They are the cold and broken.

He can hear them all, rattling around in his brain, begging to slip out of the shadows and into the dim halo cast by the watery nightlight.

There's the Child; cold, frightened, hungry. He's begging -begging- please Mama; please. Don't hurt me. Don't…Please! Love me. Praise me. I'm only a child. His eyes are green; the brightest of green; burning like twin stars in the night. His hair is dark and long and tangled about his face, hiding the cuts and bruises. Hiding his pain, his fear, his fault.

She calls him pathetic, the Whore. The Whore is sultry and seductive, teasing. Her eyes are cruel; her words spiteful and her tongue talented. She knows what -who- she wants and when she wants it. She doesn't tolerate the Child. Look. There she is; her ass hanging out of her clothes, cleavage a bit much. Nothing left to the imagination with her.

The Misfit hates the Whore. But then, the Misfit hates every one. The Misfit has no gender; no name; no appearance. Stringy hair -it could be any color- empty eyes -who knows the shade?- featureless face, always shrouded in darkness. The Misfit is a martyr, a sinner, a saint. The Misfit knows the sins of the Whore and punishes itself. The Misfit strives to be human, but knows this is not possible.

The Homosexual tries to befriend the Misfit, but the Misfit will have none of that. It makes the Homosexual sad; he just wants to be loved and accepted. The Homosexual is beaten a lot, mostly by the Whore and the Sadist. The Whore also finds him pathetic and thusly feels he needs to learn a lesson. The Sadist, on the other hand, just can't help beating him. He is, after all, so pretty, so perfect. He deserves it just for being there and looking so beautiful.

The Sadist is cruel, but not without a heart. Secretly, the Sadist loves the Homosexual and this frightens him. It makes him angry; he doesn't understand these feelings. He acts out on them by beating the Homosexual and making him cry, then getting himself off while doing it. When the Homosexual bleeds, the Sadist thrills. He can't help it; it's how he shows his love. The Sadist is cruel to every one. But he doesn't see it that way.

The Spiritualist has warped views. She tells every one that God is dead. The Devil lurks around every corner. She believes in Salvation, Heaven, Hell. She currently feels that she resides in the Fifth Circle of Hell, forever drowning in Styx; forever trying to find Salvation. Who will save her? Who? Surely not God. He is here only to hurt the people He creates. The Spiritualist knows…

The Soul encompasses them all. They live inside, fighting for dominance. When the Soul switches off the overhead, crawls out of the bed to the corner and basks in the pale orange glow of the nightlight, the shadows come out to play. The Soul, you see, is never lonely. He has all of his twisted friends; all of the corners of his mind. They dance through the night lights, taunting, teasing, waltzing. The Soul watches, smile gracing his lips, never moving. It is surreal; the Child crying over the Whore's insults, the Sadist raping the Homosexual, the Spiritualist preaching all the while and, there, the Misfit ignoring them all.

As the first rays of morning sun dim the glow of the nightlight, they one by one kiss the Soul goodnight, settling in for their daytime slumber. They will be back to play again at bedtime, but the Soul misses them during the day. One by one, they slip away, caressing, whispering, voices lingering.

"We are the Children of the Night."