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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12. Chapter 11

“Come on, don’t get lost, follow me” Penny led them through the crowded station with their trunks. Johnathon carried his with ease, but Peter’s lagged on the floor as they hurried along. “Right, here we are, platform twelve” Penny sighed with relief when they at last reached their destination.

“Thanks for showing us the way Penny” Peter smiled, hugging her one last time, “I really am going to miss you.”

“Well don’t forget to write” Penny reminded him, “And if you and your family are welcome to visit anytime, that goes for you as well Johnathon”. Johnathon muttered a thank you, but he knew he and his mother would most likely never leave London again. From a distance the three of them heard the porter cry out to board the train.

“I think it’s time we got on” Peter decided.

“Well…be good, both of you, and good luck with everything” Penny stammered, Johnathon even saw a few tears in the rims and corners of her eyes.

“Thank you for having me Penny” Peter said goodbye.

“Thank you” Johnathon copied him shortly after. Without warning, Penny encased both of them in a large, stuffy hug, which lingered on for four long seconds.

“Goodbye boys” she gave them a light push forward as she spoke, urging them towards the train.

There was a huge crowd of people slowly making towards the entrance, creating a sea of passengers for Johnathon and Peter to get through. Whilst waiting for the wave to move forward, Johnathon found himself begin to daydream.

Erebus and Johnathon flashed through the fields of the farm, they’d been sent down by Adam to pick some tomatoes for dinner, and gotten a little…distracted.

“Hey!” Johnathon squealed when he felt the cool splash of a tomato exploding against his right cheek. He wiped it off and pelleted one back at Erebus, who dodged it with ease. Johnathon picked up a handful and tried again, this time aiming perfectly. And just like that, their chore turned into a game, and the tomatoes which were supposed to be cooked for dinner, ended up decorating their clothing.  

“Right this way you two, follow me” the porter took them through the carriage, by then they had boarded successfully, “Here’s your seats, need a hand with that trunk?” Peter handed his over, and the porter stored it overhead. Johnathon did it for himself, taking the porter by surprise, who shortly after made a quick getaway.

“How are you so strong?” Peter mumbled, he seemed a little jealous of Johnathon’s strength. Johnathon shrugged, taking his seat.

“How are we so strong?” Johnathon asked Erebus, they were on the roof of the Dew household. They often chatted on roofs, they enjoyed the privacy yet openness of it.

“Why would I know?” Erebus sighed, “We just are. Why waste time contemplating about it when you can go out and live it?”

“I suppose you’re right…” Johnathon sighed.

“Always am” Erebus grinned, cutting him off.

“Which one of us is stronger do you think?” Johnathon suddenly thought.

“Me, obviously” Erebus replied quickly.

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah”. The two boys turned to face each other, placing their elbows down on the tiling of the roof, ready to arm wrestle. After three long minutes, the most change that had occurred was a small dent in the roof.

“Maybe we should stop, we’ll break the roof if we don’t” Johnathon conceded.

“You’re only saying that because I was winning” Erebus chuckled. Then they both began to laugh uncontrollably, flopping backwards so they reclined on the rooftop, staring up at the clouds.

“I can’t wait to see my parents, and my sister!” Peter chattered on and on, “I’ve missed them so much. How about you Johnathon? Are you excited?”

“I guess so” Johnathon turned to look out of the window.

“You don’t sound it, what’s wrong?” Peter pursued.

“Be quite” Johnathon instructed.

“Come on, you can tell me, we’re practically brothers” Peter leaned closer.

“Be quite” Johnathon repeated, turning to glare at him. Peter shrunk backwards, slightly scared and very intimidated. Johnathon’s lips curved, he liked Peter’s reaction… in fact he liked it a lot.

“Your eyes are interesting” Erebus suddenly said randomly one evening. He and Johnathon were sitting on the window ledge of the bedroom, watching the sun go down whilst everyone else was doing the dishes.

“How so?” Johnathon questioned.

“They’re…alarming” Erebus decided, “They can be calming, they can be scary, but they’re always alarming. I’ve never seen such a bright pair of eyes before, and they have this ability to hold a different expression to the rest of your face.” Johnathon thought about what he had said for a minute, and whether or not it was a compliment.

“Thank you” he muttered, still slightly confused, “Your eyes are nice too I suppose. Blue eyes and blonde hair always go well together.”

As more and more people filled up the carriage, Johnathon once again turned to look out of the window, and froze.

Standing on the platform, a small grin on his face, his expression twisted and mischievous, was Erebus. The way is eyes darted almost said come talk to me to Johnathon, who simply looked back at him, bemused.

“If you want the third option enough, you’ll soon figure it out”.

Erebus’s last words to him ringed in his ears. But what was the third option? The way Johnathon saw it he only had two. Go home to his mother, or stay with the Dews but still be with Erebus.

“Oh look there’s Erebus!” Peter too, noticed their onlooker, “I know you’ll miss him, won’t you? You two are so close”.

“Yeah, I will miss him” Johnathon admitted, a pit deepening in his stomach.

“Maybe he could move to London one day, and you two could set up a small business together. He’s 19 now, so it won’t be long” Peter tried to make Johnathon feel better, sensing his uncomfortable and upset mood.

Then it hit him.

The third option.

Like a brick in the face.

Erebus was 19, an adult, so why wait? Johnathon could run away with him, and never look back. No Dews, no mum, just him and Erebus, and a whole lot of fun.

“I have to go” Johnathon told Peter.

“But the train will leave soon” Peter reminded him, as he got down his trunk, “You’re bound to miss it if you get off”. Johnathon turned and walked away, turning back to speak to Peter Groper one last time.

“That’s the idea”.

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