Literary Onslaught: Day 3!


Here’s a snippet from an upcoming pilot story I’ve been working on. Please enjoy and leave some feedback for your pal Palazzo 🙂

*******

The mountains were quiet that day.

The mountains are usually quiet. That was half the reason of picking them as a location for the monastery; a little peace and quiet to train in brutal combat. The other half of the reason for the location was shopping convenience. (Not THAT convenient, you still had a good day’s hike to get to the nearest 7-11, but better than some mountaintop locales their neighbors bought into.)

At the moment, nobody was out shopping. In fact, most of the monks were busy fighting. It was half past teatime, the traditional time for the Great Brawl, a test of skill, courage, and speed. It resulted in a few bumps and bruises, but the monks could duck out of the brawl or just not attend if they didn’t feel up to it — whoever was left standing won the honors of being served first at dinner that night.

The Ancient and Honorable Tibetan Furniture Warriors Dojo seated, fed, clothed, and bedded fifty monks in all, including descendants and ascendants as well as pets. Sweaty, proud, manly men.

Ikea was in particular very sweaty and proud. For the fourth day running, he had managed to outlast everybody else in the Brawl. When the last monk, Brother Ipswitch, decided to back off rather than face him, the flag was raised and Ikea declared the victor.

Ikea didn’t smile. He just wasn’t a smiles and laughs and obvious shows of emotion person. He did give a rough nod of acknowledgement and a deep bow of respect before neatly sliding his folding wooden chair onto his back again, however.

“Ikea, you have done well!” Venerable Master Oakcraft said, clapping lightly. “Four wins in a row. I believe you are shaping up to be a most honorable heir to our ancient and wise fighting form.”

“Thank you, sensei,” Ikea said, bowing.

“Please, Ikea, call me father.”

“Yes, sensei,” Ikea said, bowing.

Oakcraft sighed, and let it pass. The boy had been perhap brought up a bit TOO strictly into the codes of honor and protocols of behavior and procedures of practice and what not…Oakcraft was chasing girls and eating bad food when he was the boy’s age. Ikea just studied manuscripts of fighting and did katas. The boy would never get a wife at this rate and the school would die out.

But it was better than the other choice for heir.

“hey hey! Over here, over here!” a voice giggled, from the front door. Much to Venerable Master Oakcraft’s surprise, his daughter Lumi walked in, backwards, carrying a little sign reading DOJO TOURS and leading a bunch of gaijin carrying video cameras right into their sacred training ground!! The nerve!

“LUMI!” Oakcraft bellowed. The monks got nervous fast. Oakcraft only raised his voice when someone was about to receive compound fractures.

“This is the ancient and venerable and complex Big Tibetan Furniture Warriors Dojo!” Lumi continued, leading the tour group around. “In here, all current furniture warriors, well, except maybe those in exile, and the guys who are busy getting food, because you know we ARE running low on bread and eggs, and maybe the folks who are over at the outhouses, which are in” (points) “THAT direction, right next to…”

Oakcraft grabbed the Holy Venerable Megaphone from the side of his solid oak joinery with six penny nails assembled armchair with leather upholstered finish. “**LUMI!!!!**” he

bellowed into it, knocking most of the monks flat from the shockwave. The tourists scattered like frightened tourists.

Lumi, who had less balance than most houses of cards, fell down as well. “OW! Waaah! Daddyyyy!”

Oakcraft tossed the megaphone to Brother Ixnay, and walked over to Lumi, Ikea following obediently. Lumi got up and rubbed her sore behind a little, looking pouty and hurt.

“LUMI! What’s all this bringing those weirdly dressed foreigners with their demonic picture taking boxes into our most holy and sacred dojo?!” Oakcraft boomed.

“Er, but we’re running out of money,” Lumi-chan said. “And I didn’t have enough money to buy our yearly supply of wood glue and nails and jock straps, and I asked you, Daddy, how do you want me to raise the money and you said you didn’t care, you just needed some glue to finish your coffee table–”

Oakcraft smacked a hand over his face. He honestly should know better than to give Lumi such freedom — like the time he asked her to warm up his tea, and she set fire to the roof. Or the time she was practicing with her lightbulb grenades and asked if she could set up an electrical generator, and the smoke got into all the sofas and wouldn’t come out for weeks…

But this was a more immediate, deal-with-able problem. “Lumi, you know we don’t like outsiders. The dojo must remain pure, united, and strong! And besides, what if one of them was one of those sick perverts you hear about from the fellows who own the dojo six miles to the west who own a television? You’re currently the ONLY female Furniture Warrior, and we don’t want to lose you!”

“Golly. I didn’t think of that,” Lumi said, scratching her head (careful not to bump the two lightbulbs she traditionally wore on either side of her head, in a battle sweatband). “But how am I supposed to get the money for food, daddy?”

“A thousand pardons, but if I may be so impolite to interject my own simple opinions into this discussion?” Ikea asked roundaboutly.

“Yes, of course, son, speak your mind. We’re all brothers.”

“And sisters!” Lumi-chan piped in with.

“The problem seems to be around raising capital,” Ikea stated. “Furniture repair and development as well as housing and nutrition needs can be a drain. My recommendation is to consider reopening the doors to outside students, with training wages.”

“Ikea, Ikea, Ikea. You KNOW what happened last time we did that. I don’t particularly desire a repeat episode,” Oakcraft warned.

“I understand, honorable sensei–”

“FATHER!!”

“–but I myself would be willing to sacrifice my free time for the good of the dojo to screen applicants. If I recall, you had Lumi-san working on screening the last time.”

“WAI! It was such fun! I met interesting people from all sorts of places and we swapped jokes and recipes and–”

“I see,” Oakcraft said, scratching his long and venerable beard. “Well, I suppose that would help. Of anybody I’d trust the duty, it’d be you, Ikea.”

“Yes, sensei,” Ikea said, bowing formally. “I will endeavor to uphold the honor of our clan.”

Oakcraft rubbed his temples. “Good, good. You can make the arrangements; you and Lumi work on the advertising. You kids are our best agents in the outside, scarily enough. I’m too old for

this. I think I’ll go lie down on the four poster teak jointed boxspring bed with canopy for a few hours.”

With that, he turned and left the honorable brawl-hall.

Lumi-chan blinked a few times, looking around. “Uh… where did everybody go, Ikea?”

“They have dispersed, presumably to train or partake in the other activities fitting a Furniture Warrior,” Ikea stated.

“Gosh. That’s honorable!” Lumi agreed, nodding her head rapidly and smiling.

The next events happened faster than a single shot in an Oliver Stone film. Ikea’s hair started to feel more spiky than usual. He knew what this meant; danger. Without hesitation, he grabbed his sister Lumi and leapt away — avoiding a number of pointed brushes of some sort, which embedded themselves in the wooden dojo floor like finely thrown daggers.

Ikea set Lumi down, who was confused, which was normal, and whipped out his folding polished wooden chair, adjusting the angle of fold to an appropriate 13-degree battle ready status. A

dark figure dropped from the ceiling before him.

“You’ve improved,” the figure said, voice muffled behind thick layers of silk, felt, flannel, and other fabrics of his Ninja Costume. He dropped to a battle stance, readying another handful of paintbrushes, one between each knuckle of his fist.

“You seem familiar, infidel,” Ikea commented, eyes narrowing, chair at the ready. “What is your reason in violating this ground?”

“Reason?” the figure laughed. “Ikea, if you HAVE to ask, then you are even more clueless than I suspected. Although admittedly, my specific reason is less forward… I’ll be getting to that once you are destroyed, fear not.”

“If you will not answer my questions, I must break you,” Ikea said calmly. “Prepare yourself!!!”

With that, Ikea ran towards his opponent, chair swung low. The ninja threw his brushes, which Ikea glided by, not slowing for a moment.

Swiftly skimming along the floor, Ikea gathered his ki, preparing the move. The ninja was not fast enough; the chair swung upwards, in a fatal glowing arc, knocking the enemy high into the air while Ikea ascended.

“RISING CHAIR FIRE!!!” he screamed, as was customary when doing this sort of thing.

Unfortunately for him this sort of thing was going on not six feet away, as Lumi’s headmounted lightbulb bandanna glowed with energy.

“I’ll stop him, big bro!” she shouted, drawing a number of energy saving halogen bulbs from her pack. “BEAUTIFUL LIGHTBULB ASSAULT!”

The three bulbs arced out nicely and smacked Ikea in the back with pinpoint accuracy. Both him and the intruder smacked into the ground with a painful thud.

“Oopsie,” Lumi commented, getting a big sweatdrop behind her head. “Lumi missed, I think.”

The ninja flipped to his feet, laughing. “Make my job easier! Thanks a bundle.” Lumi growled cutely, assuming a battle pose. “I’ll get you, you meanie!” she totally failed to intimidate the enemy with.

“Oh, you will, will you,” he snickered. “Well, we’ll just see about tha– OH MY GOD LOOK BEHIND YOU!!”

“Where?! Where?” Lumi asked, spinning around. “I don’t see anything but the wall of the dojo and that picture of Brother Flipsknob with his prize winning ship in a bottle and the door and maybe a LITTLE of the garden in the center courtyard and…”

By that time, the man was gone.

*

Venerable Master Oakcraft was furious. He was even using the megaphone when he didn’t actually have to.

