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

Chapter 1: Unraveling Moss and Memories

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The words slip from his lips as he gazes up at the imposing stone roof, its surface covered in a thick layer of greenish-gray moss that seems to pulsate with a sinister energy. The jagged stones beneath his feet are slick and uneven, their cracks and crevices filled with a slimy, putrid substance. As his eyes adjust to the dim light, he notice that the moss has spread like a disease, covering every inch of the ancient structure and making it appear almost alive.

Suddenly, a deep, gravelly voice cuts through his thoughts, sending shivers down his spine. "Your name," it growls, "Can't you understand even the simplest of questions?"

As he struggle to make sense of the situation, he notice that the shadows around me seem to be shifting and twisting, forming some kind of prison bars that trap him within this nightmarish scene. And as his headache intensifies, he realize with horror that it feels as if someone is hammering an iron rod into his brain with each passing second. 

His words slurred together as he struggled to form a coherent sentence. "What... my name..." He shook his head, trying to clear the fog in his mind. The man standing before him chuckled, the sound condescending and mocking. "They really did a number on you, huh? Turned you into an idiot." His laughter grew louder and more boisterous.

The man's voice drips with condescending malice as he taunts, "Since you're too much of an imbecile to even remember your own name, I'll do you a favor and tell you mine. How does that sound, Mr. Idiot?" The man's words are laced with smug satisfaction, and you can practically hear the smirk on the man's face. Yet his mind is consumed by a thick fog, nothing but emptiness and confusion as he struggle to respond.

The Man stands before him, his eyes narrowed and his voice dripping with venom. "Kenedy," he spits, "the name my godforsaken mother gave me. The name my dad wanted is a mystery, for that bastard ran away and left me to be a bastard like him." His fists clench at his sides as he stares down the man who abandoned him, his entire body trembling with rage and betrayal.

Kenedy's voice rises to a deafening roar as he spits out the venomous words. "You..you are my goddamn father," he seethes, his face twisted with rage. "And do you want to know why you're stuck in this godless hellhole? Because I knocked you out and wanted to kill you," he bellows, punctuating each word with a violent gesture. The air crackles with tension as the truth sinks in, the room seeming to shrink around them in an oppressive embrace.

"My mind is a blank slate, memories erased and replaced with a piercing fear. I don't recall having a child," he says to the menacing figure in front of him. "And you, how old are you? Twenty? Look at me, I'm young," he scoffs, but as the man raises his hands, he sees grotesque creases covering every inch of skin. "W-wait...I can't be old?" Panic sets in as he begins to lose himself, the world fading away into a dark abyss of confusion and horror.

Kenedy's voice twists with venom as he reveals the truth. "Your name is Benedikt," he hisses, taunting him with the weight of the past. "Twenty years ago, on the eve of your 25th birthday, you betrayed my mother, leaving her pregnant and alone while you ran off with your band of thieves." The words strike like a dagger to the heart, sending Benedikt reeling. His mind spins out of control as he grapples with this newfound knowledge, his world shattering around him. But the man only smirks, relishing in seeing Benedikt lose himself and surrender to the chaos within.

Benedikt's voice quakes with fear as he utters the one name that haunts his mind: "C-C-Cina..." His words stumble out quietly, barely audible over Kenedy's raucous laughter. The guards yell into their cell, threatening to turn them both to ice if they don't quiet down. Kenedy's grip tightens on Benedikt's collar, lifting the frail old man off the ground. "You remember her name, don't you? The name of the innocent girl you destroyed. Did you know she was only 20?" Kenedy's eyes burn with fury as he demands, "TELL ME, HOW DID IT FEEL TO ABANDON HER WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT?"

Benedikt's mind snapped out of its fog as he was lifted up, adrenaline coursing through his veins like an electric shock. His survival instincts kicked in, honed by years of living on the run. As he locked eyes with Kenedy, his voice barely betraying the fear pulsating through him, he asked calmly, "Are we being sentenced to death or just condemned to a lifetime of imprisonment?" The weight of his question hung in the air like a guillotine blade, threatening to come crashing down at any moment.

"First one, Benedikt" Kenedy answered. "You seem to be doing fine now," he added. Benedikt let out a small sigh, "Well, shit. Let me down, we need to get out of here. You didn't even have your first scare and you're already dying at just 20 years old. Guys like you dropped like flies on the battlefield." He paused, then asked quietly, "But tell me, is she still alive? I have so much to explain." His voice became filled with sadness towards the end. Kennedy's response was emotionless as he said, "You can explain it in hell to her. She passed away ten years ago. Our village was pillaged and, well, you know what happens to women in those situations."

The thought of never telling her the truth about why I left weighed heavy on Benedikt's mind. And to make matters worse, his own son had turned against him, attempting to end his life. A part of him was filled with regret and guilt, while another part was filled with anger and resentment. He couldn't help but wonder if things could have turned out differently.

Benedikt sighs. 

As Benedikt let out a deep, frustrated sigh and asked his son if he ever escaped a prison before, Kenedy's eyes flashed with anger. "How dare you call me son," he growled at his father, venom dripping from every word. "I am not your son, you miserable piece of filth." His fists clenched as he glared at the man who had once been his father.

Benedikt sank to his knees and rummaged through his shoes sole, revealing a handful of coins. He approached the bars of his cell, pleading silently to whatever higher power might be listening. "Hey lads," he called out to the two guards patrolling the hallway. They turned towards him, curiosity piqued. "Ya ye?" they responded cautiously.

With a sly smile, Benedikt held up the coins for them to see. The guards' eyes widened in disbelief as they recognized the glint of platinum in Benedikt's hand. Only nobles possessed such currency. In an instant, their demeanors changed from suspicion to subservience.

"Let us out of here," Benedikt demanded, holding out the coins as a bribe. The guards eagerly accepted and unlocked the cell door. As Benedikt stepped out, he quickly whispered to them, "That fucker over there is one of my slaves."

The guards nodded in understanding and allowed both Benedikt and Kenedy to walk free from their prison cells. Now Benedikt stood in front of the bustling city's prison, taking a deep breath. "It feels good to be free, doesn't it?" he asked Kenedy, who shrugged in response. "I suppose," he replied.

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