Splinters in the Wood


Naruto fanfic by Justin Lo


Disclaimer: Naruto doesn’t belong to me.



“Ohhh!  I love ramen!” I shouted, dumping hot water into my stout styrofoam cup of those ever-precious noodles.  After hours of training, a break was always welcome.


I saw Sasuke roll his eyes, hands clenched around his chopsticks as if they were swords.  He always said that eating was as much a test of ninja skill as sparring, a test of focus.  But I always retorted that I did not show a lack of focus just because I did not eat in silence as he did; I just showed focus with a passionate flair.


I was halfway through scarfing down my ramen when I heard a loud scream pierce through the room.  I spat out my noodles ungracefully, dropping my cup.  Raising myself from my treebranch perch, I tripped slightly but regained my balance, running towards the source of the sound.


“What an klutz,” I heard Sakura mutter under her breath as she and Sasuke followed.


‘She just has high standards,’ I thought.  ‘This is a chance to prove myself to her!’


Outside, on the playground, I saw a brawny shadow-creature pinching Konohamaru between its index finger and thumb.


My brows furrowed and I yelled, “You coward, picking on little children!  If you want a real fight, fight me!”


The beast released Konohamaru, tossing the my self-appointed disciple aside in a careless gesture as people throw away cigarettes.  It had no mouth, but I was sure that if it did, it would have an evil grin traversing its deformed face.  The entire field seemed to be shaking because of the creature’s evil spirit.


Without hesitation, I used the Shadow Clone Technique and attempted to pummel the creature into the ground; Sasuke hurled several kunai at various weak points of the creature’s body.  It retaliated by shooting out hundreds of dark tendrils that disposed of my clones, and then it pushed Sasuke and me to the ground in a harsh slap.