TITLE: Butterfly Moon
GENRE: MG Magical Realism
It was a night of the Butterfly Moon. The sharp buzz of the cicadas had given way to the soft chirping of crickets, and the butterflies that gave the summer moon its name had retreated into the trees. Moon Watcher lay in the soft grass, left hand behind her head, studying the patterns of the stars.
She found the shape of an eagle first, high in the eastern sky, diving into the southern horizon. She traced the eagle’s shape with her finger, following the triangle of stars that formed the bird’s western wing to… a snake, she decided. Still using her finger, she traced the snake west until—
“What are you doing?”
Moon Watcher jumped at the sound of her mother’s voice.
“You’re supposed to be helping your sister. Spirits help me! Can you do nothing right? We have a hundred things to do before her wedding tonight, and you’re out here gazing at the sky.”
Moon Watcher stood up and brushed the grass off the back of her shift. At ten summers of age, she knew better than to say anything when her mother’s voice was all sharp edges. Tonight, thanks to Rain Dancer’s wedding, it was sharper than an obsidian blade.
“Now, get back home and help your sister. She’s almost dressed and needs you to do her hair and paint. The moon is nearly at its peak. We don’t have much time before the ceremony.”
Moon Watcher trudged up the hill toward the family’s homestead.