I Am Ninja

The ninja stayed hidden within the gaudily painted camper van, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He recalled his training, the hours spent motionless, and the harsh chastisement meted out by his sensei should he detect the merest flicker of movement from him. He felt the slightest hint of perspiration begin to form on his brow and willed his heart rate to slow, dropping his body temperature. He had to remain calm, he had to remain focused. This was his first assignment, his first assassination.

Not his first kill. Oh no. His master had made sure of that. The ninja had to be cold, hard, unwavering as he delivered death to his designated target. He could not afford the luxury of empathy, and so his final task before earning the rank of ninja had been to slay his own family in cold blood. Their deaths had severed any ties to his past; to the child he used to be.

He closed his eyes and let his other senses expand. He could smell the musty odour of the faded upholstery in the camper van, he could taste the lingering traces of a dozen illicit substances that had been consumed within, and he could feel the tiniest vibrations travel through the camper van’s frame from the footsteps he could now hear travelling along the sun kissed suburban pavement towards his hiding place. They were the clear, heavy footsteps of a man in his mid-thirties, the footsteps of the ambassador’s son that he’d been contracted to kill. It was a matter of honour, but that did not concern him. He had a task to perform, and he would execute that task without a single flaw. That was his purpose, for he was ninja.

He let his senses expand until he knew exactly where his victim was, just as clearly as if he could see him. He was drawing closer now, almost level with the side door of the camper van. The ninja’s muscles tightened and he readied himself to strike. It would be swift, sharp and over in seconds. The CCTV camera on the street outside would not record the motion. The man would simply drop to the floor in an expanding pool of his own blood, his life quickly flowing from the cleanly severed artery in his leg.

He could smell him now. Closer and closer he came. The ninja’s hand tightened on the handle of the camper van’s side door, this was it, he took in a deep breath through his nose and held it. This was the moment. The perfect moment. He would become death.

The handle stubbornly refused to turn. The camper van rocked slightly. As his target continued his pleasant morning walk, oblivious to his brush with death, the ninja silently fell on his sword.

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Ian Sharman
Ian is a freelance writer and artist. He founded Orang Utan Comics Studio with Peter Rogers in 2006, writes for their Eagle Award Nominated anthology Eleventh Hour and regularly inks for Panini’s Marvel Heroes comic.
Ian Sharman

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