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Misunderstood Mind

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Prof. Cinders, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. Prof. Cinders

    Prof. Cinders Mathemagician
    Staff Member Administrator

    Told you I'd post a fic eventually... Anyway, this story's about my character from Pokeschool. His name's Kaz, and here's his life from his point of view.

    Chapter One: Beginnings

    My story's far from simple, but it has to be told someday. My name is Kazuhiko Mitsuyama, I am 16 years old and I seek revenge for my family's death. That is the extent of most people's knowledge of my life. What I am going to tell you, however, is far from that. My story is one of misery, one of misunderstandings and one of misfortune.

    I was born into a poor, but happy, family. My father was a farmer, working in the rice fields near the village. We lived in Japan, in a small town called Tamura, famous for its farming and rice produce — as far as I know. My father came from a long line of powerful citizens in this area of Japan, stretching back immeasurably to the town's first leaders and its first downfall. My life revolves around its final few years, as well as the last few years of my parents.

    My birth was the most eventful happening in the village for quite a few years. The physician was forced to call for what my father called "reinforcements", as my mother was having an extremely hard time. Finally, after almost a full day of struggling, I was born — but not as you may expect. The first thing I saw was not with these eyes, but with another's. I was a completely different entity. Yet, something went wrong. To this day I have no idea how, or why, but this entity which my mother named "Keisuke" was almost destroyed. A bright light filled the room, surrounding the baby being cradled in my father's arms. He almost dropped it in terror, and my mother screamed for her first son's life.

    When the light cleared, my father had not one, but two babies in his arms — one being myself. The other was my twin sister, Setsuko. We were named, passed from physician to physician to see what the problem was. The results were inconclusive. The assistants returned to their home towns, and my mother improved in health rapidly. The first, pure soul was lost for them, but the new-born twins made up for it.

    For the first few years of my life, we helped our parents in the rice fields when we old enough to walk, and I fought my sister with my first sword frequently. No damage was done, as the swords we used were wooden, and the worst accident was when Setsuko knocked our father into the pond when I pushed her away slightly too hard. Times were easy then. I loved my family, even my sister, and would do anything to protect them. Such was my innocence.

    And then came the time of destruction. This is my first recollection of my life: my first feelings of revenge and longing. I woke up one night to hear the roaring of fire, the yells of men and the screams of dying women. I was fully awake in an instant, running to the entrance of the house where my father's ancestral swords were kept. I took the topmost one, and ran for Setsuko. She was meditating on her thin mattress, the picture of calm. Her long black hair, made smooth by our years of fighting, hung luxuriously to her waist, framing her posture. I shook her, trying to bring her back to the world of the living, screaming in her ear of the danger surrounding us. Slowly, slowly, she came back to me, choking in the gathering smoke. We ran together to collect the other sword, the twin to the one I held, and then ran for our parents.

    Too late. The roof collapsed in front of us, blocking the only way for our parents. We could only pray for them to have already escaped, although this seemed unlikely, as they would have come for us first. Confused and light-headed, we retreated from the growing flames and ran for the streets.

    We were greeted by the return of the screaming, and I vaguely recall the feel of strong hands wrapping around my waist, lifting me above the flames engulfing our house, our home. They must have forgotten Setsuko, as she had been knocked unconscious at this point. The poisonous fumes faded as the person carrying me fled the village, heading for the damp of the fields. No flames would follow us there. When we arrived, they set me down and left me. I was too much of a burden for them, and they could not afford to keep me with them. I lay there, nearing unconsciousness, choking unceasingly. The world caved in around me, plunging me into the darkness of the night around me.
     
    #1 Prof. Cinders, Mar 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  2. Prof. Cinders

    Prof. Cinders Mathemagician
    Staff Member Administrator

    Chapter Two: Murder

    When I awoke, all that was left of the village was a grim outline of buildings, emphasised by the ash surround them. The rice fields lay untouched behind me as I stood, horrified by what I saw. My whole family, extinguished in an instant by the hungry flames. There was no chance of any of them being alive. But I could not cry. As hard as I tried, as hard as I screwed up my face, ground my teeth, clenched my fists and cursed the heavens, I could not cry. I could not mourn my family in the way I felt I should. Instead, I felt anger replace the sadness I should feel, and a need for revenge replace the need for hope. I would never see them again. They were gone. Stolen.

