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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17. Chapter 16

After Suzanne’s death Eloise disappeared. She left no more notes, sent no more spies, and Johnathon and Erebus returned to normal, with no fear over the consequences of their actions. In that time Johnathon developed even more, his character less bold than Erebus’s, but just as terrifying, and he changed from a teenager to an adult of sorts.

11th January 1955 (Johnathon’s 18th Birthday):

“We are going to get slammed tonight,” Erebus decided as he shoved Johnathon out of the house, “Whether it be the pub or the club, or both, we will be crawling back home”.

“That sounds like an incredible birthday,” Johnathon nodded, “I’m not looking forward to tomorrow morning though…”

“Live in the present, not the future” Erebus cut him off, giving him a slight slap on the back.

“Or the past” Johnathon added.

“Well…it’s okay to hold a grudge,” Erebus argued, “Which reminds me, I made you a birthday present!” After saying this he removed a piece of crinkled and creased paper from his pocket, and handed it over. When Johnathon looked at it, he discovered it was in fact a list of names.

“What’s this?” He asked.

“A list of all the people you and I moderately dislike” Erebus told him, “What’s the point in getting drunk if you can’t make a few mistakes? I figured we might as well fit in a killing spree to our evening.”

“This is way better than some cheap card and chocolates” Johnathon grinned as they rounded the corner to the pub. Inside, the stink of body odour hit them both like a ship of stench, but they didn’t mind. They went straight to the bar, taking their usual seats. When Erebus saw the barmaid round the corner, his eyes sparkled, lingering on her as she pretended to ignore him.

“First name on the list… Tia Sanders” he murmured in Johnathon’s ear, still looking at her.

“Your 23rd ex-girlfriend,” Johnathon recalled, “Shame, she’s cute”.

“What can I get you both?” Tia confronted them, positioning herself in front of Johnathon rather than Erebus.

“You” Erebus answered first, Tia rolled her eyes, blanking him completely.

“I’ll just have a pint” Johnathon told her. She disappeared briefly, before returning with one full glass.

“Where’s my order?” Erebus questioned her, acting disappointed. Tia turned to leave, but he took her arm and pulled her closer, “Why so cold baby? Do you need to borrow my jacket?”

“Get off me you creep” Tia spat, glaring.

“Come on, just give me one more chance,” Erebus ‘begged’, “I’ve changed, I promise.”

“I don’t believe you” Tia snapped.

“I love it when you’re mad…your cheeks go all red and adorable.” Erebus complimented her. Tia seemed slightly taken aback, and let her guard down briefly, “I’ll be outside in two minutes, around the back. You have two options, show up and sort this out, or leave me standing there and never see me again” Erebus offered her two choices, then walked away.

Over the next four minutes Johnathon finished his drink and watched Tia. She tried her best to focus on her job, but her eyes would wander to the clock as her mind questioned her choice to neglect Erebus. It was quite entertaining to hear her speak with a higher pitch, and walk with a faster pace…she was clearly torn inside. By the time Johnathon’s glass was empty, Tia’s brow was damp with sweat. Johnathon stood up and left to join Erebus around the back, confident that Tia would soon follow.

“How is she?” Erebus checked when he saw Johnathon appear.

“She’s defeated,” Johnathon confirmed, “I’d say we have thirty seconds until she comes along”. Sure enough, soon Tia began to approach. Johnathon walked back into the shadows, staying hidden.

“You came” Erebus greeted her, stepping forward.

“I did,” Tia kept her posture stiff, “Don’t waste this second chance Erebus”.

“Oh I won’t,” he assured her, leaning in closer and placing his hands under on either side of her neck so her eyes met his, “Last time you got away before I could finish it properly”. And with that, he snapped her neck. Tia’s body fell to the ground, and Johnathon re-appeared.

“You didn’t let me have any fun with her” he complained.

“Don’t be so selfish Johnathon” Erebus tutted, kicking the body towards the bins.

“It’s my birthday…”

“Come on!” Erebus cut him off, “On to the next name”.

“Christina Franks” Johnathon read it off the list, “Oh! She’s the sister of the corner shop girl, she raised the prices after she took over the store” he realised, understanding why she had made the hit list.

So leaving Tia’s corpse to rot by the rubbish, Johnathon and Erebus continued, no-where near drunk enough to fit their expectations of the night, but in full knowledge that there was still plenty of time to drink.

They killed Christina by strangling her, then they drank shelves full of beer. They moved on to Liam Nought, who drank himself to death after they spiked his drink. They massacred Yvette Honeydrew’s entire family, killing her husband and two kids in front of her before they beat her to death. The list was in fact too short to entertain the two bloodthirsty men, who decided to continue the killings even after all the names were ticked off, dragging drunks from the pavement down alleyways.

They were on their fifth unplanned murder when someone finally stopped them. 

Johnathon grabbed the man from the waist and pulled him into the shadows with his hand clamped around his mouth. Shoving him against the wall, he retrieved his dagger and made a long sleek cut down his back, prohibiting any sound from exiting the mouth of the victim by ensuring his head was facing the bricks. Erebus came up behind him, kicking the man’s ankles rapidly whilst Johnathon made more cuts. The man struggled but his attempts to get away were useless, and Johnathon was having the time of his life torturing him.

“Let him go” a voice suddenly spoke from behind them. Johnathon turned around, still pinning the man to the wall. Erebus did the same.

In the darkness all they could see of the owner of the voice was the outline of her body, which wasn’t intimidating in the least.

“Why would we do that?” Erebus asked the stranger.

“Because I am asking you to” the woman called back. Surprisingly, her voice showed no signs of nerves, anxiety, or shock.

“You don’t control us, we do what we like” Erebus’s tone was threatening, but the woman didn’t back away.

“Clearly” was all she said. After a few seconds of silence, Johnathon decided to move the conversation along.

“Who are you anyway?” He suddenly thought, curious and angry at her intrusion.

At this question the woman stepped forward, revealing herself to them as the moonlight illuminated her face.

“My name is Eloise.”

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