The Radiation Kid
It was a terrible day for the people of humankind. Well, for some more than others. The new religious and military leader of the Malsh religion was celebrating that she had gotten her position. It hadn’t been a promotion or some other common way in which you could become the most powerful person in the world. No. She had beaten the previous ruler’s guards, snuck past the defensive systems, and killed the Malsh ruler in his sleep. She felt no pain for what she had done, as this was the only way to become the ruler. In celebration, she had made a bold move, trying to capture some of the last remnants of free humankind. Diana had sent the entire Malsh Air Force on a raid that was vastly scary for the people, but unsuccessful, because the Canadak government had gotten word of attack from a spy and set their defenses to an almost perfect condition. Still, near the border, a hospital that was crowded with people was hit. Nobody survived the attack, or the aftermath of the radiation from the toxic sludge… except for one little baby boy. This happened because the place where children were born in a hospital was filled and a mother was giving birth there in an aisle, close to the exit. As this was happening, barrels with the radiation rained down upon the hospital. There were explosives in them so that the people on the top floors died instantly. The floors below however got a strong wave of radiation, that was almost as instantaneous at killing as the explosion. The bottom floor had people in it, a few who didn’t die immediately; however almost everyone got a strong dose of radiation. A nurse used her last few seconds of life to wrap the baby and then put it in the one radiation suit that she could find. The baby was left outside of the hospital next to the nurse’s dead body in a soft patch of grass. The authorities found the baby and gave him to the adoption center. Since they had no way of identifying him, they took the baby to the police station and got it a social security number. When they were asked what the baby’s name was, one of the orphanage workers simply said… “Johnny.”
The teacher just wouldn’t stop talking. Johnny couldn’t take it. He had made a mess of the supplies in the classroom, but that was only because his coordination, along with other mental capacities, was handicapped. This was all because of that stupid Malsh person, Diana. If she hadn’t had radiation dropped on that hospital where he was born, he wouldn’t have felt so stupid or alone. He had no parents, and no friends either. People tended not to like those who survived some of the worst things possible. Well, the bell would ring soon and he would be able to make his way home. He started focusing on what the teacher was saying. Something like, “you need to be more careful in the classroom, blah blah blah!” Johnny didn’t really care.
As Johnny got his wheelchair to the ramp at the front doors of the school, some rowdy boys passed him. One boy, a tall handsome kid with brown eyes and a slight tan, knocked into Johnny and he fell over. The boy kept walking without saying sorry. This scared Johnny badly because the boy didn’t stop to help him up. Johnny’s vision clouded with rage, and before Johnny knew it, the boy had slipped, but there was nothing to slip on. This caused a moment of confusion as his friends kept walking until they heard him scream.
“God F@ck*ng D#mm&t. OOOOWWWW!”
Blood sprayed out from the boy’s face, but Johnny didn’t really care. “Instant Karma! Oh yeah!” thought Johnny. He was glad it was not his blood spraying. He righted his wheelchair as he stood up, and left the school. He was still angry, but little did he know that the boy was chasing him. As Johnny crossed the street, the boy caught up to him and grabbed his shoulder. “How did you trip me you little brat?”
But before Johnny could answer, HONNNNNNK. HONNNNNNNK. There was a flash as they were almost hit by a small truck taking a turn onto a small street too fast. Both boys moved as fast as they could, Johnny ditching his wheelchair. It seemed that in one bound he had jumped all the way to the other side of the road. The driver got out of the truck swearing loudly about how he would never get hired with this on his resume. But as the driver walked up to the boys, they stood up. The driver asked the kids if they were ok. They were, so he drove away. The boy looked at Johnny and said, “You know what. I don’t care that you tripped me, I’m outta here.”
That night, Johnny had another bad dream. He always did, after days like this. Some people may have thought of it as beautiful, or abstract, but Johnny hated it. It was like he wasn’t on a paint palette, but in one, so that he was surrounded by color, not just seeing it from one angle. He felt trapped and Johnny hated being trapped. It may seem like someone in a wheelchair would have gotten used to the feeling, but instead, it reminded him of the stories of how he had been in the hospital. The colors were dominated by a neon green, one that resembled toxic sludge, but with explosions of color here and there, like the explosion that would have killed him, except it hadn’t. They had only killed the top floors of that hospital, but it was enough to bring down the building on any trapped survivors that were left.
