Tuesday, 29 May 2012

...concluded

It was the last thought of Jonathan the man, the doubter, the forbearer, and with that thought, his last tether to humanity was severed. Good, evil, right, wrong; such absurd notions they were, only deterring him from actualizing his full potential, keeping him chained to a life of deficiency. A life he wished to lead no longer. This was his time of ascension. His time to become a legend. He would sign his name in the book of eternity, letter by bloody letter. Mr. Jonathan Nott... no. Mr. J. Yes... that will do. 

He opened his eyes, and saw the world anew. The children stood still, frozen in fear. As they should. The one before him was trembling, its face drained of color. He gripped the hilt of his blade with newfound vehemence.

They will provide the ink.

His blade arced upwards, as pitiless as its wielder, and cleft the young soul asunder. Crimson life splashed forth, covering him, bathing him in its warmth.

The children broke from their terror-induced trance, and screamed in unison, a cacophony of dread, a crescendo of horror, and ran. No one gets away. No one. All but four ran into what he surmised was the cafeteria, prompted so by the school staff. He heard the sounds of tables screeching across the tiles,a barricade in the making. As if that will save them. They are sealing their own tomb.


Three were sprinting down the hall, towards a long corridor, hoping to escape via the back entrance. Ah, the thrill of the chase.


One went up the large staircase in the middle of the hall. Cassidy can have you. After all, one mustn't be greedy.


He jabbed into the direction of the cafeteria's metal double doors with his knife. ''Those aren't going anywhere.'' His voice sounded different from before, he noticed. Harsh. Cold. Dead. ''I'll take care of the three, you get the one upstairs.''

He didn't wait for a response. He dashed after his prey, faster than greased lightning, and stood blocking their path to salvation in less than a heartbeat. Two fell to their knees on the spot and began sobbing. The third edged back, her eyes flicking this way and that, looking for an alternate escape route. Her small hands were balled into fists, determined to survive despite the odds.

He stepped forward, silencing the sobs with a single, vicious sweep of his blade, and continued towards the girl. I know you... Natalie, Cid's bastard. That explains the dauntlessness. No matter. He let the blade fly, mercilessly accurate, and it hit home. He pulled his weapon free, and saw the blade's inscription, now glistening, red, with true clarity.

He turned and walked back, in search of his cousin.

*****

Cassidy gave an involuntary burst of laughter as the first fell and everyone ran, stared blankly as her cousin told her what to do, and whooped happily after him as he dashed to intercept the three runners.

''Damn!'' she breathed, grinning. A killer, is a killer, is a killer. She scolded herself for doubting in Jonathan. After today, she thought idly, nobody will be left in doubt of the depth of their commitment.

Happy with the way things were going, she went to do her part. She pranced after the heavyset boy who ran up the stairs, chains jingling along the marble floor, calling out to him as she went. ''Heeeere fatty fatty fatty! Aunt Cassidy wants to plaaaay-aaay!''

It didn't take her long to corner him, even without the use of her serum-enhanced speed. She wanted a chase, but was left wanting, because the boy ran, for some reason unbeknown to her, straight to a small terrace. He was screaming for help, and she couldn't help but giggle.

The boy's cries for help were cut short as a chain wrapped itself around his neck, and began to tighten as Cassidy dragged him back. All he could do now was gurgle, red-faced, and gasp for breath.

Cassidy sauntered towards him, taking her time, savoring the moment. She picked him up by the collar of his sweater, and frowned.

''Try not to break my chain, whale boy.'' she said, and tossed him over the parapet. The links jingled, then snapped taut. The boy hung suspended, legs flailing, grasping the choking chain around his neck.

''Shit.'' she grumbled, disappointed by how resilient the boy's neck was, and pulled him back up.

''Let's try this again, shall... we...''. She trailed off, distracted by an odd sight in the sky. A strange gold dot was glittering in the distance.

The child, despite his discomfort, was grinning wide. ''The Hell is that?'' she muttered, and narrowed her eyes. Then they snapped open, the realization hitting her far too late.

The flying figure rammed into her full tilt, knocking her back to the wall with such force it cracked, odd pieces of masonry showering down.

