The Lunar Effect – A Horror Story of Manhattan

A Man and a Woman exit Pete’s Tavern on 18th street at midnight. They walked up to Park Avenue, heading towards Union Square. Her heart rate accelerating, she noticed the full moon’s reflection bouncing off of her beaming, dark eyes. She fumbled in her footsteps and let out a howling shreik.

“What is the matter?” the man suddenly blurted out.

“Tonight was a fun night, but remember, it is still young.” She answered. “Why aren’t we walking, I want to see the moon from Union Square. The night is still young.”

And they continued their two block journey to Union Square, where the city lights reflected upon the usual crowd. They sat down on the grass, quietly, forgetting each other’s presence…for just one moment.

“Look how beautiful the moon is tonight. I could watch it for eternity. In the night’s darkness, a full moon gleams like a dining room candle for two, it is nature’s true romantic setting.” The Man spoke softly.

“And soon it will be gone.” The Woman was disinterested in his poetic scenery.

Gusts of wind blew over them almost as if to erase six months of a healthy relationship. They both shivered away the cold winds, staring at the moon. The man let out a deep harsh cough, but the Woman smiled.

“What’s the matter?” she asked.

“The air is making me sick and it’s cold, but you wanted to see the moon.”

“The full moon,” she interrupted. “Besides, soon it will be gone.”

The man was not consoled, however.

It was 4 AM.

“I have a better idea,” she added. “Let’s get in a cab home.”

“Finally I can sleep,” thought the man, but she heard him.

Alone again in the man’s two bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side, the two of them sat on his bed. In the apartment’s light, the woman was unrecognizable. It was impossible; he’d known her for months. Maybe he was too weary. Of course! He must have dreamt the strange figure. Through the night he slept, until the sunlight passed through his windows. Startled at the empty bed, he checked the bathroom. It was empty. How stupid he felt for thinking it was all a dream. She left him. She never existed. That was it. He certainly would’ve recognized her. So he sat on the floor feeling somewhat rejected, and somehow questioning his sanity.

Then he recognized that familiar face. He inched closer to his bed. Slowly, he lifted the hanging sheet, only to see a cold white face, dead under his mattress.

“She did this! This stranger I spent the night with turned me into a fool! My love is gone and murdered.” He screamed.

Devastated he tied a noose around his neck, stood up on a chair, and killed himself.

Two lifeless bodies, one apartment in Manhattan, yet the silence was interrupted by an alert in his pocket. A message on his cellphone read, for only a coroner would see: “Missed you two at Pete’s Tavern last night. I hope you’re feeling better today, talk to you tonight.”

A night’s romance, sparkling with a lunar shine, was gone. Perhaps it happened, beginning at Pete’s Tavern on 18th Street and ended in a hangman’s noose. Or maybe a sick man locked himself in bed, and the moon’s enchantment drove him to madness and murder.

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