He awoke sweating and breathing heavily, his bunkmate shaking him awake. His screams had woken all the other orphans in the room. He was told to go back to sleep, but he couldn’t, and stayed awake all night until morning, where he dozed for the few minutes before the wake up call. And then, another painful day of school.
As Johnny was walking to school, the boy from yesterday appeared next to him. He had been running hard to try and catch up, from the sound of his breath. “Hey, I’m Steven,” he wheezed. “Sorry about yesterday, it was really just an accident.”
Johnny didn’t want to seem shy in front of Steven, although he had no idea why. “My name is Johnny,” he said, looking up from his wheelchair to see Steven. “It’s ok. I just got a little spooked, that’s all. Is your face ok?”
“A lot better than I thought it would be, at least. Turns out it was just a bloody nose. I think I’m gonna take it easy for a while though. Just in case it was more than that.”
As they turned the corner to go to school, they passed an alley, and a man jumped out wielding a handgun. He pulled the trigger twice and then ran away. It was hard to give a description, but he had the Malsh crest on the back of his clothing. The bullet missed Johnny, but hit Steven right in the stomach. He dropped to the ground, a scream of tortured agony released from his throat. Johnny wasn’t fast, and it seemed that no one had noticed what had happened. The only thing Johnny could do was put Steven in his wheelchair and push him. This would be hard as Steven had passed out from the pain. Johnny could walk, but he couldn’t do it well. His legs wobbled and he had terrible balance. Picking up Steven and putting him in his wheelchair would be a challenge. He did it, but he was worried about how much time it was taking. There was blood, but not as much as he expected. In fact, as he looked at the wound closely, it seemed to get increasingly smaller. As Johnny pushed the chair, Steven woke up.
“What’s going on?” he said. Then he looked down and saw his shirt stained with blood. He screamed, but it wasn’t the scream of pain. It was one of confused fear. Johnny arrived at the school, and he pushed through the front door and straight to the closest classroom to the front. That was a preschool class. Oh well, bad stuff happens right? The kids all ran and hid as the teacher called an ambulance. Once the ambulance left with Steven however, there was nothing Johnny could do but go back to class. His tardiness was excused and he sat down for another day of school.
Johnny was back at the orphanage. All the kids there had asked him about what had happened, but he had just ignored them and pretended to go to sleep. But tonight just so happened to be his very favorite dinner being served in the dining hall, and he couldn’t resist once the smells reached his bunk. As he walked into the hall, the old television was on. This was rare, as orphanage workers knew that parents were less likely to adopt a child if they were addicted to watching the television. The news was on, and the reporter was just bringing breaking news.
“A boy, age 13, name withheld, was shot at a local school. Doctors say from the amount of blood that it must have been at least a 52 mm. bullet, although they don’t know for certain as there is no bullet hole. Doctors are doing blood tests right now to see if it’s even real blood, or if this is just a huge prank.” When Johnny heard this, he grew angry. There was no way this was a prank, how could they think that? “The person that did this is not identified, although from the boy’s eyewitness report, he said it was a terrorist of the Malsh kingdom.”
The next day, Johnny wheeled into the lunchroom at school, and Steven came up and sat beside him looking angry. He got a few thoughts out of his mouth that went like How did I heal so fast? How am I still alive? Johnny had no answer to these questions, but Steven seemed to be so deep in his rage for the Malsh kingdom that he didn’t seem like he’d hear any answer given, anyway. Johnny didn’t think he had super powers, but after the last two days, he almost found himself contemplating whether or not he did. After school, Steven said to him, “I wanna get payback on those Malsh idiots.”
“It sounds crazy, but I kinda agree with you. If we’re going to do it, we need to plan though. We’d also need resources.”
“Johnny, I have a suspicion, and if I’m right, then we could just walk right on out of town towards the Malsh and beat them without a thought.”
Johnny thought this was crazy talk, but Steven had gotten his attention and he now felt a strange need for revenge on that dumb Diana who had ordered the air strike that had killed his parents. “Well then, we should get some food and leave tomorrow. Try and think of a cover story for why you’re going to be away for so long. The Malsh kingdom is a long way away.”
