This is the short story I'm releasing for reaching 200 likes on my facebook page. Hope you enjoy!
The Prince of the Alps
Being the prince of the Alp Kingdom on the Nightmare Continent in the Dream World could quickly become a drag. At least, it was boring to Michael Death. The Alp species is a type of demon that resembles elves more than they would ever admit. How do they resemble elves? Well, they have the same mischievous nature, but instead were ranked on a more demonic scale.
The species was known for giving people nightmares; they enjoyed watching people squirm as they sat atop their sleeping form, crushing the air out of them. That was all fine and dandy, but Michael Death hated to admit that he had never actually been out on the nightmare missions to the Real World.
It wasn’t that the journey was hard, but that his father wouldn’t let him go and that man was not an easy one to fool. Tonight, the boy was going all out. Michael Death ran through his exercises one more time, shape shifting into his different animal forms.
Black cat? Check. Black pig? Check. Black and white snake? Check. White butterfly? Check. He had all four transformations down, even though he hated the shape of his Tarnkappe. Wait, hate was a strong word. Michael was fully aware that he shouldn’t say anything negative about the hat that contained all of his powers, but… Did it have to be a small sparkly crown?
He wasn’t an easily embarrassed person, but the tiara was simply ridiculous. He took a deep breathe. If he wanted to try handing out nightmares, than he was going to have to suck it up and deal with the form of his Tarnkappe. Michael adjusted the black cloak that hung from his shoulders and checked to make sure that the tiny crown sitting in the mess of black hair wouldn’t fall off.
It was time to go. He was as ready as he could ever be. Thinking as positive thoughts as any demon could, he shifted into the form of a butterfly before flying out of his window.
To any person who didn’t know the truth, it might have seemed very beautiful as hundreds of white butterflies filled the air, heading towards a thin black vortex. If one looked close enough, they could find some sort of hat on every single one of the small heads, but no one was around to even look. The sixteen year old refused to admit that he was nervous about the entire ordeal as he flew into the black mass.
The stream of butterflies materialized on the grounds of “The Gate to Hell” which was an abandoned castle located in the Czech Republic. From here the flock of Alps separated. Michael Death began to fly to the West with some slight movement to the North as well.
Moonlight beat against his butterfly wings as he took in this “Real World” for the first time in his short demonic life. It contained so much more color than the broken waste land of shadows that had become the Nightmare Continent. The towns seemed so much brighter and happier as if they weren’t haunted with the fear of the Nightmares.
This world seemed so much nicer to Michael Death. He shook his head, dislodging the thought. No, he had a mission here tonight. Michael was to terrify someone in this area labeled “Deutschland”.
Finally, his wings grew tired and he descended into a small German town. In the back of his mind, Michael was hoping he would have enough navigational skills to lead himself home. Quickly, the butterfly shifted into a black cat.
The crown or Tarnkappe seated stubbornly on his black furry head as he ran a paw over his face. The black cat, with its tail waving proudly, began to walk down the road. After a while he picked a house at random for his first victim.
Michael wiggled through a crack in a window and moved into the room. A small boy was resting inside, waiting for his nightmare. Licking his lips, Michael turned into his human form. His Alp instructors always told Michael that giving nightmares would come naturally and he could only hope that they spoke the truth.
He walked towards the bed and touched his hand to the child’s forehead, immediately the child began to squirm in his sleep. Not wanting the kid to wake, he sat on top of the child’s chest to hold him down. Closing his eyes, Michael concentrated on entering the mind of the poor child.
Entering the dream was easy. Power filled his hands and he felt omnipotent. He watched the child run in fear inside the dream as Michael continued to place more terrifying things in front of the child. The kid was screaming, but no air was actually leaving his body. Michael Death was literally crushing the life out of the child.
He felt the child begin to move beneath him. Quickly. he exited the dream and shifted into a butterfly. He watched as the child sat up, clutching his chest and trying to regain his breath. A smile entered Michael’s features. For the first time in his life he felt like he had so much power in his hands, well, in his Tarnkappe.
The butterfly quickly left the way the cat had entered. A laugh filled his throat then. He had done it! He had created a nightmare! The mischief in him began to rise, filling him with his more elf like nature as he entered more and more buildings.
He knotted hair to bed posts, terrified children, even tried drinking some blood. Blood, something his cousin George Death had become addicted to and bragged about drinking every family feast. Michael refused to truly admit it, but he did see the connection between his species and the Vampire when he thought of his cousin and his own enjoyment in blood.