“**YOU FRICKIN IDIOT!!**” he shouted, blasting in Lumi’s ear, through her empty head and into Ikea’s ear, who already had a headache to begin with. “Not only do you smite your brother when he was busy defending this dojo, but you fall for the second oldest trick in the book, and LET THE SCUM GET AWAY WITH STEALING THE SIGN TO OUR DOJO! Never before has a dojo been shamed in this way by a dojo yaburi(Dojo yaburi (“school challenge” for the non JMAists) is when an outsider visits a school and asks for a match with the sensei, but is requiredbeforehand to work his way up through the ranks of students before he has an opportunity.), never!”

“Waaah,” Lumi replied wittily, sniffling.

Oakcraft paced the room. “This is bad. This is so incredibly bad that I’m going to have to do something really, really drastic to compensate. And of COURSE, there’s no precedent in the ancient and honorable lore of the Tibetan Furniture Warriors. We’ve never been dishonored this badly before. IKEA! You’re partly responsible for this. What do YOU think we should do?”

Ikea, despite the headache, did not bat an eye. “I think, sensei, we should follow the clues and track down the infidel and regain our dojo sign. Is it not the most honorable course of action?”

“YAY! Ikea is so smart!” Lumi cheered, waving a pair of fans.

“WHAT clues?!” Venerable Master Oakcraft shouted. “The fiend didn’t leave anything!”

“Not so,” Ikea stated calmly. “Examine the unusual stain on my gi, where several of his brushes streamed by.”

Oakcraft whipped out a magnifying class and bent down. “Hrm… red… were you injured?”

“No, sensei. Red, blue, and green. The three primary colors. And if you look carefully, they come from an oil-based paint…”

“Impossible…..” Oakcraft stammered, jaw falling. “You don’t mean… the dojo yaburi was…”

“Hugh,” Ikea nodded.

*

A black light pulsed through the black chamber, casting darkness into shadow. A figure in noir stepped through the fissure in reality, breathing hard.

This was the sort of place that made writers jump for joy and gave animators headaches; plenty of nice darkness to describe and draw metaphorical parallels to, but not too much to draw. You could talk about the whispering wind bleeding words of insanity into the eardrums, quietly, like a thin trickle of hate, but when it comes down to visualizing such a thing you’d basically be up the creek. You could discuss the way the shadows moved and shifted, like so many dark omens passing on the horizons of fate, the way they flitter so and escape your view, and also go broke on india ink for the illo. Or you could just summarized by saying : Not Earth, Not Normal, Probably Hell.

DID YOU OBTAIN IT? a voice boomed, like the slamming of lead coffin lids on stone obelisks or something to that extent.

The figure (also in black) started to pull the hood off his makeshift ninja costume, but paused. “Yes, I did. They will surely send their finest warriors to reclaim the sign. And that means Ikea.”

AND THE OTHER. IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT TO GATHER BOTH OF THEM FOR THE PLAN TO WORK.

“Yes, yes, and the other. But more importantly Ikea. I thank you, sensei, for giving me this opportunity to crush him–”

YOU MAY OR MAY NOT GET YOUR OPPORTUNITY, HUGH. I ONLY PROMISED A CHANCE AT THE POSSIBILITY OF AN OPPORTUNITY IN WHICH YOU COULD GET REVENGE.

“It is enough. Can I get rid of this ridiculous costume and hood now?”

NO. YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED YOUR USUAL TASTELESS GARB WITHIN MY PRESENCE. YOU’RE FALLING BEHIND, AS WELL; I HAD *REQUESTED* THAT YOU FINISH THE REMAINDER OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT BEFORE GOING TO TIBET. NOW YOU MUST WORK FAST TO ENSURE THAT ALL PAWNS ARE IN PLAY BEFORE THE FINAL MOVE BEGINS.

Hugh frowned. The relationship with his new sensei still had a few kinks to iron out, notably his pushiness. “In that case, link the portal to France and I’ll continue the plan.”

There was no sound of acknowledgement. Hugh simply stepped backwards through the fold once more.

He had to blink a few times to adjust his eyes to the light, seeing as how his previous locale brought new meaning to the word ‘dim’. A fine Parisian street, near the art district. Perfect.

First thing’s first, he thought, stripping the annoyingly drab black clothing off, to uncover his day-glow tie dyed shirt and pants beneath, and his shocking pink hair. A bit more of a splash of color, he thought. Nothing dull, nothing boring. Absolutely nothing like his sensei’s tastes. Loud and bright and painful. Like him.

Hugh spun the wooden sign reading TIBETAN FURNITURE WARRIORS DOJO AND MONASTERY, PLEASE LEAVE PIZZA DELIVERY AT REAR ENTRANCE under one arm, and walked off to mix with his crowd.

*

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    • Jae
    • June 5th, 2012

    What do they look like?

    Like

    • Thank you. -__-. For all the people who claim to have read this you’re the only person who asked this.

      Like

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