A Lunatic's Tale

I hadn't slept well last night. I remember waking up once at eleven fifty five and then again at one. It wasn't exactly nightmares, not really. Just worry, and a pull I always felt around this time of the month, and, thus, my sleep was restless, tossing all over my bed. It was always the worst the night before. Finally I woke up to see my alarm clock quietly read, in green numbers, 5:00 AM. I sighed, no point going, or at least trying, back to sleep. It was Monday, too. Even better, I thought sarcastically. But, I'd dealt with this before; I'd dealt with it for the past eleven years, since I was five. And I've accepted it. I know it doesn't last forever, just once a month, one night, and then it's over. I could help but wonder if it would ever end, or would it be this way for as long as I lived? If so, I'd never marry, either because no boy would ever put up with the madness of it, or I'd be too afraid of hurting someone. And that was okay, too. Maybe it was better that way.

But, right now, it was Monday morning, and I still had to go to school. Not like anyone would notice me, I wasn't exactly popular, sitting in the corners of rooms, keeping to myself. But, I'd still hear it from my parents. I sighed and swung myself out of bed, going to my vanity. For a moment, I just stared at the reflection I saw. A face, neither unnaturally ugly or pretty, surrounded by a head of what some may see as beautiful, rich, light brown hair, flowing gently around my face and to the middle of my back; grey-blue eyes, pondering. And while that face and those eyes may look a little forlorn and tired, it seemed a natural face. Nothing unnatural to it, nothing hinting there was more to it, that wasn't so sane. Not that I had any control over it. I shook my head. Enough.

I grabbed my toothbrush and brushed my teeth, then hopped in the shower, and then picked out an outfit for the day-jeans and 3-quarter length plain grey shirt, accessorized with a silver orb necklace and fake diamond earrings, and tennis shoes. I thought about pulling my hair back into a ponytail, but decided to just leave it, it wouldn't matter tonight, not really. On second thought, it wouldn't matter, indeed, and I really didn't feel like leaving it down. I grabbed my brush and pulled my hair up into a ponytail. There. Now, I just grabbed my keys and walked out to my car, a second-hand, small chrome Chevrolet. Tonight I'd unwire it, just to be safe, like always. But for now, it'd get me to school.

I pulled up at school in my designated spot and headed in. No one really looked my way. That was fine. No one to worry about tonight. The day blurred by, I wasn't really paying attention. Normally I did, but on nights like tonight, I wasn't normally that attentive, not when I had much more paranormal fears that would soon become reality, in one way or the other, to worry about.

Eventually, the day ended and pulled out from the school parking lot. When I pulled up to my house, really my parents, since I was still only a junior, sixteen, but, who cares, I look around. We really do have a gorgeous house- white, rimmed with treated dark oak, two-stories, with four, also white with the same wood trim, steps leading up to it; and, leading up to them, a stone pathway, randomly placed stones, but of muted colors of red, blue, grey, and purple. I looked around- the rich green woods, trees of which lined our driveway, and then fanned out behind our house, continuing indefinitely. We did not live high on a mountain, but we did live in a forested area. It wasn't unnatural to see deer and moose and the occasional bear in our front or back yard. Once or twice, it had meant we got to stay home from school, as they wouldn't let us pass. Normally, either it was because there were three or more, or a mother with her babies. But it was gorgeous. It was a nice day, too, sun shining, fairly clear skies. It'd be a clear night with stars.

But, it wasn't like I hadn't seen this before and I had other things to do. My parents weren't home yet, and somehow they've never found out that there is anything unnatural about me, or that I do anything out of the ordinary. Like right now, walking inside the house to grab a tool box, walking back out to my car, and disconnecting my battery cables, so that, no matter what happened tonight, I wouldn't leave the vicinity of the woods and my house. It wasn't much, but it's enough, because of one thing I'm certain, I won't be in control enough to think about reattaching battery cables.

By the time my parents are home, the tool box is back where it should, no sign it had ever been moved. We are eating dinner at the table; it's March 15, ironically enough, so the sun's not really set yet. We have a family television, but it's not used that often, especially on weekdays. More often, we recede into our own rooms, my parents equipped with their own television; mine, instead, equipped with books. That's fine. Makes things all the better, easier, safer. Soon enough, I glance outside and see twilight descending. The moon is just starting to rise, full. It won't be long now. The last I am fully aware of is my clock's green numbers reading 7:50 PM and, indeed, a clear and starry night…

