There's only one way an encounter with a Ghost of the Full Moon ends. Only one way.
| When I was a kid, maybe seven or eight years old, I lived way out in the boonies. Because of that I had to take the short bus, with the messed up kids, to get to school. There was this one kid who rode the bus with me. His name was Ethan. They’d wheel him on the bus, in his wheel chair of sorts, and put him right across the aisle from me. I don’t remember what was wrong with him; all I knew was that he one of those kids whose body was all scrunched up permanently. He wore a helmet. He didn’t talk, but sometimes he would laugh this weird, loud laugh. That would creep me out in itself.
But what Ethan would do that really sent me off of the deep end was, every once in a while, he would have a seizure. I didn’t know what they were at the time. All I knew was his body would start to stiffen up and spasm, his eyes would roll back in his head until all you saw was his whites, and he would start to gurgle and froth at the mouth. And he made these awful noises, like he was hurt real bad. I would try not to get scared, to steel myself as he was getting ready to blow, but it never worked. Every time he had one of those episodes, it always just chilled me to bone. Every friggin’ time, it chilled me to bone.
You know I had almost forgotten about Ethan. I would have gone through the rest of my life perfectly happy not to remember him. But she's the one who made me remember him. Every time I seen her, I got the same feeling that Ethan gave me when he had one of his fits - chilled to the bone.
I finally figured it all out; put all the pieces together. I knew I would in the end. I’m not no police detective for nothing. But I tell you, this one took me awhile. This one took me a while.
At first it didn’t make no sense. Listen to me, even now it don’t make no sense. Anyways, here’s how it started. I would be driving on Western Avenue and I would be going by the city cemetery and I would see her. Actually, I would feel her first. I’d get this cold feeling. You know - spooky-cold, not cold-cold. I’d look over into the cemetery and I would see her. She was always way in the back of it; so it was hard to make her out. And she’d be glowing. I know, I know, it sounds crazy. All of this is going to sound crazy. But she was glowing. Any detective worth his salt would have gotten out and checked it out. But I didn’t. Honestly, there was something about her that scared the crap out of me. So I just drove on by.
I saw her again, and then again. But only at night, I never seen her during the day. Then nothing. Weeks went by, and nothing. I would intentionally drive past there at night, just to look for her. And, like I said, nothing. She was gone.
Just when I thought that was the end of her, I’m out one night, following up on a case, when I see her. Same thing; in the city cemetery off of Western, in the way back. She’s all lit up with that white light. And that creepy feeling was back too. Like someone was squeezing my stomach, my heart. Like I was chilled to the bone.
Anyways, you can’t blame me for not stopping. In fact, I pulled a real dick move. I called it in over the police radio. Said I would have checked it myself, but I was too busy. That’s right; I pussed out and passed the buck. Let one of the uniforms check it out. After calling it in, I went right on past the cemetery and did my work for the night.
Of course in the morning, when I checked to see if they had seen anything in the cemetery, the answer was no. I wasn’t surprised. The way she was all lit up, you’d have thought someone, besides me, would have reported it by now. My instincts was telling me that I was the only one seeing her, and man, that was creeping me out even more. So I told myself tomorrow night, if she’s there again, you are going to grow some friggin’ balls and check it out yourself.
The next night I drive to the cemetery. And there she is, all lit up as usual. I can’t stop shaking. I’m no coward. I’m real good at dealing with some of the most ruthless excuses for people this shit hole of a city can throw at you. One of the best. But when I see her, all that goes out the window and I just want to puke.
But I ain’t no eight year old no more. So I grabbed my flashlight, made sure my gun was ready and set out for her. As it turned out I didn’t need my flashlight; it was pretty light out. I looked up and seen that the moon was full.
So I get closer and closer to her. I call out to her, “Ma’am, this is Police Detective Synder.” Every nerve in my body is screaming for me to turn and run. I don’t get no answer from her. I keep going. As I get closer to her everything seems to slow down. You ever wade into the ocean, and the water pulls at you, slowing you down? It was sort of like that, except worse. And everything around me seems to start to disappear, like into a fog. There ain’t no tombstones, no trees, no nothing around. Everything disappeared until it was just me and her. Just me and her.
I finally get close enough to her to get a look at her face. Even today I can’t describe how she looked; which is weird because usually I’m spot on with faces and descriptions. But when I looked at her face I didn’t see her nose, or her eyes, or her mouth. I saw, if you can call it seeing; I saw pain, sadness, and fear. Mostly fear. Terror, that’s a better word for it. When I looked at her face I saw terror. I tried to turn and run, but I was stuck to the spot. That’s when I realized, I was terrified too.
