Tagged: ninja

I Hated To Turn Setsuko Down

  • by Kentlent a peculiar charm to his physiognomy
  • we just broke the internet
  • my knees drawn up to my chin
  • an almost unearthly air of wild anxiety
  • my limbs were refusing to perform

Tune in next time part 180                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

I hated to turn Setsuko down, even with so many good reasons. Not least of which being my total befuddlement as to the role anything I was looking at might play in lovemaking.

Also, there was the preternatural quiet all around us, which I knew only too well was the sound ninjas make. I glanced around, seeing no ninjas. Damn, just as I feared. By the time I turned back to Setsuko she was dressed again, now in a new outfit that hid her lovely curves. It made her look masculine, like a slender boy whose high cheekbones lent a peculiar charm to his physiognomy.

“I think we just broke the internet,” she said.

I didn’t understand, but following Setsuko’s nod I saw dozens of teenagers standing at the alley’s mouth, aiming their phones at us. Oh well, I thought, can’t be any worse than the Vine John posted of me trying to tap dance with my knees drawn up to my chin. Tessa and I used to make a lot of bets. Winning or losing hardly mattered to us, we only cared about an almost unearthly air of wild anxiety that imbues each wagering moment.

“Let’s not forget about the ninjas,” I whispered to Setsuko. The words had not completed the journey from my lips to her ear when I felt the sting of a blowdart. And suddenly it was every bit as bad as that tap-dance Vine, because just like back then my limbs were refusing to perform.

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At the Academy I’d Been a Member of the Ninja Defense League

  • by jenno self-respecting parrot
  • thousands of dollars of helicopter lessons
  • did not seem to match any of the furniture
  • sees nothing but fish-belly white skin
  • the possibility of saliva

Tune in next time part 179                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

At the Academy I’d been a member of the Ninja Defense League. Our name might make it sound like we defended ninjas, but I can assure you they need no help with that. No, we practiced techniques to defend ourselves from ninjas. One of the secrets that I learned was that, due to their near-total silence, ninjas have incredibly sensitive ears.

Before these alleyway foes could bundle us off to our dooms, I filled my lungs and let loose a deafening squawk. No self-respecting parrot would make half the noise I did over the next minute. I chirped and shrieked and hooted and whooped until every last ninja had fled the scene. Or at least until I no longer felt any hands on me.

I bent forward and shimmied my shoulders until the pillowcase fell off my head and fluttered to the ground.

Setsuko, tangled in a sheet, sat across from me, leaning against a pink brick wall. The ninjas were gone. Or so it seemed. Ninja camouflage is the best camouflage.

I used the rough corner of a bright pink brick to chew through the ziptie around my wrists, and then I was free. I wanted to rub my back across the bricks, like a bear scratching itself on a tree, to rid myself of my constrictive, itchy jumpsuit, but resisted.

I pulled the sheet off Setsuko’s green-haired head and found her smiling at me in a way that made my heart purr. She bounded to her feet and threw her bound wrists around my neck, pulling me into a kiss. It felt amazing, like finally getting to use thousands of dollars of helicopter lessons all at once in a daring escape.

She pulled me behind a heart-shaped dumpster and shed her clothes, a feat which she somehow managed without unbinding her wrists. I was surprised that the carpet, being green, matched the drapes. But I was more surprised that they did not seem to match any of the furniture.

Imagine a man who, upon undressing his lover, sees nothing but fish-belly white skin. That man was me, except that Setsuko’s skin was more of a mime-belly white. And her body parts weren’t strictly the ones I’d been led to expect.

Still, her face was lovely, and I was sorely tempted to take her up on her offer. The only things that stopped me were the likelihood of the ninjas returning, and the possibility of saliva from my tongue activating some psychotropic or narcotic properties in her heavy mime body makeup.

“Sorry,” I said. “I really have to find Tessa.”

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Svetlana Held Up a Spiked Leather Dog Collar

  • by jenhe’s like milk to you
  • as if someone was pursuing him
  • Jenkins rolled on him
  • on the hallway carpet right in front of them
  • (an up-and-down bump and grind)

Tune in next time part 159                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Svetlana held up a spiked leather dog collar and matching codpiece. I shrugged. At least it was less embarrassing than my current Cupid getup.