The boy clung to the parapet for dear life.

Cassidy laid on the ground, dazed by the impact. She moaned her pain, attempting to crawl away.

''Vile scum!'' the newcomer spat at her, then lifted the child to solid ground, and helped him remove the strangling coils of chain.

He was every inch a hero; barrel chested and muscular, wearing gold plated armor, a fearsome mask to match, an unnervingly large-taloned gauntlets. He gave the boy a pat on the head, careful not to poke holes in it with the sharp claws. ''Good job, Timmy, you called the right hero.''

Timmy coughed and rubbed his aching throat. ''Thanks, Golden Gargoyle.'' he croaked. ''Could have come sooner, but whatever.''

The hero ignored Timmy's last remark, his focus was once again on Cassidy. He slowly approached her, each step alike the falling of a great anvil, while she desperately tried to get away on all fours.

''You're going nowhere, child-killer!'' he growled.

Just as the hero tried to deliver a shattering kick to her stomach Cassidy sprang into action, avoiding his boot, pleased that her deception worked. Stone splinters flew as the Golden Gargoyle's kick missed its mark, almost demolishing the wall instead.

Cassidy wasted no time. Grinning, she swung, chain coiled around her fist for that extra bit of pain, aiming for the hero's temple.

Her grin faded as the hero snatched her arm before she could land a blow. She cursed herself for her overconfidence, relying on the Serum's enhancement without knowing more of her opponent was a foolish move. The hero followed with a crushing headbutt.

Cassidy's world went bright. She slumped back, but a cold, hard claw grabbed her by the throat before she hit the ground. The hero raised her high and she struggled weakly, much like little Timmy only moments before, but to no avail.

The hero laughed triumphantly. ''Pathetic! You are no match for the Golden Gargoyle!''

Cassidy fought for breath. The claw's merciless grip tightened, and everything started fading to black. This is it, she thought, not such an easy assignment after all. Her lungs were bursting for air, the world was reduced to shadows.

She just barely noticed the third shade, creeping towards her executioner.

*****

Cassidy, Cassidy... How could you let this golden fool overpower you? Jonathan's hand darted, the tip of his butcher's knife finding the weak spot between the shining armor plates with pinpoint precision, and stabbed once, twice, thrice, straight at the heart.

The hero gasped, coughed blood, then fell over, dead on the spot. Cassidy looked up at her savior, swallowing great lung-fulls of air. Her face was slowly regaining it's normal color, the blue fading away.

Jonathan looked at her for a while, then cracked a smile. ''Why so blue, sidekick?''

They broke out laughing, both giggling like a pair of lunatics. Jonathan wiped a tear from the corner of his eye. 

''Thanks, asshole.'' his cousin croaked, and fell on her back, grinning, still regaining her breath. She pointed weakly at the boy cowering in the corner of the balcony. ''Take care of tubby over there, will you?''

''Of course.'' he said, still sniggering. He walked, nonchalantly, to where the child trembled, grabbed him, and flung him off the terrace. A thin sceam pierced the air, then fell silent.

Jonathan helped his cousin to her feet, propping her arm around him, as if supporting a drunkard. Slowly, they made their way back to the main hall.

No rest for the wicked...

*****

Jonathan gestured towards the metal doors. ''Cass, would you care to do the honors?''

A malevolent smile adorned her face. ''My pleasure.''

Cassidy launched her chains, the dull metal flowing through the air, and coiled itself around the doorhandles. She gave her chains a tug, the doors twisted and bulged; another, and they flew off their hinges, clattering on the floor behind them.

They looked at each other. Jonathan gave Cassidy a wink, then sprinted, a blur of speed. He broke through the makeshift barricade as if it were a house of cards, his cousin following close behind.

Wails of despair, accompanied by cries of agony, echoed throughout the halls of Parkson Primary School.

*****

Such was the dark fate of the small-town place of education. It was a black day, expected by none, abhorred by all.

No one knew what kind of devils were responsible for these atrocities. All they left behind were butchered, broken bodies, and bloody footsteps in the snow, marking their exit.

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