The sun shined across the fields, joined with a gentle breeze that shook the grass. This was pretty much how every day was, here in the village. The days were always nice and adventurous until the end of the day came. Then everything went to hell. Some stood outside to hang laundry, while some walked through forest paths close to the village. The kids always played close by their homes so they could get home fast and safely. Everything was carefree and happy...until the day began to darken.
It was a very unusual shading. Instead of slowly transitioning to night, the sun would fade in the blink of an eye, making it nearly impossible to distinguish between night and day. The people of the village looked up in horror, which was, at this point, a daily occurrence. Parents grabbed their children and fled into their homes. Travelers were quickly and spontaneously grabbed and rushed into the houses of the villagers with no explanation. There were, however, some who did not quite make for cover in time.
For one man who wandered through the village, it was a death sentence. He gazed upon all the houses in hopes of finding a merchant or two to replenish his gullet, but all he saw were tightly sealed houses surrounded by an unsettling atmosphere. The wanderer ventured further into the village, unaware of the monster lurking in the darkness.
The wind began to blow harder and it was nearly pitch-black outside. Even the stars became impossible to see. The man found a wayward, unlit torch near one of the locked-up houses and lit it, but the darkness was so overpowering that the torch only gave him enough light to see his hands and feet. This was highly unusual to him, even frightening. He had heard stories of villages being enveloped in heavy darkness.
According to the stories, once darkness fell, people went missing, but it couldn’t possibly be true. It was no more than stories that parents told their defiant children to frighten them into getting home before nightfall. Wasn’t it? The trees began to shuffle as though something was moving within them, and the man began to feel even more uneasy. The flame on the torch began to dim in and out as the wind swayed it back and forth. Something wasn’t right.
Before the man could give it any more thought, he froze, as if a sudden blizzard had blown through the village. He heard a final sound from the tree behind him and slowly turned toward it. A strange figure stood on a branch protruding from the tree. At first, he thought it was a villager but it didn’t look human. It looked much more sinister. Something hung from the figure’s neck, shining. It appeared to be a pendant with a crow design on it. The crow was in a form that made it look to be attacking something.
In an instant, the figure swooped down from the trees and engulfed the man in shadows. As quick as it came, the shadow was gone and so was the man. Nothing remained except for the bag he carried and the torch he had lit, but eventually, even that went out. The shadow like veil over the village slowly began to fade, leaving the village as it was before. The night stars above began to reappear, illuminating the sky as if nothing ever happened.
“Theo! Theodore, wake up! it’s daylight outside,” a feminine voice said as a pair of hands shook Theodore awake.
The man opened his eyes to his own room. He saw he was surrounded by his sleeping children and awakened wife.
“Another one has gone missing! Come at once,” the frantic woman said as she pulled her husband’s arm.
Outside, a group of the villagers gathered around the leftover torch and bag that laid on the ground. A huge commotion could be heard all around the area and the sound of debating villagers commenced.
“Does anyone know who they were? Did they have family here?” one man asked as he moved the bag around with a stick.
“Looks like they were traveling through. It’s unfortunate they chose the wrong time,” another woman said. She picked up the torch and held it upside down to examine it.
“This has to stop! I don’t know what in the hell that thing is, but this has to stop! If this keeps up, everyone in the village will eventually be taken. The children can’t even play outside without worrying about it coming,” a villager shouted from the crowd.
“What else do you want us to do?! We’ve already tried! And all that did was get people killed. Even our fiercest warriors don’t leave the battles without being injured. Light doesn’t hurt it. swords and fire don’t either,” another villager shouted.
And it was true. This monster had been around for quite some time. It wasn’t like they hadn’t tried to deal with it. In fact, they had already exhausted all possible solutions. The villagers were beginning to think that maybe this was just their fate. It was simply part of the food chain. The monster was stronger, and therefore ate whomever or whatever it wanted. There was nothing they could do about it. At least not without a little help.
