Monster's Kiss (The Exquisite Poison)
Netta does not believe in a Boogeyman, but she does know Monsters exist.
A Witch, she has spent much of her nearly a hundred years of immortality running. Fleeing not only an estranged family, but also a creature she had once dreamed she could wish into a breathing, real man.
Netta has allowed her body to age in the past decade for want of magic. She keeps a dry, passionless relationship with a boyfriend that she rarely sees. Day by day, she lives a life as though trapped in blinders, keeping to a long line of entry level work in a city that makes her diseased.
In spite of this being far from some sort of a happy ending, Netta believes that she has earned this normalcy, her lonesome existence. After all, she has known true cruelty and fear in her childhood. Even more than that, Netta believes that she is safe from the creature - her once-friend - who became the embodiment of her greatest fears, her weak and shameful need.
It is when she is welcomed back home that Netta realizes that she was never free, had not truly escaped the secret world of Witchcraft, of Monsters. As surely as magic sings in her blood, it enchains her, drags her back into the shadows she had once thought she could flee.
Perhaps it is time for this wallflower to fear at least one Monster. The one she had believed that she knew most intimately.
//This is the author's preferred version of *Exquisite Poison*, not a sequel, and contains in-depth revisions as well as additional content.\\