I'm thrilled to welcome Cecy back to the blog for Supernatural Solstice! I really enjoy her Weird Sisters series so far and I think she's a great new voice in urban fantasy. Cecy's put together a great short story for this event and I'm sure you'll all enjoy it!
A Weird Soltice
We abandoned the thick vegetation of the forest and stepped into the clearing. I withdrew my tigress’s eyes from one blink to the next and took in the glen with my human stare. The full moon lit bright enough to illuminate our surroundings with a soft white glow. I didn’t need my inner beast’s strength, nor did I need to call her forth completely . . . at least, for now.
Emme slipped off my back as the warm evening breeze flung my long waves in all directions. She stumbled but didn’t fall, a rare feat for our youngest sister. “Thanks for carrying me, Celia.” She pushed her hair out of her face, glancing around nervously. Although she was twenty-two, her soft voice and mannerisms made her seem younger. But that didn’t mean my timid sister couldn’t protect herself.
Shayna clicked off her industrial sized flashlight and pointed to where Tahoe spread across the horizon. “Whoa. Check out the view. This would be a great place to picnic . . . during day . . . and if there weren’t demon children lurking about, waiting to eat us.” Her head jerked as something rustled in the dark forest behind us. “Celia . . .”
“Mouse,” I answered quietly when my sensitive ears picked up the scamper of tiny paws and my nosed fixed on the scent of vermin. I turned back to Taran. “But that doesn’t mean something else won’t show up. Explain to me again why we’re doing this?”
Taran huffed and rolled her eyes. “We need to learn to harness Tahoe’s magic.”
I crossed my arms. “Do we?”
Another huff, another eye roll, this time accompanied by an annoyed pucker of her lips. “Look. We have a magical resource right here at our fingertips. Pardon the shit out of me for wanting to do more than set things on fire!”
“But you’re so good at blowing things up.” Shayna punched her affectionately in the arm. “And zapping people. Let’s not forget the zapping, dude. Zzzzzz!”
I scrambled between them when Taran glared. “That wasn’t an invitation to zing her,” I said sternly. “Let’s just do what we came for and get back home.”
Taran threw her arms in the air. “Fine.” That’s when she started to strip. I don’t mean she unbuttoned her blouse because the night was unusually warm. I mean she ditched her sheer black tunic, red tube top, and unsnapped her bra.
Emme watched Taran’s boob choker land at her side in horror. “Taran. What are you doing?”
“Emme, this is the summer solstice. Next to Halloween, it’s the biggest time of year for supernatural shit and magic.” We all stared back at her. “It’s about nature.” More blank stares. “And becoming one with nature.” At this point, I thought she was going to slap us. “Son of a bitch. Just get naked!” She kicked off her shoes and stripped down to everything but her mani-pedi.
Shayna sighed in defeat when Taran sat on the ground and proceeded to pull off her T-shirt. Emme buried her face in her palms. “This is so embarrassing.”
I shook my head, not knowing how Taran always managed to drag us into her crap. Shayna shrugged. “The sooner we do this, the faster we get home.” She flashed me a grin. “Koda is staying the night. Is Aric?”
My body warmed at the thought Aric’s muscular form draped over mine, and I tossed my tank top on the ground. “Yeah. He and the pack are patrolling the area for more demons.” I cleared my throat and pulled my cell phone out of my denim shorts to check the time. “He should be done in another hour, provided they don’t run into anything they have to mutilate.”
Shayna laughed and tugged her jeans down. “Come on, little dude,” she said when she caught Emme’s hesitation. “No one’s around.”
Or there wasn’t until Emme was down to her socks. “Son of bitch, Emme,” Taran muttered. “Hurry up. Something’s poking me in the ass.”
The forest debris was pretty damn sharp, but this hadn’t been Emme’s idea. I narrowed my green eyes. “Quit complaining, and start.”
Taran mumbled a few swears in Spanish then reached into her backpack. She placed a plastic container in front of her and filled it with water she poured from a canteen. She didn’t have to tell me it was water from the lake. Tahoe’s magic stirred from within the clear container and stroked gently against my skin like a caress.
Shayna watched the water swirl in the moonlight, obviously expecting something extraordinary. “Okay. Now what?”
Taran straightened, growing serious. “You see that rock?” She motioned to a gray stone near Shayna’s knee. “I’m going to levitate it.” She placed her fingertips in the water and focused on the rock like it had called her a bitch. For fifty freaking seconds she stared, her face reddening. Finally, little by little, the rock began to tilt and slide along the dirt.
Shayna’s lids peeled back. “Awesome! You’re like, totally doing it!”
No. Actually it was Emme, using her telekinetic force. I knew it. Hell, I sensed it. And so did Taran. She flicked the water from her fingertips. “Cut it out, Emme.”
Emme crinkled her nose and tossed one of her remaining socks over her shoulder. “I was just trying to help.”
“I don’t need help,” Taran insisted. “If those witch bitches can do this, damn it, I can, too! And no one’s going to stop . . .”
Her irises blanched from blue to clear as a sense of cold squirmed its way down my back like a cluster of slugs.
