Sweet Nightmares

What do you get what you put a deadly creature of the night in the same room as a crying four year old? "One bloody mess!" Most would think this yes, but this time it's not the case. Yet.
Jericho is a Nightmare, a demon that feeds off the pain and fear of others. He lives alone, travels alone, and kills alone. There are few exceptions.
Lucia is a four year old orphaned English girl with a keen interest in pretty much everything.
Regardless of how they seem, push comes to shove and someone is going to have to die.


1. Blue in the Mist

Squeal in terror as I make your worst fears come true. If the most terrible thing you can conceive is seeing your own guts dangling, dripping blood in front of your face, then I will make it happen. Anything to get a half decent meal these days. The fears that human beings create for themselves lately, they all taste so bland. There's no longer any fun in ripping out the eyes of a painter or the tongue of a bard. They're all so predictable. Dull things taste bitter. So you can guess just how bored I was sitting on the porch of an old farm house, watching casually as the fire rose. 

They weren't screaming as much now that the flames licked the ceiling of the barn. A few horses still whinnied in pain but not much else was heard above the roaring crackle. Not really surprising even thought I'd locked both the farmer, his wife, and any other livestock they owned inside. Most would suffocate long before they burned to death; not that it mattered. I had had my supper as they watched all of their hard work go up in flames, and my dessert when they realized it didn't matter more then their own lives.

Standing up I walked back towards the bush. Horsemen would come soon; the light of fire would be seen easily on this moonless night. I let myself slide back into the protection of the forest. Melting withing the trees, my shape wavered and diluted until I came to my true self. A black cloud. This isn't the shape of all Nightmares, but I prefer it to the clunky humanoid thing I sport when I'm hunting. My form cuts through the forest much more smoothly than any physical one could. I don't so much as rustle the leaves on the ground as I move, but something does. 

A human child my nose whispers to me. A girl. No more than a few moons old. She's crying, I can hear her now as I round a large rock. Sitting there in a pretty blue dress soaking wet with mud, and clutching a hand made teddy bear. Must have been the farmer's girl. Contrary to what most think, Nightmares don't attack children. They lack flavor. And after all is it not life experiences that bring about fears? Things that you've heard or done? Most children get their fears secondhand from parents. The taste leaves something to be desired.

With that being said, and the fact that I had just eaten only made her less edible. I reformed loosely into a more human shape as I approached her. Long brown hair slipped over her face as she cried into her knees. You can imagine my surprise when she looked up at me. Tear soaked and snotty, but not afraid.  Just two clear blue eyes looking back at me. They were full of wonder. 

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