Tzen Pt.1

By: Withyn

He watched the sun set over the distant horizon from the roof of the elementary school. It wasn't his school, it had been a long time since he'd been in grade school. Been a long time since he was the little guy being laughed at every day, he reflected.

As the last crimson rays shone their light through the un-clean city air he laid down upon the hot roof and began to open his mind to all that surrounded him. With his eyes closed he could hear the birds as they flew, hear the cars as they drove down the streets. Cars filled with people living their lives, facing their own problems. He tried to open his mind to these people, understand why they choose to live in this world, what keeps them happy day to day through all the pain and suffering... but alas - he thought to himself - that sort of thing only happens in the story books.

Summer was almost at an end. The nights were cooler, the days grew shorter and the winds came. With those winds came the expectation that something was going to happen, Something has to happen he thought. And with that, he grabbed his only true friend and sat up to examine him.

It was a sword, of exquisite quality. In this day and age of guns and lasers, one could almost laugh at how futile a swordsman would be against a gunman. Funny though how no one laughs at a man who's carrying a sword. Incredibly light, the blade itself weighed no more than 2 pounds, and the hilt was perfectly tuned and counterbalanced for his personal use. His sword in total weighed around 3 pounds; it had a thin sleek blade, perfectly straight and forged of titanium with an eerie greyish color. In the days of swords and shields this sword would have been inadequate by far, too light to deflect an axe or broadsword. Then again in this day and age of guns and lasers, who wields a sword?

Bearing a sword without a permit was quite illegal, yet it never left his side. Usually hidden in an ankle-length trenchcoat his sword added to his affront of the law by becoming a concealed weapon. A man hiding a concealed weapon in a trenchcoat, how cliche he thought to himself. He wished he could have come up with a way to be more unique but there's just no easy way to mask four feet of metal.

He clasped the sheath's belt around his waist, with the hilt resting against the small of his back where he liked it and walked to the side of the building with the air conditioning unit he had used to climb up. The school itself was on the side of a hill that continued down to the river delta. The roof was the only place he had found that would give him a completely unobstructed view of the sunset, and as an added bonus the river and ocean. It was here that he came to clear his mind when too many thoughts started to war amoungst themselves.

As he climbed down the large piece of equipment and the chain-link fence that surrounded it he thought about the days he had spent in his own elementary school. He was a short skinny little kid that was endlessly picked on in school. Always got good grades, always sat in the back of the class never opening up to anyone. He never had any friends, except one. Tzen. Tzen wasn't exactly real though, he was an imaginary friend that looked after him throughout all the bullying, showing him how to be strong. Tzen told him how everything would be alright, that everything that happens is meant to happen and there is always a reason, and by understanding that reason he would become stronger and understand a bit of the way the universe works. Tzen was his embodiment of the difference between right and wrong, the universal truth behind everything. Tzen always knew what was the correct path to take, the actions that would put himself in danger.

When he reached the age of 18 he had gone to get his name legally changed to Tzen in honor of the childhood friend whom had helped him along his path of life. When he reached his office he realized what a disservice it would be to the old friend he held so dear to his heart when he still understood so little about the Universe. Choosing instead a different name, he kept the cherished name secret and to himself. Not until turning 21 when he received his sword, the mark of his life changed forever did he re-assign the name which meant to him the difference between life and death, existance and oblivion. Unto his holy blade did he imbue his old friend's spirit. The spirit of right and wrong, Tzen, rattled against the small of his back as he dismounted from the noisy metal fence.

He thought about his own name as he walked home, the one that Tzen had spoken into his mind after his years of dormancy. When he had decided against choosing Tzen's name as his own he had faultered at the office when asked what he would like his name legally changed to. After a second or two of hesitation a name like a cool breeze floated before his eyes followed by a smile from his long lost friend. He wouldn't see that friend again until 3 years later, but on his 18th birthday Tzen had named his future companion to be.

Withyn departed from the school, a soft wind of determination blowing at his back. Yes, something was about to happen.

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