I was an Innocent Bystander (Chapter 1: When God Throws Stones)
As some of you know, I'm wrapped up in this whole novel-writing fad that's been going on, lately. My goal this month is to write an epic novel about love, honour, revenge, and awesome technology. I'm thinking of calling it 'When Gods Throws Stones' or something equally impressive. But, today, I'm likely not going to have much progress, if my day so far has been any indicator. Just, everything has been wonky, no matter what I try to do. It's ridiculous. Also, I haven't been able to return the calls of anybody who's tried reaching me on my cell, for reasons that will become apparant shortly.
My day started out normally enough. At least, until my alarm clock exploded. I called the manufacturer about it, but they deny any responsibility in the matter, and that the warranty on it had expired, quote, "An assload of time ago." I guess that's what I get for buying clocks at 'Explodey Stuff Is Us!' and expecting the merchandise to not spontaneuosly combust. But, what really irks me is the customer service, or lack thereof, in the phone conversation. I mean, seriously, they put me on hold for an hour! And, to add insult to shrapnel-filled injury, they refuse to cover the medical expenses I have for removing all the bits of alarm clock from my face.
Which brings me to the next part of my day. I had to drive twenty miles with a shrapnel-encrusted face to the hospital, because all of the ambulances were out of service. Apparantly, some trick-or-treating jackasses thought it would be funny to slash the tires of every single vehicle at the hospital. From what I could gather, that even included the wheelchairs. Anyway, I got to the hospital, covered in blood, and the cute receptionist gave me some forms to fill out, and told me to sit in the waiting room until I was called. What I saw next was both hilarious, and incredibly unbelievable.
The room was full of ninjas.
And I don't mean people dressed up as ninjas for Halloween. I mean full-on, hardcore ninjas. You know, I wouldn't have noticed them, either, except that they all had grievous injuries. Now, I'm no doctor, but to me, they looked like they had gotten into a rather large brawl with some unsavoury characters. I'm thinking pirates. Nefarious pirates. But then again, is there any other kind? Anyway, like I said, I wouldn't have noticed them, but the horrible injuries made them stick out like a sore thumb. So, being the curious character I am, and in the hopes of getting some inspiration for my story, I asked one of the ninjas what happened. He turned to me, and in a very ominous and foreboding voice, said the following words which have been etched in my brain for all eternity.
"Many, many centuries ago, the founder of my sensei's dojo had been working his garden, in order to commune more closely with the Earth. A strange man approached, and plucked a radish out of the garden of my sensei's sensei. The founder was rightfully incensed that a complete stranger should steal from him, Saito Yasashiku, the most mighty martial artist in the area. As the stranger started walking off, Saito-san called out the name of his most powerful attack, in order to give the stranger fair warning."
The ninja paused to wipe a small teardrop from his left eye before continuing,
"On that day, we lost our founder, because he was honourable. 'Badger Press of Ethereal Panics!' were his last words, for the stranger drew a pistol from his belt, and shot the master square between the eyes. That is why my sensei has drilled us, his loyal students, in the art of ninjutsu. We train to be deadly, efficient, sneaky, and above all, silent. Had Saito-san kept his voice to himself, he would still be with us, passing on his teachings, and possibly his recipe for leek soup. He loved leek soup. Almost as much as he loved pillowfights. Would you like to hear about the pillowfights?"
I quickly assured the melancholy ninja that I did not need to know about the pillowfights, and his slate-grey eyes hardened.
"In that case, I have nothing more to speak with you about," he said. Tilting his masked face to the side, he began to study me in earnest. "What did you say your name was, anyway?" he inquired, squinting his eyes slightly. I was becoming rapidly fearful for my life, but the blood loss from my shrapnel wounds had dropped my self-preservation instinct like a sack of dead penguins. Opening my mouth to speak, I was saved by the nurse on duty beckoning me to the examination room. I excused myself, and walked with an unsteady gait towards the nurse.
She told me to be seated on one of the beds, and gave me a hospital gown to change into. Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind the gown thing, but the pattern on the gossamer-thin cloth was just mind-boggling. I mean, honestly, who would willingly choose to wear an ill-fitting scrap of material bedecked with the image of a smiling halibut? It was surreal. Anyway, I put the thing on, and set my clothes to the side of the bed. Had a sticky time doing that, what with them being soaked in blood and all, but I managed. A few minutes, and another cup of blood spilling to the ground later, the doctor comes in. Wearing a pirate costume. Complete with hook hand.