    Eventually, the few who had escaped from their burning homes came up behind me. One placed his hand on my shoulder, rough against my exposed skin, uncurling my fingers slowly and trying to smile through a soot-covered mouth. His hair hung, singed, from the once tight bun on top of his head. ‘You are too young to know such words,' he had said to me softly, to stop me swearing obscenely. ‘Come with us. We heard a girl crying.' I looked up at his kindly appearance, my face fierce, hardened against all belief that it could be my sister. She had perished in the fire, left to die by the one that picked me up — which forced me to remember the tough hands that had held me.

    I looked at the surrounding villagers, a fierce, emotion-torn expression face staring at them bleakly. ‘Which one of you saved me?' I asked, the calmness of my voice surprising all of them. They looked at each other, their own expressions varying from disbelief to curiosity. Finally, the man who had spoken before looked back to me.

    ‘None of us took you with us. We took our own, nothing more.'

    ‘Then who?' I asked, an icy wind tearing the fields behind me. All I got in answer were bleak faces.

    I felt disgust at them for the first time in my life, leaving them to follow me. We picked our way through the ruins, towards the growing volume of the girl's screams — towards my house. However, the same thoughts ran through my mind: It cannot be Setsuko. She is dead. My family is dead. I am alone, with no one left to me. So it came as a surprise when we rounded the final corner to come face to face with her, blackened by the fire and smoke, choking in sorrow, clutching an outstretched hand from the rubble. I recognised it as my mother's. But how could Setsuko be alive? It was impossible! No one else had survived the flames, so why her? This must be a spirit, sent to deceive me, trick me into following it into the world of the dead! I would not be trapped so easily.

    The others behind me ran towards her, delight on their faces, screaming in joy. I stood alone. It could not trick me. But still, the demon looked up, its false tears dripping from its chin, pretend wonder filling its eyes. A choked smile appeared on its face, and it laughed the laugh of my sister. Still I stood.

    Finally, the demon approached me. My jaw stiffened in readiness for it to drag me away from the remains of my home, but no such action followed. It put its mouth to my ear, and spoke: ‘Brother, come and help.' My eyes glazed over in silent disbelief.

    Monster!

    No. It truly was my sister. But part of me still refused to accept it, binding my legs to the unforgiving ground. I could do nothing but frown at her. She backed away, confused, the tears spilling from her face once more. ‘I'm sorry, sister,' was all I could say, but it came out as a halted whisper, and she did not hear me. I was alone once more, trapped by my own demons.

    From then, my memory is clearer, and I can remember much. The days following my parents' deaths decided the future of my life, but they seemed so unimportant at the time.

    The survivors rebuilt the village, allowing Setsuko and I to help where we could. I ignored this duty, preferring to lurk in the rice fields, alone with my thoughts. Setsuko rushed around, carrying light blocks, taking a limp arm from the rubble as a victim was unearthed. Her sorrow was shown to all, while mine was hidden deep within me, tearing at my thoughts. I felt that I did not know myself, as if I was an empty vessel with no purpose but to wander the world, alone.

    When the village had been reconstructed enough to hold the survivors of the fire, they held a meeting, allowing us to come. I sat separately from their circle, preferring the darkness outside of their small circle of light. The stools they knelt on were newly constructed from the only remaining trees and materials, but I knelt on the floor. Setsuko absently knelt beside the man who had been designated leader, the same man who had attempted to comfort me the day after the disaster, and who had taken full responsibility for the reconstruction work. He began the meeting thus: ‘Today we finished the building of our houses. Today we begin a new life. But there is unfinished business left here as well. This morning, Sachio —' a small man bowed at the mention of his name ‘— found evidence of a terrible act. In the collapsed remains of the Mitsuyama household, a torch was found discarded among the ash of the doors.' I looked up sharply at his words, as did Setsuko, our eyes gleaming in twin shock. We both knew what he meant, but he explained further. ‘This means murder has been committed. Someone, we do not know who yet, has purposefully killed those of the Mitsuyama family. I would ask him to come forward now, before we investigate further.' Nobody moved. I stared around the circle, examining each face closely, trying to find some evidence of the murderer. Everybody held identical expressions of sorrow, shock and anger, no evidence to be found. The leader continued. ‘Then it is decided. We will hold investigations of every remaining villager. Those who are found guilty will be put to trial, and when we have confirmed their act, they will be punished: an eye for an eye.'

