Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2-17-15 Writing Warm-up
7:59 AM

2-17-15 Writing Warm-up


2-17-15 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Kyle 'Epic' Mendoza, All Rights Reserved - http://spazznaticshuriken.deviantart.com/
Story and Characters © Corey Blankenship, All Rights Reserved 
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

Moonlight is your enemy.

The lesson had been a test. Do you infiltrate under a clear sky? Moonlight opened the land like a map. For an agent of night, the land should already be contoured into the mind. This lesson, learned through the obvious disappointment of my mentor, remained branded on my soul.

Tonight, however, the heavenly Betrayer stained my shadow on the pale ground. I knew my silhouette could be seen by a watcher on his rounds, but the commanders had spoken. The elements of earth, wind, and man had aligned. The death of the Daimyo must happen tonight, or the war tomorrow would be lost. I would either have to dodge the deadly illumination or trade escape for success.

Twin tachi gleamed like moonbeams as I quietly unsheathed them. The lord knelt in his pagoda, incense burning before him. The whisper of his prayers drifted heavenward, thanking his gods for a clear and quiet night before battle. His guards stood at the courtyard gates, facing outward, dutifully scanning the pebble-and-sand commons I had crossed an hour earlier. The same thirty paces divided me from my target. His prayers had my ears, but the far tower had my eyes. I waited for one last element to join the mission. A ruddy lotus blossomed within the tower's lowest, unlit windows. My prayer incense had burned truer than the daimyo's. The missing element arrived.

Fire.

The decision came intuitively as a wolf answers its brothers' howl. I leaped from the rooftop, rolling toward the pagoda like a whisper upon the wind. My feet swept me across the final distance and into the shrine. The lord still uttered thanks for peace as my moonlit fangs sunk into his lungs and heart. He slumped onto the lap of his god as I drew his ancestral blade from the hands of his idol. Sound, like moonlight, is a shinobi's enemy. The guards turned just as the whoosh of their powder storage exploding echoed in the clear air. The guards turned to gape at the rising tongues of dragon's fire. One saw their stricken lord. Then a shadow glimmered in the corner of his vision. He didn't have time to yell or draw his weapon. His wide eyes filled with shadows as his head rolled into the gloaming.

Sorry, Father.

I still loved to hunt in moonlight. 

***

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