Title: Kiss Me, Curse Me
Author: Kate Shay
Release date: March 6, 2013
Genre: Paranormal/Historical Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours
Hank stood tall and slender where she had been sitting; he leaned down and picked up her shoe.
“Coreen?” His voice was lost on the water echoing across to the other bank. “Coreen!”
After waiting and calling until he was certain she wasn’t around, he continued up the river’s edge along the wilderness and away from people. Surely, she hasn’t ventured out too far, he thought.
Coreen hung back. She had a deep cut on her bare, white leg, and she didn’t want to move. The pain told her how bad it really was. She watched it bleed, watched a red puddle form on the earth and seep into it, the blood feeding the earth as it did her.
My life is fleeting.
It was the first time she had realized it to be the truth, and as this epiphany came, so did the wolf.
The deep, throaty growl filled Coreen with dread. She froze at first but mustered enough will to back herself up against the tall, strong pine. It was all she could do; she’d rather face the wild animal than go to Hank, so she sat, and it growled, and its eyes flashed an intense yellow as they caught the glow from mother moon.
“Go for it,” she whispered. “I’d rather die here and now than go back to a life that I’ll hate.”
This is a story of a kiss--a simple kiss. . . and a boy. . . and a girl.
It's the Great Depression, but you would barely know it in Dam Town. The building of the great Carnee Dam has brought money, men, and mischief into an otherwise seemingly quiet desert community.
Ahanu is an outcast, born into a culture that despises him. He is Native American, of the land, a free spirit. If he wasn't in love with a girl that was already taken, maybe he could spend his days in the forest just as he pleases, but life isn't that simple.
Coreen is on a path to nowhere, dating the typical boy, and doing as her father always asks, or that's how it appears. On one moonlit night, her fate becomes entwined in an old curse unlocked by the boy of her dreams--true love--Ahanu.
This curse is old and it will have its way, it will do its damage.
“The wolf came one clear, hot night like this one,” Doc said somberly. “He stood back in the grass, hiding, but I saw him there, powerful and present. I wish I’d said something.
“Anyway, I got a call from a young clueless lad, whose sister had fallen ill suddenly from something—we didn’t know what at the time. She had a fever and she’d moan occasionally, mumble something about the moon, and she would fade in and out. On her third night, as I sat there with her, I heard his call. The spirit called out, and she died right there and then. He took her spirit away with him, though we knew it was really gone before. We could feel that she was absent and her mumblings were just his echoes or messages. He’s been awakened again by something.”
“I can’t hear this.” Ahanu put his hands over his ears.
“You need to hear it. This is your history, your people, your wolf.”
“My wolf . . . what are talking about? You’re crazy,” said Ahanu. “This is the first time I’ve seen him.”
“Yes, and he’ll come again. He’ll take and take till it stops.”
“Till what stops?” Betty was fascinated by now and had lost sight of her musings.
“Many died that summer, mysteriously, all random, all ages. You think this is just a fluke? It’s not. It never stopped till we stopped. The church, you see, was encroaching on the natives. We all thought we lived in peace and harmony with the natives, but we didn’t. They didn’t want our God, and we didn’t want theirs.”
“I thought you were an atheist,” said Betty.
“Shhhhh. I was. Not this week.”
Ahanu scrunched his face in confusion.
“You see, I bet it’s the dam, all those strange folks in town, all this bad energy here. He’s back. The old curse. That’s it, till it stops. Till he gets his fill.”
About the Author
Kate Shay was born in Scotland under a full moon amongst the misty moors. Her homeland calls to her still, but now she basks in the Seattle rains and visits the Isle only in her dreams.
She took creative writing in college for two years and has been writing for the last five years. She keeps a diary with her sad and romantic poems for when she's in the mood: usually it's after watching The English Patient--her favorite all-time movie.
She giggled quietly as they entered the gaping hole that burrowed into the mountain.
“Shhhhh,” he whispered.
She giggled again.
“I’m serious . . . be quiet.” Ahanu put his finger to his generous lips.
The flame was almost about to burn out, so Ahanu ripped the second arm off his shirt and wrapped it around. In the brightness, he caught the flames dancing in her sapphire blues. He held the torch up and out and took her hand in his.
“You’ve never been here before?” she whispered.
“No. I’ve come close, but ran back.”
“Oh. You scared?”
“No . . . mmm . . . maybe. . .”
The opening was small compared to how large it actually was inside. The cave ceiling loomed high above, then tapered farther back to a crouching level. The light didn’t carry that far back, and they didn’t want to venture so far anyway.
“Stop,” he whispered.
There was a large, lone rock, shaped as if to invite seating. He leaned the torch staff against the wall. They sat down together, Ahanu’s heart pounding away in nervousness. He wondered if hers was doing the same. At first they said nothing, did nothing, other than listen to one another’s steady breath. He let out a sigh and she did as well. They caught each other’s gaze. She smiled, and he leaned in for that first kiss.
The waiting had been killing him inside. Ahanu felt his stomach burn and recoil as their lips touched. Her lips were softer than he had imagined, and any other active thoughts in his mind vanished as he allowed himself to experience his Coreen. He took his hand and slipped it at the base of her head under her silky hair and tugged slightly. She let out a soft moan, so he tugged a little harder, pulling her head away just enough so that their lips separated. The look in her eyes was only one of want, so he got back to it.
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The blackness became a soft, billowing grey. There was a hint of light, enough to see just an arm’s length ahead. In a thick, cool mist, Coreen stood in her stolen, wine-colored, whore’s dress. Sounds of a waterfall boomed in the background. She walked on silt, looking for the source of the water, desperately parched, like she hadn’t had a real drink in years. It’s all she could think of to reach that sanctity—water. If she could find the waterfall, she would be saved, as water is life.
Continuing through the mist, it was if she was just circling in some grey oblivion, but she continued to saunter. There was will in her still. The will to keep going, to keep fighting for something, for a memory. She tried to think, tried to reason about the unknown choices that lay ahead of her—water. It was the key to it all. It must be found.
Ages passed in mere seconds. The search led to nothing, even though the sound was mounting in intensity. She called out, but she had no voice. Then came a deafening silence, as if she’d lost her hearing for good, as if invisible hands cupped her ears. She shook her head to try to rid herself of the horrible ringing, losing her sense of direction, becoming lost in a sense of vertigo. She blankly cried out again for help. She needed help.
It was then a single sound resonated around her—that familiar, deep howl.
“Help me, please?” Coreen fell to her knees, arms out before her, open for all to see. “Let me go. Set me free.”