Wash Away My Sins

BY : Squallfan
Category: +A through F > Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Dragon prints: 1825
Disclaimer: I do not own, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, nor the characters. I do not profit from this story.

Chapter 1




The bar was quiet this night. Perhaps it was the fault of the storm raging outside, the rain coming down so hard that one could scarcely see a few feet ahead of them. Daniel didn't like storms, but sitting there with a half empty bottle of whiskey in front of him, his body warmed by a pleasant buzz, he paid the turbulent weather no mind. He took another shot, closing his eyes as the heat of the burgundy liquid slid down his throat. Drowning himself in drink seemed the only comfort he could get these days.



A year had passed, uneventfully, since he'd escaped the shadow, fleeing from Brennenburg and leaving all thoughts of Alexander behind him. No, that wasn't exactly true. He couldn't forget, even after drinking the amnesia tonic. He still recalled it all as time passed, every dreadful detail like etchings in his mind. The danger was gone, but nightmares lingered and pressed upon him almost every night. The horrors of what he had done clung to him like a stain that would never come out. The shame had become so strong that he had considered suicide, but his own fear of death stayed his hand. Perhaps if he had not been such a coward to begin with, none of that bloodshed would have happened.



Daniel took another drink to dull the painful memories, his eyes scanning the dimly lit bar. Only two other souls were seated. A old, sickly looking man and a brutish chap that sat quietly at the bar sipping beer. The bartender himself looked worn and tired as he wiped the counter with unenthusiastic strokes. Daniel sighed, making the candle flicker before him. Perhaps he would stop waiting and challenge the rain after all and finish drinking in the lonely room he rented. He had been in this small town for about five months now. He got steady work at the local lumber mill and a nearby farm that kept his mind occupied and his body strong. It was pleasant here in the country, away from the bustle of London. He was not interested in that kind of life, nor did he have the want to run off to anymore far away land expeditions. He shuddered at the thought.



Daniel wearily stood as he dropped coin on the table for the drink, nodding a goodbye to the bartender as he picked up the now nearly empty bottle. He swayed on his feet, feeling the effects more clearly now as he made his way out the door into the pouring rain. It was a deep darkness outside the bar, the storm clouds cloaking stars and moon like a thick blanket putting out a flame. God, how he hated the cold grip of darkness, the sensation making his skin tingle unpleasantly. Outdoors in the open was not so bad. He could walk freely without panic setting in. How he loathed that it ate at him still. The experience in Brennenburg had only enhanced his nyctophobia to a higher degree.



He shuffled his way through puddles and thick mud that stuck to his boots, struggling not to topple over in his drunken stupor, his clothes getting soaked through by the heavy downpour. His hazy mind and body barely felt the chill as he steadily trudged on. He would pay for drinking too much tomorrow morning, and it probably wouldn't be the last time. Lightening made the world bright around him in a matter of seconds, showing the trees along the dirt road with striking clarity. His footsteps halted, fear rolling down his spine like a icy bone finger. For in that flash of light he swore he saw something move between the thick line of trees and brush. Something big; something hulking and dangerous.



Daniel stood shivering, the bottle clamped tightly in his hand, ready to use as a weapon if need be. Perhaps it was the rainfall or his own drunk blurry eyes playing tricks on him. He could hear nothing but the steady fall of rain and distant thunder. He waited, staring at the trees, trying desperately to catch movement, but it was impossible to see much of anything. Lightening lit the sky once more and he raised the bottle in expectation of attack, but nothing showed itself. There was only trees, wild flowers and tall grass swaying with the wind and rain. He let go of the breath he was holding, letting out a nervous laugh as he lowered his arm with slight uncertainty. He brushed wet caked hair from his cheek with a cold numb hand.



He was just seeing things; monsters in the night that were not there. Was it so unusual after all he had been through? He swallowed, his throat feeling rather dry despite all the moisture covering him. He opened his mouth and let some of the rain dance over his tongue. He felt the cold setting in now, not sure if it was the weather or his own fear chilling him. He moved on as hastily as he could manage. The sooner he got back to his room, the better. Daniel had nearly convinced himself all was well when he felt a big, hard hand clamp down on his shoulder. He was spun roughly around, but even in his stark fear he threw up his arm to lash out with the bottle. He was blocked far too easily in his inebriated condition. The bottle was batted from his grasping hand, and he yelled a curse with it's loss.



