Western Samurai Magic

Submitted into Contest #24 in response to: Write a magical realism story that takes place in the Wild West.... view prompt

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“Wherever darkness persists, light inherently works to cast it out.”

*    *    *

A cowboy leans back in his chair with a cigar in his mouth. He puffs the smoke out into the warm air. The sun shines down on his silver pistol which sparkles back. He sits in his watchtower deck looking out at the town. A few run down wooden houses over, an arch symbolizes an entrance to this quiet, secluded town. 

The dust in front of the cowboy’s deck begins to shake. He turns his head to see a set of four horses galloping towards the entrance. Behind the horses is a big white carriage. The cowboy stands up at the sight of an intruder. As the horses cross under the arch, the cowboy walks off his deck into the sand. The horses kick up dust creating a fog behind them as they slow down heading towards the cowboy. The carriage driver pulls the reins back and the horses yield just before slamming into the cowboy.

“What are you doing?” The driver exclaims, “I nearly trampled you!”

The cowboy walks around the horses to the side of the white carriage. He takes his cigar out and tosses it in the sand. Looking up at the driver, he demands, “You better start explaining who is in there, and why you came into this town.”

The carriage door opens and a Japanese man steps out dressed in all white. He looks at the cowboy who has his hand close to his silver weapon. “I am looking for a certain phenomenon,” answers the man.

“What kind of phenomenon are you looking for?” Asks the cowboy.

The man walks away from the carriage and looks around. He turns back to the cowboy and answers, “Shouldn’t make much of a difference to you.”

The cowboy is taken back and examines the man’s answer further, “How’s that?”

The man stretches out his arms and legs before responding to the cowboy’s interrogation, “I am just passing through and not looking to make much of an impression.”

The cowboy smiles, “Ok then.” He backs away from the carriage and calls up to the driver, “You should be on your way then!” 

The man is not looking at the cowboy, but searching his eyes across the many buildings of the town. “Not so fast,” the man responds, “What is that building there?” He points to a small wooden shed at the edge of town, opposite the arch. 

“You have wondered into a nearly abandoned town by accident,” the cowboy begins.

“No,” the man quickly cuts him off.

“No?” The cowboy asks.

“No one wonders anywhere by accident,” the man prophecies, “The act of wandering is not because one is lost, but that they are searching for answers. These answers are placed in the wanderer’s path subtly,” he glances at the small wooden shed, “and he can only find them by searching with his pure, restless heart.”

The cowboy is confused and gestures to the carriage, “Whatever you are searching for, I can assure you that this is not the place.”

“Ohh, but it is,” responds the man, “and I have found exactly what I was destined to.” He turns to the cowboy and begins to walk towards his carriage. “Now I asked you a question,” he shifts focus, “what is that wooden place?”

The man sighs as he answers, “If you must know. It is an out of commission mine shaft.”

The Japanese fellow stops in his tracks. Mine shaft.

*    *    *

The rain pours down from the black sky and strikes the dark street puddles. A Japanese man in all black stands with his back to another man in all white. The darkness nearly engulfing the two men with the rain smearing their vision. The man in all black turns his face around his shoulder. His face, half covered in darkness, has a giant cut from his forehead to his chin. The Japanese man in all white looks on at the sliced portion of the other’s face revealed by the light from a street lamp. The man in all black turns his entire body with a shining silver sword in his left hand. 

    “I was chained up and imprisoned,” the man in all black begins, “Now I am free and more powerful than ever.”

    The other man yells back over the sounds of pouring rain, “At what cost?”

    “A fair one!” The man yells back.

    The Japanese man in all white contorts his body into a fighting position and calls out, “If you wish it, we shall draw!” He pulls out a silver sword and points it across the paved street to his counterpart.

The rain thickens and the street lamp dies out. The Japanese man in all black disappears. The man in all white steadies his sword as he is in full view of anyone looking. Slash! A sword cuts the white shirt and the man falls to his knees. He winces without a sound because he knows the other warrior is out there. Blood slowly bleeds into the shirt and grows across the cotton. He waits in anticipation of a sword to strike through the darkness and collide with his white clothes. The rain drops fall drop by drop in a rapid pace from cloud to pavement. The waiting warrior on his knees searches through the black to see something. Nothing.

*    *    *

“Hello!” The cowboy yells in the Japanese man’s face. The man breaks from his memory and looks at the cowboy.

    “I have to go into that mine shaft,” he says to the cowboy.

    “Yeah, I don’t think you quite understand the situation here,” the cowboy states, “You need to get into your comfortable carriage and look around at some other place. I’ve seen enough of you wanderers. Every little thing and…”

The man cuts the cowboy off, “Wherever darkness persists, light inherently works to cast it out.”

“What?” Asks the confused cowboy.

The man bends down and picks up a handful of sand. “When darkness falls upon these grains of sand, do you fear it? No of course not because the sun will chase it out as it always does. But night will fall again and the sun will cast it out of this desert landscape once more. A cycle of balance.” The man leans his hand to the left and pours some sand out saying, “Sometimes darkness tips the scales.” He leans his hand to the right and pours some sand out, saying, “And sometimes light tips the scales.” He opens his hand. “But neither can have full control because light and dark are in infinite supply on Earth.” He stands up and pours all the sand out in front of him. “When a man gains an influx of darkness from another world then all this logic of balance goes out the window,” says the man.

