"A melancholy lull hung over the streets and it seemed that the pitiful buildings, hopelessly decrepit, timidly hinting at the impoverished and boring life lurking within their walls, had originated for nothing. People appeared from time to time and even they were walking slowly as though without motivation, as though they were barely succeeding in overcoming the somnolence that was inducing them to stillness. Only the children, those eternal, tireless vessels of God’s delight in the earth, were lively and ran and played. But sluggishness was even settling over them by now, and some faceless and invisible monster, nestling at their shoulder, peered from time to time with eyes full of menace into their faces which were suddenly growing listless."
- Fyodor Sologub, The Petty Demon