The stars, they are so beautiful. I open my window and climb out. Ahh, the fresh night air. I look up, now I can see them clearly. I reach up my hand to them, smiling and spinning around, with my arms out. Then I stop and walk slowly forward, into the woods. I see spots of moonlight dancing on some rocks. "Hello, Beamtean," I address a moonbeam, reaching out my hand to the spot of moonlight. "How are you tonight? Yes, yes it is a good night. A good ni…" I slowly lift my head, turning it to see the full moon, and then I sit down on the rock, just staring at the stars and the moon, never moving myself. Almost like I was having a private conversation with them, but all I hear are whispers of dreams and thoughts in my head. Weird, they aren't all even my thoughts and dreams. More like I'm hearing the dreams and thoughts of others…

Next thing I'm aware of is the sun hitting my face. I squeeze my eyes shut hard, then blink a few times, and let my head fall back, eyes closed. It's then I realize I'm sitting on a rock, and from how sore I feel, probably been sitting there a long time. I frown and take a breath. Then nod to myself and walk back to the house, planning to creep back inside through the front door, possibly open. But, I stop when I see my window open. So, I had climbed out of my window last night? Perfect. Good thing my room wasn't on the second floor. I'd been lucky enough to not break anything so far, bones, or objects, but I have woken up to find myself with cuts or bruises or a sprained wrist or ankle, sometimes a combination. Not that I ever went to sleep. No, last night, for example, I know I didn't sleep. But, I'm not tired, but I couldn't tell you what I did either, even if I wanted to. You see, I'm no werewolf or vampire or any fictional creature known through tales. That much I am certain. On every day not a full moon I have no super strength or speed or desire for blood or anything out of the ordinary. No, if you must give what I am, or what is wrong with me, or what causes me to act the way I do on full moons, then the best I can say is that I'm a lunatic, in the original and literal sense of the word. Nowadays, people lightly refer to lunatics as just someone who's insane or crazy, sometimes just in jest, but for me, it's quite serious. Because I am not sane at full moons; I have no idea what I do, only that I don't sleep and I'm still human. But, I never hurt anyone. Of course, no one has ever tried to find or follow me before. But, indeed, frankly, I am a lunatic. Someone who the full moon causes to go insane.

I don't know why, but I've been like this for eleven years, ever since I was five years old. Of course, I couldn't tell what happened on that first full moon when I was five, just the same as I can't tell anyone what happened last night-I don't remember. But, somehow, I do know that's when it began. There is no clear explanation I can give. Why this happens or what I do. I do not know. I could do the same thing every night, but I don't think so. Because, if that was true, I'd expect every full moon to wake up on that rock, and of course, by wake up, I simply mean, come back to having control and awareness of where I am and what I am doing. Because, as I've said, though I always feel rested, I somehow know I never sleep on full moons. I do not know how I know this. Some parts of it, I can figure out, like vaguely what I did during the night. Like this morning, by noticing things, this time waking upon a rock and seeing my window open; but, there are other things I just know, with no explanation to how I know it. I have tried to explain it to myself a thousand times over, but the only theory I have, and it's by no means certainly the correct answer, is that I have come to realize I was born at five minutes till midnight on a full moon on New Year's Eve. And not just any full moon, a blue moon, the second moon in the month. New Year's Eve blue moons only occur once every nineteen years. So the fact that they're rare and I was born on one just before midnight, may be an explanation, because, rare, certainly, but I find it hard to believe I am the only person like this. After all, this was the original meaning of the word lunatic, so it had to have previously affected someone else, for them to name it. Well, it's over. I won't have to deal with it for another thirty days.

Climbing back through my window, I remember one time we couldn't go to school was actually because of me. It had been a full moon and I had apparently left the front door open and in the morning there were two teenage moose in our living room that wouldn't leave. I'd seen the open door and put my hand to my face, eyes wide. Then, once my parents said I was skipping school that day, I went to my room, shut my door, slammed my head on my pillow, but soon started laughing. Okay, so the fact that I had left the door open could have been really bad and I half-expected my parents to install an alarm system, fearing a burglar had come, but they checked, and nothing was missing, and they didn't. They assumed one of us just hadn't shut the door all the way and the moose had pushed the door open, looking for shelter, it appeared to have stormed the night before, though my hair was dry. I couldn't explain that, maybe it had only stormed for part of the night, and I hadn't stayed out all night, or whatever. I don't always, for I find myself in the house sometimes when I wake up. Plus, the moose had meant I got to miss a day of school and the story had caused some people to show interest in me, for about two days, but still, it had been a nice change.

I put my window back in place and went to clean up in the shower, washing my hair. I always washed my hair after a full moon, because I never do know what I did. My parents aren't up yet, so, I slip on my pajamas and flip flops to go out to my car and reattach the cables. Soon enough, I'm dressed and ready for school and my parents and I are driving off in our different cars to start the day; them never knowing, or even suspecting anything unusual had happened last night. The following weeks go by as usual.