The cowboy nods his head, but is still questionable about the man’s plan. He asks the man, “What do you intend to find in that cave?”

The man looks over at the wooden shed and responds, “A man full of darkness from another world.”

The cowboy wonders, “Magic?”

“Perhaps,” the man responds. He bends down and takes a handful of sand. “You see there are multiple universes with Earth’s like ours. This man took darkness from one world,” he grabs another handful of sand, “and brought it to ours.” He pours the sand from the second hand into the first. “This tipped the scales to darkness,” the man states as he leans his hand to the left and sand comes out. “But the natural balance must be maintained,” the man explains, “so when he brought the darkness over, something of light was born into our world.” The man stands up, drops all the sand and walks towards the carriage. 

The cowboy backs away from the carriage and encourages the man, “I don’t know if I believe you, but you can go into that cave. I hope you can do what you plan on doing.” He looks at the carriage, “What is it that you intend to do exactly?”

“I will cast out the darkness,” the man responds as he enters the carriage. The cowboy waits and tries to look into the door. The Japanese man comes out of the carriage with a sword in its sheath. “This is the object of light put on this Earth to do as I have stated,” explains the man.

The cowboy laughs, “A sword?”

The man pulls the sword out of its sheath. It is a perfect silver and shines in the desert sun. The cowboy is blinded by the reflection. “This is no normal sword,” the man responds with a serious tone, “It is something more.”

The cowboy smiles, “I hope you’re right.” He walks back to his chair and sits down. “Good luck!” He yells to the man holding a sword in the middle of an old western town. 

The man takes a deep breath and holds the sword in the air. He closes his eyes. Through the darkness of man’s eyes he sees a phrase engraved into grey rock. The phase reads, “Wherever darkness persists, light inherently works to cast it out.” He opens his eyes and walks towards the mine. The sand moves beneath his feet as they glide across the ground. The man stares into the darkness that lies behind the shed’s door. When he reaches the shed, the door springs open as if it was waiting for him. He walks into the darkness. It is as black as the farthest reaches of the galaxy. The man feels that he is moving downward as he walks on a path. The silence is deafening. He points the sword out with both hands on the grip. Specks of rocks are crumbling from ceiling. The sound starts to rise through the darkness. The silence has been replaced by a rain of rocks. 

“You could not defeat me before,” a voice cries out from the darkness, “so why are you back here now?” The man in all white surveys the area. He can’t see anyone. “My powers have increased,” the voice begins, “while you have been searching for me, I have been gaining power.” The man in white stops. He begins searching the cave. The sound of rocks crumbling from the sides of the cave is taking over the cold silence of darkness between the faceless voice’s remarks. The man in white stands, waiting for the darkness to make a move. SLASH! A sword strikes across the white. The man does not make a sound. SLASH! Another strike cuts the white cloth again. It’s pure white color is shining in the darkness. The man in the darkness reveals himself by plunging his sword into the center of the white shirt. The sword quickly cuts through both sides. “I might have trained you, but you have none of my best skills,” says the man with a giant slash down the side of his face. SHLLLING! A sword is buried into the warrior of darkness. His blood travels down the edge of the sword. He turns around and sees the Japanese man with his shirt off. He laughs and falls to the ground. 

The Japanese man with no shirt walks over to the body. “You’re powers of darkness are no match for me, the light,” says the white warrior. 

The man on the ground slowly brings his arm up as the winning warrior watches. “Balance,” says the dying man, “Balance must prevail.” A black swirling ball fires out of the dark warrior’s hand and strikes the white warrior in the chest. He drops the sword and falls to the ground. The dark warrior tells his dying adversary, “You were right.”

The light warrior gasps out, “About what?”

“Light always cast out the darkness, but you were wrong in thinking that light always wins,” laughs the dying dark warrior.

“No I wasn’t,” the white warrior tries his hardest to speak, “The light wins by stopping the darkness, not by out living it.”

*    *    *

A silver sword shines as it is ingrained in a giant boulder. The boulder resides at the top of Ryuu Volcano. A Japanese man stumbles onto the top of the bubbling volcano. He is wearing light brown clothes. The volcano shakes and the man falls on the ground. He is hurt a little, but looks up. He sees the boulder. He squints to see a phrase engraved into the side:

Wherever darkness persists, light inherently works to cast it out

The man stands up and walks over to the boulder. He is shaken back and forth by the volcano as he walks. He finally reaches the boulder and grabs onto it. He sees the sword that is stuck in its top. The man climbs up the boulder and touches the sword. He puts both hands on the grip and pulls at it. It doesn’t budge. He tries harder to get it out. It still doesn’t move. He digs his feet into the boulder and uses all of his power to rip the sword from the rock. The sword busts through the boulder and is raised high in the air by the man. Suddenly, a white cloud covers the man and his clothing is transformed into a pure white. The man stands on the boulder looking down at the town below as the wind blows his white shirt, and he holds a sturdy silver sword in his hand.

January 11, 2020 22:35

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1 comment

Unknown User
23:38 Jan 22, 2020

Love the message!! Great ending.


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