A Moon Shaped Eyeball

In the village, the sun was always tucked dutifully underneath sheets of clouds, and the wind was always brisk and energetic, and the people of the village were always horribly regimented. They walked from points like little worker bees without a queen, which was a very entertaining display for the girl. 

The girl had no home, she only had a shabby little pavilion which she always sat underneath. Knees against her chest, with her arms wrapped around them to horde as much warmth as possible, as it was currently peak winter season. Her cheeks were flushed a bright red, and her eyes and hair were dark and unmemorable. 

As she sat there, people came and went while she watched intently. Workmen who always had somewhere to be, housewives that lingered about and only told cheap gossip, and children about her age who would point and sneer and throw snowballs at her. “Look, it’s the poor bastard’s daughter,” they always derided, but the girl didn’t really care. Soon, she would rise up and achieve greatness, and the people who used to taunt her would become mere ants for her to trample.

But those with an incredible potential for greatness still succumb to their mortal desires, as the girl’s stomach writhed and growled beneath her skin. She had set up traps all around the village in hopes of catching something good, like a house cat or so, but she was rarely ever successful. This was the case for most of the traps that day, minus the one she had set behind the swordsmith’s shop. To her thrill, there lay a rat, pinched between the cruel wooden pegs of the girl’s contraption.


She picked it up, delicately cradling it in her arms as if it were still alive. Her stomach growled once more, and she tried to subdue the carnivorous urge to just dive in and eat to her heart’s content. But she knew better, as an uncooked rat would likely kill her faster than the famine would. She stood up, and proceeded to make the short trip back “home.” This endeavor, however, lasted for about five minutes until the girl came across a group of larger boys she recognized. They, too, were homeless children. With skeletal figures and drool running between their lips, and a look of savage voracity in their heartless eyes.

“Hey, girl. What do you have in your arms?”

“It’s my pet, have you. He died of starvation.”

“So you’re not going to do anything with it? Give it to me.” One of the boys began to walk towards the girl, and she took a defensive step back.

Lowering her brows, she said, “I’m going to bury him.”


“That’s none of your business, you churl.”

The boy peered over into her arms, at the thing she was holding. 

“A rat? Good God! Who in their right mind keeps a rat as a pet?”

One of the boys in the back piped up. “It’s not her pet, you fop. She’s going to eat it.” His eyes widened, and he parted his lips slightly to reveal decayed rotten teeth. A sparkle of drool escaped, and it ran all the way to his chin before dropping into dirty brown snow.

The girl hugged the rat tighter to her chest, she wasn’t going to let them win.

The boy in the front loomed over her. “Give it to me now.”

This made one of the other boys particularly angry. “Why does it have to be you? Why does it always have to be you?”

The boy in front turned around, and the girl used this as a chance to turn and flee.

She ran and ran, until her legs felt like they would fall apart, and she was sure to have lost the boys within the sea of sad beige buildings. Letting out a sigh of relief, she fell to her knees, letting the rat drop into the snow with a dense thump. Then, she proceeded to stare at it for a moment.

Its eyes were clouded behind a pale blue color— like that of glass, and its mouth hung open like a nutcracker’s. She imagined how she would prepare it— covering it in all kinds of spices and grilling it to where there was a satisfying crunch every time she bit into it.

But that moment of imaginary euphoria quickly wore off as she heard a voice that dripped in tar and callousness.

“The rat. Give it.”

She looked up and saw the main boy from before, only with a bloody nose and a bruise above his left eye. The girl tried to grab the rat and flee again, but the boy took her by the shirt collar and threw her against a brick wall. 

He picked the rat up by the tail and sneered. “What does a poor girl even need food for? It’s us men who have to hunt and fight to protect you women— we’re far more deserving of rations than weak stock like you. Why, you’d better find a rich old man who’d be willing to marry your sorry ass. It’s that or starve for a hedge-born fool like yourself.” After this speech of his, the boy quickly slinked away. The rat, still dangling by its tail.

And for the girl, she sat against the wall for a moment, before slowly standing up. She was far more stunned than hurt, so she decided to just head back to that sad little pavilion. As she walked and walked, she thought to herself. The boy was right, more than right. She would have to try twice as hard for a girl like her to achieve any kind of greatness.

Her stomach growled once more. But this time, it sent a heavy shock of pain pulsating throughout her body. It brought her to her knees, dampening them with melted snow and sending another chill, this time motivated by the iciness of the weather, through her chest and down her spine.

Taking a moment of peace, she got up again and started back towards “home.” This was none other than an ordinary day for the girl. And as she kept walking, she thought more. “Perhaps tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. I’ll catch something good and won't need to starve. And then maybe– finally, I’ll be able to achieve greatness.”

She looked up to see the new moon, just barely peeking over the horizon. To her, it looked like one big eyeball. One made out of glass and marble. And it always watched her as she slept, maybe out of boredom, or because it loved her. And maybe one day, it would ask her to be its bride.

Posted in response to the challenge Spring: Writing Contest.



16 years old

More by _ollie

  • Eigengrau

    Nighttime is sly.

    It acts like a beast with no body,

    a parasite with no host.

    One, two,

    count the little splashes–

    your feet make into puddles.