There was no rest to be had in the moonlit nights, as Gil had expected. What he had not expected was that they would be so fun. He no longer feared the nights as he once had. And now that he had his post-full-moon kit stuffed into his crudely-made belt, he no longer feared the mornings either. Running wild in the moonlight had always been enjoyable, but he had not realised how much his fear had been holding him back. With that weight off his mind, he was free to delight in the scents and sounds of the forest. Tracking and pouncing on small animals was not just a way to fill his belly, it was also a game to amuse himself with.
Having shed much of his internal conflict, Gil found himself remembering more and more of each night’s activities. And that in turn made the morning trek back to base easier to manage. He was retracing his own steps of the previous night, instead of having been dropped in an unknown location by a beast who had disappeared with the dawn.
At the end of the third night, he felt genuinely bereft that the the next full moon was over three weeks away. But in the meantime, he had other business to attend to. He had to meet Alfvin and take another multi-day journey to yet another distant village. As he packed up his camp and prepared to walk once more between worlds, a thought occurred that made him smile.
For a long time he had thought of the doorway in the woods as a way to escape the full moon and the beast that came with it. There was, after all, no moon at all behind the ever-present clouds on the other side. But every hour he spent in that magical realm meant a week would pass on this side of the doorway. If used judiciously and with enough precision, it was not just a way to escape the full moon, but to control how he experienced it. If he so chose, the next full moon could be just hours away.