• Oedipus slowly walked on. His feet ached more and more with every step he took, the scattered rocks that made up his path digging into his feet through his warn sandals. It wasn’t surprising that his shoes were falling apart. Oedipus had been traveling for 4 days without stop. The shear horror of the oracle’s prophecy had forced him to flee from his home with little more than his clothes.

    How could he believe that the gods, the all powerful beings who ruled the world and to whom he had always paid respect, would force such a despicable destiny upon him? He had just become a man, in the prime of his youth. The young women of Isthmus would call to him every time he walked through the city, what would ever possess him to lay with his mother? What kind of monster would commit such a terrible act?

    Oedipus was so caught up in his thoughts that he failed to take in his surroundings. The sun, which had barely risen above the eastern mountains, was a deep blood red, an omen that blood would be shed before the sun set in the west. Oedipus was also oblivious to the small caravan heading towards the crossroads. So caught was Oedipus in his pitiful thoughts that he didn’t realize the traveling group until he was less than a meter away.

    “Move from the road peasant!” shouted the leader of the party. His words were laced with contempt.

    Oedipus looked straight into the man’s eyes, fury reflected in the eyes of the two men. Rage bubbled up inside Oedipus’ chest. He was a Prince! An alienated prince, but royalty nonetheless, who was this man to order him to step aside?

    “I said move aside you pathetic mongrel!” bellowed the man again. He was of a slight build, with thin spindly arms. Oedipus could tell that the man was the type of man unaccustomed to combat. This cretin had now insulted him twice. Oedipus felt the nearly irresistible urge to strike the man I his smug face for daring to offend him. With barely restrained anger, Oedipus replied;

    ”I see no reason to move myself from the road for the likes of you!”

    “The reason is simple, are unfit to walk upon the path we wish to take!” responded the conceited spokesperson.

    “Let that daft beggar go, Veranius!” exclaimed the man behind the speaker. For the first time Oedipus notice the other men behind the pig he had been speaking to. The man who had spoken was the only riding a horse.. There were two armed guards on either side of him, and a small, sickly looking man stood to the horse’s left, obviously the rider’s servant.

    “I cannot allow one such as you to have to face this nuisance” said the man named Veranius. “He is unworthy to look upon you.”

    This last insult was too much for Oedipus. Unsheathing the sliver sword he had concealed underneath his cloak, he launched himself at the foul man who had uttered the first affront.

    As his sword cut down into the man’s shoulder, the nobleman’s guards immediately drew their swords. They’re defense, however, was too late. Veranius’ left arm was all but severed, only a few strips of skin kept the appendage attached.

    Oedipus was now a berserker, hacking and slashing at either of the two guards when they tried to strike him. He cut a gash into one of the men’s thighs. His own legs were peppered with small, ineffectual cuts.. Oedipus ran the other attacker straight through his stomach. His silver blade dripping with the man’s blood erupted from the man’s back. Quickly turning, Oedipus blocked a strike that would have decapitated him.

    Oedipus and the guard were locked, blade to blade. Using a trick he had learned in his youth, Oedipus twisted his sword, taking his opponents blade with it. The guard’s blade flew from his hands, skittering across the ground far from his reach. Oedipus slashed at his adversary’s shins. In one fluid motion he brought the man to his knees. He looked straight into the eyes.

    And the guard looked back, terror in his heart and his eyes. Never had he faced a fighter with such unbelievable ferocity. This berserker could not be human, no man could be so ruthless against other men.

    The man’ thoughts were replaced with utter fear as Oedipus brought down his blade, decapitating the guard. The headless body flopped down onto the ground, a pool of blood quickly forming at the neck, or what was left of it.

    Oedipus’ vision flashed to the riding man. He seemed to be shocked by his guards’ deaths. As he saw Oedipus turn towards him, he pulled on the reins of his horse, trying to urge it to turn around and run. Oedipus refused to let the man get away. Were he of sound mind, he would have realized he had no quarrel with the man, but blind fury had replaced all logical thought.

    Oedipus ran at the horse, and grabbed it’s rider from the saddle. He hurled the man on to the ground, face up. He stamped his blood covered leg on the man’s chest, pinning him to the ground.

    “It is time you learned to respect royalty!” shouted Oedipus. “Know now who your killer is. I am Oedipus, son of Polybus and Merope, Prince of Isthmus!”

    With a yell so loud and horrifying that even the animals around them froze in fear, Oedipus stabbed his sword straight through the old man’s throat and into the soft earth beneath him.

    And that is the story of how Laius, King of Thebes, died. And how his son, Oedipus Rex finally returned to his birthplace. Laius did not know it, but this was a time to rejoice. His son had come home.