“Give it a rest, Svetlana,” Heinrich growled. “I know he’s like milk to you, rich and creamy and better with chocolate, but we’re on a mission. He needs to be able to sneak in and out undetected.”

“He needs to be able to move as if someone was pursuing him, because someone probably will be, and this gives him optimal range of motion,” Svetlana countered.

I uncoiled myself from Heinrich’s harness and stood stretching my limbs while the two of them bickered over the appropriateness of the bondage getup. From the corner of my eye I caught a flicker of movement in the ridiculous pink lacy wallpaper. Suspecting an ineptly camouflaged ninja, I froze.

Ninja camouflage, when it’s not at its peak, is kind of like those Magic Eye puzzles. I relaxed my eyes and, sure enough, could pick out the silhouette of a shadow warrior. His attention was on Heinrich, and I saw no reason to intervene. As he poised to leap, a sudden commotion erupted from a nearby doorway and who should tumble into the corridor but Jenkins!

I hadn’t seen Jenkins in years, but she was just as I remembered her, dark-skinned, dark-eyed, and deadly. The ninja tried to pounce on the still-arguing Heinrich and Svetlana, but Jenkins rolled on him on the the hallway carpet right in front of them.

“That was supposed to be Step 6!” cried Svetlana. “You’ve short-circuited everything, Jenkins, and now we won’t get to see him,” she jerked her thumb at me, “in this.” She held the codpiece aloft.

Jenkins got the ninja in a leg lock and said. “He’ll wear it if he knows what’s good for him.”

And so, under the watchful eyes of Svetlana, Jenkins, Heinrich, and the semi-conscious ninja, I stripped out of my shorty toga and feathery wings, and struggled into the leather gear. It was tight and uncomfortable, and I had to resort to some very awkward moves (an up-and-down bump and grind) to get it on.

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My Wife’s Bodyguards Lurched Toward Us

  • by jengymnastics for the monkeys
  • with a patience and a calmness entirely German
  • inside the pocket was a receipt
  • such a quantity of gorgeously colored feathers
  • I need to talk to you about your son

Tune in next time part 119                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

My wife’s bodyguards lurched toward us, their large, hairy hands curling into fists. Tessa smirked. “Allow me to perform gymnastics for the monkeys,” she said, then backflipped toward the hulking quartet.

Mere moments later all four were unconscious on the floor. Tessa searched them with a patience and a calmness entirely German, uncovering a not-so-small arsenal which she secreted away in the folds of her old man disguise.

She stripped the tuxedo jacket off of the largest of them and tossed it to me. It was many sizes too big, but I put it on anyway. Inside the pocket was a receipt from a pawn shop and such a quantity of gorgeously colored feathers that I was startled. Was this man an exotic bird smuggler?

Tessa put her hands on my shoulders and hopped up, wrapping her legs around my waist. “Button the jacket,” she said, meaning to copy the real Svetlana’s old trick of disguising herself as a man’s rotund belly. If there really was a real Svetlana. Perhaps it had always been Tessa in disguise. Which woman had seduced me on the train? Was it the real Svetlana, and if so, was she actually pregnant? Or had it been Tessa, and if so, was she pregnant? Was anyone besides Fleur carrying my child?

I need to talk to you about your son,” Tessa said, then drew her head down inside the jacket like a turtle retreating into its shell.

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Lyudmila Kept the Blade’s Keen Edge

  • by Kent… just in case a perfect opportunity should ever arise
  • Planet of the Help Desks
  • as the beasts in a menagerie
  • For years.
  • worried-looking men were sprawled

Tune in next time part 61                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Lyudmila kept the blade’s keen edge pressed firmly under my windpipe, ensuring my cooperation. She towed me to a pickup truck and stopped. Evidently we were waiting for Tessa to conclude her business with the garbagemen, which only took another few seconds. The two men in gray-green jumpsuits lumbered into view, followed by Tessa’s katana and then Tessa herself, who ordered them to lie on the sidewalk. In moments, the worried-looking men were sprawled amid the discarded gum of hundreds of anonymous pedestrians. Gum that had been burnished by the soles of countless other pedestrians, gum-chewer and non, walking to and fro in quaint Ipswich. For years.

