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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30. Chapter 29

Johnathon continued to visit Adele, who continued to react to his stories. Gradually shame over his actions grew inside Johnathon, prohibiting him from committing any more violent acts. A friendship also began to develop between them, and Johnathon’s wish was granted, Adele liked him.

29th October 1972:

“Tea?” Adele offered, boiling the water in the kettle.

“Yes, thank you” Johnathon nodded, taking a seat.

“How are you today?” Adele asked from the kitchen.

“Okay…Erebus is doing my head in though. He won’t shut up about this new girl he’s dating.” Johnathon groaned.

“Another girl? Didn’t he break up with someone just last week?” Adele tutted.

“Yes, he moves on pretty quickly. He’s such a boast, he won’t stop talking about her…” Johnathon continued to moan.

“Well I’m sure they’ll end it soon enough” Adele entered the room with two cups of tea. Johnathon smiled. Adele always knew what to say. Though she wasn’t Erebus’s number one fan, she put all opinion aside when talking to Johnathon about him.

“Who is this ‘Erebus’ friend I hear so much about in your stories?” Adele asked Johnathon. They were sat down, taking a break.

“I live with him. He’s like me, a Dark Soul, but I think he’s much worse.” Johnathon explained briefly.

“Must be to go around calling himself Erebus” Adele chuckled. “I think I’ll steer clear of meeting him for now”.

“We first met when I was two, I got sent away as an evacuee you see. Erebus was the paperboy, and quickly realised I was like him. When the war ended I ran away with him instead of going home to my mother, and we ended up settling here, in Cantumville.” Johnathon told her.

“I came here as a student, and I found work locally soon after, so I decided to stay. Bethany’s at university here at the moment, but I think she’ll go back to our hometown after that. I was born in this little town called Dustwood, it’s tiny compared to here. My mum was born there too, my dad was born in Greece, but moved to study over here in England. They both still live in Dustwood, I visit them often.” Adele

“I never visit my mum,” Johnathon sighed, “I haven’t seen her since I was two years old, I don’t really remember her that well. I suppose I was raised by Erebus.”

“A great parent I’m sure,” Adele said sarcastically, “No wonder you turned out so rough”.

“Ready for another story?” Adele interrupted Johnathon’s memories.

“If you are” he agreed.

“I’ll be fine Johnathon” she assured him. Johnathon bit his lip, and began.

“Emily Gregs worked at the local jewellery store. One day Erebus and I went there, Erebus wanted a new watch you see. He found one he liked, and asked if he could have it. He was short of cash at the time, and wanted a discount. Naturally, she refused, but Erebus doesn’t like not getting what he wants. He knocked her out unconscious, and we closed the store early. Pulling the blinds down and locking the door. I took the gems and beads off the necklaces and used the thread to bind her hands. When she woke up, we got to work. We covered her body head to toe in bruises, and jabbed her with our daggers repeatedly. Whilst Erebus took the money from the till, I finished her off, strangling her with a necklace. Erebus took the watch with him when we left.” Adele had gotten used to the horrific tales over time, and no longer cried during them, but her face was still shocked and hurt. “Why do you put yourself through this?” Johnathon suddenly thought of something, “Why do you make yourself listen?”

“For your sake,” Adele stated, “I’m helping you be a better man”.

“But it tears you apart” Johnathon reminded her, frowning.

“Don’t worry about it…”

“But why?” Johnathon cut her off. Adele looked away, twiddling her thumbs.

“Because I, well, you see I care about you,” She stammered, “I care about you Johnathon”. Johnathon smiled, his stomach doing somersaults.

“I care about you too Adele” he confessed, walking over to her. Adele turned to look at him, her eyes wide and innocent. For a second they just stood gazing at each other, both grinning. After that Johnathon let his instinct take over, he leaned in…and kissed her.

At first Adele stiffened, surprised by the gesture, but soon after that she relaxed, wrapping her arms around Johnathon and pulling him closer. They didn’t stop kissing for a few minutes after that, as of the tension and desire built up over the last couple of months was set free. Once they at last finished, they were both slightly out of breath.

“I think that’s enough for one day” Johnathon decided, “I should probably head home now”.

“Yes, you do that,” Adele agreed, “I’ll see you soon though”. Johnathon turned back and smiled at her, in full knowledge that he had just found true love.

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