Of Nights

Moment, Part I

I'm going to die. I am really going to die. These men are going to kill me.

There is nothing else to be said. I can't think straight. The man with the scythe is talking again but none of his words reach my ears. I can't bear to look at him for long, my body can't bear it. He…he…don't think of it. It didn't happen if I don't think of it.

But now he speaks of Mugen. Like an arrow, his name shoots out of that man's mouth and pins me down harder than the bonds around my waist ever could. Mugen. It dawns on me that, again, I am being used as bait. I could almost laugh, or cry, because I know, I know, this time won't be the same as in the past. These stupid assholes are wasting their energy and my life for nothing.

They won't come for me. He won't come for me.

I had already let them go. They had fulfilled their promise to me and I had let him go. Mugen is long gone, and I am going to die here. Alone, unfinished.

Angrily I tell the man standing before me that his plan will not work, that Mugen will not come. He starts to beat me and I know that this is it. This is the end. I am going to die, I am dying, and Mugen will never know. My journey, my sunflower samurai, all of it, this is how it will end, in some ruined Christian church on an island that few know about. This is how it ends.

But I will not cry, my friends have taught me that much. I will not give these bastards the pleasure of seeing me weak and helpless (but oh, I am, I am).

The world stops and ends and dances before my eyes. Footsteps. My heart is beating in time to the sound, my blood is surging through my body, I cannot breathe. Footsteps. The sun is shining on the ocean. Seagulls are cackling to each other while wheeling around in the sky. It is a beautiful day. I know those footsteps.

In time, the footsteps become more than sound and Mugen is slouching before us, wet, tired, quiet. There is no show of "toughness", no acts of belligerence, nothing of what I know Mugen to be. He's here though. My heart beats painfully.

He's here.

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