Then she pointed. She pointed to a stone. I looked at the stone. It read, “Ashante Brown.” And then I finally recognized her. She was Ashante Brown, or what used to be Ashante Brown. The girl who had been raped and strangled, then dumped by the side of the road, just outside the city, a few months back. The girl whose pictures had been splashed all over the newspapers and TV for the following weeks. The girl whose murderer was still unknown.
When I looked up from the stone she was gone. Everything was back to normal. I could walk again. As I made my way back to the car, I looked up and seen the moon again. Then I put it all together. She was only appearing to me when the moon was full. She was only appearing to me when the moon was full.
I went home and checked the calendar. The full moon was that night. It seemed that she was also appearing the nights right around the full moon too, so I figured she’d be around tomorrow. Didn’t matter none; I’d just steer clear of the cemetery tomorrow. Better yet, I had the day off, so I decided I wouldn’t even leave the apartment.
Well that didn’t work out so good. The next night I’m woken up with this tight pressure in my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack for sure. And I’m scared as hell because I can’t catch my breath. I roll over to see what time it is…and there she is. Right there in my bedroom. Right friggin’ there in my bedroom. Bathed in that light. I never been so scared in my life. Not even when I saw her up close in the cemetery. I didn’t know I could even feel that afraid.
When I finally got a hold of myself she pointed to my clothes. It took me a bit to figure out what she wanted, but eventually I got that she wanted me to get dressed. She pointed to my gun and my badge, so I grabbed those too.
She led me to my car. We got in, and I started driving. All the while she would point which way for me to go. She was taking me into the Hill, the shitty and most dangerous part of the city.
When we got to the corner of First and Judson she pointed to a man who was standing on the corner. It was cold out and late, so he was the only one there.
I looked over at Ashante, or the ghost of Ashante, or whatever the hell she was. She dropped her arm and nodded. She looked at me. And she sent such a fright through me that I felt like I’d been shocked. I jumped so high my head hit the roof. She was oblivious to this and just kept nodding. I jumped out of the car quick, happy to get away from her, even for a moment.
I approached the man on the corner. He was wearing red and black, Aztec Prince colors. He was a big guy- real big. You know it’s funny, but approaching an obvious drug dealer and gang member, late at night, in a dangerous neighborhood, in his neighborhood – I should have been scared. But I was back to my old self again. I’m no small fry myself, and I know how to handle myself. Plus I’m real good with my piece. One of the best. Nope, I wasn’t scared at all. I was wary and ready, but not scared.
I flashed him my badge. I asked him what he was doing. It’s funny cause he did something that was unusual. He just said he wasn’t doing nothing. A lot of times guys like this, in these types of situations, will come up with some kind of entertaining, bull shit story; you know to show me they aren’t scared. He just stood there and said he wasn’t doing nothing. And he just looked at me. His eyes were kind of empty like. Dead, that’s it. His eyes were dead. He was one cold bastard, that’s for sure.
I asked to see some ID. He said he didn’t have none on him. He got this funny look on his face, so I stopped messing around and pulled my gun on him. I told him to turn around and put his hands on the wall. I frisked him and found his wallet. I frisked him some more and found some rock, a crack pipe, then a piece, a thirty eight. I pocketed the gun and pipe, crushed the rock under my foot and opened the wallet. I found his driver’s license. Luis Rodriguez, his name was Luis Rodriguez.
Luis starting running his mouth; telling me I can’t come up in here, pull out my gun and shake him down for no reason. His eyes changed, like I went from being the invisible man to being the number one guy on his shit list.
That’s when I said it. Right in the middle of all his shit-talk. I just said it, trying to get a reaction out of him. What did I say?
He was a tough nut, he almost keep his cool. But not quite; his eyes widened a bit, and his trash talked stopped mid-sentence
Then I knew it. I knew it right then and there. I knew he did it. And he knew I knew. We just looked at each other. The way two men look at each other when they know the only way it’s going to end is when one guy snuffs the other guy out.
I got what I wanted. I turned and started to go.
“You know Homes, that’s a bitch move, you using your badge like that. You ain’t here on no police business, is you? What’s your name Homes? What’s your name, you fucking cop bitch? You’re lucky you got my gun right now, because otherwise I’d pop a cap in your ass right now. I got more guns Homes. Lots more. You don’t fuck with the Aztec Princes like that mother fucker. You’re a fucking dead man Homes. I’ll find out who you is. You’re a fucking dead Homes. Dead.”
I got back in my car and drove off, glad that Ashante wasn’t there with me.
