(from Fanha's perspective)
I never know what to call the time just after midnight: it doesn't seem like morning; mornings are feeling the sun upon my face as I gently slide out of bed, careful not to disturb my still-sleeping lover. Mornings are bending over him to kiss his eyelids, his nose, his lips; breaking the spell of sleep as easily as the hero of the tale. Mornings are not looking out on the streets of Northtown from my bedroom window, watching the fog roll in like the tide, unable to sleep because the moon is a yellow orb in the sky. It had reminded me of the way my father's eyes look out from behind that skull mask, devoid of all the warmth that I had loved about him. They call it a Hunter's Moon, I call it a cruel trick.
Crickets and nightbirds are singing outside, the soft purring sound that Sheex makes when he sleeps blending in perfectly. I close my eyes and breathe in; the cold night air stinging in my chest, lodging there with the pain I had felt earlier when I refused his embrace. The hurt in his eyes was wrenching, but I couldn't -- I felt watched by the eye in the window, spied upon. It had been a full moon the night we had first been together, but it was different then: the moon was pure and white, clean and new.
I twist the hem of my nightgown, as white as the moon I remembered, in my hands. Mother wouldn't like me wearing this color, preferring it to be red or black. White is for babies, she would tell me. For young girls and new brides: for virgins. I still feel pure though, is that enough? We love eachother as much as any wife could love her husband, as much as any husband could love his wife. It doesn't matter to me that there is only one ring on my finger, that there has been no ceremony or stiff white dress. We have taken our own vows and pledged to keep them.
Releasing my gown, I rest my elbows on the windowsill; my chin in my hands. The song of the crickets and the purring of my lover weave a spell around me, a blanket to protect me from the chill of the moon's sallow gaze. If I wait long enough, it will be replaced by another yellow eye, one as warm and alive as my own. I can wait, I tell myself. I'm good at that.