Written for Poirot Cafe super short contest #4: Fear
Disclaimer: I do not own Detective Conan nor Magic Kaito(u)
Word Count: 824
Mare: (noun) A type of evil thought to sit on the chest of a sleeping person; also the feeling of suffocation felt during sleep; a nightmare.
Other: an evil preternatural being causing nightmares.
Nightmare: (noun) A frustrating or terrible experience.
-Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster definitions~
For most people (and some not), sleep was a very common way to get away from the world. An ideal way in which people could escape reality and take a break from everything stressful in life. Conan Edogawa, KID-killer, Mini-tantei, Child protege, Shōunen-taneidan leader, and on occasion- pipsqueak (Curtesy of both Mouri and Heiji), did not have such the luxury. And it showed.
His physically seven-year-old body was worn out; mental health no better. Black rings made appearances under his eyes, easily visible on his porcelain-like skin that seemed to stay a shallow and pale white instead of owning its once healthy glow. Even though hidden by black frames and a protective layer of glass, Conan's eyes were dull; a hazy azure as he struggled to keep open in class.
He was tired. And he was afraid because of it. And so, he worked his little body until it couldn't stand any longer, hoping if that he was tired enough, nothing would haunt him in his sleep.
Then again, when had Lady Luck ever favored him?
He screamed silently that night; an image engraved into his mind just as the bullet was engraved into on of his friends head. Red soaked the white roses and off came someone's head.
Running, running, running. A new pass time. A good pass time and he was the best on the Teitan Elementary track field. A little strange to have a track field for elementary schoolers but athletes seemed to be starting young nowadays. Coaches had big things in mind for their new star, but the mini-tantei had no care in the world for their ideas. But only to evade sleep even just for a little longer.
Nightmares haunted only when the mind can comprehend the word fear. Conan would not give it such an opening. So he ran and ran. And when he could run no more on his too small legs, he stopped.
Coffee was the next step. The next step of staying awake. Caffeine helped when he was a teenager, so why not now? And it did help despite the rings under his eyes becoming darker and darker each passing hour. He concealed them from Ran.
Knowing two master disguise artists was becoming a useful thing.
"Ah, Conan-kun!" Ayami scolded as the boy tripped ungracefully over a rock. "Be careful." The bespectacled boy nodded hesitantly, doing a quick once-over for injuries before gradually getting back up, careful not to collapse. He was getting dizzy.
The running and caffeine seemed to be wearing off the more times he decided to use it and the method itself was running dry. Nightmares still plagued him and he had nothing to distract his mind from the word fear. When the topic was brought up in an innocent chirp that told his caretaker/guardian Ran that he simply needed something to distract him, the girl wisely handed him a card.
"Ara~ Tantei-kun, you're not on game tonight." KID purred that night and Conan was thankful for the freezing chill in the air that numbed his body; momentarily making him forget that he was drop-dead exhausted. The thief tossed the gem up and down in thought as he noticed traces of concealer under the boys eyes. "Are you not sleeping?"
The detective walked away, averting his eyes from the thief and leaving the jewel be. KID wouldn't help him stay awake, if anything, he'd put him to sleep. Conan refused to go to sleep until his mind wasn't as active (If it was active, he could still dream).
Walking out of the museum, Nakamori-keibu shouted muffled obscurities after the boy, demanding to know where the gem was and something else he just couldn't quite catch.
The glasses and concealer were no longer working and Ran was starting to worry. Shinichi hadn't called and Conan was being too quiet and clumsy. Ran was starting to worry about the both of them.
Conan began calculating his sleep. Roughly 3 hours every 3-4 days. At least half of that time was stalked by horrifying dreams and terrible thoughts. Dreams, Conan scoffed. Could such a thing be called that? Could such a terrible thing; bodies burning, people being beheaded, buildings collapsing and exploding, knives plunging, kids drowning, and one terrifying silver bullet to his brain be called a dream.
Conan feared that perhaps that dre -No, nightmare- could become a reality. If he was scared of anything, he was scared of that. Fear was a terrible thing. Easily found and manipulative at nature. Mares manipulated his nights and only a soul can pray for peace of mind.
"And to nightmares we see because dreams can haunt in the most ghastly ways."
This was really weird to write... I mean, I went and totally did a different style to add breaks... Well, I'd appreciate a review to see if it's okay :) I really hope you guys enjoyed reading this!