Something like this happens. Unexplained silences, the sudden disappearance. Without a word, without a warning. Existences disappear in this world every day. In the city where they live, everybody is afraid to sleep. Scared that one day when they wake up, another loved one would be discovered to have been taken from their midst.
Whenever I close my eyes I am reminded of that fear. That sickening feeling of being unable to sleep in peace, to dream about my real dreams instead of vague nightmares of mist that grab at your ankles with clammy fingers and darkness that grabs your heart and squeezes it between its sinister hands. I would always wake up gasping for breath, clutching at my chest to confirm through the frantic drumming it makes against my rib cage that my heart was still there. Still fighting for life. Still proving my existence counts.
The people never knew why it always happened in their sleep. Some say the creatures that come in the night fear the laughter of children and the scent of warm sunlight, or maybe it was the sound of blades of grass pushing through the earth for nourishment. But no one ever died of a sickness or an accident or a calamity. It always happened at night. In their sleep. Old or young, sick or perfectly healthy, it would always happen at the dead of night.
Never has a figure of speech fit so well.