‘Ukiyo 5’ by Captain B


I caught up.

You know I did.

You know I arrived just in time.

Didn’t even need my steel.

My steed suggested I dismount and he stay back. Other horses and dogs might detect him. I wore an amulet to guard against such things. It would work with the two-brained beasts. It would not against sorcerer or sorceress.

The Delilah, whose name is Daitan, and she was a daring and bold one, had her there, my love, my light, her twin sister and worst enemy.

She’d already drained me and claimed my top knot. Who knew that in youth, strand by strand, hair by hair, she’d planned the same for her dear and beloved sister?

And the wig fashioned, she wore. It stood on end. Dark clouds rolled. Thunder boomed. Lightning licked and lit her sinister smile.

My beloved stood frozen in her tracks. She could not move. She was paralyzed except for her eyes. Her remarkable ears had already picked up my silent-to-most-and-nearly-all footsteps. Her sister might have had the sensitivity too had she not been drunk on the lust for absolute power.

Nearing, sword sheathed, I would not need it, I felt my beloved’s tension dissipate. With her beautiful opal eyes, she feigned and called attention to a mole which peaked its head from a hole.

Daitan, we shouldn’t mention her name, followed the gaze. Lightning shot from her eyes and the mole was no more.

One second too late, but only for the mole, I thrust from back foot. Distance covered, I snatched the contraband hairpiece just as Niko leapt. She and her once most-intimate-of-intimates rolled and grappled. I was quick with the flint. It sparked first off. I held the sinister weave to flame. The smoke nearly put me down. Intoxicating it was.

I held. It burned. My hand and arm will bear permanent scars, but any of the manuals would instruct to never let go until the deed done and the task completed.

As sister’s power drained, Niko wrapped her up and secured the fetters.

I might have made a stronger case for execution, but with family matters, an in-law should know his place.

After taking care of all the propers and paperwork at the bastille, back at the minka, over roasted duck rubbed thick with chopped garlic and ginger, sipping sake, Niko’s barefoot resting on my shoulder, her slightly opened kimono winking at a sublime future, we speculated the whereabouts of the necromancer and the other queue in question.

But no. Absolutely not. There was no haste. We saved it for another day. This night we celebrated victory.



Captain B. Seafarer. Lover of shore leave. Collector of heads. Disseminator of tales. Twitter: @NPeligeiro