Midnight, and the ghosts come alive.

I don't live by a cemetery. I don't call them to me. I don't even want them near. But no matter how loudly I scream or how hard I clap my hands over my ears; no matter how many tears stream from my eyes, they come.

Midnight, and I can't sleep.

No matter what bed is beneath me, once they appear my eyes snap open and nothing is comfort. I feel not my pillow. I feel not my blankets. The ghosts, they set my blood on fire, boil it in my veins. The ghosts, they shoot ice through my body, freeze me where I lay. I am locked with my hands over my ears. I am locked within my screams.

Midnight, and my head pounds.

Blood pulses against my fingertips, and I press harder but that is all I feel: blood racing through me, slamming, slamming, slamming my insides. The ghosts want to kill me that way. They want me to become one of them. But I can't, and they don't understand. They never understand.

Midnight, and the candle falls.

It shatters to the ground, but doesn't snuff. The ghosts curl from the shadows and dance around the flame, and grow the flame, and send it to burn the floor around my feet. The scorch marks give them pleasure. To see me shiver and shrink from the fire makes them smile. Blood would drip from their teeth, but they have no blood. And so they want mine.

Midnight, and I want to die.

Every night I want to die. For years I have been dead inside. What use is a smile if it does no good when the moon comes out? So I do not smile, and I do not laugh, and when I can I leave my house, and I run, and I run, and I run. Yet every midnight, I wake in the same bed. I wake to the same ghosts. I wake to the same helplessness. Fear. Pain. I know what they want.

Midnight, and the ghosts want me to listen.

Midnight, and I cannot.

Midnight, and I was born deaf.

Midnight, and I suffer.