Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rakko's Storm

Welcome to the 

The following short story takes place in Gensokai, about 20 years before the events at the start of Blade's Edge...

(For links to the other stories from the blog hop scroll to the bottom of this page.)




“I haven’t done anything, you can’t do this!”

The kisōshi who stood behind her said nothing, and Rakko couldn’t control her sobbing now.

“Please,” she begged between ragged breaths, as the tears poured down her face. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

“Silence, child!” the kisōshi shouted. “It isn’t what you’ve done, it’s what you have the potential to do. You are a danger, to everyone in this village and yourself.”

Rakko tried once more to free her arms from the rope that bound them behind her. The rain that covered her skin and mixed with her tears was making her wrists more slippery, but it was also causing the rope to swell and the knot to tighten. If only she could—

Her breathing stopped as she heard the sound of metal scraping against leather.

She would die. Right here in this street, on her knees in the mud, and why? The fear and pain that had filled her core with ice and her limbs with a leaden numbness, now fled her and all that was left in its place was fury.

She heard the hiss of a sword splitting the air and she screamed.

The wind screamed with her.

The rain became her fury.

And her world faded until all was black and still.


~~~

She awoke to devastation. The town of Fushichō lay in splinters around her as a light drizzle pattered playfully against her cheeks. 

She blinked.

“Not dead.”

She wasn’t sure if she’d meant it as a question or a statement, nor who she’d hoped would hear. Only silence and the rain surrounded her.

She stood up, and discovered a light breeze lingered as well, it teased the hems of her kimono mockingly.

She began to walk, unsure of her destination, but not wishing to remain in this place a moment longer. As she wandered the streets leaving town she was relieved not to see any bodies littering the ground. The buildings had been turned to matchstick, but the people of Fushichō seemed to have found shelter, or at least hadn’t met their end in the streets.

What had happened to them? What had happened to the town for that matter?

“Not dead,” she muttered again, and continued on her way.


~~~

The sea had seemed like the most logical destination. After all, the water called to her as much as the wind, and where were those two elements as happily married as on the sea? 

A tenday of traveling brought her to a small fishing village to the north.

The first door that she knocked on hung at an odd angle and had a few spots of mismatching colors.

“Who are you, child?” said the old, squinting woman who pushed the door open and scanned her with unfocused eyes.

“I’m—”

“A stormcaller,” the old woman whispered before Rakko could finish. 

Rakko shivered at the word, but mustered her courage and said, “I need—”

“A home,” the old lady said, once more cutting Rakko off. “Come in, child. Come in.”


~~~

If you enjoyed that and would like to read more in the world of Gensokai consider picking up a copy of Blade's Edge available everywhere books are sold.

If you'd like to receive more free short stories from Virginia, and be notified when she releases new books, sign up here!


To read more great stories from the blog hop, follow these links! 

Grace Robinette: Georg Grembl 

Elizabeth McCleary: The Door 

Dale Cozort: Two Letters In A Fireproof Box 

Katharina Gerlach: Canned Food 

Rabia Gale: Spark 

K. A. Petentler: The Twisted Tale of Isabel 

Shana Blueming: Paper & Glue 

Amy Keeley: To Be Prepared For Chocolate 

Cherie "Jade" Arbuckle: After I Died 

Karen Lynn: The Family Book 

Angela Wooldridge: An Alternative to Frog 

Thea van Diepen: Are You Sure It's That Way? 

Paula de Carvalho: Body Double 

Kris Bowser: Tantrums 

Virginia McClain: Rakko's Storm

14 comments :

  1. This story definitely makes me wonder about Rakko's past, future, and world. Good job!

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  2. This is a nice teaser story!

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  3. "The wind screamed with her.

    The rain became her fury."

    I love those lines. I'm curious to find out what becomes of Rakko, and if there are more stormcallers.

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    1. Thanks, Kris! :-) Rakko's story will come to light in the sequel to Blade's Edge (currently only in existence in my head--but aiming to be put to paper in November of this year). I won't give much away, but I will say that stormcallers are very rare... for a number of reasons.

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  4. Great teaser. I liked it a lot. However, I wondered, how Rakko got rid of the rose around her wrists after she woke. I can't imagine anyone else do it, and the storm will not have done it either (unless you explain how). And a final issue: you should add a speech tag to the first line so it's clear that Rakko is talking. It took me several paragraphs to understand, and in a story this short it adds a level of confusion you don't really want.

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    1. Thanks, Cat! Excellent point about the ropes. I will have to figure out how to address that without distracting from the brevity of the story. Obviously, when she wakes she has time to remove them at her leisure, but I should still probably mention it. Thanks for the feedback!

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  5. Love this teaser, some gorgeous writing there :)

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    1. Thanks, Angela! :-) Glad you enjoyed it.

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  6. Great work! A nicely-written story that makes me wonder about your MC's origins and the world she inhabits.

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    1. Thank you, Shana! I'm glad you're intrigued. :-)

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