Why do we persist on living?
Why do I persist on living?
Surely there is nothing keeping me tied into this world.
All of those who once shared my life have gone away. Even their faces which intrude into my memory often seem to be mere caricatures drawn from a child’s hands that sometimes I wonder if they have ever existed at all. Did they really exist? Or are they products of a mind saddled by too much memories?
I am not sure anymore...
I am not sure of anything at all.
Lately, everything seems to be a dream sequence and it feels that I am just sleepwalking through life.
Are the something made up by the mind, I wonder.
Yet I know, they are all real.
Real as the sticky humid air that bathes my exposed skin; real as the salty taste of sweat mingled with the grime of the streets that trickles down to the corner of my mouth; real as the horrid stench of the sewers that wafts from a hidden grill somewhere.
They are all real.
As real as the blade strapped behind my back, a throbbing warmth that constantly reminds me of my existence.
The blade. I pause, the word reminding me of who I am.
Shinigami. That is what I am.
In old Japanese folklore, it is a term for death gods: those who harvested the wayward souls of the dead that linger upon the mortal world.
Black garbed, sword wielding warriors…
In another time, I would have considered the existence romantic.
But lately, it has lost its allure.
I am rotting away.
Movement… I snapped out of my reverie and felt my body tense in anticipation.
I have won the waiting game -
The humid air had become heavier, as if an invisible hand had applied pressure and pushed the atmosphere down: telltale signs that my prey had lost our mental battle. Either ‘it’ felt safe enough to move or it got tired of waiting. Either way, I won.
I silently withdrew my blade.
And I cleared my mind, envisioning the serene mountain top of Mt Fuji in spring.
I found my center...
It is artificial perhaps; but lately this brief period when my mind cleared before the kill has become a high that made me feel alive.
I reveled in it. Even if only for a moment.
In the calm stillness that settled, I felt ‘it’. My mind’s eye gave ‘it’ it's form. The sleek silhouette of a margolith menifested itself in my minds eye. Lately, they have been quite active. They resembled upright wasps – sleek monsters who feed upon human flesh. One of the low level demons that traveled through the astral plain to prey upon defenseless humans.
I do not blame them. To them, humans are how we see cattle: food. Prey which are most of the time easy to hunt and hard packed with necessary nutrients: equivalent to pork and beef for humans.
From the standpoint of nature's biological needs, they are blameless.
But no one wants to be labeled as food. Least of all, by us humans.
After all, we are not dumb cattle.
We believe that we are at the top of the food chain.
The upside of evolved intelligence. Or its downside. I am not sure.
Thus we… I and my kind exist. Faced with a class of predators who cannot be intimidated by human superiority, we have evolved.
Executioners - they call us or hunters -
Modern day shinigami. Modern day death gods.
I pinpointed its location. It had camouflaged itself in the rotting beams of the decrepit building to my right and had suspended its body functions to near death in the hopes of avoiding me, a skill we both shared. Just as it can suspend itself to avoid discerning eyes, we shinigami can also merge with our surrounding and suppress our presence.
But ‘it’ has lost the waiting game.
From the corner of my eyes, I saw it silently flexing its gossamer wings from oblivion to fill them with form. To an untrained eye, it would seem as if it was a trick of light and shadow. Not to me. Countless years on the job had honed my senses to perfection. I can see its form slowly materializing from their deep astral camouflage.
At first I sensed that 'it' was wary, its compound eyes scanning its surrounding for any sign of danger. 'It' knows instinctively that 'it' is being huinted. But as nothing showed recognition to its awakening, it slowly relaxed.
Too bad for 'it'.
I appraised the distance, mentally primed my muscles for the death blow.