Tag Archives: Life

The Legend of the Hakino

Not many know about the legend of the hakino, but I know every story available.

That was why I currently resided in a small village in the heart of Africa. Every year at this time, there was always one who reported traces of the legendary creature. No one had come to me yet, however, and I had been in the village a week.

I flipped through the old notes I had scribed myself. Modern mythology ignored the hakino for whatever reason. Well. There were only a few visual references of the great beast. The majority—which were five in total—had been found in various caves across the globe. All dating back to the cavemen era.

Another visual was a silk painting from ancient China. It depicted something resembling the traditional unicorn, but the lore behind the piece was of the hakino. Though, historically, unicorn only meant “single horn.” The final visual was a banner from medieval England. But they got the hakino’s form wrong, too. Whoever created it mistakenly put a hawk on a rhinoceros’s shoulder.

Breathing in deep, I looked up at the relentless sun. Turned to the native tribe. They had been kind to me for many years as I continued my research. My translator was a village man who acted as liaison between his people and the modern world. Though they rejected modern conveniences with the exception of medicines. It was fascinating to see them preserve their culture.

But the poachers plagued them every year during hunting season.

A commotion started when the scouting party returned. Two men were on either side of a third, helping him hobble on one leg. Blood poured down his useless one.

My translator rose from his seat. Dark eyes taking in the situation of his people. “They have come.”

I didn’t waste any time. Ducking into my hut, I grabbed everything I needed for travel and threw them in my pack. Checked my rifle. Putting binoculars around my neck, I headed out.

“Taylor,” the liaison called, “be careful. Do not get yourself killed.”

Trotting backwards, I couldn’t help but smile. Even if my body died, my soul would never be killed. I followed the blood trail as far as it led. Rifle trained at the ready. The tribe had become my second family, and the poachers had shot one of them. This, I would not brook.

I moved down wind. Crouching through the tall, dry grass. Set up behind a rock. I thought I had heard voices. I listened. The afternoon insects added much ambiance, but I learned to tune them out. I held my breath.

There it was. Laughing. Drunk laughter if I ever heard it.

Creeping onto the rock, I laid flat and the lifted the binoculars to my face.

The camp was approximately sixty yards in front of me. Five men around a fire. Two standing, three sitting. A flask was passed around. One of the standing men held a gun, though he waved it around as if imitating something.

My nostrils flared. They were making fun of shooting my friend. I slowly slid my rifle in front of me. Not wishing to give up my position yet. Looking through the sight, I lined up a perfect head shot. Held my breath again as my finger moved over the trigger.

The ground suddenly shook. My gun fired, but who knew where the bullet went. The poachers were yelling and grabbing guns. I set up another shot. Again, the ground violently shook. So much so, I was thrown off my rock.

I heard the poachers continue screaming. They fired multiple times. But when I tried scrambling to my feet, I was knocked down. What was this? A freak earthquake?

A strong call, of an animal I didn’t recognize, answered me. The yelling subsided. Then, there was silence. Even the insects ceased. All I could hear was my heart thumping in my chest.

Finally, I was able to claw my way back on top of the rock. Came face to face with a vision full of white. Felt hot breath on my back. I swallowed. Daring to look up, I slowly lifted my head.

Piercing copper eyes behind a rhinoceros horn bore into my soul. The abnormally large beast stepped back many paces. Spread large hawk wings.

“The hakino,” I breathed. Moved to the seat of my pants in almost disbelief. This was it. The moment I had waited for, for so long. Before me stood the legendary creature. A white rhinoceros with the gaze and wings of a hawk.

The great beast stared me down in a questioning manner. Intelligence glimmering in its eyes.

I rose to shaky feet. “You’re the hakino. The Great Protector.” I blinked away tears of joy. “God’s Last Righteous Unicorn.”

The hakino bowed on a front leg.

“Wow…after all my years of searching, I’ve finally found you.” I ran a hand through my hair. “You’re the only one of your kind. Have been since the day of creation.”

It nodded and stepped forward. Seeming to evaluate the honesty of my soul.

I remained still. Not from fear but respect. This creature had been around since the beginning of time. Protecting those that couldn’t protect themselves. Including those hunted by poachers. It rarely revealed itself to people. Why had it chosen to reveal itself to me?

The hakino pawed at the ground. Its horn glowed as it unfurled its mighty wings.

