Monsters dancing

Demons ranting

Sleep is coming

Death is taunting

The figure was curled up in a ball, breaths hitching. Half-lidded eyes were clouded with panic as the pale child scanned the darkened room for movement. Drowsily knotting his eyebrows together, he called out, "Dragon?"

Shivering as he sat up, the child, aged approximately eight years, whimpered again, "Dragon? Dragon, where are you?"

That was it; he had to get off the bed. Frail limbs caught hold of the piles of sheets in an attempt to steady himself as the petite boy slid onto the red carpet, and he straightened. Frightened eyes now fully open, the child made slow progress to the door, cautiously scanning the shadows for monsters.

He hoped Dragon was awake.

Starlight dancing

Midnight glowing

Hell's light showing

Where your soul's going

The teenage boy was glaring at a book ("CURSE YOU, CALCULUS!") when the door creaked open. Eyes widening in surprise, he dropped the pencil he was chewing and said, "Gabe? What're you doing out of bed?"

The small boy hid his face in the door, and mumbled, "Can't sleep."

Drake sighed. This had been happening nightly since his father had adopted the poor kid. Getting up, and smiling warmly, he took the delicate boy in his arms. "Another nightmare?"

"Uh-huh."

"About your daddy?"

No one could understand why the poor boy's father had died. The killer was initially assumed (by the team's most paranoid investigators) to be the child who had been found near the corpse, but who could accuse the little guy after the child had woken up and gone into shock? Trauma therapy and countless counsellors couldn't get the nightmares out of Gabriel Damon's mind, even after months had passed and the orphan (whose parents had died when he was six, and whose adoptive father had died that fateful night) had been adopted by Drake's father.

Gabe's small voice choked out, "Yuh-huh. I think daddy hates me."

Startled, Drake looked at the child, and mumbled, "Why?"

"'Cause I said goodnight and put him to sleep."

What?! ...was that part of his nightmare, or something? Lifting the practically weightless boy out of his room, Drake said, "That's not true. Your daddy would never hate you."

Burying his face into the teen's neck, he mumbled, "Really? No matter what I did?"

"No matter what you did," Drake said firmly, carrying the boy back to his own room.

"What about you, Dragon? Would you love me, no matter what I did?"

"Of course, Gabe," the teen assured the child soothingly, laying him down on the messy sheets. The child furrowed his brows pensively.

"No matter what I did..." he murmured, and Drake didn't hear the icy steel in the child's voice.

Sleep eternal

Ends infernal

Love fraternal

Crimes internal

"Dragon," the child whispered.

The dead male didn't move. The house had long since burned down. Wrapping his arms around him, the small boy mumbled, "You still love me, right, Dragon?"

"Cause you said you'd love me forever, no matter what I did."

"Mama and papa loved me, but they went to sleep in the fire. The monsters didn't love me, they just touched me..."his voice dropped to a strangled whisper, "they touched me and hit me, and they kept us all alone and it was dark, so dark...even darker than it is under my bed..."

"...Father loved me. He found me after I got away from the monsters. But I put him to sleep and he won't ever wake up again."

Delicate hands ghosted over the rigid face, eyed dulled by death. "And you love me. But now you're asleep, Dragon. Asleep like Father and mama and papa."

Lips pressed to too-cold skin, and the boy ran shivering fingers over the knife sticking out of the teenager's chest.

"Good night, Dragon. I love you."

Blood spilt needless

Crimes unheeded

Madness needed

Sanity receded

The populace was shocked by yet another brutal murder.

The only survivor, Gabriel Damon, was immediately put into care, therapy, questioning and counselling.

He was adopted.

And every night, the child would sing himself to sleep.

And bleed and bleed and bleed.