I took out the voice recorder but she stopped me. Motioned with her half-visible hand to put the thing away. I complied. I placed the notepad and my list of questions on the table, with a pen. Looking into the dark corner of the room partially illuminated by the window, I cleared my throat.
“I am ready to begin, whenever you are.”
“I am a Ninja,” she said quietly; almost in a whisper.
“When, how, why did you become one?” I finally asked.
It was a difficult interview, a chance of a lifetime. My Tokyo business partner knew my fascination with Japanese culture and had, on a whim, arranged this strange meeting. I expected a man, but a woman had come instead. She wore a long tight red dress and high heels. I thought at first that she was a call girl, but she assured me that she was in fact much more than that.
“I had to kill someone, and it seemed like a good way to do it,” she said.
“Yes. If you are going to kill one person; if you are ready to commit such a sin; you might as well realize that no redemption is possible after that.”
“How old were you?”
“Fifteen. It was several years ago. I just had my birthday when I decided.”
She walked away from the window. I couldn’t see her face. This was the whole point. She walked in with her hair all loose and I never quite saw her. She was always ducking in and out of the shadows. I wondered if she even had a face. She was almost half an illusion and half a delusion. Her voice was sweet though; her body lithe: she was a restrained vixen.
“Wouldn’t you rather have sex instead?” she asked.
“But you’ve never had sex with a Ninja.”
“True: is it different, or special?”
She laughed: it was silver laughter. She went up to the window again and pulled the curtains closed. We were in pitch darkness. For a moment I heard her giggle. Then I felt a cold knife at my throat. I didn’t treat it seriously. It was all unreal. I wondered where she kept the knife.
“Do you intend to kill me?” I asked calmly.
“No, I just wanted to see if you took me seriously, and now I know you don’t.”
The lights came on. I blinked for a moment. She was naked. She looked like a child. I dreaded the thought of the police coming in all of a sudden. Yet I couldn’t see her face even though the room was bright. Her long black hair covered it. In fact although she was naked, I couldn’t see anything much. Somehow she moved about the room in such a way that she was always half obscured either by a piece of furniture or by her hair.
“You are trembling.” She said.
“I am cold.”
“Your business partner sent me to kill you.”
I froze. My mind started to race wildly. Was she lying, was it an act? Why would she tell me something like that? None of it made any sense. I heard her whisper again.
“He asked me to make it pleasurable for you. So, let’s have sex and then I’ll strangle you during your orgasm: that way you’ll go out in ecstasy.”
I said nothing. As soon as she felt me tremble again she kissed me. Then the curtain fluttered and she was gone. I recovered my senses enough to run to the widow. It was slightly ajar. The space was too small for anyone to fit through. Just as I realized that, I heard the door slam. She’s gone, I thought. I turned around and found myself at the tip of a long blade.
“You wanted to know why I became a Ninja,” she said with the sword right at my Adam’s apple.
She was naked and this time I could see her whole petite lithe body and I could see her face – sort of: she wore a blue surgical mask – the kind that is common all over Japan, worn by people when they have a cold. What a culture of courtesy and contradiction they are!
“Yes, I wanted to know that,” I finally said.
“I was a young silly girl and a man very much like you took me to a hotel room very much like this and…”
“He raped you?”
“Not at all; he didn’t do anything: he just wanted to talk. That was his silly fetish: talking to a teenage girl in a hotel room alone, can you imagine? He promised me wild sex and instead I got talk and confession.”
“So you decided to kill him?”
“No. I left: he was boring. And as I walked down the hallway I saw an open door. So, since I was bored, curious, young and stupid I walked into the room and found six men all with their throats slit. They were all sitting at a table dressed in expensive suits.
There was money, drugs and guns all over the place and just a little bit of blood; not much. It was a beautiful scene, and so exciting. I stood there for a moment, exhilarated and turned on, and then I turned around to leave and the thing that happened to you when you turned around from the window happened to me: I encountered the Ninja and his sword. We stood like that for a moment. Then he asked me.”
“What did he ask you?”
“He asked me ‘did you come here for sex?’ and I said without even thinking ‘No; I came here to kill a man,’ and he asked me, ‘Did you?’ and I had to admit that I did not, because I didn’t know how, so he volunteered to show me.”
“I guess I came here for sex,” I said finally, “but not to die.”
I took a deep breath.
She opened her eyes wide and, taking off the surgical mask, said, “Everyone dies, sooner or later. Take off your clothes, and if I am bored even for a minute, I’ll kill you, but…” and she walked up to me and placing her hand on my face ever so gently… “if you please me, I might tell you how I killed the pervert who never raped and never pleased me.”