They twirled and danced together on the top of the stone cliff, surrounded by massive statues of angels and gods and goddesses, all watching over them. He stood much taller than her and so was careful. But she was happy. All of the children wanted to dance with him; it was all of their dreams. Once they danced with him, they went onward to a great place, so the other children said. They went on to a "really pretty place with lots of flowers and birds," said the girls. "A world of awesome things where all of the heroes live!" said the boys. They all had their opinions on where they thought he would take them. And all were terribly excited to get there. To dance with him. To see the cool place he would take them.
None were so excited as little Emalyn.
She was so short and so happy and excited, he looked down on her with a hint of sadness in his eye. He lifted her light body into the air and twirled her around, and she laughed excitedly. After a while longer of dancing, she finally asked when she would get to go see the cool special place. He smiled down on her a forced smile. "Soon, soon," he cooed. "I will take you there very soon."
And they danced once more.
And finally at once, she hugged him. He was stunned for a moment; no children had hugged him before. And with a wave of sadness and regret, he hugged her back.
His hands drifted upward toward her neck and head. He placed his hands gently, one on the side of her head and the other beneath her chin. With a deep breath, he prepared himself.
"I hope you have a wonderful life in the special place."
The only noise to be heard from miles around was a cracking noise. The little girl dropped to the ground before the feet of him, blood trickling from her mouth. He stood still, still as stone, staring up at the statues as though daring them to continue smiling. He looked to the little girl and picked her up gently, lifting her with ease. He walked gracefully, like flowing water, to the edge of the cliff, where the wind was strong. He held out her body and let it fall. He didn't watch as it plummeted toward the thousands of other bodies, bodies of young children. One by one, he had to eliminate them.
Such was his job.
Turning on his heel, he returned to the center of the cliff and went still once again, standing still as the statues around him and closing his eyes. He felt like a statue; no life left. All he lived for was to kill children, and it was all he would die for. He stood, waiting, waiting, for the next child to come.
And when they would, they would dance.
And they would meet the same end.
He opened his eyes when he heard the silent footsteps of small feet, climbing the rocks. Surely enough, he saw his next victim approaching: a little blonde boy who could be no older than five.
He smiled, and held out his hand.
He offered a dance.
The boy was overjoyed.