Revenge is a Dish Best Served With a Side of SPAM

by Gary Kleppe

All feedback welcomed.

Kasumi Tendo is the creation and rightful property of Rumiko Takahashi. She is used here without permission. This story may be freely redistributed, but it should not be altered substantially or used for profit in any way.

I removed the screws in the back of my computer and took off the metal case. After loosening another couple of screws and pulling out a couple of cables, I had taken out the main hard drive.

I'd just found out, the hard way, that driving was a dumb idea under current conditions. That meant I was limited to public transportation, so all I'd be able to take with me would be a single suitcase. I found one and filled it with some clothes, the hard drive, and a very few personal mementos. The last remnants of the life that had been mine.

It had all started the day before. I was waiting until the time when I had to leave for class, writing some C&C for some stories on FFML, when I happened to turn my head towards the other chair in the room. I saw a very pretty Asian woman sitting there, smiling casually at me. I recognized her as the oldest Tendo sister, and did a good unintentional imitation of everyone's favorite chiropractor. "Ka-- Kasumi!? What... what brings you here?"

My stomach tightened as I remembered what time of year it was. Halloween meant open season on fanfiction authors. But why Kasumi?

"I just wanted to meet the author of 'Hearts and Minds', to let you know how much I've enjoyed being in that series. Why, if not for my training in that series, I never would have been able to do the dimensional transport spell to send myself here."

"You mean you're *that* Kasumi? The one who trained as a Shinto priestess?" Uh-oh, I thought. Canonical Kasumi wouldn't be much to worry about in the revenge department. But I had no idea what this one might be capable of. "Uh... did you like studying Shinto in this story? Because, y'know, if not I could change it...."

"Goodness, don't do that. I've done a lot of stories where all I got to do was fix lunch for Ranma as he went off to battle. It's nice really being a part of things for a change."

I searched her face for a clue as to whether she meant what she was saying. All I saw was the same inscruitable smile. But Kasumi had no reason to be revenging me, did she? Not unless she knew....

"Um, Kasumi, about the way my series ends...."

"Oh my, that's still in the future for me." She laughed. "Who can tell what the future will being?"

A Shinto priestess in my story could, that's who. I laughed along with Kasumi, knowing full well that I was in deep doo-doo.

"I've also come to do something for you. Since I've learned so much in your story, I thought it would be only fair for me to give you a special technique of your own."

Uh oh. "What kind of technique?" I asked, hoping I could stall whatever was going to happen.

I blinked. I was alone in the room. I looked all around the room; no Kasumi. I wondered if I'd finally lost it, if in fact I'd ever had it. I'd always spent a lot of time daydreaming, but this had been my first full-blown hallucination.

I went back to writing my C&C.

This story was one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. I laughed for hours. Really hilarious stuff.

I moved the mouse pointer over to select an addressee for the message. A voice in my ear interrupted suddenly.


"GYAH!" I turned, startled, to see Kasumi. "How... where..."

"I've been here all the time, silly!" She looked at the computer screen. "Oh my, did you really mean to send those comments to the author of 'Suicide Blast?'"

"I'll send them to the right author later." I tried to figure out what Kasumi had just done. "You can make yourself invisible?"

"Good heavens, no. I manipulated my personal aura. You didn't notice me, even when you were looking directly at me."

"And I could do that? That's what you're offering me?" I imagined what I'd be able to do with a technique like that, all the secrets I could learn. And I didn't have much to lose; if she was going to revenge me, I couldn't stop her anyway. "What do I have to do?"

"Why, nothing! I just need to make a few alterations on your aura. They'll take effect over time."

"Um..." I searched for something to say. "Will it be painful or anything?"

"Oh, no." She grinned widely, as if there was some joke I was missing. "Not even noticeable."


"Why yes. In fact, I've already done them." She looked over at the clock. "Goodness, look at the time! I've got to be going!"

"Wait! How do I --" But I was talking to empty space. She had disappeared again.

I sent my E-mails, then shut off the computer. Whether Kasumi was a hallucination or not, and what she had done to me if she was real, would have to wait. I had to hurry if I was going to catch the bus in time for my 9:30 class.

Heading for the bus stop, I nearly got flattened under a car who decided to turn on red while I was crossing the intersection. I dove out of his path with about an inch to spare, yelling some choice words at the driver. He just drove away, not even looking back.

I got to the stop just as the bus was loading. I jumped on at the last second as the driver nearly slammed the door on me. Geez, I thought, what's his problem? He didn't even look when I showed my pass.

Then it all made sense. Hey, I may catch on slow, especially before nine in the morning, but I do catch on.

I tested my idea by trying to attract the attention of the people on the bus. No one reacted to anything I did. I tried to concentrate, to feel my "aura", whatever that was. Nothing I did helped.

I went to the bathroom and splashed myself with cold water. No effect. I tried hot water, which also didn't work. Damn it! I wasn't going to give up. There had to be some way to turn the effect off!

A trip to the computer lab confirmed that the curse affected my E-mails too. I couldn't get any response, not even from automated servers.

Not knowing what else to do, I got on another bus and came home. I had nothing left to feel but frustration. Opening up one of my Viz Ranma issues, I found a picture of Kasumi. "Come back here and take this curse off!" I screamed. The picture didn't respond. It was no different than anyone else.

I couldn't stay here, I realized. Eventually someone would wonder whose junk was all over this room, and they'd start using it for something else. Maybe somewhere, somehow, I could find a cure.

Suitcase in hand, I took one last look at the home I was leaving behind. I thought about how I might end up injured or dead somewhere, and no one would even know.

I walked away, not really knowing where I would go. I didn't bother to say goodbye. No one would have heard, anyway.