deaths shadow

Disclaimer: I do not own anything Inuyasha. Otherwise, this is what would happen to them. The only thing that I own is Peony my notebook and an extensive imagination. It’s not much.

Death’s shadow

“Pervert.” a hand sliced through the air to strike my face with a surprising amount of force. I recoiled, pulling back my offending hand to rub the stinging crimson mark upon my face. Sango glared back at me and stalked away, carrying her boomerang on her back like a shield covering that beautiful back and posterior. I sighed and watched her go, knowing better then to follow her and try to explain. Instead, I sat myself down beside a tree, leaning against its rough bark and attempted to slip into the comforting peace of meditation.
Though I tried with all my skills, my mind refused the tranquil state. Instead, the image of Sango’s hurt and angry stare stayed imbedded like a barrier in my mind. I sighed and gave up. Looking up, I saw Sango had moved to stand beside Kagome and from the look of annoyance in the future wise teen’s face, they were talking about me. For an instant, I felt an uncharacteristic wave of anger flow through me. What right does she have to judge me? None of them understands the position I am in, but the anger only lasted a moment and instead of leaving me feeling more justified in my actions it only served to make me feel worst.
No, none of them understood my position, my struggle. Living with this curse has shaped everything I am. Can they even imagine what my life has been like? From the moment I was born, this tunnel has taken from me. It stole my grandfather before I could know him. At my birth, it took my mother and her midwife before I could draw my first breath. Before the monks managed to contain it with a set of prayer beads. Imagine being born and instantly being responsible for two deaths. The villagers marked me as a horrible omen. A curse. My father was forced out of the village and back to the monastery in which he himself was born and raised. I think the villagers were planning to kill me.
From that point on I lived most of my childhood out within those hollow lonely walls. The monks were overall very kind to me. But the normal friendships and childhood, joy that comes from being able to play and socialize with other children cannot be replaced by the stoic presence of the monks. I was terribly lonely and even when a villager would come to the monastery for help with his children, I was still considered dangerous and cursed, treated with caution and sometimes fear. I think that I was the only five year old to ever consider suicide. I remember wondering if it would even hurt. All I had to do is to slip the beads off my palm and wait for the tunnel to swell to the point it consumed me. I wish that I could say that it was my childhood adaptability or my strong will that stopped me but it was not. It was my father.
My father, in many ways, was my only friend while I was young. He was the only one in the monastery that was able to focus all his loving attention on me. He was everything any loving and devoted father could be. But even in our most memorable and joyful moments there was a black shadow cast over our head. I always could feel that my father was constantly holding something back from me. At first, I thought that he, too, was partly disgusted by me. Resentful towards me for killing his wife. But as I grew older, I sensed that was not it. When I turned seven, this shadow seemed to swell around him until I could no longer penetrate it. Suddenly my father did not seem to have time for me. Instead, he gave me over to a master monk to care for.
At first, I was furious at him for his aloof manner. I knew something was wrong but was frustrated because I could not figure out what it was. I remember one night screaming at him. Asking him what I had done wrong that had made him stopped loving me. He had turned away quickly without saying a word. That knight was the first time I heard my dad weeping through the mesh-dividing screen in our room. After that, my father moved from our room and began traveling abroad without me. H would come back for short periods to visit me, but even in those blissful times things were different. He always seemed detached his mind far away in a place that was filled with pain and grief. The monks’ attitudes towards my father changed as well. They were wary like my father was a tiger on a very old length of rope. Any moment that rope could snap and the tiger would be free to kill. I knew that something was wrong but in my youth could not figure out what. It was not until near my eighth birthday that I realized that it was the wind tunnel that I sensed swelling and threatening to overcome my father. The night I realized my father was going to die, I cried. I cried and screamed until I could not breathe. The monks sent a runner to find my father but when he arrived all he could do was embrace me and weep with me. That was the first time that I heard the name Naraku was in my father’s sobbing curses.
I began to question the monks and any villager I came across who Naraku was. Slowly I was able to piece together the history I know now. I began to resent the name Naraku. Hate him for stealing away my childhood from me. I never thought I could loath that name any more then I already did. That was until the day the wind tunnel consumed my father. I was there when it happened. He was visiting and we were talking about my studies while he was away. Suddenly he went to his knees and cried out in pain. “Run Miroku.”
I did not want to leave him. I wanted to die along side of him. To be free from deaths shadow. But the master monk dragged me away. I could only watch as the swirling winds sucked up the only friend I had in this world taking with it a chunk of my very soul. After his death, my will to play and socialize died. Shortly after his funeral, I asked the monk my father clearly intended to become my new guardian to arrange for me to be permitted to enter and study in the monastery.