    The meeting continued from then, but I was brooding in my thoughts once more. I scoured the pale faces in the torchlight, trying desperately to find something to tell me who did it, but no. I thought of all possibilities. Did the murderer get killed in the fire? Did they run away? Was it he who rescued me? But then, if that was so, why did he attempt to kill the rest of my family but not me? So many questions filled my mind, the same ones repeating over and over, but to no conclusion.

    Finally, at the end of the meeting, the leader announced the last decision to be made. ‘With these investigations, plans and projects in effect, we cannot further endanger the lives of the children. As the Mitsuyama twins are the only ones who remain to fit this category, we must send them away. They cannot remain where a murderer lives within us. They must go from this country and journey to distant lands where they cannot suffer further harm.'

    I stood abruptly, outraged by this suggestion, but the frightfully calm expression remained on my face. My hands hung by my side, limp with fear and anger. The sudden movement attracted the full attention of the group, and some gasped at the rudeness of my action. I strode meaningfully to the centre of the circle, and looked at each face in turn. My gaze rested on Setsuko, who whispered, frightened, ‘Brother, what are you doing? Sit, sit!'

    ‘No.' The single word left my mouth, tearing at my soul, forcing the last of the colour to drain from the faces around me. My face remained expressionless as I repeated: ‘No.' The leader leant away from me, but Setsuko grabbed my hand.

    ‘Sit!'

    ‘NO.' The word left me again, this time shouted, but the calm remained. I closed my eyes, trying to find the strength to go on. ‘We cannot go. I want revenge for my parents' deaths.'

    The leader regained his sense, and tried to stop me. ‘As do we all; we understand, but you must -'

    ‘No.' For the fourth time, I rebuked his suggestion. ‘I will not leave my parents without vengeance. Would you leave your children murdered in their beds without punishing the one who caused it?'

    ‘That is different; I am older and can hold my feelings in balance -'

    ‘No! It is not different!' My face contorted, for the first time in days, showing the twisted, ugly rage that had torn at me for so long. The villagers recoiled further, horrified. ‘They are all dead, and we are all alive! There is nothing else!'

    ‘Nonetheless, you must go!'

    ‘NO!'

    The leader stood now, taking my arm from Setsuko's childish grip. ‘We are doing this for your own good! You must go. You MUST!' I struggled, my strength suddenly overwhelming, tearing him from me. I ran from the building, tears streaming from my face, but of rage, not sorrow. Several of the villagers tried to follow, but at a word from the leader they stopped and returned. I was to be left alone once more, this time by order.
     
    #2 Prof. Cinders, Mar 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  3. Prof. Cinders

    Prof. Cinders Mathemagician
    Staff Member Administrator

    Chapter Three: Departure

    The next day Setsuko joined me as we said farewells to the villagers. Mine were forced, and my hands bound behind me as we were led from Tamura. My mouth was then gagged with a coarse cloth, and I was dragged by the man who had agreed to guide us to the distant docks. His face seemed to gleam with the recognition he received for the so-called "brave" act, swelling with pride as well as with the food he had been given to feed me. For the first mile or so I kicked at his fat belly and attempted to scream, pleading to be freed and to be allowed to return home, but to no avail. Setsuko walked sorrowfully beside me, but completely ignored me, oblivious to my muffled screams directed at her. I fell silent after she finally looked in the opposite direction, into the endless rice fields.

    A few miles later, we entered unknown territory. Every footstep led me further from Tamura, from justice, but I could not do anything about my situation. The guide removed the gag from my face after a further ten miles of silence. The only remotely interesting event was the sudden end of rice fields, which I had thought endless previously. Now there were forests of black trees, plains of gracefully ignorant grass, lakes of icy water. Everything new, nothing noticed. I stared at my feet, only briefly noticing each change of scenery through the change in the texture of the path: wet leaves where the forests surrounded the path, flattened grass through the fields, puddles where the rivers had overflowed recently.

