Halloween Short: Blood Moon Love

Happy Halloween! Here’s a new short story I wrote that I hope you enjoy. It’s titled Blood Moon Love. It’s set in the city of Trepidation. If that name sounds familiar it’s because I came up with that city in my first horror short story and flash fiction collection. I hope to expand upon that fictional place in the future.  So enjoy the short story and also remember that my novel I, Darcy is permafree at Instafreebie.com

And now without further ado, here’ s Blood Moon Love:

BLOOD MOON LOVE

Created and Written by T.C. Harrison 

Copyright 2017

BONG! BONG!

The loud organ sound of my doorbell ringing jostles me out of my sleep. I look at my Judas clock and groan. What intended to be a short nap had turned into a rather long one.

I’m running late.

Scrambling to my feet off of my solid mahogany Victorian canopy bed, I burst through the curtains and head towards my walk in closet. As I get dress I hear my butler Fife trudge towards the door of my home, mumbling as he lurches. Thanks to my good hearing, I learned Fife’s fussing about the mistress of the house-me-always being late to events.

I can’t help it, melancholy runs deep through my bloodline, and naps are an excellent cure for it. Besides, I wasn’t that late. It would be hours before the event started, and that gave my date and I ample time to reach Nosferatu Park, which was located on the other side of Trepidation.

In any event, as I put on one of my long, black gothic hobble dresses, the sound of one my creaking doors rang out as Fife opened it. In his own mumbling way, he greeted my guest and escorted them to the parlor where he offered them my special Bitches Brew as they waited my arrival downstairs.

Finished fiddling with my dress, I went into my bathroom to wash and powder my face.  My red lipstick was barely dry when Fife approached the entrance to the master bedroom.  Impatience doused his face as he stood awkwardly tapping his foot.

It didn’t help when I gave him a smirk.

“Mistress…”

“I know Fife, I’m running late. But not to worry we’ve still got plenty of time before the event begins. I’m almost ready, just need to grab my coin purse and then we can be off. Is the buggy ready?”

“Yesss…”

“Good!” I slipped on my Mary Janes and grabbed my coin purse off the coat hanger. “I’m ready to go. See it didn’t take long.”

“Mistress…”

“Okay Fife, okay. Let’s go we don’t want to keep our guest waiting any longer than they ought to.”

Fife and I took the lift and made our way towards the parlor. Upon entry, we spotted my guest in the middle of helping themselves to another cup of Bitches Brew. I greeted them as Fife got me a cup of the brew.

“I must say Ceto this brew is most exquisite.”

“It’s good to see you Gyeong.”

“And you my dear. It has been too long since our last meeting.”

“It’s hard being apart. I’m glad we’re able to be together for this event.”

“Indeed.”

A human, Chwe Jake Gyeong also had a supernatural bloodline courtesy of his father. A direct descendant of Dangun, the founder of Korea, Gyeong’s DNA contained the blood of Dangun’s mother-Ungnyeo-and his father-the divine king Hwanung-flowing through his veins.

Gyeong ’s mother hailed from the human city of Chicago and met his father while he visited the windy city on a business trip. A year later they married and moved to Korea where Gyeong was born. Gyeong followed in father’s footsteps as an architect and has become successful in his endeavors.

We embraced for a little longer before Fife uttered a mumble. “I know Fife, I know.”

While I finished up drinking the brew, Gyeong  took his pocket watch out and glanced at the time. “We best be off. The roads will become crowded soon.”

“Alright, let’s go.”

Fife lurched ahead of us and led the way to the stable where my buggy was parked. Gyeong flashed a smile as he saw the vehicle. “We had so many adventures in this contraption of yours.”

I nodded in agreement. “Yes the memories are coming back to me now.”

Fife opened the door for us and as we sat waiting for Fife to start up the buggy, Gyeong and I held hands and snuggled up close together. “My dear Ceto, oh have I’ve missed you.”

“Every now and then I get a bit lonely when you don’t come around as often as you used to Gyeong.”

“I apologize, it’s my work. Our wretched projects keep me away from you.” The buggy lurched backward as Fife started it up. The buggy was a landau, a type of four-wheeled, convertible carriage.

