Medievia Mudslinger

February 13, 2000

Reunion - By Ganey

Joseth dragged himself into a corner of the alleyway, and, having lost all hope of comfort, tried to get warm. It was a vain attempt. His only blanket was thread-bare, worn through in places, and this winter had not been kind. His armour still provided some comfort, but the lining was long worn away; the armour itself rusting. The "New World Order" insignia was almost totally gone. At least he could be thankful for that.

As a child of 8 years, boyhood dreams of war and glory had filled his and every other boy's head. He was the son of an unmarried mother, something forbidden in every popular religion. He and his mother were scorned by other Trellorians, and often spat upon in public. His dreams of becoming a warrior, escalated by a wish to defend his mother, were brought to a head when he caught wind of a clan called "Children of the Apocalypse," only beginning to cause trouble in Medievia City. With his head filled with image of children marching to war, he had left his mother a note to say he'd be back when he was "big and strong." He had then stowed away on one of the many trade wagons which went between Trellor and Medievia.

Eleanora leaned into the stinging wind, pulling her cape tighter around her body. Fifteen years ago she had inherited "Incredible Edibles" from her brother, and since then money had been surplus. In all, life had been good to her, but she would always hurt over the loss of her son. "If his father had stayed and married me, instead of joining Fate, Joseth would still be alive today."

"No," she reminded herself, "He is still alive, he has to be." This hope was all that kept her going. "He's probably rich and living in a castle somewhere with many children; with him happily married to their mother."

Her mind had to play the devil's advocate. "That could be him there, that one-armed drunk in that alleyway."

"Oh, God, I hope he never ended up like that."

Having been turned away by "New World Order" at age ten, Joseth had spent years as an urchin, finally joining them at the age of fifteen. Of many battles, with many kingdoms in years to come, it was a battle with Fate that haunted him to this day - one of the last battles before the fall of the kingdoms. He had been his kingdom's best fighter, but in this fight he had met his match. He had won only on account of his youth, but had lost an arm. Looting of the corpse had been agony - at first physical, but soon mental, when he came across a signet ring on the corpse. The ring was identical to one possessed by his mother, and on closer inspection he found that this one was engraved with her initials. He had fought, and killed his father.

The enormity of it hit him on the spot, and, with his subsequent ejection from "New World Order", he became a mere shadow of the man he once was. Alcohol took his money, and gloaters took his pride - those people who found sick pleasure in taunting and staring at the homeless.

Joseth hated it when people looked at him - he always felt self-conscious about his arm. Moving his blanket to cover the stump, he stared back at her; this usually scared old women away. "Wait," he thought, "That almost looks like my mother." Still, age had faded his memories, and anyone could look like your mother after 3 bottles of Firebreather.

He looked away, fitful thoughts filling his head. "I'll go back to Trellor and find her, one day. But how can I tell her what I've done?" In his heart, though, he knew he could never find her at Trellor, she would be long gone. He considered her dead, never seriously thinking that this woman was anything more than another gloater.

Soon enough, the woman moved away. As snow began to fall, Joseth slumped to the ground, and, for the last time, he fell asleep.