House of Tatsumi: Reasons to Live
The Southern Nerd's first solo fiction publication launches today. "House of Tatsumi: Reasons to Live" is now available on Smashwords using the choose-your-own price feature.
All the beautiful things in the world eventually turned to dust. This was the dread conclusion Tatsumi no Rin came to when she watched her father burn on a funeral pyre. A lifelong warrior, the match of any samurai, drown like a rat in the sea when his kimono caught on a crab trap.
All of the things she once loved, her art and her wealth, suddenly meant nothing to her. The family fortune might have purchased a fine grave marker, but what did that matter to the ashes underneath it? What was the point of making beautiful art when the truth of the world was ugly and gray?
While thinking these thoughts, the universe gifted Rin with a bitter irony: a small child, half Rin’s age, who painted with ten times Rin’s talent. But although she indulged in a small amount of internal grumbling, Rin found herself a bit inspired. Could she learn to paint as magnificently as this brilliant child? Like the first flower after a harsh winter, Suzuri no Midori reminded Rin that beauty still existed, just waiting for the ice to clear so it could grow.
But winter was long, Midori’s talent came from a dark place. At ten years old, Midori had never seen the sun, nor been outside during the day. And now the beast who taught her everything had come to take her away.
As much as Rin found life pointless, death was even more so. To face this beast alone almost certainly meant to die, but what else could she do? Though Rin eschewed many teaching of her militant society, she was still her father’s daughter. For the child who’d never seen the sun, and for the honor of the House of Tatsumi, Rin rode alone to war.
Length: 30,200 words (about 87 pages)