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[Naruto fanfic] An Easy Thing (PG-13)





tsukiyuuki
Disclaimer: I do not own in part or full any aspect of Naruto. This is the property of Kishimoto Masashi-sensei, his relevant partners and subsidiaries. I do own all original aspects of this fanfiction including but not limited to original characters and plot. This fanfiction has been published at no profit, purely for the enjoyment of the fans and the collective good of the series.

Author’s Notes: The description for this forum includes "writings" and I've seen quite a bit of poetry in here, so this seems to be the correct place for this. Mods, if it isn't, I apologise; feel free to move it to the appropriate location.

Warnings: rated for contemplations of suicide and disturbing/macabre imagery


An Easy Thing

//“It seemed an easy thing, to step into the nothingness, to fall, to die... //


He stood on the precipice, staring out into the endless sea of gold, red, orange, and ever-darkening violet that was the sunset. The wind threaded playfully through his hair and the treetops, inviting both to dance. The leaves waved jauntily as they turned from green to crimson to green and back in the fading light, glistening like so many drops of blood.

He took no pleasure in the sight or smell of blood, though he knew the townsfolk would laugh should he say so. As far as they were concerned, he was a bloodthirsty animal; a demon living in the skin and bones and sinew of a human, not worth the air he breathed.

He didn’t know why he remained. An easy thing would be to simply take a step forwards, to walk off the edge. With such a long drop, he was sure to be killed, had no way to survive. He looked dispassionately down, gazing into the growing gloom at the bottom of the sheer cliff. A slow river ran along the base, flowing quietly, glowing as if on fire.

There were some swimmers in the water; though they looked like bugs from such a height. Shino’s bugs, perhaps, or ants. It would be an easy thing to let his demon loose to do what it would. They were bound to drive him out of town eventually, why delay the inevitable? But he didn’t enjoy the suffering of others, not in the least. He’d had too much suffering in his own short life to enjoy someone else’s. He understood.

He watched the swimmers collect their things and head off, presumably back to the village. The last vestiges of sunlight dipped below the horizon and the stars winked into existence. The night was clear, and cooling quickly; he took out a kunai and began tossing it, watching it flash in the moonlight and catching it on it’s way down.

A miscalculation, and a cut appeared on his palm as the kunai slipped through his grasping hand, bouncing off a rock and over the edge of the precipice into the darkness. He held his hand up, the blood turning silvery-red in the light, and followed it as it drip-drip-dripped onto the ground under his feet.

It wasn’t very deep and the bleeding soon stopped. It would be an easy thing to cut deeper; to let the crimson flow until his body was cold and pale. It would be some time before they bothered to look for him, even longer until they found his body.

An owl left a nearby tree, off to hunt for the night, and he stared after it as it flapped silently away, riding the wind. How free it would feel to fly away into the night and escape his cage. But he couldn’t; jumping through the trees was the closest he could come. He enjoyed it, but it just wasn’t the same.

Turning, he approached the nearest tree and climbed up high into its branches. There was something satisfying about climbing a tree with just his own strength, without jumping or chakra. The tree was huge and ancient, rough-barked and many-limbed, hung about with vines and covered with moss on its north side. He gave a vine a strong tug; it held fast.

It would be an easy thing, to loop one round his neck. Simple, to then leap from the branch on which he stood and hang from this old tree. Dangle from a high limb like some macabre decoration. He laid a hand on the trunk of the tree, watching his breath mist silver in the air between them, then pressed his forehead to the rough bark. He remained that way for some time.

A rustle of leaves below him, and he looked down. For a split second, he saw familiar pale eyes, a sadness like his own buried deep under their surface. Then he blinked and the eyes were those of a tanuki looking up at the human in the tree, before bolting off into the underbrush. He climbed down from the tree and returned to the edge of the precipice, standing in his own blood.

Looking behind him to the east, the world was murky in the pre-dawn light; if he was going to leave, it would have to be fairly soon to make it back in time. He hadn’t decided for certain what he would do, but many options, easy and not, were available to him. All that awaited him at ‘home’ in the village was pain and heartache, but....

He wasn’t the only person who lived with pain, he knew; others did as well. But he wondered sometimes how many lives would be happier should he die. Most of the village, for certain, would be quite content if he did what seemed easy and stepped into the nothingness.

But there were a few in his village who would be sad, or at least disappointed in him, should he do that. And there was one other... for that one, doing the easy thing would be a betrayal of the worst kind. He’d taught that person how to live—thought it took beating the hell out of him to do it—and showed him there was more to life than loving oneself.

The sun was coming up now. Standing on his tiptoes facing the emptiness on the edge of the cliff, he spread his arms and leaned over slightly, stretching his fingertips to the wind. He balanced for an eternal instant on the edge of the abyss; weightless yet weighty, oblivious and attuned at the same time. A smile flickered across his face as he leaned out a little further.


*********


Uzumaki Naruto lowered his arms. He turned towards the forest path lit with the rising sun and walked steadily forwards into another new day.

He had never been one to do the easy thing.


// ...But then I saw it, eyes filled with endless sorrow, and I turned back to face my pain.”//

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
fin
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reviews and opinions of all types are appreciated and valued, from concrit to flames. If you liked it, tell me why. ^_^ If you didn’t, I’d love to hear what could have made it more appealing to you.
dragonflame
you posted twice. and yes im a naruto fan.
tsukiyuuki
Thank you so much for telling me, dragonflame! I didn't even notice! (I can be a bit oblivious like that.) I've deleted the other one now, but much thanks for letting me know!
wistom
Thank you for telling me so much.
You are welcome.
Maybe it's not very good.
Olivia Wood
Yay! Fanfiction, and I wasn't even looking for it! Very Happy Goody!

