The Curse of the Sun and the Moon

Self-hating werewolf, Rosen, has found the cure to the werewolf curse that has condemned her since childhood.

She will need the help of Laurent, a pretentious, too good-looking for his own good, fire demon to succeed in breaking the Moon Goddess curse.

With the magical Moon mirror in hand, will Rosen be able to do what needs to be done? Will she be able to let go of the one thing she holds dear for a chance to become fully human?

Cover by the Fantabulous @AuRevoirSimone. she don't do request tho.

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11. Nope. Not dying. Not today.

Our guide, Bharat,  was an overly happy man, as was the case with many of the Rajasthanis. His wide, bright smile contrasted with his dusky skin and his black fabulously oiled and twirled mustache. I could only imagine how envious Laurent must have been to not have such a spectacle on his face.

The Thar Desert was Bharat’s childhood home. He moved to Jaipur for better opportunities and was delighted to take us to the sands of his youth. I had no doubt that Laurent paid the man excessively for his help as Bharat was all too eager to drive us to the ruins of Kalibangan, a historical land, converged in between the Drishadvathi and Sarasvathi Rivers. It was in the ruins of the ancient Fire altars that we were to meet the Fire priestess.

Bharat sped through the night; even with the light of the moon and the starry sky, I could not make out much of the surroundings.

Laurent kept his gaze out his window and I stared straight ahead into the dark and empty sands.

“When will we get there,” I asked Bharat.

“In the morning, madam.”

“She is no madam,” Laurent scuffed. That biting remark  was the only acknowledgment he had given me all night.

I rolled my eyes. “Just because you got a stick up your ass doesn’t make you a sir.”

Poor Bharat nervously laughed, caught in the middle of an awkward argument.

Laurent kept his gaze out the window.

What was he so angry about? If anyone had the right to be fuming, it was me. I wasn’t the one who barged into his privacy. Childish shit. He was literally ignoring me, not even making eye contact with me.

I was glad. I didn’t want to see his eyes. I was weary of what they might hold.

“Anyway, Bharat, as I was speaking to you and not the moron next to me, tell me about the Fire priestess.”

Bharat went back to smiling, his eyes focused on maneuvering the car through the desert.

“As children we were told tales about the ruins in Kalibangan and of the woman who lives there. Whenever we passed by the ruins in our caravans, we would leave her food and other things.”

In a few hours I would meet with her – my savior. Soon, I would be free of the werewolf curse, but better yet, I would be free of the Fire demon. She would help me free him and then the blood pact would be void. Maybe then I would stop feeling what I was feeling? That strange hot surge of  curious emotions running through my veins had to be because of the blood pact – it had to be the evil demon magic Laurent concocted. It was the only explanation.

I bit my lip and forced myself to stare out the window. What I was feeling was just a slight infatuation caused by the circumstances and the fact that my transformation was due – obviously.

I stole a glance at Laurent.

The last few days had left him looking scruffy. His facial hair was darker, his hair a little longer and the sweat caused it to slightly curl in the back of his neck. I sat on my hands just so I wouldn’t absentmindedly lean over and touch them.

I turned away and closed my eyes, having somewhat convinced myself that my irrational feelings were not caused by my own accord.

But that wasn’t the truth and I knew it.

***

The early morning sun had just painted the sky a faint pink, when I woke. The flaky dunes of the Thar Desert surrounded us. Not far off,  I could see the colorful nomads spotting the dull sands. The caravans moved slowly; women dressed in varying colors and men with brightly colored turbans moved along side their camels. Ragtag children carrying water filled pots and vases on their heads waved at us as we zoomed past.

“How much longer,” I asked Bharat.

He smiled and pointed out to the distance. “There. You see that rubble?”

I squinted. The sun was infuriatingly bright, but I could make out darker structures against the sands – the Vedic Fire alters of the ruins of Kalibangan.

We parked a little ways off and made the trek to the sacred ruins. We walked into what could have been the fortified citadel complex; deeper still we continued into the terracotta colored ruins. The southern half of the ruins contained various raised platforms of mud bricks, mutually separated by corridors. Stairs were attached to these platforms. Bharat explained that they were the sacrifice alters of the ancient dwellers of the land, the oldest civilization in the world.

The entire spread of ruins was one big maze of raised rubble walls; excavated from the sands, it was several feet below the level of the desert; we weaved through the corridors to a place only Bharat knew.

Even through the sounds of our clomping steps, Bharat’s explanations, the rush of the rivers and the distant baying of the camels, I could make out the slight sound of something cautiously following us – and it wasn’t human.

I had a little less than a week, before my transformation but my senses were already heightened.

I knew that places such as historical ruins were breeding grounds for the super-naturals. I fell behind from the oblivious Laurent and Bharat. It couldn’t be a vampire as the sun was bright and hellish, but who knew what sorts of creatures were found in India.

I turned to face the sounds of clicking steps; I grabbed my gun from my boot, and held the Moon mirror with the other hand.

I wasn’t going to die in some desert when I was so close to being free of the curse, when I was so close to being fully human.

“Nope. Not dying. Not today,” I muttered.

“What are you doing,” Bharat called out.

“Shut up,” I hissed, my body tense awaiting the mysterious creature.

Slowly out of the shadows it emerged. I sighed and dropped my tensed arms.

It was a dog, a miserable thirsty and hungry, dog.

I put my gun back and placed the mirror inside my jacket. I could feel a smile on my mouth. Poor thing, it was scared and so very pathetic.

“It is only a dog,” Bharat called out. “A stray.” I felt a whizzing pass by my ear as a rock Bharat threw, zoomed at the pathetic animal.

“Shoo,” Bharat exclaimed. “Shoo! Animal!”

I watched as the miserable black dog shook and whimpered.

I turned around to face Bharat. “Throw another thing at that dog and I’ll kill you.”

I walked to the poor shivering stray and held out my hand.

“C’mere,” I whispered. I opened my water bottle and shook it at its face. “You thirsty?”

Cautiously, the dog made it’s way to me.  When it was close enough, I held it to me and scratched its head. I poured the only water I had in its thirsty mouth.

That was all right though. I could always command Laurent to give me his water; he being a Fire demon was probably used to the heat anyway.

“You poor thing,” I murmured at my new pet. After it had satisfied its thirst, the dog turned and ran back into the shadows.

It was going to take a lot more than water to win its trust. I turned back to face the men, prepared to see the look of annoyance and disdain on Laurent’s face.

Instead, I caught him smiling at me; his eyes were soft and affectionate. Once he realized that I was looking at him, the glare and scowl returned  and he stomped off.

Laurent left me perplexed ... One second he would be a brooding ass, the next he would look at me in the most endearing way.

I shook my head. He was obviously bipolar. 

“We should keep going,” Bharat said. “The Fire altar is not too far from here.”

I followed the men to the woman who was to change my life and for the first time since my journey in India began, I couldn’t help the delighted smile that was making its way on my face.

 

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