Brows furrowing, I searched it. My confusion grew when a hollow horn materialized in my hands. I studied the horn. It had a small hole in the tip. So it wasn’t a drinking horn. Was it to signal? Eyeing the legendary creature, I held the horn to my lips. Blew into it.

The hakino crooned, matching my horn’s pitch.

I took a leap of faith. “Does this call you?” When it nodded, I smiled. “So you really are a unicorn, aren’t you?”

A loud snort was the reply.

Laughing, I gazed upon it some more. Couldn’t resist the temptation. I held out a hand.

The Great Protector put its snout in my open hand. Rumbled in a friendly manner. Then it stepped back. Using its wings for assistance, it reared. Landed on the ground hard enough to shake it.

I stumbled back to the dirt. When I recovered, the hakino was gone. As swiftly as it had arrived. But it was real. The horn was still in my possession. I had been chosen to also be a protector. I stood in silence for some time. Running what had transpired over and over in my head. Then made a mad dash to the village. I had to record everything.

For I—Taylor Rosate—had been part of the single greatest event in a lifetime.


The Legend of the Hakino: Intro

I wanted to introduce my next story as it was commissioned from me. It is the first story I have ever made money from. Thankfully, the person who asked me to make it for them enjoyed it, and they were gracious enough to let me share it to my blog. The hakino is a creature they created and wanted to see brought to life. This story is a tad longer than my normal stories I post on here, coming in at 1,130 words, so expect for a longer read. Please enjoy!


Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

In celebration of seeing Wonder Woman, I decided to share this piece I drew back in 2012, during my first semester of college. It was the first project my drawing class had been assigned. The task was to draw something we felt represented ourselves, our style, and our inspiration. I chose to recreate a picture done by Jim Lee, one of my favorite DC Comics artists.

Wonder Woman has always been more than just a comic book character to me. Outside of my mom, she was the only real female figure I had. And she taught me many things. True strength comes from within, not from your muscles. No matter what size I am, I can still do anything I set my mind toward. All I need is love, compassion, and the courage to be myself. And lastly, I don’t have to be Wonder Woman to be a wonderful woman.

I won’t lie. I cried quite a bit when I saw the Wonder Woman movie. One of my childhood icons was now more than animated character or a drawing on a page. She was on a big screen in live action. She became real. That movie was everything I could have asked for and more. I was so happy to see my hero, that I couldn’t help but cry.

This is one of the things I love about books/comics/TV shows/video games/movies, etc. Usually, everyone finds their hero. That one character that stands out the most to them. The one that connects with them the most. People learn from these characters, are inspired to be their best by these characters. The list could go on.

I know there’s a difference between the real world and fantasy. I am not blind to my everyday responsibilities. But whether it’s reading a book or comic to forget myself for a little while, whether it’s playing a video game to release my frustration, whether it’s writing stories or poems to vent my feelings, fiction does help me get through this thing we call life. Just as music does. Just as chatting with family and friends does. And Wonder Woman? Well. She’s an aspect of fiction that’s helped me the most.


My Golden Eagle

He was wild
Completely untamable
Wanting to go in all directions
Going in every direction
Back and forth
Never tiring
Blazing his own trails
Bowing not to another
Friend only to earth and sky
Riding forever on the wind
Tied only by gravity
Barely touching ground
No permanent name
No history
Freedom at its best
Passion for life
Facing every fear
Laughing at every foe
Defying destiny
A phantom
A drifter
A loner
An extraordinary man
One I loved to refer to as
My Golden Eagle


Human Interactions

Silence
Because nobody wants to hear words
Lies
Because nobody wants to accept truth
Masks
Because nobody wants to know realness
Cheerfulness
Because nobody wants to perceive depression
Strength
Because nobody wants to see weakness
Fine
Because nobody wants to attend pain
Pettiness
Because nobody wants to genuinely care
Arrogance
Because nobody wants to admit imperfection
Selfishness
Because nobody wants to observe others
Pedestals
Because nobody wants to seem lower
Distance
Because nobody wants to get close
Success
Because nobody wants to praise failure
Wealth
Because nobody wants to acknowledge poverty
Hatred
Because nobody wants to understand love
Force
Because nobody wants to truly coexist
Life
Because nobody wants to confess death


May the Fourth Be With You

I’m going to take a step away from the fantasy worlds today and reflect. Today is International Star Wars Day! “May the Fourth Be With You.” We also can’t forget about “Revenge of the Fifth.” More importantly, it marks the two-year anniversary that I’ve been with my wonderful soulmate and life-long love. My husband is everything I could’ve asked for and more. Yes, we got married on May fourth because of Star Wars. Yes, we’re huge nerds. But we wouldn’t change a thing.

