The Moon Child


Image by Fausto Garcia Menendez via Unsplash

An intense fear overwhelmed my body. Why her? Out of all dinosaurs out of the land, why her? My only sister had been selected to be the moon child. Every 100 years, a young, random child in the world of dinosaurs, who had reached the age of 10, would be randomly selected to be the moon child – and would be taken away from their families… and never return.

The moon child’s job surrounded itself with mystery as dinosaurs started to wonder what would happen to these kids as they just disappeared into thin air. It was a scary time for dinosaurs every 100 years on October 13, the day of the ritual – just imagine having your young child or sibling taken away only to never return.

And that was the exact same situation in which I felt pain, fear, and intense guilt. Why couldn’t it be? She was my only sibling, the only family member I had left, our mother having died a long time ago.

My entire family was Europasarus and herbivores. My family and I were similar in our looks; we had the same range of skin tone – a peachy orange skin that wasn’t too bright and noticeable, which made it easy for us to hide from predators. We also had distinguishably long necks that weren’t too long like a giraffe for instance, but they were indeed long, which made it easy for us to reach and get leaves from low-hanging branches from tall trees; but we were also the smallest herbivores, so small that it would be possible for big predators like carnivores and omnivores to pick us up with their mouths and take us away as food.

That was exactly what happened to our mother 10 years ago, when my sister and my other siblings were born. I recall the events that took place that day like they happened yesterday.  My siblings were just born laying in their big yellow hay nests, which my mother made for them. I was babysitting them while my mother went to retrieve food for us to eat. I was so happy that day because I was about to become a big brother to six siblings.

Until I noticed something: my sister’s was the first egg to crack, as I noticed the large crack marks appearing all over the shell. I was in shock as I saw her poke out the top of her egg with her head, and the large, sharp piece fell into the nest.

That’s when I first saw my little sister, Anu. Her distinguishably small orange head and neck poked the egg out of the piece she just cracked, and I immediately screamed. “Mom, Mom, come look at this!”

That’s when I saw my mom coming from the bushy green forest south of our nest, where she went to get food from. But something was off. Her face wasn’t filled with joy; it was more filled with panic as she was coming towards us, running from something. That’s when I saw a big, green T-Rex—larger and taller than anything I’d ever seen—chasing after my mother. That’s when my mother screamed “Run!” as the T-Rex opened its mouth and let out a big, loud roar behind her.

Not knowing what to do, I quickly grabbed my sister, who had already hatched, by the neck with my mouth, and she quickly came out of her shell as I grabbed and ran as fast as I could. I was headed for the forest west from the nest, and I ran and ran until I grew tired following my mother’s last order. It was nighttime, and I was alone in the middle of the forest, surrounded by tall green trees and green bushy bushes.

Foolishly, I decided to go back where the nest was, thinking everything was okay. It was the worst decision I made, as I saw something a child shouldn’t witness at such an early age. There was a big pool of blood. Her body wasn’t there, but when I looked inside the nest there, I witnessed all my remaining siblings’ eggs crushed and oozing with green goo from their eggs, and a big brown muddy T-rex footprint right on top of all of it. That was the first time I ever cried.

From that day on, I had to act tough and fatherly towards Anu, teaching her survival skills at an early age and what to do if I happened to die, because I didn’t want her to end up alone in the big world like me.

But now I was going to lose her just like I lost Mom and the rest – so that night of the moon child I had to act fast. It was a matter of time before I permanently lost my only family member. The moon child event always took place at night in the Annouge. The Annogue was the largest cave heavily guarded by highly trained T-Rexes in our land of Zoombia, but no one was allowed into the cave unless they were part of the Nations of the World.

The Nations of the World was a group consisting of all the dinosaur rulers across the world. The group was very famous and respected within the land, but also feared, as fear came from the wonders and secrets of the moon child. And I was risking my own life going near this cave.

