TITLE: Ink Wash
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy
EMOTION: Teenage Indifference
Intro: After her mother's death, 17-year-old Katie (main character) moves to Japan to live with her Aunt Diane. Katie and the school's arrogant (and gorgeous) kendo star grate on each other's nerves, so she decides to join the kendo team to try and take him down a notch.
“I joined the kendo club at school,” I said to Diane over dinner. She went bug-eyed and just about dropped the shrimp straddled between her chopsticks.
“I joined the kendo club.”
“I thought you hated contact sports.”
I shoved in a forkful of salad. “I do.”
“Kendo does not translate to ‘ballet,’ Katie.”
I rolled my eyes. “I know. I sat in on a practice today.”
“It’s dangerous. You could get hurt doing kendo,” Diane said, but I shrugged.
“You could get hurt crossing the street.”
“Katie, I’m serious. Are you really sure you want to do kendo? Did the teacher talk you into it?”
“No, I want to do it.” I poured my cup of green tea over my rice and mashed it in.
Diane sighed. “I don’t know about this. What would your Mom say if I let you try it? And don’t pour your tea in your rice, Katie, you’ll ruin it.”
“It tastes better this way. Tanaka told me,” I said. “And don’t worry. Mom would say, ‘Good for you, Katie! Japan needs more girls taking kendo!’” I rose to my feet and started clearing up my empty dishes. Diane stared down at her pile of shrimp tails and I knew I’d won when her shoulders sagged.
“All right,” she said eventually. “It’s ok with me, but take it slowly and be careful. If you get hurt, I’m pulling you out.”
“Diane, come on,” I said. “What’s a contact sport without contact?”