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The Ninja Stone
Toste Howell was just an average American boy. He had short black hair, long legs, and green eyes. He got mostly B’s and C’s on his report card, his favorite sport was basketball, and he spent most of his free time playing video games. One morning, Toste was sitting at his kitchen table staring out the foggy window when he heard a knock on the door. “Toste! The door is for you!”. He suddenly jumped up to see who it was. When he got to the door, a man with shaggy brown hair, who looked to be about thirty, was standing there.
“My name is Barnardo. I’m here to take you to the SNS.”
“What is that? Am I in trouble?”
“You will learn when you get there if you accept.”
Barnardo ushered Toste out into a beautiful, cherry red, Ferrari. Sitting next to the curb the car looked as if it were the king of the block. Toste inquired, “What is going on? Where are you taking me?”
“I can’t tell you. Here. You must put on this blindfold because no one can know the location of the SNS.” Toste reluctantly put on the blindfold and sat down in the gorgeous vehicle. The Ferrari roared to life and slowly drove toward the corner of the block. Then Barnardo skidded around the corner and sped up. They continued on for an hour or so. Toste was extremely anxious. He had no clue where they were going and weather or not this stranger was safe. Finally they stopped.
“Are we there yet?” Toste asked.
“No, not even close.” Barnardo led Toste out of the car instructing him not to take off his blindfold.
Toste was very confused as to what was happening to him. Was this just a dream? Finally, Barnardo pushed Toste down into a seat. “Are we on a plane?” Toste asked.
“Well why don’t I hear anyone else?”
“Don’t ask so many questions.” Toste remained silent for the rest of the plane ride.
Finally they got off the plane. It was so hot outside that Toste figured you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. “You can take off the blindfold now Toste.” Toste took it off and looked around. It was not a plane, but a helicopter that Toste had come in. The helicopter took off and Toste realized something: there were no sidewalks here.
“Um... Barnardo,” Toste started.
“Where are we?”
“I can’t tell you because if you don’t accept, we have to send you home.”
“Well this kinda really freaking me out.”
“How old are you Toste?”
“I’m 14. Why do you ask?”
“Just wondering. Come on, it’s a long walk.”
Toste looked around once more. To the left was a dark looking forest. To the right was a beautiful mountain with snow at the top and trees on the bottom. “We are gonna go to the right aren’t we?” Toste asked.
“Ha ha you’re very funny.” Barnardo set off into the dark forest. Toste took one step toward him, the stopped when he noticed something shiny on the ground. He bent down to pick it up and examined it in his hands. It appeared to be some sort of ruby, but Toste was far from being an expert in these sort of things. He stuffed it in the pocket of his jeans and followed Barnardo into the forest.
After about an hour of walking, they reached a cave with moss growing on it. They walked in. Soon the cave’s floor started sloping upward and the floor turned from stone to tile. “This is the SNS,” said Barnardo. They passed several closed doors. Then, all of a sudden the ceiling started to shake and crumbled down. “No!”screamed Bernardo.
A young girl climbed out from a piece of rubble. “Hey, my name is Lisette.”
“Um...,” Toste said, “that was quite an entrance.”
“You need to come with me. Bernardo is the bad guy! I was sent to get you.”
“Just come on!”
They picked their way through the rubble until they reached the forest. Toste asked, “Will you please explain to me what is going on and what is the SNS anyway?”
“What have they told you?”
“They lied! Wait, did you say nothing? Oh. Well I guess I could explain. You see, The SNS stands for Secret Ninja Society and Bernardo...”
“Wait. Did you say secret ninja society?”
“Yes. Now stop interrupting! OK so Bernardo is on the dark ninja’s side.”
“Well what did they want with me?”
“The dark ninjas and the good ninjas have been feuding for years over the ninja stone. Right now neither side knows where it is and they have been searching for it. They found a lead in your hometown so they probably wanted to see what you know. Ninjas are great spies. I mean someone is probably spying on us right now. NEVER assume that no one is listening to you.”
“Wait are you a ninja?”
“Duh! Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I was sent to get you. We are going to take you home, Toste.”
“Wait, what if I don’t want to go home?”
“Where else do you want to go? I mean you seem to really like it at your house. You have a great family.”
