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Oct. / Nov. 2023


Moth Girl
By Anna Madden

I call her moth girl, and in turn, she calls me harvestman.

A kind of spider that forages on swift feet rather than ever spin a web. I look up the species online and learn they’re more commonly called shepherds: tall-legged, able to see danger far in the distance.

The desktop computer is shared with my mother, so I’m careful to delete the internet history on the browser when I’m done. Something she’s never learned or thought to do. The last week shows a log of her recent worries. News articles and clickbait titles of YouTube videos about the so-called invasion. This is the fast-food data gobbled up by those who are quick to fear.

There’s no new information. The few facts are repeated in a restless loop of outlandish horror and fascination. Vinegar and sunlight kill those born of the Eclipse. When I look at the dust-like scales that flake away from the moth girl’s skin, I see how fragile she is.

Her kind came to us from behind the moon, weary-footed and haunted, and they tried to blend into the shadows, far from whatever nightmare they’d fled. 

My mother scoffs when I argue. She calls them an infestation and buys white vinegar in bulk. It’s thought best to get rid of them in the larvae stage, for they will only cause greater destruction when fully mature.

But what destruction is greater than our own upon this world?

Perhaps I should be fearful like my mother. Moths can be prey-born, but predators too. And yet, the Eclipse are something new, their fates and truest natures undocumented mysteries...MORE



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