Long Night Moon
Composite photograph by Michael Douglas Jones ©2014
Midnight of the long night moon, and like far away thunder, the battery wagons rumble across the train track, south of the railroad cut; you stir slightly in your pinewood cot, beneath a worn, but warm, wool blanket. Your redtick hound lifts her ears, but does not bark. The crick crackle of the fireplace settles you back to sleep, after a weary day of the world at war.
I place my artillery at the crest of the distant ridge, and wait until the light of predawn. The first shell drifts left, hitting the well house; the second takes the chimney, collapsing brick and mortar, sending oakwood smoke and flame through your room, until all that is left is ember and ash. Your redtick hound howls, but does not leave you. You keep your silence and stand, with no surrender, accepting the smoke and flame.
I know this, because I am you, and the deeper demons at work here, beneath the long night moon. I am the hunter; I am the hunted. Logic is my lantern, and yet, I lift the linstock and light the slow match.
Tonight, I return home after this weary day of war, the road north of the railroad cut well lit by the waning moon at my back. My cot is cold and old pinewood; the fire is welcome and warm. My redtick hound sleeps at my side, and stirs only slightly at the sound of far away thunder.