What you’re about to read is a very short story, more of a scene really, that just some stream of consciousness writing from my morning journal. It’s raw, unedited and likely not very clear to read. Hopefully you enjoy anyway.
I don’t know why I’m running. Not a leisurely jog but flat out, fast as I can, heart pumping, no burning in my chest – running. I don’t know how long I’ve been running but I get the feeling I should be tired. My muscles all work in concert, contracting and relaxing, steadily propelling me forward. I’m not tired, I’ve never felt more alive. Then I notice some movement behind me. A quick glance over my shoulder makes my breath catch in my throat and my blood turn cold. I’m being chased by ninjas.
My name is James Kelley. I’m just shy of eighteen years old and three months from graduation. I have a 3.4 gpa, I’ve never taken an honors class in my life, and besides being on the track team, there is nothing special about me. So why am I being chased by ninjas!?!
I risk another look over my shoulder and push even harder. I’d hope something would change, that maybe it was just my overactive imagination that caused me to hallucinate ninjas. But no, the ninjas, some with hoods, all clad in black with their faces masked, were real and closing in on me. My mind raced. I still wanted an answer why, but I swatted the thought away. Worry about why later. For now worry about getting away, putting distance between them and me.
Looking around I took in the details of my surroundings for the first time. I was moving out of downtown and headed into the Steel Stacks. Corbin, the town I lived in, was a junk town. My father worked in one of the reclamation plants, breaking down old cars and truck and various other piles of junk, scavenging for steel that could be reused. The entire three blocks were just gated lots of steel and junk yards with cars piled up high This was were me and my friends hung out most days and we were the ones to give it it’s loving nickname. I angled myself off the street and took a flying leap at the gate on my left, my feet finding purchase in the links about halfway up. I climbed a few steps upward before planting my feet flat against the gate in a deep crouch and pushing out, a move that rotated my body away from gate in a smooth arch to put me over the barbed wire and back on my feet.
I took a second to marvel at the fact that I’ve never done anything like that ever in my life. The moment passed as quickly as it happened because the ninjas chasing me never stopped moving and they too were scaling the gate. I counted six of them before I turned and started running again. Six ninjas that I could see, but how many that I didn’t? Ninjas I prone to hiding in shadows right?
I slipped around a stack, ran a ways down before turning behind another stack and crouched low. I’d have some cover if I could just quiet my pounding heart. As my breathing slowed the world around me quieted as well. There were no surrounding sound, no dogs barking, no birds. Nothing. And then a soft whistle to my left. I moved at the last possible second before a ninja star, A FRICKIN NINJA STAR, flew past my head and lodged into the metal behind me. Three more stars came in rapid succession and I dodged all of them rolling to my right and on my feet again running.
I turned another corner and stopped short of a ninja searching there for me. We must have surprised each other and I credit that I’m still alive for a second longer to that fact. The ninja launched into a flurry of punches and kicks that was everything my six year old self loved about old karate movies. My six year old self was also cheering me on because I was simultaneously stepping out of the ninja’s reach and blocking his attacks.
It was as if I was standing next to myself watching and inside myself helpless, not at all in control of my actions. There was no way I should know how to do what I was doing. And yet I was able to dodge a throwing star, sidstep a high kick, parry two punches effectively blocking every one of the ninja’s attacks. Taking things a step further I advanced on the ninja, slipping into his guard. I blocked a jab at my face, my left hand pushing his fist away. My right arm hooked over his locking it in place followed by a punch that knocked him off his feet. The ninja lay there still.
I’d just fought and beat a trained ninja. I was still trying to absorb this when another throwing star whizzed over me head. I ducked into another roll and took off running again.
-Stay tuned for more tomorrow.