Moonlight

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Fear is what she knew best, since she went mad. How to manipulate it, control it, make it serve her. But that's for later. For now, let me tell you the story of Alison Worth. Mad Moonlight.

By the age of eight, Alison had already firmly estranged herself from most other children her age. She hardly ever played outside.
         She despised the uncontrollable weather and the high desert temperatures. She stayed inside and played, but nobody else her age wanted to be locked indoors, where they had to worry about their parents and breaking things and what not to do.
        Alison stayed alone inside, until late in the night, when the world was asleep. After dark, Alison would sneak out. She'd walk across the neighborhood in her pajamas and bare feet to her only friend's house, two blocks away.
         They played for years in secret, not attending the same school or having much of anything in common except for a love of the night. Alison came from the wealthier side of the neighborhood. She attended Arynn's Academy of socialites, the most prestigious Stay-at-home private school for girls in the state. Cylla went to the draw public school. She always wore ratty old clothes and had dirty, matted golden hair, reflective of her poor household. She was always dirty. The girls had met by chance on the streets one night, terrified of each other at first.
        After the girls calmed down, they had talked, and decided to meet every night under the enormous weeping willow in the park. After several months, they began to visit each other's houses, first during the day, which didn't work.
         Alison's parents thought Cylla was too filthy and poor and Cylla's family thought Alison was too clean and rich. Then they met at night.
        At exactly midnight, Alison or Cylla would tap a rhythm on the other's bedroom window. They'd done it since they were eight. Now they were thirteen, and Alison was moving to another city.
        "Las Vegas? That's way too far, girly. I'd never see you again. I ain't letting you go. Stay here, we can run away," Cylla said when she first heard.
         Alison declined, and handed Cylla a tiny box with a slip of paper taped on the lid. "Keep in touch, " she had replied.
        Her pale skin and dark hair shone in the moonlight, the exact opposite of Cylla's tan skin and light hair. They looked like they were from two different worlds.
       Cylla opened the box.
      "This is a phone," she stated flatly, confusion lacing her words. She held up the small device.
          "Yes, captain obvious. It's your phone. I convinced my parents to pay for the bill and such, as a gift to me. My number's on the lid."
      The teenagers nodded before they saw the cop car searching for children out past curfew. They whispered hurried farewells and ran. They'd been caught once, and neither wished to repeat the ordeal.
      

      Now Alison sat in the back of her parent's 2017 Chevy Malibu, driving to the airport. Her parents smiled at her like moving away was the most marvelous idea ever. She simply glared at them, not wishing to speak her mind.
       "I don't see why you're sulking, sweet pea, this is gonna be great! A nicer house, new friends! You'll love it!"
      Allison had always hated her mom for that desire to make the best of everything, and hearing that cheerfulness now made her snap at her parents.
    "I'm going to hate it. Nobody likes me, mom. Nobody ever will, either. Nobody but Cylla. I'm not going to make any friends and it's going to be dreadful."
   "You can still call her, Ali," reasoned her father, whose profession was the cause of the move.
     She glanced at her feet. "Yeah, sure, dad."
    She unlocked her phone and sent a text to Cylla. 'This is gonna suck, but at least we can keep in touch. :( '
        Alison waited for hours, but never got any response. 'Hello? Cylla? U there?'
      Several more hours passed by. Nothing. After they had finally in their spacious new house, her parents let her choose her room.
      She chose the attic, the farthest room from her parents. She laid her blankets on the floor and plugged in her phone next to her, glancing at it every few minutes, before finally falling into a fitful slumber.

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