The buggy was unusually big for the type of buggy it was as it could fit a total of eight individuals. It also didn’t require horses to drive it-though they could still be used-since it was built with a steering wheel and two pedals-one for breaking the other for moving. There was also an emergency brake handle.

In the history of Broom-Hilda Manor, no one had ever named the buggy so it was simply just called the buggy. Granted, the buggy was old and had its own personality. It had been in my family for centuries and passed from generation to generation. Rumor had it that one of my great-great-great aunts had designed it themselves and added special features that made it stand out amongst its peers.

Once Fife maneuvered the buggy outside into the courtyard and out into the part brick part dirt road that led from the manor, we were on our way.

*****

While part of Trepidation, Broom-Hilda Manor is an hour away from the city itself. Our journey still had another hour to go in order to reach Nosferatu Park. Upon merging onto the ramp entrance to Karloff Highway, the buggy came to a sharp stop.

“Mistress…”

“What is it Fife?”

I looked to see that we weren’t the only travelers making our way to Nosferatu Park for the big event. Traffic was back up for miles. “This is my fault I shouldn’t have overslept.”

“Now not to worry, dear.  Surely you remember our road trip to Dracula’s Keep a few years ago?”

“Ah yes! I almost forgot! Fife, pull the lever if you please.”

“Yes mistress…”

Once Fife pulled the lever, bat wings emerged from both sides of the buggy and we flew over the traffic. Soon we be at the event with time to spare.

Or that’s what I thought until an officer of the TPD pulled us over. The cop flew on a broom and announced their presence by swerving right in front of us. Thank the gods Fife’s an excellent driver or we’d be in more trouble than what we were already in.

“Mistress…”

“Be a good boy Fife. Don’t bite the officer. Let me do all the talking okay?”

“Yes…”

Fife pulled down the buggy cover and only softly mumbled to himself about being even more late than we already were. I smiled at the stern human officer whose mouth didn’t move a muscle.  “Good evening officer.”

“It’s always evening in Trepidation, so skip the pleasantries. Where are you headed in such hurry? Flying through traffic is not allowed.”

“Why Nosferatu Park of course. We’re attending the big event that’s being held there.”

“What event?”

Their questioning confirmed my suspicions, this cop was a newly Trepidatician. Gyeong groaned in frustration. “I can’t believe this. Why everyone knows about the event!”

I patted his knee. “Quiet love.” I turned back to the officer. “It’s apparent you’re new here.”

Embarrassed, the officer blushed. “Why yes I moved here from the east coast.”

Fife mumbled as Gyeong scoffed. “Of course they’re an easterner, of course.”

Patting my lover again on the shoulder, I spoke hoping to diffuse the situation. Our time was getting short and it was essential that we reach our destination. “Now dear, it’s not their fault that they’re unaware of our celebrations. Trepidation’s an enormous place, much bigger than any of the big cities in the east. One would think that you would understand these things.”

Gyeong bowed his head. “Mine apologies.”

Gyeong ’s apology softened the office and most of the tension left their body. “I also apologize. You see I’ve only lived here for three days, been on the job for one. Folks told me Trepidation would be different from any other city on earth, I just didn’t know how different.”

I nodded, understanding the officer’s predicament. “There’s nothing wrong with being different. I like our city’s uniqueness.  My family’s lived here for generations and they’re one of the oldest families that live here. The city’s always changing, if you think it’s strange now, you ought to have live here a hundred years ago, why I can’t begin to tell you of all of the unique and out of this world that occurred back then.”

The officer’s eyes widened. “You mean you’ve lived here that long?”

A laugh escaped my mouth and with a wave of my hand I dismissed the notion. “Oh no. I wasn’t around then but I’ve heard stories from my mother and my aunties. Plus. if you visit the Trepidation Museum of History, you’ll learn much about the city’s rich and unique history… but I digress. In any event-”

“Yes in any event, we have an event we need to get to.” Gyeong interjected.

“Ah yes the one at Nosferatu Park.”

“Yes, yes. You see as Lady Ceto explained to you earlier, her family is one of the oldest in the city and if she’s not at the event, attendees will be disappointed. You see we’re running late and in hurry.”

