All right, explanation time.

This story is a mix of quite a few things. Originally something me and my dad came up with on a kayak trip, it was further inspired by Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fury.

Although, in essence, I really just wanted to see how seriously I could write a story about such a stupid idea.

I will warn, this story came out out wayyyy more gruesome than intended. I mean, as soon as I wrote that first scene I just had to go all out…



A venturing spring breeze passed through the provincial ground sakura trees. The gust, gently plucking a petal from the safety of an elegant blossom, blew it away from the embrace of its parent. Farther and farther it was carried; past rows of Kaya practitioners, perfectly positioned in identical deep seiza; past a vermillion and gold embroidered rug, stretching the majority of the petals journey; and finally alighting atop a small golden kayak, delicately positioned amidst a crimson rimmed pedestal towering over the motionless participants.

Kayakaa strode down the richly decorated vermillion rug, passing by his silent Shaolin temple brothers. At the end of this rug, atop a raised dais sat a weathered old man. His complexion spoke of contemptment and serenity, his eyes gently closed and positioned downwards; long wizened beard and lengthy eyebrows flowing through the midday breeze.

Arriving before him, Kayakaa dropped a knee, then the other, bowing heavily into a deep and respectful seiza.

“Master, I have returned,” he stated with certainty. “The Paddka temple is no more. Their water forming techniques were inferior to your teachings and limitless knowledge,” he explained, lifting his head slightly as to peer to the figure before him.

Without opening his eyes, nor shifting his facial state in any way, the old man responded. “Kayakaa, perhaps this victory was not whollely due to my teachings but also your expertise and fine application as well, hmmm?” He gently rasped. His voice, a warm confrontation of both the grittiest sandpaper and finest linen.

“Master, I would never demean your teachings. I have dedicated my life and existence to Shaolin Temple’s water arts,” Kayakaa refuted, evidently confused by his superior’s response.

Sighing, the old man gently shifted his position atop the raised dais. He was well aware of his most valued student’s temperament towards anything he cherished.

“You have done well Kayakaa, and further proven yourself as Shaolin Temple’s greatest.” He supplied, nodding his head in apparent contentment. “However, there is a reason I want you to start… mmm… accounting for these things.”

“Master, have I… perhaps disappointed you in some way?” Kayakaa hesitantly ventured, lifting his bowed head further so as to meet his superior’s eyeline.

Following a heavy sigh and lengthy silence, the old man responded. “I have kayaked the great rivers of these lands, braved the strongest rapids, and traversed the harshest bodies. Yet, I believe my time to kayak amidst this mortal plain is coming to an end.” He supplied, focusing his vision towards the azure sky above. “I can hear them, the great kayakers above calling to me. Calling me forth to kayak the endless cloud rivers for all eternity among the oars of the ancients.”

“B… but master,” Kayakaa stuttered.

“Silence,” the master commanded, looking down towards Kayakaa’s position, lifting his heavy eyelids in the process. Dark blue irises bore into Kayakaa; rich as the darkest of rivers through which his oars cut.

“My most prized and accomplished student, I have one final task you must endure. A task many among us have tried to gain favor towards, yet failed,” the master explained, his hand moving in fluid expressive patterns. “When you return from this task, I will have no doubt parted this mortal plain. Upon its completion, I am entrusting this temple to you in my stead.”

“Master, I am not ready! I require more guidance,” Kayakaa cried in surprise, grinding his forehead into the cloth beneath him.

“Kayakaa, I give you this task because I hope you can look inside yourself and realize that you are both always ready, and never ready. You must learn to embrace the unexpected, and walk the path of life as an individual,” the master stated, pointing a long white nail his way. “I assign you… the great journey, as my master, and his master had before him” he vehemently stated. 

A collective gasp rose from everyone present, doubt heavy in the air. “Once you have kayaked the great water bodies of this world, idol protected, you will have truly proven yourself worthy of the title of temple master. Now accept your task,” the elder commanded with a strong tone of finality.

“I… I accept… master.” Kayak responded. Visibly shaking, he extended his arms, hands cupped together.

“Very good,” the master replied, stretching his arm to the right. Reaching to the top of a crimson pedestal, he plucked a brilliant golden kayak from its depth. As he did so, a sakura petal fell from the small kayak’s stern and, as if in defiance of the soft breeze, lazily fluttered towards Kayakaas outstretched hands.

