John Wilkes Booth: Ninja Edition

Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve always had the secret aspiration to be a ninja. Most would want to be a lawyer or doctor, but I’ve always felt indifferent to most everyone’s¬†future plans. Anyway, like most dreams, you’d be expected to follow them. Many would get a positive, yet typical, response to voicing their dream; like saying they’re proud, others- namely the Booth family- would get a negative response, making those dreams furthermore unusual because of the negativity. Mrs. Booth, my mom, has always dreamed of being a cat, but when she told her mom (or my grandmother) her unusual and impossible dream, she was dismissed as deluded, despite being about six years old and allergic to cats. Because of these negative reactions, I’ve decided to hide my dream, all until the morning of April 14th, 1865.

On my daily trot to work, I got the typical ‘hello’ followed by my disgust of a surname, “Mr. Booth.” Internally, I’ve always wanted to respond with, “That’s Sensei Booth to you!” but I’ve always had in the back of my head the possible backlash I might get. The thing is, I hadn’t taken my medication that morning, so I acted out of impulse and said that I was, “Sensei Booth,” and not, “Mr. Booth,” the cobbler was confused, but continued to make shoe soles. I, then, continued to strut to the Booth Family Theatre and make a dramatic entrance, pulling out my hidden chopsticks and performing what I called the Dance of the Phoenix. People must’ve assumed I was practicing a dance for my next play, I was a locally known actor after all. I continued to strut into rehearsal, my legs moving like a sly ninja. Once in the room, i took out my hidden origami paper and folded a paper crane, flapping its wings as I pranced around the room whispering Japanese words. The reaction was surprisingly positive, colleagues clapped when I finished. After that, I went to talk to my theatre friends. My mom had always said they were the wrong crowd, but I didn’t listen to her. They were talking about president Lincoln and how terrible of a leader he was. Politics never interested me, so I just started to practice my lines.

Today was showday. I was especially excited because because I had a master plan to let my career changes be known to the public. I put my custom made karate belt under my peasant costume, loading its secret pockets with shurikens. I then realized that my whole life was leading up to this moment, so I’d better savor it. I lightly brushed my mustache and practiced my signature strut, feeling so prepared and whispering words of encouragement, while gazing at my beauty in the make-up mirror.

Act one started and I saw the perfect opportunity to announce my career changes, but I wasn’t on-stage at the time. I considered impulsively running onto the stage and announcing my over-lasting ninja dreams, but I reminded myself that the moment had to be perfect. After intermission, I knew it had to be now or never, so, right when I was about to deliver my monologue about bread and potatoes, I instead tore off my costume, revealing my ominous black clothing and karate belt. I then said with the best Japanese accent I could muster, “Many of you know me as John Wilkes Booth, but I know myself as Sensei Booth!” I then whipped out my shurikens and chose one lucky audience member to demonstrate my moves on. She sat on a balcony in the very center of the audience, with guards surrounding her. She was incredibly tall, with sharp cheekbones. I threw the shuriken in her direction. It was a direct hit! Shortly following my amazing stunt, people began shouting about the president, then it hit me: that strikingly tall, bearded figure was not only the president, but also a man. I reminded myself of the previous positive feedback and confidently strutted off-stage.

I was pleased that I’d finally announced that I was Sensei John and expected the cobbler to address me so, instead he said the usual, “Hi, Mr. Booth!” I suppose he hadn’t seen the play, but in a fit of anger I ran away. I had announced my career changes and yet they weren’t respected! I ran swiftly to the most secluded place I could and stumbled upon a barn with no animals in it, so I decided to stay for a few days. There is now a man outside the barn threatening to burn it down, so I’m here recording my life story. Now I know that you should never take your medicine, for if you don’t, you might get to murder a tyrant.


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