The Blade Strikes
Two men stand across from each other, ten metres apart, not noticing the beauty that surrounds them. The cedar trees stand tall and stoic while the grass flows freely in the gentle breeze. The daffodils between them steadily attract bees with their pollen and draw hummingbirds with their nectar. The sun blares down upon the two men loudly, as if they were in a nightclub. Slowly this beautiful serenity fades into the shadowy intention of death visible in both men’s furrowed faces; one man is filled with revenge, the other is in need of settling the score.
Preemo is a muscular man in his late twenties. He wears simple garb of only a tattered brown gi with the remnants of a black belt navigating his waist. The one thing that stands out in his appearance is the magnificent Afro which dangles lazily in front of his piercing eyes. He speaks with a low yet piercing voice to the man standing opposite from him, “I did not kill your family, Guru! Why must we continue fighting like starving wolves over frozen deer carcasses?”
The man he speaks to, Guru, appears wealthy in his well-designed kimono and is obviously a man of status. He stands taller than Preemo but he does not possess the same muscular frame. He appears to be younger than his opponent, though not by many years. He also speaks with a piercing voice, yet slightly higher. “I believed you once Pre! You were once my best friend! But I will never believe you again! Your betrayal goes beyond your death and your grave! You belong in Hell!!” “Death comes to all of us Gu! But I fear that it will lead you to the afterlife this afternoon if we continue this senselessness!” “I admire your courage Preem! But we are not children anymore!”
Each man holds in his hands the masterpiece of all sword, the katana. However the weapon is only as deadly as its bearer and, in this case, the better swordsman has yet to be determined.
Guru charges forward and strikes like an unseen cobra in the desert. Preemo’s blade, however, is there to meet Guru’s with a flash of sparks and screeching steel. They disappear from the flash of both blades but only for a moment. Preemo circles to the right and counterstrikes with a slash to his opponents’ belly. He then moves fluidly, as if doing tai chi, with a slash to Guru’s throat. However, Guru is game and easily dodges both attempts on his life with ease. He speaks in a spiteful tone, “ Ha! You’ve learned nothing new! How do you expect to kill me with your limited knowledge and haggard movements?”
Preemo grunts angrily but Guru acts first with a left cross to Preemo’s chin which shifts his face like free falling from a plane. He then strikes with a roundhouse kick to his opponents’ abdomen which causes searing pain. Preemo stumbles back a few feet, only to be struck again with a straight kick to the face. Lights twinkle in his eyes as if fireworks were being lit off in the distance. He stabs his sword into the ground to brace himself from completely falling to his knees. Guru circles him with the intensity of a pride of lions, chuckling as if the victory were already his.
Preemo speaks again warning Guru, “You will die my old friend. Do not make me angry.” “Haha”, Guru laughs, “look at you, barely standing. You do not have the upper hand. I am letting you live only to see you suffer more!!” And as he says this, Guru raises his sword for the final death strike. As he does, Preemo, while hunched over drives the knife that he had hidden in his hand into Guru’s foot. Guru attempts to scream but Preemo’s katana is already halfway through his jaw and heading through his head. An eerie silence blankets the scene as he twists his blade. Blood falls like snow on a quiet winter’s day. Guru’s headless body fall silently to the ground, as if only to take a rest, but it will never rise again. “Your family will be happy to see you, old friend ”whispers Preemo as he walks off into the sunset with an uncertain future.
To Be continued…