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Monkey shines, and his grace…

April 30, 2004 Leave a comment

They were small, only a few inches taller than I am, and they were all dressed in black. They wore cloth masks that covered their faces except for their eyes. I never heard them coming.

I was surrounded by flock of deadly ninja.

“Yeek! Ninja!” I said.

The cold-blooded killer closest to me scratched his head.

“You’ve heard of us?” he said. There was a general murmuring from his friends.

“Are you kidding me?” I yelled. “Of course I’ve heard of you! You’re the deadliest of the deadly, the cruelest of the cruel! You can pick out a scorpion at a hundred paces, and I heard that once you took out an entire army with a single lethal dodgeball throw!”

Ninja # 1 sort of nodded modestly. “This is all true,” he said, “But mostly what we do best is cook really delicious hors’deuvres.” Nods and quiet murmurs of assent from the rest of the assassin squad.

“Whoa!” I was impressed. “I love hors’deuvres!”

“Finger foods are our specialty,” said the ninja, “They’re bite-sized, easy to carry and conceal, and are totally tasty treats. I have a selection here, if you’d like to try some. But first things first,” he said, his eyes narrowing. “What are you doing in our secret lair?” he hissed, pulling a dagger from, seemingly, nowhere.

“Yikes!” I said, “I swear, I didn’t mean to intrude! I was only following the monkey,” I waved my hand toward the giant Tim-tapestry.

There was a muffled uproar among the ninja.

“Shush, all of you!” said Ninja # 1. He grabbed my collar and glared deep into my eyes.

You,” he said, “You have seen the monkey?”

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Hey, hey, he’s a monkey…

April 30, 2004 Leave a comment

“Tsukiyama!” I hollered as I rolled at breakneck speed off the garage roof. I landed with a thud in some forsythia bushes. Ouch. I scrambled to my feet and looked around, afraid that I’d lost Tim.

There he was! The slight, agile figure of a monkey bounded from the backyard fence into the darkness.

“Wait!” I yelled, and took off after him.

“Cheep!’ he replied, and kept on going.

It was a crazy chase. Monkeys run fast. Under the moonlight, through the darkening streets, narrowly missing a crash collision with a man on a unicycle — it was a night unlike anything I had ever experienced.

Faster and faster Tim ran. Faster and faster I followed, until the scenery became a blur, and I had no idea where I was anymore. A firehouse. A school. A garden filled with statues. On and on and on we raced. My eyes watered. My breath burned. I couldn’t possibly run any farther.

“Awk-!” I gasped, and collapsed in a heap.

“EEEeeeeee…!” The answer faded into the distance.

I’m not sure how long I lay there, blinded by my own tears and gasping for breath. But the first thing I noticed when I started being able to notice things again was the sound. Something was flapping like a sail in high wind. Slowly, I stood up and took a look around.

I was on the rooftop of an apartment building – a high one. Skeletal branches of antennae clawed at the sky. Someone had hung a bedsheet out to dry, and it billowed in the wind, making the flapping sound I had heard. There was no sign of Tim.

I was lost, I had no monkey, and I was starting to get hungry.

I walked to the edge of the roof, with the idea that I might be able to get my bearings with a bird’s eye view. As I passed, the bedsheet unfurled in particularly strong gust of wind, and I found myself face to face with a huge embroidered image of a monkey.

It was no bedsheet at all. It was a gigantic banner of Tim.

The banner was a magnificent piece of work. There was Tim, about two hundred times his actual size, lovingly depicted in vibrant silken threads. His embroidered eyes glowed with a benevolent light, and his right hand was raised in greeting.

I was marveling over the craftsmanship when small, wickedly sharp, star-shaped blade flew past my head and embedded itself into the wall behind me. I cried out and whirled around.

I was surrounded.

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