The officer’s eyes widened with understanding. “Yes well, I suppose I can let you off with a warning but you can’t fly to the event. It’s hazardous. We’ve already had five accidents, hence the further traffic delays.”

“But-”

“It’s okay love. We understand and we thank you for giving us a warning.” I shot my lover a look and he withdrew from protesting any further.  The officer wrote up the warning and handed it to Fife.

“Here you go. Have a nice day-uh, I mean evening. I should have stayed in New York.”

Fife didn’t utter a word but gave the officer a quaint smile as Gyeong and I waved at the officer. “You too officer! Don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it.” After receiving a call from dispatch, the cop mumbled curses under their breath and set off towards the new traffic delay far behind my buggy.

“Fife you know what do to do.”

“Yes mistress…” Grinning, Fife started the buggy back up and we were on our way again, flying over the traffic invisible to both those sitting in traffic and any cops along the way.

****

We arrived a Nosferatu Park with minutes to spare. Fife dropped us off and went to find a place to park, mumbling as he went about the lack of parking.  While Nosferatu’s not the biggest park in the city-as it is set on nine hundred acres-it is Trepidation’s oldest. A five thousand feet deep lake accompanies the park and is actually a sinkhole that’s fifty feet deep.

With only five minutes before festivities officially began, the park was packed with Trepidaticians and visitors. While it could accommodate a thousand beings, the Nurmi Amphitheater was filled to capacity, so attendees who couldn’t find seating had to sit on the grassy knolls surrounding the amphitheater.

Packed places aren’t my forte but with Gyeong at my side, I felt at ease.  Our reserved seats were in the middle part of the amphitheater. Due to my event duties, we had to separate.

Leaving my lover to find our seats, I pecked him on the lips. “I’ll see you in a few.”

“Knock them dead, lover.”

“Half of them already are.”

Making my way up the steps to the stage, I heard my curmudgeon of a butler lurching to where Gyeong sat. Fife had been with my family for five generations, just as his father and his grandfather before him. He was not only my butler, but a trusted friend.

Despite his constant grumblings, I could always rely on him.

You would think living in this strange city filled with a bunch of weirdoes, that one wouldn’t feel like an outcast. Yet here I am exhibit A.  Being born into one of the oldest families meant certain expectations are to be met. But when you’re not a pure blood like myself (I’m half human, half Trepidatician) and you have other dreams that you want to fulfill instead of what your family wants you to well… let’s just say it makes me the black sheep of the family.

Despite his generational loyalty to my family and knowing what they expectations of me and assisting in meeting those expectations, Fife has always encouraged me to go out and do things that I want to do. He understands me in ways the majority of my family save my mother and my great-aunt Vivian do.

That’s partly why I’m here tonight.

While attending the special event is part of my family duties, I’m also here for a personal reason… Gyeong. I’ll get to that in a few. Right now, let’s get this family duty out of the way shall we?

*****

“You’re late.”

“I know father.”

Father hailed from a great line of vampires and was never ashamed of his ancestry. The line he hailed from were barbaric in ancient times, but eventually through a series of great leaders they managed to become a peaceful race who controlled their thirst. Father’s family often looked down on other lines of vampires that were more savage in their bloodlust.

Father’s dark brows burrowed in frustration against his pale skin. An even-tempered man, he rarely got angry. Unlike other people, father’s anger wasn’t something that most people feared. It was disappointing him that scared people. And I’ve done it often.

“Ceto I know you dislike partaking in your family duties, but this event is very important.”

“I know father and I’m sorry.”

“I don’t know why I agreed with your mother to let you live at the manor instead of taking up residence in the city. You could have a nice penthouse.”

“Isn’t that part of my duty, to care for the manor?”

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to live there. I’m surprised it hasn’t come falling down like the house of Usher.”

“Oh father, you shouldn’t say that! Broom-Hilda Manor is the heart and soul of our family.”

“As is this event, child. In fact, without this event you wouldn’t even exist. Don’t you see-“

“Ah Ceto, you’re here!”

“Hello mother.”

While human, Mother’s side of the family had supernatural abilities that ran through their bloodline. It was part of the reason why father courted her during his Kephaar as a young man.

