True to her word, Erica spoke with her mother privately about the children’s passion for horror stories and the bonding they were sharing with their grandfather. Since there had been no nightmares, not even a single request for a nightlight, the matriarch agreed to back down. Her husband did not gloat or even mention the previous night’s outburst, knowing that she would either come to terms with it or find suitable distractions during future telling. When it was finally time to resume the story, the kids were nearly bursting with anticipation. A flying demon, gripping melted slave girls in its claw, had left a lasting impression.“Hmm, let’s see,” Grandpa muttered, recollecting his thoughts. “In the dead of night, the village square had been reduced to a smoldering pile of charred rubble. Burnt carcasses, melted flesh, splintered bones and the festering sludge from the shattered cauldron replaced the once-charming scenery. All night, the villagers who had hidden remained under cover, none dared to venture out for fear of being snatched up by the demon. Even though they longed to sleep, all throughout the long night, dreadful shrieks echoed on the wind. Thick leathery wings flapped overhead, circling above the village in search of more souls to devour. Those with faith prayed, those with none sobbed but by morning the village’s population had dwindled drastically. Through the early morning mist, the decimating carnage appeared even more surreal backlit by a shimmery sunrise.