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Monday, June 30, 2008

3. Sōjirō: Reminiscence from the past

Chapter III: A bloody night in Kyoto

A young child should do no more than grow and learn and live. But young Sōjirō was no ordinary child: He broke his back for two square meals a day and got manhandled by his own blood. Those coarse young hands knew no warmth and affection, only pain and suffering. Even so, he always smiled, pretending that he was happy and never broke down even when his step-brothers and step-sisters and step-mother thrashed the strength out of his body and mind. Any other ordinary child wouldn’t survive such an ordeal.

Of course Sōjirō had considered running away from home but he had no where to go and no one to take care of him; he was on his own from the day his father left him. Nevertheless the thought of escaping enslavement excited him. He could only wonder what life would be beyond the rice fields and the hills on the horizon or to be treated for once as a human being and not an animal.

It was midnight.

“Sōjirō! OYE Sōjirō! Get your shabby little butt to the market and get me some more sake! We’re completely out of it.”

Sōjirō twitched at the sound of his eldest step-brother’s thundering voice. “But b-brother, i-it’s so late. The liquor s-shops will be c-clos…”

His step-brother’s dominating voice gobbled his words up. “Then wake them up you incompetent fool! Do I have to think of everything?”

A hiss of a voice interrupted the conversation. “Maybe he’s the one stealing all the sake.” One of his step-sisters wanted a piece of the on going action. “Maybe the little runt should be whacked a couple more times and maybe he’ll confess.”

An already drunken man was enraged by the knowledge of such a possible crime. He shattered several empty bottles of sake in the process of reaching for Sōjirō’s neck.

“I’m going to kill you boy, if you don’t tell me what you did with all the sake in the storehouse.”
Sōjirō’s reply was weak and helpless. “b-but s-sir, I haven’t stolen any s-sake, y-you d-drank it all.”

“Shut up you little runt! Go and get me some sake. NOW!” The large man with his large fist finished his sentence with a clean blow to Sōjirō’s small face. For a fleeting moment, Sōjirō felt like he was floating in air and felt a familiar numbness in his face. It was the taste of blood on his lips that jolted him back to the reality of pain.

An even weaker Sōjirō panted. “Y-yes, Sir I’ll go right now” He bowed and hurried towards the market.

It was one hour past midnight.

How on earth was he going to buy a bottle of sake at this hour? Did his brother want him to steal some?

His frivolous mind wasn’t meant to make such frantic decisions but still he limped to the nearest sake store, which would probably be closed.

As Sōjirō left the main gate, he couldn’t help noticing how beautiful the night was. The sky was decorated with a million bright stars except none of them compared to the dim brilliance of the moon. That misty grey ball hovering slowly across the sky was the only guidance Sōjirō had as he walked through the ghostly streets that led to the market. Sōjirō’s ears rang with an eerie silence which was only disrupted by the scratchy sound of his footsteps.

“It’s impossible.” He thought. “Maybe I should go back.”

He was a turn away from the closed sake store when the silence of the night was shattered by a bloody scream. An unfamiliar sound of metal hacking something hard came next. It was followed by a sickening thud and more people screaming, as if they were steeling themselves for death. Sōjirō followed the screams although his movements were partially immobilized by a cold fear running through his whole body.

It was long past midnight.

As he reached the next turn, his eyes widened with absolute terror. A tall man covered sloppily from head to toe with dirty, yellowish bandages stood next to two bloody bodies in police uniforms, both missing their heads. He was raising a Japanese sword pointed skywards. He looked like a mummy, out for revenge Only one other man, another police officer, was still standing: he was shaking uncontrollably and he sounded like he was muttering his last words. And in the blink of an eye, the man in the bandages sliced the policeman’s body in half, starting from the head. Blood splattered all over the walls and the street but not on the man’s bandages. Sōjirō had never seen anyone move with such power and speed in his life. He speechlessly gaped at the man, horrified. Then, Sōjirō’s heart stopped as the murderer turned around and faced him. The man’s demon-like red eyes which glistened like blood fixed themselves on young Sōjirō.

What will the mysterious murderer do to Sōjirō? Find out in the next chapter of Sōjirō: reminiscence from the past.

All characters are based on the Anime Samurai X

Click for Chapter 2

Click for Chapter 1


Saral Shrestha said...

This is the best episode by far...! The text has such vivid imagination and lure. 5 stars man!

I can't wait for the next episode...Wait is the murdered the main Character in Samurai X? Or is he going to be Sōjirō's master??

Tell me, what is?

Shraman said...

The murderer is the most evil villain in the series (MAKOTO SHISHIO) and for the rest, it'll all be clear in chapter IV. untill that enjoy this! XD

TheXfactor said...

cOOl.. gr88 going bro !! Samurai X is the best.
Well I guess, the mummy like man is shisio and he's gonna be sojiro's master. woOoo he'll be learning truth abt life.. sure he is.:P

Keep up the good work !!

Shraman said...

Finally someone who actually understands what im writing about. Mr. theexfactor, ur comment was a god send. i was so dam bored writing abt samx coz no one actually understood what i was trying to say. i gues this story needs more readers like u. Now im inspired to write ch4. coming soon...