A not-so-ordinary girl named Pie stumbles in to a monster’s 2000-year-old curse only to realize she is exactly where she belongs.
When I answered an ad for a caretaker at Saint Mark’s Sanctuary I thought I’d be dusting chandeliers and polishing floors. I didn’t expect to be tricked into a curse, going in debt to a monster, and being forced to take a self-paced “Let’s Learn Magic” course so I can fix a two-thousand-year-old problem.
And that monster?
Not your ordinary, everyday beast.
He has hooves, and horns, and fur on his legs.
But ya know where he doesn’t have fur?
Which is fine.
Except he doesn’t wear pants.
Nothing at Saint Mark’s is exactly what it seems.
The entire inside is magic, the hallways upstairs are nothing but parties from the past, and the super-hot guy who lives in the dungeon?
My name is Pie and all I want is to be a normal girl with an average life.
I refuse to get stuck in this curse.
I refuse to learn magic to break it.
And there is no way in hell I will fall in love with a monster.
CHAPTER ONE - PIE
The smudgy filth on the gas station mirror isn’t enough to hide the girl looking back.
Someone is pounding on the restroom door, but I only half hear it because I’m staring intently at myself, wondering how it got this bad.
I have never been a hundred percent on board with the girl I am, but I’ve come to accept her.
Today… today I am questioning everything.
Especially my outfit.
“What the hell was I thinking last night?” I mutter this to the girl in the mirror, but it’s Pia who answers me.
“Stop it.” Her tiny voice is a bit muffled because she’s hiding in my flannel pocket, but it’s clear enough to hear her judgment. She hates it when I start with the self-loathing.
“It’s ten AM in the morning, Pia. I woke up in a cave at Mount Aloysius College thirty minutes ago. An angry nun hit me with a stick and called me a Babylonian whore.” That might not be right. I was pretty out of it when I woke up in that cave place. It might’ve been Roman whore. “Then,” I continue, “I got a ticket for illegally parking at the chapel last night and I just did the walk of shame through a rest-stop gas station in my Halloween costume.”
This outfit seemed like a really good idea yesterday afternoon. I was driving through rural PA and saw the kids from the college celebrating when I was at a red light in their sleepy little town. One thing led to another, blah, blah, blah… and then I was doing Jell-O shots with the cool kids dressed like this.
Is there any other way to attend a Halloween party at the private Catholic college without being a naughty schoolgirl? Am I right? I’m totally right.
Pia pokes her head out of my pocket, just enough so I can see her crown of red feathers. Her little beady eyes peer up at me as she speaks. “That wasn’t a cave. It was the Grotto Our Lady of Lourdes. Miracles happened there.”
“What language are you speaking?”
“A grotto is a cave with water and the miracles happened in Lourdes.”
“Well, trust me. There are no miracles happening in this part of PA. It’s nothing but hills and the people who live in them.”
I screw up my face in the mirror and try to force the outfit from my mind. It made so much sense yesterday. The red and black tartan schoolgirl skirt—in micro-mini version—the ripped, black fishnet stockings, and the red, strapless leather bustier. The flannel came later. After I pulled my head out of my ass and escaped from Sister Judge-y. Why didn’t I bring clothes into the bathroom with me? I have trash bags full of them in the back of my Jeep. Then I could’ve avoided the walk of shame out of here.
“The combat boots really pull it together,” Pia offers.
I appreciate her optimism. She’s always ready with a compliment to boost me back up when I’m flailing.
More pounding on the door.
“Why must people pound on doors!” I say it loud enough so the asshole on the other side gets the hint. Then I sigh and add, to Pia, “I have a raging hangover.”
“I warned you about that last round of Jell-O shots.”
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