Author Karen Gammons

Author Karen Gammons


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A Passage from Phoenix

My temper flared, and I started feeling a searing pain in my face and hands. My eyes became blinded by a hammering ache in my head, and I could feel my body changing. I began screaming, but not because I was afraid, but from the excruciating transformation that was happening to me. I writhed in Dorian’s claw to the point that he almost dropped me. He quickly landed and gently set me on the ground. I rolled around on the ground yelling for help. A moment later I felt the warm touch of a human hand. Dorian had transformed and I had missed it. He wrapped his arms around me, speaking softly, while rocking me back and forth.

“It’s okay, Penny,” he cooed. “I’m here.”

I struggled against him, feeling the awful intense pain wrack my body, like waves against rocks. Over and over it hit me. First in my back, then my torso, and finally through my arms and legs. When I finally opened my eyes, I could feel him jump.

“What’s the matter?” I asked, in a voice that was not my own, which freaked me out. It was deep, almost manly. I got shakily to my feet, feeling as though I had just healed from a bout of flu. Looking at the expression on Dorian’s face, I could tell that something drastic had happened to me.

“Am I hideous?” I asked him.

He quickly shook his head. “No. I’m just not used to seeing you like this. You are actually really…pretty.” 

            I looked down at my body. I was standing in a pile of ashes, and flames were all around me. My skin looked as though it was actually on fire, but I felt nothing. I wasn't wearing clothes anymore, either. Red feathers had interlaced and woven, wrapping around my body like a dress, accentuating my bust and flowing down into a type of skirt that came down to the top of my knees. Feeling movement behind me, I was startled and quickly turned my head. Beautiful red wings were spread out wide, with flames coming out from them. When I moved my shoulders, the wings flapped. But that wasn't the weirdest thing that was happening to me. I could see directly behind me, as if I had eyes in the back of my head. I could see every tree, every rock, and the whole sky, and I wasn't even looking in that direction with the eyes that were in my head.

            “Dorian, I have wings!”

            “I can see that.”

            “What am I?” I asked, as chills ran up my spine.

            “I—I can’t be positive, because I have never seen one. But I think you’re a phoenix,” he said in amazement. “You are so beautiful.”

― Phoenix