When little Simon closed his eyes, it was not the world that went dark. All the things he put far, far away would come out of hiding at night, as he lay his head to dream. All his fears manifest, he would whimper through the night, to the worry of his loving mother, crooning over his sweating, shivering bones.
“Dear me, we must find a way to put those bad things farther away, my little love.”
And what other way was there, he pondered as the days became more weary, as the sleep became less a refuge of rest, and more a prison of torture. So he decided one day that he would go no longer into the trap of his nightmares. He simply would not sleep, and sleepless he remained for day upon day, grown to weeks, then months, then years. No more terrors, no more panic, and his mother decided it was good.
Four years he held the fear at bay, until one evening as he wiped the soap from his sunken face. As he set his cloth to dry, little Simon glanced to the mirror and froze. There, staring back from his reflection, was the stuff of his nightmares laid bare before him. The darkness crept, dry and cracking, from his crimson eyes, scratching at the buffed skin of his cheeks and brow. He watched in horror as it pulsed through his veins, working down his ivory skin, seeping its way into his heart.
She found him stiff upon the floor, staring with those ever-open eyes into the darkness he had run from for so long. Her fingers curled around her little Simon, and she sat with him, slowly dripping upon him her tears of ink, in mourning and in envy.