(WP) Too Hot to Handle

(WP) Too Hot to Handle

               Everything
started when she tried curry for the first time, weirdly enough.

               Her
friends had been raving about the new Indian restaurant, and Morgan had just
managed to save enough to go with them. Morgan was also the only one who wasn’t
yet able to summon her spirit animal, and the thought left a bitter taste in
her mouth.

               “You’re
gonna love it! If you don’t burn your tongue off, that is,” Riley told her, laughing.
Her spirit animal, a chestnut horse, shimmered right above her right shoulder,
neighing in tandem with her mistress’s laughter.

               “Aw,
come on, Riley, don’t scare her off before she even enters the damn place,”
Riley’s boyfriend, Mason, shook his head, his shaggy hair blowing in the
breeze. His spirit animal, a bear cub, trotted after him, growling low in his
throat.

               Alyse
brought up the rear, hands in the pockets of her dress, hiding a smile. Her
spirit animal was a swallow, and its merry chirruping provided a soundtrack
that only their group could hear.

               “I like
spicy food!” Morgan protested, frowning. “God, Riles, don’t ruin this for me!”

               She
followed her nose, letting the aromas of garlic, chili, and ginger led her
toward the building. It was tucked into a little alley, and the glass door was
already open, with a hand-drawn sign that said Welcome! Please seat
yourself.

               Morgan
led the way in, her mouth watering. She was so hungry, and her stomach
grumbled. Mason smirked, but said nothing as they all sat down around the
table. There was a short wait, and then a tiny woman shuffled out of the
kitchen, armed with a notepad and pen.

               “What
would you like, dearies?” She asked, giving them all a bright, full smile.
Alyse ordered green curry, with a side of yellow rice. Morgan was feeling
daring, so she ordered one of the spiciest curries on the menu. Mason ordered
garlic naan and red shrimp curry, and Riley opted for a vegetarian lentil soup.
Taking their orders down, the woman disappeared back into the kitchen.

               “I don’t
think I’ve ever been more excited for food in my life,” Morgan said sheepishly,
feeling her cheeks warm. Riley grinned at her; eyebrows raised teasingly. Mason
waved a hand, and the bear disappeared. The other two girls followed his lead,
and their spirit animals dissolved in a flash of bright, glittering smoke.
Morgan bit her lip, hoping that her envy didn’t show on her face.

How she wished that she had a
spirit animal of her own. Was there something wrong with her? Something flawed
deep inside that she couldn’t see? Morgan was soon distracted by the arrival of
the food, and it all smelled so good.

               “Please,
everyone, enjoy, and do let me know if you need anything else.” The woman
smiled at them, and Morgan grinned back, before digging into her food. The
first bite set her tongue ablaze, and she gasped, feeling her eyes water and
her nose run. But her cursing was impossible to make out clearly. Tears ran
from her eyes, and through the tears, she could see a huge, blurred shape
hovering above the table.

“Morgan, I think you finally summoned
your spirit animal.”

“And it’s a fire dragon! How cool
is that?”

**