A Runaway Father's Odyssey by Xerolo44 | World Anvil Manuscripts | World Anvil

Chapter 4: Timber & Sawdust

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"Well, where should I begin? Those floorboards seem like booby traps. I think I should start by getting some new ones, as some of these pieces of shite are rotten to the core," Benedikt exclaimed as he stepped away from the modest tavern door.

Having said that, Benedikt navigated through the corners and alleys of the city. The layout of the city hadn't changed abit since his childhood. If he remembered correctly, one of his early adolescent friends should have a joinery near here. After a few minutes, he found himself standing in front of a house that was unmistakably a joinery, its exterior displaying the telltale signs of wood craftsmanship.

The joinery stood as a testament to the craft, its weathered wooden facade adorned with intricate carvings and finely crafted wooden signs. The scent of freshly cut wood lingered in the air, and the rhythmic sounds of saws and hammers resonated from within. Benedikt could see the large, open workshop through the wide windows, filled with sawdust dancing in the sunlight filtering through the dusty air.

With a firm push, Benedikt swung open the creaking wooden door, revealing the interior of the joinery. The walls were lined with shelves showcasing an array of wood varieties, each with its unique grain pattern and color. Tools of the trade hung meticulously on the walls, and the hum of machinery added to the lively atmosphere.

Behind a sturdy counter, a skilled craftsman meticulously worked on a finely detailed piece, the steady tap of his chisel echoing through the workshop. Benedikt approached, greeted by the warm aroma of treated wood and the vibrant energy of creativity. The craftsman looked up from his work not noticing Benedikt, his eyes are filled with the pride for his new piece.

“Hello, my name is Benedi-“ Benedikt began, only to be abruptly cut off by the brusque Craftsman. "I don't have time for lousy men like yourself. Go beg somewhere else. My joinery isn't a place for people like you," the Craftsman dismissed without a glance at Benedikt.

"Well, shite, if that's how you greet an old man like me, business has to be booming," Benedikt retorted mockingly, drawing the attention of the Craftsman, who finally noticed the old man standing in the doorway.

"Bite me a horse, it's you, you old dimwit! Why didn't you say anything?" the Craftsman, named Henry, exclaimed. Benedikt chuckled, "Well, Henry, some piece of shite proceeded to cut me right off," as he laughed, stepping further into Henry's joinery. The ambient sounds of craftsmanship surrounded them, providing a lively backdrop to their banter.

“You even have apprentices. Well, in comparison, my life seems like a shithole. What the hell happened? Where did the drunken fights go? They were always fun to drag you out of," Benedikt said, reminiscing about the old times he shared with Henry in the city.

“You know, at some point, ya gotta need to give that up for ya family,” Henry responded, his tone carrying a hint of sadness.

“Ay, Henry, I'll tell ya what. I need floorboards," Benedikt said, steering the conversation toward a more favorable direction and focusing on his purpose. “Floorboards, you say? Mhh, why, Benedikt? Trying to finally settle down and build a house!" Henry laughed heartily, thoroughly amused by the idea.

“You old bastard, of course not. Look at my bones, they're still smooth and strong. Not in a hundred years will you see me settle down,” Benedikt said, joining Henry's laughter. He continued, “Nah, but seriously, remember the tavern I used to go to every now and then? The place I forbade you to ever visit for your safety? That place. Well, let's just say it looks like shite, smells like shite, and feels like you're stuck in shite the entire time you're in there. So, I need some good craftsmanship to make that thing a bit less shite. And, well, I instantly thought about you,” Benedikt explained, taking a sniff at Henry, then added, “Well, on second thought, it may also be shite when it comes from you,” mocking Henry and bursting into laughter.

“You are also some strange kind of a bastard. But, well, I guess we can do a bit. I won't let you pay for the work, but you need to at least pay for the wood. Is that fine with you, Benedikt?” Henry asked in a friendly tone.

“That's more than I would have guessed. Thank you, Henry,” Benedikt said straightforwardly without any jokes. “I will give you the money soon, so prepare everything, okay? I will also need furniture, can you help me out with that too?”

“I'm sorry, Benedikt, but we ain't made for good furniture. You should visit the bigger joinery at the Craftsman's Corner. They will help you out, but it's gonna cost you a lung,” Henry said openly.

"It's fine, Henry. I'll take care of it. If you'll excuse me, I'll go prepare the money for the floorboards. Will you and your crew be joining to install them, or do I need to handle it solo, like in the good ol' days?" Benedikt inquired.

"Well, I can certainly lend a hand. Whether the kids want to help is another story, but I bet for a pint of ale, anything is possible," Henry chuckled, walking Benedikt to the door.

"Then I'll see you, my lad," Benedikt said warmly, smiling. Suddenly, he found himself in a hug from Henry, who spoke sentimentally, "It's good that you haven't gotten yourself killed yet. I'm happy to see you again in this life. Don't do dumb shit again. Leaving this city was a mistake, I'm glad you came back after all these years," Henry's eyes got slightly moist.

"I won't leave you that fast again, Henry. Firstly, I need to repair that shithole," Benedikt laughed, patting his friend's back before departing.

As Benedikt made his way from the joinery, he contemplated how to gather the money. Recalling the presence of bulletin boards in the city, he ventured through the bustling streets. The thoroughfare was particularly crowded today, and he couldn't help but bump into people repeatedly.

After a considerable amount of time, he stumbled upon a bulletin board. Despite its visibly run-down appearance, it still held a plethora of notices. As Benedikt perused the text, his eyes alighted on a particularly promising task, one that seemed tailor-made for his skills and could potentially yield enough earnings to cover the cost of several floorboards. The notice was meticulously written, detailing the requirements and offering a glimpse into the potential challenges that awaited.

Satisfied, Benedikt carefully detached the notice from the bulletin board. In his thoughts, he considered himself fortunate to secure employment amidst the looming specter of war.

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