'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 29 May 2015

KBR Short Story: The Sengoku Academy

by Elizabeth Paterson

‘Dear Miss Obi, 

On behalf of the Sengoku Academy Administration, we would like to congratulate you on your successful admission to our school. 

Your primary subjects will include:
Stealth training and invisibility
Sword play
Martial Arts, and
Control over the elements

We look forward to seeing you in Ninja Class.’

“I’m a Ninja in training!” Shin exclaimed, as she excitedly looked at her acceptance letter again.

Walking through the gate to the academy was like stepping into a room of static electricity; the whole courtyard was buzzing with vibrant energy, but it was also incredibly silent. Shin was aware that there were other people around her, but they were moving with such stealth, speed, and silence that she could see little more than moving blurs. Occasionally, she caught a glimpse of a foot just before it disappeared behind the corner of the building or a very slight rustle in the trees, which could have been mistaken for a tiny wisp of wind.

Another girl stood next to her. She was not a blur; she was standing still beside Shin looking into the vibrating courtyard.

“Are they students?” Shin asked the girl.

“No,” the girl replied, “They’re the teachers.” She pointed over her shoulder to a bus that had just pulled up behind them. “Most of the students are only just arriving.”

Shin breathed a sigh of part relief part awe. She was amazed at the level of skill that was being displayed in front of her but also glad that it was not the level that a student would necessarily be expected to reach on their first day.

Shin blinked and when she opened her eyes a tall woman with dark eyes was standing in front of them; a long weapon was strapped to her back.

“I’m Ms Kat Ana, Head of Sword Play. Surname please,” she said, looking at the girl next to Shin.

“Ken,” the girl replied.

Ms Ana scrolled down a list in her hand. “Ah yes, Shuri Ken?” The girl nodded before Ms Ana continued, “You’re bunking in Building B Level 2 Room 11.”

Then Ms Ana turned to Shin with a look of expectation.

“Oh, my surname is Obi,” Shin said.

“Shin Obi?” Ms Ana said with enthusiasm, “Your father must be proud. Miss Obi you’re bunking with Miss Ken here, and I’ll see you both in Sword Play tomorrow at 9am sharp.”

Shin avoided Shuri’s gaze, who was now looking at Shin with amazement as they walked towards Building B. They headed across the courtyard but stopped when a throwing star flew past their faces. A pair of senior boys came into focus from the blur and Shin saw them laughing at the prank.

Shuri yelled at them, “You’d better be careful. This is the principal’s daughter!”

Shin smiled cheekily as they watched the seniors running away. “Shuri, I think Ninja Class is going to be lots of fun!”

Elizabeth Paterson is a stay at home mother of two children and has had the privilege of having her music themed short story ‘Grandpa’s Attic’ published with KBR in April 2015. She is thrilled to have been accepted for publication again this month with ‘Sengoku Academy’.
Elizabeth also shares some of her other writing online through her blog A Life That Sings Your Song.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’—and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.