Monday, December 9, 2013


    For those of you who don't know it, Joon is Sonny's (my son's, whose real name is Sungjoon) alter ego. He emerges when there is a danger or a need for a hero to help. At least that is what I wrote.

   Joon was confused. Lights and darkness passed and blinked at him from the windows of a moving train. What was the problem? He carefully observed his immediate surroundings from a corner of his eye. Sonny was comfortably reclining on a hard BART seat before Joon emerged, and Joon didn't alter his posture to let anyone know that he was awake. But was he? Heaviness pushed on his eyelids and slowed his heartbeat. He tried to fight the drowsiness that encompassed him, but without success.
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 He dreamed about the past lives and hosts that he had. He co-existed for many centuries in Japan with various samurai and ordinary people, fighting demons and  monsters. He was the one who helped conquer Ibaraki-doji, a notorious ogre that harassed people of Kyoto. It would not be possible to subdue the demon without Joon's superior strength. He chopped off Ibaraki-doii's arm with his katana, and the monster ran away screaming. At that time, of course, his name was not Joon. It was Tsuna, a derivative of his host's name: Watanabe no Tsuna.
   As the BART stations passed and Sonny slept on, Joon kept dreaming about the things that he was and experienced.
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     The places and fights all blurred into an unending stream of green trees and flashing swords. Onis - the demons, tengus - the mythological mountain beings, able to transform into ugly little men, women and children to play nasty pranks on humans now passed in   front of                                                           his mind's eye. Once, he had to engage in battle with Orochi - a snake-god who lived on top of the Mount Fuji.  Once he was just a carpenter, tricked by a fox-spirit into marrying her. All his fighting was done on behalf of the innocents, the people of Japan.

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     How Joon made a transition from Japan to Russia, he did not know. Obviously, something or someone much more powerful than himself was involved.
     The fact was that, in the early nineteen forties he found himself in sparse woods near the city of Leningrad. He was lying in the bushes near a farmhouse and watching a group of people in front of it. Some of them were soldiers: he recognized the militant arrogant attitude and aggressiveness directed toward a young girl. As he looked closer, he saw that they were not humans at all: the blotchy scaly skin of their faces, slitted pupils of their eyes and the fact that they only had three clawed fingers on each hand told him that they were the Saradians, a race of monsters who usually joined the invading armies in order to do some marauding among the native population.

images (120×120)images (240×100)     Joon took in a scene before him. He then looked himself over. He was in a body of a young boy-soldier, dressed in a markedly different uniform than the Saradians. They had black pants and tunics with twin lightning on their collars and round helmets. He wore faded, pale greens and a soft cap. He was small and not really endowed with muscular physique. The glasses on Joon's nose impeded his vision until he tore them down. In a back pocket of a boy-soldier's Joon found an identification card for Samuel Minsky. Later, Joon will realize that this was Sonny's uncle who went missing in action during the WWII, near Leningrad.
     Voices in the farmyard became louder. The girl was crying and begging to be left alone. The Saradians drank it in. They had no intention to let her go. 
     Joon knew, it was now or never. He stood up suddenly and shouted to attract attention to himself. The Saradians whipped their weapons, unlike anything that Joon has ever seen, and tore toward him. He rolled on the ground under their fire and came up right in front of them, grabbing two of them by the throats and squeezing as hard as he could. The Saradians struggled and writhed in his grip, but could not break it. He threw their lifeless bodies down and switched his attention to the other two. 
     A girl used this opportunity to make a run for the woods. Joon saw one of the Saradians lift his gun and aim at her back. Thinking only of saving her, Joon streaked behind her and covered her with his body. Searing pain struck him and he didn't feel or see anything for the longest time, until he came to in Sonny's body.
     Sonny shifted in his seat and woke up. He was disoriented, groggy and very upset at missing his station and reaching the end of the BART line while he was sleeping. As he walked out on the platform and took a train back to his destination, he thought of how boring and ordinary his life was to make him fall asleep at such an inopportune time. 
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