Bad Gaiman Challenge: “Tides, Blood, Or Lunacy”

Inspired by the Wits radio show “Bad Gaiman Challenge” ( ) and first written as a set of Twitter tweets.

Gibbous Waning held the mirror, admiring herself in three-quarters profile, her complexion luminous.

She practiced mysteriously turning away, but always stopped short of losing sight of herself. Her vanity rivaled Full’s, but she was coy.

The eight Phases sat in position on the circular marble bench on the peak of their mountain, their beauty-stand in the center.

The scrupulous would count more than eight Phases on the top of that mountain, though they might not agree on the precise tally.

The ones who pushed for space on the bench so closely resembled their neighbors, they were often mistaken for them.

On the stand were a formidable assortment of beauty implements: exfoliants, tweezers, combs. And the gleaming Milk, of course.

Crescent Waxing yanked a plastic strip from above her lip. “Tides, blood, or lunacy?” Her voice was as thin and reedy as she was.

Gibbous Waning held the mirror. The choice was hers. She affected an expression of deliberation. “Oh… Lunacy, I think.”

Gibbous Waning fixed her gaze in the mirror, which suddenly seemed vast. In the world below, those who glanced skyward saw her face aglow.

“There once was a restless lad,” Gibbous Waning intoned, “who was pursued, night and day, by a preposterous notion…”

Gibbous Waning spun her tale, and far below in the world, unwitting actors fell in step with the plot. Her story was theirs, or vice-versa.

In Gibbous Waning’s story, strange actions had stranger consequences, and the world below twisted and groaned in response.

Old paradigms crumbled, and the actors, whose ranks swelled in the telling, grappled with ideas and possibilities heretofore unimagined.

Gibbous Waning ended her recitation. The world below still churned, its momentum exceeding the bounds of the story.

The Phases were quiet. Then New, whose bowl of shining Milk sat untouched under the bench, said “I didn’t follow that at all.”

“That’s the point, New,” Gibbous Waning said, tamping down irritation. “It’s lunacy. Weird for weird’s sake.”

New pouted. “Well I don’t get it.” Third Quarter reached over and patted her hand. “That’s why I always choose tides.”