His first night had been wonderful and soon he returned to his room in his castle. The day passed in boredom as he took his classes and worked with the repair projects that the Nightmares had caused. He hated the black beasts that had been supreme on the continent, but thankfully the Twelve Councilors performed the sealing ceremony. It was sad that ten great Councilors lost their life that day. The Nigtmare Continent has yet to fully recover and Michael’s one comfort was in his new found love of the nightly excursions.
Mia Death, his twin sister, was the one he confided in about his illegal trips. She warned him against becoming addicted to the adventures even though she was a Mare, a female Alp, which had a love for tying knotting hair.
“Don’t do anything reckless,” she warned him as night fell.
“How can this be reckless?” Michael retorted with a prideful laugh, “this is who we are!”
“Not completely,” Mia sighed before entering her own room.
Michael didn’t listen to his sister’s advice, for he saw nothing wrong in what he was doing. He never killed anyone like little George had. Michael was careful to only have his fun before safely exiting.
This continued for months. His dad grew suspicious, his mother worried. Michael was to become the next King. They worried that their son would become addicted like George and have his mind clouded with thoughts of torture. If that were to happen, they would have to take his crown away.
Without his Tarnkappe he would become powerless. The only thing he would have would be his sword skills, but not being able to shape shift would be a major loss. Michael had put up with the appearance of his Tarnkappe as a shiny tiara not for it to be taken away!
Well, he would have his fun.
Once again he entered the dark void and flew to Germany. Terrifying children increased his self-esteem. Until something dreadful happened, involving a girl around one year younger than him.
Everything began like normal with the innocent young teenager lying asleep on her bed. Michael entered her dream as he sat down. She reminded him of the infamous Snow White from the Established Continent. No one ever spoke well about the people from that continent, but he did think that she was pretty. At least she was better looking than most of the Mares in his town.
The nightmare started, but she didn’t seem so scared. He created a giant spider and she laughed and somehow put the spider into rollerblades causing it to slip and fall. He created a dragon which was transformed somehow to breathe rainbows instead of fire.
Michael grew more and more furious as he tried harder and harder to scare the girl beneath his lap. He created monster after monster and she managed to make the situations funnier and funnier. His frustration grew as her control continued to grow.
He noticed her movement too late. Her arm had snatched the tiara from his head. Jumping to his feet, Michael scurried into the shadows of the room. The girl began to inspect the small sparkly crown in her hands.
“I know you’re in here,” she said, her voice sounding like a melody.
Michael Death withdrew farther into the corner. How was he going to get his Tarnkappe back? He needed that! That crown was his entire existence!
“I’m turning on the light,” she warned.
Michael would give so much to be able to turn into a cat and escape in that very moment, but he couldn’t. His hand drifted to his belt. He forgot his sword in the castle! He was completely unguarded in this moment. For the first time in his life, he was the victim.
Light filled the room, dispelling all of the darkness that Michael adored. He would never admit it, but he was scared. Something anyone could see from how he cowered in the corner of the rectangular room.
She laughed. She laughed at him! She laughed at the Prince of the Alps! Michael’s pale white cheeks flushed red. He didn’t like this feeling at all. Was this embarrassment?
“You don’t need to be so scared,” she added in her calming voice. She pushed the covers off of her as she stood. “My name is Hazel. What’s yours?” she asked, reaching out the hand that wasn’t holding the crown.
Michael stared at the hand being held out in front of him. He felt so inferior at this moment, but why did she hold her hand out? What was he supposed to do?
“You shake it,” Hazel explained with a sweet smile.
Nervously, Michael stretched forth his hand. The girl gripped it and shook. “Your name?” she prompted once again.
The boy had his back flat against the wall. “Michael Death. My name is Michael Death.”
“And you’re an Alp, right?”
Fear blinked into Michael’s black eyes. How did she know that so quickly?
“Don’t worry,” she added, “I don’t have any lemons.”
Now, Michael couldn’t help but smile. He had heard that his ancestors had been beaten through the use of lemons. His grandfather had warned him about them on his deathbed. He rambled some nonsense about being unable to move for over 24 hours because of how sour they were.
“You, don’t worry,” Michael replied, regaining most of his confidence, “I’m immune to lemons! You’ll have to find a new way to beat me.”
Hazel laughed. “You’re right, but I think I’m protected as long as I have this crown.”
A frown reappeared on Michael’s face. How was he supposed to handle this kind of situation? No one in his family had told him about the tasks Alp’s do in the Real World for they all wanted him to stay in the palace.
“Don’t worry,” she added, “I won’t hurt you.”
“I’m not worried!” Michael defended himself, but then he remembered something. Quickly he stood to his feet. “How do you know I’m an Alp?” he questioned. His Uncle had taught him that most humans had forgotten about them, meaning that the defenses people had were also forgotten.
