Naomi's Rough Draft Blog

Archive for September 2010

Kaito opened his bedroom window, and a warm breeze flowed into the room.  He looked at the clock on his desk; it was nine fifty-five. If Michio’s serious about this, then a shuriken should be coming about-

Something suddenly spun towards the window and dug into the sill.  –now.  It was the custom for the challenger to send a shuriken as a sign that he or she was ready.  Kaito took the shuriken of the windowsill, picked up his jacket from off his bed and jumped out of the window.  Takami’s pouch was tied around his waist.

Soon, he reached the clearing, the one where Michio had taken David, and saw that his cousin was waiting.  He threw Michio the shuriken, which he caught between his fingers.  “I’m going to make my father proud tonight.” Michio said; taking his two ninjatos out of his sleeves.  He pointed one of the small swords at Kaito.  “I hope you’re ready.”

“Michio, don’t you realize that it doesn’t have to be like this?” Kaito asked.

“You’re trying to back out now?  Then this will be easier than I thought.”  Michio charged at him.

Kaito took out his katana so fast his hand was a blur, and he blocked Michio’s attack.  “Better think again.” he said; pushing Michio away.  Michio gritted his teeth; then he smiled.

“Don’t worry; I’m going to make this as hard as possible for you.” he said; reaching up his sleeve and pulling something out.  A kaginawa! Kaito was surprised.  Michio smiled and swung the grappling hook at him.

Kaito jumped and landed on the side of a tree nearby.  “This is going to be fun.” Michio said with a smirk; putting his swords back.  “How about we do that again?”  Kaito put his hands in his pockets, and Michio swung the grappling hook.

Kaito took his hands out of his pockets; revealing tekagi-shukos on each of his hands.  They were like metal six-inch claws.  “What good will those do you?” Michio asked triumphantly.  The kaginawa was almost at Kaito’s head.

“Never underestimate a person’s weapon, no matter how small it might be.”  Kaito blocked the grappling hook with his now-extended fingers, but when Michio tried to pull it back, it was stuck between two of the claws.  Kaito took one of the tekagi-shuko off and threw at a tree far away from him.  It dug deep into the bark, and Michio stumbled.  While he was off balance, Kaito jerked the grappling hook out of his cousin’s hands.  “Ready to give up?” he asked.

“Not a chance.” Michio sneered.  The rope had burned his hand, and there was a long red mark on his palm.

“Then you better prepare for a hard time while you’re here.”  Kaito took out his katana and charged; swinging at Michio’s chest.

For a while nobody spoke.  Then Kaito heard somebody clapping and turned around.  “Bravo; bravo, Kaito.”  Michio was leaning against a tree, and he started walking towards them.

“You again?”  Kaito gritted his teeth and took the sword from his jacket; pointing it at Michio.

“Yep; it’s me, you’re good old cousin.”  Michio smirked.  “And from what I just heard, you just told David over there about the relationship between you and I.  I thought you said last night that this doesn’t concern him.”

“He has the right to know what’s going on.” Kaito said.

“Ah; I see.”  Michio smiled.  “So, are all your pawns in place now, Kaito?  Because we’re going to have a rematch.”

“David is not a pawn; nobody is a pawn to me.  Hayato, Ritsuki, and David are my friends, and I am David’s bodyguard.  I won’t let any harm come to him.”

For a moment Michio was silent.  Then a smile appeared on his face; then he started laughing.  “What’s so funny?” Kaito asked.

“What was first a way to throw me off for a while, is now a devotion.  Admit it, Kaito; the reason you took the job was to just keep me guessing for a few days.  But now you’re actually going to guard him; even after I’ve found you?”  Michio looked at David.  “That weakling can’t even walk, but you still devote to his safety even though I’m on to you.”

Kaito didn’t speak.  “I’m right, aren’t I?  The reason you even stepped foot in the Banner household was to throw me off for a while.”  Michio smirked.

“It’s true; the only reason I took the job was to get some time.” Kaito said.  “And my original plan was to leave as soon as you found me.  But I’ve realized- a true bodyguard stays with the person he has to protect.  And not only is David the person I need to keep from harm; he’s also my friend.”