Lightening cracked across the sky above, showing Daniel his attacker was no monster at all, but the big man that he'd seen sitting at the bar. Anger flared in the pit of his stomach as he grappled with the stranger. He threw a punch, missing his target as the man shifted his bulk to avoid it, the man's own big fist slamming against Daniel's gut. Daniel gasped as pain spread through his midsection, and was given no time to recover when a large fist slammed against his jaw. The bastard was fast as well as large, he thought as he fell hard on his knees before his attacker. He tasted the hot, copper tang of blood in his mouth and his vision wavered. Struggling for breath, Daniel mustered up his last bit of strength and punched the bastard in the crotch, getting a satisfying yell of pain from above.



"You'll be paying for that, you little shit!", the man growled, his voice as large as his body.



"It..was worth..it," Daniel gasped out as his head was forced up with the man's painful grip in his hair. Light filled the sky, the strike so close this time it shook the ground he kneeled on. In the flash he saw the man grinning, his lips curled with insane enjoyment. It was the last thing he saw as another punch connected, sending him into total darkness.





~~~~





Daniel felt pure terror invading every crevice of his mind, his imagination creating horrors again as he sat cowered in the dark behind a stack of old wood boxes in the damp wine cellar. Every little sound made his heart pound that much harder, the fear filling his head, screaming at him to run; anywhere but here. Oh, but what a fool he had been to come to this isolated place, his trust in Alexander sealed his fate the moment he had stepped through the door. Fate. A terrible thing that was.

 

*Creak. Thump.*



Oh God, is one of those things outside the door? He dare not move, his own cowardliness like a chain around his neck keeping him frozen to the spot. It was too much. He had to light the lantern. The darkness weighed down on him, so heavy he felt like he couldn't breathe. His hands trembled as he went about the task as quickly as he could by feeling alone. When the lantern's glow finally came, he gasped heavy for breath and looked around, sure he will be surrounded by creatures that had clawed their way up from Hell itself. Nothing. Just the cellar, dirty and so cold it penetrated to the bone. There were no torches to light here, the holders empty. There was not even a single candle to be seen. The lantern would have to do.



He stood and searched, lantern raised, trying to dispel as much of the darkness as he was able. Nothing around him looked promising. No weapons or tools of any kind. It was time to move again. He looked at the closed door, approached it cautiously and strained to listen. He could hear nothing now, but his own shaky breath and the slight hiss of the oil burning in the lantern.



He cracked the door ajar, the view obstructed by the large wine barrels along the stone wall. Darkness shadowed every corner, the few torches lit sending dull light. Nothing moved as he kept the watch a few moments longer. He stepped out, diligent of his surroundings as he moved across the large room in search of another way out. The next door was locked; to his dismay. The shuffle sound behind him grasped his attention. He turned, eyes wide, lantern held ahead of him like a talisman. Frozen, he watched the shadows dance with the lanterns flickering light. Had he really heard anything at all? He licked dry lips and turned back to the door, trying to ignore how sick he felt in the pit of his stomach.



"Gwahhhhhh!"



Daniel nearly yelped when he heard the now familiar moan of one of those horrible grunt creatures. He panted, feeling his panic rise as it got slowly louder, coming towards his position like it was sniffing out his fear. God no. He moved quickly to the next door, but it would not move an inch. His breath hitched, and in his panic he threw his shoulder against the hard wood, feeling it give, only slightly, with a sharp crack. Pain welled in his shoulder for his trouble, but he slammed into the door again and was rewarded when it gave way, the breaking sound of wood echoing in the cellar. His own breathless whimpers filled his ears as he staggered forward to run.



"GGWWAAAHHH!"



Daniel ran along the stone tunnel, the sound of his thumping boots bouncing off the walls. The creature gave chase, it's sickly cries carrying through the tunnel loudly, confusing Daniel's senses of how close the monstrosity was to catching up to him. He stumbled and nearly fell before he righted himself and ran faster, the lantern alight to show him the path. The monster could see the light as well, but he was too hesitant and panicked to extinguish it. He could outrun it and find a place to hide once he was far enough away from the thing. It's moan, strangely angry and sad in pitch, was still present behind him, it's feet making fleshy slapping noises on the stone floor.



Daniel risked a look back and screamed. The grunt was close enough that the lantern light that surrounded him made the thing visible, it's meaty arms reaching out to grab him the first chance it got. It swiped out, the long claws dangerously close. Daniel pushed himself harder, picking up the pace as much as he could as he looked forward again, the sound of his heartbeat thumping with a frantic rhythm in his ears. The death smell from it's flesh clogged his nose as he panted harder, his lungs burning for air. He screamed again when the sensation of cold breath blew over the back of his neck.



"Get away from me!"



Daniel fell hard, the lantern slipping from his hand to skid across the cold stone. He scrambled toward it's light that was miraculously still burning. Cold, clammy flesh grabbed him by the back of his neck and he was flipped over like a bag of grain. The lantern's glow showed him what he didn't want to see. A silent scream caught in his throat as the grunt lowered towards him, it's mouth, crudely wide and hanging open as if it was going to devour him whole. Perhaps it would. He lay there and waited for his demise, wide eyes focused on the mouth that came ever closer.





