Just a Little Bit More…
Well, the turkey’s been eaten and the desserts sampled over and over. Today I thought I would bring you a special little holiday posting. Special meaning it’s an excerpt from ‘The Fall of Akui.’ Little meaning well, it is a really little excerpt. Fortunately it references two characters readers of this blog might be aware of. First: Kahji Sketch. Second: The Earth Spirit. The excerpt below is rough draft. I have not even finished the story yet. So please be gentle :)
<<START OF EXCERPT>>
White mist hung in place like a vast curtain across the horizon. Kahji peered into it trying to discern anything of substance ahead of him. Somewhere, he could not be sure if it was to the side or behind him a deep drum boomed four times. As the fourth beat faded from hearing the mist split in twain and moved aside. Revealed was a large open plain of swaying green grass.
Sunlight played tag with the ground using the clouds to create dark and light fingers to probe the land. At the top of a swell stood a rustic wood shrine painted red. The kanji symbols for Chikyuu made from dirt, sticks and a few stones made clear to Kahji whose shrine this was. A moment later the ground heaved beneath his feet just as the ground by the shrine split wide open.
Erupting out of the chasm a large four sided block rose. It was very wide at the base tapering off the higher one looked. A ring of clouds floated around the lower midsection. Arms extruded from the sides and a waterfall broke out where the left breast ought to have been. A thunderous crack heralded the appearance of an oblong boulder, easily five times the size of Kahji.
A long beard and mustache dripped off the face, reminding him of Master Bo. Yet this was certainly not him. A gentle voice spoke in Kahji’s ear: “Approach me child.” It urged.
Kahji jogged the half mile or so to the shrine and base of Chikyuu, the Earth Spirit. He genuflected at the shrine’s entranceway.
“Mighty Chikyuu I have no offering to bring you today.”
“That is quite all right, another time perhaps? It is I who must ask you for something.”
“I? What could I possibly have that you would need?”
A low chuckled rolled down the front slope of Chikyuu. “Kahji, you were one of the finest Tendai monks. Most learned and one of the first to complete the Quest for Enlightenment. I have need of your service.”
“What service can I provide in such a state as I am in now?” asked Kahji.
“You can be that of my or rather our messenger. There are times when we Spirits need to communicate with each other and it proves…er…difficult. Constraints hold us to a particular piece of ground or perhaps we wish to communicate on a more anonymous level so that fewer prying eyes and listening ears might discern the content of our words. It would be useful at such a time to have someone unencumbered by the limitations of a Spirit.”
Kahji bowed deeply, “Mighty Chikyuu I am most honored, but is it wise to rush into a decision such as this? I have only crossed over to your realm mere moments ago.”
Chikyuu laughed with the sound of continental plates shifting against one another. “I have deliberated on this choice for several centuries. Our definitions of hasty are similar though our definitions of time are not. You are my choice.”
“Just like that? No testing or quest to win this position? Surely there are others?”
“Just you, just like that. Still you may have a point. Others may question your abilities. Answer me this, of all my sons which is most favored?”
“Fuji-San is,” Kahji replied quickly.
“And why is that?”
“Because the mountain that is his home is said to be immortal and most highly regarded. Attributes that bring much honor to any father,” answered Kahji.
“Excellent. You are correct. Let me be clear though. Your choice in this is really only whether or not you are a willing participant. I can compel you into action. My preference is that you give me your service freely.”
“I understand. What would you have me do?” inquired Kahji.
“The Shining Light monks that are travelling to confront Akui, the quest on which you perished, must succeed and in a very specific manner. My presence or that of another Spirit would certain draw notice from my cousin. Yet there is information that the others of your group must have in order to complete their task.”
“You wish me to carry word to Master Bo and Madame Nan?” said Kahji somewhat puzzled. “I thought they knew everything.”
“They know many things. However, there is a new development. One that you may be aware of given your, ahem, current situation. Akui is using someone to ensnare the Shining Light. If tricked even a little bit the outcome could very well be disastrous for all.”
Chikyuu paused for a contemplative minute. “An innocent life is at risk which must not be lost.”
“Do you not mean many innocent lives? Akui is poised to engineer great strife across the land.”
“I meant the singular. There is only one life in this matter that is of importance to me. Sacrifice will be required of several and though it may appear to be failure it will not be.”
“What do you wish me to tell Master Bo?”
“It is not he that I require you to carry a message to. It is one of the others. Come close so that I may explain everything more fully,” invited Chikyuu.
Kahji moved closer to the patriarch Spirit and listened attentively.
<< END OF EXCERPT>>
BTW, I am almost finished cleaning up the previous sketches of the four characters. I should have them posted in the next 48 hours!
Thanks for dropping by, Enjoy the rest of your weekend!