While other children jumped and played outside, I remained indoors throwing myself into my studies. The calm tranquil mask of a monk served as a perfect disguise for the hollow shell of my soul. I studied sutras feverishly. They were the only thing that seemed to sooth the pure hate that flowed through my veins. A hatred that increased yearly until I was sure my heart would be consumed by the very heart of it. Finally, at an age of fifteen, my master encouraged me to leave the monastery. He said that there was nothing more that they could teach me. I knew that it was because the monks were becoming weary of my dark moods. So I began my search for Naraku.
At first I wondered from village to village trying to obtain any knowledge of the demon. I learned very little and was quickly becoming frustrated. It was not until the fifth village I traveled to that, I learned something that would change my world forever. It was in that village that I meet Peony. She was as beautiful as the flower she was named after. I was an innocent boy and followed her around like a puppy every chance I had. I brought her a flower every morning and begged her father to allow me to take her on supervised walks in the evening. I was a boy totally caught up in the magic of his first love. All my thoughts of vengeance and hatred against that demon that damned me faded away replaced with dreams of children, a respectable hut in the village and a wife who was quickly falling in love with me too.
I was a complete and utter fool for forgetting the wind tunnel in my hand. I should have known the moment I fell in love that it would be disastrous. I guess I should be thankful the demon came when it did before something more serious happen. It happened two days after I had asked Peony to marry me. I had planned everything out. I had already obtained permission from her father and the other village elders. I took her to a field of wild Peonies and asked her to be my wife. She had answered with a resounding yes.
The demon had come late at night during the celebration of our engagement. One minute I was sipping sake with my blushing future bride attending me and the next the sound of screaming and running erupted through the room. The whole party spilled out to see the source of the commotion only to come face to face with a large demon. The men of the village ran for their weapons and I instinctively joined them, pulling out sutras that I had not used or practiced in months. Maybe it was that disuse that made them powerless or maybe it was simply the sheer power of the demon before me. Either way they were powerless.
The demon killed three before we even were armed and another two before the village people started to flee. I kept fighting, unwilling to let the one moment of happiness in my life fade away. It was not until I realized that the demon was heading directly toward Peony that I resorted to using the one weapon I had withheld. Within seconds it was over, the demon consumed by the wind in my palms. Relived, I threw my arms around my future bride, but instead of receiving my embrace with love and relief, she stood there stiffly. I can still remember the look on her face when I pulled away. It was the same look that the village children gave my father and me as we passed. Fear mingled with disgust.
That night I heard whispering while I lay sleeping in the room I usually occupied. Whispered about my father and my mother. Whispers about her death from an evil child and a monster that sired him. It made my heart ache to here such hateful words. In the morning I was given my possessions packed in a basket and offered a handsome sum if I would leave the village. I refused. For the next week I endured the hatred in the villagers stared in an effort to obtain the one possession that I desired from that cruel little village. Peony’s love. But the villagers hid her from me. I tried everything I could to catch her alone. Finally, one day I found her washing laundry alone in the stream. I had never felt more relieved. I ran over to her anxious for the chance to explain. I cannot describe the pain I felt as she skittered away from me like some kind of frightened animal.
I reached out for her, the love of my life. She avoided my touch and when she looked up to meet my eyes it felt like a sword had pierced my heart. Her eyes. My Peony’s eyes were filled with so much hate and loathing that it felt like a physical blow to my stomach. I have only seen hate like that in one place. In my own eyes when I was obsessed with finding Naraku. The very hatred that had threatened to consume me was now mirrored in my Peony’s eyes, only this time it was different. This time the hate was pointed at me. “Monster,” she whispered, her eyes like flames burning my very soul. “Monster.”
I froze barely breathing. Monster. Murderer. My mind revolved in circles around the words. Murderer? I was barely out of the womb. Monster? Did she think that I meant all along to force her to the same fate? Monster, murderer. Gods, was that really what I was? All I wanted was happiness. A wife, a child, and a life where someone loved me that was not already damned to the grave. All I could do was stare in shock as she fled from me as if I was holding a knife to her throat. That night I accepted the villager’s offer. That night I found a tree to sit under and wept until I was sure that I would come apart at the seam from the pain radiating through my being. It was like when my father died only worst. Not only was I morning a love but also a life. One that I had desired all my life. That was the last time I ever wept.
When I managed to come out of my sorrow, I felt empty. I felt the curse of my fate and I realized that horrible black shadow I would feel when I visited my father, as a young boy had not disappeared in the swirling wind that consumed him but attached itself to me. For the first time since I met Peony, I felt alone and cursed, but this time I knew it would not go away.