I leapt to my feet, my claws lengthening from my nail beds and a deep growl building low in my throat. Twigs snapped in the forest. A heavy foot, then another, thumped against the moist forest floor. “Food,” something hissed.
“Food?” Emme croaked in a tone that clearly begged me to tell her no.
Six-plus feet of demon child eased his way through the dense sections of pine. Gray scales swathed his gargantuan potato shaped body and short, stout legs. Glowing red eyes blinked from the peak of his head while a fanged mouth ran the entire length of his body. His wings flapped eagerly at finding its dinner. AKA us.
“Holy shit!” Taran scrambled to stand, followed by Emme who still wore one pink sock. Shayna had already taken a stance beside me. The batteries from her flashlight fell from the chamber as she manipulated the metal into one bad-ass and hopefully demon-decapitating sword with her power.
The point glinted in the moonlight as she lengthened it past her head. She stepped forward, but I held an arm out. “Me first.”
I rushed forward in a blur of speed. I was fast. Unfortunately, so was Mr. Potato Head with fangs. My foot smashed into his knee. I would’ve reveled in the satisfying crunch of his bone snapping if he hadn’t punched me in the head with his ham hock fist. My entire body whirled before landing hard. I roared from the impact and tried to crawl away.
In the far distance, a wolf answered my agonized cry with a howl.
Aric had heard me. He was on his way. Too bad the demon child could give a rat’s ass. He lifted his gorilla arms and brought them down toward me. I rolled out of the way, giving Shayna ample room to swing her sword. One of the demon child’s arms landed next to me. I used it to nail him between the eyes as Taran unleashed a barrage of lightning bolts. I don’t know if you’ve ever smelled charred demon bits. And if you haven’t, you never want to. Imagine decomposing skunk flesh mixed with burning rubber . . . only not as refreshing.
Taran’s lightning seared his into flesh. Shayna lifted her sword only for an arm―that’s right, arm―to extend out of the demon’s mouth and clasp her wrist. I’d fought the creepiest preternaturals over the past few months. But I’ll admit, that gave me pause. She screamed, unable to wrench herself free and dropped her sword. I continued to beat him with his own damn arm while my other leg kicked against his underbelly. He backhanded me with his other arm, sending me sailing above Emme. I rolled to my feet in time watch him snatch Taran.
Taran’s ability to surround herself with fire was the only thing that saved her. He flung her like a giant, screaming, and flaming Latina. Emme managed to catch her with her force. She was still easing her down when I charged, abandoning my human side and changing into my golden tigress.
I severed the demon’s arm with my fangs, freeing Shayna and allowing her to dive for her sword. My claws sliced while she hacked and stabbed. But Emme was done watching. She lifted the demon with the strength of her mind and slammed him repeatedly against the earth. The first slam only pissed him off. The second made what remained of his arm-tongue flail loosely. I thought we had him until his knife-like fangs launched like spears in all directions. I changed back.
“Fire,” I called to Taran. “Lots and lots of fire!” I raced around, dodging, and circling him, trying to keep his aim on me while Emme and Shayna dove for cover behind a cluster of small boulders. Taran’s inferno built and scorched the air around us. With a shriek and a whole lot of attitude, she launched a mini fireball right into the demon’s center.
Which he then swallowed like a marshmallow.
The rest of us inched toward him slowly, knowing the fight wasn’t over and stunned by the demon’s smirk.
The smirk didn’t last. And neither did the demon. He exploded. Not in anger, but rather like a piñata filled with bowels and a few extra kidneys. Taran’s fire had that effect.
A flailing stomach knocked Emme on her back and out of her remaining sock while what could only be described as Evil’s urine sprayed Taran and Shayna.
Through the spew of swamp-like nastiness, I was the only one who remained standing. Good thing the wolves decided to show up then or they might have missed this wondrous, if not nauseating sight. The earth quaked as the noble lupines shot through the forest with their fearless alpha in the lead.
Aric ground to a halt in front of me, growling as he took in the row of intestines draped over my head like spaghetti and the gray slime pooling at my feet.
I stared up at the sky and groaned. Good. Lord. How many times can your boyfriend find you naked and covered with entrails?
Thank you so much for this awesome story, Cecy! It’s great to have you back on the blog!
Cecy is currently on a virtual tour to support the release of A CURSED EMBRACE. Visit her website to see the other stops on her tour!
More about A CURSED EMBRACE:
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twentysomething girls—with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird.…
After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome.
To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.
Click on the cover to see my thoughts on the rest of the series:
Cecy is graciously offering one (1) signed copy of A CURSED EMBRACE to a lucky reader!
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Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is an author with Penguin's SIGNET ECLIPSE. She attributes her passion for story-telling back to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing her Urban Fantasy Romance Series, Weird Girls, in May 2009. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella and SEALED WITH A CURSE are now available. A CURSED EMBRACE, releases July 2, 2013 followed by A CURSED MOON: An eSpecial Novella December 2013, and CURSED BY DESTINY, January 2014.