The Trepidatician version of the Amish Rumspringa , Kephaar is a rite of passage that all Trepidaticians between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one undergo. They leave our city to acquire some experience and knowledge of the non-supernatural world. In some families Kephaar’s also the time for courtship and finding a spouse.

All Trepidatician families’ preference is for their offspring to marry another Trepidatician. If not than the second best thing would be to marry a being from another supernatural city. The third and final option would be to marry a human and pray to the gods that they carry supernatural abilities in their bloodline. Needless to say marrying a human is the worse option and most parents would prefer their offspring to remain single than make this choice.

Some families will disown their children, thankfully my father’s parents were/are open-minded and gave their blessings. While not fully understanding what they were getting into, mother’s parents also gave their blessing. Growing up, my father would always tell me that he married my mother because of her supernatural bloodline. That may have been the case when he first started courting her, but I know for certain that he married her because he loved her.

Sixty-five years later they’re still going strong and are parents to their only child, me.

Mother hugged me so tight that my face was nearly buried in her black and white streaked hair.  “Your father and I are glad you made it. Aren’t we dear?”

Father pouted.  “Of course, but would it kill her to be here on time? She knows how important this is.”

“Again father I apologize. I took a nap for my melancholy and overslept. Then on the way we got stopped by a human officer.”

“My poor child. I’m so sorry.”

Melancholy runs on my mother’s side.

Father ignored it. He never likes to think about the weaknesses I’ve inherited from my human side. Instead focused on the cop. “Stopped? Why they must be new.”

“Yes. Moved here recently and been on the job for a day. Poor thing’s not used to Trepidatician ways yet. I explained the situation to them and they gave us a warning. There were more important things grabbing their attention.”

“Such as?”

“Too many traffic accidents. Karloff highway was packed. Gyeong reminded me of the buggy’s wings so we were able to avoid traffic and make our way here safely.”

“And we’re glad you did, aren’t we dear?”

“Of course, of course! I’m glad our only child’s safe. But she-“

“That’s enough Leonard.” My mother’s voice was stern. Whenever she used that tone, father listened. She looked out at the crowd and waved. “Why I see Gyeong and Fife down there. Why don’t we go chat with them before the event starts?”

“Alright.”

Mother pecked me on the forehead. “You’ll do great Ceto.”

“Thank you, mother.”

Father gave me a hug. “Just do your best okay?”

“Okay.”

“Come on Leonard!”

“I’m coming, Arivle, I’m coming!”

Father took hold of my mother’s hand and escorted her down the amphitheater’s steps. As they made their way to where Gyeong and Fife, father would glance up at me with worry on his face. Each time mother would scold him. He hoped I wouldn’t disappoint him.

I hoped I wouldn’t either.

****

It was still overcast as the event got underway.

“Good evening my fellow Trepidaticians. I’m your MC Raymond. Welcome to the 200th Blood Moon festival!”

Good old Raymond. You could always count on him to be a great host for any kind of festivities for the living or the dead.  His mockingly sardonic voice and tongue-in-cheek style were always a hit. And he didn’t disappoint as he told the tale of the festival’s origins.

“Two hundred years ago on this very night, a legendary vampire came to this very spot and started to build a village. A village that would eventually become Trepidation City.”

The audience leaned in as they held onto Raymond’s every word. “Now when I say legendary vampire, most of you might probably think I’m referring to Dracula.”

A cheer rose from the crowd.

“Ah you poor unfortunate souls. You must be the millennials I hear about.”

My father and some of the elders nodded their head in agreement while the audience laughed.

“How wrong you all are, for the legendary vampire I speak of is Nosferatu. I’m afraid he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Dracula sucked all of it from him. Heh, heh, heh.”

“It was Nosferatu who started Trepidation and it was on this very night when the Blood Moon was in full display. Needless to say it’s hard work starting a village. But don’t worry, Nosferatu had help. The settlers provided him with food, clothing, and shelter. It was a most bloody affair. Heh, heh, heh.”

The crowd roared with laughter.

“But that’s enough of my talk, let’s get on with the festivities hmm? First up a speech from Mayor Bates!”

