• She was angrier than she'd ever been. Her enemies had found her again. They had attacked her and her friends, offering no mercy. They taunted her with insults. She knew she was different, but they didn't have to attack her friends to see that. That had been the last straw. Before she knew what was going on, her body was growing scales. Her fingers grew and sharpened into claws; her nose lengthened and smoke streamed from her nostrils. Her eyes became slitted like a cat's eyes, and she grew a long, heavy tail, with four spikes on the end. A pair of horns grew from her head, and a spike grew from the back of each wrist and heel. Her scales were a golden color, with her belly scales a slightly darker hue, and her eyes matched. Her wings had a leathery texture.

    She swiped at the nearest enemy, slashing his arm, and threw him against a nearby wall. The next enemy she breathed lightning at, shocking him. The rest of the gang backed away and fled in terror, leaving their two comrades lying in the alley. She turned to her friends to see them looking at her with fear in their eyes.

    "What are you looking at me like that for?" she asked. Her best friend, Luke, spoke quietly.

    "You mean you don't know what just happened?" he asked. She shook her head.

    "Look at Jak," Luke said, pointing at one of her fallen enemies. She turned to look and saw the long cuts on his right arm.

    "What did that?" she asked.

    "You did, Jana," said Jona, another of her friends and Luke's cousin.

    "How would I have done that?" Jana asked.

    "You have no idea what you just did, do you?" asked Jona. Jana shook her head.

    "You turned into a monster," Luke said quietly. Jana stared at him.

    "What are you talking about, Luke?" she asked. "What kind of monster?"

    "You turned into a dragon," said a new voice. The three friends turned to see a stranger
    at the mouth of the alley.

    "How did I turn into a dragon?" Jana asked.

    "You are a changeling," said the stranger. "A shape-shifter."