On the writing front; I'm working on the last chapter of "Angel of the Morning", struggling with it a little because it contains lots of sexual content and that doesn't come as naturally to me as it does to curiouswombat. Even so I should have it finished pretty soon.
I've also returned to "Life in Shadow" and have made a start on the next chapter of that long-dormant work.
Niether of those is ready to post yet, but here is another little piece of "all the characters are ninjas in 17th-Century Japan" lunacy to follow on from Dojo Hard. 600 words this time.
Dojo Hard Part 2
Angel held Xander helpless with a Hadaka-Jime strangle hold. “This one serves your enemies, Willi-san,” Angel said. “He can be your first victim.”
Chopstick fixed cold eyes on the other ninja. “I do not trust you, Angel-san,” he said. “You were my Sensei, my Yogi, but you sold yourself to the Shogun and left our clan. I will not take this gift, for I distrust your motives. Also he is but a Taikomochi and not a worthy adversary.”
“I’m good with that,” Xander said. “I am not worthy! I am not worthy!”
“Flee, then, unworthy one,” Chopstick said contemptuously.
Angel released Xander, who sucked in a deep breath and glared at the Sold Ninja. He opened his mouth for a sharp retort but was interrupted by one of Chopstick’s retinue of ronin.
“I have no problem with slaying a Taikomochi,” the ronin announced, drawing his katana. Angel drew his own weapon and moved to attack the ronin. Xander dashed towards the doors, another ronin followed, and in seconds a chaotic fight was raging.
Chopstick ignored the chaos and strode on into the castle buildings. Before long he reached a stall selling sake. A small blonde girl stood beside the stall.
“When life gives you rice, make sake,” the girl said. “Hey, are you Chopstick? Thought you weren’t going to attack until the Chrysanthemum Festival.”
“I got bored,” Chopstick admitted. “Dishonourable, but as a ronin and a ninja I am already dishonoured. A little more dishonour will make no difference. Yes, I am Chopstick. You must be the renowned ninja girl Buffy Summers. A worthy adversary at last. I have written a haiku in your honour.” He bowed and then struck a pose.
Bright deadly sharp katana
Hot tin roof
Buffy frowned. “Guess you’d better stick your chopstick in my ear, ‘cause hey, that kinda sucked. ‘Katana hot tin roof?’ You so have to be kidding.”
Chopstick bridled. “Your unworthy ears shall soon be lying on the ground.”
He drew and struck in one move. Buffy parried, but only barely, and she was driven back away from the sake stall. His blows came fast and furious and Buffy began to feel that she was overmatched. “Do we really need weapons for this?” she suggested.
Chopstick stepped back for a moment. “A samurai’s honour lies in his sword.” He twirled the katana back into its scabbard. “But then, I am no longer a samurai.”
Buffy sheathed her own weapon and adopted an Aikido stance. Chopstick advanced once more, and drove her back with a barrage of punches and kicks. Eventually she caught his right hand and began to apply a sankyo lock; but he somersaulted with the hold, freed himself, and reversed the position.
“In a year you would be a match for me, ninja, but not yet,” he told her. “That day will never come, for I will take your head now.” His free hand went to the hilt of his katana; but suddenly he released her and stepped back with a cry of pain.
Buffy’s mother stood behind him holding a naginata. “Get away from my daughter!” Joyce Summers cried, and struck out at him once more.
Chopstick ducked under her blow and leaped away. He put his hand to his head and brought it away again with a smear of blood on his palm. “A ninja with family and friends? Shimata! That is not in accordance with Bushido.” He turned and ran from the castle.
- - - - -
“What shall we tell the peasants?” the Shogun asked his Chamberlain, Snyder.
Snyder’s brows furrowed. “Yakuza on opium?”