Thursday, January 28, 2010

Challenge 8: Japanese Dreams

Walking through her nightmare was like tumbling back into a scene from one of those old Japanese movies. Standing atop a barren hill in the moonlight, she wore a long, tattered dress, white once but now so thin it fluttered in the soft breeze. Her straight black hair tumbled forward, over her eyes, slightly damp. Her sword was long and thin, lethally sharp.

I clambered up through mud, feeling it squash and creep beneath my nails. The fog was rising. By her side, we were surrounded by moans, the crack of bones and scrape of feet dragging in the dirt.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” I whispered.

Glancing back, her large almond eyes were so innocent and trusting. “Charlie? I thought you were dead.”

That part was true. I was dead. How else would I be invading her dreams? But now wasn’t the time to be discussing something so trivial.

The zombies began to climb up, out of the mist, heads twisted to unnatural angles, tongues lolling, dribbling black saliva. There were her parents, faces just like in that faded photograph she hid at the bottom of her bag. Their skin was grey and clammy with blood oozing slowly from the bullet holes in their heads. Behind us, were other familiar faces; my own included - a long deep gash down the side of my face, crimson red eyes staring back, hungry.

“You sure have a morbid imagination,” I muttered, scanning for anything to could use as a weapon.

“I know.” She gripped her sword with both hands, closing her eyes. “Tadano himawari, dakedo watashi wa tsuyoi!”

I’m just a sunflower, but I am strong.

A sudden wind blew warm, dispersing the mist and leaving a faint scent of cinnamon in the air. Akiya opened her eyes, no longer sad, or innocent. Lifting her blade, she danced through the throng, each slice leaving only dust in its wake. Only at the end, did she stop, frozen. The shake of her shoulders was all that betrayed the buried emotion. I scrambled down, through the mud, to reach her. Sword thrown aside, clinging together, holding and kissing, her eyes were wide and shimmering.

“You will be gone with the morning.”

“But I will always be with you, I have been watching,”

She looked at me then, that almost forgotten humor on beautiful, pouting lips. “You’ve been watching me?”

I grinned, knowing what was coming and racing to forestall it. “Except in the shower…”

She stared, the silence widening.

“Or when you are getting changed,” I added hurriedly, when her expression did not change.

There was another silence as she examined my face, a slight crease above her brow annoyingly indecipherable. “Why not?”

Wordcount: 450

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