I've recreated this story from one I wrote years ago. This is book one, and there are seven more to follow. NOT A ONE CHAPTER. Takes place in old world Japan
Her father pulled his sword from the dead woman; Sona fell to her knees crying.
Her father was coming closer to her, his sword still drawn, trailing her mother's blood over the floor. She feared for her life but she was unable to move. She winced with pain as he slashed at her, blood gushing from the wound in her right thigh.
He laughed at her pain. Sheathing his sword, he walked away laughing at his daughter's cries, leaving her to bleed out and die alone.
Her head swimming, she slowly lost consciousness.
Her eyes slowly opened and the room seemed to be spinning. Hours had passed and she was still alive. Her thigh was burning with the pain of an oncoming infection, and she felt extremely ill.
Struggling to get up, she managed to stand for a few seconds before falling helplessly to the floor in a pool of her own sticky, clotting blood.
She looked around for anything to help her escape, her eyes falling on her mother's body, and then; on what her mother's body was clutching. She crawled over to her dead mother and pried the sheathed katana from her hands. Using the sheath as a cane, she pulled herself up and managed to hobble out of the small house.
She looked around for refuge, anywhere to hide in case her father returned to dispose of their bodies. She headed for the woods, at least she knew her way through them, and her father hated the woods.
As she limped, clutching the sheathed sword with all her remaining strength, her small kitten followed her from the house, dragging a small silk pouch in his mouth.
After what felt like hours but in reality was more along the lines of twenty to thirty minutes, the young girl and her kitten made it to a small clearing near a path. Unable to go any farther, she collapsed under a huge willow tree, barely visible to anyone who might walk by.
Tears filled her eyes as the shock of everything set in. The throbbing in her leg and renewed bleeding only made her tears multiply. Her kitten mewed softly and curled up next to her as she cried herself into an uneasy sleep.
The sky was pale rose and the dew was still cold and wet.
A young boy is frightened as he discovers a large trail of blood leading through the woods. Terrified, he pushed aside the curtain of hanging willow branches.
A cry escaped his lips as he lays his eyes on a girl several years younger than himself and a kitten, motionless in a pool of blood.
Crying in horror, the young boy ran as fast as his small legs would carry him. He ran home and burst through the open doors, flinging himself into his father's arms.
"Sheanya, why are you crying?" his father asked, worried about his young son.
"Father! There's a dead girl in the woods! She's covered in blood and there's a sword near her!" Sheanya sobbed into his father's chest.
Holding his young son to comfort him, he listened to his son, yet waited until he was calm enough to explain exactly what he had seen.
When the boy had calmed down a bit, his father calmly asked him, "Where is this dead child?"
"Under a willow near the path," Sheanya said, fighting off renewed tears.
"Can you show me to this child?" his father asked him, wanting nothing more than to show his son that nothing was young and he must have imagined it. Nevertheless, his father knew better than to say everything was alright before he could honestly prove that nothing was out of order.
The young boy nodded, a tear escaping as he did so.
Taking his son by the hand, he walked out of the house and into the woods, hoping that nothing was wrong.
His eyes widened as he saw the thick trail of blood leading under the willow.
"Sheanya, go home," he said firmly, not wanting his son to witness the bloody mess again.
"But father! The girl!" Sheanya said panicked, thinking his father was simply going to leave her.
"I'll take care of it, go home and tell your mother about this, and have her summon a monk."
"Yes father," he replied, swallowing his fear. He ran home to inform his mother of what had happened.
After he was sure that his son had left, he swept the willow branches aside with one arm and approached the motionless child and her feline companion.
He was shocked that such a vast amount of blood could come from such a small child.
The kitten stirred, startling the man.
The small cream-colored ball of fluff pawed at the little girl trying to wake her, but with no response. The cat whimpered mournfully as he continued trying to wake his young owner.
The man approached carefully, quickly becoming sick at the site of the child's mutilated thigh.
Overcoming his fear and sadness, he lift the girl up into his arms, the child never losing grasp of the sword and pulling it with her without ever waking. He thought it strange that the child still held the sword so tightly.
He carried the child out of the woods and to his home where he lay her on a bed in a small bedroom. He looked her over carefully, trying to get an idea of everything that had happened to the small girl.
The kitten was never far away.
A woman knocked on the locked door, which was quickly opened for her and the monk who accompanied her. Almost as soon as the door had opened, it was quickly closed and locked again, making sure that none of the children would walk in and witness the dead child lying in their house being purified by a monk.
"Please, send her on a peaceful journey into the after-life," the man said quietly to the monk.
The monk stepped forward and examined the girl closely. After several long moments he stepped away and said quietly, "I cannot send her to the after-life, for she is not dead. She is near death, but she can be brought back to the living."
The man and woman exchanged glances. The woman spoke first.
"How can we save her?"
"A doctor should tend to her, prayer alone will not be enough to save this young life."
The man looked back at the woman before he spoke, "We could always raise her as our own, Shaytaray will be more than happy to have another girl in the family."
The woman looked sad and distant, "Yes, but how can we raise a child we know nothing about?"
"May I make a suggestion?" asked the monk. "I believe that the biggest concern at the moment is to save the child, not who will care for the child once she has been saved."
"Yes, of course. I'll send Lana to fetch a doctor immediately."
"No, do not bother sending a child to fetch the doctor. I will be more than happy to fetch him for you, seeing as I must get back to the temple." The monk walked towards the door and unlocked it; with his fingers still in the notch, he turned to look at the husband and wife, then at the wounded child. "Send for me the instant her condition changes for the worst. I will bless the child and make her journey a peaceful one, but I hope that that will not be necessary. Best wishes to you and your family, I must take my leave now. Goodbye."
Without a sound, the monk left the house.
Exchanging glances, the worried couple needn't say a word to each other, they both perfectly understood what the other was thinking: How do we tell the kids if she dies? What about Sheanya?
"We shouldn't tell the children that she's here to stay if she survives, that will only get their hopes up," The woman said to her husband. "We should tell them that there's a sick girl here and that they mustn't disturb her. Only Sheanya should be allowed near her, if he doesn't see her it'll distress him, he's too sensitive."
"I agree completely. Now, what do we do with the cat?"
"We'll keep it, they both need a good home. I'll send Sheanya in, and I'll fetch some broth for the cat."
They exchanged embraces with only glances before the woman left the room. As she walked out she whispered, "Please little one, live. For your sake, and for the sake of my son," and with that the door closed and she was gone.