's 2020 Horror Write-off:

The Moon Gazes Down and Weeps

Submitted by Emergence

The Moon Gazes Down and Weeps

There was a clear sky that night. I was on my balcony with my telescope, admiring the intricate pattern of craters on the full moon's surface. I've always been fascinated by astronomy, ever since I was little. The smallest craters to the largest maria all had stories to tell me about the moon's past. I'd looked at the moon so much that its surface was more familiar to me than anywhere on Earth.

That night, I noticed fissures on the moon that weren't there before. They were subtle at first, you wouldn't have been able to see them without a telescope as powerful as mine. The fissures were radiating out from a region between the Sea of Vapors and the Sea of Clouds, close to dead center on the near side of the moon.

Over the next hour, the fissures started growing and spreading over the moon's surface. A strangely symmetrical pattern of ramifying cracks formed, and a roughly circular region in the center of the moon looked like a smashed pane of glass. I couldn't be the only one who noticed. I could already faintly see the cracks without my telescope. I checked the news. They had hastily arranged interviews with some astronomers and geologists. Their best guess was some sort of seismic activity, but they didn't know what was causing it or why the cracks were arranged the way that they were.

I went back out to my telescope to get a better look at the cracks. That's when I noticed what was seeping out of them. A pitch black fluid was rising out of the deepest of the cracks. The more fluid seeped out, the wider the cracks became. Eventually, the remaining chunks of the moon's surface in the central circular region collapsed entirely, leaving a field of tarry blackness surrounded by jagged, branching veins. A sickly-colored iridescent stain spread out from the borders of the dark sea. Bone-white barnacle-like shapes of varying sizes began to rise from the surface of the lake, some so small that I could only faintly see them through the telescope, others so large they had to be the size of small countries. Dark grey, rubbery, wormy tendrils spread from the base of the barnacles, forming a tangled web of roots weaving over and under the lake's surface. Each barnacle had a huge eye recessed in a pit in its center, the white sclera covered in black veins branching out from the huge pupils.

I stared transfixed at the moon for a while, too shocked to look away as the moon stared back. The surface of the tendrils began undulating, as if they were in peristalsis, and as I turned my gaze to the eyes, I noticed tears welling up in them. The tears weren't coming from any tear ducts. They were oozing out of the veins and pupils of the eyes. Droplets rose from the surface of the welling tears like wax in a lava lamp, dripping upwards, away from the moon's surface. The teardrops were somewhat more translucent than the black fluid in the lake, like globes of dark seawater with a slight iridescent sheen on their surface. I could see the silhouettes of various slithering, scuttling things swimming just below the surface of the tears as they drifted further from the moon.

As I walked back inside, trembling, some scientists and reporters on a live news feed were explaining what I had just seen firsthand, trying to keep their composure. I just switched off the TV and went to bed. I didn't get much sleep that night. I checked the news again the next morning. The tears were moving towards Earth. Based on their speed, they'd be here in 3 days.