“In the name of all those who came before in the great art of Kayak Karate,” his master proclaimed. “From Kayakouling to Kayoungkaa, and finally, the esteemed founder of our art, Kayak, I have passed down my teachings to the next,” he calmly stated.

As he did so as if by magic, the small golden kayak lifted from his palm. Following the sakura petal’s path downwards towards Kayakaa, it appeared as if the small kayak was fighting against strong rapids as it flew onwards.

As the cool metal hull alighted atop his outstretched palms his master rose to his feet. “That is all, you are dismissed,” he stated, face straight as ever.

“Master…” Kayakaa mumbled on a laborious breath, a single tear rolling from his eye. I will not disappoint you, he vowed deeply, standing and pacing from the court.

–     Part 1, Paddle of Steel     –

Kayakaa’s paddle shallowly dipped into the deep waters surrounding him. He knew not what form of enlightenment he was searching for, even after years of practicing the most sacred of water-borne arts.

This river excursion should have been no different than all the rest. However, he could smell trouble in the air. The Bagdai Temple and Langzin dojo had caught his scent. Once word got out that the Shaolin temples idol was missing, every large sect has been on his trail.

He knew that a river as serene as this would not last, and he braced himself against the coming struggle.

Passing by a log gently bobbing atop the water surface he sensed a disturbance. Slowing his paddling to a crawl, his eyes roamed the surrounding foliage. The world seemed to slow, as the only discernible sound became the plipping of water drops from the ends of his oars.

Then it happened, the bushes surrounding the banks of the river exploded in motion! A half dozen white-robed kayak practitioners lunged into the water on cheap plastic vessels. To Kayakaa’s front, a large hunk of a kayaker sprang from a convenient overhang and alighted upon a wooden vessel sporting a sky blue robe.

He was surrounded. 

Sweeping his eyesight across the approaching kayaks, he considered his options. Six grunts to the back, and one middle-range water master to the front. The first wave of Bagdai’s flowing water temple had arrived.

Selecting a viable course of action, he slowed his breathing and concentrated. Paddles dipping slowly into water, he began to accelerate his strokes. Keeping his kayak in place with pure might of chi and will, a violent force began to build towards his boat’s stern. The force became so great, a torrential stream of water was flung at the fast-approaching grunts, knocking a couple from the safety of their vessel.



Were their final screams as they flew towards the surface of the mammoth piranha, electric eel, and laser catfish-infested lake. Upon contact, their forms were eviscerated, erupted in pillars of entrails from the combined effort of the wildlife.

As this happened, Kayakaa released his concentration, buckling under the sudden acceleration. Flying forwards at impossible speed, he left a lingering golden flash, quickly clearing the distance between him and the water master. As if in slow motion, his kayak first contacted the stern of the master’s boat, easily ripping through the reinforced wooden boarding. Passing further through the hull, Kayakaas full form flew straight past his adversaries.

It had happened so fast, for a second the master was in a daze. Where had the target gone? He disappeared in the blink of an eye…

Feeling something was horribly wrong, the master slowly peered down towards his chest. Just below his collarbone, cleanly centered in his hulking body was the indent in the shape of a man; a heart visible beating in the wall of which.


He grunted, slumping over, the two severed halves of his kayak parting under his weight. His form slipped through, impacting the water’s surface and leading to a fate, much the same as his comrades.

Coming to a stop some distance behind the dead master, Kayakaa considered his next move. The four remaining grunts to his rear were in disarray, while to his front lay smooth, undisturbed waters.

Yet, this fact didn’t last. Two thatch kayaks revealed themselves from behind banking rocks. On them sat figures adorned in flowing black robes which floated inches above the water’s surface, suspended as if by magic.

Kayak surmised who these two might be, and his thoughts were proven accurate as the two raised their gold-rimmed Kasa’s revealing half-masked faces. They were the Bagdai Temples naginata sisters, Kayakailau and Kayakaiyang. A fierce duo of practitioners in the upper levels of the temple’s hierarchy.

To further prove his suspicion, as they neared they ran their paddles along each other. The paddle ends interlocked, then pulled free, revealing metallic concealed naginata blades affixed within. He could hear the increasing sound of paddles striking water to his back, notifying of the gaining grunts. To his front, the sisters approached, brandishing their silver fangs.

Despite these new adversaries, he was confident in his chances. There was a reason he remained the most valued member of the Shaolin temple.