“Your friend?” Michio scoffed.  “He can’t walk; he’s probably just getting in your way.”

“Once, David walked, just like my father was once part of the clan of ninjas.” Kaito said.  “But because of their ‘accidents’, each of them different, people now treat David like he’s nothing.  And because my father did not choose to marry someone in the clan, my uncle killed him.  People treat David like he has bad blood, and that’s the same way you treat me.”

“I treat you that way because it’s true.” Michio reached up his sleeve and took his two short swords out.

“Not now, Michio.”  Kaito put his sword back in his jacket.  “I have an unfair advantage against you; Hayato and Ritsuki both have weapons, and Takami is probably hiding somewhere.  If you charge at me now, you’d be hit by more than one weapon. Tonight, we’ll fight.”

For a moment Michio was silent.  “Fine.”  He put his swords back. “Tonight, at ten.”  Kaito nodded, and Michio walked away.

“What’d you do that for, Kaito?” Hayato asked; confused.

“A true ninja fights with honor, and doesn’t cheat during a battle.” he answered.

“Hey Kaito, guess what?  You were right.”  They all turned around to see a girl with black hair put in a ponytail, wearing a black shirt and jeans.  “I saw the whole thing.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Takami.” Kaito said.  “And I also glad to see that gang’s all here.”  He smiled and cracked his knuckles.  “I need to prepare for tonight, but I’ll see you guys later.”

Hayato and Ritsuki nodded, and they walked away.  Takami took something out of her pocket and tossed it to Kaito.  “Take this.” she said.  “You’ll probably need it.”

In Kaito’s hands was a leather pouch; tied with brown string.  He opened it to see about a dozen metal stars; each one had a point that was facing up.  “Caltrops?” he said; surprised.  “But how did-”  He looked up to see Takami was gone.

“Should you be eavesdropping?” the person asked with a grin.  He looked about Kaito’s age, and he wore a black sleeveless shirt and jeans.  His hair was blonde and spiked, and he had dark brown eyes.  “If you were trying to, that wasn’t a very good attempt.”

“How come?” David asked; confused.

“Because Kat and Hay saw you right away and signaled me.  I guess you’re no match for a bunch of ninjas, huh?”  He leaned against a tree and put his hands behind his head.

“Haven’t I told you not to call me Kat?  I’m not a feline, Rits.”  Kaito teased as he and Hayato walked towards them.

“Okay, you got me there.”  He turned to David.  “The name’s Ritsuki.  And we know you’re David Banner.  Nice to finally meet you.”

“We?  Who’s ‘we’?” David asked.

“The rest of the group, of course; the people who are training with Kaito’s grandpa.  We make a pretty good team.”  Ritsuki turned to Kaito.  “This kid doesn’t have a clue, does he?”

Kaito hesitated.  “Well, no.” he admitting.

“So the real story is under wraps, isn’t it?”  Kaito nodded and turned to David.

“Real story?”  David was more confused than ever.

“I’ve been lying to you from the start.” Kaito admitted.  “I didn’t come to America to train; I came to slow down Michio for a few days.  He’s been on my trail for a while.”

“Why?”

“He wants to kill me, and he’ll kill everyone who gets in his way.” Kaito said.  “You see, Michio is my cousin.”

“You cousin?”  David was shocked.  “Why does your own cousin want to kill you?”

Kaito was silent for a while.  “My family is a clan on ninjas,” he explained,  “ and to keep that secret safe, we’re supposed to marry other ninjas who are in our clan.  But my father didn’t.

“When my uncle found out he was engaged with someone outside our clan, he argued with my father about it.  Eventually my father got up and left the room, but my uncle decided that he should get rid of him and his wife

“Soon after I was born, he succeeded to kill both my parents.  Luckily for me I was at my grandfather’s house at the time, or I would have been killed too.”  Kaito clenched his fist.  “My grandfather taught me the ways of a ninja, so I could protect myself.  At first, I was safe because I set some traps for my uncle.  But when he got in an accident, before he died he told Michio to continue what he started- trying to kill me.  And he’s been trying to even since.”