That night, Johnny went straight to bed. He didn’t try to make up an excuse for the coming future. The orphanage workers didn’t really care if he was back for dinner or not. In fact, they didn’t really care what he did at all, so the next morning, he wheeled into the kitchen with a sack and a backpack and began filling them up with canned food and bottles of water. Before he forgot, he also raided the maintenance closet of its toothpaste and toilet paper. He then left the orphanage, but instead of doing what he usually did, he went the opposite direction of the school. As Johnny wheeled along, he saw the whitewashed houses with the baskets of flowers hanging from the windows. Some families, the ones who could afford it at least, had front yards with trees and bushes that had many flowers. An open lot was being used by some younger kids to play some game that they had made up. He turned a corner and saw the wall that surrounded the city, protecting it from the most part from a ground assault planned by the Malsh. The wall loomed and was topped with barbed wire. He saw Steven at the city border which had been their predetermined rendezvous point. Steven seemed out of place, probably since he should have been in school.
Once Johnny caught up to Steven, he said, “ Are you ready?”
“Oh yeah, let’s get ‘em,” Steven said. And off they went. They would have to stop in some dangerous places along the way, until they got to the Canadak/Malsh border.
The land around them was barren and desolate, with sand dunes and bristly bushes. There was the occasional bird song, but it was usually just a dry caw. This was why people tended to stay in the big cities with protection. Otherwise, everyone would just get bombed off the face of the earth.
Hours later, in the distance, Johnny could see a mound rising out of the dry ground. He asked Steven what he thought it was, but Steven couldn’t even see it. As they got closer, Johnny saw that it was the first city on their way to the border. Steven was just barely able to see it, but Johnny dismissed this as being tired and maybe not perfect eyesight. Steven had a strange expression on his face, but Johnny was too tired and bored to ask. Eventually, they approached the walls of the city and Johnny agreed that it wasn’t a mirage. They would have to be checked by guards, but then they would be able to enter.
The first thing they did once they got there was to find a bathroom. They both agreed that they really needed to go. When that was all finished, they put the first phase of their plan in motion. Since all the next cities on the way to the border were much farther spread out, Steven had brought some tools so they could hotwire a car.
They saw a car with a big trunk and good suspension drive out of a gas station. They followed it as it slowly went through the neighborhood, and when it came to a stop, they spotted the driver getting out and going up the steps to his house. Once he was out of sight, the two rushed over and began working on the car. Johnny was looking out, and Steven got out his tools. Soon, they were driving, with Johnny riding shotgun and Steven at the wheel. The car had plenty of gas, and would definitely take them to the next city.
The car ride was long and hot. The road was barely even smooth enough to be considered that, and the air was really humid. At one point Steven fell asleep and almost drove them into a ditch, which would leave them stranded in the hot sun. After that, Steven tried to make lame jokes to keep him and Johnny awake and alert. “Why’d the Chicken cross the playground?” Steven said.
“To get to the other slide.” This continued but then turned into silence again as they drove. The car was red and had big tires with good suspension.
“So, how’s your life?” Johnny said, attempting at a conversation.
“Good. Nothing special. Say, I never thought about it, but don’t you live in that orphanage? Well, what happened?” Steven asked.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“Tell me and we’ll just have to find out whether or not I believe you.”
“Do you know about the bombing of that hospital close to the border when you were young? You know, when the Malsh got a new leader? I was the only one to survive. I was born right then and there on that very day. My parents and the nurse who saved me died. The radiation got to my brain but the amount was so small that I got lucky and just had bad coordination and… I prefer a wheelchair anyway.”
“Ok. That does sound like a miracle. Nothing cool has ever happened in my life. The strangest thing that ever happened to me was when a bird flew in front of me when I was learning to ride a bike and I fell. Maybe when this is over, you could, like, live in my house. That is, if my parents and you were ok with it.”
Johnny didn’t know what to say. His only friend had just offered to have his family adopt him so they could be brothers. Johnny thought about the awesomeness of his best friend being his brother.