In all honesty, we haven’t had the easiest first two years of marriage. Life has been throwing more than just crap at us, but we’ve been trudging along. Together. While we may still be in the “honeymoon stage,” we’ve never taken an official honeymoon. Instead, we’ve been saving for our future. Which has been able to buy us a house and provide a new car when one broke down a few months ago. Let me tell you, we need a vacation!

We’ve already seen each other at our worst. There have been many hard days. We get stressed out from work, from the things we’ve been dealing with, and sometimes, we take it out at each other. It’s what happens to anyone who lives with another person. Thankfully, communication is one of the key things we remember, and we always end up talking things out and coming to an understanding. Said talking usually ends up leading to nerd theories and such, once we’ve made up. So many good movies! So many theories!

We’ve also seen each other at our best. We’ve gotten to celebrate many things together. He got a promotion only six months after being at his new job. I was finally able to get out of the customer service desk and work more “behind the scenes” at my job. We’ve adopted a kitten from the Humane Society. It would take more than our combined fingers and toes to count the blessings we’ve received. And it can only get better. Of that, I am certain. We work extremely well together, and we communicate about everything. I mean everything! Anything from fears to bathroom habits to money to our nightly dreams. But if we can’t be honest with each other, than who can we be honest with?

My husband has been an incredible addition to my life. He supports everything I do. Becoming a published author is very important to me, and he works his butt off at a full time job, even getting promoted, so I can remain part time. I put in my four hours a day, five days a week, then come home to work on my writing. Or drawing. Or cleaning. He made his own blog page to like the posts I put on my blog. If nobody else likes it, he always does. It’s all I need.

He also has a heart of gold. Whenever I get sick from my medicine or have such a bad migraine that I can’t get out of bed, he cooks and cleans and makes sure I’m as comfortable as I can be. He gives himself 110% and never complains about it. He does everything he can to make me happy, never asking for anything in return. Now, I know there are times when I can take that for granted, but you have no idea how thankful I am for him. He’s always there for me. Even when he’s had a bad day at work, he consistently puts my needs above his.   

There are times where he can come across as a perpetually sarcastic person, but our relationship with each other can be sarcastic. Ask the people I work with. They can tell you from the times he’s come to visit me. But we know each other better than anyone. And the best part of that? We’re still learning about each other. Every day, we’re learning more about subtle hints in expressions or tones. Every day, we’re learning to see through the mask we try to put on for the sake of the other. Every day, we have to remind ourselves that a relationship takes work from both sides of the party. We’re learning we work best as a team. And like a machine missing an important part, we’re learning just how badly we can fail without each other.

Don’t mistake me for giving relationship  or marital advice. I am very aware that two years is not a long time for a marriage. We are still young and naive about many things when it comes to “adulting.” But I also know more seasoned adults don’t have life figured out. Again, it’s a learning process. Constantly. However, I’m just glad I have someone I know I can depend on to help me through the fire. He’s right there with me, every step of the way. Even when I want to be stubborn and turn a blind eye to his presence. Pride can be a roadblock on many accounts.

I could keep going on and on, but I guess what all this is trying to say is that I am married to the most perfect man for my life. I know it’s only been two years, but we’re going for forever. We’ve been through some insanely hard times already, and we haven’t given up yet. We’ve grown closer together, and we’ve grown stronger as a team. We have stood life’s ugly head in the face and cried “Come get some!” with weapons drawn. I love my husband more than anything, and I couldn’t ask for more. Even if we were to be left with nothing, we would still have each other, whether physically or spiritually. It’s been two years, so far. Here’s to infinite more.


Life Through a Lens

How easy it is
For us to look at
Life through a hazed lens
Instead of seeing enemies
All we want to see
Is nothing but friends
So much so
We can even replace
Those of blood and kin
To a fault we
Desire personal perfection
Except of relationships mend
And to that fault
It is seen that
Personal rules bend
Sometimes so severely
Despite best efforts
Our emotions we cannot contend
It is at that time
We come to realize
There is often no end
All because we
Prefer to view
Life through a hazed lens


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