GRIEF

By Justin Acosta

 

Diary entries of a young man and his sister surviving the apocalyptic world of Kokai. Unfortunately becoming victims of the dark corruptions, Nashi finds the diary entries near a small den after killing a lone aegis clutching a shield.

 

Entry 1: Father always told me to be careful whenever I leave our home for school, that he has heard rumours about Koharu abandoning us. Everyone told me that she is a kind and fair goddess, so I have doubts that she is no longer with us. Even then, I learned to be careful outside, even my sister accompanies me wherever I go to.

          That was a long time ago. Our society has crumbled since criminals has destroyed it. I rarely see others in Kokai, but those that I did encounter became mad when they saw our world ruined and told us that we need to run away from the darkness. I still do not understand what has happened, I know that the dark spirits have been in conflict with the light spirits, but I never saw a spirit in Kokai destroying our homes. What I saw was people killing each other, stealing from others, ruining lives.

          Sister simply told me to ignore them, that they did not want to accept the reality that they have made. I already know our home has been ruined by others and that Sister and I were forced to live a nomadic life and struggled for food. But as long as I know that Sister and I are safe, I know that we will not be hurt by whatever comes to us.

 

Entry 2: During our travels, we saw an awkward black beast laying near a farm. This animal seemed to be on the brink of death, the malformed body looked like it was struggling with starvation. Sister was wary of the thing and warned that we need to be careful. She was holder her shield tightly to her chest. A part of me tells me to end its suffering, although a part of me wants to move on. But before I could think further, that thing nearly took my life. It jumped up from where it laid, breathed erratically, and rushed towards us. I lost consciousness right before it attacked us, only to take it back shortly thereafter with the sight of the dead beast wasting on the ground and small black scratches on my arm and dark markings on the face of Sister.

 

Entry 3: Sister took the arms as a guard for hire when our parents died. Her profession was dangerous; every night she would come home with wounds and bruises. I could not stand at the sight of her injuries whenever she comes home to feed us. The sacrifices she made encouraged me to learn how to dress wounds and care for the weak from a doctor that was a friend to Father.It was tiring work, both at a physical and emotional level but I wanted to help her feel safer whenever she came home. When she learned of my profession, she scolded me. Told me that I must find something else to entertain myself under such troubling times. That I need not help her in providing for both of us. I ignored her words and tended to her wounds. Immediately she cried, thanking me profusely. I understood she only wanted me to live my life being happy without any struggles, but I know that I am happy as long as Sister is safe and healthy.

To think that with my skills in healing wounds would have returned my injuries to normal. To think that I could reverse whatever is happening with the black markings on me and Sister. To think we would live through all of this. *the rest of the entry is drenched with droplets and therefore unreadable*

 

Entry 4: My family only wanted to live out a simple life, even when we struggled with being poor. Mother tended to the crops while Father sold the surplus so we can pay our landlords. Every night, our Father would tell us that they have spent all the extra coin to pay for our living, but our landlords always got angry at us for not having enough coins. Every night, father comes home with injuries that he always tried to hide from us. Mother would whisper to him about stopping trade and that we have enough coins and crops to live on, that he should not risk going out when thieves are everywhere. Father only tells her that this is for our future. Every night, our parents do whatever it takes to keep us happy, but I never told them that being with them was enough to keep me and Sister happy.

           I never had the chance to. It was too late for me when people came to our home and demanded for the rest of the gold they were promised. Father told them not to forget about their deal in protecting him from thieves, that they did not protect him properly. He accused them of being no better than the thieves themselves. Everything was a blur after, but Sister told me that Father gave her his shield and that Father and Mother died to protect us

*Droplets are covered in the next page, although the writing is clear enough to read*

It’s raining, are Mother and Father crying up where they would always tell us where good people go? What would you think, Sister? Ever since that thing struck you, you haven’t said a thing to me. All you do is look at your shield you used to kill that thing, mumbling and growling all the while. Are you mad at letting that thing hurt us or at me for not healing your wounds? I wish you could speak with me about what troubles you.e should not fight like this.

 

* The brother will start to speak in simple sentences, not too large in terms of vocabulary to show the dark corruption deteriorating his mind processes*

 

Entry 5: Sister scared me today. When I woke up, I found her staring at me, but she looked different. She clung to her shield, looking prepared to fight whoever would come our way. She wore something around her face, looked like bandages covering herself up. She also wore a black robe, torn and ruined from harsh winters and rain. I am not sure where she got these clothes or when she had the time to find them as I did wake from my sleep earlier before sister was still sleeping. When I got up to prepare the food we have kept, she followed me everywhere, mumbling and grumbling all the way about killing them. I did not know what she meant, but I  left her alone in. When I tried to give her food, she pushed my hands away and pushed her shield against me until I fell. She glared at me, but she took my hand and whispered “please do not take him” constantly. What did she mean? My hand no longer aches from the beast’s assault, but the black scrapes grew to my arm. It feels weird though. I wonder why?

 

Entry 6: Another beast came near us. Ugly thing. It stood still when Sister raised her shield and pushed it away. Another looked at us and drooled. Why did it look at us like that? I hated it. Monsters like this one is the reason why Sister no longer talks to me. I hate it, hate them. They ruined my home, my life, my family. Why are they still living?! They all deserve to die! It felt good when I struck it. When it tried to get up, I kicked it. Then again, then again. Again, until it stopped moving. They deserve it for making us like this, they should have never hurt us. They all need to die. Just like the one I killed. It felt good.

 

Entry 7: A warrior with a bright sword killed more of those things. Was this person like us? Was the warrior hurt by a monster and was punishing them too? When I wanted to talk and ask about where this warrior was going, Sister dragged me away. It looked like she was scared, she glared the whole time. Where the warrior walked, we walked the opposite way. I want to know where they will go, maybe we can join and destroy all beasts together. Sister only wants to protect me from those monsters, but I also wanted the same for her. She always shields me from any danger, but I always take care of her wounds. We can start another farm and grow our own crops. Sister always say that she wanted to help Mother and Father with the crops, we can make our own finally. Our old home was ruined by those things, but anything is home when I know you are safe. Maybe tomorrow we can ask that person where we can get one of the swords being carried. Sister and I can use it to kill those beasts and build our new life.

 

Entry 8: We saw the warrior again with the shining sword. It looked nice and warm. I want one. We saw them killing a lot of those beasts, the sword shining every time they made them bleed. Sister tried to drag me away from them, but I wanted to look at the sword more. It felt good to look at it. The warrior saw us eventually, but Sister heaved me from away. She ran until the warmth from the sword was gone.

 

Entry 9:  *this page is barely readable with water droplets covering the whole page*

Please give her back. I do not want her taken away from me. I promise to be good, I promise that I will learn to defend myself so she can stay safe. She always protected me from anyone and anything that would hurt us. This is not fair, all I wanted was to know where the warrior got the sword so I can take care of myself. They want to kill monsters like us, but why did he have to kill Sister. Please give her back. Please!

*the rest of the paper is riddled with the word “please.”*

Entry 10: It has been raining a lot. Sister, are you crying with Mother and Father? You do not have to, you have joined Mother and Father once more. I am safe now. I learned how to use your shield and defend myself against those monsters. You need not worry for me from now on. I will  make you proud. I will grow stronger until I can learn how to kill that warrior, that thing, who killed you. I will take their sword away from them and make them bleed like they did to you. When I get the sword,  I will always be safe and you can be happy with Mother and Father again. I miss you, but I will learn.