Guiltless

On the 11th of January 1937 Johnathon Ignes is born. He is a suitable weight, in good health...but different from all the other babies in the ward, because he is born immune to guilt. 2 years and 235 days later, worldwide war breaks out.
Sent away as an evacuee, Johnathon grows up away from his mother, and meets Erebus, a cheeky paperboy. Erebus too, has no guilt, and under his influence, Johnathon grows up into a monster.
This is the story of how that monster, became a leader.
- The prequel to 'Souls' (but will make sense if you haven't read it) -

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2. Chapter 1

In the first two years of his life, Johnathon was raised by his parents, Margret and Lenard Ignes. When war was declared on the 3rd of September 1939, Lenard was called out to fight, and he left home two days later on the 5th. 11 days after that, Margret and Johnathon said their goodbyes, as he left London as an evacuee.

16th September 1939:

“Right this way lad, I’ll show you to your seat” the friendly porter lead Johnathon through the dismal train carriage. Johnathon kept his head down whilst he walked, hiding his damp cheeks from the other passengers, he hadn’t enjoyed parting with his mother.

“Now you be a good boy Johnathon” she told him, straightening his coat.

“Good?” Johnathon had checked, he was often called a ‘good boy’.

“Yes. Be a good boy. Will you do that for me?” She nervously fiddled around with his buttons etc as she spoke.

“I can try” Johnathon promised. His mother encased him in a warm hug, and Johnathon sunk in to her clothing, inhaling her scent…then it broke. A porter took Johnathon’s hand, and tugged him away from his mother, who tried not to let her son see her cry. However Johnathon did see, and started to bawl himself. The porter lifted him up onto the carriage, taking his bag, and pacing him forward.

“You sit here, next to this boy, you’re both going to the same house” the porter placed his bags above him, and gave him a light shove forward. Instead of taking the seat next to the other child, Johnathon sat opposite.

Soon after the porter left him, the engines thundered, and the train began to move. Johnathon looked out of the window, he wasn’t one to admire nature, but two year old curiosity did entice him into gazing at the scenes that whizzed past his eyes.

“I’m Peter, Peter Groper” the boy sat opposite interrupted his thoughts. Johnathon turned reluctantly to look at him, “What’s your name?”

“Johnathon” Johnathon stated simply, his tone blunt.

“How old are you Johnathon? I’ll be 5 this month” Peter tried to make more conversation.

“Two” Johnathon kept his reply to one single word.

“I wonder what sort of house they’ll take us too, I hope they’re nice people…with a big garden! That way I’ll have lots of space to play in. Do you like to play Johnathon?” Peter kept gabbling on and on.

“Sometimes” Johnathon looked down at his feet, remembering the games his mother used to play with him.

“What sort?” Peter tried to get a more detailed answer.

“Fun games” Johnathon decided. Peter opened his mouth to ask another question, when Johnathon shot him a glare, causing him to change his mind. Johnathon had the most beautiful green eyes, which held the ability to be calming or alarming at any given point in time, and could switch between either of them in a millisecond. Peter got the unspoken message, and sat back in his seat.

For the remaining duration of the journey, Johnathon kept his eyes on the window. At some points he might have fallen asleep, after all it was a five hour ride and he had been up since the early hours of the morning. Peter didn’t utter another word throughout the entire time either, which was an added bonus for Johnathon, who had taken a minor disliking to his perky character.

When the train pulled up in Hexham, Johnathon was in fact asleep, and was abruptly woken up by the sound of the other children excitedly rushing to a window, and jumping up to try and reach their luggage. Johnathon just sighed, and waited for a porter to reach there carriage.

“Alright alright, settle down” the porter stormed through the rowdy crowd, “Sit back down, and we’ll get you all off in due time”. The children did as they were told, twiddling their fingers excitedly whilst they waited. Johnathon on the other hand, was considering going back to sleep. When the porter reached him and Peter, he got their bags down for them, and took them to the exit, where another porter helped them off the train.

Once off, Johnathon didn’t wait for another adult to help him with his bag, and effortlessly picked it up himself. Peter looked at him in awe.

“Your bag must me a lot lighter than mine” he sighed, “I can’t lift my own luggage like you can”. Johnathon rolled his eyes, and took Peter’s bag in his other hand. “How did you do that?” Peter snatched it from him, “You’re weird” he snarled, keeping his distance. Johnathon just shrugged, not bothered by his insult. He’d always been stronger than other boys, and he never thought anything much of it, if Peter found it odd, he could stay away, Johnathon would have actually preferred for him to stay away anyway.

“You must be the two little sweethearts from London” a lady approached them both, “My name is Mrs Dew, but you can call me Penny. Any you are?”

“I’m Peter Groper” Peter introduced himself, maintaining a tall posture.

“It’s nice to meet you Peter” Penny shook his hand, then she turned to Johnathon, “What’s your name?”

“Johnathon Ignes” Johnathon mumbled.

“That’s a lovely name” she beamed down at him, “Come on! Let’s get you both back to the farm”. She took both the suitcases from the two boys, struggling a bit with the combined weight, and walked off out of the station. Peter followed after her enthusiastically, whilst Johnathon lagged slightly behind, already feeling homesick.

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