This Curse - By Alisha Basso


Tiny daggers of white starch dug into the tender soles of my bare feet. I ran my fingers through my hair, scratching my scalp in order to dislodge the more determined grains.

I slid the soapy sponge along my side and winced with pain. Memories flooded my mind and my skin broke out in a fine layer of goose bumps. The hot water sluiced along my aching flesh and I rested my cheek against the stone tile. The slow ache in my side began to fade; yet, despite the heat of the water I was chilled.

No matter how hard I tried, my mind always found its way back to Seth. He invaded my brain far too often for my liking. Even though we had come to an understanding since our encounter, I still found myself dwelling on my injury and the mystery of what had happened afterward.

I stepped from the shower and studied my reflection. The woman staring back at me looked annoyed. Well, pale with huge mascara smudges under her eyes, but annoyed. I stepped off the bath mat only to discover that thousands of lethal little shards of rice were scattered all over the bathroom floor just waiting to jab into the soles of my damp feet. I cleared them away with a thought and picked up my bridesmaid’s dress. A few thousand grains of rice fell to the ground as I tossed it into the hamper. I shook my head; they must have thrown a couple hundred pounds of the stuff.

Poor Ann I thought, smiling. She was the first human to ever wed an elf and they wanted to honor her by following all of her native wedding customs. Oh man, what a mess. They meant well, but from the completely outdated notion of throwing rice to the monstrosity of a wedding gown the elves swore was traditional, the whole thing was way over the top. Her dress was so large that even as pregnant as she was, you would have never noticed. It was a stiff tower of ruffles and lace that could practically stand on its own. But none of that mattered to Ann. She was marrying the man of her dreams and that was all she cared about.

Remembering the groom, I didn’t blame her one bit. He had been utterly magnificent in his Elvin wedding garb. His beautifully toned upper body had been bare. The only adornments were a few thin golden cuffs that wrapped around his wrists and wound up his arms ending in a curling flourish around his muscular biceps. His pants were made of soft white suede, decorated with thin gold threads. His long dark hair had been twisted and tied back with dozens of the thin strands of gold, accenting his handsome face. He was so incredibly gorgeous that he was almost unreal. Gavyn, the leader of the elves, had presided over the ceremony looking just as amazingly beautiful.

The women of the village were also responsible for my beautiful bridesmaid’s dress. It was nothing more than a very large scarf that they had tied around my body to form a short dress. It matched the traditional Elvin wedding wear making Ann’s dress stand out even more.

I was the only person to stand up with Ann and in my mind, that made me the maid of honor but I had no desire to be rude and point that out to them. They were proud of their preparations and Ann couldn’t have been happier.

The wedding had been short in duration and Ann and Tobias were quick to retire to their honeymoon chambers. I’d stayed long enough to visit with Gavyn and his family. It’d made me incredibly happy to watch my best friend marry. I felt warm, and glowing when I’d prepared to leave. That is until Gavyn cornered me. He’d noticed my pain and shocked me by being annoyed.

The steam was evaporating quickly as I stood in my bathroom, remembering what Gavyn had said to me. His advice had been simple ‘pull my head out of my ass and deal with my new life.’ It was a slap in the face and made me feel incredibly stupid.

I threw on my bathrobe and twisted my hair into a thick towel, settling it on my head firmly I reached for the door. The movement pulled at my side and I flinched.

This was getting ridiculous!

I threw the door open and stalked into my bedroom. I was a mess and pretty damn tired of it.

I’d struggled with