Naomi's Rough Draft Blog

Fang moved out of the way a split second before Jasper would have hit him, and turned around to face his foe.  Jasper smiled and walked into the darkness- and instantly merged with the shadows with he did so.

“You might be the one taking the test,” he heard Jasper say, “but with all this darkness, I have the upper hand.”

“Don’t be too sure.”  Fang whirled around just before his enemy was going to jump out of the shadows, and he grabbed Jasper’s shoulders.  “Lunar always did this to me, so I’m pretty good at playing along.”  He pushed Jasper out of the shadows and snatched the dark sword.  Without warning, it disintegrated in his hands- leaving the Tester weaponless.

“Not bad.”  Jasper rubbed his shoulder.  “But you’ll have to do better than that to beat me.  And, with all this darkness,” he smiled and pulled out another handful, “there’s no limit to what I can create.”  This time he molded it into a scythe and pointed it at Fang.

Before Fang could move, Jasper dashed toward his and swung the scythe at his chest.  He barely dodged; the edge of the scythe grazed his shirt.  “You know, Fang,” Jasper said as he jabbed at his victim, “I was friends with humans once too, and now I know it was a very foolish mistake.”

“Maybe for you.” Fang clapped his hands to catch the sharp blade just before it hit, and pushed it away, causing Jasper to stumble for a moment before preparing for another attack.

“Being around humans made me realize how idiotic they are.” Jasper said as he swung.  “Humans have emotions, but they mostly use them for foolish purposes.”  Fang dodged the blade again.  “And some of the humans I met just wasted their emotions away by getting drunk.”  Jasper swung for the second time.

“My friends use their emotions to help others, and they don’t waste them.”  Fang slid underneath the swing, grabbed the scythe’s handle, and pulled it towards the ground.  The tip of the blade touched the shadows, and instantly the weapon disintegrated into dark dust.  Jasper gritted his teeth in anger.

“So, you want to play rough, do you?”  Two dark spheres appeared on Jasper’s hands.  “Then let’s go!”  He charged at Fang and, before Fang could move, Jasper grabbed his shoulders and pushed him into darkness.  The two spheres dug into Fang’s skin, and he cried out in pain.

“I can feel that light of your going out.” Jasper said triumphantly; an evil grin was on his face.  “Looks to me like you’re about to fail the test.”

Fang gritted his teeth.  “Don’t . . . be . . . to . . . sure . . .” He weakly reached out and grabbed Jasper’s wrist.  Jasper tried to shake him off, but Fang’s grip tightened with every passing moment.

“What’s the point of this?” Jasper asked.  Fang suddenly lashed out and kicked his tester’s chest; knocking Jasper away.  The dark spheres disappeared from his hands.

“All the humans I met turned away from me in the end.” Jasper said as he stood up.  “The only reason I came in contact with them in the first place was because of their emotions.”  He turned away from Fang.  “They . . . intrigued me back then, but now I’ve learned that humans take their emotions for granted.

“You passed this part of the test, but it’s going to get harder from this point on.”  Jasper walked into the darkness and disappeared.

__________

   Alexis opened her eyes and sat up; she noticed her friends were unconscious next to her.  “Huh?  Where are we?”  Looking around, she saw that they were in a large, steel cage surrounded by darkness, but strangely, a dim ray of light was shining on the cage.

“You’re in a Realm of Darkness, of course.”  She jumped at the loud voice.

“Who’s there?  Show yourself!”  Alexis stood up.

“I would if I could, but that is quite impossible at the moment.  Just wait until Fang arrives, or maybe Lunar will reach you . . . maybe.”  The person chuckled, and then Alexis felt their presence disappear- at least, for the moment.

“Alexis?”  She turned around and saw Melissa starting to stir.  “What’s going on?  I got shocked by something, and- where are we?  Is this a cage?”

Alexis nodded.  “I’m going to see if there’s a way out.”  She looked around for a lock, but there wasn’t one.  “Well, breaking the lock is out or the question, and so is breaking the cage; since everything seems to be made of steel.”

