Dream's light was long gone,
That lit up her tired mind,
Nightmare's mocking voice,
No longer a whisper in her ear.

All that was left was Indifference,
Curled around her like a wall,
An immovable force,
Letting nothing through.

She was an endless winter, nothing left but the cold,
Her eyes muted gray in the darkness,
A shell of the person she once had been,
A voice without inflection.

None had broken through the wall,
And long ago all had stopped trying,
But the girl felt nothing akin to surprise,
When she heard footsteps in the dark.

Indifference barely stirred,
There was no threat to this creature,
For it could only be defeated from the inside,
By a girl now little more than a husk.

The newcomer came to a stop,
Just before the vile creature,
And called out to the girl with a voice
like a fond memory she couldn't recall.

"Why have you done this to yourself?"
The newcomer asked,
His voice was somber and sad,
Something she had grown unfamiliar with.

"I only asked for peace," she whispered,
Her voice like a pull string doll's
"I am no longer taunted by Dreams,
Nor am I plagued by Nightmares."

"But do you not realize what you have lost?"
The boy's question reached her through a haze.
He did not try to go through the beast as the others,
But clambered its scaly hide to where she was hidden.

The girl watched him with cautious eyes,
The boy regarded her with tears in his own,
They watched each other,
Each waiting for the other to break the silence.

"I have lost nothing that I wanted,"
The girl finally said, "How are you here?"
Her eyes downcast and her body pulled together,
Trying to shield her from the stranger.

"This beast you have created can't stop me,"
He reached for her but she pulled back,
"I have always been with you,
But you darkened my path and pushed me away."

"I have no need for you,"
She hissed with darkness in her gaze,
"I only need Indifference,
You should go away as the others have done."

The boy considered her with kind eyes,
His soft gaze was a knife in her side,
"You may choke off your Dreams if you try,
And you can banish your Nightmares from existence."

"You have thrown away happiness,
Torn your sadness from your soul,
You have ripped up your being until little is left,
My poor little rag doll look at what you have done to yourself!"

She stared at him with empty eyes ,
Her hands trembled like leaves in the fall,
Indifference began to stir at his words,
like unsettling notes breaking the silence she was accustomed to.

"I am the scrap of Hope that you have denied yourself,
But try as you might you can't send me away,"
She hid her face, he seemed to bright to look at,
"Because part of you still wishes for me."

He radiated heat like a summer day,
And it burned her winter skin,
"You are a liar like Dream," she screamed at him,
"You want only to cause me hurt and despair!"

She felt a wetness in her eyes,
A salt water drop rolled down her face,
Like a wave from the sea.
"What are you doing to me?" She whimpered.

He looked down at her with pity,
"It doesn't always have to hurt,
I can show you the joy you dismissed."
He reached for her hand but she only screamed.

Indifference roared like thunder,
Towering in its awful height and power,
She had fed it well and it was strong,
But despite this it could not lay a hand on the boy.

"You will not win that way,"
The boy gave it a mocking smile,
"It would take more than you to devour me,
I am different from the Hope that Dream brings."

"How can you act as you don't know me?"
His voice cut through the noise,
His soft words a warm breeze on her skin,
"I am what keeps you alive."

"I don't want your pain anymore,"
She whimpered in defeat,
Curled amongst the shattered pieces of her life,
She hid her face as the tears streamed down her cheeks.

"I'll take pain, if you'll let me," he held out his hand,
A lifeline in the destruction she had caused,
"I'll protect you through caring and warmth,
And take away the snowy winter in your heart."

With tear filled eyes and something like fear,
She reached up and took his hand in hers,
What she thought was burning her was truly healing,
Hope pulled her to him and sheltered her from the beast's rage.

With the girl in his arms he slew Indifference,
It crumbled to the ground with a cry,
The power she had fed it sloughed away,
Like snow melting in the warmth of the sun.

A dim light lit her mind, barely a candlelight flicker,
"Your Dreams are not lies," Hope whispered in her ear,
"They only mean to comfort and give joy,"
He cradled the light in one hand.

A small dark creature was curled at her feet,
Its eyes small flames, and fur as dark as the night,
"Nightmares can be scary sometimes,"
He told her, "But Fear also protects."

He took her hand, with Dream leading the way,
They left the dark place in her mind with Nightmare and Dream,
"Even if you forsake me I won't let you go,
Because there is never a place without Hope."