Silently, I continued to the next village and managed to obtain lodgings. Part of me wanted to die, but the more I thought about the situation the more I realized what a waste that would be. If I died, it would all be in vain. Not only my life but also my grandfather’s, my grandmother’s, my mother’s and my father’s as well. No, I needed to get back at Naraku for what he did to my family. Unfortunately, without a single clue on the whereabouts of Naraku how could I do that? It might take a lifetime to track the demon down and with this curse on my hand I knew I did not have that long. No, I needed someone to take over the quest for me. I needed a son.
From that point on, my mission was twofold. Find Naraku or have a son. The second was hard at first. I was still completely in love with Peony despite her rejection. The first village I came upon I walked up to the first beautiful maiden I could find. I told myself it would be easy I would simply tell the girl that she was the love of my life and I intended to sweep her off her feet into a paradise of love. But when the girl turned, my mind froze. Suddenly all I could see was Peony’s eyes filled with hate. “Monster. Murderer.” the girl smiled at me offering me a shy and innocent smile. I said the first thing that came into my mind. “Will you bear my child?”
Yes, don’t promise them love. Don’t tell them it will be blissful. Don’t day the fates have tied you together. No, just smile like a good little monster and let them fall into the trap themselves. Don’t give them any more reason to damn you. Don’t get close to them because as soon as love flies the shadow of death will swoop down to shatter its wings.
And so I lived my life, roaming from village to village looking for information about Naraku and trying to find someone to bear my son. Some women complied and I would stay with them until sure that the meeting bore no fruit. Then I would move on. That is until I met up with a rather peeved hanyou and a girl who claimed to be from a future so far away it was unimaginable. That is until I met a demon slayer named Sango. The moment I saw her I fell for her completely. I could do nothing to prevent it I just fell and fell hard. She had me forever and I knew it.
This made it even harder to hurt her, though I knew I must. At first, I hoped with all my heart that she would see just how much of a monster I truly was and would avoid me. But even after she had seen the power of the wind tunnel and knew about my father’s death she still insisted on being friends. And then after awhile I noticed her start to watch me carefully. Analyzing my actions and words for hidden meanings. I knew that she was falling in love with me. Part of me wanted to sing with joy. The love that I felt the moment I saw her was unlike I had ever felt before.
One look at her and I knew that the love that I had for Peony was merely a childhood crush amplified by the years of living in the monastery. This was different. It consumed my very heart and soul erasing all the hurt and pain that had festered there for so many years. But the memory of Peony’s eyes still remained imbedded in my mind a constant reminder of what I was. Monster, murderer. Is that what I wanted for Sango? To hear her painful screams as she was consumed by the piercing winds of the wind tunnel in the palm of the child she worked so hard to bring into the world. To hear her mournful keens as she watched her husband be devoured by his own curse. To see her tears and hear the scorn and jeers as she carried her son in her arms as villagers closed and locked their doors to the tired mother in widow’s garbs. Each spoke of possibility dug deep into his heart like the sharp blades of a throwing star. No, she deserved much more than that. She deserved someone who could hold her without fear that he would be the cause of her death. She needed someone that could love and protect her until she grew old. Someone who could be a true father to her children.
No, I need to hurt her. Push her away before I hurt her anymore then I need to. I flirt and flatter the village girls when she is the only one I desire, to protect her from me. I grope her whenever she gets to close even though each angry look leaves a fresh scar on my heart. So she will be too angry to fall any deeper in love then she already is. I can only do one thing for her and that is to continue my quest to kill Naraku. To get revenge for my family, for my father, and for my love. To get revenge for everything that has been taken from her, from me, and from what we could have been together. I no longer wish to die at night. I wish to live for her and if that means to bear her anger, her tears, and even die for her if she needs me to do. Sango is too special for this. She’s a bright light in my shadowed world and I will protect her at all cost. A rustling beside me catches my attention. Kagome holds out a roasted fish. I smile and except it. In return I get a humph and an angry glare. Sighing I glace over at Sango and a sharp pain goes through my heart at the hurt look on her face. She catches my glances and sends me an annoyed look before going back to her work. Yes, she will survive and I will follow her as long as my curse allows. The only thing I cannot give her is love. I can’t let her love me. I can’t smother another flower with my curse. Murderer, Monster. I put the fish aside and sighed. Looking up at sky, I closed my eyes and tried to hold back the tears as deaths shadow pulled in closer swallowing everything but my grief and hungry for the day it can consume that too.