Remembrance; A Poetic Death [Archive] - Eyes Out Entertainment Forums

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Raku
03-27-2007, 07:41 AM
Hey guys, this is just something i had to write for an english assesment, the goal was to write a short narrative on the theme of "memories". I also wanted to write a backstory for my character, so i thought this would be a great opportunity to do so too.

Hope you guys enjoy it, any and ALL feedback would be appreciated.

P.S. I need help with the name, i want it to reflect the story but also go with the theme "memories". Hope you guys can suggest something.

Enjoy,

Raku :)

(Also ive been doing it in open office so im pressing ctrl+s every 5 seconds and its annoying me LOL sorry just had to say)


Remembrance; A Poetic Death
By Clark Denison

As he walked down the old mountain path, covered in the flourishing pink and white leaves of the Sakura trees that surround it, he knew that this was the place he wanted to die. He paused for a moment, waiting for his apprentice to catch up, who was walking not far behind his sturdy brown horse. As he caught up, he too paused. “Please Kuraku-san, do not do this. I don't think I am ready.”, said the apprentice. Kuraku drew his wakizashi, and presented it to the apprentice, who was now kneeling before the horse. “You have gone through much training, my friend. I have seen you grow since you were a mere farm boy, and now my son, you are a warrior. So leave, and cherish the moments you have, and let us hope that one day, you will be in my position.”. With a tear in his eye, the apprentice stood up and accepted the glamorous weapon, bowed once more, turned and walked away.

So it was with that, that Kuraku dismounted his horse, and sent it also on its way. With only a small wooden figure clenched in his fist, he began his final journey. He now had only himself to talk to, so he thought that this was the optimum time for remembrance. Kuraku began to laugh quietly at the thought of his death. “Its about time” he whispered to himself.

As a child, Kuraku was unfortunate enough to witness the death of his two grandparents, his only known living relatives since the disappearance of his mother. His father was killed in battle. “It is said that if one accepts their past, and embraces it as they come upon their final moments; only then are they truly happy, and only then are they truly sad.”. Those were the final words of Kuraku's grandfather, and it was the only thing that Kuraku did not truly understand.

With his head held up high, Kuraku continued along the old cracked path, preparing himself for his own memories. “Alright Grandpa...” muttered Kuraku, in a soft but sturdy voice, “I am ready to be truly happy. I am ready to be truly scared. Please, guide me through my last steps on this earth.”. A wind ensued. Not the typical cold harsh wind you would normally encounter, though. This wind was warm, soothing, comfortable. As it caressed his skin like the touch of a loving mother, the wind helped soothe the thoughts of Kuraku even more.

A small sakura petal landed on the foot of his left leg as the wind started to aggravate, but it began to calm down after a minute or so. “So lets start from the beginning.” he thought, still walking down the long and wise path. “After the death of my grandparents, I didn't know what to do. So, in a state of panic, I ran away. I don't know why, but it seemed a good idea at the time. Its lucky I did, I guess, because if I hadn't I never would have met...” suddenly, he stopped. A small, delicate baby bird had fallen from its nest on the tree next to him. With a smile on his face, he picked up the bird and delivered it back to its siblings. “It may be my time young bird,” he said, “But you still have a long way to go.”.

Kuraku took of his headgear, which was masterfully decorated with dragons, and laced with luxurious purple and black cloth, the colours of the Bakemono. “Now, where was I?” he muttered, “Oh yes, thats right. I never would have ran into Hideaki Ryu, a master swordsmen of the Bakemono. He screamed at me for my incompetence, but when he saw my face, eyes filled with tears, and my cheeks covered in ash, he took pity. Asking me where I came from, I informed him of what had just happened to my grandparents. He then gave me a small sack of coins, and told me to follow him.”.

