My fictional character Natalie Alistair is a comic artist who drew seven chapters of a comic book called Ninja Prophecy. For this week's comic, it became necessary to actually know what her story was about, so I started writing it. Below you will find two chapters of a story that I wrote to sound like it was written by a teenage Natalie while she was in the height of Anime fandom and utterly enthralled with Japanese culture. Please enjoy.
Ninja Prophecy by Natalie Alistair - Chapter One
Once upon a time there was a Samurai named Hara Hideo. Hideo loyally served his city as his lord, Nijo Nobutuki's most trusted bodyguard. He had a family, a wife with two daughters, aged 4 and 6, but no sons. His wife ran a trusted apothecary, and the family was happy.
One day, there was a battle with an invading clan. The city's forces were standing strong against the siege when by chance Hideo discovered one of the inner palace guards dead. Realizing the siege was a distraction, he rushed to Lord Nijo to protect him, to find his friend, Tamotsu, about to assassinate the lord. Without hesitation, Hideo rushed to Lord Nijo's defense, crossing swords with Tamotsu and beseeching his lord to escape. Hideo lost and was beheaded by Tamotsu, but Lord Nijo did not escape, and instead fired an arrow into Tamotsu's back. Tamotsu fled, injured and disgraced, taking Hideo's sword.
The lord Survived and the siege was repelled. Hara Hideo's death became a legend, but his sword, and thus his soul, was never recovered.
Ten years later, Hara Mio reached the age of fourteen. She and her sister became personal nurses to the gracefully aging Lord Nijo, who told them stories of their father's heroism and honorable sacrifice. Mio's older sister Sakura sought to honor her father's legacy by dedicating herself to Lord Nijo's health, but Mio was haunted by the knowledge that her father's soul would never be at rest until his sword was recovered and returned home.
Mio sought her father's teacher and cousin of the lord, Nijo Osamu. Mio wished to learn to fight so she could search for her father's sword, but Osamu utterly refused, both for tradition and protection. Mio's tenacity, however, would not be quelled, so she then went to the man who crafted the sword that held her father's soul, Koichi Konoe.
Ninja Prophecy by Natalie Alistair - Chapter Two
Konoe knew either Mio or Sakura would come to him some day. He invited Mio in and served her tea. He told stories of her father that Lord Nijo did not know, stories of his younger days, of his education, of meeting Mio's mother and his decision to become the Lord Nijo's bodyguard. Mio told of her plan to retrieve her father's sword, and Konoe smiled.
Twenty years ago, Konoe had made a pair of twin katanas sized and balanced for a young woman. The woman, Murakami Moriko, had a heart of determination and adventure, and never stopped pleading with Konoe to forge her a sword to hold her soul. Konoe refused for three years, until on the day of Moriko's 17th birthday, he was given a prophecy by a nameless old vagabond woman.
Two girls would come to him, seeking a blade to hold their soul. The first would take her sword and vanish, for her destiny was to train the second. The second would be seeking restitution, but would return with the salvation of Lord Nijo and the entire city from otherwise certain annihilation.
Konoe brought Mio a katana, secured in a dark green sheath. Sensing the young girl's excitement, he made her promise one thing: That she would not unsheathe the blade until she had found Murakami Moriko, for a sword was a tool of taking life, and she should not unleash such responsibility until she truly understood it's weight.
Mio accepted Konoe's request, binding the katana to it's sheath with rope as she gathered her things to begin her journey. She attempted to leave in secret, but was confronted by her older sister Sakura as she left town in the dark of night. Sakura condemned her, insulted her, accused her of dishonoring her father, her family, her city. Sakura tackled Mio, fighting her with relentless fury, striking her with her bare hands as Mio struggled to escape.
For the first time Mio felt the anger that could drive a person to murder. For the first time Mio felt the power over life and death she had just been granted. For the first time, Mio saw the two roads that split when a person was given such a powerful decision. She saw the path of the blade from its sheath on her back to the body of her sister. Not one heartbeat after she chose not to walk that road, her sister relented and collapsed into tears.
Sakura and Mio did not speak one word after their fight. Sakura fell to her knees sobbing, and Mio stood to her feet to began her journey.