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Cherry Blossoms

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Cherry blossoms stirred in the autumn breeze, stone steps leading to the palace gardens cracked and weathered appeared gloomy and uninviting. No living thing had graced the castle steps in years, but almost in contradiction to this fact iron shod boots struck the ground rhythmically which revealed a soldier clad in mail striding across the garden path. He strode past the prim roses still blossoming, across the wooden bridge traversing the bubbling stream where koi fish darted into crevices fearfully at the sight of another living creature. An unwanted nuisance a trivial aspect that would soon be gone passing by as a flitting shadow from tree to tree. Leaves fell at almost each step he took, his presence not shaking the trees but an almost passage of time, an hourglass turning. Black stone greeted his footfalls whilst he descended once more down a flight of steps, but unlike the steps before these appeared untarnished, almost freshly placed. A statue of the same smooth black stone rose to a surprising height and was outlined by the descending sun; it seemed to jut out of its surroundings although the trees surrounding it were taller and far brighter and colorful by comparison. Benches of stone were placed in a ring around it, corpses fresh with blood streaming from open torso’s, run through by keen iron, taken silently from behind, were being dragged away now by servants leaving the soldier alone kneeling by the statue. Taking his sword from its curved sheath, a reflection of the statues boring eyes appeared in its surface before the soldier smoothly struck it into the statue as if it had been made of butter.
Standing back the commander watched as the statue gave a shudder, his sword twisting of its own accord in the belly of the watcher of the night. The statue of his patroness, his fell mistress which had promised him life eternal for this small favor, his sword was his own, or rather it was his in a way none other could compare. A sword that was matched in temperament that none forged by man could match, black almost to the core but like a long scratch, almost a flaw in its creation a thin silver line cut its way to the sharpened tip that would he had been informed by his mistress never dull. He watched that same sword, spiral out of his control, twist and writhe in agony before trickles of metal liquid melted off of it and began forming a puddle on the ground. As he watched an image formed from the contents, first a foot, then a lithe leg and finally a silver dress embroidered with gold. Hair blossomed in the garden from a metallic face with high cheek bones, a regal dark eyed girl in her teens. And as her final features solidified the man felt for the first time like something was missing a part of him was gone, a hot iron scorched his innards and he gave a searing cry, startling the chattering birds overhead that took wing and soared over the battlements of the castle grounds. The girl gave a small smile her piercing blue eyes rimmed with metallic silver, black hair cascading down her shoulders like a winter storm, watching as the soldier’s essence burned away, leaving a corpse with no wound or mark on his pale and sickly flesh. The body hit the ground in a chiming sound of metal plating crashing against each other, it marked the beginning. The fool of a man sought life; she would grant him life, life eternal. More birds took flight as the beautiful soprano voice of the bringer of life filled the air. Hysterical laughing that brightened the last of the sun’s rays and deepened the growing shadows. The trees dropping leaves in increasing numbers as a sudden gust shook the trees, leaving them bare and gnarled looking…. as darkness took the world.




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