Sunday, June 28, 2009

The shogun (OT) and update

He wandered into the dusty frontier town with the clothes on his back, an empty belly, and an ancient sword. He took a menial job sweeping out the local inn. He ran errands for the owner and guests. The sword lay hidden, wrapped in rags in his tiny room under the eaves.

Those who looked into his eyes looked away quickly. Their depths spoke of madness and despair. Death walked on cat's feet in the darkness. Whispered tales of murder followed him and he didn't bother to supply the truth. No one would have believed it.

Winter snow fell, gave way to summer heat, and in time snow fell again. The shogun's men arrived, looking to press men into service. The villagers cowered, knowing well the shogun's reputation for savage ferocity. The squad marched away with a motley group of conscripts, all of them frightened except for the man with the dead eyes. He left both his broom and his sword behind.

He trained with the others, going through the familiar motions in a perfunctory manner. In the barracks, he kept to himself, earning a reputation as an odd duck and a loner.

A border conflict brought a promotion after his sergeant died in combat. He lead the team back to friendly territory with minimal losses. More heroism earned him a commission. No one questioned his knowledge of strategy and combat tactics.

As an officer, he took a squad back to the frontier village for more conscripts. As his men rounded them up, he retrieved the sword from under the floorboards in his old room. Mice had taken up residence in the rags.

More combat lead to more promotions. He gained a reputation as a bold leader, the kind of man others respected and followed without question. And that brought him to the attention of the shogun. He received a summons.

He entered the throne room with head bowed out of humility and respect. When the shogun addressed him by name and rank, he lifted his head to meet the monarch's gaze. The shogun looked into his flat, dead eyes and recognition blossomed. A glance at the ornate hilt on the ancient sword confirmed his guess. Without a word, the shogun drew his sword and attacked.

When it was over, both men's blood spattered the floor and walls. The shogun lay like a discarded doll in a spreading pool of crimsom. The courtiers and officers knelt in homage to the new shogun.

These days, no one dared to meet his eyes. His reputation for savage ferocity was well known. Madness warred with despair as he sat on the throne with that ancient sword at his side, watching uneasily as yet another stranger wandered into town.

I was thinking about some of those samurai movies like Yojimbo, or any number of westerns, adventure movies, or thrillers. What happens after the big battle scene at the end? It seemed fitting to imagine that each ending brings the seeds of another beginning, an endless cycle of revenge that's almost impossible to stop. The above could be from any number of movies from Shakespeare to The Godfather. These things could almost be written in a series of haiku since the underlying story is so common.

Anyway, it's just a bit of fluff to pass the time.

Update: Sunday, June 28th.

A Google Alert informed me that what appears to be a French Canadian website has taken the piece above, translated it into French and then back to English, resulting in a wildly bizarre version of The Shogun. Here's a sample and it's a hoot!

He received a summons. almost always When the shogun addressed him to hand esteem and disagreeable, he lifted his Mr Big to encounter the monarch’s mind-boggler. He entered the throne set out with Mr Big bowed perfectly of mildness and attend to. almost always The shogun looked into his featureless, completely eyes and acknowledgement blossomed. almost always Without a in brief, the shogun drew his sword and attacked. almost always A shufti at the opulent hilt on the ancient sword confirmed his feel. When it was atop of, both men’s blood spattered the crush and walls.

"He lifted his Mr Big to encounter the monarch's mind-boggler." Gosh, I wish I'd thought of that. It could spin the story of in completely unexpected directions.

I can only assume this Franglish has a purpose, but I can't guess what it could be. Any ideas?


Blogger Kristina said...

Hi, I really like your blog, and would like to include it in my diploma paper in Discourse Analysis. I would really appreciate it if you could take a couple of minutes to take part in the research, so if you're interested please visit my blog.

5:33 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home