Little Johnny, Part One

By 5th Dentist

Intro

Blinking away the haze, the boy awoke and saw a strikingly beautiful voodoo priestess at a workbench across the room. A candlelit room.. .or was it a cave? Were those roots growing from the ceiling? As he stirred, she turned and then seemed to glide over to his bedside. He watched her and at the same time realized he had no sensation in his arms…or his legs…

The priestess tied something around his neck.  Then, as she waved her long fingers across his eyes, he fell away from his vision back into darkness.

He fell away…

Chapter 1

The grassy foothills of the Hillaranista mountain range were mostly clear of snow this time of year, and the breeze from the west carried the smell of pine trees.  An eagle circled, scanning the hills for movement contrary to the flow of the breeze in the grass.  It ignored the smoke flowing from a small chimney in one of the hills.  A chimney with nothing evident around it except for a door lower on the hill.

The room the boy slumbered in was, in fact, a cave. One with a wooden door engraved with the initials, “SW”. The eagle above had never seen the boy, but frequently saw the mysterious woman entering and leaving with a small, covered cart.  Always back and forth on the worn path leading to subway tunnels on the outskirts of Atheistopolis. The eagle never approached the city because of the stench emitted from it, but it saw the woman.

Always back and forth with her cart. How many times all these years…the eagle was not equipped to reminisce.  Especially given the small flash of brown that just moved through the grass. The eagle silently dropped from the sky like a missile, now mere feet above the brown rodent, extending its talons to impale its prey.  The eagle was airborne again as quickly as it had descended…carrying the remains of an extinquished life. The eagle lived as it must.  As all must.  Consuming life to maintain its own.

Chapter 2.

“I say, boy!”, shouted the man.  Little Johnny McBarkatraw looked up to see a tall man in a tuxedo and top hat exiting the train car onto the platform on which Johnny leaned against a pile of luggage.

“Boy Come over here at once!”, insisted the man.  Johnny pulled himself up to his feet and shambled over to the man; eyes averted from the man’s solid gold framed spectacles. “Y-y-yes S-sir?”, said Johnny.

Amid this exchange, Little Johnny puzzled over where he was, and how he got here.  He remembered seeing the beautiful face of a voodoo priestess in what seemed moments ago. Was he dreaming and just now awoke? If he was dreaming, how did he get the wooden cross hanging from a piece of twine around his neck? He was in a train station? {Starnes Station}, judging from the ornate sign on the wall..

[Whak. ..rinnnnng]

Johnny’s ear burst into pain, blood and ringing as the man smashed the solid gold handle of his ivory cane against Johnny’s left ear. Blood was flowing down Johnny’s neck as the well dressed man shouted at him, “You pay attention, you insolent scalawag!  I am the Atheist Baron Schmeremy Schmomahawk.  I shall have that coat of yours to protect my boots from this puddle.  Place it there now and I shall allow you one dollar.”

Little Johnny pleaded, “B-b-but sir, without my coat, I will freeze.  Please don’t make me…” [Crunch!] The Baron drove the golden handle of his cane into the left side of Little Johnny’s face.

Johnny’s nose was broken and gushing blood, and his eye socket was destroyed

He could only see or hear from his right now.  And his senses were fading fast.  Little Johnny dropped his coat onto the puddle before stumbling backward and falling beside the pile of luggage where he awoke some moments ago.

Having lost enough blood to render him unconscious, Johnny barely noticed the silver dollar which glanced off of the wooden cross and onto his neck.

“Next time, you shant delay me, boy! Or I shall wallop your other ear as well.”

Little Johnny blacked out as the Atheist Baron Schmeremy Schmomahawk strode on his way to partake in a fine Prime Rib and martini at J Dean’s, the most exclusive restaurant in Atheistopolis.

Chapter 3

Johnny dreamed in slow motion as he bounced around in the dark. Unable to attain consciousness, he saw scenes play out in a rusty, abandoned warehouse as if from a bird’s perspective. Through a skylight, he saw a well dressed man eating at a large table. Or was he. ..chained to the table?

It was the Baron Schmeremy Schmomahawk. .eating. .crying.

…bleeding ?

The Baron spat out a chunk of food across the table and out of view. And at once the room lit up orange from the other side of the table. Johnny felt the heat and heard the roar through the skylight as he saw

Schmomahawk cower and grab a knife from the table. Then reached up with both hands to his face.

Johnny was horrified as the chained man turned and shrieked below. The Baron cut and pulled a strip of flesh from the ruined left side of his face. In a pool of blood on the table, the Baron laid his head down for a moment, until a thunderous sound of a fist pounding the table shook the ceiling and the pool of blood rippled.

The Baron shot upright, sobbing, and began tearing at the chunk of flesh with his teeth.

Johnny heard hoarse, dreadful laughter echo from the room…as he rose away from the skylight. And the laughter surrounded him…sickly like a crow calling. Johnny jostled in the dark, unsure if he was awake or dreaming, but desperate to focus on the movement and the sound of the crows.

The crows called, and Johnny dreaded the horror he had dreamt.  What sin could bring such dreams? Johnny grasped the wooden cross around his neck and prayed.

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