Teen & Young AdultScience Fiction & Fantasy

Moonlight

Tawarriel

Beth’s parents died in a car crash, leaving her to cope on her own in college, plagued by flashbacks of their mangled corpses and severe insomnia. When she breaks up with her boyfriend, she finds a moonstone amulet and finally sleeps—or so she thinks. But when the lacerated cadavers of her fellow students start to appear all over campus, Beth begins to fear the worst...

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Suicide, Violent Death)

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Moonlight - Book cover
Teen & Young AdultScience Fiction & Fantasy

Moonlight

Tawarriel

Beth’s parents died in a car crash, leaving her to cope on her own in college, plagued by flashbacks of their mangled corpses and severe insomnia. When she breaks up with her boyfriend, she finds a moonstone amulet and finally sleeps—or so she thinks. But when the lacerated cadavers of her fellow students start to appear all over campus, Beth begins to fear the worst...

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Suicide, Violent Death)

1: Prologue

The moon has always mesmerized me.

The shining white globe that appeared through the gray clouds on this autumn night.

A silent companion during my sleepless nights, where I stared at the ceiling once again. Where my jumbled thoughts of the day cruised through my mind, repeating the same sequence over and over again.

Every poor decision of the last twenty-four hours passed as if they played a movie behind my eyelids. Every word I said or heard during my lucid moments.

Haunting me, taunting me, as they mocked my chronic dependence to the night.

A shadow-play danced over the chipped white paint on the walls. The silver light reflected the outlines of the trees in the forest as they moved to the subtle wind that bristled through them.

The moonlight could bring alive the littlest of eerie details in the dark.

A reflection on the drops of dew that clung to the foliage as they lay rustling in the wind. The soft crackle of the dried leaves that departed from their twigs as the season changed into winter.

The darkness beckoned me and I sat down on the windowsill to stare aimlessly into the vast woods surrounding our quaint small town.

The howling of the wind through the treetops interrupted by the incessant drops of water falling steadily into the gutter above my head.

A chill ran over my back and limbs as I gazed into the vast area of trees and impenetrable forest that ran over the mountain land.

The little sounds that invaded my space impeded me from succumbing to a peaceful rest. Another night passed with the cogs in my head turning.

I probably imagined the noises of creepy crawlies in the dark. This building was old and decaying, but the only place I could call home.

My mind had become restless after suffering for so long. I didn’t know what was real and what not due to lack of sleep. A perpetual state of lingering between being awake and a hollow shell, drained of energy.

Drained of my soul, as I felt this state slowly taking over my life, my consciousness, my sanity. A chronic illness that had me shackled to the deepest pit of my mind.

It took away my ability to concentrate at certain points during the day, while at night, I wandered without a purpose through my room barefoot.

The cold that whipped at my feet was a necessary sensation to know I was, in fact, still wide awake.

I knew what had triggered my insomnia a year ago. An event that had affected me for the rest of my life. A scar so deep that it still made my heart and soul bleed until this day.

The passing of both my parents in that awful car crash.

I was the sole survivor of the accident that still had so many of the townspeople afraid and horrified at the dangers of the road.

It was the tale that they told their children to not drive while drunk, to be careful in the deep hours of the night.

My parents hadn’t been drinking. They were hit by a drunk driver. He also died that day, leaving me no one to blame or direct my anger and grief at.

The things I saw that night. The ones I loved, unrecognizably mutilated, imprinted into my hypothalamus forever.

Blood and tissue spilling from cracks in their skulls, limbs twisted in strange positions as their bodies lay unmoving in the remains of the vehicle.

I had no direct family left, so I ended up alone in college housing. I couldn’t bring myself to go back home. To stare at those walls full of memories of the past.

Pictures of a once happy and loving family framed the walls. Trailing my fingers over the wooden framing would spike my anxiety and trigger a panic attack.

Numbness had taken possession of my body. They had accepted me into college before the fatal day even happened. However, now that I was here, living their dream, my life made less and less sense.

“Beth.”

My name on my mother’s lips, tinged by worry and dread for my safety, followed by the clashing and twisting of metal against soft flesh.

Their voices haunted my thoughts, while their lifeless gazes still followed me around, reminding me of their brutal passing.

The color of thick red blood stained my vision as my treacherous brain propelled me back once again to that night, blotching my vision with crimson drops.

I snapped my head angrily from the images forming and whipped my head up to the night sky, staring at that perfect silver orb. My only companion during the illness that held me prisoner.

I hugged my body, caressing my arms with my hands to keep the chill away and maintain a bit of warmth as the memories sucked every bit of happiness from me, leaving me with the empty feeling of loss.

My gaze wandered once again to the obscure forest. I’d lived my whole life near the tree line, afraid to wander in at night.

Until one day I did.

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