top of page

Read a Sneak Peek from
Moon Soul!

Discontent comes so suddenly.

          The pain of daily living is catching up to me. I’ve hit a point in my life where I can’t ignore it. I wake up dreading my existence. I want to close my eyes and never open them again. It’s hard to function this way. I go through the motions without understanding why I bother. 

          I guess I find comfort in filling that role. It’s there to keep me on track. I want to be more than on track. I want to thrive. I want to be ... happy.

            When I was seven, my father told me that he chose my name after a season on Earth. August. It’s a long month, one that brings in the end of warmth and the beginning of cold. I couldn’t help but take that to heart in a way they didn’t intend: I began to view myself as an end. 

          It didn’t help that they separated only a few months later, though it was less of a separation and more of an abandonment. My mother wanted to go back to her life in the desert. My father couldn’t follow her there. 

          I can’t help but think that the end is my only destiny. Everyone dies, but is everyone only destined for death? 

          If so, we live a sad existence in a cruel universe. 



          one who does not know who they are

Chapter One

I spend the night struggling to rid myself of emotions that are not my own. They’re remnants from my day, little pieces I’ve picked up from the sand. It’s exhausting trying to deal with them. How does one process something that does not belong to them? 

            I pace across my small room. On days like this my home feels like a cage, even though the outer walls are made of glass, opening to a breathtaking view of Argysi. Each time I pass, I touch the glass, trying to send some sort of feeling into my body—something that is my own. 

          The hardest part of absorbing other people’s emotions is feeling things I have never felt. Today, I worked with two customers seeking memories of their parents. The intense love I felt conducting the emotions opened a black hole inside of me. I no longer have two loving parents and perhaps never did, making all my memories of love a sham. I’d been abandoned by both, even if one abandoned me because I told him I no longer needed him. It hurts nonetheless. 

          I crave love, but I want an organic form, not someone else’s leftovers.

          My eyes burn. I have been crying for hours, trying to drain the excess emotions. I’m sure there are red rims around both my eyes, and my cheeks feel crusted from the dried tears. Unable to do anything else, I settle against the glass and succumb to the overwhelming feeling of everything.

          I feel the heartbeat of the Spire pounding around me. I’m on the ninety-sixth floor, only four floors from the top. The walls around me carry stories. I feel the gentle hum of the machinery within the Spire and the vicious winds rattling the glass, and beneath it all I hear the calming sound of music serenading my neighbor to sleep. I let the thrum fill me for a moment. In the Spire, we are only as good as our counterparts. 

            I wonder if anyone around me can feel my body shutting down.




The blood doesn’t come until I’ve left my apartment and gone to the roof. Every Spire has a publicly accessible roof; the ledge circling it is where the gardeners drop down from to work in the gardens that hang around the outside of the Spire. The Spire doesn’t have rules against coming up here, just as it doesn’t have many firm rules about anything, but it’s an unspoken rule most people are fine heeding.

            I stand as close to the edge as I dare and look out over the moon. Blood trickles out of my nose. I press my wrist against the flow, trying not to let it drip. I don’t want anyone to wake up and find their windows splattered with blood. Despite my efforts, a few drops wrap around my skin and fall, only for the wind to splash them back in my face. I laugh, then grimace. The blood is warm on my skin. 

          The view of Argysi is the only thing keeping me calm. I hold a deep, aching love for this moon. It’s the only aspect of life I enjoy, yet contact with it is why I’m up here. Why does it, with its beautiful, purple sand and sweet breeze, have to be the source of all my pain?

          I walk to the spigot where the gardeners get their water and turn it on. A drain eagerly laps up the bloody water as I stick my arm, then my face, beneath the cold stream. I scrub at the blood. I can’t tell if it has stopped flowing, or if the water is washing it away too quickly for me to notice. I breathe through my mouth, sucking in the fresh air.

            I open the small shed sitting beside the spigot. On the inside, rows of harnesses hang on lines of hooks. I grab one and begin putting it on. The first time I did this, I’d struggled with figuring out how to adjust the straps. Now, it’s almost second nature to pull it over my shoulders and clip the rest around my body and under my legs. 

          The gardeners use these to move up and down the tower. I often watch them from the ground. When they’re near the top, they’re nothing more than bouncing figures in the wind, possessing that wild freedom I crave.

          Unlike the gardeners, I don’t have the energy or skills to climb up and down the building. I just like to sit on the edge knowing that if I fall, the harness will catch me. I crouch down carefully, sliding my legs over the edge and letting them dangle. Pain dances across my soles. Just looking down makes my stomach feel funny. I embrace the discomfort. I’m here because of other people’s extreme emotions. I think I need some of my own to counter them. 

            I take comfort in the fact that from this height, I can see Argysi’s flaws. As with any moon, it’s pockmarked and scarred from the space debris it shelters Oviun from. The green planet is hard to see at night when the dark colors fade into the universe, making it visible by the lack of stars in its place. It’s an emptiness in the midst of everything else.

          The universe above me, the moon below me, and me—stuck in the middle. I don’t know who I am or who I should be. I am a being made from other people’s feelings.

          I don’t think I can justify it any longer.

          I’m going to quit my job.

Continue reading by snagging your own copy of Moon Soul by Nathaniel Luscombe!

bottom of page