Theodore walked up and into the crowd, raising his hands to gather attention.
“People!” he cried. “There has to be some way to free ourselves from this terror. This monster is living, which means it can be killed. We’ll find out how one day, we just have to stay strong!”
The crowd seemed to draw mixed emotions from his words. Some of them remained hopeful, but the majority of the crowd seemed to have given up. The expressions on the faces of the people before him spoke louder than their grunts of disbelief. Theodore’s children, Mona and Alec, stood in awe at their father. They found him to be quite heroic, but were clearly still too young to understand the danger that the village was in.
The crowd began to slowly disperse, with Theodore and his family being among the few still standing around the remains of the unfortunate wanderer. It was true, something had to be done, but Theodore didn’t know what. Every time they tried to attack the monster; their weaponry would pass right through it as if the creature didn’t exist.
Back at home, the flame in the fireplace danced brightly, filling the entire home with light. On it rested a black cauldron that contained the stew for the night’s meal, with an intense aroma emanating from it. Unfortunately, Theodore couldn’t focus on dinner. He was too busy trying to think of a way to rid their lives of that monster, but everything he came up with had already been tried and had failed. He was at a complete loss.
“Theodore, are you still thinking about that? You’ve been lost in thought since sunrise. There’s no point in fretting over this."
Evelyn, Theodore’s wife, had the mentality of most of the other villagers. She believed there was nothing that could be done about the monster. They were safe—as long as they made it into their homes before nightfall.
“I can’t give up now, Evelyn,” Theodore said.“We’re safe now, but how long before the creature decides to break into our homes? It’s able to destroy things. We’ve seen that already. The only thing that manages to stop it are the wild creatures that live outside the village and the wanderers that pass through at night. How long before it runs out of food and decides to come inside looking for it?"
Evelyn didn’t know how to answer. She had asked herself that question at least once or twice before, but never thought it would come to this. Subconsciously, though, she knew it would happen one day.
“I’ve thought of every possible way we can fight it and I still…” he trailed off.
Something caught Theodore’s attention. A bright blue lightpeeked through shuttersand shined upon the table in front of him. He opened the shutters as quick as he could. Despite it being so dark outside, something in the sky glowed a shiny blue. It almost seemed to be calling out to Theodore.
“The moon is blue."
“Theodore, what’s wrong? What are you looking at? Close the shutters before that thing comes back,” Evelyn hissed, attempting to close one of the shutters. Theodore held the other one open.
“Evelyn, the moon. It’s blue. The moon is blue!”Theodore repeated.
The moon glowed intensely. It seemed to have a small concentration of light beaming directly toward their shutters.
“Oh my, you’re right! It’s gorgeous! I’ve never seen anything like it,” Evelyn said, seemingly entranced by the moon. “Do you think it’s a bad omen?"
The moon began to shine even brighter, encouraging Theodore’s curiosity.
“I must see this,"Theodore said, standing up and walking toward the door.
Like Evelyn, he seemed to be in a trance. Evelyn continued to stare at the moon.
“Be careful, Theo. Themonster… could still be...”she utteredbut didn’t quite finish, her concentration fixed on the beaming blue moon.
Theodore walked out of the houseand began his trek into the woods. The atmosphere outside was chilling, but looking at the moon made him feel safe, almost as if it were forming a shield around him. The enigmatic moon seemed to get closer as he walked toward it, and soon after, he couldn’t take it anymore. He had to know what was going on. With a burst of speed, Theodore sprinted through the woods, forgetting his previous sense of danger. The burst of power did not last long, however, because soon after, he was stopped. The moon seemed to be right above him, but it was closer to the ground than he had anticipated. A heavy ray of light beamed down in the area, seeming to strike only one place. Then, something even more unusual happened. Another mysterious figure appeared in front of the moon, causing Theodore to stumble backwards in surprise.
