By Mike V. Derderian
I sleep not because I wish to embrace the cottony clouds; I sleep because I am tired.
As my hand reached down to the grip of the blade that has in so many ways saved my life without delivering a lethal blow to anyone I found myself surrendering to sleep like a helpless maiden surrendering to a lecherous lover. Sleep, the harlot of gods, cost me another exit and a way to cleanse my honor. Now people mistake me for a lazy buffoon! A buffoon!
How will I cleanse my name? I guess I have to deliver death.
Toshiro Kasanagi, a Sleepless Samurai, circa 1500
Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded Me
He fell asleep while trying to commit mental seppuku. He is dishonored for life but will soon cleanse his honor when the mental shiny blade of his katana gets covered with the mental blood of a demented mental. “A samurai I am. In my mind I have waged many battles against my sworn enemies. Some were lost and some were one. Beware my mental wrath. Pray that vengeance stays locked within the confines of my weary head. (Ch. 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded Me). February 10 at 8:38 p.m.
Blood dripped across the gleaming blade. Sayaka run across the field shouting for mother. Toshiro did not commit Seppuku. He dishonored his family again. “How could I fall asleep contemplating sweet seppuku! I am forever shamed. Maybe revenge is nigh and the man who me dishonored will taste the coldness of my katana.” (Ch. 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded Me). February 21 at 8:12 p.m.
With a coagulated red line running down his weary face Toshiro stood facing a blazing sun. The numbness that spread from the corner of his tearful eyes down to his reddened cheeks did not seem to bother him. He was a prisoner of rushing thoughts and unfathomable anger. “Where am I to go? Uncle would rather draw his blade in my face and finish what I failed to finish: My shamed self!” Toshiro thought. (Ch. 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded Me). March 1 at 8:47 p.m.
Picking up his bloodied Katana Toshiro disappeared in the forest that curtained the river bank, where sweet Seppuku eluded him. “I don’t know what to do?” Toshiro, who realized he had nothing but questions in his head that was now covered with disheveled and muddy locks, said to himself again and again. After a 45 minute run deep into the forest Toshiro reached a giant and bizarre tree with branches that reached down to the ground assuming a tent like shape. (Ch. 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded Me). March 10 at 9:27 p.m.
Quickly and without thinking he crawled through a narrow opening at its foot. Toshiro found himself facing a bear and its 2 cubs. His sweaty and bloodied hand was slowly pulling the katana out of its sheath. He was readying it for a clean kill. Unlike the roar of the Mother bear the barking of the cubs were gentle and rather funny but this was no funny situation. “I have no choice!” he said. (Ch. 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded Me). March 20 at 9:30 p.m.
A barely audible steely hiss was followed by a dull thud. He felt it through his feet. Blood sprayed from the sliced open flesh. It took 2 blows; 3 if you count stabbing the mother bear in the heart. “Forgive me! Forgive me!” Toshiro moaned as he fell down to his knees. Exhausted he didn’t notice the four bloodied fur…rows that went through his now exposed left shoulder and forearm. (Ch. 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded Me). March 31 at 1:08 p.m.
Blood streamed across what remained of Toshiro’s now tattered upper Kimono piece. It flowed like the ghastly & thick waters of the crimson rivers that his grandmother described in folktales that she gleefully & very theatrically reenacted to him and his siblings. The yelping of the cubs was becoming more and more unbearable. What was their fault? Too late for their blood like their mother’s are forever on his hands. Sssh! (Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded ME). April 8 at 12:46
The yelping stopped. It was a painful task & Toshiro begged the forest god’s to forgive him. He just couldn’t take care of them. He was ashamed. They were helpless. Hours passed as he sat there; motionless & contemplative; until sleep beckoned again. His tired body eventually surrendered to its soothing touches. (Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded ME) April 17 at 2:35
Having held the cold katana sheath to his bloodied chest all night long Toshiro woke up realizing that nothing will ever again comfort him. The sounds of the forest animals slowly sifted through his ears. Sun light filtering through the thick branches of the tree gave his shivering limb some warmth but his soul soon sunk in the abyss of enforced solitude. “Alive yet! Damn you Isao!”Toshiro angrily whispered. (Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded ME) April 21 at 1:21
“Unworthy scum! This is all because of Isao. They all believed his lies. Aki is dead!” Too tired to think, and as darker thoughts rushed into his head, Toshiro wanted to go back to sleep. “What are you doing you fool? Night will soon fall upon you. Search for firewood!” He wondered how the dead bear and her cubs, lying next to him, didn’t attract other animals. Time to honor them! (Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded ME) April 30 at 9:20
No sooner he buried the cubs Toshiro carefully skinned the mother bear using his Tanto. After cleaning the fur to which the head was still attached, using dried grass and soil, he laid it on a nearby branch so as to aerate it. “Mother bear your skin will soon enclose mine. It will keep the fires of revenge burning in my heart. We will soon be one!” (Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded ME) May 12 at 6:01
“Aki…Aki…!” yelled a man without a mouth standing under a burning sun. A surge similar to that of cold steal on flesh filled his heaving heart before a wave of rotting blood engulfed his now lifeless eviscerated body. “Damn! How can you still sleep? Must find a way to get to Isao at any cost! Oh, Aki I wish if it was just a nightmare.” (Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded ME) May 18 at 7:22
