Microfiction: The last of the moonlight


This was one of her favourite places. It had been their trysting place years before, when she was just a silly girl and he a callow youth. Her father would have remembered that when her husband’s ‘colleagues’ set out to look for her. She listened, but the only sound was the lapping of lake water and the gentle panting of her dog.

She had been married to the man her father chose for her. Her objections were waved aside. After all, she could never tell him she had already given her heart. As far as her father was concerned, her heart was not hers to give. They had continued to meet, she and her lover, even after her marriage. Especially after her marriage. She would have thrown herself into the lake if he had not been there to take her in his arms and tell her lies about how one day they would be together. They had grown wiser with the years and more prudent in their loving, but not prudent enough.

Her husband might have been different if the times had been kinder, but as a party official, he put aside any feelings of humanity he may have had in order to follow orders without question. When her lover was arrested, someone, hoping for betterment, or simply out of a vicious desire to hurt, told her husband about the liaison. The party machine ground into action. The insult to the party official was to be wiped away in blood. There was nowhere to hide, no one to turn to. And without her lover, there was nothing to hope in any more.

She waited. The dog whined. The whining turned to a low growl. They were coming. She hoped they would be kinder to the dog.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

21 thoughts on “Microfiction: The last of the moonlight”

  1. Oh, this is just heartbreaking, Jane. So beautifully written – her lover her talling her lies she’s willing to believe in to keep her sane, the terrible denouement where they’re discovered and the inevitable retribution. So well written and constructed – a little tragedy

      1. It’s just so tragic, that yearning for something for yourself that leads to a horrifying conclusion. Have you read Simon Sebag Montefiore’s ‘One Night in Winter’? Set in Russia during Stalin’s rule, it’s centred around a group of young people searching for self expression, a simple connection with like minded souls and the shattering consequences that can have under repressive rule. Inspired by true events too. Your story reminded me of it. A great write, Jane

      2. I don’t know it. I’m still reading the unreconstructed Stalinist propaganda like Sholokov, but I can easily imagine how terrifying it must be to live under a regime that condemns any infraction of the rules. The thought police is not a myth.

      3. Very true – Orwell knew what he was writing about and 1984 was merely a reflection of what the world had just experienced on a global scale, what the Soviet states continued to experience for decades to come. Chilling stuff

    1. Actually no. Castro might have been a dictator but when you look at what he replaced, the people were better off with him. I was thinking more of the Nazis. They seem to be having something of a comeback.

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