Perished by the Sword

February 25, 2010
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Fear of death, the abundant panic that is experienced usually only once in a lifetime, was inflicted upon our village during the most dreadful night ever endured by any poor soul who had the abundant misfortune that led them to witness it. We knew that they were coming. We had to escape. If we didn’t escape, we would die, instantly and spontaneously with those who we held dear. We were quickly trying to escape, desperately trying to avoid the apocalyptic event that was going to be bestowed upon us. Finally, with absolutely nothing in our current possession, we loaded up our cart, the dogs who were pulling the cart started to run, and then we were off, leaving behind everything that we loved, our friends, family, home, and, on the exuberantly broad scale, all of the meaning and purpose in our lives. We had nothing exept a few pieces of gold.

Finally, after the sun was just about to set, we decided that we were far enough from the village to avoid the ruthless attack. Also, the dogs were getting tired and they needed to rest their feet. We were in the woods, just my sister and me, all alone. It was the year 1000, we lived in a small village on the eastern coast of Japan, right off of the Pacific Ocean. My sister and I are identical twins and we were twenty-four years old. We had no living relatives because they were all killed by barbarians. Eventually, after my uncle was killed two years earlier, we knew that we had to somehow escape from the abundant barbarian uprising occurring near our village. Personally, I hated the barbarians, they were horrible, dreaded, sinister “monsters” that were told to kill on sight. They would even kill an innocent baby and feel no regret afterwards, they lived to kill.
Gradually, and despite the disturbing images that we would encounter, we had decided to make our way back to the village. As we entered the village, we saw the most grotesque display of “barbarian-craftsmanship” that we had ever encountered in our lives. All of the buildings were left in ruins, our humble little town was now nothing more than a pile of rubble, blood, and other body parts. We saw our friends, our pets, and our farm animals dead. The bodies were bifurcated, lacerated, and decapitated into what seemed to be millions of pieces. Despite all of the damage, the one thing that grabbed all of my attention was one particular body. The body at hand was that of my best friend. His name was Saho. We used to be there for each other. We would comfort each other as our humble little town was turning into a war zone. We would play games with each other and we attended the academy together. He was not only a friend, he was my brother, and I loved him as such. As I stared into my old friend’s lifeless gaze and as I saw the blood drip from his gory, sliced chest, I knew that staying would only upset me, and that I should make a new start.

As we loaded up the dog-carts and started to depart, we looked back at the place that once brought so much happiness into our lives. As we left, the village was now a gloomy shadow that covered the pure optimism that existed deep within our hearts. As we were riding in the cart, my sister continued crying. I held her close, trying to stay strong for her sake. I wanted to move away from the east coast and more towards the west, I heard that barbarian activity was a lot less significant there. I wanted to move to a new town, get married, buy a wonderful home, and start up a family of my own. Sure, running away enhances our chance of survival, but nothing can diminish the horrible deaths that we had witnessed in our life. Escape is like a wound. Even though it can be stitched up and bandaged, it still leaves a behemoth scar that reveals the tale of accidental endeavor. As nighttime struck, I decided to let my sister sleep as I led the dogs. We couldn’t stop to sleep, nighttime was the prime hunting hour for blood thirsty barbarians. Also, as we were traveling, I constantly had my knife out, ready to shred the flesh of anyone who tried to harm us.

As morning arrived and as the sun rose, the most tragic event of my life happened. As we were traveling in the cart, two bandits ran up to us and swiftly jumped onto the cart. They weren’t normal bandits who just wanted to steal, they wanted to kill. As they landed on the cart, one of the bandits kicked me off, and I flew off of the cart. I made impact to the ground and was temporarily stunned. As I got up, one of the bandits held a knife at my sister’s throat. I took out my own knife and desperately ran to her aid. Unfortunately, I was too late. The bandit took his knife and slit my sister’s neck. I stood still in shock as I saw the blood spurting from her neck, she died within a few counts. Then, at that moment, I lashed out. With an exuberant energy that seemed to come out of nowhere, I took my knife, and I threw it. The knife landed into the bandit’s head with surprising accuracy, instantly killing the man. Then, as the other bandit ran towards me, I found a rock and slammed it into his face. He fell to the ground, and I did the only seemingly sensible thing, I repeatedly rammed the rock into his head until he was eventually dead.