As the middle-age man with streaks of grey hair approached the podium, the audience gave him a tepid welcome.

While he was a nice man, Mayor Bates wasn’t well inclined to politics, he just wanted to make the city a better place. If it wasn’t for his wife and secretary Miss Brandis, he wouldn’t have been mayor for the past twenty-four years. With Miss Brandis doing the heavy lifting and Mayor Bates being the face of her actions, everything in the city of Trepidation had ran smoothly since he took office.

That is until very recently.

Someone or a group of people wanted Trepidation to go in a new direction. Thanks to their influence, there had been a serious of scandals and even attacks that had placed citizens on edge in recent months.  Mayor Bates and Miss Brandis had a hard time restoring order and the faith that our citizens had placed in them. It was as if their actions were being undermined. Mayor Bates’ sixth term was coming to a close and unlike his previous terms, someone was running against him. That someone was rich playboy Bram King.

A direct ancestor of Dracula, King is very rich and can pull a lot of strings in Trepidation, the kind that can cause trouble for those who oppose him. Bram has a different vision for Trepidation, one that sees that the rich stay in power as the corrupt continue their evil plots. He also has a thing for me which isn’t something I’m interested in by any means.

I’ve got Gyeong after all.

Once the mayor finished his speech, it was Bram’s turn at the mic, followed by a few representatives of the city’s council. The council’s made up of descendants of Trepidatician families whose ancestors were the first to settle in the city. Hearing speech after speech was intriguing, because while I was somewhat aware of the tug of war for Trepidation, I didn’t know how serious it had become.

Family duties aren’t my cup of tea but as I sat there listen to each speaker, I knew why what I was going to do next was important to my father. With the last representative took their seat, Raymond introduced me.

It was now time for my speech.

Each year during the Blood Moon festival, a descendant of Nosferatu delivers a speech. Like Kephaar, this also was a rite of passage. In some ways, it was more important. What was said in the speech had an impact on Trepidaticians going forward.  While my family didn’t run the city, we still had a profound impact in how it was run and how it was viewed by its citizens and outsiders alike.

Basically I couldn’t screw the speech up.

“Please welcome our honorary guest and direct descendant of our city’s founder Nosferatu, Lady Ceto Orlok!”

As I rose from my seat, an applause went up as most of the crowd stood on its feet out of respect for my bloodline. I shook Raymond’s hand and stepped up to the skull podium. Glancing out into the crowd, I gave my parents a knowing nod and they responded in kind. Fife gave a thumbs up, while Gyeong blew me a kiss.

After the applause died down and the audience took their seats, I took a breath and began my speech.

*****

My fellow Trepidaticians and guests from the outside world, I want to you a cold welcome to the Blood Moon Festival.

Two hundred years ago my ancestor Count Orlok also known as Nosferatu, came to this place and began what would become one of the most terrifyingly beautiful cities in the world.  Trepidation is home to a diverse group of beings-supernatural, paranormal, preternatural, and human-who strive to live in harmony with one another. That was Nosferatu’s dream to create a place for us all to live in peace.

While there have been trying times in the past and as we face current issues in the present, we continue to move forward, keeping Nosferatu’s dream in mind to make a better place not only for ourselves but for future generations. One way we can accomplish this is to treat our all of our citizens with respect and dignity. This does not just apply to those who were born here. It also applies to our citizens who have travel from other places near and far.

Seeking to achieve his dream, my ancestor made the decision to leave the only home he had ever known, a small village in the region of Transylvania near the Carpathian Mountains, to move here and achieve his dream. As a direct descendant of an immigrant, I know how important it is to support those who come from far away to live in our great city.

As with all things there are those who wish to do harm to our fair city and its citizens by inciting tactics to divide us. Previous generations have encountered this before and as we deal with it now-for hate never sleeps-like our ancestors we must fight against it and persevere. The future of our great city depends on the course of action that we choose.

Let us choose to take a stand against the hate by embracing and accepting our differences. Let us choose to protect and defend our neighbors from those who seek to harm them. Let us choose to take the course of action that creates a better future for all our citizens.

