The River of the New Moon
By Jeff Baker
During the nights when the Moon is new and not in the sky, she is nonetheless busy elsewhere. Sometimes she manifests herself as a nighthawk and soars the evening skies. Sometimes, she becomes a mole and burrows down into the ground to sleep. And sometimes, she appears as a lady in a boat on the river Ie.
It was during one of those nights that she came to the edge of the riverbank she often shone on from the sky. She felt the tall rushes with her hands, gazed at the tiny fish asleep in the shallow water and poked an investigating finger into the mud. And there were three young men on the riverbank who saw only a woman in a boat and quickly came up to her with knives and demanded her gold. One of them clamored into the front of the boat, displaying his knife, the other two were in the boat behind her. It was in the next moment that the boat set on down the river, moving swiftly against the current. And when the young men tried to leave the boat but could not and saw the woman smile with a smile broader than any woman could possibly have, they knew who they were with.
It is said the nights of the new moon are the best ones to see falling stars, which are not really stars but flecks of meteors which try but do not make it to earth.
And three of those falling stars on those nights are the young men who were let loose in the sky far from Earth, trying desperately to return home, to the lives they had before they foolishly invaded the boat of the New Moon.
I enjoyed this one a lot.