Snow fell like sakura upon the moist pavement, coating everything in ghostly white, the lanterns making each flake sparkle in their soft glow.
Everything was perfect.
Until crimson marred that otherworldly scene, the sound of clashing steel and shouts of “Baikokudo!” ringing through Winter’s chill – red, warm red melting the snow-sakura into pink slush, the thump-thump of flesh meeting pavement final as the last beat of their hearts.
One for my father.
One for my sister.
Two for my wife and the child I’d never know.
All of them, traitors.
All of them took that which was mine and defiled it with what they called justice.
Yet where was her justice?
She was just a brothel-girl to him, a peasant to be used, taken as he willed and when she refused to be taken, pleading she was not what she seemed, he took her life.
So in turn, I took his.
No matter his rank, no matter my lower caste, he had no right.
She was my niece.
Blood for blood they say, eye for an eye, yet instead of taking mine they took my family.
So I in turn took theirs.
It’s been five years now, five years of living on the run, changing my appearance, my name, my very profession – no longer am I samurai, or even ronin. Now I am a simple craftsman, driving my cart from town to town to peddle my wares.
Every town has a street corner like that, an exact replica it seems of the one on that night.
A night decorated with snow-sakura and warm crimson.
From that day forward, every time I drove past that street corner, I thought of her.
©2013 Spiritwind Studios