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) -


48. Chapter 47

After that day a lot changed. People knew about Souls and, as expected, they were not happy. Hunters became heroes, and Souls became villains. Similarly, Johnathon grew into his role as leader of the Dark Souls, and Erebus grew into his as the boy who’d ruined everything.


Johnathon was woken up by the smoky stench of a lit cigarette filling his room. He scowled as he opened his eyes, and frowned even more when he saw that it was only seven in the morning. Tired from his early wake up, and irritated by it’s cause, Johnathon sat up drowsily.

Erebus was leaning against a wall in the upstairs hallway, smoking casually. It would have been an acceptably innocent action, if it were not for the fact that Johnathon’s bedroom door was wide upon, when it had been shut firmly the night before. This was just one example of numerous actions Erebus completed to pester Johnathon and try his patience. Since ASNM they’d both been at each other’s throats. Erebus acted through small, subtle acts of spite, whilst Johnathon took a more abrupt approach and yelled at him, which inevitably ended in a hefty argument. In the six months since ASNM, they’d probably made up the equivalent of one month in their verbal disagreements. Neither one of them ever seemed to go too far, knowing it would only lead to complications they couldn’t be bothered to settle. They put up with each other so they could continue to live in the same house, in the same town, with the same people. They were trapped their own cold war.

“Is the effort of going outside to smoke too much for you?” Johnathon swung his legs over the edge of his bed.

“This is my house, I’ll smoke if I want to” Erebus snarled, stepping over the border into Johnathon’s room. Invaded, Johnathon stood up, acting casual, but balling his hands into fists.

“This is our house, and you’ll acknowledge the fact that I have to live here too” Johnathon corrected him.

“Oh I will, will I?”

“Yes, you will.” Johnathon glared at him. Erebus shrugged, but he did put the cigarette out.

“Don’t give me the green eyes,” he raised his eyebrows, “Though others may find them intimidating, and understandably so, all I see when I look into them is the same thing I saw the first day we met, a little boy in need of guidance.”

“I wasn’t trying to alarm you, I was just irritated, and understandably so.” Johnathon sighed, stumbling over to his wardrobe and rummaging among the garments.

“Whatever you say Johnny boy…”

“Don’t call me that.” Johnathon cut him off mid-sentence, “My name is Johnathon, it has nine letters and three syllables, it’s easy enough to say, what can’t you manage it?”

“It’s old fashioned, uptight, and boring” Erebus groaned, “Like you…” Johnathon pretended as if Erebus were not in the room after that. He threw a jumper and trousers onto his bed, and fetched some shoes from his draw. Erebus left the room, at last giving him some privacy.

Once downstairs, the first thing Johnathon did was leave. Not bothering to call out a farewell to his housemaid, he left quickly, slamming the door behind him. He did this everyday. It was probably the reason why Erebus provoked him so much, the only time they spoke was when they were arguing. For Johnathon, every day was pretty much the same. He’d wake up, leave, then come back as late as possible, and go straight to bed when he did. He didn’t eat with Erebus, or go out with Erebus, or even cast Erebus a second glance. He spent the majority of his days with Adele instead. He helped her at work, tidying her classroom. He took her out for dinner, never allowing her to pay a single penny of the bill. He was her second shadow. Adele didn’t mind the attention, but she did feel concern over the spite Johnathon and Erebus shared. She couldn’t understand how Johnathon could live with a man he hated, and yet never erupt with the rage and anger created by the frustration of silently resenting Erebus.

Adele swung the door open as soon as Johnathon completed his first knock, leaving no time for a second or third.

“Johnathon…” Adele trailed off, her face absent. Johnathon’s brow creased, normally he’d receive a ‘good morning’ or a ‘how are you?’.

“Is something wrong?” He asked, stepping inside the house.

“Did I forget to tell you?” She mumbled.

“Tell me what?” Adele’s face sunk, and she placed a hand on Johnathon’s arm.

“I’m an idiot.” She bit her lip, “A massive, great, forgetful idiot.”

“What is it?” Johnathon was getting slightly concerned by his lover's frustration.

“I’m going to Dustwood today, to catch up with my parents. I forgot to tell you, I’m sorry.” Adele revealed. Her hand dropped from his arm, and Johnathon thought about what to say next.

“That’s okay,” Johnathon assured her, turning to leave, “I’ll head back home”.

“ don’t have to,” Adele stopped him in his tracks, “You could come if you like.” Johnathon wasn’t sure. The last time he’d been to Dustwood he’d left Chloe to be killed by a hunter, angry at her for a crime she didn’t commit. The memory wasn’t a proud one. It showed how easily Johnathon was manipulated by Erebus. “You could meet my parents” Adele added. Johnathon’s ears spiked upwards.

“Do you think it’s time?” He was a little flattered.

“Why not? They’re going to have to meet you sooner or later.” Adele shrugged.

“But...what about my skin?” Johnathon winced.

“What about it?”

“I’m as white as a sheet!” Johnathon stretched out his hands as he spoke, reminding Adele of their peculiar colour, “People know about Souls now, if they see me, they might put the pieces together. How do you think they would react to you dating a Dark Soul?”

“Johnathon you’re overthinking this. Yes, people know Souls exist. But the details are still unclear! People don’t know that all Dark Souls are pale, the same way they don’t know that Wild Souls can get nutrients from the soil. It’ll be fine, and even if they did find out, they’ll see how happy I am with you, and they won’t care.” Adele promised him, calming his nerves.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” Adele was firm and confident in her answer.

“Then I would love to meet your parents Adele” Johnathon gave in, and a smile spread over Adele’s lips.

Adele finished getting ready, and Johnathon patiently waited as she locked up the house. They spent this quick journey chatting to one another. Adele briefed Johnathon on key things, like what not to say, and how to react to certain gestures. As they got closer and closer, the nerves began to kick in for the both of them. Both of them were worried about how Adele’s parents would react to Johnathon, but both were a little excited too. Adele parked the car outside a row of semi-detached houses which all seemed to be pretty much identical from the outside. Johnathon followed her up to the door, and listened to each sharp knock she gave.

Johnathon couldn’t see her parents from behind Adele, but he heard happy voices welcoming her home. After two seconds of hugging, Adele stepped aside to reveal Johnathon to her mother and father.

“Mum, dad, this is Johnathon.”

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