Chapter 1

Wicked laughter began to crescendo around me, a laughter the chilled me to the bone. It was my voice, but deeper as if a few years down the road. The colors swirled into a tornado in front of me, trembling like a cub I awaited what would appear. Two colors began to become dominant over the rest: orange and black, but the tornado kept spinning and the laughter became deafening. The tornado began to grow smaller and the two colors began to break off and take their own places. The cyclone began to spin faster and a red mist rose up from its wake, soon covering the spinning vortex. Out from the mist spread an orange paw with long black claws unsheathed, along with another, then another, and another. These were placed upon the mist-like ground, and then a long swishing tail, tipped in black, could now be seen rising from the red mist, like a snake. As the colors swirled apart from each other, the orange color became a large, sleek, muscular body, and the black transformed into a long glistening mane. Last a giant head looked out of the mist with a cunning grin on its face. The swirling stopped and a giant, male lion, almost ten times my size stood before me laughing at me. In awe and terror I looked at the beast and then at my own body. It was me, but much older and with a body of muscle I could only imagine, one I would never have. The form’s body was identical to my own but then the beast ceased his wicked laughter and his gaze feel on me as if studying me. He continued to look me up and down, as those eyes seemed to be penetrating my fur, as if they could peer deep into my soul and my mind. The beast looked back up at my face and then grinned as if he found what he was looking for. I instinctively jumped up on my back legs and covered me ears with my front paws as a deafening bang crashed around us like a thunderclap. The immense beast vanished into a puff of red smoke, then slowly the smoke cleared and where the thing originally stood was now a form that almost made me lose my dinner! Its whole muscular orange body was now covered in long bleeding wounds, covering every inch of its body. I tried to look away but couldn’t and the beast began to laugh once more. I looked back and saw the blood pouring from the wounds and splashing on the ground, forming a large puddle. I never saw so much blood as it covered the mist like ground and began flowing towards me. In panic and fear I tried to run but it seemed like my paws were stuck to the floor. I looked down and screamed as the blood was almost to my paws but then another clap of thunder sounded around us. I looked back up and the blood had ceased but now the wounds became long scars that covered the beast’s body. Then they began to move! The started to slither like long red snakes, crawling all over his pelt, over his shoulders, and up his face, the whole time joining each other and merging into one long scar which all joined in one place to cover his left eye.

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