Just then, they rounded a corner and saw the next city, Mila, on their way to the border and the Malsh kingdom. They drove into a small line of cars that were going through security. This wasn’t good. Usually, they didn’t do car checks, and they hadn’t thought about a supply convoy arriving today. This would be a problem because they didn’t have any papers or even a driver’s license to get them into the city. They would need to do something fast and smart to not raise suspicion.
Quickly, Johnny said, “Back out, back out!”
“I’d love to, but someone just pulled in behind us.”
“What should we do? We’ll be arrested for theft and then will have to go back home.”
“I have an idea. What if we drive out of the line, angle ourselves straight at security, and then put a brick on the gas and run into the city while security is distracted,” Steven said.
“Nothing to lose, I guess.” Johnny reached in the back and found a big metal toolbox. “Just imagine it is red and brick shaped.”
Steven swerved out of the line and started to drive straight at security and stopped. He pulled his hood low over his face and Johnny did the same. They opened the door, threw out the supplies they could carry, and put the box on the gas.
No one even noticed what was happening until the truck practically hit an officer, who dived out of the way at the last second. All the Milanian guards chased the empty truck and the boys snuck into Mila.
They would have to get food and then get out of the city before people noticed that two homeless boys had just appeared in the city the same day that a truck without a driver almost killed someone. Their first idea was to go to a restaurant to get something to eat. Since they’d have to steal it out of the kitchen, they needed a distraction. Johnny went to the front door and begged for food. After being denied by sous chefs and busboys, he demanded to see the chef at the top chain of command. The chef was a huge man with a thin mustache and big hands. Johnny looked the chef in the eye, gave him his best poor cripple face and said, “I want food. I’m starving. Gimme food.”
“I’m sorry son but we just can’t give away free food.”
“Fine, I’ll go starve all by my lonesome. When the police find my dead and decayed body, I’ll have a note written and signed that you were the last restaurant in town, and just like all the others, they decided to let me starve.”
The chef was getting nervous, but he really couldn’t do anything. Most people made food for themselves these days, and it was hard to get out of the restaurant business. “I really would, but I just can’t. I don’t want to be starving too.”
Johnny could see that he had him and his reputation on the ropes, so he kept up the guilt tripping.
By then Steven had waltzed in and took whatever he could carry. He made the signal to Johnny when he left and Johnny made an excuse to leave.
They met up at a predetermined street corner a couple blocks away.
They ate to their heart’s content: chips and fruits, cakes and cookies and a few types of bread. These was the best bread they’d had in their life, and only once they were very full did they pack away the surplus for later. As they ate, they began to talk.
“So, what type of car should we get?” Johnny asked. “Personally, I could do a big monster truck type. What about you?
“I want something that’s fast and just big enough to hold our stuff.”
“Yeah, a nice sports car would be cool.”
“I think I saw one of those big parking lots when we ran from the restaurant.”
“Me too. Plenty of people leave their cars unlocked. This’ll be easy.”
It wasn’t easy at all. There were always several people in the lot and they had to act casual or else they might seem suspicious. That was one problem. The next was that none of the cars were unlocked. They were running out of cars and only a few were left. When they got to the last one, Steven tried the handle. “Damn.”
Not believing their bad fortune, Johnny pulled the handle. The door opened without a sound. Steven looked at the door and then at Johnny. He was very confused. “Chop chop, let’s get a move on.”
“Alright, I’ll start the car, you keep watch.”
“Not like there’s any other way,” Johnny said.
Since this was an older car, Steven could hot-wire it with ease. All he had to do was connect the battery wire to the ignition wire, and then put the gas wire on both of them. He then wrapped it in electrical tape and revved the engine. It worked.
They drove to their stash of food and supplies, loaded up the car, and off they went.
As they drove to the border, trees began to appear on the side of the road. In what felt like an instant, they were surrounded by forest. Whoa, Johnny thought. All his life, he’d been living in the desert of Canadak, and all of a sudden, beautiful trees and birds. As they drove, they even saw a deer, who was more curious than afraid of the loud car. All this forest looked good, but the car was barely putting up with it. It was an older model, and it bounced with the road, shocks jangling. Johnny opened up the glove compartment and took a look around. There was nothing there but one manila file. On it, the Malsh crest.
