I never Trusted John. Not then, and Espeacailly not now. My name is Caterina Beling. I am Japenese American and a highschooler at OakleyHigh school. John and I are cousins. My parents died when i was only 8, so I was basically raised by my grandparents, who also raised John. My grandfather was a Japenese Immagratn from Japan. Little did anyone know, he was trained in the art of the ninja back in his homme country. He chose not to teach my dad, but he taught me and John. WHile we were both raised to be good and never hurt anyone, John chose otherwise. Your probably wondering why i dont ttrust John. Here is our story.
It all started in early september, the begining of school. Homecoming was coming up, and the california weather was never better. I was walking through the courtyard when suddenly, i heard someone call my name. "Cat! Cat!" I spun aroudn and saw Ace my best friend tryign to catch up. "Yes?" i asked him. He shrugged and said "I wanted to walk with you today." I nodded and kept walking. I glanced around and noticed John underneath the giant oak tree in the courtyard. he was whispering with his henchmen. The henchmen are these guys that follow John around. John was like thier leader of the band of outcasts. I glared at him, and he glaed right back. Suddenly, Ace pulled my braid. "Ow. What the--" I stopped myself before i could swear. I have got to stop swearing. He laughed and said "You were having a stare off with your cousin, and i felt left out." I couldnt help but smile at his infectous grin. He slung his back pack off his shoulder and pulled out his skate board and helmet. i reached into mybag and grabbed my skateboard. I never wore a hemet. "Come on. Lets get to my house and train." \
You see, Ace is the only one outside the family who knows about mine and John's training. He found out becasue i accidently, well, temporarily paralyzed him. In my defence, he snuck up on me. he was really mad at first, but thought it was cool when he found out about my training. Ever since he was like a training dummy that fights back.
When we got to my house, we pounded down the stairs to my basement. I pulled back a picture frame to reveal a hole. It was shapped like a mini ninja star. "do you wanna use mine or yours?" he asked. we both had a key to the training area. "Mine." i pulled off my lotus blossum necklace. I hit a hidden button in the center, and a bunch of shap point shot out he side. I pressed it into the hole, "Welcome, Caterina." said a mechanical voice before a bookcase right beside it pulled away to reveal a tunnel. We started down the tunnel. It was pitch black,buti knew the way like theback of my hand.It ended at the opening of a large cavern."Hey grandad." isaid while throwing my bag and skateboard on the floor. my grandad swiveled around in his chair to face me and Ace. "Hello Caterina." I hugged Mimi (thats what i call my grandmother) and walked over tot he montitor. "what is on the scheldule today?" My grandad began typing a sequence of codes into the computer. "It looks like you have everything complete. Try practiceing withAce with the bamboo poles." I nodded and ran over the a rack that covered the one wall. it had ninja stars, ropes, stun guns, and many other weapons except guns. I grabbed 2 poles and tossed one to ALex. While we practiced, Mimi and grandfather went upstaris to cook dinner.
Later that night i was in my room petting my pet cat, bubblegum. I named her that becasue she has the weirdest pink tint to her fur. Suddenly, i heard the phone ring. I reached for it to pick it up when i heard John yell, "I'll get it!" I was querios who it was, becasue John never got any calls. I picked up the phone from its cradle and put my hand over the mouth piece to muffle my breathing. "Do you have evrything we need for this to go down, friday night?" I heard John ask. A familiar voice answered "Yah, i do. Are you sure we shoudl be doing this? I dont think this is a good--" "You know the deal. You back out, i hurt the girl!" I heard the person suck in a breath of air and say "If you hurt her, then i swear to god i will call the police!" John answered "Fine. But you know the deal. yo back out, you tell anyone, i will hurt her." the phone then accidently slipped out of my hand and hit the floor. I heard John pounding up the staris to my room. I slammed the phone on its cradle and jumped on my bed and opened my book. He burst into my room and said "What are you doing?" i was a good actress. "First of all, ever hear of knocking? second of all, i have been reading. if you dont believe me, ask bubble gum." I looked around the room for my cat then spotted her just barely perched on the shelf abouve my window. Jonh glared at me, and Bubble gm hissed at him. "good cat" i said. Jonh slammed my door. I trie dto concentrate on my book but i couldnt. What was going on? What is he planning? and who the heck wa he talking to." I fell asleep thinking of who it could be.
