Today's challenge is to post a line about darkness or hope.
In the final section of The Shrine War entitled Incident at a Japanese Inn, the principals from the first two stories gather together to deal with a common problem.
In the first section, I introduce Christopher Andrews, an American studying in Japan, and Liana, his kitsune housekeeper that eventually becomes his wife.
Before the events in Incident at a Japanese Inn become deadly, I introduce the couple who have come to the inn and put them into an idyllic scene to hint of hope after the terrible incidents that follow:
As Hoso emptied the luggage, Liana walked to the far wall and slid aside another paper door.
The scene took Christopher’s breath away. A wooden platform served as a small porch that stood over a small steaming pond. Boulders partially covered in flowering vines lined the shore.
In the middle of the pond, a large rock rose above the water. A small bonsai tree, its branches artistically trimmed and shaped, grew from its rocky support.
“Isn’t the hot spring lovely?” Liana exclaimed.
Christopher stared at the scene. Liana, standing with her three tails spread out behind her, added to the exquisite beauty of the view.
This is the Japan that I have sought, Christopher thought, his heart suddenly aching from the vision before him. This is why I left my home to travel halfway across the world. This is what Lewis called the numinous. This is what I have always longed for.
Liana turned and held out her hand. “Come, husband,” she said. “Come and share this with me.”
Christopher smiled and taking Liana’s hand, drank in the conjoined enchantment of the spring and his exotic bride.