Sweeping through the night, the shadows of defeat and fear moved silently from place to place, seeking the defenseless, the carelessly covered, the unguarded. They poked and prodded at each sleeping form, nudging here and there, hungry for a bit to jostle loose, a scruple to fall, a dream to collapse. They slipped unseen into the darkest places of rest … sometimes sifting through the jumble, greedily devouring the hope found there, moving on past those shapes already empty of light.
Their rest marred by the intrusion, some sleepers tossed and turned, the spirits scattering with their still-drowsy murmuring protests. Others slept peacefully on, oblivious to the thieves robbing them of tomorrow’s promise, feeling nothing more than a slight chill upon awakening.
And in the dawn of a new day, the shadows retreated into the mist to wait for the darkness.