"Once upon a time, there was a lonely beast."

"Was it a girl beast or a boy beast, Uncle Clem?"

Clem said, "It was a girl beast. They are always tougher, you know."

"Yep!" Heather bounced on the bed making her ears flap. "Was she a very ugly beast?"

"Beasts are never pretty like you, pumpkin. Her skin was very tight but the worst thing was she couldn't talk to her friends and it hurt her to be in the world. She had issues…"

"Poor beast, it's like The Little Mermaid," Heather said. She thought for a moment then became annoyed. "You're making the story too hard. If she can't talk and she's ugly, the prince will never lift the curse."

"Who said there was a prince? A story doesn't need a prince."

Heather rolled her eyes. "That's what mom always says, but it's more fun if the story has one. Did he have a swishy cape?"

Clem patted Heather on the head. She was a young spawn and thought capes were romantic. "There isn't a prince with a cape. There's a vampire with a swishy black coat."

"Uncle, you've told me about Buffy 'n Spike a zillon times already!"