Haji Osoroshii

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A cool breeze winds its way through tall dark trees, tugging gently on the loose strands of golden hair that falls along my face. Nervousness and anticipation wring their sickly cold fingers across my gut. I wonder what’s taking him so long, it’s not right to keep a lady waiting, I thought to myself, feeling my cheeks flush in embarrassment. Some lady I am, my fingers brush the rough fabric of my brother’s riding breeches.


“Ladies don’t war breeches, they don’t creep around in the night, they do not wear blouses without corsets.” My voice was small, scornful, shocking to hear in the dead of night. The gentle noise of hooves clicking and carriage wheels far in the distance is quite comforting. The sound of deep, strong, horse breaths, snorting and stamping fills my ears; he woke the horses. I hold my breath, listening, longing to hear the silent footsteps, but I hear none, as if his feet don’t touch the earth at all. I catch the anxiety that swells within my, no need to be nervous, I tell myself, nothing will go wrong.


“Do not fret, my love.” His voice is warm and silky, but it sparks a fear deep inside my being, my whole body aches to run away screaming, but I stay, like the obedient little girl I am. I turn myself to face him and I see his dangerous eyes watching me intently; a horse on each of his sides. I allow myself to relax: the horses aren’t spooked, wouldn’t the beasts be nervous if something dangerous was around?


“Ready to run?” his smile is genuine, and it’s crookedness warms me in spite of myself. I tug on the very loose breeches, pulling myself into a half-hearted curtsy.


“As you wish, Master.” My voice is sickly sweet, but bitter and I steel myself for my stupidity, for it is not a woman’s place to speak in such ways. Instead of harsh words as a reply I get a coy little smile that sticks to his pleasant face. His body is long and lean, and he slides easily onto his saddled steed. My hand flicks out to the un-mounted beast, stroking her soft pink muzzle, staring into her deep brown eyes. Is this fear I see in her eyes? My stomach twists into unending knots, but no, it is just curiosity and impatience. I pull my leg up, bare foot resting in the stirrup, and swing myself onto the vaguely familiar saddle. “It is only proper for a lady to ride side-saddle.” my voice whispers, not wanting to be heard. With reins in my hands, and a horse between my feet I look to the boy mounted next to me. His eyes are alight with curiosity, but they still are deep grey, and his long black hair struggles to be free of his quick set pony-tail. His skin shines, a beautiful pale brilliance in the moonlight.


“I am ready,” excite4ment tickles my body, “Haji-sama.” I watch him excruciatingly closely, as he turns his steed towards north, digging his heels deep into the girth of his massive black stallion, and I imitate as best as a woman could imitate a man; not very well. Somehow we ride side-by-side, the tiny strides of my mare impossibly keep pace with the monstrous leaps of his horse. We ride through massive forests where treetops touch heaven, and roots hold Hell to earth, and we ride past horse-plowed fields, and fancy carriages, and broken wagons. We ride until we feel as though we belong to a forested purgatory, endless, an eternity traveling through wood and grass. Even in the stillness, my fear and dread combine, sinking me, drowning me. What if I die? These words echo through my skull, and make my blood pound in my ears.


“We’re here.” Haji’s voice is soft, gentle, like he’s trying not to scare away a deer he’s been tracking for hours. He chose a little clearing, a perfect circle of grass surrounded thickly by trees of every breed. Haji slides off his horse and strides towards me, his hand outstretched, beckoning me. I can not move, and I can’t breathe, I am paralyzed by fear. I am ignorant, and I loathe myself for being such a pathetic and weak woman. I look at Haji, concern and anxiety radiate off of him. I smile reassuringly, dismounting my horse, and I step towards him, taking his hand.


“Are you ready?” Haji questions, his voice unsure and cautious. I nod my head, determined to be what he has made me. “Feel.” Haji commands, pressing my hand to my chest, so I concentrate on my heart beat. Tha-thump, tha-thump. “Feel your heart5 connect to nature. Feel the earth, the heavens, the trees, the wind. Feel the living things beside you. You are everything. Become one with the earth.” His voice echoes strangely, collapsing in on me, bending me, molding me. And I feel it, my heart beat starts racing, dancing to the beautiful harmony of Life. Crack. Overwhelming pain cascades through my body, my head feels like it’s exploding, expanding and cracking my skull. Every bone inside my body smashes itself to pieces, breaking and rebuilding themselves. This is a pain, an agaony, so rich and intense a smile creeps across my face. Shifting, sculpting, my body breaks itself down and changes. Crack! My pain becomes releif as ecstacy floods my being, the unfamiliar crunch of bone becomes my best friend. Bit by bit I am bent and molded and changed and transformed.

All too soon the throbbing pain stops, but the feeling of bliss, of nirvana, stays intact and it envelops me. My eyes are closed and still I see, I feel, I hear, I smell, I taste. Every little thing that is, or was around me assaults me. The antagonizing scent of a buck, just 150 yards away, I can hear his heart beating, I hear his hooves stamp the ground, i see a flick of a white tail as he darts away, alarmed. I can hear the breath of sleeping birds, I can feel the changes in the air as our horses flick their ears forward. i breathe in crisp, fresh air, and I can't quite help running. I am alive! This thought rapes my mind, cascading through every part of my brain, multiplying, until I am roaring with delight. A deep throaty gurgle that sounds a bit too much like laughing alarms me. Who is that? Who can keep up with a beast like me? I look to my side and sure enough there is a massive rich black wolf-beast leaping and bounding by my side. Haji. The thought of him warms me and fills me with a sense of awe. Thank you. I think to myself, wishing he could hear me. thank you so very much, I love you, and I'm not scared anymore.





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theINFAMOUStown said...
Jun. 16, 2012 at 9:39 am
There are a few typing errors I made.
 
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