    As the sun began to reach its destination on the horizon, we approached the endless blue of the sea. Setsuko burst with questions, pointing in wonder at the sparkling waves and glistening water. The guide laughed, answering all of her questions in his taunting, merry way. I ignored them both. Soon a small village came into view, a large and bustling dock full of huge metal boats and small wooden fishing vessels. This brought forth another shower of questions, soon silenced by the guide as we came to a brick wall surrounding the houses. Guards in unkempt blue uniforms eyed us, and asked for ID. The guide answered with a bag of jingling coins, saying that we were visiting family. No further questions were asked, and we were waved through.

    Setsuko was awed into silence from then on, as this town was almost the opposite of Tamura. Instead of the humble cloaks and travelling clothes we wore, the people here wore foreign clothes: bright shirts and navy trousers. Even the women wore men's clothing! I was shocked enough to stare at them in dismay, but the guide rapped the back of my head sharply. I returned my gaze to my feet. Nervous giggles followed us and talk of the young, dark-haired, light-eyed, tightly bound boy spread rapidly, overtaking our path. Some came from their towering brick houses to stare at us, examining my bonds curiously. Teenage girls in unfamiliar uniforms exaggerated our appearance in their loud descriptions to friends and family as they returned inside, and one girl, about my age, came up to me and offered me food. The guide accepted it, and handed her a glistening coin. She ran to give it to her parents, who smiled at us gratefully. The guide smiled back, handing the food to Setsuko to eat. None was left for me.

    After ten minutes of unbearable scrutiny, we arrived at an inn. Entering, the guide arranged some rooms for us and kicked me up the stairs. I stumbled, falling onto the shallow wooden steps. Setsuko stooped to offer me a hand, for the first time that day acknowledging my existence, but she was pushed forward. I was left to make my own way up, staggering as my bound hands inhibited my movement. The room was small and cramped, and we were given mattresses stained with beer and blood. I ignored this, grateful for the small comfort it had, and instantly fell asleep.

    The next day I was rudely awakened by a kick to the head. My hands were untied, and I was brought down for breakfast after changing into fresh clothes that matched the ones we had seen the previous day. They were uncomfortable and tight, but Setsuko was given a flowing skirt to wear. When I complained, the large, ignorant innkeeper burst into laughter, as did the guide. I promptly received a hard slap to the back for the joke.

    We left the inn behind, the guide handing the innkeeper another bag of coins, and made for the docks. It seemed we were going to take one of the large metal ships, frightful in appearance and smell. However, the smell seemed to be everywhere, for the docks were full of traders offering "fresh" fish. The odour suggested otherwise.

    Two more clinking bags were produced to an abnormally tall man, his skin reddened by years at sea, guarding the entrance to a ship, the name of which was written in two languages: one was foreign to me, but the other read "Pride of Japan". Most of the ships seemed to be labelled likewise. The man pointed to us, asking whether we were going alone. The guide said yes, and that he would return to our village. We were left alone, and Setsuko quickly burst into tears as the man shoved us onto an unstable plank leading to the ship. ‘Come on, we're leaving in ten minutes,' he said in a curious accent, but his face looked like he came from this village. Maybe he had lived on the waves for so long he had forgotten how to speak properly.

    The captain of the ship looked completely different to everyone around us. His hair was the colour of wet parchment, his eyes reflecting the deep blue of the ocean. He also did not speak Japanese, and had to ask the man to translate. Setsuko asked, ‘What funny words are you speaking?' The captain laughed as he learnt her meaning, and patted her lightly on the head. He left us then, letting the man guide us to our cramped cabins.

    ‘You'll be sleeping here for the following weeks. If you feel sick, go to the side of the ship. If you are hungry, ask the boy for food. Maybe you'll be lucky and earn cook's recognition.' The man winked, and shoved a boy at least two years older than us into the room. The door clanged shut behind him, and a throaty laugh echoed around the corridors outside. The boy stared at us bleakly, and then sat next to Setsuko.

    ‘What is your name?' he asked quietly, his voice holding the same unusual quality of the man's.

    Setsuko looked at him anxiously, her eyes rimmed with red from the hard tears. ‘Sets'ko,' she answered blearily, hiding her face in her knees. The boy put his arm around her shoulder, and her body heaved with further concealed tears.

    ‘And you?' he asked me, looking across at my blank face. I scowled at him, and turned my attention to the only round window in the room. The boy fell silent, learning that it was better not to disturb me, young as I was.
     
    #3 Prof. Cinders, Mar 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014

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