This figure was not the same asthe other figure, the one that had been terrorizing their village for so long. No, this one was way different, and it seemed to almost be glowing lightly rather than coating the area in darkness. It seemed to be wrapped in a black cloak and bore a blue mask. In its hand rested a wand-like itemwith a hollow circle at the end of it.
“The creature that you have been trapped by for so long—it’s named Dashow! He possesses the power of bad psyche and feeds off of living creatures,” the figure spoke, further surprising Theodore.
"Dashow? The creature? Yes, that bothersome creature! It comes and takes the lives of the unfortunate! Do you know how we can kill it?” Theodore asked with a mixture of excitement and hope.
"Dashow’s powers are not overpowered by daylight. However, the rays you see before youcan trap him forever. Tomorrow night, this exact areawill become his prison. Lead him into the light and you will free yourself from this monster,"the figure said before disappearing. The light, however, remained, possibly to leave some protection for Theodore to get home.
Theodore began his trek homeward but still wasn’t sure what to do. Could the figure be trusted? It did somewhat resemble the monster that had been terrorizing them.
“What was that figure, and why was it trying to help? Could it be trusted?"Theodore said to himself as he emerged from the woods. “I don’t have any other solutions, so I suppose even if I can’t trust it, I don’t have a choice.”
Evelyn ran up to Theodore.
“What were you thinking? You could have been killed by that monster!”
Theodore looked at her, a glint of hope appearing in his eyes. Suddenly, Evelyn started to feel better. He explained to herwhat he’d seen in the forest. As one might expect, she thought he was going crazy.
“Theodore, did you hit your head or something? Maybe you should lie down,"she said as she pulled him over to the bed.
“I mean it Evelyn. The light from the moon beamed down in one spot and something spoke to me. It told me to lure the monster into the woods tomorrow night, and it can trap it,” he repeated to her.
Despite her disbelief, she wasn’t completely opposed to the idea. If a creature like Dashow could exist, then there was no telling what else existed out there.
"So what are we going to do then, Theodore? How are we going to get it to go into the woods?”
“There isn’t much else I can do, but perhaps the warriors could assist us. They could find some way to lure the beast into the light. And if the figure can be trusted, we’ll finally be free,” Theodore said as he fell back into his bed.
Evelyn still wasn’t sure about the whole thing, but even the slightest chance that they could get rid of the monster was enough to make her want to try anything.
“At daylight, I will ask the village’s fiercestto take on the task. I pray that this works, or we may all be consumed,” Theodore thoughtbefore drifting off to sleep next to Evelyn.
The warriors of the land had defended the village from many threats, from ravenous animals to war hungry villagers and even against Dashow. They were very reliableand had repelled all threats to this day. All except for Dashow, who had countered their efforts.
The three warriors resided in different parts of the village, but they were usually seen gathered at the tavern. They were highly revered and usually got to eat and drink there for little to nothing, requiring as much strength as they could muster to the defend the village. At the far left of the table was Powell, the muscle of the group.
Joining him was Tact, a smaller guy who was more of a technique person that could see through traps with ease. He was the youngest of the three.
Last but not least wasMetilda, the warrior woman who knew her way around a sword, quite skilled in battle. She too looked strikingly young, though not as young as Tact. Together the three of them were the greatest warriors in the village, but even their might was always hindered by Dashow’s power. Despite their renown, Theodore had never actually talked to them before, let alone asked them for a favor. They were not mean, or rude, but such a request seemed terribly awkward.
The tavern was filled with noise, which was something Theodore detested. He was more used to a quiet, peaceful meal at home. He had only ever eaten in the tavern once for a celebration against attackers, but he remembered quite clearly, he did not enjoy the atmosphere.
As he expected, it was full of drunken men singing and dancing to some tune they probably made up on the spot. The women were right along with them, though they seemed slightly more sober than the men. Plenty of faces in the tavern, but one table stood out easily: the table in the far back where the warriors sat.
