Putting small children to bed is a challenge in any family, whether you are dealing with princes like Shark Boy and the Lightning Kid or not. While putting the Lightning Kid down to sleep had its own challenges, getting Shark Boy to settle down was a task that took its own magic.
Stories were read, and while the routine after lights out used to be lullabies, somehow the notion of being told stories had taken over, and the prince demanded new stories almost every night. While the King was sometimes able to recall stories he had heard, seen or read before, and sometimes re-used elements from other stories with slight changes to make them new enough to Shark Boy, he occasionally was able to create new stories from scratch. These could vary wildly in terms of the quality the King would be satisfied with, but some he considered at least passable. It occurred to the King that he should record them, so that they wouldn't be lost in the fog of one man’s fading memory.
These stories will be recorded here. If anyone else was to use them to entertain their own children, it would do nothing but delight the King. This story is about a Witch and a Vampire (as requested by Shark Boy):
Once upon a time, there was a Witch named Alice, and a Vampire named Bob. Alice said to Bob: ”It must be nice to be a vampire, you can turn into a bat anytime you want!”
Bob replied: “Sure, but you can fly around on a broom... I wish I could do that!”
“You can disappear in a puff of smoke! I wish I could do that!”
“You can brew potions and cast spells! I wish I could do that!”
“You have a great cape!”
“I wish I had a hat like yours...”
Suddenly, Bob got an idea. “You know... I can turn you into a vampire. All it takes is a good bite in the neck...”
“And I know a potion that could turn you into a witch!” replied Alice. “Why don’t I brew it up now... and when it’s finished, you give me the bite, then drink it?”
They agreed this would be the plan, and Alice set to work on her potion. When it was finished, Bob bit her on the neck and took a big gulp of the potion. They began to transform. Within a few minutes, there stood Bob the Witch and Alice the Vampire.
Alice practised turning into a bat and back again a dozen times. “What fun!” she exclaimed.
Meanwhile Bob flew loops on his new broom. They passed several hours enjoying their new forms and the magical powers that came with them, but soon they found themselves hungry.
“Is there anything to eat around here?” asked Alice. “Well... now that you’re a vampire, you’re going to have to find some blood to suck.” replied Bob meekly. “YUCK!” shouted Alice. Bob explained: “It’s not always easy to find... you should start looking now so you can make it by sunrise. I guess I don’t have to do that anymore.... What do witches eat?”
“Frog and lizard stew! It’s delicious!!” exclaimed Alice. “YUCK!” shouted Bob. “That’s disgusting.” They were both quiet for a few minutes.
“Alice... do you think you could maybe... bite me in the neck? I could show you how to do it... I think I liked being a vampire, more than I realized.”
“I think I’d rather be a witch too... it looks like there’s still some of the witch-transformation potion left in my cauldron.”
So Alice bit Bob, then drank the potion and they transformed back into their old selves. The Witch and the Vampire lived happily ever after as best friends.
POSTSCRIPT: Shark Boy wanted the story to be scarier.