The Beautiful Dead
by Jun Prince
Publication date: September 22nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal
Warning: Strong language
Yubin knows she’s different than the other girls in the pop group SIITY. Yes, they all got sucked into the same machine, giving up schooling and signing ridiculously long contracts before anyone knew if they’d be successful, but that’s how pop stars are made in Korea. Yubin is supposed to be thankful for that, but she isn’t. She doesn’t even like the girls she performs with.
She’s more connected to her former schoolmate Jieun, even though all they ever do is text. Over the last two months, Jieun has become her confidant and best friend, connecting Yubin to the real world in a way she desperately needs. Now that SIITY is going to appear on the reality show The Incredible Race: Asia, Yubin will need that connection more than ever, which is why she’s devastated to discover Jieun has been dead five years and is actually haunting her.
If that weren’t enough, Yubin’s not the only SIITY member with issues. Rena’s father is emotionally abusive. Somi has a learning disability, and after a near death experience, Tae-eun becomes a nine-tailed fox woman. The only way they’ll survive the show, each other, and the supernatural currents buffeting them is to work together and win the hearts of their fans. Because if they don’t, they have nothing to go back to even if they survive what’s trying to kill them.
She pulled her long sleeved t-shirt over the top of her head and cast it to the ground. She stood in the moonlight, stripped to her bare feet and her chest as uncovered as the day she was born. The air was cold. Her body shivered. Once again, a human thought intruded. What if someone sees me?
“Fuck it” she said aloud, and pushed herself through the transformation. It was as if nature required her to pass through a blacksmith's fire each time she changed, although the process was no more painful to her than it must be for a nugget of iron which lacked a proper nervous system when forged into something useful. Waves of transforming muscle formed lumps beneath her skin that flattened into steady plateaus with thick veins that bulged at their ridges. As with the spirits of such objects that no doubt felt disoriented when their material bodies were given new form, Tae-eun felt dizziness as the pulses of red feverish heat gushed through her veins. For just a moment she thought she was going to sick up. Her pink pajama bottoms ripped as her waist became thicker, and fluffy bushy tails punched through the seat of her bottoms.
"Crap!" she said but the sound was a guttural fusion of speech and snarl. If anyone had seen her, her wide gaping mouth would have seemed a contortion of hell spawned agony. There was none. The horrid face that distorted her usually enchanting features was a completely involuntary manifestation of her flesh stretching to accommodate a much larger skeleton, and human teeth elongating into a muzzle full of vulpine fangs.
Now, standing almost two and a half meters tall, the first stage of transformation was complete. She gripped the side of the outhouse with a massive clawed hand that had doubled in size. Fur covered her from head to toe, in shades that blended from white, to red, to gold and black. She thought she should try to stabilize herself, but then realized that she no longer felt feverish or dizzy. She'd like to know why it was necessary to change into the fox woman before the fox.
About the AuthorJun has lived in Asia for the better part of the last decade. During his years in Korea, he made a point of learning about and getting as close to the Korean entertainment industry as possible while writing his first novel "The Beautiful Dead." He enjoys telling stories about monstrous humans and humanized monsters.
He has a MFA from the University of California: Riverside, graduated with a BA in English Cum Laude from the University of Washington Seattle, and attended Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea as an exchange student.
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