Theodore still felt awkward about approaching them, so he observed from a distance in the hopes his courage would rebuild. Powel seemed to be drinking ale at a controlled pace, while Tact and Metilda nourished themselves on what appeared to be boar. It was half eatenand must have must have been quite good, given the speed they were wolfing it down.
Theodore realized that he didn’t have all day to stand around and do nothing. There was no telling how long the figure would be willing to help them, so it was now or never. He walked through the crowds of jolly villagers, the smell of alcohol increasing drastically, almost making it hard for Theodore to breath. He pressed on.
Finally, he arrived at the last table in the backwhere the three defenders sat. He stood there frozen in fear, as if they were shadows waiting to attack once he spoke. Whether the nervousness was from him being starstruckor from his anticipation he didn’t know, but he would have to speak up soon.
“Yes? Did you want something?”Metilda asked as she took another bite of the boar.
Theodore jumped in surprise. He figured he would have to be the one to start the conversation, but they probably noticed him before he even arrived at the table.
“Oh! Well, you...I need your help,” Theodore managed to say.
Tact wiped his mouth with some sort of cloth and set it back on the table.
“What do you need help with?” Tact asked, sporting a nonchalant face.
Theodore took a breath and tried to gather himself.
“Last night I saw a blue light through my shutters and it seemed to come from the woods. When...when I followed the light out into the woods, some kind of creature spoke to me. It saidfor me to lure Dashow into the woodsso we can trap him,” Theodore said, eager for an answer.
Each of the warriors stared at each other with a confused expression.
"Dashow?” Powel asked.
Perhaps Theodore didn’t realize what little sense he was making.
“Would you care to explain a little more? Who is Dashow, and what about the moon?” Tact asked.
Theodore gathered himself and tried again. “The monster that been terrorizing our village! Its name is Dashow. That’s what someone told me. He also told me that we can free ourselves of it,” Theodore said, still looking a bit nervous.
All three of the heroes stared at Theodore as if he had just answered a long-awaited question. Then, Powelpulled a chair from the next table over.
Theodore hesitantly sat in the chair and began to explain again.
“The figure in the woods told me to lure the monster down into the woods. Into the blue light tonight, and it will be trapped,” Theodore repeated to the trio.
“Trapped? How can it be trapped? It slips through everything, and we can’t even hurt it. Who has told you of this?”Metilda asked.
“Something in the woods came out of the moon and spoke to me,” Theodore said.
The warriors again all looked at him, but this time they seemed unconvinced. Then, the unexpected happened.
“And you want us to lure him down to the woods, correct? We’ll do the best we can,” Tact said as he stood up and dusted himself off.
Much to Theodore’s surprise, they didn’t call him crazy. He had half expected to be laughed out of the room.
“Well, yes, that is why I came to ask you to take on this daunting task. I did not think it would be so easy to convince you.”
Powel also stood up and wiped his mouth.
"We’ll try anything at this point. We’ve already tried everything else we could think of to bring it down. Every time we fight, it seems to grow stronger, and if we don’t do something it will be too strong to beat.”
Metilda also stood up.
“Tonight then! We will get rid of this beast. Let us make a course of action,” she said as she raised her sword into the air.
The entire tavern stopped and turned their heads. They were too drunk to tell what exactly was going on, but they knew plenty to tell the look of determination in the warriors’ eyes. Something was going to happen.
Night began to fall and houses all over the village were being sealed tightly. Theodore made sure that Evelynand his children were safely inside.
“I shall fight beside you,” Theodore said as he stopped in his doorway.
Powelstood next to Metilda and Tact and prepared to carry out the plan.
“No, you must stay with your family. We will continue the plan. And with any luck—or bad luck—this will be our last fight with Dashow.”
Theodore nodded at the three and went back into his house.
For some reason, the area did not grow as dark as it normally would this time. Perhaps the creature was anticipating the three. It would not have been the first time they had battled.