“Steven, quick, stop the car, you need to look at this.” Steven quickly pulled over.
In the file, details about air bases and the Canadak army. There were locations and names, some that nobody knew about or had been out of use for decades. The Trak airfield had been an old missile base. The Handrum seemed to be a secret place for airplanes and submarines. Some of the names, like Frank Jopplin and Cassy Spere, were supposed to be dead war heroes, yet there were pictures with time stamps from only about a week ago.
“Now I can’t even imagine what our government isn’t telling us.”
“I don’t really care right now. We stole a spy car!” Steven said.
“What if there’s a tracker or something? What if it’s got super cool gadgets?”
“That would be amazing. We should take a good look and see what it can do.” From what they could tell, there was nothing else special about this car.
Steven now drove with a smile, not a bored expression. “This is so cool, hey I wonder what this does, hey, I wonder what that does?” It turned out that it was usually just the A/C of the radio. One button did actually prove to be spy-like. It turns out that the car had some advanced hydraulics and shocks, but they had been off for most of the ride. Now, the drive was smooth and easy.
All of a sudden, the road was covered in reverse-direction spikes, and past those, a huge stone wall. “We’re here,” Johnny said.
They drove alongside the spikes for hours. The day was hot but the trees did a good job keeping out some of the light. Finally, they came within sight of what looked to be a weak spot in the wall. They got out of the car and began to look for a way either, through, over, or under the giant wall. Johnny found some protruding rocks that got him half way up the wall. He was close, but he wouldn’t be able to get over, much less get back. Meanwhile, Steven looked for a low spot in the ground so he could dig under. He brushed aside some vines to see if there was a low amount of dirt, but what he found was amazing and outright intriguing . A hole went straight through the wall, and it was big enough for someone on their hands and knees to climb through. Steven yelled for Johnny to come over to him quickly. Johnny took a look and then folded his wheelchair and began to push it through. He would push it, then crawl right up behind it, and repeat. They crawled into a room that was big enough for several grown men if they were squeezed together. The Malsh crest covered a whole wall. Steven looked at Johnny. “This is how their spies get into Canadak. We have to report this location when we get back. At least, if we don’t stop the Malsh ourselves.”
“Hold on. I thought we were just doing this to kill Diana. Taking the whole kingdom is going to be a way different issue.”
“All we have to do is stop Diana. If she’s killed by us, then we become the leaders of the Malsh. We could have them march into the sea if we wanted.”
“But some of them used to be Canadakian not long ago. They don’t want to be there. They’ve been brainwashed. We can’t be responsible for all those murders of our own for these people.”
Steven thought about this for a second. “Fine, we won’t have all of them killed. Only the ones with power. They’re just as bad as Diana. For the rest, we can just make them not attack and we could disband the whole kingdom. In fact, we could start a civil war for them to fight out with themselves and then, when they’re weak, the Canadak army could swoop in and end it all.”
“Yeah, that’s gonna happen,” said Johnny.
Steven then said, “I’ll get the stuff from the car. You can bring it from here to the other side,” and he left.
Once everything was moved to the other side, they contemplated how they were going to bring it anywhere. In the end, Steven went to the car to get its wheels, and Johnny started making a square platform big enough for the food and clothes.
Once the push car was finished, Johnny took a look at it. It wasn’t what he expected it to be. He had thought it would be a rectangular shape, but it was actually more triangular, and the wheels were attached insecurely. It would have to make do though, because they had no other way to carry the supplies. It had a handle in the front, and one in the back, and they were just going to have to push and pull it all the way to their destination, unless they could get their hands on a car. They piled up the supplies and then began to go. There was a well-used trail leading from the hole, so they just followed it and hoped it got them somewhere soon. It was a hot day and the bugs were attacking with joy, looking to get a free meal out of their flesh. Soon, they came in front of a huge warehouse with a parking lot that had one or two cars in it. A whole wall on the outside of the warehouse was covered in one huge Malsh Crest.
“You start working on a car, I’m gonna check out this warehouse. See if there’s anything we want inside,” said Johnny.
“Alright, I’ll get to work. Just help me wheel the stuff over to that car over there.”
