Ganymede: The Red Moon
Copyright 2018 by Priya Florence Shah
feel the fear coursing through me as I looked out over the railing.
The Others were going about their work down below. I knew I had to
get out, get my family out of here before the moon passed over again.
It was a Red Moon, beautiful in appearance, yet sinister in the havoc
it would wreak over our seemingly peaceful colony, Ganymede.
was all I
had known. Since I could remember, we had lived with the Others in
Ganymede. It was a fully-functioning living area that we had come to
accept as our home. Yet, it was never really home to us. We were
second-class citizens, leftovers of a dying race, and the Others took
advantage of it.
thought little of
it, going about our work, contributing to the maintenance of Ganymede
as we always had. But the dark, disturbing secret I had learned in
the last few days had stolen my peace and I was forced to accept that
things were not as they appeared.
three nights ago, when the Red Moon passed over Ganymede. The Others
worshipped the Red Moon, or at least displayed what passed for
worship. It made them crazy, in a sort of trance.
it always ended
strangely, with a few of us being “transported” to
another Colony on the planet. I had lost friends, close ones, over
the years. But I never questioned the motives behind it. Or asked
where they were being taken.
notice that the ones who were taken had asked questions.
Uncomfortable questions about the way things were. And their
questions did not go down well. Not just because we were second-class
citizens, but because questions disturbed the delicate balance of
power between us and the Others.
three nights ago that changed all this for me? It was Kata, a close
friend of mine since we were children. Kata asked a question that
made the others uncomfortable. He asked what the moon did to them and
why it made them crazy. So they came and took him. They said they
were sending him to another Colony.
he was my
friend and I loved him, Kata and I said our tearful goodbyes. But
this time, something made me want to know more, so I followed them,
trying not to be seen. The Others took Kata to a basement three
levels below the city. There were many doors that opened and closed.
managed to get
through the first four since there were no locks, but at the fifth
one there was a console with a set of numbers. It was a code and I
had to type it to get in. So I waited. I didn’t know how it
couple of Others
came down and saw me. I told them I had been called inside. They
seemed skeptical, as though wondering why anyone would want to go
inside, but they let me in. Probably no one from my clan had ever
asked them that before.
I began to explore the place. There were a number of corridors, one
large main corridor and smaller ones branching out on either side. I
went down the main corridor. My heart was beating hard in my chest. I
did not know what I would find.
came to a door
with some strange markings over it. It was in a dialect that I had
never seen before. I pressed the button and it slid open.
was inside a large
room. In the center of the room, separated by thick, but very clear
glass, was my friend, Kata. On the other side of the room were the
Others who had come to escort him away. I quickly hid behind a large
machine with blinking lights and buttons. They were so busy watching
Kata that they had not noticed me slip in.
kept my eyes on
the Others and on Kata. Suddenly one of them cried out. One of the
walls of the chamber that Kata was in slid open and then… a
pause. Everyone, including Kata, stared at the open door. Suddenly
Kata was screaming. Something had taken hold of him… something
invisible. In front of my eyes, Kata was torn limb from limb and
devoured by invisible teeth.
screams and the
sight of him being eaten by an invisible “thing” were the
most terrifying thing I ever saw in my life. I couldn’t take it
anymore. While the Others were watching intently, smiling and
cheering at Kata’s plight, I slipped out of the room and ran.
ran all the way
out of the basement. I was shaking, terrified, crying all in one. I
was a mess. It had finally dawned on me where our friends and loved
ones had disappeared. Not to be sent to another colony, but to be
torn apart and eaten by a monster. A monster that had always lived
among us and that we never knew existed.
life would never
be the same again. That night passed in sleepless terror. I was
afraid for myself, for my family, my children. My wife had passed
away years ago from an illness that had taken many among us. My
children and my clan were all I had. I could not let one more person
face Kata’s fate.
was I to do? I
could not raise a rebellion. The Others were too many, and even
though there were many of us, we were not raised to be fighters but
had to get my
family and loved ones out of there. But security was tight. How to
get past the guards and find a transport? This is where I came in.
Looking down from the railing of the corridor above the main lobby, I
felt the fear coursing through my body as I watched the Others
and members of my own clan going about their business.
were no longer
the benign overlords we accepted, but killers and murderers of my
people. I realized that the Red Moon was their time of sacrifice.
When they took my people and gave them to the monster in the
Florence Shah is an author, blogger and travel writer who blogs at
AhoyMatey.blog. You can connect with her at @PriyaFlorence
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
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