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  • Extract of the diary of a shadow-girl:
    I was unhappy. My kind is not supposed to be sad at Christmas; we rather cause sorrow to other people…As usually, we had gathered in the huge Hall of the underground palace of the Queen of the Shadows. The Goblins were playing domino with small bones, hitting each other at the head every time they lost. Ghouls were arguing about the dead rats they were going to eat. The Vampire Clan were drinking bat blood mixed with poisonous cactus juice - one of their preferred drinks. Dressed in their best ragged suits made out of lace and velvet, the Nightmares looked scornfully upon the others. Nightmares think themselves superior to all the others. Maybe it is so, but here nobody cared about superiority apart from them.
    We had a ghastly celebration parodying Christmas. Then we children had to go to sleep into our coffins or stone graves and the adults would fly throughout the world to spoil the joy of Christmas as much as they could.
    Father Skull had just arrived. Dressed in his blood-stained costume, foam coming out of his mouth, his horrible grin on his ugly face, he was distributing presents to all goblin, vampire, nightmare and other horror-kids in the Hall. They were delighted with their presents: dead cats; nightmarish dolls, nice, cherubic dollies and furry toys that would be cherished by human children, but torn into pieces or spat and destroyed by the kids of my kind. I was distressed. There was nothing for me. Not even a tiny, horror doll - one of those I love so much - with sharp teeth biting human children. "This is unfair," I said to Father Skull. "Why is there nothing for me? I have been extremely bad this year. I ought to be rewarded, not punished." He stared at me, the expression of his empty socks as unreadable as ever, and said nothing. I went to sit besides some elder nightmares; I remained silent as I couldn't control my frustration. Busy discussing their dark schedules meant to spoil Christmas, the nightmares paid no heed to me; I was like invisible them and it was fine for me so as I was not in a sociable mood.
    "Well, young lady… What is wrong with you?" Father Skull had come to sit beside me so stealthily I had hardly noticed until he talked.
    ."You know very well what is wrong. No present for me. Why…"
    He locked his empty gaze upon my dark eyes."I thought you were too old and too clever for the silly toys I gave the other children. I thought you'd deserve something much more… exciting!"
    I did not reply. My heart was pounding in my chest.
    Grinning, he produced something out of his large sleeve, in the magical way of the human illusionists. Frowning, I gazed at the thing… When I understood what it was, I could hardly suppress a shout of joy. The Dark Card Deck!!! Only Father Skull was allowed to use it. The cards provoked the strongest dark sensations and scary hallucinations in the world. Rumor had it that people had gone insane for having seen just one card. Father Skull winked at me. "What about joining me tonight? You're going to help me cast the dark deck cards. I'll show you a few pretty scary combinations and then you may invent your own ones as well."
    Now I was happy. Father Skull uses to work alone and when he takes a companion, he is really choosy!I did not need time to think. I joined him in his huge pumpkin-carriage and the bats attached to it flew so high into the dark cloudy sky that we were soon lost from view even for the ones of our kin..
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