Quote of the Day: Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov

I’m participating in the WEP challenge for the first time. WEP stands for Write – Edit – Publish, an online community that partners with the Insecure Writers Support Group. I saw the post by Damyanti Biswas and felt inspired to write my own flash fiction. The Moonlight Sonata, or Sonata Una quasi Fantasia – Piano Sonata No. 14 by Ludwig van Beethoven is one of my favorite songs to play. Before writing this piece, I played through the songs several times, letting the melody and the mood of the piece sweep me away. The following thoughts have been drifting up to me for a while, now, while I play. This writing prompt gave me a chance to share them with you. 

While I was on the North Shore of Lake Superior with my sisters this summer, we watched the full moon rise over the great lake, Gitchee Gami. It was stunning. My pictures are a little fuzzy. Night photos are challenging, and it’s hard to capture the moon.

472 Words: NCCO: Tagline – Mother Nature calms the Night Terrors


Cove Point Resort on the shores of Lake Superior. Photo: Mary Aalgaard

Moonlight Sonata – Drifting Away

            Night terrors plague me. I don’t get them every night, but when I do, I wake with a cry. Sometimes, it’s a word, “Stop,” or “No,” or “Get out!” Often, it’s only a sound of fear and surprise, like when you open a shed door and a small animal jumps out at you and runs away.

            The images from the dream are so vivid that I can see them even when I open my eyes. The emotions are so real that my heart races. I have sweat on my forehead, and my breathing is fast and loud.

            Since I’m wide awake, and need to clear the images and emotions away, I get up, wrap myself in a blanket and walk down to the end of the dock at our lake cabin. The sounds of the lake soothe my anxious soul. Frogs croak. Cicadas buzz. Bats swoop low, and I welcome the sound of their screech and flutter of their wings. I thank them for eating mosquitos and whisper, “Please, don’t make a home in my attic.”

            I imagine a boat drifting by with a lone occupant, gently floating into view. Shadows of the nightmare creep in, and I picture the row boat getting too close to the river outlet and pulled into its turbulent current.

            The rower straightens and pulls on the oars, fighting against the undertow. The roar of the waterfall grows louder and louder so that all I can hear is the rush of water. I press my hands to my ears and shut my eyes. The terrors are loud and crushing, like the boulders at the bottom of the drop-off. I fight, like the rower, to pull away from its overpowering tug.

            “It’s not real,” I tell myself and dangle my feet in the cool, calm water of the lake. The full moon glides out from behind the cloud cover. It’s reflection on the water glimmering from the slight ripples.

            I bring my breathing back to a slow, steady rhythm. The night creatures chirp and hum in the cattails near the shore. The rowboat I imagined breaks away from the perilous waterfall that manifests my deepest fears. I am not alone. I have the power to steer free from disaster.

            I imagine myself in that boat, safe and strong. The North Star my guide, the moon my companion. A glimpse of pink spreads along the horizon, and I feel my anxiety, along with the phantom boat, drifting away.

            I inhale the cool, damp air of the predawn light. Mother Nature calms me, again. I stand, wipe the water off my feet with the blanket, then wrap it snug around me in a tight hug. I go back inside and lie down. I’m not afraid to go back to sleep, now. The night terrors are over. I am at peace.


Moon rise over Lake Superior. Photo: Mary Aalgaard


Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt: What inspires you?