Soon she'd understand. She never understood before, but soon she'd understand. These thoughts raced through Jonny's mind as he approached the house, paying little regard to stealth as he inadvertantly activated the intense glare of her security light. He paid no mind, deciding to further meditate upon his task. The axe felt cool in his hand. Soon it would be warm, soon it would be happy.

The chain of events that had led to this particularly bloody climax were astonishingly simple. Perhaps not as simple as some, less motivated acts, but certainly way up there.

The chronology of love follows a general pattern: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets another girl....ad infinitum (or ad necros, more often). This was not the way it happened for Jonny. It was more like this: Jon meets Sharon, Jon loses Sharon, Jon loses mind, Jon meets axe, axe meets Sharon, Sharon loses head. It is between the second and third from last stages that we view our protagonist. Jonny could still remember the axe, how it gleamed protected by a wall-mounted breakaway glass case. How it sang to him in a tongue only he could understand, revealing his new purpose.

And soon, his purpose would be revealed to all. Soon she would understand what real pain felt like. Her and that fucking prick Bradley he'd seen around her place. They'd both understand. He'd make them understand. He could imagine it now. Chop chop chop. Dead dead dead. Then they'd know, then they'd understand. The front door loomed in front of him, a thick wooden barricade. She'd never let him in, this he knew. She'd stopped picking the phone up, and had pulled it out yesterday. He'd seen a squad car round there afterwards, but that didn't worry Jonny.

The song of the axe soothed his troubles, the door would be no obstacle. Jonny swung the axe backwards in a wide arc, as if hammering in a post with a mallet. He continued the arc over his head, the shining silver blade carving a blurred parabola through the chill air. The impact was less jarring than he had expected. The ominous-looking stained wood was nought but cheap, veneered plywood. The virginal blade smashed through the inexpensive timber like a hammer through an egg, gouging an enormous three-foot splintered gash. A muffled scream was heard from upstairs, followed by a series of confused monosyllabic grunts from muscle-boy.

Jonny swung again and again, rending, shattering. Cracks melded with each other like the plateau of a delta, shards of wood falling like splintered hail. High-pitched screaming interspersed with bass-laden tones formed a counter-rhythm to the sporadic crack of the axe, as more and more of the flimsy wood was destroyed. Finally the door gave way, the entire centre section falling to the floor inside the house. Jonny stepped inside, tiny fragments of shattered door crackling under his cheap third-party training shoes. He heard a rythmic thudding from upstairs, heavy boots impacting on floorboards muffled with nasty pink carpet. The song of the axe continued, reassuring. Bradley was coming, but he would be no obstacle. Jonny moved towards the staircase that faced the door, eager for the final encounter with his steroidal arch-nemesis.

They met halfway up the stairs, Brad's sleep-veiled eyes meeting Jonny's crazed, demonic gaze. Brad almost slipped into his typical possessive idiot mode, eyes widening with territorial anger. Then he saw the axe. Indeed, it was the last thing he ever saw. Jonny tightened his grip, swinging upwards from the vertical six o clock position towards Brad's face. The axehead was heavy, offsetting his aim by a few inches. The axe buried itself into the base of Brad's ribcage. Fresh blood spurted from the new wound like a punctured soda bottle, covering Jonny's chest and face. Brad's eyes rolled white from shock as Jonny swung again, this time overarm. The axe slammed into Brad's shoulder, shattering bone and tearing through his left carotid artery. More blood, and Brad fell to the floor with a two-hundred-pound squelch.

Just as Jonny thought. Or rather, just what the axe had told him. All of Brad's muscle was no match for the tempered steel. Jonny stopped and listened. Sharon was still upstairs, screaming something that sounded like an address. Jonny realised what was happening and sprang up the stairs, over Brad's bisected corpse. Holding the axe in both hands he turned towards the open bedroom door. He could hear her much clearer now, her wimpering becoming higher and higher pitched. Jonny's blood quickened with the thought of finally facing his quarry at last. The floorboard creaked beneath his size sevens, and Sharon stopped speaking.

