Wake up.

‘I’m dead.’

You’re not dead.

‘I’m dead, I died in the fire.’

The Voices returned to Tobias, now when he did not have any need of them. They had a habit of doing that. Tobias couldn’t be rid of them when they were talking when he didn’t need them, but when the moment came at which Tobias felt lonely or afraid or in need of help – and he could think of many of these instances over the last few days – they remained silent.

You’re not dead.

The mesh of Voices seemed all the more clear to Tobias, as he dared not open his eyes, but felt himself breathing and living. Maybe he had not died in the fire, maybe he was alive. Where was he now. He didn’t open his eyes.

‘Where am I?’


A familiar voice. Not from his mind, but from another human being. His mother. His mother!

Tobias let fear fall away as he opened his eyes, instantly setting his sights upon his mother, standing over his bed. She looked dreadful, like she hadn’t slept or eaten in days, and yet she was the most fantastic thing Tobias had ever seen. He had thought himself to have died, and rightfully he should have. The explosion from the oxygen rushing into the room would have killed him. Should have killed him. Tobias didn’t know how he was alive, but he didn’t care, for he was.

‘Mum, is that really you?’

‘Yes, yes I’m here. Your father’s just outside talking to a doctor. How are you feeling?’

You’re not dead.

The Voices sounded like they were talking to him with a hint of humour, but Tobias ignored it.

‘Alive,’ he answered.

For no apparent reason, Tobias’ mother suddenly burst into tears, which Tobias put down to lack of sleep and happiness for her son’s life.

‘I’ll go and get a doctor,’ she said, obviously using it as an excuse to go and clean herself up.

Tobias didn’t answer, but instead nodded. The moment the door shut behind his mother, the Voices returned.

He lives. And so do you.

‘What? Huh?’

Tobias didn’t feel he had the strength to talk and put up with the Voices’ riddles, but he was intrigued nonetheless, despite feeling absolutely groggy.

The Dark lives.

‘I don’t care. I don’t care… So do I, and…’ Tobias stopped as he suddenly thought back to the incident with Danielle. ‘What about Danielle? Did they get her out?’

The Dark lives.

Tobias couldn’t believe it. Had Danielle really burnt alive in the fire? She must have been rescued.

The Dark lives.

All Tobias could hear were the Voices, repeating themselves endlessly, the same three words that sapped all hope from Tobias. Danielle couldn’t be dead.

The Dark lives.

The Voices, they seemed to embody every voice Tobias could imagine. Men, women, children, everybody.

The Dark lives.

‘Where is Danielle?’

The Dark lives.

‘Where is Danielle?!’

Silence filled the room.

I’m here.

The End.

The End

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