“Thanks. Wait have you been in my house?”
“OK. Well I was going to say, what if I want to be a ninja too?”
“Ha! you’re not ninja material!”
“Well, Bernardo wanted me.”
“Yeah. That’s just because they hardly have any ninjas left!”
“OK, so where are we going now?”
“To where the good ninjas are.”
“Well how did YOU become a ninja?”
“Oh, I don’t like to talk about myself. I mean if you really want to know, when I was twelve, I ran away from home and snuck onto Bernardo’s Helicopter. When I found out he was evil, I snuck away. I tried to find my way back to a city. I soon realized this was an island and there were no cities! I found the other ninjas and they thought I had mad skills so they let me join. YOU DO NOT HAVE MAD NINJA SKILLS!”
“Uhh...how old are you now?”
“So you have been a ninja for a while, huh?”
“Yeah. I should take you back to headquarters.” They walked on until they reached the base of the towering mountain.
“Don’t tell me the headquarters is at the top. Is it?”
“It is, but we don’t have to climb it. A helicopter swooped down and before Toste had realized it, they were at the top of the mountain.
They stepped out into the blusterous wind and suddenly a trap door opened beneath them. Lisette landed in a ninja pose, but Toste, unprepared, toppled over. Lisette got up and started in the opposite direction. Toste hobbled behind her. “Where are you going?” he called.
“None of your business. I’m not responsible for you any more.” She walked briskly away. When she was about 100 yards away, she paused and pointed, “headquarters is that way.” Toste continued down the hall. This didn’t look like a ninja’s headquarters. In fact it looked like your average office building except for the underground part. He paused at an open door and peered inside.
He saw a man that was speaking in some foreign language, on the telephone. Toste walked on. At the end of the hall there was an elevator. He pressed the “up” button. The elevator opened immediately. Toste leaned in and the elevator squashed him in its iron doors. “Wow!”, Toste thought. These elevators were fast and strong.
Toste wrenched himself free and walked in. There were so many buttons that if Toste stayed and counted them all day, he wouldn’t get all of them. They were tiny, smaller than buttons on a cell phone. They had no labels. Toste pressed one and waited. The elevator didn’t budge. Toste pressed another. Then three more. Finally, the doors closed.
The elevator moved so quickly that Toste felt as if he was on a ride at the fair. It didn’t seem to be moving just up or down either. Toste could have sworn that it went diagonal too, but that wasn’t possible, was it? The elevator finally came to a halt.
Toste came out into a hall that looked much grander than the one before. It looked like the really fancy bank his grandpa took him to once when he was a kid. He tiptoed down the hall and walked up to a set of double doors. Toste checked to make sure that the “ruby” was still in his pocket, then he knocked.
A guy who appeared to be in his twenties answered. “The head ninja will be with you in a moment. Please wait.” After about five minutes, the head ninja walked out.
“Hello Toste, I’ve heard quite a bit about you. By the way, you wouldn’t happen to have anything for me, would you?” He was about thirty years old. He was average height and wore a suit. He looked like a business man, not a ninja.
Toste reached into his pocket and pulled out the “ruby”. Without a word, he handed it to the man. The head ninja was astonished. He whispered, “I don’t believe it. It is actually right here, in front of me!” He was starting to sound a little bit hysterical. “I haven’t ever seen it in person.” After calming down he looked at Toste and said, “Your name will go down in history.”
Toste wasn’t sure what was so special about the “ruby”. “If you don’t mind sir, could you tell me what this is?”
The head ninja looked at him and said, “why, of course you don’t know. Boy, this is the ninja stone. The good ninjas and the dark ninjas have been fighting over this ever since before I was born! Where did you find it?”
“Right after I got off of the helicopter with Barnardo I found it on the ground. It seemed to have just gotten there. I think it may have been on the helicopter with me and Barnardo was unaware of it.”
“Would you like to become a ninja, Toste?”
Toste didn’t know what to say. What about his family? What about his life? “No thanks sir. In fact, I would like to go home.”
“Very well. Your services to the good ninjas will be forever remembered.” He lead Toste to the helicopter and said goodbye. Toste and the pilot flew off into the hazy sun, toward home.