Writing – Creative Writing Excerpts

Moon Glows

The moon last night was thin. It was the muted yellow that only seems to occur early at night, gold in the same way that moonlight is silver in winter. The past three days have been humid, hot like the middle of August with lethargic fever that sits on every inch of skin. It makes the sky seem soft. I don’t even remember seeing stars, but the moon was plainly visible, surprising and sharp. Even the dark side seemed almost clear, black against the faint translucent luminescence of the sky. There have been nights in the fall when the air has been so cold and clean, and the edge of moonlight so sharp and bright, that the whole of the moon has hung clearly within a deep blue sky. On those nights the moon possesses so much closeness and solidity that it is nearly enough to make you weep. But the moon last night gave only the idea of the whole, forming illusionary edges. A reminder of fall despite the heat, a butter brown slice, half dark and warm warning of the harvest moon, not yet rusted red.


The day started quiet and cool.  Clouds in the sky, swooning high, flimsy constructions in the distance pulled apart by wind.  The leaves were crisp and fragile, hundreds littering the ground, racing over the grass in droughty streaks.  The winter had been too dry, the spring was too cold and all the warmth of summer was still three months to come.  But it looked as though it would be warm this year, not hot, not stormy and unexpected as it had always been before.  It would be as it was in the photographs, blue and orange and white.  Drowning in ice cream and lemonade.  People held on to their shorts and sunscreen and made foolish gold-drenched plans.

Of course.  People craved the warmth, followed the sun like animals.  They grew nervous and shrill under shadows and clouds and panic crept into their voices as they talked about the weather.  Another gray day?  Will the fog ever clear?  I hear it’s supposed to drizzle another week.  Remember last summer it snowed in June and rained for three months.  They passed from house to house spreading rumors of late frost and spent their days wandering the concrete like lizards.  The more sharp-tongued called them solar whores, but it was hardly so complex.  Without the sun it was too cold, and everything withered.  Why look for more answers than that?  Thus the critics were dismissed without gesture.

Predictions were made for the season.  The news anchors said that the beaches would be full this summer, plan ahead for your vacation to ensure your spot.  This was a lie, or at least untrue.  No-one would be at the beaches.  The beaches would be empty, the forests, the mountains, the cities and parks and museums and caves and boats and shopping malls would all be empty, swept clean of the human detritus of the winter, scrubbed with dust and ash seven months old.  Only the desert would be full.  The comforting guarantee of heat drew pilgrims from the west and south, compelled by their pitiful memories of warmth, lately absent.  Loose waves of travelers flooding in and out of the dunes, dragging parasols and lawn chairs in crooked ruts, sweaty-palmed and anxious with desire and anticipation.  They said as you came over the last ridge, the clouds spread like rice fields behind you, glistening in sudden light, while the sand bristled with stars before you.