The beast howled at the door, a wooden barricade no match for the frenzy it threw from its parted lips. They shrank to the farthest corner, huddling from the nightmare into the arms of each other. The night drew on, seemingly unending under the torment of the thing outside. As a shriek broke from the house, just as they could take no more, silence fell. But the beast remained. A monster lurking in the darkness of the shadows, disguised by the unlit space. Only its breathing betrayed it. Sharp shallow intakes, a staccato song; a lullaby of nightmares.