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PROLOGUE:

CRRAAAACKKK!!!

Lightning flashes across a pale, dusky canvas of night, covered with dark, ominous clouds.  The wind is a mighty torrent of rain and ice, freezing and moving the branches of trees, as they scratch across a cracked, glass window.  The creaks and groans of the ancient, nearly destructed roof incite fear and panic in the small scurrying occupants of the lone house upon the hill.  In the front window of the parlor, a lone candle flame struggles to remain lit against the draft that sneaks in through the cracked wall.  As it flickers and flutters, footsteps and maniacal laughter can be heard from the levels below.  The painful, frightening cries of his latest victim, begging for reprieve, are disturbing.  The sounds are almost impossible to identify under the inescapable screams of the horrendous wind and the torrential rain.  A bright light appears and disappears, flickering, framing the doorway beneath the stairs.

The spiraling stone steps are clammy and slick.  The only light seems to clamber from beneath, as if to escape the horror occurring below.  Then, you hear it again.  That laughter.  Maniacal.  Insane.  Upsetting.  There, in his aged, wrinkled, and bloodstained lab coat, hunched over his operating table, stands the “good doctor.”

No one really knows from whence the crazed surgeon came.  He only appeared once to his neighbors on the day he arrived to occupy the lone house upon the hill.  Armed with boxes and crates of large, imposing size, the “good doctor” seemed cordial and reserved.  Since then, only dark silhouettes of shapes incompatible to the stature of a human and laughter could be observed from the fences.  The children of the valley affectionately named him the “monster doctor” for those mysteriously frightening silhouettes.

Within the multitudes of cages lining the laboratory walls, the children’s moniker seems aptly fitting, as his creations act frenetically and fearfully, crying out in the sounds we once called voices and gripping the wire of our “homes” with the long-nailed claws or hooves that we once called hands.  There in the center of the laboratory, the “good doctor” appears busy on his next project, muttering to himself.  The slick stone floor is covered in rusted surgical tools and thick, black cables connecting to a large generator along the back wall.  CLANG!  A metal saw drops to the floor from the table, where our bodies were bent and molded into horrendous aberrations of biology.  The doctor steps away from the table and toward the generator’s control panel.  Suddenly, the room erupts with a fury of sound and light.  A blinding light.  First, white…then, green…then, purple…and then white again…painful, yet eerily beautiful.  Over the electric whirring of the generator, the shorted electrical connections pop.  The creatures in the cages cry out in growls and shrieks at the mixed emotions of having a new family member.  The being on the table convulses and cries out in agony.  AAAAAAAGGHHHH!!!!  Then, laughter…that bone-chilling, perturbing laughter.

You want to know where we came from?  Fxck you.

CHAPTER ONE:

Master.

That’s what we were told to call him. It was HIS name.  His self-assumed title.  Not maker or father, but Master.  Such a perverted, evil word.  We have had nothing but time to witness and ponder the cruelty of this world, as we learned more and more about what that word meant.  We were creations of his dark and twisted fantasy.  To mutilate, torment, and exterminate at his own will.  He showed us the basic tenets of existence with vile cruelty, but we were designed for destruction.  Hunger and desire nurtured us, matured us – it empowered us.  We were taught to crave, to seek out, and to consume.  He taught.  We obeyed.  Beyond everything, we always obeyed.  The consequences to resist were too enormous.  The punishments became too brutal.  Our family grew in number and ferocity.  Each with a different design, but our purpose was singular.  We were taught this lesson daily, and it was taught to us… …well.  We carried it with us until it consumed us.  It was the only thing that mattered, but through our education, we became addicted to that flavor of darkness.  The moving whirlwind of night that envelops and overpowers the minds of the devastated and the sensated.  Where consequences are an abstract concept beyond comprehension. In that realm, desire reigns supreme over conduct or code.  It is a harsh world, and we were designed specifically for it.  We have been taught to live without sleep.  Fueled by chemicals and liquid diets, our one joy was the ruckus from beyond that coincided with the hunt – our singular purpose.  Through the skies, we could feel the vibrations of the sounds from his machines while we seek out the next offering.  When one is found, it is presented to the family for approval, as the quality is collected and logged.  After many years under his care, that record is our history, each new capture demonstrating our proficiency.  The rhythmic massage of decibels and that sensation of want that consumes us are overwhelming.  We were only taught to feed… in HIS world…with no choice.  Everyone hunts, everyone shares.   Every day, we were “educated” and improved in that endeavor.  We collected trophies from our favorites, which delighted him.  “Our work” was, after all, pleasing to him.  We were created for this, and the hunt is all we’ve ever known.

Until that one winter evening, the night we were last “improved” by him.  We entered the laboratory in a single-file line as our claws, tails, and chains scratched along the cold, familiar floor.  The sounds echoed through the cavernous laboratory, echoing off the high, monolithic walls.  Hunger was visibly apparent on the devouring gazes of my brothers and sisters.  Pools of saliva lined the floor, as we all stared at him.  In fear and in hunger, but mostly in anger.  The clammy stones of the laboratory glistened in polished harmony with a haunting and mesmerizing cadence to the glow of low-hanging fluorescent lights suspended on uneven chains.  They squeaked with an awkwardness as the shadows danced to the low vibrating hum of the noises from beyond.  

In quiet submission, we each in turn received our “gift” from the good doctor.  Green, black, purple, blue, red.  So many colors littered the floor in droplets like a painter’s workspace floor.  Where we each make our own mark – to impress our collective suffering like a mural in memoriam.  We each have our own unique signature, but unlike the first time, we made no sound.  Just the rustling of the physician’s freshly starched lab coat.  After he activated the devices, we grew almost instantly, developing new abilities and attributes.  Scales grew larger in size, while horns protruded in brush-like elegance.  Fur became unruly, developing a glowing effervescent glimmer.  The unexpected change left my family unrecognizable.   The hunger grew exponentially, painfully.  With almost lustful conviction, we gazed upon our creator.  We like to hunt.  We discover, crave, consume, share, and repeat.  After all, we feed our family, and the best is yet to come. 

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