As Tessa turned our way, Lyudmila released me. Her sword had left only a small nick just below my larynx, enough to leave a thin residue of blood on my fingers when I rubbed it. The women said nothing, and for a few moments I thought perhaps I’d misunderstood the whole ambush, that maybe it was a rescue after all. But then I detected the narrowing of my vision, the numbness of my limbs, and realized that Lyudmila’s blade had been envenomed.

“Get his legs,” Tessa said. They hoisted my body, stiff as a board, up and over the side of the truck. I thudded painfully into the bed and could only listen as they climbed in and got it started. What I overheard told me that Lyudmila had been assigned to learn how to bypass this type of alarm system… just in case a perfect opportunity should ever arise to employ such a truck in a kidnapping, presumably. Finally, the drug dragged me down utterly.

I spent an unknowable time in a haze of pharmacologically augmented dreams, a journey whose in-flight movie would have been Planet of the Help Desks. In my fugue, I struggled to debug printer glitches for clients as diverse and hostile as the beasts in a menagerie. When finally I opened my eyes and dispelled the phantasms, at first I could see only blue. What I mistook for the open sky was a heavy tarp. Throwing it off, I sat up in the bed of the pickup and looked around at the cavernous warehouse. Or was it a warehouse-like cavern?

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“We Can’t Use the Front Door”

  • by jen“Keep your hands above your head.”
  • I hate that little fucker.
  • people with no job or family
  • overwhelming and compelling
  • attack was largely fueled by anger

Tune In Next Time Part 56                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

“We can’t use the front door,” said Tessa, “or the back. They have spies everywhere. We’ll need to leave through the skylight.”

I was just relieved that she didn’t say sewer.

“Keep your hands above your head.” Tessa squatted down and laced her fingers together. “Put your foot here and I’ll lift you up so you can reach the rim.”

Her plan worked beautifully until I hoisted myself onto the roof and found myself face to face with Heinrich Hunter. He stood there, casually holding a katana in one hand and an uzi in the other, a sneer protruding from beneath his floppy red mustache. Man, I hate that little fucker.

“All alone I see,” Heinrich gloated incorrectly. “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. People with no job or family are often alone.”

I struggled to keep my eyebrows from furrowing. I had both a job and an overabundance of family, and with Tessa about to climb up through the skylight I was hardly alone in my danger. I had to keep Heinrich distracted so she might have a chance to escape notice.

“Your evidence is overwhelming and compelling, Heinrich,” I muttered. “I am alone. So, so alone.”

I felt the merest breath of air against my ankle, my only indication that Tessa had joined us on the roof. I’m not sure when she became such an adept ninja, but in the moment I was grateful. Later, not so much.

Heinrich threw back his head and laughed, and that’s when Tessa struck. Her attack was largely fueled by anger. I could tell because Heinrich’s head stayed firmly attached to his shoulders. She pummeled him about the midsection, her ninja stealth faltering and allowing me to catch a glimpse. The next thing I knew, Heinrich lay groaning on the rooftop and Tessa was handing me his uzi. She kept the katana for herself.

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I Sat Amidst the Evil Hypnotist’s Verdant Decorating Scheme

  • by jentheorizing upon the abstract and the unknowable
  • this happens to other people
  • I nearly fell down
  • I know that I shall go mad!
  • recognize these assholes out in the wild

Tune In Next Time Part 54                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

I sat amidst the evil hypnotist’s verdant decorating scheme, theorizing upon the abstract and the unknowable, hoping that I would be able to see the green light were it to illuminate.

Minka Stiletto’s low voice purred through the humid air. “I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, ‘this happens to other people, not to me’ — but you are wrong. This does happen to you, and it will continue happening until I decide to stop it.”

I heard the faint chuckle under her words and I nearly fell down into the abyss where she would control me completely. If that ever happens, I know that I shall go mad! I could not raise my fingers to plug my ears because my wrists were still bound.

Suddenly, the banyan tree behind Minka sprouted arms. A second later I could discern the outline of a camouflaged shadow warrior, and a second after that it swung its sword and lopped Minka’s head off. Earlier I had been worried about squirrels, but ninjas were the greater threat. I chastised myself for never learning to recognize these assholes out in the wild.

