Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Endless Kinhin, Chapter 2

2.

As the silhouette turned towards Endo, time seemed to stop. Everything fell away. The world of dreams, of conscious thought...all became one. There was no separation. Never had he been so aware, so focused on one thing, as he was at that moment.

After what seemed to be an endless time, the shadow arose. Endo heard the soft padding of feet on wood, as the silhouette grew and grew in size, bleeding out to the corners of the paper screen. And then, the slow, crisp, sliding of wood. As he watched, the shoji glided to the left, and light spilled out. No longer was Endo regarding a silohette; he was staring into the eyes of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

Endo knew only the life of a celibate. It was not permitted for a monk to ever touch a woman...not that many women came to the monastery. To Endo, the sight before him was like one of a complete alien. He was frozen with indecision. For so long he had been visited by longing for one thing, though he did not know what that one thing was. Could this be it? Was it here, in the arms of a woman, that fulfillment lay? Despite all his years as a monk, years spent training the mind through meditation and self-discipline, he felt enlightenment to be a state as alien as the figure before him. Perhaps they were one in the same.

"Won't you come in?" The woman's voice was soft, and tender, and she wore a white silk kimono. Her hair was still wet from bathing. "Come around the side." It took all of Endo's might to pull himself out of the trance he was in, even in this his dream. He skirted the side of the house like a dog, and heard the shoji door slide open. He stepped inside.

"You are a monk?" The woman asked, then laughed. "I guess that is obvious, judging by your robes." The monk nodded dumbly. His mind was an absolute blank; he could not even think. He was completely in the hands of the one before him, disarmed by a desire so deep that it had no concrete form. It flowed like a black river beneath the earth.

And then, much to his confusion, the woman did not move. She stared into the eyes of the monk as if she were a statue. But she was still very much alive and breathing. Endo had never been under such an intense stare, not even by that of his master. She did not move. He did not move. And slowly, his desire began to melt.

(cont.)

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