After I killed the bandits, I had lost all adrenaline, and I finally started to realize the sadness of the situation. I crouched down and looked at my sister’s body. I looked into her eyes. As I looked into those big, brown eyes, I saw the girl that I have grown up with. Now she was gone, torn out of my life just like every other member of my family. I started to cry as I saw the blood drip from her very neck. She was the only one I had, the only thing that still gave my life meaning. She was like the only strip of sunlight that pokes out during a cloudy day. As the day rolled on, I buried the provider of my only hope and my only source of happiness. When I was done with my sister‘s burial, I paid my respects, and then I was off. As I was leaving, I rode in the cart, and I didn’t look back. Now, I was a man with nothing to lose and, for the most part, nothing to live for. Sure, I had the dogs, but they were only animals; I couldn’t relate to them, talk to them, and understand their feelings. I was alone, I had no one.

The next couple of months were the hardest that I have ever faced. Despite my abundant loss, I had decided to continue to make my way to the town that was once the place of a beautiful new start. Now, it just mocked me with its taunting existence and its now-bitter intrigue. After a few weeks, I made it to the new town. It was nice. It was the first time that I had ever seen people happy in my entire life. They weren’t living in fear like the friends and family that I had grown up with.

As I got settled into the town, I stayed at a local tavern and tried to continue to live out my life. I was often provoked by suicide, but, for some reason, I couldn’t go through with it. Also, I began to drink frequently, and I was often found lurking in the streets late at night. Eventually, I spent so much money on liquor, I couldn’t afford my rent, and I was forced to live on the street. Life on the street was hard, I was cold, sick, tired, and hungry. I didn’t bother to get a job because I have no one to provide for, no ambitions, and no desire to do anything beneficial with my life.

One day, this one man found me on the street and offered to let me into his home. He gave me food, warm clothes, and even offered to let me stay with him as long as I did a few chores for him. He was an elderly man, he was short, but probably possessed a great power. After a few days of living with this kind old man, I realized that he was a Samurai trainer. He trained those brave men that followed a strict oath to protect those in need. These were the men that were often sent out to eliminate barbarian threats. He later asked me over dinner if I was interested in join the league of mighty Samurais. Of course I said yes, I was a man with nothing to lose, I honestly wouldn’t care if I died in battle, I had no one who would miss me. The old man who was known as Sensei Kamoa started a rigorous training program for me to complete. The program at hand was extremely hard at an astounding level. Everyday, I trained from dawn to dusk with no break. For the first time in my life, I was actually determined and I had actually shown ambition and desire for improvement.

After years of training, I was finally ready to become a samurai. A ceremony was held for me as Sensei Kamoa handed me my sword. I took the official oath, and, then, I was officially a samurai. Eventually, I had started to see Sensei Kamoa not only as my teacher, but as my father. Finally, my life had meaning once again. I finally had someone who loved me, someone who nurtured me, and, broadly, I had a father. Life was grand, I had stopped drinking and I started to see the goodness within the world and within other people.

In spite of abundant joy, I discovered something wrong with Sensei Kamoa. He started coughing and seemed to be getting weaker as each day passed. Finally, the old Sensei was so sick, he could barely walk. As the humble old Sensei grew weaker and weaker, he still pertained to his work. One day, my life was completely transformed yet again. As the Sensei was sharpening a sword, he tripped and fell right on top of the sword. As I walked in, I saw the sword in the elderly man’s chest, and I kneeled upon it. The old man was dead.

In complete dread and in the state of utter depression, I had decided that it was time. It was time to end it all, to end the miserable life that I had lived. I was to be the last one perished by the sword.





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