Just then, a figure appeared ahead of them. Just like clockwork, Dashow showed up. It was the same spot he always showed up, only this time, he had a smile on his face. It’s as if he knew that this time he would triumph in battle. Without warning, Dashow made the first move and attacked in the blink of an eye. He fired a black mist that went straight for the trio. It was so strong it created a whirlwind that made the trees sway.
Tact reacted fast and jumped out of the way of the mist. Powel and Metilda, however, did not predict the attack and were engulfed by it, much to Tact’s surprise. They would have normally seen that attack coming, and yet they were unable to avoid it. Then again, he barely saw it in time. It may have been possible that the past battles with Dashowhad worn them out more than they had realized.
To fight Dashow head on at this rate would be suicide, but luckily, that wasn’t the plan. Tact dashed into the woods toward the area that Theodore had shown them. Dashow followed Tact in hot pursuit, flying above ground like an airborne shadow chasing after its owner.
With all his energy, Tact ran faster and faster, with Dashow gaining on him quickly. Back in the village, Powel and Metilda rose from the ground. They were dinged up but still alive, proving it would take more than an attack from Dashow to end their lives. They ran toward the woods as well, to try and catch up with Tact.
Further and further into the woods Tact ranwith Dashow catching up to him, ready to come in for the kill. Tact was nearly at the area Theodore had shown them earlier, but Dashow was closing in even faster now. Tact was so close to the goal. He couldn’t let it end here! He wouldn’t let it end here. Sure, there was no guarantee this would work, but the thought of success drove him to the very edge of danger.
Finally! He had arrived in the very middle of the woods, but nothing was happening. No figure, no traps, nothing! Tact couldn’t keep running anymore. He stopped, with Dashow ready to deliver the kill. He flew in close… closer… but then, something quickcut off Dashow from Tact. It was a mysterious figurethat had appeared, and it proved one thing: Theodore had spoken the truth about what he had seen. Dashow stopped in his tracks and gave an unsettling scowl that made Tact feel cautious. Dashow seemed to be uneasy around the figure. Powel and Metilda finally caught up with them just in time to see the figure blocking Dashow.
“Well done, heroes! I will ensure that you will be able to live out your days without worry of this monster,” the figure said, waving a staff in front of Dashow. Just then, a tower of light surrounded Dashow.
The light seemed to be leading all the way up to the sky, and even past that. It led all the way up to the blue moon that floated directly above the area. Dashow, struggled at first, attempting to fight the light around him, but eventually he suddenly stopped moving, as if he became paralyzed.
“Buel,”Dashow managed to say.
He uttered the word venom. The light began carrying him further into the sky, further and further until he vanished completely within the rays of the blue moon. The crow pendant that Dashow bore on his body had fallen back to the ground. At that instant several blobs that looked like Dashow came flying out of the pendant, but they didn’t stop there. They flew off into the distance.
Tact stood in disbelief. Powel and Metilda made their way toward Tact, both left speechless at the entire thing.
“Where… where did he go?”Metilda asked as she looked at the mysterious figure.
The figure floated closer to the trio. ”Dashow has been trapped inside the rays of the Blue moon. He will never again bother you or the village.”
Metilda, Powel, and Tact all smiled with utter relief.
“Thank you so much. You have saved our village,” Powel said.
The mysterious figure smiled back to the three.
“I only helped even the playing field. It was your own will to surviveand ability to make this plan that brought you this far. I simply provided his tomb,” the figure said as he bowed.
“Please, tell us your name," Metilda said as she bowed as well.
The mysterious figure began to float in the air and slowly faded away, but not before uttering one last thing.
“You may call me Buel. We may not ever interact again, but I’ll always be around,” Buel said as he completely disappeared.
The three Warriors looked around frantically, but saw no trace of Dashow or Buel. The blue moon, however, remained in the sky. Powel picked up the Pendant that rested on the ground. They had seen this pendant many times through their battles, and until nowit seemed like a harmless accessory.
“What was that that flew out of it?”Metilda asked, staring at the pendant.