Three stones marked the place where the animals he slew were buried. Deep in thought and weary faced Toshiro sat next to the triangle of stones. It was time to repose and scheme. Aki, his woman, committed Seppuku after hearing Isao’s fabrications about him. Remembering her sweet kisses and warm embraces a sudden thirst for blood like that of a grimy leach seized him. (Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded ME) May 27 at 3:12
Toshiro’s blood boiled. His chafed hands cowered into a fist so hard that it would have shattered a blade into a thousand pieces. A demon like no other was growing inside him: A demon that fed on anger. He almost felt how it would tear through his flesh using its fangs and claws, proclaiming, “Blood! Isao! My Katana will soon bond with your unholy flesh!” (Chapter 1: Sweet Seppuku Eluded ME) June 3 at 4:28
Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade
At the time committing Seppuku appeared the only way to cleanse Aki’s family honor. “Your son has put us all to shame. Keiji & I should have followed him to the woods and finished him off,” Aki’s father, Kenta, who on the day his daughter’s blood spilled swore to be Toshiro’s lifelong enemy, barked at his brother. “Aki wooed death because your son wooed others.” (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade). June 8 at 12:59
No one dared talk to Kenta as he chastised his older brother for what was caused by his son, Toshiro. “This is the dagger with which my Aki left us,” Kenta bitterly said after taking out a blood covered blade from the folds of an ornate red stained white silk cloth. “Her soul lingered for an entire day before it went to the Dark Beyond.” (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) June 13 at 1:49
Two men stood facing each other. Furrowed temples reflected anger and resolve. One nervously gripped his sword in an upright position parallel to his restless chest. The other had his hand suspended calmly over the long silver handle. The sword appeared to be drawn to him the same way a magnet is drawn to iron but without touching it. Silence neared its break. (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) June 24 at 10:41 p.m.
“How dare you soil Toshiro’s name with your lies you cowardly rat?” yelled the younger man with the drawn out sword, “today you die Isao!” The clean shaven man, whose black jet hair cascaded down his wide and stalwart shoulders, was unshaken by the threats that thundered out of his adversary’s mouth. “Careful for it might be you who will die today my dear Sadao!” (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) July 5 at 12:22 p.m.
Before Sadao could utter another word Isao’s blade was protruding from his upper shoulder. The pain was sickening. He would have vomited hadn’t Isao swiftly pulled out the sword, and sliced off his right arm from below the elbow sending him into a deathly trance. Isao could have easily finished him off but he didn’t. The young samurai’s tattered body was now lying motionless in a pool of blood. (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) July 8 at 1:20 p.m.
Sadao knew that he was dead no sooner Isao appeared donning his Kimono of 100 Deaths. “Will I be number 101? This is the price of Toshiro’s honor!” Sadao thought moments before he was, and in the coldest of cold blood, struck down. Inflicting pain and suffering for Isao was like a warm Saki, downed with slices of raw octopus, eaten off the body of a virgin! (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) July 14 at 4:15 p.m.
The same way a master butcher wipes his instrument of death after a clean kill Isao wiped the blood off his sword with the lower part of his white kimono. Other than the asymmetrical dark red patterns that adorned its lower part Isao’s silk kimono was ordinary looking; however, everyone knew that its patterns were made out of the blood of the 100 men whom he murdered in cold blood. (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) July 22 at 4:54 p.m.
“Aiiiiiiiiiiiiii!” a loud cry cut through the silence. The bluster of iron on iron soon followed; it was deafening. Isao was barely able to fend off the blade of his female attacker. “What strength drives this she-demon?” Isao thought to himself as he watched the woman fall to the ground. “You and your blade belong in an eatery Hikaru? Another move and I will claim your pretty little Geisha head!” (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) August 4 at 11:45 a.m.
People whispered in anger but none dared speak or do anything because no one wanted to be a coagulated blood line on Isao’s kimono. The power of the blow flung Hikaru, Sadao’s twin sister, to the ground. The lower part of her kimono revealed lithe ivory thighs that were now covered with black mud. People didn’t realize it was raining. (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) August 8 at 12:13 p.m.
The butchery that took place moments ago prevented them from noticing anything else. Hikaru, Sadao’s twin sister, was entertaining a customer when she heard of his dual with Isao. “He was going to get married next week you bastard! Couldn’t you have ignored him the same way a wolf pays no attention to a fly!” Hikaru shouted as tears rolled down her rosy cheeks. Her blinding tears didn’t stop her from lunging at Isao. (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) August 16 at 2:19 p.m.
Delivering blows like that of a terrorizing tiger Hikaru attacked Isao. The screeching sound of iron on iron echoed under the thin blanket of rain. The power of her precise blows impressed Isao, who never knew that this geisha, who often poured him warm saki on many a sleepless nights, was such a skilled swordswoman.”This cat has some fire brewing down her loins!” (Chapter 2: The Bloody Honor Blade) August 25 at 2:12 a.m.
P.S: The above paragraphs were edited to fit my Facebook status, which only takes 420 characters, whereas the ones here exceeded 434 characters.