Jonny couldn't wait any longer. He kicked the door back and it swung inwards at terrific speed, the friction from an oversized carpet preventing it from rebounding from the wall and swinging back. Sharon screamed, a sound now familiar to Jonny. Far in the distance he could hear the wail of several sirens, converging on his position. He didn't have long. Peering through the darkness, he saw Sharon. Trembling next to the bedside table, clutching a telephone receiver. Suddenly she saw Jonny, standing triumphant in the doorway, clutching the glistening axe; she froze. Her mouth hung half-open, eyes widened and pupils shrunken in terror, the phone receiver still against her pale face. He advanced on her relentlessly, and rained the axe down. Chop chop chop. Sharon folded like a blanket, her broken body sinking in on itself and collapsing into the carpet.

Jonny stood before her, the axe warm in his hands. The axe was happy. The sirens were almost everywhere now, but Jonny wasn't worried. It's song continud silently in Jonny's mind, soothing him, showing him the way. Now Sharon and Brad understood, but many more still did not. It was Jonny's job to make them understand. He ran back down the stairs, and down the lower hall towards the set of stairs that ran to the basement. He knew from previous nocturnal visitations to the house that Brad kept a shotgun down there. The door to the steps was locked, but proved no problem for the axe. Down the steps and through another door painted in a shade of beige that reminded Jonny of early experiences with gastric flu. He flipped the light switch, casting a dirty yellow filter across the basement. On the far wall a gun rack had been erected, laden with large-calibre assault firearms. Apparently Brad had extended his collection. Jonny walked across the room and chose the largest, a 12 gauge pump-action, along with a dark leather satchel brimming with shells of varying sizes.

Mission accomplished, he turned to exit the house, when a glimmer of blue light against an internal wall caught his attention. Sirens in the distance, but closer now. Not much time. Jonny rapidly opened the breech and pumped in eight huge red shells, before wasting no time in using them. Jonny stepped through the carcass of the front door to the house, framed for a moment in the glare of an overhead streetlight. Passers by ran from him when the blood-soaked maniac opened fire, but they were mistaken in thinking themselves faster than buckshot. They fell like corn before a scythe, the scattergun spraying lead hailstones through the air like a crazed popcorn machine. Screams echoed down the streets as the weapon finally fell silent, but soon Jonny had pumped more of those silky smooth shells into the chamber and was back up to speed again.

He found himself standing in a killing field fifty metres either side, peppered with the dead and the dying. His satchel was still heavy with shells, but no targets presented themselves. Suddenly a shot rang out, a castrato compared to the shotgun's booming report. The pavement beneath him jumped as a bullet ricocheted off of it. Jonny spun to see a lone police car, front doors spread wide with two young officers crouched low behind them. Two automatic pistols sang out as bullets whizzed past the unflinching psychopath, each man screaming something incomprehensible. Jonny knew only one language now. He leveled his shotgun at the first of the two, firing off two blasts. One peppered the door, the other caught the officer full in the face. His neck snapped backwards as a bloody miasmic mist sprayed into the air. The second officer was dumbstruck for a moment, before throwing himself headlong into his vehicle. Jonny fired off another round at the fuel cap, shattering it and leaking yellowish fluid onto the tarmac; the stink of petroleum began to permeate the midnight air.

Before he could reload and finish the job, the screech of tires and the coronas of blue strobes alerted Jonny to the presence of another squad car. Jonny aimed his gun at the driver and fired. The windshield exploded into a million gory fragments of glass as the car veered out of control and slammed into a nearby house, it's horn jammed on. More cars were coming, more lights, but Jonny was ready. The more people that understood, the better. A crack from behind him and a sharp pain in his back. Jonny turned slowly as more bullets slammed into him, the shotgun clattering to his feet. Through his fading vision, he was able to make out the outline of the officer that had dived into the car thirty seconds previously. Another couple of bullets and the world went black. In his dying moments, amidst the muffled shouts of his opponents and the cold tang of handcuffs, Jonny heard laughter. Far off and distant, lying soiled and forgotten in the dusty basement of a ruined household, the axe was laughing. Laughing at him.

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