The quiet things are the most dangerous, the ones that live between the moments when the night stills and the breath slows. They’re the ones you don’t see coming. If you pause, sometimes you can sense them. When you are alone. When midnight swallows the noise. When your heartbeat and the darkness meld. That shadow out of place, off rhythm, a small shift underneath the world.
Just a shiver on your skin as the clock ticks, ticks, down. But they’re watching you, in the folds beyond the shadows, eyes bright and silent. They are patient and still, hidden by the bustle of days, enfolded into the hush we never hear. A slithering river of the things we fear, shunned and shunted out of sight, out of mind, but never quite forgotten. The cracks in the veneer of civility, the bogeymen, the striga; the looming unknown we pretend isn’t there.
But they exist, skulking below reality.
They are the breath of night winding past midnight in every terror we’ve been told as children, the tales that crawled down our minds, crowded out by responsibility and maturity. They hide in our ignorance and disbelief, while we disregard their presence.
Until one day we turn around and see them.
The quiet monsters.
That’s when it’s too late.
~ A. F. Stewart
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