Centuries ago, it was common knowledge that the full moon brought about insanity, sickness, violence, and insomnia. And although this truth has been lost to time, its effect remains the same. One tale of this phenomenon is the tale of Andrew and Leontine – two young persons who were quite fond of each other, albeit in different ways.
You see, Leontine adored Andrew in the way a lover would. She was taken by his kindness and face, and tried to win his heart in any silent way she could. Andrew, however, only saw Leontine as a companion – nothing more. And while this broke her heart, she decided that she’d rather be his friend than nothing at all, and so she kept her true feelings locked deep within her heart.
One week, Andrew had been feeling ill and Leontine stayed with him the entire time, nursing him back to health. However, at the end of the week there was to be a full moon. Not wanting to be stricken by the light of the moon she departed as early as she could, but not before providing Andrew with food, drink, and a cool cloth placed on his forehead to combat his fever. Right before she walked out the door, she heard Andrew mumble his concerns about her leaving, and she smiled. She donned her cloak and prepared to depart.
Leontine left the house and began to make her way to her own abode, which resided on the other side of the village. She walked quickly, as she had left far too late and the moon already hung low in the sky. Her journey had almost come to an end when she tripped over a stray branch. The impact of fall threw the cloak off of her person, which then exposed her flesh to the moonlight. At the mercy of the light, Lenoline rapidly began to change.
Andrew awoke to the crackling of the fire and dampness on his forehead. He removed the cloth that Leontine had placed on him and rose to a sitting position. Realizing that his fever had finally broke, he called for Leontine to tell her the good news and thank her for taking care of him. When he received no response, he vaguely recalled her telling him that she was leaving for the night. Fear gripped Andrew when he turned his head to the window and saw the full moon gazing back at him, seated high in the sky. Leontine couldn’t have left that long ago, and he distinctly remembered mumbling that she should put her cloak on she she wouldn’t be gripped by insanity.
The realization that she had left after the sun set and that she could be in grave danger jolted Andrew from his bed and led him to follow her, only stopping briefly to grab his own cloak.
Leontine prowled through the woods searching for something, anything, to rid her of the hunger. A fox lay at her feet, trembling in fear and pain. She had taken a large bite of its flesh in the hopes that that would sate her, but to no avail. It had only begun to scream, and she fled. The blood on her feet felt slick and she slowed her pace so she would not slip. As she lurked, she was struck by the thought of Andrew, his kind eyes and angelic face becoming clearer in her mind. The insatiable hunger grew stronger within her, and she clutched her head. She knew what she had to do.
Andrew first rushed to Leontine’s house. He knew that he would not find her there but he held onto what little hope he had left. When he arrived, he was faced with the truth that he knew but did not want to accept: Leontine hadn’t made it. So he departed from her home and roamed the village, calling out her name until his throat ached. He received no response. Just when it seemed that all hope was lost, he heard a woman scream in the woods somewhere. Without a second thought, he rushed towards them.
The woods were dark. They were so dark that the darkness seemed to hum, and the chilly autumn air nipped at Andrew’s face as he practically ran through the woods, searching for anything that would indicate Leontine’s presence. He followed the scream until he was deep within the woods, and was met with the body of a fox. In the dim light of the moon, Andrew could just make out a large wound on the fox’s body. He approached the fox without speaking a word. When he got close enough, he could see that its bone was exposed and the hide around it was raw and bloody.
With grief in his heart, Andrew realized that there was no hope left for the poor creature. He found a nearby stone and prepared to end the animal’s pain. He wondered to himself – what could have caused the wound? How large must the teeth have been to cause such damage? Andrew pushed those terrible thoughts from his mind and raised the stone above his head. He squeezed his eyes shut and planned to do the deed, but stopped short when he felt a passionate gaze upon him. He realized that he was not alone.
Leontine’s newfound intention pushed her even farther through the woods. The blood on her feet now dry, she sprinted with all her might in search of one thing: Andrew. She felt possessed somehow, like an unthinkable beast had made its way into her veins and had overtaken her. And while this was a frightening thought, Leontine found that she welcomed the new sensation rather than rejected it. As if a part of herself had always been a beast, and the moon had only brought out what lay dormant within her.
Her head snapped to the right when she heard a snapping of twigs, too loud to be caused by an animal. She smiled a demented smile when she realized that it must be a human, and that human must be Andrew. She made her way through the trees and brush, determined to find him and tear out his tenderness. Even the saints themselves could not help Leontine as she advanced towards the sound.
She reached the place she had been before, where she had wounded the fox. And there she saw Andrew, raising a stone to end its pain. She watched for a moment, her gaze fixed on the way he moved and the slight tremble of his hands. Suddenly he lowered the stone and looked around. He had realized he was not alone.
“Leontine,” he called out, “is that you?”
Leontine’s blood began to sing with Andrew’s voice and she made to attack.
When he received no response, he turned around and saw the figure of a human in the shadows. He figured that this must be Leontine as no one else would be outside on a night like tonight. However, he felt his hair stand on end when he remembered that she would not be herself. His hands trembled slightly and he opened his mouth to speak again when Leontine suddenly burst out of the brush and wrestled him to the ground.
Andrew looked up into her face and saw the visage of insanity itself staring back at him, her wide, gleaming eyes and broad, malevolent grin gracing her lips. Her teeth gleamed in the moonlight and they appeared sharper than before. The knot in Andrew’s stomach grew larger with every moment that passed, with every shallow breath he took. After half a minute of waiting, Leontine suddenly grabbed the rock out of his hands and bashed it against his skull. Darkness consumed him.
Leontine awoke to the sound of birds chirping outside her window. She rose in a cheerful mood and prepared for the day. She brushed her long amber curls and washed her face, then descended downstairs. She cut some fresh fruit and placed it in a bowl, then sat down at her wooden table to eat breakfast. She gazed out the window as she did so and watched the village children play some game they had invented. She giggled softly and wished that she could be as carefree as they.
When she finished eating, she decided to head out to the marked to buy more food for the coming days. She made her way to the closet in the hallway where her cloak was stored. She opened the door and was met with the corpse of Andrew, bruised and bloodied. She sighed contentedly, delighted that he was finally hers and hers alone. She grabbed her cloak from its place and leaned in to lay a gentle kiss on his cold nose.