Consider this to be the "prequel" of the Samurai and Teashop Owner poetry I've been posting lately. This is a snippet that will continue on as the characters speak to me.
(Taken at Memphis Botanical Gardens)
One upon a time, or so the mystics claim, the rain fell in a steady pattern when he arrived at the teashop. She drank from her small cup as she watched him slowly walk down the path that led to her place of business. When he reached the lower step, he carefully raised his head and looked at her directly in the eyes as she leaned against the entry way. She raised her cup to him and he nodded. I am in need of a place to stay for the night, he said in a quiet tone, as if he thought of every word before saying it. So I see, she replied with a trace of honour. Please, she said as she stood aside, come inside and get dry. The samurai nodded as he walked up the stairs. She moved to one of the walls as he walked by her. The teashop owner smiled as a faint yet detectable scent of cherry blossoms wafted from his soaked clothing. She noticed that his clothing looked to be quite worn and that his hair was messy, yet she placed her cup on the table and said, Give me a moment to prepare a room. Sit here and I shall bring you food and tea. The samurai nodded again as she left him then sat down at one of the tables and placed his katana on the floor next to him. He stared out of the windows for a while, watching the rain continue to fall, then looked down at his weapon. How many times have I brought down an enemy against my Lord?, he thought. How many times have I taken the head of this one or that, to claim the right and power of him? He sighed then closed his eyes. He could still hear their screams, feel the splash of warm blood against his face. He fought them by his Code, the one that all samurai must learn and follow to the death. And yet . . . He opened his eyes and looked down at his weapon once more. I . . . am tired, he thought.
Some time later, the teashop owner returned to the main room with tea and steamed buns on a tray, along with grilled mackerel that smelled quite delightful. The samurai felt his stomach growl as she placed the items before him with a quiet grace then sat down next to him. Itadakimasu, he said as he nodded at her then picked up his chopsticks and began to eat. The teashop owner poured his tea then reached for her cup and sipped from it. You have come from a long way, she said in a form of conversation. I can smell the cherry blossoms on you. The samurai stopped eating then nodded. We haven't seen the cherry blossoms in quite some time here, she continued. Tell me, mighty samurai, why do you feel of defeat? The samurai stared at his food, his appetite somewhat diminished. I prefer not to answer such a question, he said as he took his cup in his hand, until I learn your name. My name?, she asked with a soft smile. Why must you know that? Because I need to give prayer to the spirits in thanks to you for this, he replied. She lowered her eyes then looked at him. My name is Murasaki, she replied as she sipped from her cup. And you? I am Fumio, he replied. Murasaki finished her cup then got up and left the room, while Fumio continued to eat by the rhythm of the falling rain.
To Be Continued . . .