Closer and closer they crept, then, with a shout the right sister lashed out her blade, bringing it in a clean horizontal arc towards his neck.


Ducking his head below the oncoming blade, he felt the wind part above him, telling of just how close he avoided the weapon.


Kayakaa heard from behind, his back splattered in red moments later as something impacted the water.

Not breaking eyesight with the first sister, he followed her boat as she passed him. As she came to his rear, the decapitated form of a grunt came into view, her poles blade dyed in fresh blood.

“I would never have imagined the Bagdai Temple valued their dogs this low,” Kayakaa shot, the sister’s bloodthirsty eyes digging into him. Their vessels were now mere feet apart.

“They should be honored to die in glorious battle serving Bagdai. Now hand over the idol so I can make your death quick,” she hissed.

“I don’t think so, I mostly avoid entertaining crazies,” he replied.

“Well then, let’s be open to new experiences. you can entertain me in your final moments!” She shouted, horizontally cutting towards his neck once again.

He heard the familiar sweep of a blade from behind, realizing the other sister was now towards his rear. From the direction of the sound, the blade was approaching much lower, likely aiming for the small of his back. The same tactic would not work again.

Pushing force into his bottom, he propelled himself into the air, narrowly missing the oncoming blades. Lashing out his foot, his sole impacted one of the near grunts who had stood from his boat in preparation for an attack.

As if in slow motion, the force connected for a second, then with great concentration and chi channeling, Kayakaa transferred every ounce of force onto the grunt before him, propelling him away.

“AAAAAAAAAAIIIII!” the grunt screamed, impacting another further back; the both of them flying through the air towards the opposite riverbank.

Their bodies slammed into a willow tree branch and slid down its length, cleanly impaled on the hardwood; twitching and dripping a slow stream of blood towards the piranha horde below.

With new vigor, the sisters began to lash out their naginatas with fury and force, bringing Kayakaa into a flurry of flips, dodges, and twirls as he danced amidst instruments of death. A typical master would have been sliced to ribbons in an instant under their barrage, yet, a typical master he was not.

Their fight had devolved into a matter of perseverance, waiting for one of the combatants to make a slip. And Kayakaa endured, perilously walking the line between life and death.

As his breath became laborious, he realized he could not go on for much longer. Luckily, he gained an opening. The first sister, obviously far more enraged than the second, thrust her naginata towards his midsection. It was a foolish move, and he easily leaped into the air above the oncoming weapon.

“HYAAAA!” With a throaty cry, he smashed his full weight on the top of the pole, sandwiching the blade between his knee and kayak. Following a metallic screech, the blade broke loose, propelling into the air to his rear.

Channeling his chi and employing simple air master technique, he moved his hands to either side of the rotating blade, altering its trajectory. He spun in a circle, spinning the blade around himself before propelling it towards her.

The blade impacted the first sister’s head, cutting through her Kasa and deep into her skull.

“ACK!” She choked, before slumping over, dead.

“SISTER!” An enraged shout ripped into his ear.

Spinning around, his eyes met the second sister. The fury in her eyes was indescribable, and it was directed solely towards him.

“You will pay for this!” She screamed between labored breaths, standing in her kayak.

Her robe floated up around her on a cool updraft of sakura petals, then she began to spin. The leaflets billowing around her splitting clean in half following her robes passing. With a redirection of force, her kayak began to steadily approach his, the saws of death drawing close, looking to bisect him in two. 

He couldn’t have that. Jumping into the air, he narrowly missed the oncoming blades. Sending his feet out beneath him he perched himself atop her Kasa, her whole form rotating beneath him. Then he jumped, propelling himself several feet into the air as he exerted an immense force beneath him.

“AAAA!” Was the sister’s final cry as the force sent her straight through her kayak’s reinforced wooden hull with a sickening crunch, her body exploding in a pillar of entrails moments later as she contacted the water.

The pillar bathed Kayakaa as he balanced upon her vessel’s rim, dying the remainder of his suit deep crimson.

It’s over, he thought. At least for the moment.

“YAAAAA!” he heard, turning to see a final grunt paddling towards him.

At least it will be in a moment, he sighed, lifting one leg high into the air.

He lashed his leg downwards towards the oncoming and final grunt, skull caving beneath his heel. The grunt’s head sank deep into his chest cavity as a set of kidneys exploded from his sides with tremendous force. Unable to even utter a groan as he died, a spray of blood erupted around him, his form slumping towards the bloodthirsty wildlife.

