The Samurai by Keiron Tonge

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SUMMARY: Feudal Japan: A short story about a love between a Samurai warrior and a Feudal Lord's daughter.

The man sat with legs folded and arms crossed on the cold floor of the dojo. The petals of the cherry blossoms around him drifted through the air lazily like a pink haze. His breath hung in the crisp air and the soft, steady rhythm of his heartbeat was loud enough to be considered a drum. The fog was thick that afternoon, all that could be seen were the four walls around him and the thin bamboo framed doors that were covered in lightly inked paper proved no protection from the cold.

Slowly the door opposite his place slid open. A pale hand poked through the gap slowly pushing it open to allow admittance to the room. A scent of wild flowers filled the air as she entered the dojo. A house of fighting, a house of warriors was no place for one so fair. Her eyes were of the palest blue, like a sheen on ice. Her lips were a deep red that seemed to shine so slightly in the thin beams of moonlight. Hair black as jet swung round her waist as she turned to close the door. His eyes opened. A thin smile on both faces as he looked into her eyes. She sat down before him and placed her hands in his. They were delicate and out of place in the rough palms of the samurai.

A knowing look flashed across her face as she heard footsteps intruding on their forbidden meeting. Behind her feet padded towards the two lovers. The samurai stood to face the intruder. He was clearly a man of importance. The girls father and the samurai's master no less. He drew his sword with a look of steel resolve on his face and the samurai responded by drawing his own. The thin pieces of steel cast reams of light that danced on the walls. Slowly the fathers blade seemed to arc in the eyes of the warrior. Something stopped its progress as it flew towards him. The girl slumped to the floor. Lips and all else stained red, her father said nothing. He was unfeeling. A simple cause to remove two traitors from his midst. Angered the samurai flung himself forward blades clashing. Light flickering over the body of the girl. Now broken and huddled unmoving and not breathing.

The battle exhausted the two men and ultimately there had to be an outcome. In his rage the samurai turned his sword on himself. Pushing the blade into his own stomach to force his own honourable death. The girls father stood over him, visibly enraged. And the samurai died meeting both his love and his reward in another life. The father was denied his right to revenge. Just as the two innocents were denied love.