Thursday, March 18, 2010

Teenage Ninja

I guess from the time he organized all the chillins in revolt until he reached adulthood, the ninjas tried to keep Hiroki in isolation as much as they possibly could. But, you know how it is. Boy will be boys. And, sometimes, this particular boy killed all the guards outside his room with increasingly deadly poison and more advanced delivery techniques, and went down to the local pizza parlor to hang out and blow all his allowance at pinball. Naturally, this bein the 70s, he gave deference to this handicapped kid that came in to play. There was just somethin about deaf, dumb and blind kids in the 70s that made them sure play a mean pinball.

Sure, in the end, the Clan Police would always show up in riot gear, shoot tear gas into the building and slaughter the customers as they came out, only sparing the sons of the ruling council, but Hiroki thought his twice weekly pizza and time with other boys his age was worth the time he spent developing his tear gas resistance. Partly because Hiroki loved him some pinball and partly because he built some good connections.

First, he got himself hooked up with the sons of the entire Clan Platypus ruling council. To be fair, he didn't exactly make those connections just at the pizza shop. He actually met the group of thirteen when he first staged his little nursery room takeover. Thirteen of the kids in the nursery at the time were sons of council members and they remembered the impassioned speech Hiroki made against parental oppression. When he later began to show up to the pizza parlor of a Friday night, he became default leader of the group.

Second, he made friends with that deaf, dumb and blind kid. They began hanging out and challenging each other to beat high scores. After some time, they became fast friends. Their bond became much stronger when, during the Friday raids, Hiroki protected the kid from certain death. You know, there's usually two ways to make life-long friends. You can A) meet people who are going to die pretty soon or B) keep people from dying right after you meet them. Either way, you really gotta put yourself in a lot of dangerous situations in order to make real friends. In fact, Douggie and I met one another on a plane full of promising young rock stars one winter as they were traveling across the country to deliver presents to orphans and be reunited with long-lost fathers. Ain't no more dangerous place to be, really, because that plane had a 90% chance of crashing. It never did crash, but still, it was a dangerous situation, so my point remains valid.

Anyway, Hiroki spent a lot of his free time with the deaf, dumb and blind kid (who was named Thomas, by the way), or thinking about how to help him. Because of his isolation and intelligence, Hiroki had mastered the ninja arts by the age of fourteen, and was allowed to pursue any area of study he saw fit. He spent a year or so studying conventional specializations (advanced beheading from a distance, pirate weaknesses and particle physics) and then moved into more esoteric arts. By the time he reached sixteen, he was an avid practitioner of magic. And this wasn't no "oh look at me, I can stand on one foot for a week" kinda crap like what passes for magic nowadays. It wasn't even none of that "make the Statue of Liberty" disappear kinda magic. One, it wasn't just illusion and two, they didn't have no Statue of Liberty. The closest they had was a statue to the Great Narlock, Eater of Hearts. Oddly, both statues had the same inscription on them;

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Except the statue of Narlock finished with, "So I can eat their hearts."

Regardless, Hiroki wasn't makin that statue disappear. He was doin himself some honest-to-goodness, plain, ol fashioned magic. Stuff like turnin sticks into snakes and snakes into ladders. Sure, there's an easier way to turn sticks into ladders (it's called rope), but it ain't as flashy. Hiroki pursued magic for two straight years, giving all of his non-pinball-and-pizza related waking hours to the project. He was really looking for a way to help out his friend Thomas. I don't think Thomas ever really asked for ninja help with his deafness, dumness and blindness. I mean, he seemed to be doin all right with his pinball career. I guess Hiroki never asked or somethin, but he wasn't aware that Thomas had been featured in international news pieces and had optioned his life story to a promising young rock band. I don't know if anything ever came from that, but he'd made about a bajillion dollars off the deal.

Well, as it turns out, magic ain't a great way to cure purely medical problems. I guess it'd be the same thing as if you'd had a demon and you tried gettin rid of it by hosin it down with hand sanitizer. I ain't gonna go into all the sordid details right now but, trust me, that ain't the way to get rid of a demon. But that little Hiroki kept at it. He tried all sortsa different formulas to get rid of Thomas' problems, but nothin seemed to work. So, he ended up doin himself some research in the forbidden part of the library. You know, that section they have in every library that's sealed off with heavy chains, always seems to be wet and dark and, even though the rest of the library's spotless, is always covered in dust and cobwebs? Yeah. That's the section he did his research in.

Now, I don't wanna sound like I'm just tellin ya any ol story here, but there's some things that's always true. If you punch a bull in the nose, he will get mad. If you meet a guy named "Bad, bad" Leroy Brown, you can bet there ain't a man in the whole damn town badder than that guy. And, if you start doin research in the spooky section of the library, you will end up practicin black magic and nearly destroying all life on the planet, even if you do it with the best of intentions. It's just a rule of nature. And that's precisely what the teenage ninja did.


kaploy9 said...

Whoa, it's getting personal.. (my first name's Thomas, btw. Except that I'm not a handicapped pinball wizard, although I wouldn't mind being the the "pinball wizard" part)

Pat O'Neil said...

Does this mean you've caught up? ;)