Arc Chronicles
Arc Chronicles
Author: RWForsyth
Chapter I Part One

I always knew my life was going to come back to bite me, but I never thought I'd go to prison. That bastard cellmate of mine stuck me in the back with a shank on my way out.

It was a tale as old as time. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before I was arrested, I was a traveling salesman. The company I worked for paid for gas, gave me a stipend for food, and paid me peanuts. I barely had enough to eat most nights and I sure as hell wasn't saving money.

Still, life on the road beat prison. A cop pulled me over. I fit the description of a pedophile who had assaulted a young girl. I was a Texan, born and raised, but the Californian jury didn't show me any mercy. They locked me up and threw away the key.

I spent two years in prison as a know pedophile and sex offender. Everyone hated me. I had no friends to watch my back. I don't know how I survived. My lawyer was a public defendant, but he never gave up on me. He fought for me to the end and I'll never be able to thank him for it.

When they caught the real criminal, I was set to be released. I was looking at a nice payday from the state. A trucking company was willing to take me on, so I could keep traveling. After all the shit I went through, it looked like my life was turning around.

Then it happened. My fucking cellmate stuck me with a shiv. He couldn't let a pedophile like me roam the streets. It was dangerous. That's what he said, but the bastard was a condemned murderer. I think he just wanted to kill someone. Half the guards doubted my innocence and most people in there hated me. I was the perfect target.

I didn't feel any pain as the world around me just switched off. At least it was a painless death.

Where had it all gone wrong? When did my life take a turn for the worst? At least my crappy job let me travel. I had got to see more of North America than most people. It was a beautiful place. My only regret was never getting to see Africa, Asia, Europe, or South America. I wished I could have seen the whole world.

33 years. I had 33 years to get my shit together and get out. I never did. I could have found a better job. I could have stopped to smell the roses. Maybe I could have met a girl. Fuck, I had never gotten to lose my virginity. Talk about a letdown. I had considered paying for a hooker, but my damn pride wouldn't let me. I should have just bit the bullet and done it. The other guys at the company did. Even the guys with wives and families. Talk about dying a loser.

The void of darkness around me seemed endless. Maybe this was my punishment. Spending eternity alone in the dark. That would be worse than any pain I could imagine. How long would it take before I lost my marbles?

In a flash, a light blazed. It was so bright it burned through the darkness. I couldn't stand to look at it, but I quickly realized I had no eyes. I couldn't close them to shield myself from the light. I couldn't do anything but stare into the blinding light.

Where the void of darkness had been silent before, the light brought sounds. Voices. The voice of a woman speaking: "Ma fils. Ma beau fils."

I couldn't make out the words. I knew what Italian sounded like and what the woman was saying sounded similar to Italian, but it wasn't quite right.

A man's voice joined her: "Il est beau. Comment doit-on le nommer?"

Sensation soon returned after sound. I could feel myself shifting, only I wasn't the one moving. Someone had picked me up...

Was I still alive? Maybe someone had found me before the pool of blood got to big? Could I have survived somehow? It felt like my bastard cellmate had gotten me good. The guards were just coming in as I passed out. How long had I been laying there? How many times had he stuck me? Yet here I was. Alive somehow.

It was crazy. What were the odds? Yet somehow I survived. Maybe this was a sign. Maybe I was meant for something? At the very least, I could apologize to my parents. I wanted to tell them how sorry I was. I was so, so sorry for being a shit son.

"Il est mon fils et mon héritier. Il est l'avenir de l'Aquitaine."

The man hummed. I wish I could understand what they were saying.

"Calixte sera notre fils. Oue pensez-vous, mon amour?"

"C'est un beau nom."

The light that had been blinding me slowly faded, revealing shapes and colors. A black-haired woman I didn't recognize stared down at me. Her eyes were a bright green. I had never seen that color on a person before. She was smiling from ear to ear. She looked like I was the most important person in her world and she was so happy to see me. She was beautiful, the kind of girl I would dream about.

Maybe I hadn't survived. Maybe I died and went to heaven, as strange as someone like me going to heaven sounded. She was an angel and there were no angels in hell.

Her breasts were exposed, and it took willpower I didn't know I had to tear my eyes away. Why would an angel have her boobs out? Maybe angels didn't have clothes?

Behind her stood a blonde-haired man. His eyes were an icy blue, but they didn't detract from the happiness on his face. It looks just as happy to see me as the woman was.

Unlike her, who wore nothing to cover her chest, the man was wearing clothes that could have come straight out of a history book. He looked like some king from World War I. Was he some kind of cosplayer? I racked my brain, but I couldn't come up with a character that wore that exact kind of uniform. Maybe the man was a World War I enthusiast? 

The woman holding me and the blonde-haired man behind her were standing in the middle of a huge room. The room was made completely of stone and looked like a set piece from Game of Thrones. There was a window letting in light, but it was too far up for me to get a good look.

I wanted to ask the two what was going on, but I didn't know if we even spoke the same language. Still, I had to try, but the words wouldn't come outright. They turned into babbling sounds. Incoherent sounds.

The black-haired woman giggled and spoke in the strange language. She nudged her nose against mine.

I tried to sit up and move around, but my body wouldn't listen to me. My arms felt like they weighed a ton and if possible, my legs felt heavier. My limbs refused to work. I could only move my head.

I turned right and found a mirror. It reflected the woman, the man, and the baby. In the woman's other hand, right where she was holding me, was a baby. The baby had black hair like the woman and the same green eyes as her. It stared at me in open shock.

Was that... Me? Had I become a baby?

That was impossible. I couldn't be a baby. No, I was probably dying in the prison doctor's care right now. This wasn't real. It was some kind of near-death fever dread. That was it. It had to be it. I would die soon and that would be the end of my dream.

Only I didn't die. Days and days passed as I stayed in the room the woman had given birth to me in. She would come to see me every day, sometimes with the man, but most of the time without him. She would feed me sometimes, but a lot of the time it was left to a different woman.

The sun had come up and gone down nine times when it hit me. Maybe I wasn't living through some near-death fever dream. Could I have been reincarnated? Could that happen?

Reincarnation was the purview of fiction. Anime like Jobless Reincarnation. Or religion. It certainly as well wasn't supposed to be real. I was a bum went drifted through life half dead. Why was I given the chance to start over? Shouldn't some great hero be the one reborn? Someone who could change the world.

Not someone like me who couldn't even change himself when it counted. Not someone like me who couldn't face his family.

If God was real, why was I chosen? If God wasn't real, then how did I end up here?

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