The next day, Kaito was sitting on the edge of his bed, thinking.  ‘Michio couldn’t have picked a worst time to start coming after me; right when I’m trying to protect someone else.  Should I leave and lure Michio away from David, or should I stay here and keep protecting David?  After all, Michio might target him.’ Kaito sighed and flopped down on his bed.  ‘What would Gramps say?’ He closed his eyes.

“For goodness sake, Kaito, you can’t abandon David now!  You’re his bodyguard, and bodyguards don’t just ditch the people they’re supposed to be guarding when things get tough!” he could hear his grandfather say.  “And keep practicing your combat skills.  You can’t protect someone else if you can’t even protect yourself.”

Kaito opened his eyes.  ‘Gramps is right; I can’t leave now.  I should go practice, but the only place I’ll be able to sharpen my skills without getting interrupted is the woods.’ Kaito got up, put on his jacket, and opened the window.  ‘I should at least let David know where I am.’ He got a paper form his pocket and wrote a note; then he was off.

__________

“Hey Kaito!”  David opened the room door.  “Lunch is-”  He stopped in his tracks.  Kaito wasn’t there, and the window was opened.  “Kaito?”  He went further into the room.  Then he noticed the note on the table and picked it up.

David, I went to the woods to practice my training.  He put the note down and left the room.

“Atticus, I’ll be gone for a while.” he said before leaving the house.

__________

Kaito put three shuriken in his hand; placing each between his fingers.  He’d already put three dots on three trees nearby to target.  He closed his eyes; his grandfather always told him trust his instinct, and that was something Kaito had trouble doing sometimes.  Jumping in the air, he threw the shuriken.  When he landed, he opened his eyes and saw that his weapons had hit their marks.

“Nice job.”  Someone said behind him.  Kaito smiled, got a shuriken from his jacket pocket, and threw it towards the voice.  “Yow!”  Kaito couldn’t help chuckling.  “Oh, so you think that’s funny?”  The person stepped out of the shadows with Kaito’s shuriken in his hands.

“Glad to see you caught it, Hayato.” Kaito said.  Hayato smiled and threw the shuriken back; Kaito caught it between his fingers.

“Well, I’m glad to see you still remember me after being in America for a month and a half.  How are things?”  Hayato wore a yellow shirt and black jeans, and his brown hair almost blended in with the tree behind him.

“You being you, Hayato, you probably know.” Kaito said.  Hayato was an expert computer hacker, and sometimes he studied government files for fun.

“Well, I know you’re guarding a twelve year old named David Banner, but that’s about it.  Oh yeah, and I know Michio was here; thanks to security cameras.  That guy might as well spray paint his name on a wall.”

“I guess.  He kidnapped David last night to lure me to this exact spot.  He’s still following his father’s legacy.”  Kaito told Hayato what had happened.

“That sure isn’t good.  So, you’re going to stay here and guard David?”  Kaito nodded.  “If you ask me, that’s a good move.  I mean, Michio’s the one to target other people so he can find you.  Anyway, well, you’re probably wondering why I’m here, right?”

“Of course!  Weren’t you guys supposed to stay and train in Japan in case Michio came for you?”

“Yeah, but your Gramps said we should come over here in case of any trouble.  And based on what you just said, we came at the right time, didn’t we?”

“You guys are the best!  Is everyone here?”

“Yep.  They’re all in this area right now, as a matter of fact.  Everybody is in range of the Banner property.”  At that moment, David arrived; he was hidden behind a few trees.  ‘Who’s that guy talking to Kaito?’

“Gramps couldn’t make it, could he?”

“Got that right.  But thanks to his friendship with the owner of the airport, we were all able to get tickets.  And now, as I said, everyone’s here and ready to help.”

“Thanks, Hayato.”  Kaito said; leaning against a tree.  Someone tapped David’s shoulder, and he turned around to see a teenager standing behind him.

__________

To read the entire story click on the Ninja Bodyguard – Table of Contents
__________

“Fine.”  Kaito reached into his coat, pulled out a shuriken of his own, and threw it at Michio.  The four- pointed star spun rapidly through the air, but Michio dodged at the last second.  The star dug into the tree where his head had been a moment ago.

