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Danger is Sweet

Danger is Sweet by Cornelia Amiri
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From ancient druid lore, springs the tale of a mysterious, dark warrior, a fiery Pict Princess, and the shadowy secret standing between them. Bethoc, a Pict Princess, looses her father and her betrothed in the massacre of McAlpin's treason. After a failed attempt to slay the Scot King, Kenneth McAlpin, she is forced to wed the king's cousin, Malcolm Both Malcolm and Bethoc's friendship soon turns to love. But just when their relationship develops to the point where Bethoc declares her love for Malcolm, he reveals his unbelievable, dark secret. He’s a shape shifter...A selkie.

Awe-Struck Publishing; August 2004
143 pages; ISBN 9781587493966
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Danger is Sweet
Author: Cornelia Amiri
Malcolm picked up his selkie skin in both hands, and shook it out, so it unraveled to its full length. With his eyes shut, he mustered his strength as he slipped into his skin. Raw power coursed through him. In the tips of his toes and fingers the sensation of nettle pricks deepened until he could barely stand it. A mystifying tremor coursed through his body as his human form changed into a seal. A selkie. Now his belly rubbed against the wet sand. Sliding his front flippers first, then his stomach, and lastly his back flippers against the soft sand, Malcolm slunk over to the discarded clothing he just shed. With his teeth, he picked up his leather potion pouch. Using the webbed fingers of his front flippers, he pushed the strap over his head and slung the pouch over his left side. His black snout into the air, he flexed his flippers, and swam into the cold sea. "Aark, Ark," Malcolm barked to the roaring waves. He slapped his back flippers and webbed feet hard against the water, causing a huge splash as he cut through the waves. "Aark Ark." Malcolm spotted the dragonhead Viking boat, manned by the bloody youths who attacked the wagon: the men who hurt Bethoc. He kicked the water with his powerful rear flippers and shot through the white foam until he was under the long, wooden ship. With his full animal strength, he whacked his flippers against the bottom of the longboat again and again, pounding it until it capsized, tossing the Vikings into the sea. Kicking and paddling with their hands, the Norsemen fought the ocean for their very lives, just as Bethoc fought for her's in a wagon on the way to Scone. Malcolm lashed the water with a hard flick of his front flippers, releasing the torrent of anger, which burned through him. Leaving the Vikings helpless to the mighty sea, Malcolm dove under. He cut through the water like an arrow flies through the air. His only thought was the spiked crustacean whose underbelly lay covered in Seafire. His only purpose was Bethoc. Deeper and deeper, he descended into the blackness of the sea. Not only his body, but also his sprit plummeted as well. Malcolm felt like a boneless skeleton drifting downward into a bottomless sea. The water rushing through the dried, dull white bones of a hollow man, or seal. He knew not which, nor did it matter. Was she gone? No not yet. The arrkeeee, the Seafire, would save her. All was black and cold as ice in the deepest depths of the sea, where no human had ever gone. The shadows in the dark and the moving sea creatures played tricks on his mind. He saw Bethoc before him and all around him. He had to touch her, had to kiss her. But Bethoc wasn't with him. He let out the high pitch wail that only selkies make. A sound even sadder than a human crying. Then he recalled his quest. Seafire. In his head he could see one of the spiky crustaceans on the bottom of the sea floor. These creatures were small and round with toxic quills. They were rare and could only be found where it was icy cold and dark as midnight. Humans knew nothing of Seafire for they could not swim that deep without their lungs bursting. The venomous spikes formed a shield for the crustacean, a natural defense to keep fish from devouring them. If a selkie or human came in contact with even one deadly spike the venom would cause certain death. A painful death. It was on the smooth bottom of these crustaceans the algae, Seafire, grew. Orange-red and sun-yellow, it looked like fire. It emitted energy like a glowing, crackling blaze. An amber ball shimmered in the center, circled by a band of glistening sun-yellow streaks reaching out to the edges like a thousand rays of light. Malcolm had seen it only once in his life and he would never forget it. He must find it again. Bethoc's life depended on it. As he descended deeper and deeper, a bad feeling haunted him. Danger. Then he heard a clicking noise. With a jerk of his head he scanned the dark waters. Killer Whales. A school of seven large black and white mammals was headed for him
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