Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dark Warrior vs Kure-ji-ichi

I apologize for the length and I hope you enjoy the latest in the Dark Warrior's journey in Japan.

I touched the tattoo
For what felt like
The hundredth time
And once again
I had the vision.

It was as clear
As if it was
My own memory.

It was a temple
On a hill top
In a little town.

I was on a train
To the little town
With the directions
Ayako gave me
On a scrape of paper
In my back pocket.

"Ohayou! Are you going
To the temple like me?"

I looked up to see
A young man sitting
Across from me.
His clothing and hair
Were fanciful, suiting
The Harujuku district
Of Tokyo than a little town.

"Ah, this is your first time,
Isn't it?" He asked,
Not waiting for the answer
For his original question.
I nodded.

"I've been to that old temple
More times than I can
Count with all my
Fingers and toes,"
He said, chuckling to himself.

"As for the fighter up there,
He is harder to fight than
That old samurai in Tokyo.
They say he fights
Like a mad man,"
The young man continued.

All throughout the train ride,
The young man talked,
I nodded at the appropriate places
And gave one word answers
To his many questions.

All the while,
I felt a slight
Scratching in my mind,
A sense of something
Just beyond my thoughts,
Just beyond my awareness.

After a couple hours,
The train arrived
At the little town.
"Come on, Dark Warrior,
I am itching for a fight."

I bolted out of my seat,
Blocking the young man's path,
"How do you know
What the samurai called me?"

He pulled out a fan and
Started to fan himself,
"Isn't it obvious, my friend?
You are a fighter
And you are dark.
What else should I call you?
You never told me your name."

Of course it made sense,
I collected my things
And followed the young man.

As he was going to the temple
And was more a nuisance
Than a threat, I chose
To travel up the hill
To the temple with him.

It took us
An hour and a half
To reach the temple,
Taking our time so that
We didn't arrive exhausted
And unable to fight.

At the top,
The young man turned to me,
"Are you ready to fight?"

"Yes, but where is the
Temple fighter?" I asked.

"He stands before you,
He has traveled with you
Thus far," he said with a smile.

He went to the side of the temple
And took out two katanas
Tossing one to me. Then
He led me to an open courtyard
Where a little boy was playing.

With the wave of his hand,
Everything froze,
The little boy running,
A bird flying,
Even an old monk
Leaving the temple.

"I did not tell you
My name, Dark Warrior.
My name is Kure-ji-ichi,"
He said, bowing deeply
Before he attacked.

The fight was fierce,
At first we were even
With the amount of times
We struck our opponent,
But the more we fought,
The more manic Kure-ji-ichi's
Fighting style became.

Soon, I was on the ground,
Kure-ji-ichi's katana inches
From my throat, only
My katana, its tip piercing
The ground, kept it from
Ending the fight.

Then I felt the scratching
In my mind.

It all made sense now,
Why he could intercept
My strikes, escaping
Many just in time.
Kure-ji-ichi was in my mind.

I had only one chance
To see if this was true.
I imagined myself kicking him
On his right side,
And as I had hoped,
He moved to the left.

When he did this,
I shoved him with the sole
Of my right foot.
I jumped to my feet
And attacked with what
Promised to be a devastating blow.

"You have won.
I accept defeat,"
I heard at my right ear.

Hanging from my katana
Was Kure-ji-ichi's clothes
And his katana laid on
The ground where it fell.

He walked from
Behind of me
Wearing nothing but
His underwear.

"Yada, yada,
Look at this,
I had just bought these,"
He clucked as he put
On his clothes.
"No matter, they will be
As good as new in
A matter of minutes."

When he was dressed,
He turned to me,
"You are good,
I didn't think you had
It in you and I believed
That I would win, but
You are a smart one."

He picked up his katana,
"You figured out what
I was doing and used it
Against me. Very smart,
Dark Warrior, very smart."

He now stood before me,
"Not many fighters are
Victorious when they fight me,"
He said, bowing deeply.

As he rose,
He struck out,
His katana slashing
Across my chest.
The force pushing me to
The ground, the pain
Rendering me unconscious.

"It was my delight
To fight you,
Dark Warrior."

I awoke to the old monk
Shaking me, to his side,
The little boy stood,
Staring at me, curiously.

"Are you alright?"
The monk asked,
"Do you need to
See a doctor?"

I shook my head,
Even though there
A slight burning
Across my chest.
I knew it would
Subside soon,
And there was no proof
Of injury anyway.

I stood and thanked
The monk for his kindness.
As I walked pass
The little boy, he asked
"May I see your tattoo?"

Thinking he mus have seen
The samurai's tattoo,
I started to show him
But it was gone.

"No, not that one,
It disappears when
You get a new one,"
He said indicating where
Kure-ji-ichi struck me.

I looked where
Kure-ji-ichi's katana slashed me
For the last time.
There was a new tattoo,
This time, I didn't need
A scholar to tell me
What it said.

When I looked up,
The little boy was gone.

To be continued


olsfred James said...

Now a story like this is definitely worth continuing. I can see so many different approaches and stories all linked to this fighter.... nice!

Robert Gibson said...

I have one thing to say. I want all of this story in a single document.


I LOVE THIS STORY. You are a griot, my dear... The spirit of the ancestors is with you in how you spin tales!