The Captive Boy II - Chapter 12
The fire spread very fast and fiercely. At that moment Johnny just realized that he stepped into Lambriz's trap. The boy was so shocked that he just stood there.
"Run! Hurry!" shouted Johnny.
Johnny grabbed the boy's hands and ran out of the room. The boy was then awakened from the shock and ran with Johnny. Johnny found that almost the whole house was burning. He pulled the boy's hands and ran downstairs. The stairs were starting to burn too. He couldn't think if the stairs were safe or not, he just kept running with the boy.
It was so hot... Johnny felt that his whole body was burning. The hurt and unbearable feeling was overwhelming him, as if he went back to the Linbus Jail and his enemies were burning his body with red hot iron pincers. He felt that he went back to that hell and didn't know when he could leave...
So hurt... so hot... Johnny felt that he couldn't endure anymore...
However, at that moment Johnny felt the touch of the boy's hand. His hands were grabbed by the boy tightly. He became clearer.
He must rescue the boy! He must hang on!
Johnny pulled the boy's hand and ran recklessly. They reached the side door, but it was closed. Johnny tried to open it but it was locked. Johnny fired at the lock and hit the door heavily with his shoulder and body. The door was broken. Johnny and the boy ran out of the door. Cold air hit their face. They kept running until they were far away from the burning house. Johnny fell forward, rolled on the ground to put out the fire on his body. Then he lay prone, coughing and gasping hard. He breathed the cold air greedily.
Johnny felt that he was still trembling. After gasping for a while, he tried to collect himself and stand up. He looked around to find where the boy was. The boy was still lying prone, gasping and coughing. Johnny walked to the boy haltingly and helped the boy to stand up.
"Are you okay?" asked Johnny.
The boy calmed down a bit. He raised his own arm.
"I'm okay. The vest you gave me kept my body from being burned, so only my arms were burned a bit."
Johnny looked at the boy and knew that he was not seriously injured. He sighed with relief. Once he was relieved, a burst of strong pain came over him. He looked at his own body. His clothes were burned away a lot, and his body was burned too.
"Are you injured?" asked the boy with concern.
Johnny gritted his teeth to endure the pain. He shook his head.
"It's nothing," said Johnny. He held his gun again. "It must be them that set the fire. They must be nearby."
"Who are they? Why did they kidnap my grandpa and me, and even want to kill us?"
Johnny looked at the boy, and then he lowered his head. He didn't know how to explain everything to the boy. After a while, he raised his head and prepared to speak.
At that moment, Johnny felt someone walking toward him. He pulled the boy behind him, and raised his gun to point at the coming person. The fire behind them lit the man.
It was Lambriz! The fire lit his cold face; the face Johnny would never forget.
There was another man behind Lambriz, who was pulling an old man along with him. The old man was gagged; his hands were tied behind his back. He kept struggling.
The boy saw the old man and exclaimed, "Grandpa!"
The old man saw the boy and Johnny. He stopped struggling. He stood there still and looked at the two boys with widely open eyes.
Johnny looked at the old man too. He thought about how to rescue the old man and the boy from Lambriz's control.
Then Lambriz started to speak.
"We meet again, kid."
Though the sound of the burning house was quite loud, Lambriz's cold voice still pierced Johnny's ears and made Johnny think of his terrible experiences in the past. Johnny shivered, but he tried to control himself.
"What you want is me! Let them go! I can promise you all your conditions; you can do anything to me, but let them go!" Johnny shouted to Lambriz.
Lambriz grinned coldly.
"Son, you're not the one to make orders. I am. Drop your gun, now!"
Johnny hesitated. Lambriz made a gesture. The man behind Lambriz took out a gun and pointed to the old man's head.
"I repeat, drop your gun!" Lambriz said again, coldly.
Johnny dropped his gun and raised both his hands.
"Okay, I dropped my gun. Let them go now!"
"Son, I've told you, you're not the one to make orders here," Lambriz sneered. "I should remind you of that."
Lambriz took out a gun and shot toward Johnny.
"Ouch!" Johnny exclaimed.
The bullet grazed Johnny's left arm. He grabbed his left arm with his right hand. Blood started to flow between his fingers. The boy behind Johnny screamed. Johnny endured the pain and waved to the boy with his left hand, telling the boy that he was okay.
"Let's start with your arm. I will enjoy watching you die... slowly."
Johnny raised his head and looked at Lambriz. The fire lit Lambriz's face. His eyes were full of hatred.
"I've waited for this moment for a very long time. You made me lose everything. Now I can enjoy the the taste of sweet revenge. I can enjoy watching you die. Oh, how sweet! Ha! Ha!"