“Losing your temper, I see, Kaito.” Michio said.  “But only a coward like you would do long range combat.”  He hopped onto a tree branch; David could not believe that thin piece of wood was keeping his balance.

“Bring it.”  Kaito was a blur as he went on a branch of his own; two feet away from his enemy.

“That’s more like it.”  Michio grinned and reached up both his sleeves.  He pulled out two small curved swords and pointed then at Kaito.  Kaito reached into his jacket and took out a long sword of his own.  “Ah, a katana.  Is that the best weapon you can come up with against me?”  Kaito clenched his teeth and swung at Michio; who jumped to a branch above him.  “Nice try, but that letter opener won’t touch me.  That excuse for a sword is no match.”  Michio smiled.  “This might be easier than I thought.”

“You’re going to eat those words, Michio!”  Kaito jumped to a different branch; now he was the same level as Michio.  He jabbed at his enemy, but Michio jumped to another branch.

“Nice try.”  Michio looked down to see Kaito grinning.  “What’s so funny?”  Then he noticed the fresh scar on his ankle.  Blood dripped onto the branch and stained the wood.  Michio gritted his teeth.

“Looks like you’re all talk and no fight today, Michio.”  Kaito jumped to another branch and swung, but Michio blocked with one of his smaller swords.  Suddenly Kaito tripped.  “What the-” He turned to see both of his pants legs pinned to the tree with two daggers.

“You and your father are sorry excuses for ninjas, Kaito Katsumara.”  David’s eyes widened.  Did he say ninjas?! he thought.  “Luckily for you, I’m in a good mood, not to mention this fight is getting a bit boring.  You’re probably not giving it your all anyway, because that kid is here, so I’ll give you a break tonight.  But don’t think you’ve seen the last of me.”  Michio threw something on the branch, and smoke rose in the air and clouded Kaito’s vision.  When the smoke cleared, Michio was gone.

Kaito pulled the daggers out to free himself, put his sword back in his jacket, and went down the tree; jumping from branch to branch until he reached the ground.  “David,” he said, walking to the wheelchair, “don’t move a muscle.”

“What?”  In one swift movement, Kaito pulled out his sword and cut the rope on David’s wheelchair and hands; the steel edge of the blade barely missed David’s fingers.  “Um, thanks, Kaito.”  Kaito said nothing, and he put his sword back in his jacket and started pushing David’s wheelchair.

When they reached the back door, Kaito stopped.  “David,” he said, “I know you might have a lot of questions for me, but I can’t answer them yet.  Just promise me to keep your eyes opened for Michio.”

“I . . . I promise.” David said.

Kaito took something out of his pocket and started picking the lock.  “I can’t let Michio hurt you, too.  Not after all the damage he’s done already.”  He opened the door and pushed David inside.

Soon, David was back in bed.  ‘Who was that Michio person, and why is he after Kaito?  Does he want something from him?’ He rolled to his side.  ‘And why doesn’t Kaito want me to know why Michio came?’

I’m taking a break from Ninja Bodyguard to put this on the blog.

How many people like James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series? (I can hear the ‘me!’s from all those people in love with Fang (James Patterson’s Fang, not mine) . . . sigh)

Some people might know already, but there was a contest that you would write your chapter of what happened when Max taught Dylan how to fly.  I typed up my chapter, but when I looked at the paperwork you had to mail, it said that you had to be thirteen or older.  And, even though my birthday was in about three months, I was still twelve.

Let me tell you, it was so tempting to lie about my age, but I didn’t.  So I’ll show you guys my chapter instead (I wonder who won the contest . . .)

For people who don’t read the Max Ride series, here’s a very basic summary for this- Max and Dylan are mutated people, so they’re humans with wings (this is not Peter Pan, folks).  Dylan can’t fly well, so Max is giving him a lesson.  Also, the Voice is a voice in Max’s head that appears at random times.

Enjoy the chapter!

