And as Sean climbs into bed and closes his eyes, Mother comes, riding astride a lion the size of a house, blowing a clarion from a horn made out of a hollowed-out elephant's tusk. Her eyes have a faint crimson glow from the lasers that are mounted behind her irises, ready to fire at will.
'I touched a prince's chest today and made his heart stop,' she says. 'I'll do it again if I have to: they'll see what happens if anyone gets in my way. Good night, my son. Remember that I will always keep you safe; that I am always everywhere and always here.'
'Good night, Mom,' Sean says, and falls asleep.
And Mother recedes, wise and beautiful and strong, a genius and a hero, a punisher of thieves and a slayer of wicked men, to watch over her son in all her different versions.