Aine Malone, New Moon New Year

New Moon

A super-moon they called it, and it was the last full one of the year. It had special energies and qualities for anyone open to the higher vibrations, if you were to believe the website I’d stumbled onto.

Hippies, I would have scoffed this time last year. But, it was worth a go.

I wrote my list in the quiet of the bedroom; it was a private matter, and I knew Lucas would rip the piss out of me if he knew.

I am letting go of:

Negativity & Sadness

Anxiety & worrying about things I can’t control.

Anger & unhealthy addictions.

I now accept:

Love

Light

Happiness.

I read over it several times. I’d been planning the ritual for days and now that the time was here, I was stuck for words. Surely there was more that I wanted.

I sighed, and added ‘Abundance’ quickly to the accept list. It felt crass asking the universe for money.

Going out onto the balcony, I shivered. The temperature had dropped dramatically, and the air sharpened everything to a glittering point. A persistent mizzle touched my bare face with acupunctural prickles.

Stars winked conspiratorially as I inhaled the fresh weather; it felt cleansing. I held the fluttering page aloft to the surprised face of the brightest and biggest moon I’d ever seen. In silent communion with power, I set the paper alight.

Watching it burn, my stomach fluttered with a sense of anticipation.

New Year

New Year’s Eve began in customary fashion: Lucas started drinking at noon while I made an early dinner to line-the -stomachs before the party in Madigan’s.

By the time, I was glammed up and ready to go out at half nine, he was sloshed and snoring on the couch. Fuck you, I told his snuffling carcass, and left him there. I wasn’t really in the mood for the party either, but I was damned if I was going to spend the night listening to him fart and snore. My ideal of going to bed early with a book would feel too much like failing.

A man, in clothes so bright I couldn’t look at him, stood at the gate. Shimmying past him, wrinkle-eyed, I felt a vaguely unsettling sensation.  Ignoring it, I continued on my way.

Chloe Madigan, my oldest friend and boss, opened the door when I arrived. ‘Oh, no Lucas?’, she said, instead of Hello, or Happy New Year. I, with clenched teeth, tensed-shoulders, and a gritted smile, moved past her into the opulence beyond, and immediately guerrilla’d a passing caterer.

Classy music played. Proposals were made and accepted amid oohs and aahs over the meteorite-sized diamond. There were some surprising speeches. A particular shocker was the announcement that Chloe was emigrating with her new fiancé, in a week! Applause followed for the brave move, which ended awkwardly when an overly loud, long cackle arose from the gathering.

A hysterical woman, who’d drunk too much champagne, lay across the chaise longue, holding her stomach. Eyes swivelled nervously away and a nervous hum of chatter had begun before I realised the woman was me.

Having escorted me roughly from the room, Chloe told me she had thought I’d be happy for her. It had all happened so fast, she gushed, with a shrug about the business; I would get another job, a generous severance deal, she’d give me a good reference.

I stumbled out the door, and a passing taxi took me in and swiftly away from the wide avenue of Madigan’s road. Everywhere, revellers darted hurriedly to their next beverage, or sang morbid songs, arms waving, elbows elbowing . Some strolled arm in arm, wrapped in a cosy world of togetherness.

Red and blue lights greeted me as we turned into the tiny alleyway, tucked under the train tracks, where I lived. Jaysus, the taxi-man said.

My mouth opened wide, I surveyed the scene of destruction at my house, where my boyfriend slept. Jumping out, I grabbed a passing Garda’s arm. Just one house affected in an entire terraced row. A freak incident it seemed, crushed under rocks hurled by the sky.

And amidst it all, the man from earlier, in luminescent clothing, came into focus; I caught a wink, then he turned from me and walked away.

Aine Ni Mhaoileoin is a Galway-based writer. A recent graduate of the MA in Writing from NUI Galway, she has twice won the six-word story competition in The Irish Independent and her flash fiction has appeared in The Galway Review, Sin and Ad Hoc Fiction.

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