The next day, at the station, I went over Rodriguez’s record. As if to put any doubts out of my mind, I found he had a long arrest record with, lo and behold, a bunch of physical and sexual assaults. But just to make sure, I sent in Luis’s pipe to the lab to have his DNA taken from his saliva; thinking that when I got the results back, I’d have Greg from forensics see if they were a match to the semen found…well, I don’t have to tell you where. I knew Greg would do it for me, even though he wasn’t supposed to. A lot of things have changed in the world of policing, but in a pinch, cops would still stick their necks out for a fellow cop. That much hasn’t changed. That much hasn’t changed.
Anyways, for the next month, while I waited around for the results to come in, I spent my time Ashante free. I can’t say I enjoyed it. I had trouble sleeping, eating, working, even thinking straight. The pit in my stomach, that before was there only when she was around, I was feeling all the time. And the crime itself was weighing on me too. The more I thought about it, the more pissed off it was making me. These gang bangers were always getting away with crap like this. I don’t know – maybe I’ve been a cop for too long.
A few nights before the moon was full, the DNA results from the pipe came in. I took them down to Greg, and although he wasn't none too happy about doing it, he ran the test. Sure as shit, the crime scene’s semen’s DNA matched the DNA taken from Luis’s pipe. That was bad news for Luis Rodriquez. Real bad news.
But I gave it one more shot. I tried to think of a way to nail Luis through the courts. But I got stuck. There was no way I could think of to tie Luis to the crime. In Ashante’s case file, Luis wasn’t even on the list of suspects. And I couldn’t use the DNA match. I had acquired the pipe illegally, and there wasn’t any proof that it was Luis’s in the first place. What was I going to say? That I knew it was him from Ashante’s ghost. That I knew it was him from the look in his eyes.
So the next day when night fell and the full moon rose above the trees, I was already at her grave when Ashante appeared. I wasn’t scared. “Let’s do this thing,” I say. I wasn’t scared at all.
And you know what? I didn’t feel bad about it at all. I just rolled up in my car to Judson and First. He was standing right there in his spot on the corner, the friggin’ dumb ass. It was cold and late and he was all alone again. I rolled down my window. He recognized me, smiled for a second and reached into his jacket. But I was ready for him. I brought up my gun. His smile disappeared and I could just see the gun in his hand before I fired and fired and fired. Not that I needed to; after my first shot, he was as good as dead. I told you I was good. Then I drove off. Nobody seen nothing. It was as simple as that.
So, of course, his death was in papers and on TV the next day. But the coverage didn’t last like it did with Ashante. He wasn’t an innocent teenage girl with a future. He was a nasty, gang banger with a record. Nobody cared about him, except his homies, and maybe his mom.
Honestly, I have to admit I didn’t think they would figure out it was me that killed him. How could they? I knew no one saw me when I killed him. But they did figure out it was me, easy enough. My police detective smarts left me on that one, because there was one sure-as-shit way they could have figured it out. Have you figured it out - how they knew it was me?
Well, figure it out they did. One night I’m sitting in front of the TV in my house when CRASH, the door to my apartment is busted right off of its hinges. A couple of home boys, dressed in red and black, come running in. One has an AK-47, and he wastes no time laying into me with it. He did a pretty sloppy job of it all. He sprayed more bullets around the room than he got into me. The clown's botched shooting gave me enough time to pull my piece and plug him back. One shot, and it was sweet dreams for that Aztec Prince. Told you I was good. I was almost fast enough to get the other one too; except he bolted out the door just before I could get a bead on him.
Anyways, the first one did manage to pump some lead into me – enough lead. I was a goner; it was just a matter of time. But it gave me enough time to wonder – How had they known it was me that killed their home boy? And then, as I lay there on the floor dying, I looked up out of the window and saw in the night sky that the moon was full. Then I knew how they figured it out. Luis had come back and brought them right to me. That's how they figured out it was me.
This story doesn’t end here. Actually, this is the part of the story where you come in. I know you have been feeling real uneasy, the way I’ve been surprising you with my visits. I know how terrified you’ve been getting when you see me all glowing spooky like; how your insides feel like they are being squeezed; how you are having trouble catching your breath; how you feel chilled to the bone. And I know you’ve been wishing I’d just leave you alone. But let me tell you, I ain’t going no where; not until you do something about that piece of filth that got away. I don’t want to hear any sorry ass excuses neither. You say you don’t have a gun, then go get one. Run him over with your car if you have to. Do what you have to do. How you get rid of him is your problem. But like I said, I won’t be leaving you alone until he’s dead. I’ll be back every time the moon is full. This story doesn’t end here. This story never ends. There’s no use resisting. Some try, but sooner or later, they always end up doing what we, the Ghosts of the Full Moon, want them to do. Sooner or later, you'll end up doing what I want you to do.
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