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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2188988
A child liberated from a mother's love, to journey across Europe passing on that strength.
There once lived a man simply known as “Braun”, a name born out from humble beginings. Raised in a family shadowed in poverty, he slaved down the mines until the age of fourteen. As a mere boy his strength became the talk of the town, fellow miners had never witnessed such power in a small frame. This strength continued to grow and impress with each passing day.

As an only child, his mother desired a fate filled with happiness for her blue-eyed boy. In becoming a young man, this struck his mother with immense fear, the age where a child could be enlisted into the Great War. The alternative, to be used as a workhorse in a factory, another sturdy cog in a money making schematic, backbreaking labour for a pittance.

One route spelt almost certain death, the other; a life confined to a slower peril. A difficult choice had to be made, which his mother had awoken him one morning with an answer in the form of a rucksack. It contained clothes, food scraps and all the money as she could scrape together.

“Go!” she ordered. A single word, but a tone that informed her son exactly what to do, be free.

They shared what became their last embrace and he embarked on an adventure across Europe. Instead of working, Braun challenged the local muscle at every visited town to an arm wrestling contest, gambling what money he had to fund tomorrow’s journey. At the end of these competitions, he would challenge the most melancholic of spectators and then forfeit by pretending to lose.

Word spread far and wide of Braun’s strength, never of his embarrassing defeats.

“You did that on purpose” an observant spectator would occasionally confront Braun with.

“Another soul freed” Braun would reply smiling.
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