Sacrifice: A Burnt Offering

“My destiny is to save others so that their destinies may be achieved.”
Benevolent Bodyguard, Magic the Gathering

Discovered a new challenge via Fandango. Teresa from The Haunted Wordsmith gave an fun prompt: “open a book — any book — to page 62 (physical or ebook) and copy line 6. Then use it in a short post.” This is a line from “The Prayer of David: In Times of Trouble” by Michael D. Evans. I finished the sentence to give some context:

“An offering that really costs us something, not an of-fering of convenience but an offering that really challenges our faith, is a burnt offering.”

A continuation from Ominous Meeting

Sinclair’s voice echoed in her mind, “I am your servant. Your wish is my law.” Chills ran down her spine as Aiyani attempted to conceal her fear. She was clearly perturbed.

Sinclair saw the trace of panic in her eyes and slowly set the lighter down. “Ms. Bellefeuille, whether you’d like to admit it or not, there are dangerous people after you. Native American women are frequently targeted.”

The grip on her gun tightened. Aiyani challenged him, “Judging by the glock in my hand here, I think I’m well aware of that.”

Sinclair treaded carefully. He felt like he was walking on a tightrope. One false move, and the rest is history. “Your father was concerned about the state of his own health and made arrangements for his next of kin to be protected. He thought you’d remember me, but apparently that is not the case. Quite naturally, he anticipated that you’d be skeptical, so he told me to share with you a verifying childhood event.”

nature photography of river near trees
Photo by Michiel Alleman on

“When you were ten years old, your father took you out to Maine one winter to visit some family members. You wanted to ice skate, so your father took you to a pond. He said to you, ‘Of course my dear! You are my treasure. Your joy is my reward.’ As you skated, you fell in the icy water after skating over a thin layer of ice.”

“I was the stranger that fished you out. I activated a series of advanced heating packs. The hypothermia exacerbated the conditions that you already faced with Raynaud’s syndrome. You were in the hospital for several weeks. It’s a miracle that you’re alive.”

Aiyani was taken aback. She has not told anyone that story. The memory of Sinclair’s facial features are hazy. It all happened so fast, and she pushed the memory as far back into the recesses of her mind. Maintaining a level of caution, she loosened the grip on her gun. She was thoughtful and silent, as Sinclair continued.

“I trained at the Kenshin-Tekina Gisei Martial Arts Academy for bodyguards for many years. Kenshin-Tekina means devoted and Gisei means sacrifice in Japanese. We have learned what it means to give up everything in order to protect our masters. It can be a lonely path to follow, yet for those who feel that this is their calling in life, it can be rewarding as well.”

“Students have learned the ethical code of Bushido in which samurai were bound to accept death in battle rather than flee or surrender. Even in the midst of pain & hardship, we are loyal and honorable to our superiors until death. We have a deep reverence and respect for family honor and a willingness to sacrifice oneself for that honor.”


“A few miles away from the Academy, we hike up the mountains to an altar where Ainu indigenous tribes of Japan practiced the tradition of the Iomante ceremony in which bears were sacrificed in burnt offerings. Hokkaido encouraged this ceremony to be abolished in the 50’s, but the Environment of Japan announced that animal ceremonies were an exception to the animal rights law.”

“We have come a long way since then. However, one day our teacher told us to bring one item that was dear to us such as a book or jewelry. We set it aflame in a bonfire symbolizing our own sacrifices that we would have to make on our journey ahead.”

“So Ms. Bellevuille, if it hasn’t been made clear earlier: before I bring my need, I will bring my heart. Before I lift my cares, I will lift my arms. More than anything I want, I want you first to feel safe in every season and every moment.”

In response to:

  • VJ Knutson’s Weekly Challenge: Sacrifice
  • Laura Bailey’s Maniac Monday’s 3 Way Prompt: Reverence
  • Teresa at The Haunted WordSmith: Page 62, Line 6
  • FOWC with Fandango: Trace
  • Word of the Day Challenge: Kin

16 Comments Add yours

  1. V.J. Knutson says:

    How interesting! Tradition wrapped in a story. So insightful. Commands more than one read through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Don’t mean to make it complicated, VJ! 🙂 I do find the topic of sacrifice fascinating though. Various cultures express sacrifice differently.

      From my own personal life, it’s more simple. I donate 1 hour out of the week to tutor kids in reading skills. I was concerned about literacy rates in the region and what that could mean for their futures. I had to do something…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. V.J. Knutson says:

        Bless you for what you do. Volunteering is an act that gives so much in return. Not complicated at all – I just found your posting contained so much – worthy of another look.


  2. Totally enthralled with the continuation! 🙂 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      I’m always amazed at how some stories seem to have a life of their own. I never anticipated it growing in this direction when I started these prompts! It’s been a fun journey! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree sometimes our writing takes some very unexpected twists and turns.😉❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        1. theresaly520 says:

          Cheers to the winding, curvy road in storytelling! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. iScriblr says:

    Wow, this is super!❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Thank you! I recently learned about the code of Bushido when I attended a panelist function which discussed various aspects of Samurai. Adults and kids alike were fascinated by the katani swords 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    Magic the Gathering… haven’t heard anything about that in years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. theresaly520 says:

      Oh?! Did you use to play? I recently learned how to play this past spring. It’s a lot of fun! Had an epic game recently. My boyfriend said this bodyguard card was horrible, however I liked the quote and thought it was appropriate here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        I played a long time ago. I wasn’t very good lol!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great website, many thanks for the post

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Deja Mikos says:

    Fantastic website, thanks for posting

    Liked by 1 person

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