The next day was a inservice day. I had decided to go to the mall to find sometihng for home coming. As i skate boarded to the mall, i had to go past ACe's house. As i passed i slowed and considered inviting him along. I would need a boy's opinion. Right when i was about to ring the doorbell, i heard Ace's voice... and John's. I crouched down and crept over to a open window. I peeked in and saw John on the couch across form Ace. "I still dont think we shoudl do this." Ace said. I was shocked.So it was Ace on the phone last night. John glared at thim and siad "Look everything is going as planned." Ace sighed and said "what about Cat? I know she is better then you" John jumped up. "No she is not! If she interfere, i will simply dispose of her" before He could say Anymore, he glanced towoard the window. Crap. I pulled out of viem and literally jumped over the railing nad into the bushes.I crouched down, very glad that Ace was to lazy to trim the headges. I saw John open the front door. ace followed him. "What is it?" Ace asked. John shook his head and said "Never mind. I thought I saw... just never mind.'
I was shocked. As i skated back home, i was trying to wrap my mind aroudnt hat Ace had been helping John. I was so distracted, i almost ran into something at least4 times. Back at my house, My grandparents weren't home so i decided to do target practice in the training area. I zoned out anything and everything. Suddenly, i heard a noise behind me. I spun around and threw the ninja star i was holding. Ace ducked Just in time. "What is with the throwing of deadly Object, caterina?" he asked. He was holding his skateboard in one hand, and a piza box in the other. "I htought i would coem over and visit. I got bored." I nodded and sat on the ground. ACe sat two. I opened up the pizza box. Pepporoni; my favorite. we were strangely silent while eating. "Hey Ace, i want to ask you something." He nodded. I continued."Last night i kindof was spying on john when he was talking with someone on the phone." Ace started to choke on pizza. "Do you have any idea on who that could have been." i sai whn he finished. He shook his head and said "No." I nodded and said. "Then could you tell me what John was doing at your house?" fear flashed in his eyes as he jumped upward ready to run. I jumped up infront od him and blocked his way. "You are a very horrible liar, Ace" He looked at the ground. "What is John plannign?" he shook his head and said "I cant tell you. if I do, he will hurt--" "I dont care. tell me what he is planning." He looked like he was going to cry. "I cnat" "then get out" i said quietly. He jerked his head upward. "Cat, wait--" "GET OUT NOW ACE!" he refused to move. I grabbed a handful of ninja stars off the wall and began to throw them at him. That made him go. "GO RUN; YOUR A COWARD ACE SANDERS! A COWARD!" i screamed at him. When his footsteps faded, I sat down and cried.
The next week Ace became one of te Hench men. I ignored him and pretended like he didnt exist. He looked liek he wanted to say soemtihng to me once, but i just walked away. I found out from one of John's henchmen (not before i threatened him with death by expulsion; i have connections int eh school board) that it was going down on homecoing.
I had decided to go to homecoming and stop what was going to happen. I would need a dress to blend in though. When i was looking through catalogs, an idea overcame me. I ran to the basement and took out an old set of ninja clothes that had belonged to my great grandmother. It was dark purple. I put it on and it fit perfectly. managed to creep up to my room without my grandparents noticing what i was wereing. In my room, i took it off and cut a small piece off the cuff. I skated to the nearest Micheal's and picked out almost the exact smae color fabric as it. When i got home, i mad the fabric into a dress. I may not have sewn for a while, but i am a natural. I put on my ninja suit underneath it and looked in the mirror. You couldnt even tell i was wereing it. I disguised some smoke bombs as beads and managed to turn them into a bracelet. I also desguised some ninja stars and flowers. I was ready when friday came.
