Released September 26, 2010 from MLR Press
The wrath of a woman scorned is bad, but a witch’s wrath is hell on earth. No one knows this better than the six men of Shifting Sands Ranch. When the owner’s witch of a wife flees the ranch, she takes with her one of the cowboys and leaves behind a curse that dooms the remaining inhabitants to a life that is anything but normal. Now, every month when the moon comes full, each man takes on the form of an animal.
Witches, shifters and ancient curses, such is life on the Shifting Sands.
Daniel’s watched the other men who live on his ranch find their lifemates one by one. He’s watched them all fall prey to the curse of the Shifting Sands. His curse. His fault. When it’s suggested that maybe the curse will break once all the men of the Sands find their mates, Daniel — as the only one left — knows that it’s time to acknowledge what he’s known all along.
Russell’s been in love with Daniel as long as he can remember. So why did he run off with Daniel’s wife? She’s a witch, that’s why! Of course, now that it’s happened, how can he explain himself and hope to be believed?
©2010 Jet Mykles, all rights reserved
Daniel parked on the street not far from the main entrance of the small apartment complex. Although he knew the address well, he’d never been there before. Never been to Barston. But Russell was nearby. He could feel it.
Shutting off the truck, Daniel remained seated for a few moments, staring at his hands, waiting for the claws and the iridescent green and blue scales to retreat. Being so far away from the Sands was more unsettling than he’d thought. The farther he drove from his home base, the more the beast wanted to come out. He’d finally allowed the claws and the scales to remain, that little bit seeming to satisfy the dragon for a little while. But he was having a devil of a time keeping his eyes human. His sight kept slipping into that strange shape-sensory sight of the beast rather than normal vision. Not the easiest to drive with since the beast wasn’t great at seeing electrical stuff, like traffic lights.
“Damn!” it wasn’t working. The black claws and shining scales were still there although the shape of his hands remained mostly human. A weird afterimage to his sight told him that his eyes were half gone. Was this because he was so far from the Sands or was it because he was near Russell? Did it have anything to do with a nagging feeling that he had to get out of the truck now?
No help for it. Carefully tugging the cuffs of his flannel shirt as far over his hands as possible, he grabbed his hat and got out of the truck. Luckily, it was a dark night so he might be able to go undetected, at least to Russell’s apartment. He’d have to tackle the problem of what to do in the morning, when and if that trouble came.
Something was wrong. The feeling only increased. A definite pull guided him down the street away from the front door of the apartment complex. He shoved his hat onto his head and scowled at the door. That was where he wanted to go. But there was no denying the beast’s instincts when they were like this and the beast wanted to go down the street. Daniel jumped from the truck, hoping he’d parked in a parking zone, barely remembering to push the button on the key fob that’d lock the door. He forced himself to walk, although at a fast clip, toward the source of anxiety. Continue reading EXCERPT: Pulling the Dragon’s Tail from Shifting Sands anthology