Ninjas live mainly underground, in spherical fantasy chambers. They sit on radiators, warm. They won't eat peaches. They will compete for the best hack. Their teachers consider two absences an attendance. Their students scratch at flakes of dried orange juice on their desks. Ninjas sit underground, not eating peaches, warming their butts on radiators, competitive, scratching at dried flakes of concentrated orange juice.
One ninja wasn't like others, no one knows why. She was the littlest ninja. She made a list of the ninjas who didn't love her. She had to admit that a few names weren't on her list. She spent two days sobbing in bed, entirely crushed. She lay on her bed, hugging her knees to her chest, crying and needing to urinate. She showered and dressed and walked to the dojo where her sensei didn't ask her where she'd been. She asked if her absence would hurt her grade. Her sensei replied, "I consider two absences attendance." He winked. This sensei's name had not been on her list. After class he told her that she was ready for the advanced class, taught by a different sensei.
The littlest ninja excelled at that class at once. The next day she married her former sensei. It was a good hack. Any sane person reads this, and something inside them dies.
The littlest ninja married her former sensei. Here the story traditionally switches to first person. The night before our wedding, Melissa died of cancer. The next day ninja doctors found a cure. I became a sensei. My fiancée, Melissa, killed herself because she didn't want to die a lingering death from cancer. I became a sensei. The next night, ninja doctors discovered a cure. Melissa became sick and asked me to marry her before she died of cancer. She died on our wedding night. I became a sensei. The next day, ninja doctors discovered a cure. I was dying from cancer and was waiting for ninja doctors to find a cure before proposing to Melissa. The next day, Melissa killed herself. I became a sensei.
I didn't like being a sensei. I started writing. People asked me what I was doing and I said, "I'm writing a novel." When they asked what it was about I said, "It's a novel about Melissa." In my novel, Melissa doesn't become sick and die. Instead, I become sick and kill myself halfway through. In the second half, Melissa lives without me. She becomes a sensei. When people ask Melissa if she enjoys being a sensei she tells them that she loves it; she writes a novel about her great experience.
At 6:49 p.m., trees turn the richest green. They're 10% larger. Everything metal or paved by then is covered with dust or saliva. In the fish clubs, ninjas entertain the thought of swapping their spots on the warmer heaters for plane rides and pharmacological degrees. Over steaming bowls they weigh the merits of multitudes of toxins. It's no accident that people, asked to pick one super-power, always choose flight.