my eyes refused to follow suit.
“Oh, surely you don’t mean that?” I tested.
“It’s cold and I’m old” he puffed.
My mother would have advised me to return home at this point but it was near midnight and I felt like I should have a purpose tonight.
“Ah! Exorbitant-powered winds is the matter? A silly concept this ‘life’ business is, huh?”
I asked as though his ignorance hadn’t bothered me but oh! How I was filled with rage! Hot rage that seemed to overtake me at once and made my nails grow sharper and my heartbeat so loud it was almost deafening. I was sure the market men would come rushing down soon enough but the foolish man pretended not to hear. The ignorance and the nerve of him to have no regard for precious life. A life that allows you to make friends with enemies and walk down streets that reject you. Thought of all kinds seemed to flood me at once but it seemed to have possessed me and smothered me telling me that it was my duty and that she would have wanted me to until I found I could no longer breathe. I closed my eyes.
“You know..” I began.
“I know of a young man in Bromley who has not even the boots you wear on your feet. He was a friend of mine not too long ago in grade school and has had a rough time trying to get back on his feet. In fact, I believe he could put much better use to your possessions,” gesturing to his few belongings. I gave him one last smile as he met my eyes. His brows furrowed as if to make sense of who that boy might be. Alas, he seemed to understand. Again his eyes seemed to widen as he grew ghostly pale and before he could utter another pathetic word, I fit my delicate fingers perfectly around his scrawny neck.


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