Yup, another update. I'm in a major writing mood. I've been thinking about this story most of the night. Wow, talk about obsessive. Oh well. Thanks to all that reviewed. (gives you all moldy candy from Halloween) On to the chapter.
Johnny reached the landing with a smile, if you could call it that, etched onto his face. His hand wandered to the light switch, and he turned it on. The dim lights in the ceiling blinked on, giving the room just enough brightness to see through the shadows.
He looked around, eyeing everything with a sad, hateful spark in his eyes. The chamber seemed incomplete without at least one victim in restraints- save for the lonely skeleton on the opposite wall. It had been so long since Johnny had felt the need to use any of this stuff, and he knew that was for the best, but it felt like something was missing here in his boarded-up home.
His nose tickled suddenly, and he sniffled in protest, but to no avail. Johnny sneezed once more, loudly, and when he regained his composure he growled to himself. I've got to clean this place out, he thought, beginning to walk while looking around the dusty room again. This dust is just as bad as cat fur.
He continued to walk around, gazing at all the bloodstained metal. Over here, he had locked up a man in a crate with man-eating rats. To the left of that, he had nearly laughed at a young girl who was complaining about mascara running down her face along with her tears. Across from that, on the other side of the stairs, he had strung up a young woman and her boyfriend. Johnny smiled as he thought of his conversation with the girl. She had been a bit clueless, but she had a good mind. Unlike her idiot boyfriend, she had managed to escape when that beast had escaped from the wall.
Speaking of which...
Johnny turned, and there he saw it. The wall of blood. He felt cold, as if his insides had turned to ice, as he approached it. He moved slowly, cautiously, almost if he expected that thing to tear its way out of it again. The blood splattered all over it ran in dark, dried rivers down its surface. Johnny chuckled as he remembered something he had said about it long ago. "You see!? It changes color when it dries!"
Funny, yes, he thought. But not as humorous now as it once was.
All the people he had killed, possibly hundreds of victims- their blood had been painted here. And his damned insanity had made him do it. No, wait. It wasn't so much his insanity. They had made him kill, and try as he might, he could never fight it. It took a bullet through his head to make him realize that. It was… that thing, in the wall. Those doughboys. Those fucking voices.
Johnny lifted his arm slowly. It felt heavy and the deep wound on it stung with pain, but he ignored it. His boney hand rested on it, and he gently ran it over the bloodstains. He drew in a long, shaken breath, and rested his forehead on the wall and clamped his eyes shut.
"I hate you," he breathed hatefully. "I fucking hate you."
He remained there for a few moments, but then something reached his ears that made his eyes snap open. Johnny whirled around, and his dark gaze landed on an empty can. It was rolling, slowly, across the floor. He watched and listened, and the soft sound of restricted movement came from behind an over-turned table; right where the can had rolled away from.
Someone was there.
Quick as lightning, Johnny took out a long blade from his coat pocket. He held it in front of him, anger plastered on his face, and walked over to the table slowly.
"I know you're here," he said, poison in his voice. "You should have known that it's not wise to enter a house that isn't yours…"
Johnny came closer still, his boots barely making a sound beneath him. His thin shadow fell across the intruder's hiding place. He paused, glaring at it and lifting the blade higher. He spoke once more, his voice brimming with threat.
"And now, my friend," he hissed, "you're going to get what you paid for."
Johnny loomed over the table, his knife poised to strike, but he stopped abruptly. His expression of hate was replaced with shock.
"Devi? What are you doing here?"
Devi was sitting there, trembling. She was breathing rapidly, her green eyes were huge with terror and staring right into Johnny's bewildered face. She seemed to break away from her shock for a moment, and gazed around fearfully. Devi grabbed the first potential weapon she could see; a long piece of bloodstained metal, and held it out in front of her with wavering arms.
"Stay back," she warned, getting to her feet, still holding out the metal beam.
"Devi, this isn't what it looks like," he said, lowering the knife. "I thought you were someone else."
"Don't give me that crap!" Devi shouted. She inched her way out from behind the table, glaring fearfully at him. "I saw that skeleton hanging from the wall… I know what you do down here!"
Johnny looked over to where the bones hung, strapped to a device on the wall. "Oh, that's Edgar," he said casually. "You should have seen him before I pieced him back together. He was really torn up. Took me a while to get his bones to stick the right…"
Johnny trailed off as he noticed Devi's horrified expression.
"Okay, that was the wrong thing to say." He groaned, ran his free hand over his hair as if he were embarrassed, and stepped toward her. "Look, just calm down."