“We’re trapped?!” Melissa didn’t even try to hide the fear in her voice.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure Fang is here; he’ll find us.”  She gave her sister a reassuring hug.

“What do you mean, a tipping scale?”  Lunar turned and faced the Servant.

“It’s about time I saw your face.”  The Servant chuckled, his wide grin still plastered on his face.

“I asked you a question.  Now answer!”  Lunar took a step forward with one fist clenched.

“You wouldn’t dare hurt me, Lunar.  Not that you could, anyway, but if you want your brother to be safe in my realm, you won’t lay a finger on me.”

“What!”  Lunar looked at the Servant’s large stomach in disbelief.  “You already took him to your realm?”

“Of course, and I was right on time like always.”  The Servant cleared his throat.  “Now- where were we- oh yes, what I said about Fang.  He’s not exactly a creature of light, yet he’s not a creature of darkness either.  Right now his light is shining, but if he turns toward the darkness for too long, he can turn into a creature of darkness.  We’ll know exactly who he is after the test.”

Lunar was silent.  “Fang’s going to need all the help he can get, Lunar.  And if you want, I’ll take you into my realm.”  The Servant rubbed his belly and chuckled again.  “I can always fit another one in here.”

“You want me to . . . to go back there?”  Lunar asked, wincing at the memories that rushed at him.

“If you want to help Fang.”

For a long time, Lunar didn’t speak.  His face was twisted in anger as he thought, and the Servant leaned forward with a smile when Lunar finally spoke.  “I wouldn’t be a good brother if I just stayed here and waited.  So,” Lunar clenched a trembling fist, “I’ll go.”

Unexpectedly, the Servant reached out and patted Lunar’s head with his large hand.  “You are a good brother to him, aren’t you?”

“Even though Fang’s a creature of light now, I haven’t let go of him.” Lunar said.  He looked up at the servant.  “Take me to your Realm of Darkness.”

__________

“Get up, Guarding Fang.”

Fang opened his eyes to see someone above him.  “Who are you?” he asked; standing up.  The figure, a fifteen year old boy, wore a light gray shirt and jeans.  His bare feet were scarred and bruised, as was his hands and face.  His radiant blue eyes were locked on Fang, and his hair was dark gray color.

“My name is Jealous Ghost,” he said, “but most people call me Jasper these days.”

“You must be one of the five Testers.” Fang said.  Jasper smiled.

“I’m glad you recognized me so easily.  But before we begin, there’s something I must make clear.

“Normally this would be a test to strengthen your dark powers, but for you, this test is going to determine if the light inside of you can be blown out.  You see, you’re not a full creature of light- yet.  You’re like a scale with darkness on one side and light on the other, and right now the light is outweighing the darkness.”  Jasper chuckled.  “You are Guarding Fang, but the question is: who are you guarding; the darkness or the light?”

Fang didn’t say anything.  “Which side are you going to fight on, now that I just gave you this information?” Jasper asked.

“I’ll prove that the light in me isn’t going out easily.” he said; clenching one fist.

“Then let’s begin.”  Jasper put one hand on the ground and pulled out a handful of darkness; then he molded it into a sword.  “This should do nicely.”  He pointed the sword at Fang.  “I hope you’re ready.”  Jasper charged.

__________

Lunar opened his eyes and saw familiar darkness.  “I’m here.” he thought aloud; standing up.  “Now to find Fang.”  He started walking away.

“Are you satisfied, Lunar?” the Servant’s voice surrounded Lunar, echoing in his ears.

“I’m satisfied, but I’ll be happier when I find Fang.” he answered.  I’m here again, but this time I’m here for a different reason.  He clenched his fist in determination and kept walking.

As Fang, Alexis, Joey, Sam, Danny, and Melissa walked out of the woods, Fang suddenly looked up and stopped walking.  “What’s wrong?” Alexis asked.

“Do any of you know what time it is?” he asked without turning around.

Joey looked at his wristwatch.  “Almost ten-thirty.”

“That means I have thirty more minutes to prepare.” he said, and resumed walking.

“Prepare for what?” Sam asked.

For a while Fang was silent.  Then he said, “I need to prepare for the test.

