The tigers come at night.

The Fiend of Nocturnal Solace

Fresh from Hell’s Gates, traipsing through the mists
sinister Nightmare came silently strolling.
The fiend of nocturnal solace stalked onward,
seeking sleepers in their warm cribs.
Beneath crystal moonbeams he wandered
until he savored his prey’s breath, a warm puff
against the night air. Never had he
encountered a child, before or since,
already so distraught and destroyed. His lips curled in savage
delight as he envisioned the havoc he
would further wreak upon this delicate cub’s mind,
even after the Sun’s gold burned away the night.
He sensed many others in the home, unaware
in their slumber, content in security;
they unconsciously awaited their turns.
Inebriated and impetuous, he inched onward
and probed the source of the young one’s
misery. And upon discovering it,
Nightmare giggled with glee. On and on,
Death’s kinsman meandered through the
girl’s murky mind-moors,
searching for her anguished heart. Before morning,
he would rip the hope from her core and smother it,
gorge on her tears; but he would find himself
quite surprised by night’s end.
Unguarded and distressed,
the youth trembled, knowing full well
evil tampered with her tenuous slumber. She
fought off the images the monster threw before
her unseeing eyes; her screams were locked within.
Her fragile hold on fantasy and reality were
being contested without her consent. Nightmare
struck randomly and aimlessly, and drove
deeper within her psyche; he mauled the
fortress of her mind, tore through her
delightful memories, bolted down anything
lovely, leaving her mind utterly devoid of joy.
Our young prisoner heard the wolves howling; the
dread of the night would leave her nothing.
Venturing deeper still, the dream-lord uncovered
the child’s true agony. He found himself
in a torrent swifter than anything
he had ever encountered in any living creature
God fashioned.

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