This is in preparation for a special series of posts for next week, starting with an important and very serious message tomorrow. See you then.
It is a long steep climb. The sun is sinking towards the horizon as you emerge from the trees and look along the clifftop. The late afternoon light is the colour of blood.
Lord Kiyomori and his guards stand in a circle around a man who is kneeling with his hands tied behind him. The breeze whips his long loose hair around his face as he looks up at them with a scowl of almost demonic ferocity.
‘So, Akugenda,’ says Kiyomori, ‘you are unrepentant even now.’
The man called Akugenda spits on the ground. ‘Repentance, you pious hypocrite? I call upon the Thunder Spirit to hear this vow: I’ll be revenged on the pack of you!’
Kiyomori looks away in distaste. ‘Enough of this. Jiro, kill him.’
Akugenda gives a defiant shout as Jiro lifts the two-handed sword and swings it towards his neck. Slish, the blade cleaves through; thunk, the head drops to the ground. Jiro lowers his blade and reaches for a pitcher of water to clean it.
Kiyomori and his retainers turn to depart, but then a sound makes itself heard. It begins as a low groan, building rapidly to a drawn-out scream of hatred that suddenly becomes an ugly laugh. The hairs on your neck stand on end.
All eyes turn to the body. Coalescing in the air above it is a shadowy image, tinged with the dark red of clotted blood, eyes burning like the heart of a storm. Akugenda’s ghost.
The ghost leaps high into the air with a boom like lightning rebounding off a tree. Jiro steps forward to interpose himself in front of the Lord Chancellor, but the ghost dispatches him with a hellfire bolt.
You watch in horror as the smoking carcass falls to the ground at Kiyomori’s feet.
‘Time to die, chancellor,’ cackles Akugenda’s voice.
Kiyomori stares at the ghost. ‘Do your worst.’
What will you do? Run for it? Leap in front of Kiyomori? Or drive the ghost off with prayer?
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Because prayers won't do the trick
Any excuse for a picture by Russ, you know that. This is the ghost of Akugenda from FL6: Lords of the Rising Sun: