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The Excruciating Gift This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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A living shadow hanging by inch,
Building pleasure inside me makes my skin itch.

With wondering eyes, I cock my head and stare,
Its sharp talons twitch; warn me to play fair.

A wicked smile creeps to my features,
A knowing glance to be shared by two creatures.

The first painful slice is heard,
Yet miraculously, my scream is submerged.

His black eyes open; peer into mine,
That spark’s in his eyes; he knows it is time.

I force my limbs to sustain the pressure,
The ecstasy inside me I cannot measure.

My shoulder blades morph from their form
Into black wings worthy to adorn,

My newly blood kissed back and waist,
Then another spark of pain contorts my face.

I bite my lip to contain the anguish,
But searing pain makes my mouth relinquish,

Its attempts to hold in the cry it possesses.
My shriek ricochets from a thousand places.

The morbid trees whisper their encouragement,
Their urges and pleas seem so utterly fervent.

My bones crack and realign,
While surges of power ripple down my spine.

My stance currently falters and I drop to the ground,
Incredibly, more rapidly now my heart pounds.

On the cold earth, my changing body convulses,
Keeping quick time with my amplified pulses.

My pale skin stretches, rips, and splits,
Leather black flesh soon replacing it.

Short silver-gray pelt slowly sprouts,
Accenting my new shape from legs to snout.

Pupils swallow all competing color in my eyes,
Dark orbs now telling of a thousand lives,

Lived in a hundred variations,
All with unique and distinctive faces.

I emerge a being of much smaller size,
Completely transformed and joined at my side,

By the sole creature alive who knows of my secret,
He too owns it and so he must keep it.

Our precious blessing cloaked as a curse,
Reaps benefits so empowering, they give the cruel pain worth.

With new vision and purpose I look to my mentor,
Eyes bearing love, lust, and longing returning the gesture.

Whether for me or the drug of our power,
I know not the answer at this black hour.

Averting my gaze, I glance towards the sky,
With grace and confidence, I take flight.

The thick air consumes me; embraces me instantly,
Starless and shielding, holding me in captivity.

In just a few breaths I’m joined by my teacher,
Met with his passion, exuberance, and fever.

The crisp aroma of night envelops our bodies,
As the beckoning moonlight fuels the haughty,

Emotions and attitudes possessed by our souls,
When the unbelievable becomes all we know.

An ability so priceless is this gift we posses,
Two newly born bats fleeing into the exquisite darkness.





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