Disclaimer: Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and its characters are copyright Jhonen Vasquez. The Original Characters in this story are mine, not yours. Enjoy.
The soft glow of a television set illuminated the dust covered, mold inhabited ruins. The TV stood alone in the middle of a rotted, hole-ridden floor and worked despite the evidence of the powerless structure it was plugged into. The channel changed, as if by some ethereal force, to a news station currently broadcasting a story.
"…from what we can tell, the rise in suicide is not directly linked" Reported one female correspondent against a city street backdrop. "So far, police have no leads on the identity of the former killer, nor are there any major suspects at this time. One thing is certain, though; the city has never been more peaceful. In other news, grab you kids and funny hats, the circus is coming to town!" The television switched to static and then to black.
Peace was irrelevant now. The city had never been more controlled, that's certain. No rational explanation can ever be reached as to where all the heated yelling and chaotic rushing went. One day, all the turmoil and stress of the world just vanished from the people of the city, nay the world. All across the planet, paranoia was no longer an emotion or a debatable disease; it had lost its meaning. Insanity was just a hollow word.
Still, the world had never known quite a significant fear in recent years either. Within a short time span, many countries dissolved and united with each other, forming strong unions across the globe as led by ruthlessly bureaucratic czars. In this city, the evidence of a dictatorship was clear and precise. The city was not only delegated by but owned by a conglomerate corporation from the west.
It was official from the moment he left, the world is gone.
"Are you the boy's father?" The security guard asked. A smiling man in a three-piece suit continued walking down the hall.
"No, his real father died and his mother left him long ago. I'm his god-father." The guard kept walking with him and gave an apathetic sigh. The dull life of a hospital's insanity ward guard had lost its flavor ever since the tenants were being cured. Vaccines and medicinal supplements were recently manufactured by the city's conglomerate to manipulate the neural reception of the brain and turn off most of its outer functions. In short, these pills made people zombies.
Finally, they reached the end of the long, white hall and the guard pushed open the door. A large room lit by the morning light came into view, with only one person seated in the middle of the table-covered hall. This was the cafeteria, but at six in the morning there were little inhabitants. The smiling man waved the guard off and started toward the seated boy.
The guard shut and locked the door behind him, waking the adolescent from his nap on the table. It was a young boy of about fourteen with short, neat hair and fair complexion. Clutched in his arm that rested on the table was a rather demure and, perhaps, evil looking teddy bear. The smiling man sat down opposite the boy and straightened his tie.
"Are you Todd Casil?" The man asked. The boy gave a half-asleep nod and sat up straight.
"Yes, sir." He replied.
"Have you been taking your medicine?" the man asked jokingly.
"Well, I don't take the same medicine as everyone else. It changed people, so I didn't want it. I just exercise and eat well."
"Well, that's good." The man took off his glasses but kept his eyes closed. Then he grabbed the skin on his face and ripped it off in a swift motion with his boney hand. Todd fell out of his chair and crawled backwards at the towering visage before the light hit the demon again.
"Todd? You seem scared" The demon said in a concerned way with a soft Spanish accent. Todd stood back up and looked back at him.
"I was just surprised. It's been a long time, Mr. Diablo."
"Senor Diablo" he corrected, raising his finger. "Now Todd, do you know why I'm here?"
"To take me away from here?" Todd answered hopefully. Diablo chuckled and patted him on the head.
"That's right. My son Pepito has begged me to release you and take you in. He's taken quite a liking to you, young Todd."
"I'll have to thank him. He was the only person that tried to help me…my parents probably think I'm dead or something."
"It has been a few years. I wouldn't be surprised. That's not important right now, though. Please get ready to leave immediately and I'll take you home." Todd smiled and nodded, then rushed out the opposite door and into another white hall. Satan hovered over to the window and gazed out through narrow, black eyes at the rising sun.
"It has been far too long. The curtain of this world is about to close." He snapped his long fingers and the shadows behind him started twisting around into humanoid shapes. "Deliver the messages. The candidates have been selected already." The shadow creatures nodded and silently slipped out the windows.
It is time to find a new one. Todd came bursting through the doors excitedly and with a terrified look on his face. He had changed from his white clothes to a more contemporary dark green shirt and black slacks. Slung over his shoulder was a duffle bag that had been hastily packed with pieces of clothes still visibly sticking out from the zipper, and the demented bear still in hand.
"Come," the devil said as he pulled the flesh back onto his form and transformed back into the normal human he came in as. "Let's get you home, Todd." A flustered Todd agreed and hurried to the demon-man's side.
This won't be so bad I guess Todd thought as they walked out together. School might still be bad, but Pepito is a good friend. Plus he said that his school wasn't like our elementary school with all the zombies. The main doors opened after Todd was formally dismissed from the facility that was steadily receding behind him as he got in the car. Maybe my life won't be so bad anymore. No, it definitely won't! I can feel it! Today is a great day!
Satan grimaced under his happy human disguise. He could feel the air getting thick with some unmentionable mist, the sky blackening with heated smog filled with arcane pressure. The world itself was steadily crumbling under the weight of humanities ills and torments, the negative pressure had been building to the point of explosion. The bomb was about to drop, and he could only hope silently that his messages would be received in time.
The shadow beasts of Hades quickly darted through the alcoves of the upper hell like lightning and reached their predestined spots in no time at all. Each message was contained in a black envelope with a pentagram seal only its recipient could break. Each servant delivered the letters to the most obvious place they could be found.
In a maximum security prison solitary cell, a letter drifted under the door and settled at the feet of a brawny man sleeping against the closet-sized wall. Another letter was placed in a box of envelopes nearly full to bursting at the side of an apartment door. The third letter was sent floating into an open bedroom window, where it settled on a dresser top surrounded by a myriad of stuffed animals.
The final letter was snatched from mid-air. The man who claimed it stood slim and tall in a formal black suit with a blood red tie and wearing narrow, circular glasses. He lifted the letter slowly to his face and gazed and the blank front of the envelope, which felt of tanned flesh. He slid a finger across the back and opened the seal. Black mist hissed out as the man pulled out the letter within and started to read.
"To whoever receives this letter, congratulations! You have been hand-picked by the lord of the underworld Satan to lead a campaign of carnage throughout this world. You see, the negative human emotions of the planet are reaching a dangerous critical level, and must be accordingly withheld in a properly toned and trained human being. You are one of those humans, one who has endured countless trials of indescribable suffering and pain, whose emotions are at the peak of rot and decay, you are a perfect candidate to become the next proverbial 'King of Killers'! If you wish to become the most feared and powerful person on this plane of existence, just hold on to this letter and a representative of the Dark Lord himself will find you soon enough. Once again, congratulations, and the best of luck to you, future King!"
-Signed Remsius of Hell
The man took another long stare at the letter and pocketed it before continuing on his way out of the alley he was in. A barely audible groan was heard from a vaguely human shape, but was extinguished with a long, final breath. Before turning back onto the street, the man turned around to examine the scene he was leaving: blood soaking the ground, bodies torn to pieces and nailed to the brick walls, heads of unfortunate souls impaled on metal pipes with expressions of inexpressible fear.
"King of Killers…" the man mumbled in a low voice. He continued off into the city's labyrinth of buildings and cars, heading for the tallest building there. He adjusted his glasses slightly and smirked as he paced down the dark street.