Now, we can have a bit of peace, Kayakaa thought.

Sitting back in his kayak, he encased his arm in a protective layer of chi before dipping it deeply into the cool surrounding waters; the piranhas and laser catfish, unable to find purchase on his exposed flesh. He began to clean his face of entrails as he peacefully drew his boat down the serene river.

–     Part 2, Waters of Power    –

A good distance farther down the river, Kayakaa continued to submerge his paddle ends into its depths, pulling his vessel steadily forwards. The cool autumn breeze blew calmly over him, the occasional hulking form of a mammoth piranha lunging from the water further upstream. It was… serene.

Then, the light glinted off something metallic on a riverbank. Looking to his right, Kayakaa’s breath caught in his throat.

Is that… A Cyberkayaker? He wondered.

The metal humanoid strode towards the river, nanocarbon muscles stretching across its form. It was one of the most advanced and impressive ones he had seen yet.

It approached the river’s edge, glowing red eyes fixated on Kayakaa. Lifting a metallic and nanocarbon limb, it threw a colorful gesture Kayakaa’s way before stepping into the water.

Kayakaa braced for immediate combat.

Yet, as the Cyberkayakers foot entered the river he jolted. Electric bolts ran through his body as every one of his muscles contracted fiercely. Accompanying the sight was a zapping and sizzling sound as the cool wind wafted the smell of burn rubber his way. Slumping over, the Cyberkayaker fell face-first into the shoreline mud, motionless as a moat of steam drifted from his downed form.

“Well, guess they don’t work too well,” Kayakaa muttered, shrugging his shoulders. Many rival groups had been attempting to perfect their own mechanical soldiers. However, thus far they had not proven very reliable.

Almost as soon as he finished his thought he heard the building beat of a drum. The constant beat steadily increased from further up the river. As the sound intensified, a large group of kayakers rounded the bend.

All manner of masters, grunts, and practitioners came into view, afloat on a variety of vessels. However, one in particular dominated the scene.

Amidst the center of the mass was a raised platform, positioned atop a number of kayaks as if it were imitating the forbidden catamaran. Sitting contently atop this, with twin drummers arrayed to either side, was a mass of a man. 

A deep dark blue robe adorned his puffy form; hair securely fashioned in a chonmage. His pudgy face and triple chin spoke of a life of disregard and comfort. However, Kayakaa knew better than to make assumptions.

The chubby man, sweeping his eyesight over the scene before him, locked eyes with Kayakaa.

“Aaa yes, another one of Kayakou’s dogs,” the man spat. “I see that the pretentious Kayakailau and Kayakaiyang failed in your subjugation,” He supplied, clear malice in his tone.

“Do not speak of my master so lightly. You will never reach his heights Kagangkak of the Bagdai Temple,” Kayakaa responded.

The man’s complexion darkened, obviously displeased with the reply. “We’ll see how one of his most trusted dogs performs. But do understand, I know of your prowess Kayakaa, I will not underestimate you.”

Finishing his monologue, the approaching man slammed the palms of his hands together, producing a thundering clap which echoed across the surrounding river valley.

Hearing The all too familiar dipping of oars into water, kayakaa hesitantly turned his head.

Behind him was now another 30 or so grunt, fast approaching. A hundred men now surrounded him. The rearing battle would surely be difficult.

Next, a thundering boom echoed from the surrounding stone walls, then another, sounding in pairs and increasing in intensity. Soon a large hulking mass came into view.

Perched atop a rock jutting from the side of the river’s embrace was a hellish creature. Gargantuan muscles clearly defined beneath rough leathery skin, flowed around two massive legs. Its core, an elongated lizard-like body, ended in a stout tail on one end and sloped in the other direction towards an intimidating head. Dozens of foot-long teeth adorned its gaping may, while a twin set of hellish glowing eyes fixated directly towards Kayakaa.

Looks like Bagdai Temples finally getting serious, he pondered.

They had finally deployed one of their prized Laser T-rex’s.

“Immobilize him,” he heard a command. Looking to his front, he saw one of the practitioners to Kagangkak right raise a small glowing blue pendant. 

Moments later, a wave of cold shot out in his direction, freezing the surrounding waters solid. He knew from experience that try as he might, he could not break his kayak free, for as long as the amulet was extended in the air, the spell would hold.

