Made for the Inuyashafanfic summer challenge, which can be fount at: http: www. livejournal. com/ community/ inuyashafanfic/ 148898.html
Shintarou - The boy from Episode 112-113 who led Inuyasha and the others to the sacred island in the lake by the foot of the sacred mountain.
It was always in the summer when he remembered.
When the flowers were ripe on the ground, blooming with soft petals of pinks, violets, blues and innocent whites, long lost forgotten memories became alive and awoke from where they lay in the slumber of his mind. They came to play hopscotch on his conscience, brush against his thoughts to elucidate past that had bled into present and would continue to bleed into future.
It was in the summer years ago that the strange light had fallen onto the island, a shooting star that would change his life forever. His father left on his own to investigate this fallen star despite his begging and pleading to go with him. He never saw him again.
He had been a man of duty and principle, his father. He believed in the holy spirit, in the greater good for mankind. He trusted in equality and in faith, bestowed his life to the worship of another man he had never met nor knew. He took for granted the spun tales and stories, swore his loyalty to old skin stretched across fragile bones.
The flowers of the island had contrasted explicitly with his sire's decaying bones. It seemed wrong that such a beautiful canvas had painted the portrait for his father's last standing site, the place of his death where he had been eaten and fed upon by demons that should never have been granted access to such a land in the first place. His father, who had fought and died for a lost cause, had succumbed to the lack of virtue in the exemplary. Even the most revered holy man, the one they had worshiped for so many generations, was corrupt.
He wondered what his father would think had he lived. In the summer, would he have thought of their lost religion blown to the winds under a collapsing mountain? Would he have cursed the heavens for bestowing on them a Great One who turned his back on them? Their entire religion and way of worship had been wrong.
The villagers knew nothing of what had occurred to their precious island or deity. They thought that maybe they had done something wrong. That they had somehow wormed their way into the Great One's bad favor and caused the mountain of purification to fall. They gutted and burned fish under full moons, turned the sand red with blood to try and appease their God.
Religion was a powerful element. It gave people hope and purpose. People fought and died for it. Men were more than happy to sacrifice themselves for what they viewed as right, what they viewed as belonging to them and their people. Like the land, they believed they held a firm grasp over their religion.
The truth was they had none. Faith, and the gods they placed their faith on, changed without warning. For they were as selfish as the men that idolized them. They were not exempt from the sins their subjects suffered. They were not perfect.
But it didn't matter if the villagers gutted fish or pierced ears to pay homage. Regardless if the spirits listened or not they had something to live for, something to feed their sense of need and continue on with their lives. They had fish to catch to feed the bellies of their children, reeds to gather to make baskets, boats to patch and fix and recycle.
He was thankfully bereft of children. He had no desire to raise them with lies nor to raise them under truth. But yet his decision left him empty and desolate. He had sworn himself to a life of bachelorhood and loneliness.
As a holy man, he had little to live for. His obligation had collapsed along with the mountain. The function he had been raised to perform was no more. His cause in life was forever absent.
He pushed himself off the fence and turned, tearing his gaze away from the faraway island laced in mist and memory. A woman stood on the path, waiting expectantly, a basket overfilled with reeds in her hands.
Summer always made him remember...
"Yes, Ane-ue? What is it?"
"The children are waiting for you. They wish to hear the tale of the time you defeated the evil zombie from the island."
Tales. They were all tales; over-exaggerated fables of heroics that never happened.
He left the fence and joined her on the path.
"You've grown tall," she remarked.
Summer always made him remember...
His sister smiled at him. She believed in faith and the great spirit. She believed in the finely crafted lie. And he loved her anyway.
Together they walked down the path. She struggled with the weight of her basket and he took it from her.
"What would I ever do without you, Shintarou?"
And he wondered.
She chatted of rose bud mornings and her husband, spoke of her chubby cheeked infant and her beady-eyed mother-in-law. She talked of happiness and serenity.
She was living a lie, but he couldn't bring himself to tell her the truth. She was happy with her lie and her life was as bright as the sun. He had no desire to bring bleakness to that false religion she so eagerly grasped. And maybe that was the point...
Maybe religion wasn't about what they worshiped or whether or not your idol was flawed or virtuous.
Maybe the lesson he had never learned about religion –
"Isn't summer beautiful?" she asked, staring at the tilted flowers steeped in white gowns.
He blinked, caught in his reawakening.
She was still smiling, joy as evident as silver in her eyes.
– was how you used it.
He smiled back. Her hand lay on his arm, soft and warm against his flesh, and he knew what he had to live for.
"Yes," he answered.
Summer would always make him remember. But this time, perhaps, it would be a happier memory.