|A Tale of Two Ninjas
Author: Cole Culain PM
A short thing I put together for a friend when I should have been studying for exams. Not the next great american novel, but not bad, either.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship/Tragedy - Words: 1,325 - Reviews: 3 - Published: 02-03-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2771322
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A tale of two ninjas
Just a little more, the ninja thought as she raced across the shadowy garden. Please, a little more. Dear Amaterasu, give me a little strength.
She heaved herself over the garden wall, gasping for breath. In one hand, she clutched a knife, the other, a small, carefully wrapped parcel. Oh, please let him be there, she though. Please, please, please.
She put the knife in her teeth, and used her free hand to scale a bit of ivy clinging to the wall. After a quick ascent, she was standing in a rooftop garden.
"There she is!" a guard yelled. "Fire at will!"
The ninja ducked as arrows whistled through the air. She saw one closing in fast, and she could do nothing to avoid it. She closed her eyes and waited for death. She failed.
Snick. Her eyes flew open. The arrow was lying three feet from her, cut cleanly in half. A shuriken lay impaled in the roof a few feet beyond that.
"What would you do without me?" asked a figure standing to her immediate left.
"Kisuke!" the ninja yipped. "Thank the gods. You sure took your time."
"Silly Himiko," Kisuke chided. "You just got here early."
Himiko huffed indignantly. "You insensitive clod! That's no way to talk to a woman!" She got hastily to her feet.
"You're not a woman. You're a ninja. They're completely different things."
Himiko smacked Kisuke with her too-long hair. Kisuke drew a knife. "Don't make me cut that!" he threatened.
Himiko looked dejected. "Clod."
"Now get that package back to the village. We don't have much time before they attack us again. I'll cover you. GO!" Kisuke shoved her.
Himiko continued along the rooftop, blending seamlessly with the shadows. No one could detect her now. The sound of clashing swords startled her. Kisuke had his sai swords looked with a samurai guard's katana. "Run Himiko!" Kisuke yelled. "Forget about me! The mission matters most!"
Himiko was torn. She tossed her parcel into a nearby bush, but on the way, another ninja swooped out of the shadows and grabbed the package.
"He's not one of us!" Kisuke yelled at her. "Get the package. Leave me here. We need that. The village needs that. I'm expendable." He struggled to keep the guards sword away from his throat. "Go!" He hissed.
Himiko nodded, blinking away tears. She set off a breakneck pace, attempting to intercept the enemy ninja. She tossed a shuriken, but the ninja expertly deflected it with one of his own. Cursing, Himiko tossed one of her modified tripwire kunai. This was her only hope of stopping the enemy. The knife stuck in a tree, and the razor edged wire sliced into the man's legs, making him fall. Himiko grabbed the package and whirled around. The guards were dragging Kisuke's unconscious form away away.
Himiko crept through the dark halls of the lord's palace. That idiot. She thought. He couldn't hold out for two more minutes?
She saw a dark stair leading deep underground. A gut feeling old her this was the way to the dungeons. The way to Kisuke.
She ducked into the shadows as she observed the guards interrogating her accomplice. True to his nindo, Kisuke refused to let on anything about the mission. Even after they flogged him, he lay silent in a pool of his own blood.
The guards left, not detecting Himiko. She silently made her way to Kisuke's cell, and tapped on the bars. "Himiko, you idiot." Kisuke gasped. "I told you to leave me behind."
"I have the parcel right here! Besides, I can't just let you die!"
"Yes you can. You could have. You should have. Ninjas are just the pawns of our employers. We shouldn't feel. We shouldn't think. We should just do." He winced in pain as he sat up. "You shouldn't have come. The village needs that parcel. We were picked to do this for a reason. This world is founded on the concept of the strong dominating the weak. I was weak. Go back to the village. Claim your reward. You don't have to share the money with me anymore."
Himiko fought tears welling in her eyes. "No… I won't let you! You can't just die here!"
Kisuke grinned. "Isn't this how I always wanted to go? I've always wanted to die on a mission. I want to go fighting!"
"You can't just die here in a filthy, stinking cell!" Himiko cried, tears flowing freely now.
Kisuke sighed. "You're right. The keys are hanging on the wall there. Get me out."
Kisuke staggered through across the garden, Himiko trying to support his weight. Kisuke had his hand clutched around a knife. All his weapons had been confiscated, so Himiko's knife was his only way to defend himself.
"There they are! The prisoner has escaped!" A guard yelled. The word passed down the compound wall. "The prisoner has escaped!"
Kisuke smiled. "Himiko, run. I'll hold them off, so you can get away."
"But you're hurt! You'll die if you fight them!" Himiko hissed.
"Wait for me at our spot. I'll come back."
Kisuke raced off towards the highest concentration of guards, knife flashing in his hand. Time to fulfill my dream, he thought. Time for me to leave this world ruled by hatred, war and bloodshed. I'll get reincarnated, and I won't have to worry about the war anymore. I'll just live my new life away from man. This can be my greatest escape!
Kisuke fought on from midnight until the time the sun's first rays broke over the horizon. Arrows protruded from his body, cuts bled openly. He locked eyes with the last guard. The guard raised his katana, and brought it down through Kisuke's right shoulder in a long diagonal cut.
Kisuke coughed up a bit of blood, and fell to the ground. He had a smile upon his cold, dead face.
Himiko had run long and hard through the night. She raced through the gate of her village, not stopping until she reached the house of the village elder.
The old man opened the door, and a smile broke out on his old face. "Ah, Himiko! I see the mission was a success. Here, let me take that parcel off your hands. Come by tomorrow morning to claim your reward. Eh, wait, where is Kisuke?"
"Dead." Himiko said, trembling. "Dead so that I could return and complete the mission. Dead because you needed to secure some ore for forging swords. He's dead, and he's dead because of us!"
That night, at sundown, Himiko waited at a smooth white boulder at the edge of the forest. This is where she and Kisuke always met after assignments. But Kisuke wouldn't be coming. Even though he promised, he wouldn't come.
A movement in the trees caught her eye. She whirled, thinking Kisuke might miraculously be alive, but saw it was just a wolf.
This wolf was jet black, with intelligent eyes that almost looked human. It held something in its teeth. IT made its way to where she sat and dropped a knife at her feet. She picked it up, her hands shaking. This was her knife. The knife Kisuke had used to fight the guards. Kisuke had died, but had been reincarnated as a wolf. Himiko smiled, but tears ran down her cheeks as she watched the wolf lope off into the forest, barking happily.
Every night, she would stare out her window at the tall cliffs rising up around the valley, and listen to the howling of a solitary wolf. She could not be sure if the wolf was Kisuke, but it made her happy to believe it so.