“Strawberry,” Holly said suddenly. They all glanced up from their books and stared at her.

Jess was the first to find her voice. “What?”

“Strawberry moon,” Holly said. “It says here that the full moon in June is called the Strawberry Moon.”

Jess rubbed her right temple with the tips of her fingers. “How does that help us?”

Holly sighed. “I guess it doesn’t. It just… I thought it sounded nice. Strawberry Moon. It’s not threatening at all, is it? It’s much nicer to think of strawberries.”

Luke slammed his book onto the table and stood up, almost knocking his chair over. “What difference does that make? We need helpful facts, not… not fluff!”

Holly shrank down in her chair a little bit. “I… I just…”

“It could be called the Cute Fluffy Bunnies With Snuffly Noses Moon, for all I care!” He leaned on the table, looming over Holly as his voice got progressively louder. “That doesn’t change what it means. Do you think it’s okay if we all die so long as the portent of our doom has got a cute name? I don’t!”

Jess stood up and put her hand on Luke’s shoulder.

“Don’t shout at Holly,” she said.

“I’ll shout if I goddamn want to,” he yelled, slapping her hand away and storming out of the room.

Jess looked at the others. Their eyes were wide, and their resolve shaken.

“He’s stressed,” she said simply.

“Yeah,” Mack said quietly, turning a page and running his finger down it as he scanned the words. “The end of the world will do that to you.”

© Kari Fay

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