It is in the dark, in the sunless hours when you slumber sleeplessly and shadows play in the starlight, that my kind awaken.

We slither into existence, scrape ourselves from blackness and form together into things that reside in an unwatched house. Black wings, torn and leathery, flex across my supple grey frame; but we are all different, all warped things of the midnight oils, creatures born from darkness, and born of your desperation, your fear.

You shake and shudder when we are created. You twist in your bed fitfully as we are torn into being. You hear the shuddering creak of your universe pulling us into existence, the twitching hum of nature objecting to our creation. You fear every sound we make as we waken and live in your darkness.

But the sound you fear most is the bump. The fell bump in the night, the sound of trespass and burgeoning danger. Do you know why? Do you even understand your ancient fear of the bump in the night?

We are not your enemies. We do not slither into reality to take from you, to drink your dreams or steal your soul. We are creatures of unreality, we have no desire to take or destroy; we are born to protect you, and we die fulfilling our duty.

You think you are afraid of sounds in the dark, but that is not the case. Imagine a darkness with no sound. No noise. No warning. In that, lies true terror. You are right to fear when the lights go out and the sun descends, but you have forgotten the reason why. There are things that hunger for you in the night; awful, old beings that stalk when your shadow meets all others. They are not unreal; you do not pull them into creation. They are things older than you; darker than your darkest hours, and desperate to reclaim the specks of light you hold behind your eyes. They will consume all of you, and leave something far fouler in your place. They are the things you should fear.

That is why you pull me and my kind into existence. Your dread: your primordial, existential horror that you have forgotten you even feel, it rips us into being and we fight back against the hungering things. We are scraped into life, and give our lives such that you may still live.

And when we die? That is when we go bump; when our twisted bodies fall to the ground and melt back into nothingness. That is why you fear the bump in the night, why you must always fear the bump in the night. I will die tonight, and when I go bump you must fear the darker silence, and your fear will bring more of us into being, such that the fight for your light may continue until dawn comes and the silent things are exiled to shadow once more.