“Kill him,” was the next command, and the silent forces began to swiftly approach.

Narrowing his eyes, Kayakaa prepared for combat. It was time for him to employ his master’s deepest teachings; time for him to prove to the world the prowess of the Shaolin Temple.

As the first wave of grunts neared him, he sprang from his seat, dropping his legs to either side and into a perfect split atop his vessel. Pulling his legs inwards, he launched into one of the Shaolin Temple’s most sacred of techniques, the triple mega hundredfold backflip. Rotating with insane force, he altered his trajectory so as to contact the first approaching assailant.

“AYAGUHGUHGUHGUHGUH!” We’re sounds the closest grunt uttered as he was flung into an airborne spin. 

Backflipping faster and faster, the man’s limbs were soon ripped from his body as the force built, exploding away from his location towards the oncoming practitioners. The limbs, impacting six or so grunts, flung their bodies towards the waiting wildlife below.



Were their final screams as death took hold.

Coming out of the hundredth backflip, Kayakaa tilted his falling body sideways. It was time to employ another of his temple sacred arts. The hundred-league sideways decapitator sprint! Lashing out his feet, he ran in a horizontal semicircle, soles impacting a half-ring of approaching grunts. 




With gurgles, their faces caved on impact. Yet the technique didn’t end there. The force was so great that heads soon ripped from necks propelling outwards and toppling even more grunts from their kayaks.

Alighting back upon his vessel, a searing pain assaulted his right shoulder. Looking over, a patch of burnt cloth and singed flesh came into view. The Lazer T-rex had finally taken aim.

Jumping into the air yet again, Kayakaa brought a leg down atop a closing practitioner, instantly pulping the poor karate kayaker’s body against the ice below; but he didn’t stop there. Bringing his leg down further, he contacted the ice. Channeling the full force of his chi through the connection.

The ice exploded outwards, Kayak-sized chunks flying in every direction, rending through cloth and flesh alike. Gurgles and screams sounded as he was propelled into the air from the force of the blow alone.

Grabbing a chest-sized chunk of ice propelled upwards with him, he brought it forwards, rotating it fiercely. As the barrage of laser beams from the T-rex increased they were deflected in all angles off the ice’s clear surface. 

Skulls were popped, chests penetrated, and limbs fried.




Screams ripped from every direction as pillars of entrails dotted the river. The heavy drumming ceased as the drummers were seared through with consecutive lasers. Properly angling the ice during his ascent, he redirected one beam in particular back towards the Laser T-rex.

“Get fossilized,” Kayakaa muttered, as the laser impacted its charging eye.

It stood there for a second, clearly confused. Then the overcharge of laser chi became too much. The T-rex’s head erupted in a blossom of skull and brain matter, dying the rock it was atop deep crimson and flinging chunks of flesh in every direction. Its form slumped over, sliding down into the water with a crunch. An impressive pillar of entrails erupted upon contact, its body reduced to bones in mere moments by the mammoth piranhas.

Coming to the apex of his propulsion, Kayakaa spun one final time. Flinging the chunk of ice towards the caster. Impacting their raised arm, the limb was instantly shaved clean off.

“ARGH!” They screamed, falling from their vessel due to the missing limb-borne imbalance.

Kayakaa watched as the blue glow of the amulet faded into the murky waters below and with an unexpected blue flash, it was gone. What a waste, he thought, the ice around him quickly melting as the trinket vanished.

Bringing his eyesight upwards, he locked eyes with the only remaining adversary, Kangangkak. He had left the large man alive for a reason.

Jumping from his vessel, he skipped from kayak to kayak, the empty vessels now dotting the river. Backflipping onto the raised platform, he alighted himself before the rotund man.

“B… b b but how?! One hundred men! How are you so – GURCK!” Were Kagankak’s final words before Kakakaa rammed his fist through his chest, pulling his beating heart free in a swift motion.

The former temple master slumped over, lifeless.

“I will never answer to, nor respect those who gorge on the work of others,” Kayakaa spat.

–   Part 3, Kayak Chi     –

The sun lazily crested the river valley, drawing the blanket of dusk over his bobbing vessel

Kayakaa’s paddle continued to beat into the surrounding waters. Carrying his kayak ever forwards along an endless path.