Hiding within the large green bushes I was watching the two large green guards engaged actively in conversation while guarding the gray ridge stoned cave.

Now that they were distracted it was my time to shine. I peeked my head out of the bush, used my mouth, and pulled on a thick branch from a tree next to the bush where I was hiding.  When it broke from the tree I knew what I had to do IN the branch as hard I could to the opposite direction from the guards and quickly put my head in the bushes so I wouldn’t be seen. Then I heard a voice from the guards.

“Hey what was that?” questioned one of the guards.

“We have to check it out, the moon child plan must go perfectly!” growled the other.

They both walked away, leaving the cave unattended and unguarded, and went in the same direction. I had wanted them to go near the branch! My plan had worked! I quickly ran from the green bush into the large cave without any hesitation.

Inside the cave were small fireflies lighting up the dark cavernous ceiling from the chemicals within their bodies. The cave was empty. The only people there were the 1 ruler from the Nations Of the World… and my sister Anu. They were in the middle of a conversation until I came in and screamed. “Anu!”

That’s when they stopped their conversation and saw an entirely different side of Anu from her cheerful personality and responses. She stared at me, her eyes cold and unfeeling, almost as though she didn’t recognize me.

“What are you doing? Do you not know what you’re doing?”she frowned, her voice growing louder with each word. 

That’s when I came closer to Anu, past the entrance point of the cave, to where I was standing directly facing her face. I needed to fully understand this situation and what was wrong with Anu.

 “Brother I must be the moon child!”

“Anu, I don’t know whatever they did to you but you can’t go!” I implored her.

“I must say, our people are about to become extinct!”


Anu faced me, her smile faded and her face worn out. She gestured to a nearby creature. It was the large brown Triceratops.

“The moon child is a ceremony where a selected child completes the ritual of the moon, which happens every 100 years. If the child has a pure heart, the child will ascend as a spirit of the moon, who will protect us from the events that will happen. If they don’t have a pure heart, they will not ascend and stay in their current form – and our entire species will be doomed, since only the moon child is picked by the past moon spirit itself before they ascended into nothing because their lifespan was up.”

That was when I realized why the children never returned from the ceremony: their spirits, who had saved us from extinction, had chosen to save our species from extinction – and now my only sibling was doing the same. That’s when the Triceratops moved to the side, away from my face, so I could look at my sister instead, and I started crying. I was about to lose my only family.

“Are you sure you’re going to be a spirit?” I sobbed in front of her.

It was only the second time I had cried in my life since our mother and other siblings died, and it most likely wouldn’t be the last.

“Yes,” she replied.

“You’ve changed so much, Anu, and I can’t believe you’re leaving me.”

“Don’t be sad. As a spirit, I will always be watching and protecting you,” she whispered back.

“May I begin the ceremony, King Tyoni?”

“Yes.” He paused for a moment before approaching Anu and facing her directly, while I stood in the back, watching the ceremony from afar.

“You must now recite this chant in order to become a moon spirit. Repeat after me: Moonlight, let me become the night’s spirit!” King Tyoni chanted loudly and raised his voice.

Anu then closed her eyes and began to slowly repeat after King Tyoni, repeating the same exact words he had said, “Moonlight, let me become the night spirit!”

However, it fell silent and nothing happened. Anu slowly opened her eyes to see a stunned King Tyoni standing in front of her, his eyes wide open in fear and trembling violently. Anu became terrified at the sight of King Tyoni and nervously inquired, “What went wrong, and why didn’t the ceremony go well? Why am I still alive?”

“You don’t have a pure heart. We’re all going to die. The extinction of dinosaurs is here!”

The cave ground began to aggressively shake and make a large rumble immediately after King Tyoni’s statement, making the three dinosaurs all fear for their lives as the black cave roof’s sharp-edged rocks came down fast like snow from the sky. They were all aware that the cave was collapsing and that whatever was happening outside was causing it to collapse, was effectively ending their existence.