__________

“Oh gosh, Max, I don’t know.” Dylan said, looking at the ground from the roof.  To tell you the truth, I don’t know what he was so worried about, beside crash landing, I mean.  There was just the front yard and the driveway.  And unless he failed Max’s Flying School for Dummies, there was no way we were going to touch the driveway.

“It’ll be fine, Dylan.  Just get off the roof, and you’ll be flying like a natural.” I reassured him, trying not to convert to Max the Drill Sergeant.  “I’ve flown higher than this, lots higher, and I’m still here, aren’t I?  And if I can do it, so can you.”

“Okay Max.  I’m trusting you on this.” Dylan took a breath.  Hard to believe this is my “perfect other half” I thought to myself as I got closer to Dylan.

“Okay, on the count of three, I’m going to push you.  One, two-“I pushed Dylan off the roof, and he started falling towards the ground.  He tried to flap his wings and go up, but no dice.  He looked like a freaked stunt pilot who forgot his parachute.  If he wasn’t possibly going to break a couple bones, I might have laughed, but this was serious at the time.

“Spread those wings, or you’re going to kill yourself!” I said, flying down towards him.  Trust me, I am not going to pay your medical bills if you fail this. I thought.  He looked at me and mimicked what I was doing with my wings.  “Good!  Now follow me!”  I started flying up, and he followed.  He didn’t seem to notice how high we were getting until I stopped and looked down.  He stopped next to me, and the tip of one of his wings brushed against mine.

“Whoa.” Dylan breathed, and looked down.  Now the house was a bit more than a dot, but I could still see it pretty well with raptor vision.  I hoped Iggy and Gassy weren’t taking advantage of me being gone and bombing anything.  “Look Max, I’m actually doing it!” Dylan started flying around, enjoying it and smiling.  Not as good as Fang’s Mona Lisa smile, of course.

“That’s great.” I said.  Really, it wasn’t too different from teaching the younger members of the flock, except this was my so called “perfect other half” and he was nothing like the flock.  Not to mention he’d only been alive and flapping for only eight months.

“You were right.” Dylan said, going next to me. “This is really great, with all this space. . . you and the flock must enjoy this all the time.”  There was a hint of a sigh in his voice that said You’ve been doing this for years and this is only my first time flying.

“Well, we’re usually flying for our lives away from crazy scientists who want to take over the world of whatever, so don’t feel so bad.” I told him. “And if you don’t get lost in all this sky, flying is the best thing in the world.” Next to Fang. I added silently.

You see, Max. The Voice decided to join in our conversation. You two can work together and help each other.  You two go perfectly together.

Say what you want, Voice, but that doesn’t mean I’m letting go of Fang for him. I thought firmly.  Then I turned to Dylan. “We should go back to the house.  You probably won’t need me anymore for flying, anyway.”

“Okay, Max.” Dylan agreed, but I was thinking, Is that regret in his voice? And as we flew back to the house, I couldn’t help but notice when he glanced at me every few moments.

__________

To read the entire story click on the Ninja Bodyguard – Table of Contents
__________

“Welcome to Nathan’s Job Hunting Service.” said Pete, who neatened some papers he was holding.  It was just his luck he was working two days in a row that week; some people had been laid off.  “How can I help y-”

Something zipped past Pete and landed on the wall; a millimeter away from his ear.  He slowly looked at it with his eyes.  It looked like a four-pointed star.

“Yes, you can help me.”  He looked at the person talking.  Another teen?  Then the one from last week must have been checking how good the place is on security or something! Pete started to panic as the person put his arm on the table; just like Kaito had.  He had an evil grin on his face.

“You see, Pete, I’m looking for someone named Kaito Katsumara, and I heard that he stopped here.  Know anything?”

“It’s alright, I guess- wait, how do you know my name?” Pete asked.

“You have a name tag on.” the boy said smoothly.

“Oh yeah; forgot about that.”  Pete chuckled weakly.  “Um, anyway- Kaito.  Yeah; he stopped here.”

“You know where he is?” he asked.

“No, but I gave him this paper.  He wanted a job as a bodyguard.”  Pete found the paper and printed it out for the teen.

