Tag Archives: shadows

Within Paper and Ink

by Esther Davis

Amid the raging battle, the book—not the carnage—captivated my mind.

For years, I’d trained in the ancient art of incantations. I’d conquered armies with a conjured tiger fighting at my side. Father entrusted the enchantment of the Imperial Guard’s armor to my care. Yet never had I created an item so powerful as this book.

It terrified me.

That morning, I’d slid the paper doors shut around me, boxing myself in with our family shrine. Heart pounding, mind racing, I fell to me knees on the bamboo matting. The weaved mat dug into my bare shins.

I spoke not, for fear Father would hear my words. If my ancestors truly cared, they’d read the pleas through my tears.

Help me, my heart begged. This sacrifice…I can’t. Show me another way.

I knelt in silence, already knowing my answer. I must finish what I’d started.

I must defeat the Shadows. Continue reading

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Filed under Japan, Short Story