With all great things in this world, nothing encompasses our minds and souls more than the unexplained mysteries in our reality. With those mysteries, we have the ability to somewhat liberate our minds and think about what may or may not be possible. The following consists of a topic involving the latter.
Peace, a calm whisper of a wind blew through the tops of a forest full of beautifully aged reds and yellows. This was merely the backdrop for the small yet sternly appearing shack. Made of walls out of hard oak logs and a roof of paddock sheets. As calm as the outside, the inside of the shack was silent.
The visitors were not there, they were attending a town meeting called by the local holy man, Tanaka. The time is mid-autumn in the year 1225, the place is southeastern Japan, in a town known as Kaztaka. The ensuing meeting took place upon the announcement of a horrid crime. A body had been found outside the general store’s door, stabbed an unprecedented amount of times. Who originally was the lifeless body? A young lady known as Ima, long black hair, beautiful pale skin lead to the sheer heartbreak in various townspeople.
Kaztaka was never really known for crime, a couple robberies here and there. But, a murder was something to bat an eye at. Plus, one this gruesome was totally unexpected. So the chaos that took place among the townspeople was certainly justified.
Above all of the pandemonium one voice rose above all exclaimed, “Ok, Ok! We must stay calm, to go on a raid will only guarantee failure and confusion.” This was the voice of Itau, the local lawman who is a comforting sight as he is widely known as the honest figure of the town.
“Yes, we understand that, but we want to know what happened here!” yelled an unfamiliar citizen.
“I know, we all do sir, but yelling and causing mischief will get us nowhere.” answered back Itau.
As everyone meandered their way back to their solemn homes, an investigation began to take place. The priest, the lawman, and a widely acclaimed middle aged woman Mizuki. Three wise beings in one room, the temple. They had made their way to the temple, after the discovery of the knife in the body, in that it was from the prized “Five Heian Knives” kept under the altar at the temple. As they examined the slot of the rashly used knife, one of the beings spoke up, “These knives were meant to never be touched, let alone used in that manner.” said Tanaka.
“Twice.” One simple word was an uppercut into Tanaka from Mizuki.
Tanaka slowly sat down on one of the steps, “For I have forgotten of the Dark Times.”
“What Dark Times?” questioned Itau
“Tell him, no more secrecy.” Demanded Mizuki
“Tell me what?” Itau was becoming irritable
The worried look on the priest suddenly, turned to a face of agony. Whatever had happened was so terrible that it may haunt the consciousness of those who are knowledgeable of the event.
“I… I.” Tanaka was lost for words. But, he was making his way to a tall shelf, filled with leather bound scrolls. Each with a symbol representing a number. All looking similar, although you could tell the age of each slightly by the color of the leather. The one in which Tanaka grabbed, appeared to be the eldest. He slowly pulled the scroll apart, his hands shaking. Finally, they saw the words explaining what occurred during the, “Dark Times”.
Takana indulged into a story, reminiscing of a terrible event.
“It was the Heian era; Kaztaka was flourishing, producing more oak for Japan than any other area. The population was both large and peaceful. The majority of people were happy. Then a newcomer came claiming he was from an island close to Taiwan. Charming and handsome was he, with that he had an ability to work his way into whatever he wanted. Whether it was taking advantage of women or conning his way to wealth, he was harmful to our town. But one day he crossed the line, he had worked his way into the love of the town’s leader’s daughter, Ami. She began to let him get closer to her family, being the head of the table at banquets, even running the town’s bank. But blinded by her love, she did not see how corrupt he was, taking gold and using their power to get out of trouble. Finally, her father realized how much of a disgrace this character was and had him tried in front of a group of elders. He was found guilty of corruption and ordered to excommunication, he was to be sent to an island off the coast of Northern Japan. The day of the great send off, he was welcomed to the open arms of Ami; she was still ignorant to the fact of the man’s true intent. He took her to the side of the small boat and explained his plans. He was to conceal her in his bags and take her along. Although reluctant, she went along with it and worked her way onto the boat when he took out a case of knives and killed her, killed the guards, and made his way to what some believe the northern tip of Japan, leaving behind only the case of knives. The consequences of that terrible day were everlasting, until the end of the Emperor Toba’s reign when he ordered the official “Forgetting” of the event. Since then, the only information we have to hold onto is this scroll and the knives.” finished Tanaka.
For a moment the three beings stayed silent, simply contemplating how impactful this primary source was.
“Well, as astonishing as that is, how does it correlate to what has occurred?” Itau asked.
Mizuki nodded her head as she agreed with Itau’s intrigue. Although she somehow had a given intuition on the subject. How did she know of the previous event? They may never know.
“With that question, Tanaka sat back down, sick to his stomach. His cap began to show his constant perspiring and avid shaking. Obviously the upcoming news was sickening.
“The story matters because, one month ago exact. My eyes…” He was unable to finish.
“Takana, what did you see? You must elaborate!” Itau exclaimed. “ It simply has to happen.” He grew short with Takana’s inability to deal with the overwhelming amount of emotions.
“Him!” Takana screamed.
“Who?” Both Itau and Mizuki asked simultaneously.
“Him, I saw the man. The man from the eldest scroll, the man for whom created the Dark Times!” He fell to the ground in an emotional rage.
Quickly, Itau grabbed him and shook him back to reality. Takana reestablished himself.
“How is that even possible? The Heian era ended centuries ago!” Itau was completely confused.
“It was him, it was him. I stared into his eyes, and he vanished inside a shack about ten minutes outside of the general store. He had every possible attribute that is explained in the scroll.” Takana was still yelling.
“That doesn’t prove anything! Those attributes could be so generic that any amount of men may be presumed as him!” Mizuki was stern.
“There was one, one that he had. That no other man has had. His eyes were two different colors, red and yellow.” He stood there staring into Itau’s eyes.
Itau was speechless, realizing he had seen that same man standing in the group outside of the general store around the body. Then Mizuki fell to the ground as she realized that she several occasions in the past month where she had talked to this man.
“How did he… I don’t understand. Is… is he a god? Questioned Itau.
“No, no he is not to be considered that at all. He is nothing like that.” answered Takana.
“So, he’s immortal?”
“No his looks haven’t changed but the slightest, yet he has aged a bit. With the items in which I have seen him with, I have come to the conclusion that, that he is from future times.” Takana did not even believe the words coming out of his own mouth.
Such an idea to try to comprehend how could an individual move through time? And to what ramifications would it lead to?
“Well, what can we do?” asked Itau
“I assume nothing, he did what he wanted and he will return when he needs. We have countless stories of this being appearing and disappearing after tragic events.” Takana explained.
“Well, where does he go? He has to have one consistent area or action.” Mizuki was intrigued.
“I said earlier, he disappeared inside that shack, matter of fact, every story involves that shack!” As he flips through multiple scrolls of first-hand accounts. In that moment all three beings realized that what they had to do was in front of them.
Once again, we are here at the calm whispering trees, beautifully colored, surrounding that old shack made of oak logs and paddock sheets. Peaceful as ever, when one walks in, one is taken to any period of time, whatever the mind can conjure. Such as the revisiting by a group of beings to one event, with such emotional substance that one’s passion is confused with reality. The three main characters were so encompassed with the idea of the “Dark Times” that they visited the shack in which they found the culprit and had him executed so many years ago. The mind is such a powerful thing, but enough to create an entirely fake disaster?
© Copyright 2016 Matthew Gaynor. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Mystery and Crime
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