Shadib walked away from the camp fire and his comrades, towards a clearing in the heart of the Valley’s forest. A bunch of fatigued men, with dust clinging to their uniforms and traces of blood lingering around their fingers, sat around a make-shift bonfire, trading wine and stories. He’d refused their offer of drink and the customary rants against the government; whose hubris and indifference were culpable for this prolonged war.
The pale moonlight shined on the night blooms and frondescence, the buzzing insects and whispers of tall trees adding to the magic of the clearing. Once upon a time Shadib had sought peace, a relief from the cries of the wounded and the nightmares of watching life bleed away from the eyes of young men. Now, he just tried to snatch moments of tranquillity to keep on surviving each day.
Tonight, the moon seemed closer somehow, as though reaching out to touch and sooth his war-weary bones to infuse strength. It reminded him of his Miriam, offering hope and succour even in the face of tremendous hardships, her gentle soul shining as bright as the full moon.
He missed her so much. He wished he had her relentless spirit, when the days seemed never-ending with moving from one base to the other, nights spent digging trenches and setting up bunkers. Letters, though a comfort, seemed less as each day of attack turned into weeks and months of a war. She would have laughed at him if he’d shared his silly wish, this girl who had carved a special place for herself in his hardened heart; but he hoped that the moon conveyed his love to her. He wondered if she would even have had noticed the moon tonight, busy healing all those wounded or ailing. Would she remember to eat? To rest?
Memories re-surfaced in his mind, of sitting on her rooftop and hand-feeding her dinner as she recounted the funny and sad encounters of the day, laughing and teasing under the moonlight. He’d learnt the cost of war through tears, sweat and blood; yet he hoped that he would live, if only to spend another moon rise wrapped in her arms.
For Thursday Inspiration #63 by Light Motifs II, whose theme was moon.