“I see you’ve found yourself a goat.”

From a five minute in-class exercise using the following constraints: must contain a ninja, a goat and take place in Belgium, in the rain

>Bring me a bowl of coffee before I turn into a goat.
_–Johann Sebastian Bach_

They walked without saying a word. Kurosawa was glad he was no longer alone; his black shirt and pants clung to his skin in the rain, it rained endlessly here, was there ever sun? Down from the grey skies, over tiled roofs, and down cobblestone streets; into labyrinthine sewers older than time itself.

She recognized him at once; he was the only Ninja in all of Belgium, and he sulked his way through the rain down the main boulevard, looking less like a ninja then a dejected schoolboy in November. She did not, however, recognize the goat by his side.

The sky was stained crimson the night they met–it was in Yokohama, 15 years ago–before her trouble with the police pulled them forever apart. Or so she’d thought. She fell from the face of the earth. And she was averse to admit it, but she had grown used to life alone. It replaced that dislocated longing for completeness that only comes from many years of solitude.

“I don’t need anyone to protect me!” she said, to no-one in particular. The young man at the table behind her looked up from his newspaper, only to cock his head in goatish amusement, and return to reading.

The little dog started barking, its owner had left it tied up in the rain, and it was beginning to take on the look of a drowned rat–she was pulled from the haze of memory into the very real, and surreal moment of staring a goat straight in the face.

“Hello Kurosawa,” She purred. “I see you’ve found yourself a goat.”