Tendrils Of The Soul

Edward Newton

Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.”

In a very dark room, Edward Newton sits beneath a swinging lightbulb. He leans across a wooden desk in front of him, peering into the camera as it closes in on his wretched face. Newton grins, tilting his head slightly.

“In the very fabric of every single living thing, interwoven into our skin, blood and bone, lies a force tethered to the tendrils of our soul. It cannot be seen and it cannot be felt. It cannot be heard, and it cannot be smelt. It lies behind the stars, under the hills and inside empty holes it fills. It comes first and follows after, it ends life and kills laughter. Riddle me this, Mr. Doubt, what could I possibly be?”

He shrugs.

“They say that a simple man once resided under the blood red hood of Doubt. But men are never simple. They are complex creatures with passions and desires; with emotions. Men in their cognizance, often seek to fulfil such things. Only some plunge into the depths of their souls and lose themselves within. Once those tendrils wrap around this, it is almost impossible to escape. So, what am I, Mr. Doubt?”

Edward sits back in the chair and clicks his fingers, turning off the light.

I am Darkness.

In the pitch black, we cannot see him.

“Under your mask, within your heart and leaking from every wound on your fractured frame is a force that resides within every living creature; darkness. Wherever the light goes, it thinks it travels faster than anything, but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds that darkness has always gotten there first and is awaiting its arrival. Yet without light, darkness cannot be defined. You are defined by what you once were, emotion. The tendrils of your soul have wrapped around darkness and squeezed from it every ounce of light until there is but nothing left. However, without that light having once existed in the embrace of your tendrils, you could not have become it.”

“Now you remain, forever trapped inside the darkness. You cannot see an escape from the monster within; Jonathon is dead and only Doubt remains. Yet when faced with the wanting eyes of your sister, you seem… uncertain. Could it be that she is the light to drive back your darkness? Could it be that the thing beneath the mask is but a man, consumed by the pitch black of his soul?”

Newton laughs, but we still cannot see.

“You have endured the darkness, but it is time to show you the light. It is time to drive back the pitch black and unwrap those tendrils from its warm and fierce embrace. This Monday Night, I don’t doubt what I will see before me. Because in the most exemplary of men, there is darkness. It exists within each and every single one of us, a source of untapped merciless suffering. It will consume you if you allow it and it can be fought back, if you desire it enough. Or, in the most extreme of circumstances, one with light can pierce your dim veil and invade your darkened soul.”

Light suddenly starts piercing through the darkness, protruding from Edward himself.

“Do not doubt that I am the light and do not doubt that within my soul, there too is darkness. The difference between us, Mr. Doubt? It is that I have always been in control.”

Fully illuminated, we can see his terrible smile.

“And that will be your teachable moment.”