“The day can no longer give me grace. I find no comfort in the day’s warm glow. The night is my only friend. I walk alone, hand in hand with the night. I am…the Nightwalker.”
Friends, let me tell you the tale of a hero like none you’ve ever heard. This is the tale of the Nightwalker.
14 yr. old Jonathan “Johnny” Jones never used to be such a recluse. In fact, he was very much like any ordinary child going through their growing pains. However, life is often filled with tragedy. One day, Johnny was going over to his closest friend’s house, Jerry.
Jerry was regarded as Johnny’s brother in his eyes. Lately, though, Jerry had been troubled. He had been bullied at school, and he had was at the end of his rope. Johnny had done his best to make sure the bullies were reprimanded, and be the friend Jerry so desperately needed. However, Johnny was too late…
As Johnny rounded the corner and ventured up the stairs to his best friend’s townhome, he saw Jerry stand there in the hallway with a handgun pointed at his head. Johnny reached out and cried for Jerry. He locked eyes with Jerry as he pulled that trigger. A gunshot rang out in that small hallway, and Jerry fell over dead. Blood spurted and sprayed against the walls, framed photos of better days, and on Johnny. He stood there frozen until the police arrived.
After hours of questioning a mute Johnny, the police had affirmed that it was a suicide. With no note left behind and nothing said, the case was closed, and a new chapter for Johnny would begin in his life.
Some time after returning to school, Johnny began to be bullied and was told he was a murderer. Some even went so far as to paint his locker, post clippings of the suicide, and other distasteful things. He wasn’t safe online, nor was he inside his home. Eventually, his parents pulled him out of public school. He was to begin psychotherapy; however, he remained mute.
Months passed and on one sunny day, he decided to venture out into the world. The beginning of what would shape Johnny to become something…more.
Maybe I shouldn’t have come out… Everyone still remembers. Johnny sighed. He ran his pale hand through his bright blond—almost white hair. The blue in his eyes was amplified only by the azure in the sky. He ducked as he walked underneath a tree branch that would have smacked the clumsiest of people in the face. He hopped off his bike and started to walk it up the townhouse steps. The loose change jingling in his baggy blue jeans and ruffled sounds of his gray hoodie.
“Ow!” Johnny groaned, “What the hell?” Johnny looked down at the acorn that rolled next to his foot on the steps. He looked around to see if it was a prank some neighborhood kids were playing on him.
He turned around and started to go up another few steps then was pelted again. He turned back around, dropping his bike, watching it fall, down the steps.
“Who did that?! What the hell is your problem?!”
A Scottish voice piped from the tree branches. “Oi, ya dirty, runt. Yer tresspassin’ on my land. Why don’t ya get yer filthy self back in there and stay there. Better yet, why don’t ya ship off to Boston or somethin’!”
A squirrel? Johnny looked puzzled and slowly walked down the steps, peering up at the raging red squirrel. “Are you…talking to me?”
“What does it look like, ya filthy rat bastard!? Ya walkin’ all around, paradin’ the streets, OUR streets an our land, like ya some kind of special gift.” The squirrel spat off his branch towards Johnny. “Ya humans, filthy abominations, the lot of ya.”
“What the hell? How can I understand you?” Johnny asked.
“Oh, I don’t know wee one, maybe ya finally ate your Wheaties or got up on the right side of the bed.” The squirrel blurted. “What do I know, I’m just a bloody squirrel!”
A passerby came up behind Johnny. “Excuse me, sir. Do you hear this?”
The bald, round-faced man hurried by Johnny, shaking his head. “Crazy kids,” he mumbled.
“That’s right, ‘crazy kids,’ ya fuckin’ round-faced, fat bastard! I hope ya choke on a Twinkie!” The squirrel shouted.
“So apparently, only I can understand you…and only I can talk to you?” Johnny spoke to himself.
“Oh boy, have we got a real smart one here. Boys! C’mon out!” The squirrel bellowed on the branch.
A series of pit-pats were heard, and soon, Johnny was looking at, at least over a dozen brown squirrels.
“Yer numbers up, runt. Either ya get to steppin’ or put yer mitts up!” The red squirrel shouted.
“Look, I’m not in the mood—”
“Not in the mood he says!” The red squirrel led the others into a laughing fit. His tone and his gaze became grave and profound. “I suggest ya beat it, lad. If ya know what’s good fer ya.
Johnny grabbed his bike and stumbled up the stairs into his home. He closed the door, muffling the laughter that roared on the other side. He wagered a gaze and peeked out the window only to see all the squirrels giving him the ‘finger.’
What the actual fuck just happened, he thought.
He carried on his night like any other night. When it came the time, he rested his heavy head on his pillow.
As he drifted asleep, images and sounds began to fill his head. He saw Jerry before him. Not an undead bastardization, but the once lively tall brown-haired boy he had regarded as his brother.”You’re the only one left, Johnny. I am sorry. I just had to. Maybe one day you’ll understand.”
“What do you mean?” Johnny asked the phantom.
Images flashed of a red cape billowing in the wind and a loud growl. A Frenchmen cackled while hacking up a hairball, and a ticking sound continued to get louder and louder each moment.
A voice echoed in an abysmal darkness, “Be the hero they need.”
The darkness faded to a world laid in ruin in darkness. A lone silhouette walks towards the light of a downcast streetlamp. He realized that it was him. Much older, much bigger, and wiser. Dressed in black, he fights those who would do wrong and are the injustice to the world.
Then, the spoken words echoed and rang tried and true in his mind. “The day can no longer give me grace. I find no comfort in the day’s warm glow. The night is my only friend. I walk alone, hand in hand with the night. I am…the Nightwalker.”