The monster mash (The Monster mash #1) by Angie Fox

Chapter One





Attention all surgical personnel. Attention. Incoming wounded arriving on chopper pad two. Come and get yours while they’re fresh.

Also, tonight’s movie is the documentary, Clash of the Titans.

And will whoever released a kraken in the officers’ showers please report to Colonel Kosta’s office on the double.

I couldn’t help but grin. Little did they know a few of the girls and I had relocated the kraken to the men’s john. It hadn’t been easy. But it’d been worth it.

Back to work. I adjusted my plastic surgical goggles and took a look at the immense demigod on my operating table. “Stick with me and you’ll be out of here in time to see that movie.”

The soldier tried to smile. “Gotcha, Doc.” He still wore his rusty red combat boots and the remains of his army fatigues around his ankles. Ripped abs, built chest, powerhouse arms—he definitely had the body of a half-god.

And X-ray vision, given the way he was ogling my chest. “Eyes up here, soldier. I have a tray of scalpels, and I’m not afraid to use them.”

A tech rushed behind me with half a dozen fresh units of blood. “Coming through!”

We’d squeezed two extra tables into the operating tent last week, and I wasn’t sure if it was hurting or helping. One thing was certain—the noise level had gone from a large racket to a small riot.

My nurse tucked a surgical blanket over my patient’s lower body while I took a look at a nasty slice on his side.

“Yeti claw to the torso,” I said as if it weren’t obvious from the swarthy black spike jutting from between his ninth and tenth ribs.

“And I lost something,” my patient said, dropping his chin. His tousled golden hair parted to reveal a pair of thick devil horns. Make that one devil horn. The other had popped off, the wound completely healed. It was one of the things about divine warriors that drove me slightly crazy. They healed so fast, their bodies sometimes forgot parts. I swear some of these guys would lose their heads if they weren’t attached.

“Do you know where you left your horn?” I asked, testing the wound beneath my gloved fingers and fighting the urge to lecture him about absent body parts.

The side of his mouth tipped up, and there was no mistaking the gleam in his eyes. “I think I had it when I got here.”

I remembered him. This was the one who had us searching half the camp for his missing eyeball. He thought it’d be funny to put it in someone’s soup. Har-de-har-har. Served him right when a selkie ate it.

Of course, three days later he got it back.

Everybody was a comedian. And people like me had to deal with it.

“Horace,” I called across the crowded operating room to the nearest orderly.

Horace zipped to my side and hovered just above eye level. Golden wings fluttered on his heels and at his shoulders. “Yes, Petra.”

I ticked my chin up a notch. “That’s Dr. Robichaud,” I reminded him. Again.

“No.” The attendant’s eyebrows spiked toward his overly large surgical cap. “I do not speak Cajun.”

“Well, learn.” It wasn’t my fault if some of the old-world creatures had a chip on their shoulder against mortals.

Just because we hadn’t hung around for thousands of years, guzzling wine and smiting our enemies, didn’t make us second-class citizens. And if they wanted us to go back to worshipping them, they could forget it.

Times had changed, and if I had to learn to live in this place, Horace could figure out how to play nice with a lovely person such as myself. “See if you can’t find a horn floating around here. About two inches wide, three inches long. Red.”

“Actually”—the demigod on the table leaned his head forward—“it’s more of a garnet.”

Like anyone around here would know the difference. “Red,” I repeated. “With a little curve on it.”

Horace raced off, and I leveled a stern look at my patient. “I’d better not find it in my Spam carbonara, or I’m going to reattach it to a place that doesn’t see the suns.”

Although frankly, I didn’t think anything could make that night’s dinner worse.

A cold hand touched my arm, and dread slithered down my spine.

Not him. Not now.

“You need help here, Doctor?”

I braced myself as the watery voice seeped over me. The air temperature dropped, and I saw my patient shiver.