An Ancient Curse…A Moment of Death

Death is forever – or is it?

Yes, what about an ancient curse, one hell bend on destroying the lives of so many? But what if those beings were creatures of the night. I love writing about all types of beasts, those hell bent on destroying what little humanity we hold onto. After all, we aren’t just the only molecules living and breathing. Of course we aren’t. In several of my collections including Bad Things, The Lost & Forgotten and Crimson Tide, you find the legend of the Crimson Moon.. Hot off the presses, a re-release that had more than double because the legend must be told.Bloody Mouth

SCARLET DARKNESS

The rest of the day she cleaned up the kitchen and sorted through papers in the living room, pushing aside what had happened earlier. Scarlet was making some headway at least. Dirty and reeking of sweat, the work was getting done. At least the downstairs would be presentable enough for a guest. As the late afternoon sun beat into the back windows, Scarlet realized the old air conditioner just couldn’t keep the house cool. Opening the windows, a light breeze filtered throughout the house. As she wiped perspiration from her brow, she opened the front door to allow the cross breeze. The note tacked to the door with a nail startled her. Written in blood red, the meaning was deadly clear. Get Out!

“This is getting ridiculous.” Had her grandmother dealt with this or was Scarlet the target? The murder of the young girl had to be spurning everyone into becoming idiots. “That’s it. Grandmother what were you into?” Scarlet remembered so many stories as a child of werewolves and other creatures of the night. Viola was convinced they existed. Gazing across the perimeter of the yard, her grandmother’s house was surrounded by a bank of dense trees. She could be watched from anywhere. Refusing to give into her fears or the idiots from in town, she held up her middle finger before going back inside. With what had happened and the words Larken has said, she knew there had to be something her grandmother had left for her. Viola was also a very conniving woman who always managed to get what she wanted.

“Where would you hide something?” Sighing, Scarlet climbed to the top of the stairs and eyed the three rooms – two on one side and one on the other. There was nothing ominous about the first room, a homey and very inviting master bedroom. The lovely space was sunny and comfortable. Scarlet hadn’t wanted to disturb her grandmother’s things, preferring to stay in the guest room on the bottom floor. She marveled at the fact her grandmother had continued to climb the stairs every day, even at eighty-two.

She poked her head into the other two. One appeared to be another guest room and the second a sewing room. While she searched both, she couldn’t see anything odd and the few boxes nestled in the closet were filed with general household items. “Hmmm…” If she knew Viola, the willful woman wouldn’t have kept any evidence for the naked eyes. She stood at the top of the stairs and gazed down at the reading nook that was in the alcove by the master bedroom.

red moonBending down, Scarlet noticed there was a door buried under a bank of cushions. Perhaps this was nothing more than basic storage. Scarlet smiled because she knew better. After fiddling with the knob she managed to pull the door open and peered inside. A single item came into view. “Bingo.” The cardboard box was just large enough to hold papers. She dragged it out and opened the lid. “Whoa.” Nestled in the bottom of the box, covered by newspaper, was one daunting looking journal. Her hand shaking, she pulled it out and breathed out. The book was ancient in appearance, gilded in gold and the bright red lettering caught her attention. “The Time of the Red Moon.” Very quickly she placed the book down gingerly and eased off the cushioned bench. This was a little bit like opening Pandora’s box.

Carrying the weighted box downstairs, she put on a pot of tea and settled onto one of the kitchen chairs. For some reason she had a difficult time placing the journal in front of her. When she did she bit back nausea. “Oh grandmother. What were you hiding?” Secrets. Viola always had them. Finally she flipped open the cover. The pages were filled with handwritten prose and pictures, every one telling a magnificent tale of magic and creatures of the night.

With every page she read, she remembered the old stories told to her by her grandmother and hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. As she read the legend of the Bengal tiger, one born during an earlier Red Moon, she shivered. This was nothing more than a slice of her destiny and the entrance into a new millennium. As she read page after page she grew more frightened but very inquisitive. This was… “God.”

Sitting back, Scarlet gulped and realized tea wasn’t going to be strong enough. Viola’s notes were clear. A red hued moon only occurred once every thousand years. If the story was to be believed, the curse of the red moon was the time of reckoning, the moment of life as well as death. Red Moon. Death. You’re already dead. “Fuck this.” Her hand shaking, Scarlet thought about when the next full moon was and shivered. Merely a couple days away. Climbing out of the chair, she turned off the water and grabbed the bottle of wine as memories and thoughts rattled in the back of her mind. What she’d learned could never be forgotten, nor forsaken. She was a part of this. This was her history.

“Hold on here. You don’t really believe this, do you?” Scarlet’s heart racing, she groaned. Maybe she did.

According to the ancient book, the next Red Moon was going to happen in a less than a week. What if the townspeople believed that her grandmother somehow had knowledge of what was happening and really believed that an ancient Pride of tigers were coming to take back what once belonged to them? Chuckling, she figured they’d want to blow her house down. Her hand shaking, she poured a copious amount of wine and couldn’t get the thought of Little Red Riding Hood only with savage tigers out of her mind. Sadly, this time she wasn’t certain who was in danger.

