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When All Fires Go Out 
15th-Jun-2005 05:40 pm
Reborn - Yamamoto CHIBITA




for my brother, on his birthday.
don't ever stop writing.


when all fires go out

I know this country, now.

The air is sharp with the scent of rain, the mountains impassive, even under the inexorable march of the years. The fields are vivid with blossom, and over the horizon, a lone hawk circles.

The peace this morning brings will not last for long. They will come soon. And when they do, they will be too fast, and too many. For today marks my fifth year in the fields of the Black Warrior, and seven years since I last heard from you. I am now no more a child than peace is a word that endures in this world of ours.

When I am alone in a faraway land, I hear your voice speaking to me. Over the cries of dying men, through the roar of battle, above the beat of my terrified heart, I hear your voice.

Before I left, you wordlessly put a letter in my hands. I looked up at you, surprised. Words would give me nothing in a world at war. Words would stop no enemy. Words would breathe life into no dying man. Words could no more end a war than promise I would ever see you again.

But I didn’t know then that your words would be my strongest weapon in the greatest of all wars - the secret war of the heart, which all men wage, and of which few men speak.

In my barracks, I trace your words, fading with the years. Yet they still give me the strength they did on the day I read them. They keep my nightmares away. They tell me that there is still beauty in the world, even if there is pain, even if the war rages on, and even if I never see you again.

I thought I was a fool for living so much in your words, but as the war dragged on, as friend after friend fell to the blades of our enemies, I began to see the importance in anything that makes us want to go on, even after all we have to live for is gone.

In the still of the night, when my demons whisper the loudest, in the heart of the storm, in the instant before an army breaks over our ranks, it is your voice that speaks to me above all else. Just as it was your hand that steadied the shaking sword in mine, yours is the voice that drives away my fear. In the moment before the blade descends, yours is the voice that tells me when to strike.

“Live like the wolf,” you told me, on the day I left. “Take only what you need. Want for no one and nobody. For it is a harsh world you face, and the sooner you learn that you face it alone, the better it is for you and all around you.”

Then you smiled, and pulled me into your embrace. “Dream deep,” you whispered, so that no one else could hear us. “Soar high.”

I turned away so that you wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes. You spoke of a world after the war was over. You spoke of hope, when all I could see was despair. You brought me light, when all I knew was darkness. And you gave me courage, when my heart knew only fear.

And you spoke of life, when all around us was death.

In your words, you say that distance shall be no divide to us. That as long as you are alive in my memories, you will never truly die.

The trumpets shatter the stillness of this autumn morning, heralding the arrival of the army we have battled for days.

Far away from you, I smile as I draw my sword, and step forward to face the oncoming army.

For you showed me that hope still burns, even when all other fires go out.

Comments 
15th-Jun-2005 05:08 pm (UTC)
That...That was the most beautiful thing I've ever read. I'm in awe of your writing. *Starts showing it to a bunch of people*
15th-Jun-2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
That really was beautiful. :)
15th-Jun-2005 08:13 pm (UTC)
*grins* Even though the story was set during a time of war, the narrative was calm, even peaceful. Props to you for capturing the narrator's emotion so well. (Whenever I say narrator now, I think of Jack. Jack and his narrative voice. And Tyler. *smiles*) Ah, the life of a fangirl.
15th-Jun-2005 08:19 pm (UTC)
Beautiful narrative.
15th-Jun-2005 11:55 pm (UTC)
I'll buy your book when it comes out. Seriously, nothing gets me more when I can lose myself in the story and start envisioning things for myself. When I kind of forget where I am and just immerse myself in what I'm reading. You have that sort of talent, and it's a treasure to read. Thank you for sharing. :)
16th-Jun-2005 07:46 am (UTC)
Where do I begin? Awesome narrative. You make me want to write again, to remember how it is like to piece words together into lines of poetry. You write as one inspired, like the narrator and that who has inspired you- perhaps your brother? For some reason, I feel like it is you I'm reading about.

I'm going to pick out my favourite lines.

I know this country, now.
I love how you start off the narrative: direct, succinct and captures the reader's attention, ie. want to know more about what type of country the narrator is going on about.

The air is sharp with the scent of rain, the mountains impassive, even under the inexorable march of the years. The fields are vivid with blossom, and over the horizon, a lone hawk circles.
Paints a pretty imagery in mind. Empty skies inferred, as though as there isn't anything around but the hawk, and yet- blossoming fields- as the feeling of life.

But I didn’t know then that your words would be my strongest weapon in the greatest of all wars - the secret war of the heart, which all men wage, and of which few men speak.
This is the most beautiful line I've read. Very inspirational, and resonating.

Then you smiled, and pulled me into your embrace. “Dream deep,” you whispered, so that no one else could hear us. “Soar high.”
Few words, yet carries so much.

And the last two lines: (I'm running out of adjectives) beautifully (again, oh woe my vocab) sad. Somehow I think of character death. ~_~ Possible character death.

Oh, and there's a little something in this piece that makes me a little :/. You mention "blossom". I think of spring, and of life. But you also mentioned that it is autumn, where life turns bleak. But I suppose there are autumnal flowers that blossom then.
16th-Jun-2005 03:15 pm (UTC)
Then you smiled, and pulled me into your embrace. “Dream deep,” you whispered, so that no one else could hear us. “Soar high.”

I think it was about here that I started crying ='>
16th-Jun-2005 04:46 pm (UTC)
And then, your brother who reads this would go 'is this gay again?'

And you would then go all >_<. And I'd go all *amused*.

That aside, it's lovely. You should write from first person perspective instead of narrative - you seem to fare naturally there. ^_~
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