The Moon

The moon glows, spotted, and crevassed. A nameless hominid stares at the lunar splendor speculative as it waxes the small world of his tribe into a new hunting season. The ground, visible as in day, means they could forage and hunt nonstop, with little need to worry about the hidden dangers out in the dark.

But Leader said no. The days are warm. The nights windy, with a sting of chill in the air.

But no one complains, he argued back.

But he knows there is no language yet to complain, no heat other than the friction of sleeping close to look forward to. Only life or death. Complaints are attempted when the body can’t withstand function any longer and stops working, but that was life. It was accepted. He can’t help but think about meat, shredded into edible portions, dried in trees, roots eaten fresh, fruit and herbs immediately, also. Hunger has been a constant pang his whole life, dieting for the sake of making the food last. The only stress, energy consumed for the sole task of collecting more energy. This was life in a nameless place at a nameless time for a nameless male with no power. None of them will ever be known and will forever be a place in history forgotten. For most the moment they become burdened with age, left behind to watch as scavengers pull at their still breathing flesh, will be their only real moment alive.

No, he decides, on this night looking at the moon, feeling invincible, he chooses the unthinkable.

Being nameless in a nameless group, one can only identify the others as the emotions they stir up. The one who shares his bed is Love, a slow calm beating of his heart, the man who he hunts with is Brother, a comfort, a knowledge like he is safe, protected. The man with the black hair streaked with grey, he knows as Leader, and a deep angry sorrow swallows all of his happiness when he lays eyes on him.

Leader sleeps near the opening of the small outcropping of rock that will be The Home for a while. Leader is smart. He knows the winds and the direction to follow to find food. His shoulders haunch into small coiled piles of muscle even as he slumbers, a proven killer.

But tonight he dies.

Nameless does not feel remorse over this decision. He watched the last leader, the man he knew as Father, be bludgeoned with a rock. He knows this is how it works. He remembers the sounds Father made as he realized air wasn’t going to come.

The noise still haunts his nights.

This action will be terrible. Yet he understands fully it will net him a purpose beyond his existence.

Published by Bryan Aiello

Raised on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Bryan served in the Army, graduated from the University of South Florida and now calls Brooklyn home. For more of his fiction and updates on his podcasts, follow him on Twitter: @bryaiello and Reddit: /u/voyage_of_roadkill.

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