Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2316785-Worm-Moon
by IE
Rated: E · Short Story · Folklore · #2316785
Sam needs some help. Writer's Cramp - Winning Entry
"Yes I'm being followed by a moonshadow...moonshadow, moonshadow..."*

Abigail hums along to the song playing in her mind while she tends to her garden. Lost in her work, she doesn't notice someone is watching her until she stops to stand and stretch.

"Ms Abigail?" A young teenager stands close by. He's tall, thin, and gawky, with overgrown hair and a large nose he will one day grow into.

"Sam. I'm Sam, Ms Abigail," the boy supplies helpfully.

Abigail fingers the rose quartz pendant that nestles in the hollow of her throat. "Sam! Right. How are your parents?" Sam. Parents are Elijah and Athena. Three houses down. Robin's egg blue gingerbread trim that she admires every time she passes by.

"Fine. Ma'am. They're fine." He looks around, embarrassed to be talking to the old lady everyone calls a witch. Desperation drove him here and he's not leaving until he gets what he came for.

Abigail gathers the wicker basket of fresh cut flowers and herbs, tucking the pruning shears into one of the voluminous pockets of her apron. When she heads for the back porch, Sam lopes along behind.

"Some lemonade, Sam? Fresh made this morning. Have yourself a seat and I'll be with you in a moment." Abigail doesn't press him for details. He'll reveal what he's after in his own time.

"Yes, ma'am." Sam seats himself on one of the two wooden rockers that adorn the porch. It's easy to choose the one Ms Abigail doesn't use. That rocker is cushioned with flowered blue chintz, and there's a basket of knitting right beside it.

After a few minutes, Abigail returns with a tray bearing two glasses of liquid sunshine and a plate of cookies. "You're in luck, Sam. I baked Lavender Spice cookies just this morning in honor of the Worm Moon tonight. Full moon AND lunar eclipse. Very special moon."

"Great, Ms Abigail. I can't wait." Lavender Spice cookies sound disgusting. He's a boy, though. Perpetually hungry, he'll eat just about anything.

If Abigail notices the horrified look that passes over her young visitor's face, she makes no mention of it.

Gamely, Sam reaches for a cookie and takes a bite. He's prepared to hate the taste of girly lavender. He doesn't hate it. Instead, he chews and swallows what's in his mouth, then pops the rest of the cookie in.

Abigail smiles when she sees the "I'm going to hate this" look turn to one of wonder and delight. She nudges the plate closer to him. "Help yourself. I baked six dozen."

Sam mows down another three cookies, popping one after the other into his mouth, chewing and washing it all down with cold lemonade.

"Ma'am. Ms Abigail." He sets the empty glass down, staring longingly at the remaining cookies. "My mom. Um. And my dad? That's why I'm here."

Abigail nods encouragingly. Aha. So now we're to the heart of the visit. Lavender was the right choice then, easing Sam's tension and nervousness.

"They don't know I'm here, but I...well everyone knows you help with...stuff..." he trails off lamely, unable to come right out and ask for help.

Abigail sighs to herself. This happens often enough. Stories have circulated about her being a healer for more years than she can remember. Countless men and women, and sometimes teenagers and the occasional lost child will find themselves at her door or in her garden, curious and in need. She doesn't turn anyone away. All of pure heart and intentions are welcome.

"I see. Well, I'm not one to tell tales, so you can relax," she assures him. "Tell me what's going on and I'll see if I can help."

Sam starts to tell her his version of how he sees his family falling apart. The arguments. His dad, unhappy and working too much. His mom, unhappy and fretting. And Sam, the only child, caught in the middle, unable to fix either of them or himself.

Abigail lets him speak until he has run dry of words before asking him to wait. She disappears into the house for long minutes, long enough for Sam to start wondering if she forgot he was out here.

When she returns, she's carrying a small cardboard box tied with string. She motions for him to follow her back down the steps and into a corner of the garden where they both kneel.

"Worm Moon. Penumbral eclipse, full moon," she mutters. She digs a small hole into the cultivated earth.

"Time to manifest your dreams, young man. Speak your truth into the earth. About your future and your fears. About what you want for your parents and what you want for yourself. Once you are finished, cover the earth and we'll let the moon take care of the rest."

Sam looks dubious about what she's asking him to do. "I just want them to be happy. So I can be happy too," he says dejectedly.

Abigail pats his hand. "Any time you get it in your head that you need to play referee, think of this spot and how the truth is here, cocooned and safe. You concentrate on remembering that you are your parents' priority. Always."

Despite how silly he might look, Sam takes her words seriously, spending long silent moments looking into the earth before finally filling in the hole.

"That's it? He asks.

Abigail stands with his help. "That's it." She hands him the box. "Lavender Spice cookies. My gift to your family. If they help at all, come back and let me know. We'll bake more together."

Sam places his hand gently on her shoulder, looking down with a smile. "Thank you, Ms Abigail. Thank you."

Abigail watches him leave before returning to the porch and her rocking chair. Picking up a cookie, she takes a small bite.

He'll be back.

*(C)Moonshadow, Cat Stevens, 1970

977 words

1. Write your story or poem using the following as the title of your static item.
Worm Moon
2. Include the following in any order - make sure you bold them:
full moon
lunar eclipse
rose quartz
manifest your dreams
moon shadow
3. Choose and use FOLKLORE as one of your genres.
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