To Donna Weaver at Weaving a Tale or Two, I want to say Thank you!!
This blog award is much appreciated. I am, however, going to break the rules. Since I did a bit of sharing of my person yesterday, I'd like to share a bit from a WiP I've been toying with. It's called Journal of the Damned.
I start this journal knowing I’m breaking the first rule an assassin must live by. Never leave a trace. But most rules are made to be broken. So here goes.
My name is Tsuka and by the age of six, I knew how to paralyze a man with a six point touch. Not my proudest boast, but the first truth I can recall. Being raised by a grandfather better suited for the era of the samurai explained a few things. Being a girl made it all the more…awkward. The fact that I took to the tortuous training better than most men three times my age made me well known in our village. So of course someone had to be jealous. Leave it to Omi to fill that position.
On my thirteenth birthday, the way of all women presented itself, during a sparring match of all times. It was my first loss. Omi rejoiced in conquering me only to fall to shame when he found out I let him win. Although I didn’t know exactly what my body was doing, I knew for a fact it was something altogether wrong. I let him have the win so I could tend to my body. Angered by this, he sought to bring shame upon me. And he found it in the form of newspaper clippings grandfather hid away. Apparently, I’m the bastard child of some black American girl and some mid level yakuza member. Both were found murdered within days of each other, the girl raped and mutilated before having her life snuffed from her. Omi walked about our little village showing the clippings to others, calling me a half-breed mutt among other less distinguished names. The only female friend I had, Kaeko, told me of Omi’s dishonorable behavior. Of course I confronted grandfather. He quietly walked me to the backroom of his dojo, bent under his sitting table and slid a panel of wood flooring aside. He pulled up a small hand basket and a bloodstained sweatshirt with the letters UCLA on it.
“You are my great-grandchild Tsuka. Your grandfather, now dead these past four years, disowned your father when he discovered he’d fallen in love with a woman not of Asian descent.”
The words entered my mind but did not find a home.
“Do not hate your grandfather. Though I did not raise him to hate what he didn’t understand, it happened all the same. All was not lost though. He disowned your father with his words but rarely with his actions. It was he who made sure I had enough money at all times to care for you. When Aisen, your father, was found murdered, it devastated him. Until the day he passed, he harped upon the local police to find the ones responsible for his death.”
I dared not ask if this benefactor sought the same justice for my mutilated mother.
“Aisen came to me, with you in this little basket, quiet and beautiful, a day after he found your mother murdered in the apartment home he rented for her. He’d been making plans to flee the country with you both and start a new life across the ocean. Leaving the yakuza happens in one way. He found that out a day after he left you with me. I believe he knew he would die. He left you this letter.”
I took the stationary and unfolded it. I read it aloud:
My sweet Tsuka,
Your mother and I love you very much. There are some who do not understand how two very different people could feel the way we do for each other. I don’t understand what I ever did to deserve the love your mother gives to me. But I must apologize that my choice of lifestyle reaped us the loss of her love. Be good for great-grandfather. He’s a hard old goat…
Great-grandfather chuckled at this…
But there is no more honorable a man I know to care for you. If you are reading this letter, then I did not get to make it back. Know that I left to find the truth of what happened to your mother. Know that you are not a bastard child. We wed in secret before we knew you were coming to us.
All my love,
These words found purchase in my mind. But I’d had one figure in my life, my grandfather – I mean – great-grandfather. So I felt just a bit of sadness at the words. What I felt more of raged within my heart. I couldn’t describe the feeling then, a sort of jagged, grinding of gears, anger, all pointed toward Omi. He’d taken a sad occasion, the terrible murder of two lovers and turned it into something to despise, all for the purpose of making himself look good. It took a week, but his body was found in a ravine notorious for claiming the lives of people who traveled too closely to the edge. He was my first “unofficial” take. And yes, by take I mean kill. After all, a target doesn’t exactly stand before you and give their lives over.