The Last Samurai
Amos Whirly
Word Count: 230

He is strange. Everything about him is strange. His hair, his eyes, his skin, his face—everything. When he first came to us, his tongue was thick, and his arms and legs were slow. He couldn't even hold a sword. And even though now his customs no longer seem so strange, the words he writes are still gibberish to me.

He is strange. But he is my friend, and I do not know why. I should hate him. He killed my father. But it was battle. My father would have killed him, so there is no shame in either my father's death or the fact that this strange gaijin, this foreigner, has taken his place in our home.

He is a good man, this American war hero. He loves my mother very much, in a way I did not see in my father.

My father was always very solemn, very still. This American, Algren-san, is rarely still, rarely quiet, and often smiling. I have never seen anyone smile so much.

It took me a week to learn to pronounce his name. The sounds of it are still foreign to my tongue. But I like him. He is my friend. Not my father. He will never be my father, nor has he asked to be. Maybe he will be father to Magojiro, who is too little to remember.

For now, he is my friend.

That is enough.