Once the supplies were next to the car and ready to be loaded up, Steven grabbed his hotwiring tools and Johnny wheeled over to the warehouse. He left the wheelchair outside and went in. It was cold, but light filtered through the high dusty windows. Johnny saw more cars, these ones more suited to off road terrain. There was a table and a minifridge, and Johnny decided to take a seat. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then he saw it. A mug with steam coming off the top of it. He jumped up and from the chair and scrambled to the entrance of the warehouse. Just as he got there, he heard a flush from what must have been a bathroom. He went over to Steven and quickly whispered,
“Someone was in the warehouse and I barely got out without them noticing me. I want to get out of here before they decide to go for a stroll and see two kids from Canadak.”
“Ok, ok. Calm down – I just started loading the car.”
“Great. Here, I’ll start helping.”
Together, they loaded the stuff into the trunk, hopped in and took off, and then Steven swerved off onto a one lane road that would lead to the main Malsh kingdom. A man walked out of the warehouse, and saw the platform lying in the middle of the parking lot. He seemed confused, but he was also half asleep and just left it there, thinking it was just a weird abnormality.
The road was smooth and straight. This led the boys to get bored very quickly. They both stared straight ahead as the jungle unfolded in front of them. When they got to the city, they drove around to the back part which was less populated. Since it was the capital of the Malsh, they had expected protection, but the wall in front of them was huge. It was solid concrete, with barbed wire on top. What were they going to do?
“Johnny, don’t you think this whole mission has been pretty easy. I mean, everything’s gone without a hitch.”
“You’re right. I wonder why that’s happened. I also wish we were able to get through this wall.’
Then, without sound, a hole in the wall crumpled into existence. It was a solid wall one second, and a hole big enough for them to stand up and walk through the next.
“How’d you do that?” Steven asked with amazement.
“I didn’t do anything,” said Johnny. “I just said I wish we could get through this wall.”
“You must have superpowers or something.”
“There’s no way. I can barely even walk without falling.”
“It’s like Charles Xavier from the X-Men. He can’t walk, but he has superpowers.”
“But how could I have gotten them?” Johnny paused. “When I was born–” Steven cut him off.
“The toxic radiation gave you powers. This is incredible. I had suspected something, but literally nothing can stop you from your goals. Your powers make sure of it.”
They were both staring at each other in disbelief.
“Remember when I accidentally pushed you over and then I fell for no reason? I bet that was your subconscious mind that made me slip. And when we almost got hit by the truck! Did you feel weird that night, because I did.”
“Yeah, my dream was kinda creepy and weird.”
“I bet the near-death incident gave me one of your powers. That’s why when we were attacked, I healed fast, but your powers just made the bullet miss you entirely. You didn’t have to feel the pain of being shot,” said Steven with a fake pouty face.
“It’s probably also how we got that car that was the very last one in the parking lot. Or how we stole from that kitchen so easy. If I’d known about my powers, we could have just snapped our fingers and been here in seconds.”
“I got an idea. What if we did an experiment. Think about a Lamborghini really hard. Close your eyes and just think. Imagine it right in front of you.”
“How do you know I should be doing those things?”
“TV.” This was the simple response from Steven.
“Ok then. Here I go.” Johnny sat and waited and focused, but after about ten minutes, nothing happened. “Oh well. It’s not like superpowers actually exist.”
But Steven had another idea. “Think fast,” he yelled, and then threw a rock. Almost right before it hit Johnny, it exploded, and the pieces went every direction but at Johnny. Johnny turned around, confused at the sound, but then saw Steven’s awe.
“You do have powers. You can’t be hurt or be stopped by obstacles.”
“Wow. I had no idea for my entire life.”
“Let’s rest up for tomorrow. It’s going to be a big day.”
They slept more peacefully then they had since the beginning of this journey – before bed, the two had done some tests. Johnny had stepped off a tree limb, and was somehow suspended in air, and his last trick before being utterly exhausted, was to throw himself into mid-air. Before bed: walking into the campfire (which split before him like the Sea of Reeds did for Moses), having Steven pour hot soup all over his back (which bounced off of him, as if he were a duck), jumping off a ledge (the ground turning soft as a pillow yet bouncy as a trampoline beneath him).
“Hey there, sleeping beauty.”
