This is a sneak preview. I hope to get more down soon. I can not copy Carrie Asai's style, but I can try to make this plot flow as well as her awesome books in the Samuri Girl series.

My version of Samuri Girl 7

The Book of the Water

Water is a cool soothing liquid. It splashes peacefully on rocks and around fish as they swim about their lives. The ripples you see in water and the sound of it bubbling can relax even the tensest man. That's one reason why it is peaceful.

But, it can also be chaotic. Rain falling from the sky during a thunder storm scares many people and animals. The water pours down as its sound makes a rushing noise, scaring whoever fears it.

The ocean can be the most dangerous of all. The waves can cause great damage to people's lives. There has been many a tsunami that has struck and killed people and animals living along the coast Asia. If you live there, more than likely you'll see a tidal wave sometime while living on the coast. Japan has seen these tsunamis many times. Sometimes many people are saved and others many lives are lost. People go on living, but they are never the same for many years. I guess water commands respect and fear, much like fire.

Water is also the most needed element for people. A person can go longer without food than they can without water. You have to drink it, or you'd start to feel sick after a several hours. Water is always in the air, especially in the form of clouds. Clouds are formed out of water and dirt mixed together with other elements

I think all these thoughts as I travel with my mother to a hiding place. I feel like water in all its strengths and weaknesses. Mostly I think maybe I'll finally be free of the ninjas and the yakuza that have followed me several times to catch me. A few have tried to kill me too. But, my talent becomes stronger everyday and I fully believe in my spirit and ability to survive. I'm a samuri, so I now feel I can live with what I have and put my goals together as opportunities arise.

I'm so happy to have found my mother. It was a long search, not as long as my journey to this moment, though. She is driving while I sit back and watch our travel past what looks to be a small town. Its night time, but I can't sleep because I'm still too keyed up about getting help from a friend that my mom, Sara, thinks can help us.

My step mother, Mieko, will probably try to find me and teach me a lesson for being a nuisance. She was angry the last time I saw her, when Mom defeated her. I helped, but I'm proud to see Mom is a strong fighter when it comes to protecting herself. We're quite a pair, the butt kicking daughter and mom.

Teddy is sleeping in the backseat. Hopefully, he's having enough good dreams for all of us. A life of freedom where we don't have to run from Mieko and Masato would be a good start. I guess Teddy is becoming a good friend to me. Well, he's an ally too. He's proven I can trust him, some of the time. I'm pretty sure he's really into me, although that may complicate things.

My mother's cat is laying next to him, purring and snoring in a deep sleep. Sam must be tired from all the traveling we've done.

We're headed to an island where Mom thinks we can hide out. We should be there in another day, so I know it's time to change the license plate soon. I got the idea from movies I watched a long time ago. Actually, a bunch of movies. Changing license plates makes your car less likely to be pulled over by the cops or henchmen like the ones that work for Masato and Meiko. But, I wonder if there is more to the people after me besides my stepmother and her brother. Am I getting paranoid or am I getting more insightful?

I decided to tell the idea to Mom and Teddy. They thought it was excellent.

"I don't think I would have thought of that." Sara, my mom said. "But, since you and Teddy have told me about your run ins with these men that keep trying to get you, it makes sense. Maybe we could grab one off a vehicle in a junkyard or impound lot."

Teddy laughed. "Heaven, you're really starting to think like a gansta."

I became surprised when I thought about how Teddy could have thought of that first. Well, he must have other ideas about covering our tracks and he may be strategizing about help. I'll have to ask him about that in the future. I trust him, but I trusted Hiro and got into an even bigger mess.

Teddy was always talking like a gansta rapper or a wannabe gangsta. I'd call him a gangster, but he didn't dress like Al Capone or Baby Face Nelson, two notorious gansters of the 1930's. I think I must have seen thirty movies about those two. But, I'm not living in Japan anymore with my best friend Katy watching movies we love. I'm traveling on a road heading for a way to escape Mieko. I still don't know how I can stop her and her brother from killing my father. I also don't know how to stop them.

"But, I think we need to be a little smarter about getting a new license plate yo." Teddy argued. He must have been talking while I had been thinking. "Look, I can find us a dope shop that will give us a new plate and a new paint job. You see, we have to completely change this ride's look to keep out of sight. Since we're running we need to be on the down low."

"Why are you talking like that?" Mom asked Teddy.

I laughed. "I think he's just happy we're on our way. And, he always talks like that when he's being a poser." I knew my calling Teddy a poser would rile him up.

"Yo. I'm no poser. I'm the real deal, chick." Teddy called back.

"Fine." I laughed. "Where exactly do we find some place out of Grand Theft Auto to disguise the car?"

"Hey, Grand Theft Auto has nothing to do with real life." Teddy replied. "A chop shop can do a lot more to a car than in a video game. But, Heaven's right, we need to find a criminal running a shop. I know just the guy."

"So, who is it and where is he?" Mom asked in a serious tone. "How much will it cost?"

"Ah, that's the beauty of it." Teddy laughed. "This guy is my tightest friend, he would never squeal on me. His customers might since he works around organized car thieves, so we better not blurt out anything too detailed."

"How much is it going to be Teddy?" I asked. "And, is this friend going to take a personal interest in me like that ugly guy that shot you and kicked Hiro?"

I hated asking that as soon as I said it. I was talking in a cautious tone, as if afraid to know the truth. And, why did I mention Hiro's name? That was the past and he was dead. Somehow I still couldn't convince myself he was truly gone. It felt as if Hiro was still there, as my friend, watching over me and still close in spirit reminding to believe in myself and use the samuri techniques I had learned.

Teddy leveled his gaze at me. "No, way. Heaven, I'll never take you anywhere near cowards like that again. From now on, if I can't trust someone, I won't even suggest we take favors from him. I promise you that I'll help you figure out the last things you need to know to get Mieko off your back."

He said it so seriously, with really strong resolve. I suspected as much, Teddy has become really attached to me. I can't be completely sure he's got feelings for me, even though he keeps telling me so. Hopefully, this isn't going to lead down the path of West Side Story or other tragedies like that movie.

Teddy cleared his throat. "I helped get him some cars he badly needed, so he owes me some work. It'll probably cost us just two hundred."

"Well, I can't give him a credit card or check." Mom laughed. "It would be traced faster than you can believe from the way you talk, Heaven." She looked at me again with her happy eyes and wide smile. It was really great to have a Mom, the kind I never had because Mieko has never liked me.

"I'll have to get some more money from an ATM." She replied. "Maybe I better get a wig or something while we're traveling. It seems everywhere you go, these men just show up, so we should all change our looks to make it harder for them to spot us"

I knew she was right. The yakuza may have some people looking for us even out here. They have many people working for them even in America, I just have to keep reminding myself. I can't forget how strong and powerful my adversaries make themselves. I can't act like the ignorant rich, spoiled brat I was a few months ago.