Don’t miss today’s Teaser Tuesday from Jane Unwrapped by Leah and Kate Rooper, on sale 10/12/15.
The creature stops and stares at me. Purple light reflects off its glossy black fur and golden eyes. A shiver runs down my spine. Jackals are opportunistic scavengers, and I’m sure I look just right for scavenging.
It slinks forward, a golden sash dangling from its neck. This can’t be some random wild animal––it must belong to that guy.
I hold my hand out. “Come here.”
The jackal stops and tilts its head slightly. And then it grows.
Its muscles ripple and enlarge with each step. This is impossible. I must have swallowed too much river water.
I rub my eyes but when I open them, the thing is still there, thudding one huge paw in front of the other. “This is a dream,” I stutter. “Canis aureus do not have the ability to triple in size.”
Its mouth curls open, revealing huge canines. I pull back my arm and clock it in the nose. It recoils––from surprise, I assume, and not pain. My arms are more used to punching numbers than noses.
The jackal sticks its snout in my face and bares its teeth. And then it speaks.
I have absolutely no idea what it said, but that jackal talked. My stomach drops. “W-what?”
I swear the jackal rolls its eyes. Then it speaks again.
“What language is that?” This is some kind of illusion––a trick of the mind. Growing, talking jackals are genetically impossible. “What are you?”
The jackal narrows its eyes. “Only English?” The voice is deep, strangely human.
“Yes, English. Or I can do a little French. What about Latin? Auribus teneo lupum?”
With a sigh, he closes his eyes and growls, “Who are you?”
“Why are you talking?”
He slams a paw upon the ground, throwing up a flurry of dust. “You answer me, mortal!”
I jump and struggle to find my words. “M-my name is Jane Ezrael. I washed up here from Skutz Falls. I fell off my tube and got caught under the water…and then woke up here.”
His jaw shifts. “You don’t know what happened.”
“I can’t find my brother. Maybe I’m dreaming.” I shift my bare feet through the black sand. “Who are you?”
The jackal turns away. “Anubis.”
I stumble back, legs nearly giving out. I’ve heard the name before: Anubis. An Egyptian name. The name of a god.
The god of the dead.
“This isn’t real,” I whisper. “Anubis is a myth.”
“Gather yourself. We’re going to the scale.”
My lip flutters and tears spill from my eyes. “I’m not going to any scale!” I blink away the tears and look around. There must be something around here I recognize. The purple fog twists around my body like suffocating rope, and the only landmarks are black sand dunes. “I want to go home.”
“Impossible. You’re here now.”
“Jane Ezrael,” Anubis says, “you’re dead.”
About Jane Unwrapped:
Some tombs should never be opened…
Fluorine uranium carbon potassium. Jane’s experiment really went wrong this time. After a fatal accident, teen scientist Jane becomes the first modern-day…mummy. Waking up in the Egyptian underworld without a heart certainly isn’t the best—especially when it means Anubis, god of embalming, has to devour her soul. Yuck. But when Jane meets the drop-dead gorgeous god, suddenly she’s thinking this might not be the worst thing to happen. And then she is pushed to do the impossible—just time-travel and kill King Tut. Well, every experiment has variables which can end in disaster… Jane just wishes she could decide whether she wants to strangle Anubis or kiss him.