10 February 2012

Webcomic of DOOOOOM! Candidate 3: The Delicate Art of the Sword

Monday meant Aikido. It's a martial art, from Japan, like Karate. But where Karate is a 'hard' martial art, making use of punches and kicks, Aikido is a 'soft' art, all about redirecting your opponent's attacks. It is also true that Monday meant school, but I had few friends at the Bluegrass Country School for Girls, so I moved through the day without noticing much about it.

November was in the locker room at the dojo when I arrived. "Hey," she said, braiding up her electric blue hair. November is one of the Winter triplets. They're hafu, half Japanese, half European. You can tell them apart by hair color.

"Hey," I said, dropping my gym bag on the wooden bench. I looked at her with a critical eye. "Dye your hair again?"

"Yeah," she answered, pulling the braid over her shoulder, and looking at it, critically. "I can't seem to get the color I want to stay. It starts off like this, and within a couple of weeks, it fades to teal." She stuck her tongue out a little, showing what she thought of teal.

"Hmm," I said, pulling off my sweater. "I don't know anything about it," I confessed. "If I dyed my hair a wild color, the Nuns at school would reenact the Passion of the Christ, with me in the starring role." I tossed my shirt on the bench, and started digging around in my gym bag for my t-shirt.

"Ooooh," said January, the white-haired triplet, coming out of the bathroom. She'd already changed into her gi. "Flagellation! How fun!"

I found my t-shirt, and stuck my tongue out at January. "I'll whip you sometime, see how much you like it."

"Don't," advised green-haired December, coming out of the bathroom, "unless you want a girlfriend for life."

We laughed, and the Winter triplets made their way out of the locker room, leaving me to finish dressing.
There weren't a lot of girls at our dojo, at least in the afternoon intermediate class. I understand that, across the board, there are more women than men active at dojos, but you wouldn't know it from the after-school crowd at ours. On the mat that afternoon were the Winter triplets, Jenny the quiet girl from our Biology class, and me. And half a dozen boys, but I try to ignore them as much as possible.

A lot of times, when people think of martial arts teachers, they think of little Asian men with inscrutable faces. Our sensei was a middle-aged white lady, with dark hair that was starting to go grey, and smile lines. She reminded me of someone's grandmother -- which didn't keep her from being a very serious martial artist.

We spent an hour on our lesson, then broke up. One of the things I don't like about our dojo is that it doesn't have showers, so in the locker room, I just stripped and toweled off. "Boy," November said, shaking out her braid and fanning her sweat-damp hair, "Sensei was hard on you today!"

"Not really," I shrugged. "Using me as the demonstrator for techniques is a mark of trust. She trusts me to fall right, and to learn from what she's showing us as she's doing it to me."

"Whatever," January said, pulling a t-shirt over her head. The shirt had the words "I taught your boyfriend that thing you like." She pulled a sweatshirt on over that, and added, "I just know I hate it when she does me that way."

"Says the girl who wanted flagellation, earlier," December noted wryly, zipping up her hoodie.
January stuck her tongue out, and December responded in kind. November just shook her head, and looked at me. "You in for sushi?"

I picked up my wallet, and looked inside. "Mmm. How about Szechuan, instead? They have a student menu, and that's about my budget today." Days when I had aikido, I saved the money my parents gave me for school lunch, and ate with the Winter sisters.

They glanced at each other, doing that silent polling thing, and then November nodded. "Szechuan's good," she agreed. "I like their teriyaki bowl."

We picked up our gym bags, and headed for the door. "Ugh," January said. "Teriyaki from a Chinese place is just not right."

December grinned. "It's for round-eyes like Sigrun," she teased. "They don't know any better."

"How do you say 'bite my shiny metal butt' in Japanese?" I asked, laughing.

If you've read this far, and you'd be interested in reading a webcomic based on this teaser, please leave a comment. If you've just read this far, please give me some sign you're out there.


Abby Arsenic said...

I like the characters in this one. I'd be interested to see more of them =D

Susan said...

Definitely. I love any version of the Winter Sisters!