Friday, August 31, 2007

Samurai Tales.

The cool air falls around me. I feel the silence in the late summer evening. The pine forest is usually a buzz with life, but not right now. Human beings have invaded nature’s space and her inhabitants have taken notice. Standing still in the waist high grass, I close my eyes to focus on my sense of hearing. I am hunting. The animals I pursue are humans, the crafty beasts are worthy of the hunt. These two are particularly good at taking what doesn’t belong to them. Snap. Off to the left I hear the sounds of fleeing footsteps. Close, but still the advantage is with them, my armor doesn’t give me the gift of speed.

I break into a clearing. At the other end I can see the two thieves sprinting towards the woods. I gain speed as I close on them. It seems like the weight of the armor gives me momentum, hurling me forward. The thieves break into the forest. I am 20 yards behind. As I close on the forest, my hand grasps my katana, ready for what I can not see. Crashing through the thicket of briars, the canopy of trees blocks out what fleeting light remains of the day. I scan in all directions for my adversaries. Nothing. No sounds, no movements. On the ground in front of me I see some of what the thieves worked so hard for: bread, twine, two large clay containers. THUMP. A hot stinging pain erupts under my left arm. I look over an arrow jutting out of my armor. My mind races to calculate the damage. The angle of entry and exit tell me no major arteries or veins have been hit. THUMP. Hit again. This time the armor does its job and shatters the arrow on impact. I hit the ground for cover and hear the hiss of an arrow through the air above me. With my right hand I grab the arrow in my arm and break it off. The pain is harsh. Blood runs down the arm. It’s not something I can think about right now. They will press the attack now.

I kneel to the ground, hand on my katana blade, waiting for the moment to strike. The first cut from the katana is the most effective, with my injury, I can’t afford error. I wait. The silence still abounds. Minutes pass, I collect my energy. I wait. The fight never comes. The thieves have made their get away complete, but not with everything they managed to steal. The sounds of the forest start up again. Crickets and birds continue their songs. I gather myself and start back toward the village. Time to make repairs to my gear and myself.

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