The words over at Three Word Wednesday are gentle, praise and vulgar.
I wake to the sound of muffled grunts, heavy breathing.
I go to the window and in the muted mustard light of a summer moon, I see a figure dressed in black, expertly swinging a pair of nunchucks.
Judging by the beer gut, it’s my father.
I slip into a pair of tennis shoes, descend the stairs and step out onto the porch.
“Dad, what the hell are you doing out here?”
He’s a flurry of movements and motions, the black sticks swing dangerously and in every direction. And just as quick, he folds them gently to his armpit and moves silently into the shadows.
“Well, you’re old enough to know, I guess,” his voice spilling from the darkness as a hiss. “We’re Shinobi. Ninja.”
“Yeah, right,” I say. “You’re an assistant manager at Sears.”
A black metal dart hits the post, in the space between where my thumb and forefinger grip the wood.
“This discipline has no room for insolence,” he says. “Consider that a warning.”
“What does mom think of all this sneaking around shit?”
A second dart parts my hair as it continues its trajectory into the wooden post.
“She views the family business as vulgar,” he says. “Yet she’s a master with a katana, what you kids would call a Samurai sword.”
From behind, a faint breeze raises the hairs on my neck. Then, cold steel is pressed there, chilling the blood in my jugular.
“That’s high praise, coming from my master,” mother says in an echo as she withdraws the blade. “And as for you, Mr. Sassy Pants, march yourself back to bed this instant. We’ll discuss finding you a proper Sensei in the morning.”
And smacks me in the ass with the blade’s scabbard.