“Full Moon Killer strikes again!”
Jonathan Bates shook his head sadly, and clicked on the link for more information. A
serial killer was the most exciting thing to happen in his town, and the townsfolk were
following the story with a morbidly insatiable curiosity.
This month, the wrong-place- wrong-time sucker was Eddie West. A 28 year old child in a
man’s body thanks to a brain-destroying dedication to alcohol and drugs. Eddie still lived
with his parents and, despite the town curfew, was known to seek privacy in the nearby
park in order to pursue his goal of mental and physical destruction. Fortunately for the
late Eddie West, he was all but unconscious already when the killer found him and
decorated his body with punctures and deep slashes. He died without knowing he was
The previous month, poor timid Penny-the- librarian made the fatal decision to take a
shortcut home through the park. Her body was discovered the next morning, so badly
mutilated that identification was initially made based on the library ID which still hung
around her tattered neck.
Before that … Jonathan thought for a minute, and seemed to recall the police finding the
torn remains of some homeless guy who had been having a party for one in the local
cemetery. His body had been so badly savaged, it was at first thought that he had been
attacked by wild animals.
And so on, and so forth.
No-one was a suspect, everyone was a suspect. Neighbour silently contemplated
neighbour; family members reported the “suspicious behaviour” of other family
members. One woman nearly killed her husband with a saucepan when he tried to
sneak into the house after a later-than- anticipated return from the pub. The sports store
could barely keep up with the demand for baseball bats and the like. Jonathan himself
carried a small but efficient switchblade, fifty nine dollars from ebay; half of him feeling
like a dangerous badboy, the other half terrified that ownership was going to get him into
Come late afternoon, full moon or not, the streets were all but deserted. No-one needed
a curfew to tell them that being out after dark was a really, really bad idea.
But still the bodies kept piling up.
Jonathan finished the article, stood and stretched. His little dog, Spike, took it as a sign
that walks were imminent, and ran in excited circles while Jonathan tried to fasten the
lead without getting too badly tangled. It was getting a little late in the afternoon, but he
figured that at least now he didn’t have to worry about being killed for another month.
The whole town seemed to cycle down after the latest murder. Walkers nodded
comfortably at each other as they passed, children screeched in the playground under
the watchful gaze of their mothers as the sky slowly darkened towards evening.
But as the days became weeks, tensions started rising. Leisurely strolls became quick
power-walks, more eye contact was made with the pavement than with other people,
dogs were jerked away from interesting smells and told to hurry up and squeeze one out
so they could all go home.
By the time the first night of the full moon arrived, the curfew was in force and enforced.
Police cars patrolled the streets slowly, shining light into the darkest corners. More than
one amorous couple was rousted from doorways and from behind bushes, and sent on
their way, scowling with frustration and muttering about heavy-handed police state.
By the second night, nerves were at screaming pitch.
Jonathan stood and peered out the window, watching as a police car prowled by. Spike
immediately started running in circles, squeaking under his breath about walks in the
“Sorry, little man” said Jonathan. “It’s just too dangerous. How about a nice double-long
As with most animals, Spike didn’t quite grasp the concept of delayed gratification. A
normal walk right now was vastly preferable to some amorphous concept of a double-
long walk at some time in the unforeseeable future. There was really no comparison.
Spike’s circling slowly dried up as his excitement ebbed away. His nose and tail drooped
in dull disappointment. He lifted his sad little face to see if Jonathan was joking, and
didn’t like what he saw. Spike slowly lay down with a whimper, the sting of betrayal
evident in every line.
Ten minutes later, disappointment completely forgotten, Spike was out sniffing bushes,
his stumpy tail wagging so furiously that his whole back end swayed.
Jonathan clutched the leash tightly, his ears and eyes working overtime. Killers aside, he
really didn’t want the embarrassment of being sent home by the police. And, human
nature being what it is, he didn’t really believe murder could happen to him.
Now they were at the park, Spike desperate to go in and run around without a lead. And
really, what were the odds that the Full-Moon Killer would be at the exact same spot at
this exact same time …
Very much against his better judgement, Jonathan led Spike into the park and released
Spike ran off, trying to sniff everything at once.
Then he stopped, the hackles rising along his neck. A tinny growl erupted from his throat
as he slowly backed up, his tail dropping.
Scuffling noises, a grunt, high pitched breathing, nearly a scream.
Jonathan crept forward, hand on knife, and peered through the bushes.
The bright moonlight revealed a horrifying scene, two figures grappling, a knife flashing
Jonathan forgot his fear, and charged forward. “Hey! Hey!” he called out (although he
made a mental note to change it to something more scintillating when recounting his
heroism to reporters).
Both figures turned to him, the knife falling between them. The woman collapsed to the
ground and started weeping hysterically, the man ran in Jonathan’s direction, hands
outstretched. Jonathan panicked and lunged forward, his knifeblade flicking out and
plunging effortlessly into the man’s neck. The man sank to the ground, eyes round with
surprise as the life ran out of him.
Jonathan collapsed onto his knees beside the body. It was Andrew from the Post Office.
Who’d have thought it! Andrew was a relative newcomer to the town, telling everyone
who listened (whether they wanted to or not) that he was sick of the rat race, just wanted
to see out his working years in a town community.
He had moved here nearly four months ago … not quite four months … but seven
bodies meant seven months …which meant …
Jonathan’s insides turned to ice when he heard the woman giggle behind him. He hadn’t
even heard her approach. He turned and looked up at her as she stood framed in the
moonlight, knife poised and ready to slice.