“No matter how much a man kayaks, he will never kayak the world,” Kayakaa muttered. “For the world is finite, and man is finite so long as we walk upon it,” he concluded, master’s teachings clear as ever.

As the shadows lengthened towards a complete encompassment of the world, a figure revealed itself before him. A good hundred meters upstream was a man.

Feet outstretched, the figure floated inches above the water surface, no kayak visible to support him. Kayakaa’s breath caught in his throat. Is that… a Kayak spiritualist? He pondered in denial.

Legends among legends, spiritualists we’re practitioners so in tune with the waters of life, they were able to form kayaks of pure will and chi to support themselves. Only ten we’re known in the world, his master being one such legend. Yet, his eyes did not deceive him. There was no doubt. The man before him was one and the same. Sporting a finely chiseled face alongside a trimmed black robe, red hair spooled into a fine bun, there was no doubt. This man was Kayaku, the master of Langzin Dojo – in person.

“Why… why is someone as distinguished as yourself here… here to meet a lowly servant no less?” Kayakaa hesitantly called forth, lightly bowing his head.

“Raise your head boy. I have heard how Kayakou wishes to make you master of his temple in the near future. I have surmised that sending any of my disciples would be the same as sending them to their death. As such I have come to judge you in-person,” Kayaku stated in a deep earthly voice.

“As for your master, Kayakou is old, his body will soon fail him, leaving one of us to rule in his stead. This will be a battle of legend, a battle between two factions for the right to rule both. Now, come at me, only the watcher of the great water plain can judge us now” he finished, pulling his legs inwards, and standing as if from an actual kayak.

Kayakaa stood in the same fashion atop his more physical vessel, the both of them steadily nearing one another.

Silence descended upon the land, as eyes drew lines of concentration.

Kayakaa knew he stood no chance, and as their battle began it became apparently obvious. Quick jabs and chops came his way. A torrential machine gun of technique from every direction.

A fist sank into his gut, cracking a rib and pushing the air from his lungs, then one from behind, warranting a similar gasp. There was no way he could defend against a legends onslaught.

Master… master, what is it you sought of me in this task? What is it I require to attain enlightenment? He vainly pondered as the blows increased in intensity and frequency.

Every kick he sent at the master was evaded, every jab countered, his form knocked every which way. He could tell that Kayakou did not seek to finish him straightaway, lest he simply propel him towards the dark waters below.

What did he require, to ascend as a legend worthy of his master’s position? “What do I lack!” he screamed. Then a fist impacted the side of his face, jaw snapping shut as dislodged teeth flew from his mouth. A cracking sound could be heard as his kayak broke apart beneath him from the force. Propelled backwards he was rammed into a rock on the river shore, ripping the air from his lungs yet again. He slid forwards to the riverbank, tears rolling from his eyes. “Master… I… I have failed you,” he silently sobbed, having completely given up on his task and the all too fleeting hope that he could attain greatness.

Opening his watery eyes, his vision lay upon the golden idol, now in the sand to his front. Staring at its perfect craftsmanship he felt something different. Realizing he was on land, he rose to his feet. It was a strange feeling. The constant sway of the kayak was no longer present and in its place was borne… stability.

For two years he had kayaked the earth and for two years he had foregone his connection to its physicality.

And he understood. All those years ago, his master had not been disappointed in him. He had simply provided him his last and final teaching.

His master was great, yet, he was also finite, so long as he stood upon the world. Yet, man upon water. The ever-changing infinitely varying waters of the world, can be infinite.

His master, in their final exchange, had taught him potentially the most important lesson of all. He had to learn to live for himself, and carve out his own path, lest he stray in the footsteps of his master.

Kayakaa rose to his feet with a new purpose. Dropping into an attack pose facing the approaching kayaker he concentrated his chi to his front, yet, applied some of his own technique. Instead of simply striking with chi, he spewed it forth from himself, imagining it a river flowing from within.

Striking his fist forward, a blast of brilliant blue radiated outwards, lighting up the darkening evening, and pushing back the kayak legend before him a noticeable foot, halting his approach. As Kayaku looked onwards in surprise, and the sun finally disappeared from the valley to Kayakaas back, he stepped forward and not into the water, but onto it.

A force of blue spread out from beneath him as his foot neared the water’s surface. Running a couple meters in either direction, the pure chi formed into a glowing blue magnificent kayak. The immaculate craftsmanship of which evident along its flawless pristine surface. The form lingered for a few seconds, then dispersed into the evening breeze, Kayakaa now afloat on nothing, inches above the water.

