In the years since her childhood the village had changed. It wasn’t a village anymore, it was something bigger, sprawling, full of people who she didn’t know. Kathy had known everyone once. There wasn’t a person in the village who she hadn’t been able to name, to link into the fabric of them all. These days such things didn’t matter and the only one who remembered things the way she did was Thomas. Good old, crotchety Thomas from Ivy Down Cottage with arthritic hands and nose that would put an elephant to shame.
‘Look at ’em,’ said Thomas, pint in hand. The Old Bell was due to close in ten minutes but the landlady let the oldies hang around for a little longer if they wanted. Mick’s granddaughter, or was it great granddaughter, Kathy couldn’t remember clearly, but Kathy had know the woman since she was born.
She followed Thomas’ disgruntled tuts to the group of teenagers gawking at the sky.
‘No clue,’ she sighed. It was cold and she would have preferred to be in the warm but The Old Bell had those nice padded seats outside on the patio, and she never missed a new moon. The teenagers at the other end of the pub’s garden were there for the moon as well, arms raised, pointing.
‘They’ll bring bag luck down on us, just you watch,’ Thomas grumbled.
Aye, they would thought Kathy. The silver coin in her pocket felt heavy, like it had grown since she’d last held it.
No, she decided. It hadn’t grown, it was her shrinking, becoming less of a person, just like the villages was becoming less of what it once was. She closed her hand around it and let the chill settle into the lines on her palm.
‘We should stand,’ she said quietly, her hip protesting at the thought.
‘We will, we will. Just give me a moment.’ Thomas fumbled for his cane. ‘I doubt she’s really watching though. What would a young lady want with a couple of oldies spinning in circles.’ He got the cane under him and levered himself up. ‘You wishing for anything this time?’
Kathy shook her head.
‘Just as well. I doubt wishing for a husband will do you much good now,’ Thomas chuckled.
He managed to arch his back into a crooked bow before turning in a wobbling, stuttering circle. He repeated the process twice more and collapsed back into his seat.
‘Your turn,’ he wheezed.
Frowning softly she turned her face to him. ‘Do you really think so?’
‘Well unless I’m getting dementia of something.’ He shook his head. ‘Get it over with you mad old bird. It’s cold out here.’
‘No,’ said Kathy. ‘Do you really think I’ve left it too late for a husband?’
‘I, er- just make your obedience already. You’re the one who insists we do this every month.’
Creaking as she stood, Kathy rose.
Maybe she should make a wish. The teenagers were still gawking at the sky and as the wind changed Kathy could smell the sweet smoke wafting their way. She shook her head. There was no point wishing. Thomas was right. Stooping into her bow she felt her joints grating against each other.
Sometimes it was just too late.
I played around with a few ideas before choosing this one for today’s prompt: Moon. I have an encyclopedia of superstitions and there are three pages dedicated to superstitions to the moon including one from my home county of Shropshire.
It was considered important to greet the new moon, or in Shropshire, ‘make your obedience’ by bowing three or nine times, turning between each bow and making a wish as you did so.
I threw in a few other moon related superstitions to make things interesting so I hope you liked it.
Tomorrow is Friday so if you want to see some more Flash Fiction make sure to check back!