They all dance under the full moon | by Joyce Chng

They all dance under the full moon.

All of them, the freaks, the mutants, the outcasts, the exiles, all dancing under the bright circle of light. With limbs, without limbs, with wings, without wings, furred, unfurred, skins of different colors, even skinless, cilia and feelers, claws and hands.

Their music is from the moon – they feel her on them, they hear her, they taste her. They dance to her tunes – each to xe interpretation. It is a quiet dance, like interpretative dance. There is a strange beauty to it, these people with their flaws, under the satellite that is not a real moon.

While the city sleeps, they dance and they are happy they dance.

They received the invitation in their own code, their own language. It is a language not of words, because not all could understand words, but of tangible objects. Things found about them, in their gardens, insignificant things. A round pebble means “to gather”. A series of four sticks means “to hide”, because in the brutality of the day, the police would comb the streets for them with their sniffer canines and other sanctioned seekers. Sometimes, someone would string glass shards – red, green, blue – together, hang it on the many fake trees in the city, and it would mean “to sing”. The language of tangible objects evolves, changes all the time. New objects are found. The old are changed, because they need to. The sighted ones help the ones without visible eyes and vice versa. They all help each other. In the past, when their ancestors came from the satellite that is their moon, the city feared them and they hid.

Now, they all dance under the full moon, the satellite ship that orbits the planet. In their language of objects, their moon is a pearl or a small white orb. The pearls they harvest from the bivalves that breathe in the city sewers – pearls that are formed out of protection. Many keep the pearls as reminders. Protection. Hide. Be strong.

They dance, they dance, they dance. When morning arrives, they feel the tap on their own bodies, a gentle tap that signifies the dance is over.

And they will wait for the next full moon.




Joyce Chng is Singaporean. She writes science fiction, YA and things in between. She can be found at @jolantru and A Wolf’s Tale (

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