Moon Maneuver

Eclipse anular Abel Pardo Lopez flickr

Photo credit: Abel Pardo López 

As the guards set up the makeshift camp, Misqa groaned, begging them to loosen his bonds, then winced in truth.  After a week on the donkey cart, Misqa felt almost as old and fragile as he’d been pretending.

They watched him constantly and kept him drugged all night, so he couldn’t pray.  Today was his last chance to escape.

The moon crept toward her target, began swallowing him.  It was time for Saliente the Moon Mother to chastise her brother, as his people’s stories told.

Misqa feigned sleep.  When the sun’s light dimmed, he prayed for the one spell he needed most.

The guards’ exclamations told him they were stupid enough to gaze upon the burgeoning eclipse.  He’d warned them Saliente would destroy their god.  Now they were panicking.

Misqa wriggled from his shackles and undid his leg straps, barely moving.  The guards remained distracted, between staring upward and arguing amongst themselves.

As the world went dark, the forest sounds dampened.

Prayer answered, Misqa cast himself into shadow and merged, slipping far from reach before the guards realized they’d blinded themselves.

His laughter echoed the owls’ calls.  Saliente didn’t need to destroy her brother. Only remind him that she could.

Word count: 200.  Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.  Big thanks to Al Forbes for hosting and for providing the original photo prompt, below.  I had to veer a little farther from the original prompt than usual this week, given that Eneana doesn’t have anything resembling space ships in it!  But it does have eclipses, and that’s a huge topic this week, so I couldn’t help myself.  Click on the link above to see the rules, read the other stories, and write your own if you’re so inclined!

The story that Misqa refers to — the legend of the rivalry between Saliente and her brother the sun — is one of my  favorites.  Please take a minute to read it if you can: No Light Burden.

And to anyone in the path of the eclipse tomorrow, do NOT look at it even for a second unless you are wearing authentic eclipse glasses.  You really can be blinded, and it takes less time than you might think.


Photo © Al Forbes at Mixed Bag

18 thoughts on “Moon Maneuver

    • Thanks James, glad you liked it! We’re only going to get a partial eclipse here, but we’re still going to celebrate it. Party on the roof of the physical sciences building Monday morning! A lot of my friends are going north for the weekend to see the totality. I’ll have to wait and watch the documentary… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi, Joy. Did you enjoy your partial eclipse? Had one here in 1999 and saw the partial eclipse which was impressive enough. I remember Saliente and her troublesome brother the sun and love the way you wove that myth into this tale. The stories grow thick and fast in Eneana. Nice story and yes, you’re right – don’t look up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lynn — I had to wait a few hours to reply, but now I’ve just come back from a partial eclipse viewing party, and it was pretty cool! They handed out regulation glasses, but it was almost as fun to see all these adult scientists and engineers constructing pin-hole “viewers” with cereal boxes and other simple materials. It didn’t get eclipsed enough to darken the skies, which was a bit disappointing, but now I’m hooked. I understand now why people who see one full eclipse go to such lengths to see more!

      Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you liked the story. And yes, it’s fun to refer back to tales and legends I’ve already mentioned before — a complex tapestry, and all that. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, husband – being a bit of a stargazer – is very jealous of anyone whose seen a total eclipse. Swears he’s going to travel the globe to see one one day. They’re quite eerie apparently. Nice you weave old myths into new stories – fleshes out the world, makes it convincingly complex.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can’t wait to hear from my friends who went north to see the total eclipse — I hope after all that trouble, they all found clear skies and great views. It does sound like a pretty spooky experience; I’d love to see one myself.

        Weaving the stories together is one of the most fun things about working in Eneana, I think. It’s as though “past me” left all these delicious little ingredients lying around, and whenever I can use one, it nicely spices up my next dish. 🙂


  2. I really liked that little eclipse story. I have read some few legend stories about the eclipse this week, so I really enjoyed this little twisty tale quite well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen as many eclipse stories as I would have expected, but then, I haven’t had as much time to read online this week as I would like, either. Thanks for stopping by and reading my eclipse story, I’m glad you liked it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Al, glad you liked it. I really liked the original photo prompt, and would have had fun writing something for it if I was doing more modern stories here. I will have to live vicariously for that part through all the other fun stories being written for it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the way you included the very topical theme of the eclipse in this. The prompt photo could be interpreted in so many ways – as prompt photos usually are. I also like the way you’e added a mythological element to the story. The character of Misqa is definitely intriguing – and Saliente is just ‘awesome’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie, glad you enjoyed it! I was pleased to find a reasonable way to stick the eclipse in there too, since I was otherwise at a loss for what I’d write about spaceships…. And yes, I love Saliente and her various cults/religions. All they want to do is worship the moon in peace, and then this monotheistic sun cult shows up… 🙂


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