That night, i stayed in the shadows, praying John wouldnot notice me. I looked aroudn for any of the henchmen and Ace. Isuddenly noticed John slipping out into the hallway. i followed him. Suddenly i stopped. There was no way i could follow him undetected in my heels. I took them off and continued to trail him. I watched him lock the ffront door with a skeloton key, and then look around. Before he could notice me, i took off down the hallway back to the gym. They were crowning the home coming queen when i came back. "And this years hoimcoming queen is.." Suddenly, John jumped up onstage and stol ethe mike away from the principal
"Attention fellow students! instead of leaving tonight, you will be staying here! And as for my dear cousin, I'd say you don tstand a chance against me" The crowd began to murmer. ONe brave soul yelled "How are you gonna make us? Your just the school Freak!" John said nothing, just drew a footlong ninja sword. The crowd gasped and pushed toword the 3 exits, but htey were blocked by the hench men. I ran up toword the stage and ripped off my dress, revealing the ninja suit. Before I could run toword him, i was grabbed from behind. I had forgotten about the 4th one. I struggled to get away, but i couldnt. "think you can stand a chance against me now, cousin?" john murmered as he examined his swords blade. Suddenly, Ace ran to the front of the crowd. "YOU PROMISED JOHN! YOU PROMISED YOU WOULDNT HURT HER!" he yelled. john glared at him and said "yes but its thansk to you she found out!" Ace jumped onto the stage and pulled out three ninja stars. Jonh laughed and said 'Do you really think you have a chance against me, Ace? i have been training for years!" In that moment when the guy holding me was distracted, i jerked out of his grip and stabbed him with a hidden needle under my nail. it held a type of goop that would paralyze him temporarily. Whne he fell over, i ran over to Ace and john. I stood infront of ace and said "THis is my fight. GO call the police." he turned to me and said "Im not leaving you!" I pulled out my ninja stars and said "Looks like it is just you and me cousin! Lets see how this turns out" He scharged at me with the sword, and I dodged. I threw 3 ninja stars at him. One whent wide, the other bounced off his sword, and but the last one scraped his shoulder. He grabbed his shoudler and when he saw the blood, looked like he wanted to murder me. Just before he could run at me, ace yelled "Cat!' i turned and he tossed me a metal pole. I caught i mid air and held it up in frotn of me. John charged. As we fought, i noticed the gymnasium begin to get quieter. Son al you could here was metal on metal. I was getting tired, and Jhon could tell. Suddenly, my mind went back to my first lesson with the bamboo poles.
I saw my grandfather and me in the cavern. "There is a tendon behind your knee, caterina. If that tendon gives way, you will fall to the ground. Aim for that tendon with the bamboo pole. If your enemy is down, then you will win." i heard him say. I made a wild swing at the back of his knee with the pole. It made contact.
John fell to the ground. Before he coulod move, i reached for the sword and managed to rip it out of his hand. I held it in fornt of me so the tip was at his throat. He glared at me. "And you said i didnt stand a chance." A guy from the crowd ran over with a jump rope from the supply closet and tied John up. I then remembered the hench men. I walked over to the mic and spoke into it "Unless you want to end up like your followers here, i suggest yuo give up." there was the dull clatter of weapons hitting the floor. I then heard police sirens. Good; the cops had come.
I watched as John was pushed into the cop car. I had given the cops my home phone number so they could call my grandparents. I sighed and walked back into the school. The principal had kept the dance goign after that on the grounds that "The incident was nothing more than an outburst." Yah right. I headed for the gym, but then turneed. I needed to thik. I walked into the courtyard and walekd over and sat underneath the ancient oak tree. I stared up through the branches and began to twist my lotus knecklace. Suddnly, i heard soemone say "Well, Miss Ninja, you saved the day" I looked over in the directio of the voice and saw Alex walking toword me. He sat o teh ground and watched the stars. "You still mad at me" he asked. I shook my head adn said "you tying to help made up for it. I have two questions though; what did John hope to gain by this and why did you join him." Alexwas silent for moment then spoke whike still staring at the stars. "He hoped that the parents would pay ransom to get thier kids back. He wanted them to feel like an outcast like he had. I only joined him casue he threatened to hurt you." I looked at him puzzled "Why on earth were you worried about me. I am trained, and for god sakes, i sleep with a knife unde my pillow." He laughed and siad "I know. But i, well--" he cut himself off and leaned over and kissed me. I was shocked for a moment, but then i closed my eyes. When he pulled away, i leaned against him and whispered "now i understand." he smiled and put his arm around me. The world was perfect once again.