You've made my day already, and I feel the need to reciprocate. I therefore offer you the highest honor a humble reader such as myself can offer a fanfiction writer: constructive criticism! Razz

First off, you have a really nice, angsty tone going, and your writing in itself is pretty smooth, but there's a few points throughout the fic that I think could use some clarification.

Like, the part where Naruto (that was Naruto, right? Because I'd feel really stupid if I just totally read that wrong) cuts himself with the kunai. I mean, he's a Ninja, right? And using those things is a pretty basic skill. How are we supposed to believe he's capable of killing other people with those things if he can't even keep from cutting himself, and cutting himself so badly that his blood is visible on the ground later, despite the encroaching darkness? It would pretty much have to be at least halfway intentional - and with the whole suicide thing you have going that's actually not that implausible. You made it seem like the cut was the catalyst for the angsty musings, when it should really be the other way around. Maybe if you gave us some more insight into Naruto's psyche?

He really doesn't seem the type to angst so openly, really, even when he's alone. Do you think you could include some specific causes for the extreme angst? 'Cause I thought that was a bit vague. I mean, he's coped pretty well so far, so unless you're going for an AU, in which case you really need to coninue this and give us some more info, general broodiness isn't gonna do it.

Not that the angsting isn't enjoyable, bacause it is. It just makes me want to know the reason for it. [/i]
tsukiyuuki
OMG concrit YAY! ^_^ My first concrit anywhere for this fic! You have no idea how happy you've just made me. ^_^ (Well, you may, but you know what I mean.) And although I really should be getting ready for work, I'm going to reply now before I lose my train of thought. ^^;

Quote:
Like, the part where Naruto (that was Naruto, right? Because I'd feel really stupid if I just totally read that wrong) cuts himself with the kunai. I mean, he's a Ninja, right? And using those things is a pretty basic skill.


(Yes, that was Naruto, you read it right. ^_^) My idea here--though maybe I didn't express it very well-- was that he isn't really concentrating on the actual tossing of the kunai, it's just something to do with his hands. What he's focusing on here is the way the light hits the metal when he tosses it. He's watching the kunai while it passes through his line of sight, not actively following it up and down with his eyes. (Like I always do when I toss a baseball, for example; up and down and up and down and up and "oh crap I dropped it.")

Quote:
How are we supposed to believe he's capable of killing other people with those things if he can't even keep from cutting himself?


Think about Naruto cutting himself with his kunai this way: he's human, and humans make mistake. Him cutting himself isn't really any different than, say, and pro baseball player missing a catch, or a karate black belt screwing up while teaching a lower-belt kata; both of which I have seen happen. Especially since his attention isn't focused on the act of catching the kunai. It isn't something that would happen often, but it's entirely plausible. ^^ At least, I think so. I mean, I've seen my English prof in university spell things wrong, and use incorrect grammar; just because it's someone's job doesn't mean they can't make mistakes. (I hope I'm not sounding rude or anything here, because that certainly isn't my intention; if I am, I sincerely apologise.)

About the cut itself-- that's why I had him cut his palm. Your palm can bleed a lot from a relatively shallow cut; there are quite a few veins in a small area, and several of the are fairly close to the surface. I've cut that part of my hand more often than I'd care to count, and even when it's something about the size of a paper cut, it still bleeds a noticeable amount. Not gushing or anything, but more than a comparable cut on, say, your finger bleeds. The palm of your hand is just one of those places that bleed easily.

Quote:
and cutting himself so badly that his blood is visible on the ground later, despite the encroaching darkness?


I'm not sure whether this is in reference to him watching his blood hit the ground, or when I say he stands in it later, but I can comment on both. ^^ (I'm just full of comments, aren't I?) For watching it hit the ground-- it's quite possible for him to see enough to watch it; the stars are out, it's a clear night. I don't know if you have ever noticed just how much light the stars give off (it's something very difficult to notice in town), but as someone who's camped in empty fields in the country without any street lights (or equivalent) on both starry and starless nights, I can tell you they give off a lot. When there were no stars, it was literally pitch black and I needed a flashlight to even find my shoes after I'd taken them off; with stars, I could easily find my shoes, and most anything in my bag, without my flashlight. With stars, you can see the colour of things, and where they are; mayhaps not in great detail, but enough to know they are there. For Naruto, who's been trained to pick out things like this, I imagine it'd be easy to follow the drops of blood from his hand to the ground. (I just typed "from the ground to his hand" here... I think I need coffee.)

If in reference to him standing in it, he isn't noticing it on the ground, I was just using using it as a reference point for the reader to show that he's right back where he started in terms of location. Maybe I wasn't clear, sorry!

*leaves and goes to work* *comes home* *goes to mall to pick up book and brother and return her defective Discman* *returns home and to computer*

Quote:
He really doesn't seem the type to angst so openly, really, even when he's alone. Do you think you could include some specific causes for the extreme angst?


I don't quite understand what you mean by openly angsting, so the only thing I can say is... huh? ^^;; And I didn't think that his angst seemed that extreme, I was hoping it would come across as him seriously contemplating the not-so-great things inhis life, then just kind of accepting them...

Anyways, I hope this cleared up some things for you by explaining the way I think. ^^;;

I've still got major gratitude for you for the concrit, though. Truthfully, I've been posting in various places online for over five years, and yours was the first real piece of concrit I've ever received! For any of my writing! Ever! (Hence my ridiculously long reply.) May I have your internet babies? ^_^ (Uh, if you don't get that, it's probably because you have too much of a life to hang around LiveJournal and such all the time, like I do. ^^;; )

Thank you again! *GLOMP* (And it just took me all day to write this because I was out of my house for somewhere around ten hours today... ^^;; )
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