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Today, our Spooky Legends guest is Mette Ivie Harrison. Mette’s upcoming release is Tris and Izzie (available October 11th), which is a modern retelling of the German fairytale “Tristan and Isolde”. Today’s legend surrounds the “Buggy Burrito” urban legend.
Mark and Branna were getting married tomorrow, and Tris and I had come back from Europe for the event. He was at the Bachelor’s Party and it was just me and Branna for the Bachelorette Party. I figured we would buy pizza, watch some sappy romantic movies and stay up late, talking about Tris and Mark.
But Branna was waiting with some burritos from a local place.
“I got the green chili one for you, you know the one you like.”
Branna and I had been best friends forever, except for a couple of days when things got tricky because she was in love with my boyfriend and well, I wasn’t anymore. Long story short: a potion made me do it. I swear! At least I thought it was a potion.
I didn’t think anything of her getting me a burrito. She and I figured things out a long time ago. She almost died and then I almost died, and then Mark almost killed me because he was mad. And well, bygones were bygones.
I finished the burrito and Branna got out some chips in a big bowl. We turned on the TV, planning to watch It Happened One Night, a really old black and white romantic comedy that I hadn’t seen before that Branna said was the best. But there was a news flash on about the local burrito place and so we kept it on. Branna turned up the volume. The reporter was saying that the police were investigating the burrito place for replacing certain expensive ingredients in their food with cheaper replacements.
“Like putting in TVP instead of ground beef? Big deal,” I said.
“Wait a minute,” said Branna. They were zooming in on a big vat of green chiles. Only they weren’t green chiles. They were dead bugs. And some of them weren’t dead.
“Gross!” I said and I stood up, trying to figure out how I could wash my mouth out. I didn’t know if I had eaten dead bugs, but it seemed like a good bet that I had.
“I’m really sorry,” said Branna. “Izzie, you can’t think that I bought that stuff for you on purpose.”
I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but it was an effort. I was freaked out and the news reporter was saying that anyone who might have ingested the bugs needed to go to the hospital immediately, because some of the dead bugs were spiders that laid eggs inside of mammals, and we could be a breeding ground for new spiders.
I put my hand on my stomach, trying to feel for baby spider eggs. Then the phone rang. “Izzie, there’s a problem at the burger place,” said Tris.
“Yeah, I know.” Boy did I know. “You didn’t eat anything there, did you?” I asked, wondering if Mark and Branna had conspired in this.
“No. But I’m inside the kitchen, Izzie. And the spiders they’re talking about on the news? They’re not just regular spiders.”
“What?” I asked.
“The eggs that they hatch inside of living mammals? They’re magical spider eggs. The spiders grow up to be huge. And glowy. And like radioactive or something. We’ve got to help people here. I think I need to get out Excoriator.”
Excoriator was Tris’s magical sword.
“Tris, I want you to come to Branna’s right now. And bring Excoriator.”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“I ate the burritos. With the spiders,” I said.
I tried to act calm. I called my mom and asked her if she had any potions she could bring over to deal with magic spiders growing inside me. She said she didn’t have anything on hand, but she’d start working on it immediately. Then Tris and Mark showed up. Tris had his sword out and I could feel something happening in my stomach. I could feel creepy, crawlies inside my throat.
“You can’t use that sword on Izzie,” said Branna, with her hands up. “You’ll kill her.”
I wasn’t sure I cared, as long as the spiders were out.
But Tris’s eyes lit up. “I don’t have to kill her. The sword calls to them.”
The little tiny spiders just walked right out of my stomach, up my throat, and into my mouth, across my tongue and out to Tris’s sword. They followed his sword like the Pied Piper or something, and he led them right out to the lake, where they drowned.
“Now I’ve got to do that for everyone else,” said Tris, and he gave me a kiss.
I told Branna I never wanted to eat a burrito again.
In the morning, Tris and Mark managed to arrive on time for the wedding, but they did look a little worse for wear. They’d been up all night, dealing with the spiders. But in the end, Mark and Branna said they were glad they at least had a good story about their wedding to tell. Tris offered to go with them on their honeymoon with Excoriator, you know, just in case, but Mark said that wasn’t necessary. Go figure.
My name is pronounced “Metty” like my mother’s “Betty.” It is Danish, and we were all named after ancestors. I guess by the time they got to number nine (out of eleven), it was getting tricky. So I got the funny Danish name no one knew how to prounounce. In Denmark, it should be “meta” like “metaphysical.” It’s from the Greek for “pearl.” And no, it’s not short for anything. Not even Mediterannean.
My first book, THE MONSTER IN ME was accepted for publication in 1999 and was published in 2002. My second book, MIRA, MIRROR was published in 2004. The latest book, THE PRINCESS AND THE HOUND , was published in 2007. A sequel, THE PRINCESS AND THE BEAR, came out in April of 2009.
I now live in Utah with my husband and 5 children, ages 5 to 14. I write during nap time, or at 4 in the morning, or while the broccoli for dinner is burning. Whenever I get a chance. I love to write the kind of books that I love to read. And I love to discover what is going to happen next, just like a reader would. I also do some racing in triathlon.
Want to read more from Mette Ivie Harrison?
Available on October 11, 2011 from Egmont USA
About the Book:
A modern retelling of the German fairytale “Tristan and Isolde”, Tris and Izzie is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until — she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
**Don’t forget to visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with M.J. Scott and a chance to win SHADOW KIN**
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