As blinding as the light from outside was, it seemed to weaken. The light seemed to be dimmer. His eyes must have been adjusting.
Truth be told, Johnny wasn't outside. He was lying wide-eyed in his bed, staring at the ceiling fan with the lights still on. He was panting and gasping for air. He looked all around his body for any physical wounds and checked for Todd's blood. He was panicking so much that it caused him to vomit. He leaned over to the side of his bed and threw up. He didn't have a trash can in his room, so the floor was the next best thing.
He was soaking wet from sweating so much. Nothing had terrified him more than those moments when he thought Todd's life would slip away. All Johnny thought about was Todd. He wiped the puke from his mouth and got out of bed. He was shaking a little bit and his breathing was irregular, but he needed to see if his little neighbor was alright.
He walked out his front door. It was still dark outside, but it wasn't midnight black. The sun was slowly going to be rising soon. It had to be about 8 A.M. He walked the short distance across his lawn to his neighbor's window. He peered in and saw a big clump under the bed sheets. He opened the window gently, so as not to startle his lightly sleeping neighbor.
He tip-toed across the floor and stood over Todd's bed. He took a silent, deep breath and gently pulled the covers back. There was little six year-old Todd Casil. He was sound asleep. He was curled up with the un-dead Shmee, clutching him lightly. He looked so peaceful when he slept. It was as if his personality changed. He didn't look so stiff and afraid. He looked relaxed and calm. He must be having a good dream, because his lips curled up forming a small smile.
Johnny stopped shaking and sighed in relief. His eyes softened and he felt better. Todd was safe and Shmee was still with him to protect him. Well, protect him enough until Johnny would next see him.
He walked back over to the window and sat on the ledge of it, facing Todd. He was watching Todd sleep. His night terror replayed over in his head. Being fully conscious and one hundred percent sure that he was, he was overjoyed that Todd had not actually been in that situation. He was even a little happy that Shmee had still been in one piece. Todd was more comfortable and happy when Shmee was with him.
He thought of the irony of dreaming about having a dream. Luckily, being fully awake, he couldn't feel the pain from his nightmare during his night terror. He felt no physical pain. It was ironic because he hated to sleep, let alone dream, so it was amusing that he had two dreams in one.
He thought about Mr. Satan's words. Even in the real world instead of his dreams, his words made sense. He had twisted and played with his mind until he was too confused. He decided to take Mr. Satan's words as his new truth. He didn't need to kill, because it served no purpose if that meant almost everyone would have to die. He wouldn't be ridding the world of bad people, he would just be ridding it of people themselves.
He knew for a fact, though, that he wasn't sheltering Todd. He was protecting him. So he was right about something. Johnny was basically Todd's older brother. He looked out for him and helped him when he was asked. Despite everything wrong with Johnny, he was a good older brother because he cared enough to make an attempt to help Todd. All Todd really needed in his life was someone who cared about him and to help him be a good person. Johnny wanted to believe that Todd cared about him too. If he did, then Johnny had everything he needed to turn his life around.
He could never change who he was. Johnny would always be Johnny. He won't smile or laugh often and people will still annoy the Hell out of him. However, he could bend a little. Smiling when he felt appropriate and not killing the cashier because they forget to give him those last three cents they owed him. Just the little things people do.
Johnny sighed once again and got up off the ledge. He went back over to Todd's bed and tucked him in properly. He gave a small smile and walked back over to the window.
This time he was leaving. He crawled out and silently shut it. He walked back over to his house. He went to the front door and opened it. When he walked inside, he thought he would test Mr. Satan's theory. Maybe everything was all in his head. He went to the living room and looked at the table backed against the wall. The Doughboys were usually on or next to the table and whether or not they would speak, didn't mean they weren't physically there. Yet, they were nowhere to be found. He looked up a little higher at the wall for Nailbunny. However, all that was up there was a nail. No body or head was to be found - just a bent out of shape nail. He looked on top of the entertainment center for Burger Boy, but, he to, was gone.
Finally, he was going to take the ultimate test. The Wall. He got a thin piece of metal and started scrapping all the dry blood off the wall. If everything had really disappeared, then once all the blood was gone, the Thing Behind The Wall shouldn't appear. It took about fifteen minutes to get all the blood off, but once it was all off nothing happened. No noises could be heard and no pressure had been applied to The Wall, as if to signal something on the other side.
Johnny was free. Free of everything. Best of all there were no noises! Everything was quiet and peaceful. No Doughboys telling him to kill himself, no arguing with Nailbunny about choosing to live or die, and no Burger Boy to fill his head with lies. He was truly happy.
Well it was about 8:45 A.M. now and nothing good would be on TV. Everyone was asleep and it was quiet. Johnny still hated the idea of sleep, but he now had nothing productive to do. So, he did what all bored people do: he went out. He decided that since he had taken the opportunity to sleep, that he would also eat.
So he grabbed his wallet and headed out for the 24/7 store. He went to get a brainfreezy or a cherry fizz-whiz, he still couldn't decide, and a large soft pretzel with cheese. Not a healthy meal, but it would fill him up for a week. He'd pick up the vomit later.
His story wasn't over, for he now had a new beginning and new responsibilities to himself and to Todd.
Let life begin.