• I sat by the table and ate my bowl of rice. A horn, suddenly, sounded and I immediately got up and ran outside. Out in the road were three horse backed soldiers. The one leading the other two shouted out, “Our enemies are massing their troops and invade us from the north. Any man who is able to fight must join us at the pass into the mountains. Anyone else should flee to the city.”
    With that they rode away. Crying and shouts could be heard all around. I rushed back into the house and went into my bedroom. I walked over to the table and then unlatched the chest that was on it. I opened the chest and pulled out a long iron sword. “It’s nice to see you again, old friend,” I whispered looking at it with my old, blue eyes.
    I picked up the sword and stroked it through the air a few times before sheathing the weapon and setting it aside. I then opened my wardrobe and stared at the gleaming armor that was on a display mannequin. I grabbed the armor and starting clasping it on my arms, legs, and chest. I finished it by putting the helmet on and then went over to clasp on my sword. Instead, I tripped from being unbalanced from the armor. I started to laugh and then muttered, “It has been a long time.”
    After clasping the sword to my waist I walked outside and took a breath of fresh air. The wind blew past my face as I stared at my home. The wooden framework was firmly built with several designs that artists and sculptors had made in to the wood. I might never see this place again, I thought as I ran my hand through my long white beard.
    I started walking again until I came across a small bridge that crossed over a stream which trickled near the house. I continued until I came up to a small building that also had very intricate designs on it as well. It was the family shrine and had been in the family for several generations only to be doomed to waste away with my own for I had no heirs or wife to continue the bloodline.
    Inside the shrine, I lit several small candles and then sat in the middle of them. I prayed to my ancestors to deliver me from the coming trials. I then readied an oracle bone and set in the flame. The crack of the bone went straight down the middle cracking it in half. So, that is my fate then. Punishment for not carrying on the family line I assume.
    I then got up and put the fires out in the shrines and then left crossing over the small bridge once more. My beard flowed with the wind as I started down the path to the mountain’s pass.