Sunday, July 17, 2016

Progress Report on The Shrine War

Presently up to 7,235 words.

I started off with five Kitsune defending their Shinto shrine against an invading force of 10 Inugami. At this point, I have three Kitsune left taking on about six spirit dogs and one human being freaking out over what is essentially a yōkai war.

Writing action scenes is not a strength of mine, but here in its unedited form is one of the latest. An Inugami has rendered Hoso, the youngest of the Kitsune shrine maidens, unconscious in a surprise attack, stolen her clothes, and used magic to create an illusion to look like her. Sneaking into the shrine's oratory, the Inugami has been able to get close enough to Sen, the head of the shrine maidens, to attack her.

Sen shifted to her right and the katana blade slid harmlessly across her chest, creating a slit across her kimono jacket as testimony to its keen edge. She continued in a spin and thrust Hoso away before she could twist the blade and use it in a circular cut.

“Hoso!” Sen cried. “Cease!” But then Sen stopped in surprise.

Hoso’s eyes were brown. Whatever stood before her had eyes of amethyst.

“Die, fox!” the creature spat and the voice was not Hoso’s but that of an Inugami. It shifted the katana in her hand, brought it above her head, and charged.

Again, Sen moved aside in the nick of time, a ribbon fluttering to the ground from her hair to show how close she had come to being cloven in two. Spinning in place, she brought up her paws, her prayer beads entwined amongst her fingers and glowing azure.

Before the Inugami could bring her sword up for a counterstrike, Sen’s fingers wove a complex mudra, her fingers entwining in the beads. A blast of blue energy struck her enemy, flinging what appeared to be Hoso into a screen. The delicate screen shattered into splinters destroying the priceless painting it framed.

Immediately, Sen’s attacker stood and shook off the effects of the blast. The attack had removed the illusion and Sen felt an overwhelming mixture of grief and fury to see an Inugami wearing Hoso’s shrine maiden attire.

Again, Sen’s fingers twisted the prayer chain within a complex dance of her fingers and suddenly an oni, a Japanese yōkai composed of pale, blue fire, stood before her. Sen pointed at the Inugami who assumed a fighting stance.

“I forbid you to shed blood in the hoiden,” she said to the oni between gritted teeth. “Humble it and remove its reason.” With a scream from the Inugami and a roar from the oni, they charged each other.

1 comment: