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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

I have a ninja fantasy

I have a ninja fantasy

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by Josh Rivera, The Graphic Designer

I have a ninja fantasy. I’m not sure how it developed. It might have been through years of childhood conditioning of a binge diet of martial arts movies, TV shows and video games. Whatever the source, the martial arts, and ninjas especially, have always been the epitome of awesome to me and if you ever catch me staring into space, it’s probably because I’m thinking nonlinearly about ninjas; specifically, fighting about a dozen of them singlehandedly (or with a trusted friend whose body is angled exactly 180 degrees behind mine) and winning.

The ninja fantasy has to begin with a backstory, to mentally prepare myself for the hypothetical exercise: usually, some enemy I’ve made in the past wants revenge against either a transgression I’ve committed, or something a hapless friend of mine did. Sometimes the backstory is more political, more human, more tragic; two factions of covert ninja factions are fighting amongst themselves for some vague notion of the good of the world, and I’m the gatekeeper for a MacGuffin that will turn the tide of the war, and thus the future of mankind. Both of them are correct, neither of them are just; I’m just a wanderer pretending in vain to live a normal life, with a calculating personality never able to adapt to a modern world at peace. Yet we are all thrust into conflict, and blood and tears will inevitably be shed. This is the beautiful, torturous existence we call life.

Anyway, the ninjas. In this ninja fantasy, I know kung fu. Obviously it’s kung fu because kung fu is a more beautiful, fluid art form than ninjutsu, despite the coolness of ninjas. One kung fu practitioner should historically be able to best at least a dozen ninjas on a good day. The fantasy begins mundanely; I’m at a restaurant, minding my own business, slurping noodles from a bowl of beef broth. I smile at the cook, my cheeks turning rosy red from the umami sensation. I’m mesmerized by the bubbles of fat resting in the soup. I meditate on the nature of the world; how it is at times a mistress of cruelty, yet at times the goddess of mirth. Then ninjas show up.

I stand up after stirring my bowl one last time. My head is tilted toward the ground, as the ninjas don’t deserve my full acknowledgment yet. By now the crowd of civilians have fled, so I can recite my haiku:

I’ve known this since     
     birth:
The sonnet of the south
     wind
Your heart’s crescendo

Then the ninjas attack me and I swat them away with mere arm chops. I sense the body heat of an assassin behind me, and he meets a 90 degree back fist. He actually falls down before I can confirm his existence. Double fist the ninja in front of me. Shoulder tackle the one to my left. Pounce step to the side and crane kick the one to my right. I stomp the ground and the gate to hell is smashed asunder. Magma erupts beneath my feet, engulfing the slower ninjas immediately. The survivors and I leap atop thin reeds, swaying gently to the southern wind (which I mentioned in my haiku earlier, if you were paying attention). I channel the latent ki in my fists and my would-be killers are immolated in the flames of my life force.

The boss ninja appears. He’s bigger than the rest, and inexplicably has shimmering white hair, indicating his purity among members of the ninja race. I finally lift my head (because I’ve been staring at the floor this entire time, actually) and acknowledge his presence. We fight in the Chasm of the Black Lotus, which is conveniently nearby. White Haired Boss Ninja uses his high level ninjutsu to slice at my belly before I begin to fathom the possibility. He clearly wants me to meet my ancestors. Which is precisely what I do: my ancestors summon my spirit and we hold counsel.

“Josh,” my great, great, great grandfather Pai Lei rumbles. “Is this the limit of your just philosophy?”

“Josh,” my great, great, great, great grandfather Imhotep cries, “have the winds died from the world forever?”

“Josh!” my great, great, great, great, great grandfather Khufu roars in defiance of the heavens themselves, “are tears and blood all your brothers and sisters warranted in this life?”

Then I say, “no.” I come back to life, punch the White Haired Boss Ninja, and the explosion in his face results in a localized black hole, sucking in all of the laws of physics around it. I stand atop it with my arms crossed, and I nod to the rising sun. My people are free now, forever.

Sometimes I daydream about getting eight hours of sleep a night too.

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