Written by Russ Pohl

Three samurai are scheming through the woods of autumn to fill out a firm obligation.

“Where we headin’ again?”

the rookie one asked.

“We goin’ to visit that clan village again, you insolence.”

The middle class one answered.

“Oh, uh why?”

“Lord Toda don’t like them ninja families. Remember? That’s why we’re goin’ over there to harass ’em and what not.”

The third samurai butted in.

“And I agree with him. Those stinking clans have had it too good for too long. Who do they think they are, isolating themselves from the empire’s city? It’s bad enough they have a different life philosophy from us, but to hold different warfare strategies, it’s inexcusable!”

“Waz so big about their tactics?”

” “Have you ever seen them in action, man? A bunch of cowards sneakin’ ’round like dirty rats.”

“Oh, okay, so why are we the first to send this message and not someone else?”

“There were ones before us but they never returned, so we here to reinforce da message.”

Hours later in the forest path, the three samurai grew wary of their venture. Suddenly, a crackle of leaves struck the samurai’s ears.

“What’s that!”

“Don’t worry, probably just a squirrel.”

“All right.”

Then what sounded like something lightly striking a tree repeatedly?

“Crap, you hear ‘dat!?”

“Oh come now, your being paranoid.”

“I don’t know-”

The conversation was then broken up by a whisking sound through the forest concluded by a thud of fleshy contact.


The rookie samurai then fell to his knees and into a pile of leaves only to reveal a shuriken wedged into the back of his neck.

“My GOD! I’m gonna puke!”

“Pull yourself together, there’s an enemy among us and you don’t want to end up like him, do you!”

“Right. The scoundrel shall pay.”

Abruptly, a small brown sphere fell from the trees and thumped the ground. The middle samurai then picked up the fallen shell.

“What is it?”

“Don’t touch that!”

The tanned ball then cracked into two and began to smolder white steam. The haze then seeped into both warrior’s eyes and lungs preventing both inhalation and vision.

“Stay-cough-close-cough-its a snare!”

Soon, after a few moments, the mist drifted into nothingness revealing but one sensible samurai still unwavering in the forest path.

Screams then shrieked, but were abruptly broken by a large crack noise that echoed from a definite point of the woodland. The third surviving samurai’s heavy heaving could then be heard from hundreds of feet away. His line of focus became thin and distorted now causing the poor soul to do zealous acts. He then ran to the direction of the sound swaying his sword exasperatingly, slicing branches as he ran further and further into the thick forest becoming insanely vigorous. The passionate one then looked back to his path to see an endless thicket, which had exposed his fallen comrade leaning dull against a spacious tree only to be collation to the diminishing foliage and forest creatures.


the swordsman panted. He then ripped off his armor due to the heat and began to again swing his sword every which way but towards the sun itself. A bough then fell and clouted him in the shoulder. The senior then looked straight up to the branches falling source only to be blinded by a gleaming lens flare. But quickly, the lens flare departed, blocked by a faint figure of a human. Unfortunately, before the soldier could fully open his intense watch, he was to be greeted by an unwelcoming puncture to his chest.