Internal ArgumentMature

Tobias and Danielle shared an uncomfortable silence for several minutes, but the awkward lack of eye contact was not present due to the lack of light. What light the candle on the floor was producing was slowly fading away as the wax melted down to the small metal disc upon which it was fixed.

It had already burned half way, and now as the wax spilled on to the floor, the small section of the room that was being illuminated almost looked picturesque. The candle and the wooden floor covered in wax. It soothed Tobias mind for a moment, until he was rudely interrupted.

‘What did he say to you?’ Danielle asked, hoping that Tobias had received some information she had not. Tobias on the other hand assumed that Danielle had received the same well prepared speech from their captor, and was equally if not more clued in about the Dark man and his plans and intentions.

‘Probably the same things he said to you. He wants to help us.’

Tobias used his fingers to put the word ‘help’ in inverted commas, but it seemed futile, as the dark made his hands invisible even to himself, let alone Danielle, who was sat on the other side of the room to him.

‘Help us?’

‘Yes. Didn’t he talk to you?’ Tobias was surprised. The revelation that the Dark man wasn’t vain enough to simply want the title of the Last of the Gifted was shocking enough, but to know that he wasn’t the type of person to prepare a speech for a single use made him seem a lot more… Tobias thought long and hard about the word he wanted to use, but only one came to mind. Human.

‘What did he say to you?’ Danielle asked again, more eager this time, now knowing that Tobias was aware of something that she herself wasn’t.

Tobias thought long and hard about how he would phrase the information he was about to relay. The more he thought about it, the more schizophrenic he considered himself to be. Although for the last several days he had been encouraged to hate the Dark man and what he did, the reasoning behind the murders he committed was not all that outrageous. He wanted to convey the twisted logic to Danielle, but also wanted to ensure that she knew where his allegiance mostly lay – with her and the Voices.

‘He wants to help us.’ There were no inverted commas this time. ‘He said that we didn’t have a choice.’

‘Too right we didn’t have a bloody choice. He kidnapped us and has us locked in this room. I’ve been here for more than a day, and no doubt he’s going to come in a minute and kill one of us. That’s what he does!’

‘But he does it because he’s right!’ Tobias blurted the words out.

‘What?! Wait, no. No, no no!’ Tobias could just make out Danielle getting to her feet and taking a violent step in his direction. ‘You’re not seriously telling me that what he told you – the reasons he’s killing all these people, kidnapped us, all of that crap – you’re not telling me that he’s right and you believe what he’s said?!’

‘No, that’s not it,’ Tobias said, scurrying further back towards the wall, scared of this new tone of voice Danielle was using. The ‘are you stupid’ voice intimidated and patronised Tobias, and he didn’t like it.

‘You seriously think he wants to help us? I know you’re young, Tobias, and obviously you’re naïve about these things, but you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!’

The rude language coupled with the tone of voice really unnerved Tobias now. Why was Danielle being so outrageously angry and aggressive? They were in this together, and she wasn’t even giving Tobias a chance to speak. She was asking him what the Dark man said, and now she wasn’t giving him a chance to answer.

‘I don’t think he’s right!’ Tobias suddenly caught himself. He did think that Dark man was right.

The Dark is not right.

Before Danielle could speak and interrupt him again, Tobias continued.

‘The Dark man is right. We were never given a chance, were we?'

The Dark is not right.

‘What the hell are you talking about, Tobias?! He’s not right! He’s…’

The Dark is not right.

‘But we weren’t. They came to us early, and you yourself said…’

The Dark is not right.

‘I don’t expect you to understand, you’re just a stupid kid!’

The Dark is not right.

‘You yourself said that we can never get rid of the Voices in our heads!’

The Dark is not right.

‘But they’re a good thing! There a conscience!’

The Dark is not right.

‘But they’re here forever. Maybe they are a good…’

The Dark is not right.

‘You know nothing about the Voices. Only what I’ve told you!’

The Dark is not right.

‘They are a good thing, but in principle…’

The Dark is not right.

‘In principle we never had a choice.’

The Dark is not right.

Danielle remained silent.

The Dark is not right.

Tobias remained silent.

The Dark is not right.

The Voices were getting louder. Shrieking, high pitched nails on a chalk board.

The Dark is not right.

‘Danielle, we never had…’

The Dark is not right.

The Voices cut him off.

‘Never had a choice in this…’

The Dark is not right.

‘But he’s murdering people!’ Danielle was crying. Tobias could sense it in her voice. The quiet wavering tone that was uncontrollable, despite how much she tried to hide it.

The Dark is not right.

Tobias tried desperately to block out the Voices and their constant comment. The more and more Tobias heard the same words, the more and more they dissuaded him against their own argument. The Dark man was right. Never had Tobias or Danielle or the man in the papers or the Dark man or any other Gifted individual had a choice. The Voices had found their people, and used them, regardless of their own wants or needs for the conscience the Voices became.

‘I know he is.’

The Dark is not right.

‘The Dark is not right.’ Danielle could obviously hear the screams of the Voices too, all of them desperate to overpower the resistance they faced.

‘The Dark is right,’ Tobias dared to say. He braced for an interruption from the Voices. ‘But what he’s doing is wrong.’

‘The Dark is right,’ Danielle repeated, almost autonomously, ‘but what he’s doing is wrong.’

Silence rang through the room, rang through Danielle’s ears, rang through Tobias’ mind. The argument was over.

The Dark is right. What it’s doing is wrong.

The Voices were changing. Changing for Tobias.

The End

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