Excerpt from Curse of the Moon
By: Beth Trissel
Late October, Wapicoli Lodge, Virginia Mountains
“You have something few have ever heard of called Wandering Wolf. In Shawnee, it’s Pab’amose M’wewa. In Latin, Vagantem Lupus.”
Morgan could hardly believe what Miriam was saying. “Sounds like a disease.”
“Not an illness, a condition. A potentially serious one, known from ancient times.”
Sobering realization sank in. “Explains the Latin.”
Miriam nodded. “The condition dates back to early Rome. Founded, according to legend, by twin boys left to die who were rescued by a she-wolf.”
“Right. Romulus and Remus.” This much Morgan recalled from school. An unsettling thought occurred; that wolf might have been human, once.
Heaviness weighted her chest, and a hush fell over the others, now intently focused on her. “There must be a way out of this predicament.”
She lifted the moonstone at her throat, suspended by the delicate silver chain. Glints of heavenly light shone from the blue gem. The phenomenal gift came to her by way of Sarah Morgan, her great grandmother six times removed. Exactly how the stone ended up with Sarah, Morgan couldn’t explain. She’d been near death at the time. The whole episode was like a dream now.
“Can this help me?” Maybe Miriam knew how to tap into the stone’s mystical power to aid her.
The older woman shook her head. “The moonstone’s greatest use lies in strengthening life, not reducing the wolf.”
All three guys shifted their solemn gaze between Morgan and Miriam.
Jackson spoke first. “What does this mean for Morgan, Grandma?”
“She will worsen, unless we halt the progression of her condition. Precious time is lost,” she reproached Morgan. “You should have told me sooner.”
“I’m sorry. I thought I could handle this myself.” An assumption she regretted more every moment.
Jackson waved aside her apology. “It’s also my fault. I should have spoken up the instant I realized. The question is, where to go from here. Is there an herbal cure you know of?”
“One.” Miriam draped her scarf beside the egg basket. “A tincture of wolfsbane and mistletoe.”
His eyebrows rose, then drew together. “Aren’t those plants deadly poisons?”
“In too great a dose. A werewolf can tolerate only a miniscule amount, less than a human. But a potion from these herbs will hinder the wolf, until Morgan gains more control.”
His dusky complexion paled. “Can you administer the proper dose?”
“I believe so.” The furrows in Miriam’s brow deepened, and she hesitated. “Only, I’m no longer in possession of the tincture. And we have scant time for me to obtain these rare herbs and brew a new elixir in the correct proportions.”
He ran a hand through his hair. “Does anyone have it?”
Jaws dropped in the collective circle, and everyone gaped at Miriam.
“Good heavens,” Morgan breathed out, her heart palpating as if she had an arrhythmia. “The Lizard Lady.”
“Also known as the Mountain Witch. And make no mistake, she is one evil witch. Matchee’midewininì.” The Shawnee term combined with Miriam’s expression was doubly forbidding.
In honor of the book’s release in May,
Beth is offering a giveaway to win a copy of Curse of the Moon! *cheers*