Willow Rose, Chapter 4

Days flutter by, on the wings of a butterfly

***

“I went out into the world with a fierce spirit, eager to please my father and make a woman of myself, to obtain a profession to create my own prosperity,” speaks Willow to the children gathered before her beneath the Willow tree, on the first day of the newest year.

“Each day, for 1 whole moon, my father gave me a few coins so I can purchase nourishment on my hunt for professional freedom. But instead of talking to professional individuals, who have mastered the different professions, I saved these coins to purchase a beautiful outfit, in hopes that my wear will attract the profession I so desired.

“So each day, for 30 days, I pocketed the coins my father gave me. I ventured out in the morning light, and came home in the evening glow, and each time my father would ask me in an eager tone, ‘What did you learn today?’ And each time I would respond with a light shrug, ‘Nothing new.’

“Days went by with this normality, robotic in its nature, but my father kept his faith in his Willow Rose.

“On the 30th day, I had enough coin to purchase the attire I so desired, the attire I wear to this day, for it has not worn out. The material seems to be made with magic threads of lace and velvet.”

Willow stands up before the children and does a short twirl so they can take in her attire which is: green sugegasa to keep the sun out of her eyes and off her fair skin, a green woman’s kimono, green hakama, and a pair of red chikatabis, and a red obi. The children gasp and giggle in delight. A small girl of age 4 states, “You look like a Geisha, a Willow Geisha.” The girl giggles at her light hearted joke, her cheeks turning a rosy red as she does so.

Willow smiles warmly at the child as she takes her former seat beneath the willow, for the child spoke a truth without realizing.

Willow continues her tale. “On the 30th evening I returned home. From the wooden rocking chair he sat at, with a linen sheet over his lap, his typical evening seat, my father raised his eyebrows with thin lined lips as he looked me up and down. But, for my father never spoke words of judgment, he uttered the familiar words, ‘Did you learn anything new today?’ And I responded my response with a light shrug, ‘Nothing new.’

“But the following day something special did happen. As I was strolling the streets of Koya, humming a happy tune in my new elegant wear, a man came up to me carrying a forging hammer, muscular arms sweaty from the morning’s work. His brows were furrowed.

“My heart began pounding in anxiety, for I have no idea why this man would look at me so. After a few silent moments the man spoke.

“‘Your music has disturbed my work,’” He said warmly, in a soft tone I was not expecting from a man with his physique.

“I let out a sigh of relief, and my tense shoulders relaxed. ‘Pardon me, sir, I am just humming a happy tune for this special day. Despite the chill in the air, the scent of Spring is here. I saw the first, tiny speck of green, beneath the willow tree last eve.’

“The man only nodded as he looked me up and down, ignoring my bantering. I went on, ‘I am looking for professional work, so that I can one day support myself. I am looking for the kind that will bring enjoyment to my heart and to those I hold dear. Do you know of one?’”

“The man smiled proudly, eager to hear my innocent words. ‘That is exactly what I came up to you about. Your attire and youthful appearance is perfect for a show of entertainment. Would you like a profession where you can be your beautiful self, in elegant wear, to perform and entertain the masses?’

“I smiled broadly to the man and said in an eager tone, ‘Oh yes, I would enjoy that so.’ I fluttered my eyelashes then at the man, not to be flirtatious, it’s just a tick I have when I am excited.

“The man smiled slyly, but course I was too innocent to notice, but his sly smile quickly faded into a friendly one. ‘My boss will fill you in on the details.’

“And so I was introduced to an elderly lady, who pinched my cheeks and bum, while examining my waist. She nodded in approval and stated, “You begin tonight, come here at this time,” and she gave me a slip of parchment with the address of our local theatre upon it.

The children looked at one another, some murmured to each other. Willow waits in patience for the children to turn their attention on to her once more. Soon, all were quiet, eager to hear more.

“I eagerly went home to my father, despite the fact it is only high noon. I ran up the mountain path, adrenaline running in my veins, ignoring the pain in my thighs from the strenuous fast paced hike.

“‘Father, Father!’ I shouted as I rushed through the open door of my family home, forgetting the time of day.

“‘Dear child why the shouting?’ my mother asked sternly as she wipes her hands off on the apron around her waist as she was exiting the kitchen area of our home. ‘And why are you home so early?’”

“I smiled broadly, and handed over her the address on the parchment. ‘A lady gave this to me, and stated to meet her at this address. This will be my new profession I feel.’

“My mother read the address, and knew immediately what it was, but said nothing. She looked at me with raised, furrowed brows, and stated, ‘Hmph, well. We will see what your father has to say about it. Now, run a long then. I am busy in the kitchen.

“And off I went to join my merry thoughts beneath the willow tree until my beloved father returned home.

“‘Father, Father!,” stated I as I ran up to him later that evening, barely giving him the chance to close the door behind him.

‘My Willow Rose, you are home early today. Did you learn anything new today?’ he asked me in a tired, hoarse tone. His eyes were droopy now that I recall, but at that moment my eyes were blind with naivety and wonder from the note I received today.

“I nodded my head happily and stated ‘I learned something new. A lady spoke to me. I feel this address is for my future profession.” And here I handed him the note with the address up on it.

“He was quiet for a long while, taking in the address of the theatre. In time he did say after a nod, “All will be well, then. You may go tonight,’ and handed me back the parchment before exiting the living area to change into evening wear.

“Now, little ones. The rest of the tale will be told tomorrow. Come on now, the sun is high, let us eat some udon and rice.” All the children, cheerfully chattering away, followed Willow Rose to the Shrine Temple to eat their midday meal.

***

Willow Rose, a character I had in a game called Renaissance Kingdoms. The game has three ‘kingdoms’ connected to the renaissance era: Europe, Japan, and Aztec. This character is Japanese, from Shogun Kingdoms. I connected the main role plays I had there, gathered them into a document, and a collection of tales were created. This is, Chapter one, of Willow Rose, an imaginative piece of me, who kept me sane in years of confusion (February 2007 to August 2016). I Have edit the post only a little, you may take note as I post the chapters, the improvement of my writing style. Stay tuned for more throughout the year, one chapter per month. Enjoy. Further tales will include my other characters, Arial de Grey and High Priestess.

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