“Thanks.”  Then the boy leaned forward and took the four-pointed star off the wall.  “I apologize about that little . . . fright.  I just couldn’t find any other way to get your attention.  Well, thanks for the information.”  With that, he was gone.

For a moment Pete stood there; dazed.  “This week is getting weirder and weirder.” he said.  Then he noticed the five dollar tip on the table and put it in the cash register.

__________

For a while, life was basically the same.  Kaito ran David to school, and at the end of the day he fought the ringleader; whose name was Matt.

“You’re a really good fighter.” David said on the  ninth day; a Friday.  “Did your grandfather teach you all those moves?”

“Yeah, but Gramps is a way better fighter than me.  Sometimes I can’t lay a finger on him when we fight.”

“He sounds like a good guy.” David said.  At that moment, they reached the house.  As Kaito pushed David in, he felt like someone was watching him.  Putting the feeling away, he closed the front door.

Kaito walked to his room and sat down on his bed.  I can’t assume anything without proof, so I’ll just have to see if he comes out. he thought.

Something’s bothering Kaito. thought David at dinner.  Sure, Kaito was talking like usual, but David saw he was fidgety; which just wasn’t normal for Kaito.  He took another bite of lasagna, then he turned to him.  “Is something wrong?” he asked.

“Wrong?” Kaito echoed.  “Nothing’s wrong.”  At least, I hope nothing will be. he thought.

“Okay.”  David took another bite of lasagna.  Something’s up, but he doesn’t want to say what.

Kaito resumed eating; a bit relieved.  I shouldn’t expect that he’s here, and I shouldn’t let that effect how I act.

__________

A loud thump woke David up.  For a moment he just sat up in bed, shocked, then he let his eyes adjust to the darkness.  It came from Kaito’s room. he realized.

Soon enough, David was in front of Kaito’s room.  He opened the door; expecting to see Kaito lying in bed.

He was.

“Phew.” he said, closing the door and starting to turn around.  Someone covered his mouth with their hand.  “Don’t move a muscle, kid, or you’ll really be asking for it.”  He’d never heard the voice before, and when he turned to see who is was, the person was hiding in the shadows.

Kaito was woken up by a scream.  David! He shot up in bed and jumped on to the floor.  It came from the woods. he realized.  Then he remembered what Atticus had said: If David does go in there at night for any reason, it is your job to protect him. Kaito put on his coat, opened his window and smoothly jumped on a nearby tree branch.  From there he made his way to the ground.

He ran to where he’d heard the scream, concentrating on what was in front of him.  Every tree was a blur, and above him the full moon seemed to taunt him with its ghostly light.  After a while of running Kaito screeched to a halt; kicking up dirt.  “You aren’t getting away with this!” he yelled into the darkness.  “Do you hear me?”  His own voice haunted him and brought back the memories, but Kaito kept running; he was determined.

Soon he stopped at the edge of a clearing; breathing hard.  David was in front of him in his wheelchair, and his hands were behind it.  “Kaito!” he said.

“Not so fast.”  Someone stepped out of the shadows.  “Sorry I have to interrupt the reunion, Kaito, but I just couldn’t resist.”  The teen grinned.  He wore all black, but his hair was a shocking gold color, and his eyes were sky blue.

“Michio!” Kaito clenched his teeth.  “Release David!  This has nothing to do with him!  I’m the one you want, aren’t I?”

“It’s your own fault, Kaito.”  Michio smirked and put a hand a David’s wheelchair.  “You were the one who let him in our deadly game, and there’s no taking it back now.  Oh yes, and did I mention- his hands and that chair are tied to that tree.  Your little friend isn’t going anywhere.”

“How did you find me?” Kaito demanded.

“Oh, it was easy.  After looking at the airport security tapes, I found a camera that showed you going into Nathan’s Job Hunting Service.  I just asked the man behind the desk.  It was all too easy after I gave that guy a little . . . persuasion.”  He reached into his sleeve and took out a familiar item.

“I should have known you’d use shuriken to convince people.  But that’s not why I’m here; let go of David!”

Michio chuckled.  “Here’s a little deal for you- if you win me in a fight, I’ll let your little friend go.  If you lose, then David’s in for a surprise.”


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