365 Writing · Book · Stories

Jin and the Solstice of Blood (Part 27)

My eyes snapped open, and I could breathe once again. The air around me tasted like sulfur, but it was a welcome change to the feelings that I had just experienced.

I was in a cave, and around me were piles of corpses, tortured and mutilated. Doing my best to avert my eyes I saw an old man in front of me, he was the same old man I had seen… “Ikiru?” I asked as his form changed again to that of a young man about my age. “Wow, you’re way uglier than the visions earlier.” I joked, trying to take my mind off my surroundings.

He smiled and held out a hand, and I took it as I got to my feet.

“You need to eat the herbs I told you to take, or you won’t last long here.” He said pointing at me. He was right, my form had begun to rot like the bodies around me.

“Well, that’s not good…” I said, grabbing the ritual herbs I had brought and forcing the foul tasting concoction down my throat. “This had better work.”

Ikiru let out a laugh. “It was my idea not yours, it’ll work.”

I almost choked getting it down but slowly I forced myself to breathe and watched as my body became translucent. “I don’t like ghost me that much either,” I remarked examining my see-through hands.

“Yomi is not a place for the living like you, while I can walk freely here someone who still draws breath cannot. But this way, you’re not among the living.”

I took a deep breath gathered myself. “I’m ready. Let’s kick some Kami butt.”