The fountain of blood from Minka’s severed neck painted the plant life a deep red. It was nauseating, but did allow me to locate the blinking green light that signaled my release from the dead hypnotist’s hold.

Now all I had to worry about was the ninja.

 

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It Wasn’t The Plan I Thought We Were Going With

  • k-avatardenied having the dumpsters emptied
  • muffled in a dark cloak
  • they fled incontinently
  • step out of the queue
  • felt a fleeting pang of regret

Tune In Next Time Part 47                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

It wasn’t the plan I thought we were going with, but suddenly it was the plan we had.

While Lyudmila kept Jinx Damocles hanging by a thread, I pulled bins down from the shelves, looking for one containing something other than more bins. I ignored Jason’s sibilant protests and searched as quickly as I could.

“Wait! I have it!” Jason hissed. “Don’t wreck the place.”

He waved for me to follow him. I felt a fleeting pang of regret for abandoning Lyudmila, but she had her hands full. Upstairs was a peg-legged man muffled in a dark cloak, and two diminutive people in black bodysuits. “Splinter cell representatives,” Jason lisped. From a cabinet he took a small black book. “Logbook,” he explained.

A ponderous groaning noise came from the basement, startling the lone pirate and his two ninja companions. They ran outside, meaning to steal Lyudmila’s chopper. But when Time and Trouble snarled at them, they fled incontinently across the street. I laughed and shook my head. Taking the book, I said, “I can take it from here. You have to maintain your cover.” Jason nodded.

Two blocks away, people were lined up at a barber shop. I veered to the opposite sidewalk as I saw three men step out of the queue and head my way. Yet another faction had entered the game: the sanitation workers union. Unless their beef was with me, personally. It was possible. They took the blame for the Pensacola Debacle after I denied having the dumpsters emptied behind the stadium.

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I Remained in the Brig for Days

  • by jenringing of church bells
  • until the helicopter came
  • a very pretty demonstration
  • for it is poisoned
  • decorated with curtains of a saffron hue

Tune In Next Time Part 30                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

I remained in the brig for days. During that time I saw no one, not a single pirate, ninja, or mime. I ate so much cotton candy I began to hallucinate that my prison was a small cottage decorated with curtains of a saffron hue, and filled with the sound of the ringing of church bells.

As my stupor ebbed away, I said out loud, “Don’t be fooled. This is a very pretty demonstration of the effects of iocaine poisoning, for it is poisoned cotton candy, of course. Poisoned by the duplicitous Jorgensen.”

I repeated the phrase over and over until the helicopter came and I failed to hear any footsteps on the deck above my head. That could mean only one thing: the ninja envoys had arrived. Would Tessa be with them? Would John? Would Heinrich?

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The Bikini-Clad Woman’s Eyes

  • k-avatarwe now must say goodbye
  • had kept his word
  • large, surgically enhanced breasts
  • stretched across a cartilaginous scaffolding
  • fluffed the pillow

Tune In Next Time Part 27                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

The bikini-clad woman’s eyes forgot me the moment they strayed to more appealing scenery. Mine, meanwhile, forgot to stop staring at her. She didn’t seem to mind, because it seemed she didn’t notice. She cocked her head to one side, her gaze riveted to the horizon far out to sea.

I turned to find out what had her so preoccupied. It was a tall ship, a three-masted frigate. It was too distant to make out the colors it flew, but in light of all else that had happened I knew it could mean only one thing.

“I’m afraid we now must say goodbye to the ocean,” I told the woman in the two-piece. The ship was approaching fast, making me more certain every second that I knew what vessel it was. If Heinrich had kept his word this wouldn’t be happening, or if Jorgensen hadn’t kept his.

She crossed her arms beneath her large, surgically enhanced breasts and raised one eyebrow at me. The skin around her eye was unnaturally thin, and stretched across a cartilaginous scaffolding. The eye itself was glass. “But then I’d miss my ride,” she lilted. “I hope Captain Jorgensen warmed my bunk for me, or at least fluffed the pillow.”

Dammit. As if things weren’t complicated enough, I was about to be shanghaied by the pirate-ninja alliance.

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