Open Washed up like so much flotsam.

Hiyasu Shiori

New Member
Apr 22, 2017
209
Yen
445,850
ASP
330
The wind roared, as if in attempt to drown out the sonorous rush of the waves pounding the shore, whipping great gouts of spume onto the sandy beach, normally the gallivanting ground for the Fire country holidaymaker. Rather than a summer idyll, the scene resembled a drab wasteland.

An observer, if there were one foolish enough to brave the onshore gale and ice-cold needles of seawater they threw, may have noted a small shape bobbing, intermittently obscured by the slate grey waves.

Said brave observer, if they focussed on said shape, may have even recognised it to be a small sailing vessel, mast shattered by some unknown force, guided only by the fierce wind and waves, pulling at the hull itself. As the small vessel made it’s perilous journey closer and closer to the shoreline and the fury of the breakers, a bundle of rags would be apparent, pressed down as tightly as possible in the scant shelter the gunwhales provided. How it stayed secure in such turbulent conditions was a mystery.
The little boat, not much more than a coracle, began to tumble in the fierce breakers, threatening to dislodge the bundle. Eventually, it was spat out onto the shore, breaking apart like a seed pod, reduced to driftwood.

The bundle of rags began to shiver and convulse, revealing itself to be an emaciated boy wearing little more than a tattered jumpsuit and apron. A previously pale face was burnt by both sun and wind, hair tangled and messed by salt and spray. He clawed himself up the beach, retching seawater and gasping all in one pained noise. Slowly, he made his way up to his hands and knees, drawing in great lungfuls of sea air.

* * *

Shiori stood on shaky legs, his head spinning and heart pounding. He smiled, the smile turning into a manic laugh as the situation took root in his mind. He had made it home! It had been a ridiculous idea to go hunting for spices the weekend before his exam, but it had seemed such a good idea at the time. The perfect spices for the celebration meal after he and his friends had all became Genin together, rare and exotic. It was a simple trip over to the bazaar to pick up his precious cargo. He had plotted the route, many small trips that his little dinghy could manage eventually ending up at the nearby island.

He hadn’t accounted for the storm to come, whipping him out far beyond his navigational ability to correct. He had brought plenty of preserved food for barter anyway, and he could use his water jutsu to generate potable water to survive.

He had never realised quite how lost he was. His knowledge of the stars was rudimentary in regards to navigation, only able to use the North Star and the rising and setting of the sun for general headings, sailing in one direction, hopeful it would at least get him to some form of land and civilisation.

And then the wind died. Shiori didn’t know for how long he sat becalmed in the doldrums, moving first with his chakra, creating a moving ‘wave’ under his little boat, and then paddling futilely with his hands when he became unable to do that.

Eventually, even his food ran out, and Shiori resorted to trying to catch fish with a bone hook and string, eating them raw for sustenance. He had thought then he might die, far away and of no note, forgotten. He had thought about his friends and family, about his poor deceased brother, his parents in their small house, about his friend Megu with whom he had shared such joy messing around in Suo’s kitchen. He would never see them again.

As despair set in, mercifully, a breeze caught his sail. He had thought himself saved, elated. But as the wind built and built, and the sky darkened, joy was replaced again by sorrow. His little vessel wasn’t built for storms. At one point, his sail and mast were ripped from his small boat as if by a giant hand. After that, he simply pressed himself into the hull, tying some of the strapping around himself so he was secure. He then closed his eyes and hoped. Maybe, just maybe, he would make it. The sliver of hope was the only thing that ensured his hands stayed sure gripping the straps.

And here he was! Delivered to land. Nothing he could see at the moment told him where he might be, but it was better than certain death on a rickety coracle. He started to stumble forward, joints aching and slow. Part of his mind was sure he recognised the beach, but it may just be a lack of food and water confusing him. Inland would be someone anyone. From there, he could find his way. He could get home.

As glimmers of hope entered SHiori’s mind, he began to think about his friends again. How was Megumareta? How was old Suo? Was the restaurant doing well? He fished into a laced pocket on the front of his apron, and regarded his ring, rang the finger over the carved bezel. The small item had stayed with him throughout the entire journey, his most precious possession. Now that he was safe, he could put it on again. He immediately felt more comfortable, more… sure.

Shiori started towards the dunes, back towards his life.​
 

Hiyasu Shiori

New Member
Apr 22, 2017
209
Yen
445,850
ASP
330
The dunes turned to long, coarse grasses, stinging his legs as the wind whipped them. He rested at the top of the dune, looking back at the dreary grey sky and pounding grey-green surf. He fiddled with his ring as he rested, finger running over the lily of the valley engraved in the bezel. He was surprised and disappointed at the exhaustion he felt after simply struggling up the sandy windward face. His lack of food and water had truly drained him.

He would have to become strong again, he decided. The strong were remembered. The remembered.bered were immortal. He would never let himself become so weak again. Never allow himself to come so close to death and ignominy. He stopped fiddling with the ring.

As his breaths went from laboured to calm, and the wind biting his face became unbearable, he pushed himself up with a sigh. He began trudging down the leeward side of the dune, through the harsh grasses.

As his safety and survival coalesced in his mind as reality, he allowed himself to think about the future again. What would his parents say? He looked forward to the shock and joy that would light up their faces, the cramped atmosphere of the hovel rendered cosy through warmth. They would sit and talk together, begin to rebuild their lives.

As dunes gave way to scrubby fields, his thoughts shifted to his friends. That he looked forward to more than his family. Whipping up new menu items in the back kitchen with Megu and Suo, trying them out on their rickety little stand, always set in front of a competitor's restaurant. Training together to become stronger, to be better ninjas.


[290]
Yes, he was looking forward to being home.