.Chandler didn’t understand, and at this point, as he put the key in the lock, he was pretty sure he didn’t want to. He shifted his bag of groceries out of one arm and into the other as he nudged open his apartment door. The place was quiet, unassuming at best, but that didn’t mean that Chandler didn’t know any better. Muttering under his breath about the invalidity of squatter’s rights, he mentally ticked off the numbers, dropping to a knee when he hit ‘one.’
True to his suspicions, there was a whoosh of air that came a little too close for comfort. It was followed by a thud into the wood of his front door, then a curse –a tiny curse of ‘kono yarou’ (which Chandler had learned after hearing it enough that it meant ‘You bastard’) – letting him know it was okay to stand.
Rule #2. It was never okay to stand. Rule #1 was to never forget Rule #2.
The moment his lanky legs stretched to standing, he found himself flat on his back, his forehead now full of foot. A tiny foot, covered in black cotton tabi shoes and the zigzagging tread now etched across his forehead. Amidst the pain of a foot colliding with his whole fucking face, he was shocked that they even made ninja shoes that small. Really, where do you order tiny shoes for midgets? Ninja midgets, at that.
He had also yet to figure out how the leader of this midget ninja clan had designated his apartment as their home base. Well he knew he just chose not to believe it. Something Tyoki had said about this being their ancestral lands and that it was their right to be here. Seeing how Chandler lived in Bumblefuck, Illinois, he found Tyoki’s claim to be a little unbelievable. But then again, so were midget ninjas.
He really had the worst luck in the world
As soon as Tyoki finished his awe-inspiring rendition of The Lord of Dance on his face, the ninja leader moved aside, a smug smirk resting at the corners of his lips. “You are getting better, Chandler-san. Still stupid, but not so much of slowpoke.”
Chandler managed a smile; although he wasn’t too convinced it was a smile, more of the pain leaving his face. “Gee, thanks.”
Tyoki chose the path less traveled back to his seat, which was across Chandler’s torso, a tiny foot straying too close to his crotch, and made his way back to the big arm chair he’d claimed as his the first night he came careening through Chandler’s window, his small body smothered by the thick cushions. “We go to war, Chandler-San.”
Chandler blinked as he processed the words, then shot to sitting, his back ramrod straight. “Wait, what. Why?!” He pointed at Tyoki. “And who are WE?”
Tyoki looked down at his gold tinted fingernails with more imagined reverence than Chandler thought was possible. “The Crooked Letter Crooked Letter Eye’s have disrespected me and my clan for the last time. Tonight, I shall avenge my father’s death!”
Chandler pulled a look “Your father is a clown at a circus. We saw him perform last night, Tyoki.”
He gave Chandler a withering gaze before the diminutive man chose to ignore him. He snapped his fingers, threw his head back and bellowed out a loud, “SOLDIERS!!!!”
Chandler opened his mouth to say something else to the old ninja, and he guessed with old came wise, however he wasn’t too sure if Tyoki’s sushi was wrapped too tight, but his lips clammed shut when he heard a quiet roar filter out of his bedroom. “What the hell is th…”
Hundreds of midget ninja foot soldiers ran screaming around the corner, their bodies covered in black fabric, their nails glinting gold in the light of his lamps. They flooded into the room, climbing over chairs and tables, his couch, HIM, in an effort to stand before their leader.
“GREAT TYOKI-SAN! We have bathed in the Spices of Old (and Chandler held his nose because he couldn’t imagine how many cologne bottles they had gone through) and consumed the fire water! (Chandler eyes narrowed to slits because one of the ninjas in the back was swaying and hiccuping and the stench of Jack Daniels overpowered the cologne. The little fuckers drank his liquor.) We have prepared for war! Give us the command!”
Chandler stood up, waving his hands in front of the legions of tiny fighters. “Wait Wait Wait! Where is this fight happening?”
Tyoki looked up and smirked.
Then Chandler heard another battle cry of “HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIYAYAYAAYAYAY!!!!” streaming through the walls, the sound getting louder as another hoard of tiny footsteps marched up the hallway towards his front door.
“Here Chandler-san.” Tyoki chuckled. “Here.”