I would like to take this moment to state that I believe pirates have no place in the medical profession, especially if they are shy a limb. Especially if that limb is a hand.
With that said, I have to say that he did an incredible job of removing the alarm clock bits and sewing me back up. Doctor Teach is a good man. After hooking an IV with blood for me, he asked if I would mind him sitting and chatting with me. Being the polite person I am, as well as doped on painkillers, I assured the doctor that it would be my pleasure to engage in a witty dialogue with a man of his stature. Or, at least I think that's what I said. I can't remember, honestly. At that point, my circulatory system had about a 2:1 ratio of drugs to blood, so everything is kind of iffy for the rest of my stay in the hospital.
It was quite fun.
Anyway, there was a rather uncomfortable part of the patching me up. A piece of the alarm clock had embedded itself into my left cornea, and that meant I had to start wearing an eyepatch. After swapping out his hook hand for a pair of tweezers, he got the offending bit of plastic out quickly and painlessly. Blinking a few times, I accepted the eyepatch he offered me, and gingerly placed it over my injured eye. At that moment, my cellphone rang.
Let me tell you, there is a reason why there are all those 'turn off your cellphone' signs plastered all over the hospitals. The instant I heard the first few notes of the William Tell Overture emanate from my blood-soaked pants, the life-support systems in the room started spazzing out. First, the heartrate moniter cracked open, revealing some incredibly wiry insides, which only held my interest until the mechanical lung apparatus ceased to function in a spectacular conflagration. I tried getting the phone from my pants pocket, but the blood had made the phone too slippery to hold. I fumbled with the cellphone for a few moments, until an exploding dialysis machine fell on top of it, ceasing the cheerful ringtone forever.
Needless to say, I was kicked out of the hospital in the midst of the chaos which had sprouted from my errant cellular phone.
Half-blind, drugged to the gills, and wearing a flimsy halibut dress, I took stock of my situation, and came up with the following items that needed to be addressed as soon as possible.
- I was wearing a hospital gown emblazoned with the smiling visage of a sea creature
- I was standing in front of a burning hospital
- I was so full of painkillers I couldn't think correctly
- I was wearing an eyepatch, making me unable to have any sense of depth
- I had not written a word of my novel all day
- There was an army of ninjas staring at me
- My cell phone was destroyed, cutting me off from anyone who could help
The most pressing item on that list was, withoubt a doubt, the ninja army.
But, because I was too pumped full of medication, I decided to go clothes shopping. Which, to my pickled brain, meant that I should go home and take a nap. So, I started the long, long process of staggering home. With an army of ninjas in tow. For a few hours, the sight of a ninja cartwheeling across my path or dropping out of a tree delighted me. Unfortunately, the drugs quickly wore off, and when I was within easy sight of my humble abode, I realised the gravity of my situation. I not only had to figure out how to outsmart a clan of ninjas, but I also had to do it without wearing any pants.
Trust me when I say that it is not easy to plan a ninja-proof escape route when your tuchis is showing. So, rather than kill my already suffering brain with even more things to think about, I started running. In retrospect, I suppose I should have known that running would set off the hunter instincts that lay dormant in every ninja, but my judgement was suffering from the aftereffects of everything with which Dr. Teach had filled my bloodstream. So, yeah. Running + Ninjas = World of Hurt.
After the ninjas delivered a sound, efficient beatdown upon my weakened, drug-filled body, I managed to drag myself inside, and get to work. The whole alarm clock fiasco had taken up most of my day, and now I had to start work on the novel with only one eye, and severe pain from the ninja attack. And as if the exploding clock and ninja army deal wasn't enough, my computer is acting wonky again. Grah, I suppose I'll just have to deal with whatever this damned machine tries to do. And the worst part of the day? I can't use any of what happened as inspiration for my novel. So far, all I have to show for my trials and tribulations is the following sentence:
"Once upon a time, there was a young man called Joseph."
I'm really going to need to focus if I have any chance of completing the novel by the end of the month.