Unlike those who live in the human world, Trepidaticians view the Blood Moon not as an omen but as a sign for love and renewal. As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Trepidation’s founding, let us renew our love for our city and all of its citizens.

Please enjoy the rest of the festivities, thank you.

*****

My speech received a standing ovation from most in the crowd, including my father. Relived to see that I had not disappointed him, I returned to my seat on the stage. A few of the representatives eyed me curiously and Bram smiled at me in a way that made me uncomfortable.

With the speeches done, it was time for the fun part of the festival to begin. Soon the clouds would part and the Blood Moon would reveal itself. Anticipation was high and the excitement was building. It was Raymond’s job to keep the crowd’s enthusiasm up and he did just that with his jokes, antics, and the special lineup he had booked.

As Raymond introduced the Oogie Boogie band to the stage, the speakers and I made our way down the stairs and into one of the nearby tents. There we gathered to drink the symbolic Blood Moon tea as well as make room for uncomfortable small talk.

Bram spoke first. “As we await this year’s Blood Moon, let’s give a toast to Lady Ceto for her inspirational speech!”

“Here! Here!” Mayor Bates cheered. Clanging our cups together, we then took a sip of the special brew. “What type of blood is in this?” one of the representatives asked.

“O+.” An employee from Elphaba Café answered. The café was catering the event this year. “So exceptional.” Mayor Bates commented.

Bram rolled his eyes in disgust at the mayor and then quickly brought his sickening gaze upon me. “Lady Ceto you look exceptionally beautiful this fair evening.”

“Thank you Bram.”

I moved away from his swift embrace. He was always trying to court me. As I moved he did also, matching each of my movements with his during the course of our brief conversation.

“I thought your speech was inspiring.”

“Yes, you stated that already.”

“Have I stated my feelings towards you?”

He moved in for a kiss but I ducked out of the way.

“Repeatedly. But as I’ve made known already, I’m spoken for.”

His eyes changed from the lustful black predatory eyes to a blazing red. “You’re still with that architect fellow?”

“His name is Gyeong Jake Chwe and he’s the love of my life.”

Bram’s red eyes softened but his anger remained. “Ah, yes I remember him now. Quite an architect, but doesn’t his work keep you two apart?”

“Yes, quite often.”

The predatory eyes returned. “Then you must be so lonely at your ancestral manor.”

“No, Fife is there with me and so is my hellhound Boomer.”

“Ah that accursed dog.”

“You still have a grudge towards him?”

“He did burn me after all.”

“But it was an accident and it happened when we were children.”

“Yes, yes. But getting back to you. Why do you love this man, this architect? He’s not a Trepidatician, nor does he come from a strong supernatural bloodline.”

“Humph.”

“What my dear?”

“You called my speech inspiring, yet you didn’t hear a word of it.”

“Oh I heard every word.”

“Then you understand why those two things don’t matter to me.”

“Yes, I see… but still, why not be with someone who has everything you could ever want or need? Why not be with me?”

Bram inched in closer towards me, but I couldn’t move. Like his ancestor, he too possessed a powerful hypnotic ability. If he got close enough his power would overtake his prey. I had fallen victim to his hypnotism once before as a teenager… I did not want to go through that again.

As if they felt my distress, a shadow overcame us.

“Oh look here comes Old Man Victor! I bet he has some interesting story to tell us.”

A descendant of the Hunchback of Norte Dame, Old Man Victor was a friendly easy going hunchback. He was one of the few representatives from the Trepidatician council who’s been on it the longest. Thus he’s seen many things during his tenure, so naturally whenever a situation presents itself, he has a story to tell.

“Hello children.”

“Good evening.” I curtsied.

“Hello old man.” Bram was gritting his teeth in an attempt to hold back the infamous fury that his bloodline was known for. While he didn’t like the interruption, respect was an important part of Trepidatician culture and politics. Too disrespect a Trepidatician elder especially in public would be disgraceful.

“Lady Ceto, what a momentous speech!”

“Thank you, sir.”

“I haven’t heard a speech that good in years. In fact, the last time was back in 1932. Let me tell you about it.”

“That’s very interesting, but Lady Ceto and I were having an important conversation, weren’t we? Ceto? Ceto? Where did she go?”

