Lunch is an important part of the day as it not promotes eating but also gives you a chance for social interaction. Have you ever wondered how some other groups may interact… well, this story may answer that question (note: this story may be revisited at a later date)
Masaki, Reiki and Jasmine stood rigidly to attention as their master addressed them. Master Yamaoto stared at them, but it wasn’t a stare of disgust, it was a stare of pride. His students had trained very hard that morning. ‘My students…’ he began, ‘you’ve made your master very proud.’
These ninjas were in the prime of their youth, Masaki was fifteen, Reiki was thirteen and Jasmine was twelve; they were abandoned as babies but they were all found by Master Yamaoto at the base of his training compound. He took them in and raised them as his own, so they didn’t so much look on him as a master but a father. ‘Your progression amazes me,’ he continued, ‘never have I seen such excellence… in any of my young warriors.’
He sat down on a nearby tree stump. ‘But…’ he warned, ‘you must not let yourselves become too cocky or else all that hard work shall be for nought. Now, go to the kitchens and get yourselves some nourishment.’ They bowed before him and ran off to the kitchens.
As they walked toward the door, Masaki’s stomach started to rumble. ‘I wonder what the chef has for us today?’ he asked.
‘There’s only one way to find out,’ Jasmine replied as she opened the door. There was the chef, Soto, standing waiting to give the ninjas his speciality of the day. ‘Ah…’ Soto smiled broadly, ‘my favourite ninjas have arrived.’
They greeted him with a bow and Masaki said, ‘Hello, Chef Soto.’
‘Have I got a treat for you today!’ he said excitedly. He handed them a bowl of steaming hot rice and plates of sushi. Soto’s sushi was a particular favourite of Masaki. ‘When you have finished that,’ he said, ‘I have been baking one of my apple pies, it’s cooling on the window.’
‘Are they the apples from Kippet Valley Forest?’ Jasmine asked with anticipation.
‘You know it, Jasmine.’
‘Yes!’ Jasmine was extremely happy to hear it. The Kippet Valley Forest apples were the sweetest apples in the whole province. They walked towards their table and all the while Jasmine salivated over Soto’s apple pie, they sat down. ‘Did you hear that guys?’ Jasmine asked excitedly, ‘Soto made us an apple pie!’
‘Yes Jasmine,’ Masaki and Reiki answered.
‘C’mon guys… show more enthusiasm here.’
Reiki began eating his lunch, making sure that he wouldn’t have to say anything. Masaki had that pleasure.
‘Well… it’s just… err…’ he stumbled.
‘It’s just what?’
‘Soto’s pies aren’t that… special.’
‘What do you mean, Masaki?’ she asked as she raised a piece of sushi to her mouth.
‘We get Soto’s apple pies on a regular basis.’
‘Yes… but this time he made it from Kippet Valley Forest apples.’
‘Okay,’ Masaki said. Jasmine became slightly annoyed, ‘Look here, I will not hear another word against the pie.’
Masaki and Reiki didn’t say anything, as they had each seen how Jasmine reacted when she got angry. It was something they cared not to see too often or be at the receiving end of. ‘Anyway…’ she said, ‘how do you two feel training went for you today?’
‘I think it went fine today,’ Masaki replied as he munched on some rice. Reiki swallowed what was in his mouth, ‘Reiki also think training go fine for him too.’
‘Okay then,’ Jasmine said. They sat quietly eating their food, well basically picking at it. ‘Hey…’ Jasmine broke the silence. Masaki and Reiki looked at her. ‘Do you think that the author has lost interest in this story?’ she asked.
‘Why do you say that Jasmine?’ Masaki asked back.
‘Well, he gave us a big setup and now there’s this mediocre middle bit.’
‘You’re probably right Jasmine, he’ll probably just trail off until he writes an abrupt ending.’
‘Author took on too big challenge,’ Reiki said, ‘not know what Japan like back then.’
‘Too true, Reiki.’
They finished their lunch all the while passing judgement on my story… and I just like to remind them this is MY story here.
‘Ooo, he sounds mad!’
Damn right, I’m mad Masaki! How dare you cast aspersions on my storytelling techniques; and you all shouldn’t be breaking the fourth wall anyway.
I can’t spend the rest of this story fighting with you. Soto approached them with his pie in hand, ‘So, you enjoyed my lunch?’ he asked.
‘Sure did,’ Jasmine replied, ‘now what about this apple pie you made for us?’
‘I’ve got it right here,’ he put it on the table and using a knife, he cut the pie into three pieces. Then, he gave each a slice.
‘There you go,’ he said, ‘I gave you the biggest piece Jasmine, cause I know how much you like my pies.’
‘I don’t think Master Yamaoto would be too happy about that!’ she joked. Soto smiled and walked away. They started eating their slices, ‘Mmmm…’ Jasmine said, ‘this turned out be better than I’d hoped.’
Masaki and Reiki both nodded their heads in agreement as they ate. When they had finished, they took their plates to Soto and he took them. Job well done, he thought to himself. The ninjas walked out the door and raced to the top of the mountain where Master Yamaoto was still sitting on a tree stump. ‘Oh, you have finished already,’ he said, ‘very well, let’s get back to it.’
The ninjas took their positions. ‘By the way…’ Master Yamaoto said, ‘I know you have been breaking the fourth wall again.’
‘How did you know, sensei?’ asked Jasmine
‘I know all that goes on in my compound,’ he stood up, ‘plus I actually read what was going in the story.’
‘Silence, Jasmine,’ he ordered, ‘passing judgement on other people is… a bad thing. “A bad thing”?’
Sorry Master Yamaoto, I ran out of clever wisdom-like things to write down.
‘Good night… Anyway my ninjas, let’s get back to training.’