“Great, now what?” Johnny said through a muffled voice.
“I’ve been up for ages. Look what your magic brought us today,” he said as he held up a box and a bottle. The contents were donuts, candy bars, and fizzy apple cider.
“Hey, don’t drink all the cider Stevie,” Johnny said, mouth full of donut.
“Presto there’s another in the box.”
“Wow, hand it over. So… I had a dream about something – I think I’ve figured something out.”
“What’d you figure out?”
“What we do with a kingdom. We could break down the wall, integrate them into our society, and be one big happy nation.”
“You could be a king but you’d do that instead? You’re out of your gourd.”
“Whatever, but I call that chocolate donut.”
After eating so much they felt like they were going to pop, they rolled up their bags and began walking through the hole that had appeared in the wall the previous day. When they crossed into the city, they immediately had to duck for cover.
“Alright, what’s the plan?” Steve asked.
“We need to get to the palace, find Diana, and then…”
“Well, who’s going to kill her?”
Steven had to stop for a moment and think about this. “We’ll do it together. Like brothers.”
“Yep, you’re right. Like murdering brothers trying to assassinate a queen to become kings.”
They began to disguise themselves, because the Malsh don’t wear ordinary clothing. They found some old sheets and turned them into tunics, which they put on over their clothes. They then found some rope and used it as a belt, and finally drew the Malsh crest on their backs with some dark mud. It looked real enough so they stepped out of the alleyways and shadows they’d been hiding in and made their way to the castle in the center of the city. When they got to the outside, they told the guard a lie that a frisbee had blown over the castle wall. The guard let them in. Once they passed the outer wall, they were able to slip into the building through a low window into an empty guest bedroom. For the time being, they were doing fine. Not many rooms in the castle were used. Just Diana’s bedroom, the dining room, and the garage. All the other rooms were just confusions to slow down an unwanted intruder. They began looking through every room, looking for her bedroom. If she was there, Steven had gotten them knives from the kitchen. If she wasn’t there, they would wait to ambush her as soon as she walked through the door. Finally, on the fourth floor, they found a locked room. Johnny closed his eyes and concentrated. They heard a click and the door opened. Inside was a massive bedroom. No one was in it though. Just as they stepped inside, they heard a pinging of the elevator. “Quick, hide behind the doors. We’ll cover her mouth and then kill her together,” said Steven.
“Ok, but first I think we should give her a chance to surrender. Y’know, kind of like a trial.”
“Fine, we’ll give her a ‘fair’ trial and then execute her,” said Steven sarcastically.
As they were talking, they had quietly shut and locked the door, and Steven had pulled some rope out of his pack. He was going to tie Diana down and the gag her until they were sure they were safe. The door opened and they held their breath. Diana walked in right past the door they were hiding behind, and with her back turned to them, Steven wrapped part of the rope around her throat to secure a good hold. He and Johnny began wrapping the rest of the rope around her until she was practically immobile, and they loosened the rope around her neck. As soon as they did this, Johnny shoved a wad of cloth into her mouth so she couldn’t scream for help. Her eyes were wide with surprise and worry, but when she realized it was just two young boys, she calmed down a bit. They closed the door and ungagged her.
“What are you doing, what do you want with me.”
“We want to give you a fair trial before your execution, which will probably happen no matter what the imaginary jury’s verdict is,” said Steven with the same sarcasm from earlier. “The court is now in session.”
“How many crimes have you committed?”
“I have no idea, but on my side of the border, I’ve done nothing illegal. Now, on your side, I’d say close to infinite.”
“Well, that gives you two options. Surrender the throne to me and my friend or die and the throne is ours either way.”
“I would never just give my throne to one of you little Canadak punks. You’ll have to kill me, but you don’t have the guts.”
“I don’t think she knows how far we’ve come. We’re not stopping at anything. Go open that window over there.”
“Wait, you want to throw her to death? What if it doesn’t work.”
“You’re right. Put your hand on mine,” Johnny said as he pulled out his knife from the kitchen. “Lets just end it.” Together, they stood behind Diana, and then yanked the knife across the front of her neck. She slumped to the ground, and as the life drained out of her eyes, Johnny and Steven became the new rulers of the Malsh empire.
End Of Book.