“Humph. Guess your conversation wasn’t that important. Now onto my story.”

“But sir!”

“Don’t worry lad, it won’t take but a minute to tell.”

With my family duties out of the way, I excused myself from the small gathering and made my way over to Fife.

*****

Fife greeted me at the edge of Lake Orlok where the grassy knolls came to an end. “Mistress…”

“I know I’m late. But wasn’t my fault this time. Bram was bothering me again and if wasn’t for Old Man Victor, I might have been hypnotized.”

“Mistress…” Fife gave me a hug. He beats himself up about the hypnotizing incident. He feels it was fault that it happened. Ever since then, he’s been somewhat overprotective of me.

“I’m okay Fife. Now where’s my lover.”

Fife’s frown turned into a smile as he pointed towards the little dock that anchored the bat gondola-style boats. Only one boat remained tethered there and I gave Fife a knowing smile. As we made our way over, Gyeong stood up in the boat and waved.

“Ahoy there my fair lady!”

“Ahoy my dear gentleman.”

Upon reaching the boat, I fluttered down into it. Gyeong took my hand and kissed it.

“My lady.”

“What fine boat you got here.”

“Why thank you. It was one of the last available for use. We were lucky to get it.”

“I’m glad you were able to. I’m sorry for my lateness. Bram cornered me, but Old Man Victor came over and I was able to escape.”

Gyeong’s face clouded. From the moment he met Bram seven years ago, both men disliked each other. Bram didn’t think Gyeong was good enough for me and hated that he had ‘stolen’ me from him. Gyeong on the other hand, disliked Bram for the very principles that he stood for. One time, they had almost come to blows and if it wasn’t for Old Man Victor, things would have taken an awful turn.

“Good ol’ Old Man Victor, always interrupting at the most appropriate times.”

I nodded. “Sometimes I wonder if he does it on purpose.”

“Perhaps. But we can ponder on that another time my dear. Tonight we celebrate the Blood Moon our third anniversary.”

We held each other tightly as Fife steered our boat away from the dock and further out onto the lake where our fellow boats were. Each boat stationed itself on what the riders thought would be the best spot to gaze up at the moon.

“Five more minutes.”

“Indeed.” Gyeong fidgeted with something in his pocket.

“What’s the matter? You appear nervous all of a sudden.”

“Ah, I have something to ask you.”

“Well ask away.”

“I will. We’re not there yet.”

“There? What are you talking about? Oh…”

Suddenly the memories of when Gyeong and I first met flooded my heart. It was seven years ago this very evening. I had grudgingly come along with my parents to watch one of my cousins make their speech at the festival. It wasn’t a memorable speech but my relative made it work.

Afterwards as I made my way towards the dock Gyeong and I bumped into each other. We sat on one of the grassy knolls for about an hour and a half locked in conversation. He had wanted to take a ride on the boat but he didn’t want to go alone. I volunteered to ride with him and we’ve been together ever since.

“Here we are. Fife please anchor the boat.”

“Oh Gyeong!”

“Do you remember?”

“Yes, this is the very spot where we saw the Blood Moon together for the first time.”

“Indeed. And now my dear, I’ll ask my question. For seven years we’ve been together and I know it’s been hard on both of us for many reasons. All the while we’ve endured and our love has grown even stronger.”

Gyeong then bent on one knee and calmly pulled out a black heart-shaped box. “What I’m trying to ask you is,” He opened the box to revel a purple opal ring. “My dear Ceto Orlok, will you marry me?”

“Yes Chwe Jake Gyeong, I will marry you.”

We held each other in a deep embrace as we kissed. As we did so, the clouds revealed the Blood Moon and all was right in our tiny world. With reveal of the Blood Moon, Nosferatu Park was filled with celebration as fireworks lit up the sky and Trepidaticians everywhere cheered. Casper and his fellow ghosts flew across the lake as we looked on.

“Happy Blood Moon my love.”

“Happy Blood Moon Gyeong.”

We’re set to marry next year on the Blood Moon and I invite you dear reader to attend the festivities. Who knows, perhaps you’ll find your own Blood Moon love.

 

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