~~~





"No!"



Daniel jerked awake and sat quickly upright in blind confusion. He instantly regretted it when pain flared through his stomach and along his ribs. He fell back against the bed, his jaw and head a steady throb as he panted, his body covered in a cold sweat. He lay there, blinking the sleep from his eyes, looking towards the window that brought morning rays of sunlight. He swallowed, his throat raw and painful. He felt ill, his head clouded with agony.



Daniel wearily took in his surroundings. This was not his room, but a place he had never seen before. He slowly pieced together the puzzle of last night. He'd went to the bar and had gotten drunk, then the walk in the storm. He sighed as he remembered the attack. Foggy as the memory was, the hit to his pride was clear. What pride he had left anyway. He nervously looked about the bedroom again. He was unsure why he was here. Had the man kidnapped him for some reason? After a few moments thought, he decided that that probably wasn't the case. What purpose would that serve? He was not a man of wealth to be held for ransom. Anyone could see at a glance he wasn't of noble blood. Daniel heard footsteps approach and he tensed as the door opened.



"Ah, I thought I heard you wake."



"Who...?" Daniel croaked.



"Do not worry yourself," the man said. "You are my guest." He was not the one who attacked him after all. "I can see you are confused." The new stranger approached the bed, his movement slow and nonthreatening, but Daniel remained tense nonetheless.



"Why..am..I here?" he managed.



"I was on my way home when I found you lying in the road. Truthfully, I thought you dead." He filled a glass with water from the pitcher that sat on the side table. "You are lucky I saw you in time, otherwise my horse may have trampled you." He sat on the edge of the bed. "Here, let me help you."



Daniel grunted soft as the man gently helped him lift his head, pressing the glass to his lips to drink. He was tempted to gulp down the offering, but only took small sips in fear he would vomit it right back up. "Thank you," he whispered as his head was lain back against the pillow.



"You're very welcome, my friend." He put the glass aside. "My name is John."



"Daniel."



John smiled soft. "Well, Daniel, rest easy. You may stay here and recover. This is my farm. It's not very far from where I found you."



"I wouldn't want to impose."



"You're not. Besides, you are not well enough right now to do much of anything. Your ribs are bruised badly, and laying out in the cold rain has made you ill." Daniel flinched slightly when John touched cool fingers to his forehead. "You have a fever."



Daniel closed his eyes. "I do feel like a beaten dog," he muttered the admission.



John chuckled. "Honestly, you look it."



Daniel's eyes popped back open. "My wallet..my pocket watch. We're they still on me?"



"I'm afraid not." John's eyes softened. "Only the clothes on your back, and they were wet and muddied. I've cleaned them for you."



Daniel wasn't surprised, but displeased with the news. He looked down to see the bruised flesh along his rib line. He could only imagine what his face must look like. His jaw and left eye still stung with the bitter reminder of the attack. He accepted another cool drink of water from John and lay his head back with a sigh. It was his own fault for going to the bar. Rotten luck really. He was just grateful John had come along and found him. The thief had not only robbed him, but probably had left him for dead. It made him wonder in his sick hazy mind why the man had not just outright killed him.



"Thank you, John. I might be dead now if not for you."



"No need to thank me, my friend."



"It is all that I can offer as payment."



"Don't worry yourself over something like that."



Daniel grimaced. "Damn."



"What is wrong, more pain?" John moved to help him.



"No, I was supposed to work at the mill today. I'll probably lose my job if I don't show up."



John nodded and stood. "Rest yourself. I will ride into town and tell them what happened."



"Are you sure?"



"Of course." John smiled. "I will be back soon." He left the room, shutting the door softly behind him as he went.



Daniel listened to the fading footsteps and the echo of the downstairs door opening and closing. He didn't want to go back to sleep just yet, but his body fought against him and he soon closed his eyes, unable to fight his exhaustion. He listened to the quiet of the room, but it did not give him comfort. He feared he would be thrust back into the nightmare once more, but sleep still claimed him in minutes. His sleep was dreamless.







AN: Okay, Love this game and finally came up with an idea to write for it. Kinda testing the waters to see if I even get any responses from it, because it looks like this fandom isn't big on fan fiction. Guess we'll see how this one goes. Enjoy.

 



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