“He then took me to his horse,” Kuraku continued, “Which was as tall as a tree, with fur as black as the night. The mane, however, was a grinning white, which gave the steed a sense of lifelessness. He told me that I had two options. The first, to take the money he gave me and run. Run as far away as I could. The second option, was that I could go with him, and become his apprentice. Although I was hesitant at first, I decided to go with him.”. The wind had come to a complete stop now, and Kuraku had only briefly stopped to take a sip of water from a stream he glimpsed nearby. After feeling refreshed, he continued on his way down the path.

He then started to feel a sense of relief. Even though he was talking to himself, Kuraku was able to express his past, and began to understand himself even more. He was now on his way to being truly happy. Taking a deep breathe, he spoke again. “Life after that was hard. Very hard. With a sword in my hand every day, I was trained by the best, to be the best. Ryu taught me not only ways of the sword, but also ways of living. I was educated about the many traditional ceremonies, and also on the sacred crafting techniques.”.

“It was a good life, though.”.

“After many, many years of training and ceremonies, I finally became accepted into the family. Not only was I a warrior, I was a warrior of the Bakemono. Known by none and feared by all, this was my life to be. Thankfully though, there was not much fighting in my life thus far, nor would there be for some time. We trained to fight, yes, but only to defend our beliefs and values.”

Kuraku felt that he had succeeded in something. He did not know what, but a goal had been accomplished. His memory had not failed him, even after all these years. Kuraku was always the brightest one, especially when it came to the battlefield. He knew every formation, every move, every breath that someone would take, off by heart. When put into practice, he was a machine. No, he was a God.

He was now, for the moment, Truly happy for the first and final time.

“The time eventually came where my skills would have to be used for the greater good, as a nearby clan declared war on us for land. This was an unprovoked action, and in fact many of us were startled, but we took up arms and were ready to fight. After our superiors had organized an appropriate time and location, our troops final preparations took place. Not one man without a sword. Not one sword without a man.”. Kuraku relaxed for a while, and sat on the warm earth, as he knew his destination approached. Soon, he would be at the gates of his people, ready and willing, to say goodbye.

As he finished eating his last rice ball, Kuraku took a nice long stretch for the last time. Standing up, he yawned, and began once again to talk. “So, the preparations' finished. As the troops stood on the sides of the battlefield, it could clearly be seen that we were out numbered three-to-one. Our small, highly trained, highly skilled and dedicated force of around 400 against the large, ill-quipped and untrained force of 1200. We knew we had a chance, but we didn't want to get cocky. All of us would rather have died. All of us.”.

Kuraku bowed his head as he walked. The sense of accomplishment had gone. Now, he started to feel sad, lonely and cold. The beautiful trees did not look so beautiful any more, as their lavish pink petals mocked him as they fell to gracefully to the ground, going through no trouble whatsoever to their end. Kuraku was on his way to feeling truly sad, an emotion that not many people ever experience, for this is at the pit of the barrel.

“And as the first barrage of arrows flew over head...” he started, “They knew they were doomed.”. A tear came to his eye, as so many painful images and memories all flocked to his mind at once, like an implosion had occurred in his mind. He had prepared himself for this moment, but no amount of preparation can set up a person to endure this kind of emotion. No amount.

“It was horrible... the fear in their eyes was unbearable. We no longer wanted to defend ourselves, we just wanted to kill them as quick, and as painlessly as possible. They did not want to fight. Their power-hungry leader did, and he was willing to risk all to have his way. The ignorant bastard. Basing all of his decisions on numbers. I'm glad he died last. I'm glad I killed him.”.

Tears were streaming down his face as he fell to his knees, the sakura petals flowing from the sky like a shower from the heavens, but even that could not bring his spirit up. It was just too much. He started to hear the screams of his victims, each one not crying for their life, but crying for it to be taken. He could feel the blood. He could taste the sweat. And as he saw each body fall once more in his mind, his soul was broken a bit more each time. Luckily, this was the end of the sadness.