Scarlet sipped her wine and re-read several passages. The Red Moon meant many things, including the fact the tigers were being hunted. The ancient readings had indicated various sources of enemies including wolves and hyenas. Several Prides had been wiped out from floods as well as disease. Now man seemed to be their greatest enemy. Her grandmother had carefully laid out a history of the creatures over several thousand years, many red moons. Their numbers had dwindled to barely in the thousands only a few short years ago. But this was mating season.

“Wow.” There was so much information nestled in the book that she had a terrible headache from absorbing as much as she had. Rubbing her eyes, she finally darted a glance at her watch. Her dinner date was set to arrive very shortly. How had two full hours passed by? “Time to change clothes.” Hmm… She couldn’t help but wonder male_vampirewhether or not she should tell Larken about the book. No, he already knew. Of course he did. Closing the journal she patted the top and glanced outside. A caustic feeling remained in the pit of her stomach. Now what in the hell was she could to wear on her date. Date. The word was foreign to her. Scarlet hadn’t been on a real date in a solid three years. Her career came first.

As she strolled into the bedroom she thought about her less than lackluster love life. The truth was few men mattered to her, never had. She’d had a few good ones in bed but that was about it. Picking through her meager selection of clothes, she finally selected a dress, the only one that could be considered date worthy.

A few minutes later she shook her head and finally allowed herself to take a look. “My God! You’re like a school girl in heat.” Scarlet chuckled as she gazed at her reflection. Selecting a shimmering crimson dress, the color accentuated her long red hair and green eyes. Shaking like a leaf, she wasn’t certain she would know how to act in front of a man. Then again, she was just making him dinner. Right? Spritzing cologne, she gave herself a nod before heading downstairs.

Perhaps going braless and wearing a snazzy new bright red thong was a little daring but for some reason she craved being a naughty vixen and dear God, she wanted to get laid. The thought someone decedent, she imagined exactly the way Larken would look naked and her nipples hardened at the delicious thought. This might just be a tantalizing night. Chastising her thoughts she refused to succumb to her hunger. She didn’t know him and was going to be leaving in a few weeks max. Any kind of relationship wasn’t in the cards. Period.

Fresh marinara wafted from the stove filling the house with rich scents. Lighting the few candles she’d found hidden in nook and crannies, she surveyed the kitchen and living room before turning on a little Tony Bennett for ambiance and cracking open a bottle of wine.

At precisely six thirty she heard the rumble of a truck. Inching toward the door, the boots stomping on her front porch made her grin. Larkin was all male. The moment she opened the door she felt light headed. They locked eyes and for a full minute neither spoke. Scarlet nibbled on her bottom lip as he cleared his throat and the noise allowed her to open up the door. “HI.”

“Hi ya. Whew lady. You look gorgeous.” Handing her a bouquet of roses, he bent and brushed his lips across her cheek.

She could swear she heard him growl. Blinking furiously, Scarlet could barely hold back her hand from reaching out and yanking his body into hers. She had never had this kind of reaction to a man before. Electricity seared every nerve ending until she had to push him back just to be able to breathe. “Thank you.” Act casual. Don’t let him know what you’re thinking. Scarlet bit back a grin.

“I have to admit, I’m not sure what smells better, wafting tomato sauce or your sensuous perfume.” Coughing, Larken looked sheepish.

“They’re few single women out here, huh? And you’re not big into dating?”

SYNOPSIS

In the shadow of darkness there remains a curse, one aimed at destroying those considered immortal.

Scarlet Dumane didn’t believe in the ways of voodoo and magic or in creatures of the scarlet-darkness-60-percentnight. When she was called to the Bayou to settle her grandmother’s estate, she was faced with the possibility that were-tigers existed. A series of brutal murders indicated a monster lurked in the forest, preying on innocent men and women. Terror had ripped the town apart. Immediately she began receiving calls from the townsfolk that didn’t like her kind. When a mysterious stranger and former handyman of her grandmother’s appeared at her door, she was curious to find out more. Larken Myers was sexy, rough-hewn and instantly their combined chemistry indicated something more between them than just attraction.

Finding an ancient book telling a tall fairytale of were-tigers who would rule the world, a required mating and a mysterious red moon, Scarlet scoffed at the information. Until the threats became real. There was an ancient curse enveloping the town and few humans would survive. She quickly became aware that Larken was more than he seemed. A calling was consuming his every night – a hunger unlike anything he’d ever experienced, forcing his beast to the surface. The murders weren’t what they appeared to be. Larken enlisted the help of his two best friends to protect the woman he adored as well as the secret life he shared with others deep in the woods. As the crimson hued full moon approached, the town was determined to hunt her down. Could the three tigers protect her or would their entire existence be wiped out?

I so hope you enjoyed. Are you going to keep your windows locked tonight? Growl…

Cassandre

PURCHASE LINK

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scarlet-darkness-cassandre-dayne/1112747534?ean=2940148855477

About Cassandre Dayne

Cassandre Dayne is the pseudo for the best selling author of romantic suspense and thrillers
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