Lambriz laughed out loud and coldly. However, Johnny had sensed that something was happening outside of the fence. There seemed to be some faint voices; the voices of fighting. Someone seemed to be getting nearer. Were they Lambriz's underlings? Seemed not. If they were Lambriz's soldiers, why would they fight? And why would they move so quietly?
Johnny didn't know what was happening or who they were, but he decided to bet on his hunch. That would be his one and only chance. He should keep Lambriz's attention on him, to avoid Lambriz from noticing the abnormal movement outside. He endured the pain and shouted at Lambriz.
"I was captured a long time ago. Why did you say that I made you lose everything?"
"You were in the anti-government army, so you are one of them who caused my failure! Not to mention that you killed many of my soldiers!"
The tumult outside the fence seemed to getting bigger. Though the burning house made a lot of loud noise, Johnny could still hear the voices of fighting. He considered how to keep Lambriz from noticing that.
However, while Johnny was thinking about what he could do, he found that there were two men appearing quietly from behind Lambriz. Johnny didn't know who they were.
The man who had hold of the old man didn't notice the new comers. Soon he was hit by a buttstock and fell, unconscious. The old man's mouth was also covered by a big hand. Johnny heard the boy exclaim a bit. He reacted very quickly. He soon squatted down, like he was in pain. His right hand grabbed his injured left arm tightly and made a painful expression. The boy was startled and grabbed Johnny. Johnny pinched the boy's hand slightly, trying to give the boy some hint.
Lambriz sneered again. He wasn't fazed by the show of pain in front of him.
"My soldiers always told me how formidable you were. Humph! You're nothing to me. You stepped into all the traps I prepared for you. Ha! Ha!"
Johnny raised his head and looked at Lambriz with a painful face. Lambriz kept talking with a triumphant voice.
"When I knew that you captured the guy I sent to monitor you, I started to deploy everything. I started to soak this wooden house with inflammable liquid, and left this kid in the room. I knew that you would have to come here to rescue him. But I didn't expect that you are even more stupid than I thought. You came here alone! Ha! Ha! I just assigned a soldier to wait here. I simply ordered him to throw a bottle of gasoline into that room when you found the kid. I know that you would shoot it and cause a big fire to burn yourself. Ha!"
Inflammable liquid? Johnny thought of the unknown and uncomfortable smell.
"I have to admit that you are really like a cockroach. Your will to survive is much stronger than I expected. I was already very surprised that you weren't killed in the Linus Jail. Even such a big fire couldn't kill you!"
Johnny noticed that the voice of fighting was gone. Johnny didn't know what was happening. He didn't know how the old man was. He pretended to be in a lot of pain. Well, he was in a lot of pain, but he still tried to keep Lambriz talking.
"Where are your other soldiers?"
"Since I decided to give up this base, I let most of my soldiers withdraw first. However I left some here. Their guns are pointing at you now. Ha! Ha!"
"Well, I don't think that they can respond to your commands now," another voice said from behind Lambriz.
Lambriz was startled. He turned around and raised his gun. At the same time a gunshot rang out.
Lambriz's gun flew away from his hand.
Lambriz looked at the source of the gunshot with hatred in his eyes. Johnny then realized that the voice was Zarkway's and the one who shot Lambriz's gun was Jack!
Johnny sighed with relief. Once he was relieved, he felt weak and almost fell down. The boy behind him supported him from behind.
"Long time no see, Lambriz," said Jack. His gun was still pointing at Lambriz.
Lambriz sneered. He looked at Jack with venom in his eyes.
"You're a lot more abominable than everyone could imagine," continued Jack. "You sent Kiddie, who was just a small boy, to the Linbus Jail and let him be abused a lot there. You couldn't face your failure but shifted all the responsibility on him. You even kidnapped two innocent people just because you wanted revenge!"
"You made me lose everything. I want to take them all back," Lambriz said slowly.
"You have no more chances. You are going back to Leer with me to face your trial!"
"Humph! I won't be defeated that easily."
"Do you still think that those hidden soldiers will help you?" Another voice came from behind Johnny. Johnny turned around and saw that Joey and Ann were standing there. "All those hidden soldiers are captured."
Seeing Joey, Johnny had an indescribable feeling. He didn't want Joey to get involved, but Joey still came to rescue him. At that moment he really wanted to hug Joey tightly. Johnny tried to stand up.
"Are you okay? You seemed to be bleeding a lot," said Joey, concerned.
Johnny nodded. His arm stopped bleeding, however he felt hurt; the pain was all over his body. The boy was still supporting him from behind.
Lambriz looked at all the people around him. His anger and hatred reached the top. He roared.
"You all will pay for this!"
At that moment, everyone heard two gun shots!
-- To be continued.