Blue moon tonight

by Lewis

The wall was 30 meters high now. A rich dark black like a vein of coal cutting through the hillside. Lornas back was soaked through with the effort as she heaved another barrow or bricks up the slope. She paused and looked around her taking in the hundreds of men and women straining in the summer heat. All busyness and purpose combing under the pressure of the coming night. This was the last section to be finished and with just hours to spare she hoped it would be enough.

“Kali, where is your father? He should have been back an hour ago, she shouted to a boy way up finishing a row of the slick black blocks.

“He’ll be right man, it’s only 2. Plenty of time.” The boy replied not looking up from the last stickle brick he was forcing into the row. With a final push it was slotted in. “I’m all done here Ma but Gavin needs more, drop them in the bucket.”

Lorna sighed and with a grunt tipped her load into the waiting bucket. She watched it rise into the cloudless blue of the sky. ‘No clouds’ she thought. The moon will be bright. Damn it. Oh for some fog.’ She thought to herself.

She stopped the thoughts from racing away. Turned her mind from the image of those mad eyes baring down, the quick flash of teeth. The slashes of black against the white of the night. This time will be different. They will be ready.

She climbed the cold steps upwards. Cold despite the heat. No light seemed to penetrate the surface. At the top she took up her post; just another watcher on the wall.

To look at she was easily dismissed; average height and build, with a plain face tired and drawn, her short brown hair was scraggy and filthy from her work. She was a golden mile from the descriptions written about her, from the songs sung and the tales told even now, growing and expanding like a raging river from a small spring. So high up and so small on this giant black snake that scarred the once beautiful landscape. A miniature hero doing what had to be done, waiting for the next chapter.

She stood and watched as the sun began to dip. As the workers toiled to finish, and the soldiers team checked and rechecked their defences. As the sun finally dissipated a hush fell. Four thousand people waiting, eyes to the sky looking for the first signs. And then a cry. She looked to the east where the soldier pointed and saw the distant tip rise. It was blue. Minute by minute it rose and murmers rippled across the ranks as they saw.

It was a blue so deep it was almost black against the sky. A blue to strike horror into the bravest of souls. And where was her husband, he had still not returned. She could not help but picture Jenny her daughter, the sound of the hooves beating the floor, the teeth tearing flesh, the look in her eyes. Mother save me. The last blue moon had been devastating. No one had expected the Zebras to attack so quickly. But this time they were ready. She was ready and she would have her revenge.