As he got back up to his feet, he commenced to talk about the final parts of his life. With the wooden figure still clenched in his fist, he continued walking. “After that...”, his voice was shaken and cold, “Everything was fine. I met my wife, and we had a child. It was a boy, and he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. As he grew up, we could see that he had distinct love for woodcarving, and so thats what we let him become. I was not ashamed, I was proud. Bakemono Kiyoshi, son of Kuraku, greatest wood smith in all of Japan. After many more wars, my days were coming to an end. My son, now a man, crafted the most perfect little sculpture of his son, my grandson, Kurakuhiro, and gave it to be as a gift. It is this object that I cherish most in life. It is this object that completes my inner being.”.

Its almost over. As he walked up to the gates of the sacred village, he was greeted by his family, and also by the other leaders of the clan, and his closest friends. Proceeding to the center altar, he knelt before his tantō. The people around him bowed down, as he said his final words; “It is said that if one accepts their past, and embraces it as they come upon their final moments; only then are they truly happy, and only then are they truly sad.”, and so it was time for him to die; and he would die a warriors death; and he would die with honor.

So when the blade went through his stomach, he had no regrets. He had no fears. He had only happiness, and as the masterfully sharpened blade sliced through his neck, the wooden sculpture, of which he had held so tightly, was let go of oh so gracefully, in a moment that could only be described as... poetic.

Chronor
03-27-2007, 12:23 PM
Excellently written. There were two typos I was able to recognize but that's menial compared to the work as a whole. Great job.

Miyakami_Tatsuya
03-27-2007, 02:14 PM
thought of writing for www.meitochi.com ?

Raku
03-28-2007, 06:35 AM
Excellently written. There were two typos I was able to recognize but that's menial compared to the work as a whole. Great job.

I think i saw a typo haha, i forgot to ad the letter "d" to a word at the end. Thanks for noting, cause its due today :P.

Found the other one :)

I would really like to see more feedback from people, are there any places where i could improve for next time? Did i miss out on something? I need to know this stuff haha.

Also, changed the name, so hope you guys like it.

Akitora
03-31-2007, 08:04 PM
/applaud

Well written. >.> */nudges Raku* Yes... write for Meitochi... you know you want to...

Hmm. Creative feedback. I personally might of had the protagonist not let go of the wooden carving as he died - as he let go of his own life he doesn't let go of what the figure represents? Tradition, Clan, his son etc?

Also - why must he die? What is the reason? Prehaps thier Lord has perished in a political battle with the rival clan and all his retainers must follow him into death? Or is the hero protesting something in his death. Does he seek to remove his own shame in something, or is he giving a final lesson to someone? I feel that if you knew the reason behind the death, then you could feel the poetry of the moment when writing about the death?

Raku
04-01-2007, 01:39 AM
/applaud

Well written. >.> */nudges Raku* Yes... write for Meitochi... you know you want to...



Heh im a mod there, so i might consider it.


Hmm. Creative feedback. I personally might of had the protagonist not let go of the wooden carving as he died - as he let go of his own life he doesn't let go of what the figure represents? Tradition, Clan, his son etc?


That really sounds good, and it was even one of the things i was considering going to happen, but for some reason i left it out :(


Also - why must he die? What is the reason? Prehaps thier Lord has perished in a political battle with the rival clan and all his retainers must follow him into death? Or is the hero protesting something in his death. Does he seek to remove his own shame in something, or is he giving a final lesson to someone? I feel that if you knew the reason behind the death, then you could feel the poetry of the moment when writing about the death?

Thats another very good angle. Perhaps i should put that in? Unfortunately, i only had a few hours to write it so i sort of rushed over a lot of detail, and this is a very, very great idea (i dont think i can stress how much i wish i thought of this), but i also wanted to make the responder feel baffled, and WANT to know more, not be given a whole lot of crap that they dont care to know.

Also, this is only the first part of the story, as i wrote it for the background of my character. Kuraku is Raku's grandfather, and this is sort of a pre-prelude.

Thanks for the constructive critisism, i really appreciate it!

>> Akirotra