“Well,” she started, awkwardly staring at her toes after backing away from the boy that had quickly stood, “I like to learn about different mythological creatures and a lot of people in my school have been talking about weird dreams, so I just figured there was an Alp nearby.”
Michael was surprised she knew so much, but she didn’t stop with that.
“I’ve always thought mythical creatures existed!” she exclaimed boldly, “No one believes me at school, but you’re here! That means they do exist. Oh, won’t you be my friend?”
“I need my Tarnkappe back,” Michael Death replied, ignoring most of her rant.
“Your crown?” she guessed as she looked at the shiny jewels in her hand, “I’ll give it back to you after you fulfill two conditions. 1) Be my friend and 2) Help me with my revenge.”
“Revenge?” He muttered. What kind of revenge could this girl have planned? She was human for crying out loud! Well, whatever she had in mind had to be easy for him to accomplish. Honestly, he would do anything she asked to get his crown back.
The girl grinned before jumping up and down in victory. After a second of cheering she ran to her closet and grabbed a pile of blankets. She shoved them into Michael’s arms. “Sleep, we’ll talk tomorrow morning.” With that, she went back to her bed and slept. Michael didn’t sleep as easily.
Morning came and Hazel left Michael hidden in her room as she ate breakfast with her mother, the one other human in the house. To be honest, Michael hadn’t slept a wink the night before. He wanted nothing more than to get his Tarnkappe back and return home. Home. How weird to think he wanted back?
Hazel soon returned to sneak him outside. “We’re going to school,” she explained to the boy as they made their way to the building. The walk wasn’t as awkward as the night before and Michael soon found that he actually enjoyed talking with Hazel. Being friends with her was an easy part of the agreement!
He wasn’t allowed into the school, so Hazel had to sneak him in. She brought him up to the roof where he was to hide until lunch. “My best friend doesn’t believe in mythical creatures. When I said ‘revenge’ that was a bit overdramatic,” she admitted, “You just have to help me get her to believe. I’ll bring her up at lunch.”
So Michael waited. He found himself humming the poem that humans used to chant to scare his species away. Time passed and eventually the door to the roof began to open. Michael Death hid himself at first, but then he saw Hazel emerged followed by a cheery red-head.
“Michael Death, you can come out now!” Hazel called and Michael did as instructed.
“Death? His last name is Death?” the new girl asked, laughing brightly. Michael got the idea that this new girl laughed a lot.
“Got a problem with that,” He growled as he emerged from the shadows, only for her laughter to increase. To her, his clothes seemed ridiculous. Apparently humans don’t appreciate cloaks.
“Michael this is Clara,” Hazel introduced him, “Clara, he’s an Alp.” She added, hoping her friend would believe.
Michael Death noticed something about the girl and soon he was laughing as well. “You are such a liar!” he cheered. Clara looked offended as she took a step back. “Your disguise would never fool an Alp.”
Clara glared at the boy. “Hazel, I think this kid you found is crazy!”
“Hazel, let me see my crown.”
Hazel frowned; confused with how she should respond with how her two friends were acting. Finally she held out her crown weekly, so Michael snatched it up. He set it onto his head and then reached out his hand.
Clara pulled her hand away, but it was too late. He had already touched her strange birthmark on her wrist as he said the word “reveal”.
With a “poof” she changed into a small being about two feet tall. Another “poof” and she was a candle. After one more try Clara was back in her human form. “How?” she stuttered in shock, but Hazel was in equal shock.
“Clara! You’re a Kobold!” she shouted hugging her friend, “Why didn’t you tell me?” she exclaimed.
Clara sighed. “No one truly believes in mythical creatures.”
“You say you do, but humans are scared of us!”
Clara laughed, “Well, I know that now.”
Michael smiled. He had his Tarnkappe back, he had his powers back, and now he could return. In a flash he was once again a white butterfly. Hazel spun on him and called out to the butterfly. “Don’t go yet!” She cried.
Michael Death in butterfly form settled on top of her fingers. Carefully, Hazel moved her hand to in front of her face so she could look at the demon she had met in the middle of the night. “You’ll visit, right?” she asked, “We’re friends, right?”
The boy was silent for a while, but then he slowly nodded. Hazel grinned the largest grin Michael had ever seen in his life before as she waved “See you later” to him.
He returned home and took his punishment bravely. He no longer wanted to visit the Real World to terrify people, but instead to have fun with friends. Michael Death couldn’t wait for when he could see his friend again especially since he didn’t have any friends in the Nightmare Continent as a Prince.
His days in the palace as time passed paled in comparison to his nights in the Real World. Friends definitely made life more enjoyable!