Perhaps it was just remnants of his power. If he’s no longer around, it will more than likely just disappear soon,” Tact said as he, too, stared at the pendant.
Back at the village, Theodore grew restless. He hadn’t slept a wink and continued thinking about how he could have possibly sent the warriors to do an impossible task. He began to feel guilty. They were gone much too long to have triumphed. They would have been back by now if they did. His worries, however, were soon put to restwhen he heard the town bell ringing. Usually when the bell rung, it meant that there were intruders coming into the village or the warriors had an important announcement. He had heard nothing of possible attackers, so that could only mean that the warriors had returned.
He quickly jumped out of his bed and ran. He stopped outside of his door and witnessed many of the villagers gathering all around the center of town. Evelyn and their two children came up running behind Theodore to see the commotion.
The three heroes stood at the edge of the woods, with Powel holding Dashow’spendant high above their heads.
“The creaturethat has plagued us for so long has been defeated,” Powel yelled whilst holing up the pendant.
And just like that, the entire village was filled with screams of happiness. There was a mixture of praise for the victory, excitement from those who finally felt like they weren’t trapped anymore, and even tears of joy from those who would never have to see the monster again. The entire village filled with shouts and screams of victory that stretched for miles. Needless to say, no one in the village wanted to go to sleep afterwards, so instead, they decided to have a celebration. Theodore ran up to the trio of warriors and stopped on his heels.
“It worked?! It really worked? We’re free?” Theodore asked excitedly. The three could only smile as Powel continued to hold up the pendant.
Theodore and the three warriors explained to the village of how the victory came to be—how a mysterious being told Theodore how to rid them of Dashowand how they had managed to carry out the trap to seal him. Strangely, the villagers were not in disbelief. They were probably so used to Dashow by now that they would believe anything. Whether or not it was believable did not matter to them anyway. All that mattered was that the creature was gone.
All through the night, the villagers celebrated, not just for the victory but for Theodore, Powel, Metilda, Tact, and even Buel and the moon as well. For Powel, though, something still did not feel right. Those blobs that fell out of the moon and dispersed just didn’t sit well with him. Eventually, he settled in to savor the excitement. Dashow was gone. There was no need to worry anymore.
“Do you think he’ll be gone forever?” Theodore asked Tact.
Tact was not sure himself, since he knew nothing about how the trap worked. He did, however, have a strong sense of the world around him, and definitely felt that Dashow was gone. But would it be forever?
“I simply cannot answer because I don’t know how strong his tomb is, but I feel like we won’t be seeing him again,” Tact said as he spied a table packed with food. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have more work to do.”
Tact ran off toward the food tableswith Metilda soon joining him in scouting the food. It seemed the battle left them all feeling starved, or maybe they just ate a lot.
Theodore laughed and shook his head. Everything would finally be alright. Evelyn, Mona and Alec all came running up to Theodoreand embraced him in a hug.
“I’m happy that you never gave up, Theodore. Now we can live in peace,” Evelyn said with a smile.
Theodore simply smiled back at them, hugging them in return.Just then, a man came up to Powel.
“Powel, pardon the interruption, but if I could have a moment with you, Metilda and Tact, there’s someone here who wants to see you,” the man said as he urged Powel over to the table.
Metilda and Tact both ceased eating when they saw the man. He was dressed very different from any person who lived in the village.
“Yes, can I help you?” Powel asked.
The man took a step closerbefore speaking up.
“Hello. I take it you’re the warriors of the village? My name is Mite, and there’s something I would like to show you.”
The village decided that every year, they would hold a celebration to honor the arrival of Buel and the moon. As the years went by, the celebrations became festivals, and finally, the festivals became carnivals. People in the city would gather and create Blue moon recipes, clothing, toys for children, and even gamesto celebrate the many years during which the blue moon had been praised. As the stories passed down stated, Dashow, would be forever trapped in the rays of the blue moon. The city folk were unaware of one thing, however. Dashow was stronger and craftier than he looked, and the tomb would not hold him forever.