Old English mona, from Proto-Germanic *menon- (source also of Old Saxon and Old High German mano, Old Frisian mona, Old Norse mani, Danish maane, Dutch maan, German Mond, Gothic mena“moon”), from PIE *me(n)ses- “moon, month” (source also of Sanskrit masah “moon, month;” Avestan ma, Persian mah, Armenian mis “month;” Greek mene “moon,” men “month;” Latin mensis“month;” Old Church Slavonic meseci, Lithuanian mėnesis “moon, month;” Old Irish mi, Welsh mis, Breton miz “month”), from root *me- (2) “to measure,” in reference to the moon’s phases as an ancient and universal measure of time.
Old Dora, hands like claws, tried to grip the arms of her detested wheelchair. She had such bad arthritis that it was hard, but not impossible, to grip the arms. She wished she could grip the wheels so she wouldn’t be so helpless. She had to stay wherever they left her.
It didn’t show, but inside her head she was frantic. Escape was available only one day each month, on the day of the full moon. Sitting in the “family room,” as the fools who ran this place like to call it, Dora stared at the television without seeing it. What she did see terrified her. Old, worn out, used up people, strapped to their chairs so they wouldn’t fall out, leaned to one side or sagged forward, jaws loose, eyes blank or closed.
It was the same, day after day, until they died, and new “residents” took their places. It was a horror show. Old Dora had outlasted so many, but she knew that if she didn’t escape soon she, too, would die and be instantly replaced.
The moon had been nearly full last night. It had to be tonight, or she would never see another moon at all. Her fear and despair surrounded her like a strait jacket, restricting her ability to think. But she had to think, had to find a way, or her life would seep away from her like the air leaking from a pinhole in a tire.
Grimly, she smiled to herself. Moon. In Latin, it was luna, root word of lunatic. That’s because crazy people acted up during the full moon. Everyone knew that. . . . .
Wait, maybe that was her way out! The real loonies got taken to a hospital–in an ambulance! She was smarter than anyone knew, and stronger, too. She sat quietly for several minutes, formulating her plan.
When she heard the nurse with the medication cart coming down the hall, she laid her head back, opened her mouth, and howled like a wolf. She kept it up, over and over, until the nurse and an orderly came running. She fought them, flailing and spitting, just enough to be convincing.
Then she was in the ambulance. Free. No one else knew it yet, but she was on her way to freedom. Wonderful freedom. She could taste it.