Two StrangersMature

The Dark is wrong. The Dark has always been wrong. He means to kill you.

‘No doubt right now they’re telling you I’m wrong. The Voices try to scratch their way in in any way then can. They don’t care about you at all! They never gave you a choice. They never gave you a chance.’

The Dark man seemed to have returned to his hollow self. The tears had run dry, and although he was talking and repeating himself again and again, Tobias tried his hardest to block out both the words of the Dark man and the Voices.

He was trying so desperately to win Tobias over to his way of thinking.

They were trying so desperately to keep Tobias sane and in their favour.

He was well and truly torn.

A long silence followed the argument. The argument between the Dark man and the Voices. The argument they were unable to have with each other, but the argument which they both expected Tobias to play a part in. The part of the middle man. However, now, the Dark man had seemed to give up his lecture. The protests for freedom had been subdued. Now silence reigned once more.

Tobias slowly tuned in to what the Dark man now proceeded to say.

‘I don’t want to kill you. I don’t have to kill you. If you make the choice yourself, then you don’t have to die tonight. You can chose the right path and make a break for freedom, or you can continue blindly down the road to ignorance and torment. If what I have said already doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.’

Tobias’ heart lept as the Dark man stumbled to his feet, making his way for a door which was only now noticeable. As he unbolted it from the inside, Tobias felt a hot stream of bright light bounce onto his face, before the Dark man left his dark room, into wherever lay beyond. The light disappeared and the room returned to darkness. The only light that remained was the dim glow of the candle, which now seemed inadequate compared to the small amount of light that had just been unleashed. Tobias got to his feet, ignoring the Voices and their continuing efforts to persuade him to remain on their side, and headed purposefully to the door. However, his swift march of about three steps was firmly halted by the door in front of him.

Coming to an abrupt stop in front of it, Tobias rested his hands on the cold wood. It was old, and seemed like it could fall apart at any minutes, and yet despite Tobias’ prediction that there would be cracks and chips, it was not letting in a single microscopic grain of light.

Tracing his hand down to the handle which the Dark man had been touching only seconds before, Tobias pulled the bolt sharply across and tugged down on the cold handle, in the hope that the Dark man would underestimate Tobias’ inclination to escape. However, the door must have been locked from the other side, as there was no movement as Tobias slammed his shoulder loudly against the wood, the sound echoing slowly through the room.

As if by sixth sense, Tobias suddenly felt the urge to turn around. To his surprise, he spotted movement in the darkness, and was immediately alarmed, despite knowing exactly who was lying there and that they posed no threat whatsoever.

Tobias could just about make out Danielle’s eyes as they slowly opened, blind in the darkness. For a moment Tobias thought she would remain calm, maybe a little dazed, as he had been when he had woken up, but to his surprise, Danielle flinched and lashed out with her arms, obviously in the hope of striking her captor. She had no such luck.

‘Get away from me you sick freak!’

Danielle almost forced the words out, and they didn’t sound like something she would say. Her voice didn’t even sound like her own, and yet it was painfully obvious that it was. She was scared, and it changed her into a nervous and violent stranger. No doubt it did the same to Tobias, or any other human being who was trapped in a corner like this, but Tobias was still surprised, and had never witnessed this level of intense fear.

‘Danielle, it’s Tobias.’

Danielle suddenly fell into an abrupt silence, and then moaned slowly and painfully, slowly developing the moan into a sharp but loud scream.

‘What the hell are you doing here? He found you, didn’t he?’

‘He kidnapped me, and now one of us is going to die.’

Like so many other times today, Tobias instantly regretted opening his mouth. He was obviously not comfortable nor very good at these types of unpredictable situations, and as a result he said things that were either very blunt or very inappropriate, for his own sake.

Tobias held his head in his hands, ashamed of himself for falling into this trap, and angry that he was able to even for a second believe that the Dark man could be a good person doing bad things. Because that had been the image revolving around his mind. The Dark man was fighting for the right cause, but fighting in the wrong way. He wanted freedom, but to not offer others the same thing he himself was fighting for was not the right way to achieve his goal. He was killing in the name of freedom, but it was still not the right thing to do.

A person that could do this to a young boy and a young woman – no matter what his reasons were – should not be allowed to be on this planet. No doubt he was out now trying to kill another one. As Tobias thought it, more as a little joke than anything else, it became an actual possibility. Right now, somebody could be fighting for their life. It would have been hard to track them down in such a short space of time, but the Dark man seriously could be hunting for somebody right now, intent on killing them for a ‘crime’ that was no fault of their own.

He was a monster, the Dark man, a monster. The Voices didn’t need to tell Tobias that for him to get it through to his mind.

The Dark is wrong. The Dark has always been wrong. He means to kill you.

Maybe the Dark man didn’t originally intend to kill Tobias. Maybe, as he said, he did just want to use him for information, and he did want to help him fight the Voices, but whatever the reason for taking both Tobias and Danielle, the outcome would still be the same. They’d both end up dead due to disobedience.

Maybe not at the same time. Maybe Danielle first then Tobias later. Maybe Tobias first then Danielle later. But either way, they would both die.

As he was thinking about the fate they shared, Tobias and his best friend, Danielle seemed to be sharing not only his fate, but his thoughts. She said something familiar, and it brought a smile to his face.

‘Shit.’

She paused for a second, realising once more that this was not appropriate in front of a minor.

‘Sorry.’

Tobias accepted the apology, excusing the sudden vulgarity. Again.

The End

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