The Lord of Nightmares looked down at the new thing in his realm. It was a human child, as far as he could tell. It was standing there in a little red dress with scuffed red shoes and pink socks. Its skin was almost as pale as his, its hair was white as bone, and its eyes were pink. But the strange part, the truly unusual part, was that it was not cowering. It was staring blankly at him.
“Who are you?”
There was no trembling in its voice, no shaking quiver. He smiled his most menacing evil grin at her. “I am the Lord of Nightmares, child. You are under my influence now. Fear me!”
“Nuh-uh. You’re just a creepy old monster.”
He grew his most terrifying fangs and horns and did his best menacing loom. The little brat should be screaming for its mommy by now. He reached out a claw and dragged it across the child’s face, leaving a thin trail of blood on its white cheek. There was no reaction whatsoever.
“Why aren’t you screaming, child?”
“Because you’re not scary. You’re just a monster. You just want to eat me.”
“Then what are you afraid of?”
“People. They look nice and they act nice, and then they hurt you. But I’m in a dream now, so there’s only monsters. And monsters can’t hurt me for real.”
“I could tear you to shreds of bloody flesh, child!”
“My name is Kristen; if you tear me apart I’ll just come back. What happens if I tear you apart?”
“Impudent brat!” He grabbed the child’s arms and tore her in two, then stomped the pieces to a bloody pulp. As he finished she walked into view.
He tore her apart again, and she appeared again; then a third time. Again she walked up, this time giggling.
“You can’t hurt me, Mister Monster; I know you. You used to scare me, but not anymore. Now I want you to teach me.”
“Teach you what?”
“To do what you do.”
“If you don’t teach me I’ll pull off your horns and give them to the other monsters.”
Wordlessly she reached up and snapped off one of his horns, then started looking around. He concentrated but it wouldn’t grow back.
“What trickery is this?”
“It’s my dream. Now teach me!”
“And so he taught the girl. She was an avid pupil and a quick study. By the time he was done she could do everything he could, only better because she could do some of it while she was awake, too. And that’s how I became a Magical Vampire Angel.”
“Can you teach me to be a Magical Vampire Angel?” The little girl’s green eyes stared into her pink ones.
“In time, dear, in time. For now go to sleep and remember the monsters can’t really hurt you.” Kristen tucked her adopted daughter in and kissed her forehead tenderly.