“Oh, no! It can’t be!” Danielle screamed. “Daddy! Anja!”
Moments later, she heard a great yelp from Anja and then her faithful and brave dog hurtled through the house, knocking Peter back down, just after he’d stood up. Both slid, piled into a heap, and crashed into the back wall. Danielle heard a sickening crunch. Her father grunted, struggling for a moment to get out from under the unconscious dog, and then passed out.
Danielle’s feet were leaden. It took great concentration to move them. Worse, paralyzing fear clouded her mind. She couldn’t decide which she wanted more: to see to the welfare of her dad and beloved dog or flee from the policeman. She took too long to decide. A scraping noise at the door drew her eyes back to the front of her home.
Danielle blinked and shook her head. Her eyes must be deceiving her. Had the man grown taller? He was nearly as tall as the doorway! How could that be? His clothes were ragged and torn. His shoes! The man’s feet had burst through them. Leather flopped at either side of the soles. And his skin began to change color, first from a tanned, blond man to the mixed colors of granite, then deepening to dark slate, until he finally shimmered obsidian. His features changed as his body expanded. No longer did he resemble a normal human man, but a horribly disfigured one. Finally, his black leather jacket, emblazoned with insignias and officer’s stripes, burst into shreds as wings erupted behind him. The silvery light from the streetlamps fell into darkness, choked off by his outstretched bat-like wings. At the last, the man’s pale blue eyes closed, then reopened bright red and luminous, like the glowing center of a house on fire.
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