“Lunar told me that four hours after the Darkness has judged me, I’ll be tested by it.  He didn’t give me many details, but he did say that there are five testers, and that the test usually is more that twenty-four hours.”

“Are we allowed to come with you?” Joey asked.

“I don’t know,” Fang admitted, “but Lunar was alone when he took the test, so I assume that you five can’t come.  Besides, the test is taken in a dark realm, and Lunar wasn’t exactly willing to describe it.  I doubt normal humans can enter it.”

But why? Alexis wondered.

__________

Lunar walked through the darkness, his feet sinking in the shadows with every step.  It’s almost time for Fang to be tested, he thought.  But since Fang’s a creature of light, how will the test turn out?

He heard someone chuckle behind him.  “Hey, Lunar.”  Lunar’s pupils dilated slightly at the sound of the familiar voice, and he froze in his tracks.  “Remember me?” the voice asked with an audible smirk.

“You’re not the kind of person one forgets easily,” Lunar said, speaking without turning around, “Servant of Darkness.”

Lunar didn’t need to look at the Servant to remember what he looked like.  The Servant stood about twelve feet tall, about three times Lunar’s height.  His enormous, plump belly jutted out like a fishhook inside a trout, and his eyes were small circles on his head.  His neck was a stub, and there was wide grin on his face that spread to his cheeks.  His body was black, except for his hands and feet, which were a chalky white.

“Glad to hear it, Lunar.” the Servant said, grinning.  “I admit our first meeting was . . . on the wrong foot, but I hope there aren’t too many hard feelings.”

“I don’t have feelings.” Lunar said, trying to maintain a calm tone of voice.  Not many, anyway.

“Sorry, I forgot.  Anyway, you remember my realm, don’t you?” the Servant asked, patting his large belly.

For a while Lunar didn’t speak.  “I haven’t forgotten.  And that’s where Fang will be tested in a little while.”  Lunar turned his head slightly towards the Servant, but refused to look directly at him.

“Oh yes: there’s something you should know about Fang.  You see, he’s not exactly a creature of light.”  The Servant chuckled.  “He’s more like a . . . a tipping scale, shall we say.”

__________

Fang pushed back a branch and saw the basketball court ahead of them.  “Looks like we’re almost out of here.” he said.  They all walked onto the court; Hasbrin’s camera was still there.

“That’s a relief.” Joey joked.  Fang glanced at Hasbrin’s camera, remembering what he had done.  Mark’s coming back, he thought.

Suddenly, a shock wave went through his body.  What the- He fell forward, using his hands to hold him up.  What’s going on?

GOOD MORNING, FANG.  A loud voice said to Fang in his head.  THE TEST IS ABOUT TO COMMENCE.  BUT NOT ONLY WILL YOU BE TESTED, BUT SEVEN OTHERS. 

What’s that supposed to mean?

LOOK AROUND.  YOU PATHETIC HUMAN FRIENDS ARE ALREADY UNCONSCIOUSGlancing around with his eyes, Fang grimly saw that the voice was right was right.  AND THEY WILL REMAIN THAT WAY, BECAUSE I’VE EJECTED THEIR SOULS.  YOU CAN SAVE THEM, BY PASSING THE TEST. 

Fang gritted his teeth in determination.  Then let’s do this.  Another shock went through his body, and Fang’s arms collapsed under him.  He was already unconscious by the time his head hit the gravel.

Hello, everyone.

I apologize for not posting for a while.  And by a while, I mean for about eight months.  I’m sorry; I’ve been busy.  Life, and all that.  It can get to you.

I have been posting semi-regularly to my Deviantart account, over here.  That may become my new “blog” sooner or later, for better or worse, since I post there more often.  Again, I apologize.

Now, to Fang 2.

I started writing Fang 2 not to long after I finished the first one.  It’s over two years old, and I still haven’t finished it.  Pretty bad of me. 😉  I’m going to have to edit the heck out of it later.  Don’t worry, I have the story all worked out in my head, even after all this time.  I just have to get it down.

