Skinned knuckles clasped the iron bars of his cage, beast like, haggard, grey. His clothes, once immaculate, hung in tatters, stubble and dirt lined his face. He gazed at the moon, pale, imperial, untouched by the hate and anger around him. Serene it floated on high, unsullied, eternal. Against all reason hope stirred in his chest.
Like wolves, eager to feast on his bones, his captors snarled, a rifle butt descending towards bruised fingers. He moved back, back into his isolation, into the darkness, but he had seen the light of the sun reflected in the night sky. He cherished the image of purity in his heart.
Once there had been love and life. Somewhere this moon shone on them still secure and safe in their beds. They would be praying for him of that he was sure; agnostic though he was the thought somehow comforted his heart. At daybreak it would end, it would all end…
Rough hands seized him from troubled sleep dragging him outside. He glimpsed a glimmer of dawn on the horizon, the promise of radiance he’d seen reflected in the moonlight. Hope fluttered. The white washed building loomed before them like a mausoleum. He knew what lay ahead. His guard had gone over it in lurid detail the night before. His incarceration would finally end in one last photo shoot. At least it would be fast (he hoped) faster at any rate than this living death.
He was hustled inside, the bearded pack grinning at the coming blood. Forced to his knees in the bright glare of neon light he squinted his eyes and fought his fear, breath coming in ragged snatches. Hands lashed behind him he leaned forward.
“Remember the moon! Remember the moon!” he shouted inwardly in panic. Then the axe swung. It was over. He was free!