"You stay the fuck away from me!" she snarled, moving further aside.
"Devi, calm down." He advanced closer. "I'm not going to-"
"The hell you won't!" She lifted the metal threateningly. "I kicked your ass once before, Nny, and I'll do it again if I have to!"
Johnny studied her for a moment. Sighing, he held up his knife, (Devi flinched at this) and threw it to the side. It hit floor yards away, rattling noisily. He reached into his second pocket, and tossed the other knife as well. Devi stared at him, still untrusting, as he spoke.
"Okay, see? I'm disarmed. I've nothing to attack you with," he said slowly and softly, as he walked toward her once again. "I'm not going to do anything. Now, just calm down, and let me near you."
"Why the fuck should I? You're a homicidal maniac, Johnny!"
Johnny rolled his eyes. He already knew that.
"Look, just trust me. If I do anything to hurt you," he nodded to Devi's makeshift weapon, "then feel free to aim for my head. Sound good?"
Devi chuckled. She was amazed that she could in this situation. "Except for the 'aim for your head part', no."
"Good enough answer."
Johnny walked foreword, taking one step at a time. Devi retreated as he did, trying to find a way around him, but her back hit the wall before she could. She clutched the metal tightly, ready to defend herself if Johnny made any sudden moves. But he stayed fixed at his slow, steady pace. His eyes were mournfully calm as he came closer, and finally he came to a stop inches away from her.
Devi's nerves suddenly broke, and she swung the metal beam at him. Johnny caught it in his grasp before it connected with his head. Devi stared up at him in horror.
"You son of a-"
"Shh." Johnny cut her off, putting a thin finger to her lips. "I said you can aim for my head, not hit it."
Their eyes met; apologetic dark brown clashing against fearful bright green. Devi's gaze softened, and her eyes seemed to glaze. The world was spinning before her, darkness closing in. Her hand fell away from her weapon, and she began to fall back in a faint.
Dropping the metal beam, Johnny caught her before she fell. He lowered her, gently, onto the floor, where she lay with closed eyes.
"Devi?" He leaned over her, speaking her name with worry, and patting her face lightly with his hand. "C'mon Dev', stay with me."
She whimpered, and her eyes fluttered open. Johnny sighed with relief as he saw Devi's misty eyes begin to focus again.
"Are you okay?"
"What happened…?" she asked weakly. Her eyes fully opened as her vision cleared, and fear gripped her again as she remembered where she was. "What did you-"
"Nothing," he answered nervously. "You fainted."
Devi tried to sit up, but she felt dizzy again. She groaned, closing her eyes putting a hand to her head. She heard Johnny clear his throat and looked up blearily. He was still kneeling beside her, and he offered Devi his hand.
"Here, let me help you up."
She took his hand, and slowly, they rose to their feet. Devi stood uneasily, her legs quaking. She almost fell again, but Johnny held onto her shoulders and helped her keep balance.
"Steady, easy now," he whispered to her. When she had fully regained her awareness he loosened his grip but kept his hands on her shoulders.
"How did you get down here, Devi?" he asked.
"I…" Devi began falteringly but found her voice again. "I wanted to talk to you. The front door was open, and I thought that something happened, and I was worried… I looked around for you and ended up here."
Johnny listened intently to her words. "You were worried about me?"
"I was." Devi said, with angry fear rising in her voice. "But when I saw all of this…" She pushed away from him, and backed away a few steps. Then she turned, facing the blood-coated wall. "I wasn't sure what to think."
He lowered his head. "You were never meant to know of any of this," Johnny whispered. "None of it. I'm not like that anymore."
"The way you took care of those guys," Devi said, "the fact that all of this is still down here, makes it hard to believe that."
Johnny closed his eyes, and turned away from her folding his arms over his chest. They were now facing each other's backs. "You'd better go," he said. "I don't want to keep you here."
He sighed, and turned his head to her, opening his eyes. Devi was facing him again, her eyes blazing. "I think I know why you're the way you are."
"Devi, how could you know anything about it? I barely even know," he said, shuddering as his voice began to rise. "How can you possib-"
She cut him off. "It's time we talked about this, Johnny."
This chapter was fun to write. Devi's freak-out made me laugh. I loved it when she called him a homicidal maniac. Oh, and when Nny said "I said you can aim for my head, not hit it." That was awesome too.
Well, that's all for now. Forgive me if it seemed a bit rushed toward the end. Leave a review and tell me how you like it.