Fang 2 starts right after the first one left off.  There may not be a cover for a while, and for this I apologize.  I’m doing that a lot in this post, aren’t I?  Apologizing, I mean.

Well, I hope you enjoy Fang 2.  On a side note, I’m thinking of making another blog, where I review video games, just so you guys know.

See you soon.  Also, happy 2013.  Earth’s not gone yet.

Hey guys!

Since I haven’t posted in a while. I thought you might want to know that Fang 2 is going to be released soon!

It’s been in the works for a while, and I think you’ll like it, though the plot and premise is very different from the original.

Parts will be put up ASAP!  I hope you read it 🙂

Symmetry is life’s calling card, the way we’ve learned to recognize each other in the wild.  It’s that bit of ourselves that breeds affection when we see it in our nearer relatives, and makes us uneasy when we see it in our more distant ones.  It’s the key ingredient that saysYes, this is an animal like me.  This is a living thing.  Even when nothing could be further from the truth.”  Scott McCloud, Making Comics.

Familiarity is an important factor in any book or comic.  As any author can tell you, if the reader sees and recognizes the worlds you create with your words, then they’ll see themselves as well as your characters in it easily.  And a good way to connect with your reader?  With humanity, of course.

“Humans love humans!  They can’t get enough of themselves.  They crave the company of humans, they value the opinions of humans, and they love hearing stories about humans!” states Scott McCloud.  And this is something no one can deny; the books and movies with humans as the main characters is so numerous, this post would take forever if I tried to list them all.

But, authors over the years have readily and tackled the challenge of giving life to characters not human.  From animals to large structures, humanity has been placed in them like a homing device, to give readers something to relate to.  For example,  consider this sentence:

As it walked towards us, the lion roared menacingly. 

It sounds normal to you, right?  But . . . a lion, who is not a human, is only doing its “job” as a hunter.  When it roars, it’s not meant to be menacing to itself; it’s doing what it does as a hunter.  Being “menacing” is a human expression, and can’t be put on a lion.  But in order for the reader to better understand the situation, we call the roar “menacing” so we can be “in sync” with the lion and what it’s doing.

Two more sentences for continuation:

After loading my files, the computer made a questioning beep, asking if I wanted to save them.

The numerous pop-ups mocked me as I tried to do my work.

A computer is a machine; it cannot question anyone.  Same for the pop-ups; they’re doing their job.  We are applying our humanity to the computer when we say those things.  When we notice a ‘Do you want to save’ message, you might say to your friend, “It’s asking if I want to save.”  We are the computer in this moment; we imply humanity.  Almost never do we say, “The computer is running a program that is asking me if I want to save.”

An example Scott McCloud uses in his book Understanding Comics is when someone hits your car.  We usually say, “He hit me.”  We hardly ever say, “His car hit me,” or, “His car hit my car.”  We are the car there, applying ourselves to it in that moment.

We imply our humanity in practically everything, and you can take advantage of this as an author.  Apply some feeling to that dishwasher in your story; make the television groan if you have to!  The stairs can moan, the alarm can scream in terror, the fridge can hum contently.  Humanity is our greatest quality, and you can use it to make stories no one will forget easily.

So, come on.  Let’s get human.

Sources: Making Comics and Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.  The car example belongs to McCloud.


I have decided to end Ninja Bodyguard with Part 13, because I have a serious case of writers block at the moment with continuing parts.

The original Part 13 will still be here, in case I decide to continue it in the future, for a longer ending.

_________

David searched for the right words.  “He’s . . . he’s an amazing bodyguard.”  Atticus nodded in his approval.  David managed not to mention Michio, or the fact that Kaito was a ninja.

“Well, that’s excellent, David.”  His father turned back to Kaito.  “Since you’ve done such a god job, Kaito, we’d like to hire you.  You would live here, with us, and get a suitable amount of money each month.  How does that sound?”

For a moment Kaito didn’t say anything.  “I . . . I am honored, Mr. Banner.” he said.  “But I can’t.  The plane back to Japan leaves in an hour, and I have to get there in time.  As much as I’d like to, I can’t accept your offer.”  He bowed deeply.