“How… How have you attained this?! I had to float, kayakless for years, in order to simply grasp understanding… How?!” The legend roared, eyes wide as saucers.

“I’ve been afloat my entire life,” Kayakaa replied. “I just now realized that I don’t have to be.”

And with that, Kayakaa propelled himself forward. Visions of his dear master, his endearing and steadfast temple brothers, those he had lost and those he held dear flowed past him in the tumult of chi.

Striking his chi empowered hand outwards, he sank it into the legend’s chest, swiftly bringing their confrontation to a close. Their battle was over in less than a minute. Yet, it would change the course of kayak karate… forever.

Weakly grasping Kayakaas hand rammed in his gut, the legend laboriously spoke his final words. “Kayakaa… you are truly… as impressive as I’ve been led to believe. Please, take my dojo as… part of Shaolin Temple,” he pleaded, slipping a trinket into Kayakaa’s free hand. “We are few, and without me… my companions will be slaughtered. However, you have proven yourself worthy of our… history and teachings,” he continued, coughing up blood in the process. “Ple… please, do not… let me… down,” Kayaku finished, slumping over Kayakaa, dead. 

“Of course, esteemed one,” Kayakaa whispered respectfully, holding the legend’s limp form in his hands. Drifting towards the shore, he brought the dead legend with him, his legacy needing to be honored.

Burying the legend, he placed the final rock upon the makeshift grave, cementing his departure from this plane. Kayakaa dropped into a deep seiza, and paid his respects, holding the small golden paddle to his front representing the heart of the Langzin dojo.

Standing from the seiza, he pondered on what his life would hold now, yet, he already knew his next course of action.

He had finally returned to solid land, his journey over. Yet, he still had something very important to do, for he could still feel his master flame, dim as it was, lingering in the world.

Calling upon his newfound understanding, he detached his spiritual form from his physical body and flowed towards the soft flame on the sky rivers.

Back at his temple, what greeted him was an even more wizened form of his master, standing amidst the desolate warehouse area of the temple’s backyard. Kayakou looks as if he had aged decades since they last met, the old man now hunched over, clearly on his last leg.

“Aaaaa, Kayakaa, you have returned… and… hoho, just as expected…” his master rasped, laboriously turning to face his blue spiritual projection. “Then… my time has come… You have proven yourself, I… am proud,” his master spoke, a gentle smile crossing his face.

“But master! I… you can’t leave me… you’re like a father to me!” Kayakou begged, still in denial of his master’s departure.

“Hohoho, Kayakaa, this is but the first stage of my journey. Even fathers must pass on, In time, you will understand,” his master replied. Turning and walking into the warehouse.

He came to the first rack of paddles. Small ones, meant to train children beginning in the art.

“I once… used a paddle… such as this,” his master rasped, reaching forward and stroking the blade of an oar.

“Master… I… I am not ready, but please. Can you at least remain until I return? I need to see you once more,” he pleaded, hoping Kayakou would understand.

“So I wish… Kayakaa,” his master responded, a single tear rolling down his creased cheek. “Yet, some things… are not to be… My time… has come…”

And with that, his master walked forward, wind billowing around his form.

“Master, Master!” Kayakaa vehemently cried, paddles falling from their racks around him.

Kayakou’s, or rather his master’s form began to glow a bright blue. The glow intensified as more paddles fell from the surroundings till it was as if an avalanche of oars were parting the heavens. They began to obscure his form, the glow traveling to the paddles as well. Then, with a final crash, it was over.

His master was gone save a pile of paddles, strewn across the ground.

Master… Kayakaa thought, walking from the room, his spiritual form traveling back to his body on his own accord.

When he returned, he stood amidst the sandy expanse with new purpose.

“Wait for me master,” he muttered, “I will no longer live for you, but for myself, and all of kayak karate. I am honored to have been your disciple.”

And with that, he departed the shore, floating off into the night on a kayak of legend.

Categories: Short Stories


Fae Silver (Booba) · July 21, 2021 at 1:48 pm

Well done. Gripping & enjoyable!

דירות דיסקרטיות בחיפה · August 21, 2022 at 11:13 pm

Im very pleased to uncover this site. I need to to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you book marked to look at new things on your website.

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