ImagePain. It was a delicious addiction that followed me throughout my life. It was pain that drove that ancient, inner fury, pain that transformed a weak being into a creature from the realm of nightmare.

I remember the first time it happened. I guess you could call it a normal part of puberty. It began with a tremor that started in my gut and spread outward to my extremities. I clutched my torso and dropped to the ground, curling in on myself as a bright pain lanced through me and settled into a quiet stinging in my toes. Staring at my feet and wondering what would come next, I gaped wide-eyed as claws stretched their way out of my feet. My fingers followed suit and I smiled through the pain as I held those glittering blades before my face. Something long and sharp forced its way from my spine, through a layer of muscle, and pierced through  my skin. A gasp of pleasure escaped my lips and as I bit my lower lip, I could feel my incisors lengthening.  I unfurled my new wings and moaned as another harsh wave of ecstasy rocked my mutating frame. Heat sources pulsed in reds and blues and I squinted as my vision exploded into a new spectrum. The dim light of dusk was almost too much to bear. Closing my eyes tightly, I flexed the muscles in my arms and back, feeling blood drip down the skin of my wings. I raised my head in defiance of the sinking sun, opened my eyes wide, and let loose a primal roar.