“And, um, Dad?”  Mr. Banner turned to his son.  “I don’t think I’ll need a bodyguard anymore.” he said.  “Kaito taught me courage while he was helping me, so . . . I think I can fend for myself.”

Mr. Banner was stunned.  “Well, that’s a surprise, but it’s good to hear, David.”  He and his wife walked to the car to get their suitcases, with Atticus close behind them.

“Well, I better go.” Kaito said, starting to walk towards the door.

“Kaito, wait!”  He stopped and turned back to David.  “I, um. . .”  David searched for a way to put his thoughts into words, and after a few seconds, he found the perfect ones.  “Thanks for helping me.  If it wasn’t for you, I’d be scared of going back to school, but I’m sure I can make it on my own.”

Kaito smiled and put his hands behind his head.  “I guess it’s Michio you really have to thank,” he said.  “If he hadn’t forced me to leave Japan, I wouldn’t have been here in the first place.”

“Good point.”  David turned around to see Ritsuki standing behind him, leaning against the stair banister.  “Don’t forget, Kaito, we’re racing to the airport.  And your grandfather agreed to meet us there; he just called a few minutes ago.”

“That’s great!” Kaito pointed challengingly at his friend.  “You’re on!”  He turned to David.  “Hey, if you ever need a bodyguard or someone to talk too, just ask.”

“Okay.”  The moment Katio was gone, David noticed a paper with an e-mail address on his lap.  Picking it up, he looked at where Katio had been standing.  “See you later, ninja bodyguard.”

__________

“Okay, you guys ready?”  Hayato asked.  He had a huge grin on his face.

Kaito gave him a thumbs-up.  They were in two teams; Hayato and Ritsuki were in one, and Kaito and Takami in the other

They stood on the bridge, on the metal railing that keeps cars from falling off, over the highway.  Kaito and Takami balanced on the rail, looking down with a smile.  Below them was the highway, with streetlights on either side about twenty-or-so feet away from each other.

They were going to jump.

“Look at us.  Five teens standing on the edge of the bridge ready to jump.  Someone must’ve called the cops by now.”  Hayato chuckled.

“Some people are looking as they pass, and three people have pulled over and already called the police.”  Takami said without turning around.

“Great.”  Ritsuki rubbed his hands together with mock evil.  “The more the merrier, as they say . . . muha ha ha ha . . .”

They all laughed, and Kaito turned to Takami.  “Let’s do this!”

Hayato laughed.  “You think you’re ready for this?” he asked with a smile

“No time to think; the cops are here.”  Takami said.

“What are you kids doing?  Get down from there,” the first cop who got out of the car demanded.

“He must have a lot of naughty kids.” Hayato muttered.

“It’s not like we’re doing anything illegal, officer.  Besides, there’s nothing to worry about.  We’re all going to survive.  But fine.”  Ritsuki put his hands above his head, the signal to get ready.  All of them turned around.

“Good.  Now please, come down from that ledge.”

“Scratch the kids; he must have a lot of cats.” Hayato said loud enough for the man to hear.  They all laughed.

“Well, it’s been fun, sir, but we have to go.”  Ritsuki winked at the policeman and started to fall backwards, as did the rest of them.  “See ya.”

“Hey, wait!  What are you kids-” But they were already out of earshot, and the road was coming up fast.  Kaito grinned as the shocked cop looked at them from the ledge, his mouth wide opened.

Ritsuki smiled “It’s on, Kaito and Takami!  We’re going to beat you bad.”

“We’ll see about that.” Takami said with a mysterious grin.  “You ready, Kaito?  Better not let David down, or we’ll have a pretty big mess to go through with that cop.”

“Let’s go!”  Kaito grinned and tightened his grip on the wheelchair.  The highway was coming up fast.  A second before he hit, Kaito spun and landed on his feet, and jumped up before a car hit him.

Even as he raced with his friends, David was still dominant in his mind.  He smiled as he raced through the American highway.  I hope he sends me an e-mail soon.

Four ninjas raced off into the night, getting head turns and confused glances, but none of them cared.

They were on their way home.

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