an Urusei Yatsura fanfic
Gary Kleppe

This is an idea I had one morning that would not go away. It is short and dark. For those who choose to read it, I'll be very interested to hear your reactions to it and what you think it reveals about the psychology of its writer. ^_^

There is a place that is not a place, everywhere and nowhere. Some have called it the spirit plane. There, a conversation was taking place.

"You have something to report?"

"Yes, Leader. I'm pleased to inform you that our Japanese contingent is nearing success in the case we had discussed earlier."


"As you know, leader, this was a difficult one from the beginning. At first the subject resisted having anything to do with our operative. He saw her as possessive, clinging to him and ruining his life in the process. But she stuck with him and never allowed him to get rid of her. Now it seems he is finally changing his mind. He will be ours at last!"

"Inform me as soon as the final outcome is known."


In ancient times, men told stories of creatures that fed on human life force, on human souls. They described these creatures as succubi, vampires, and the like. Humanity has since changed with the times, and when humanity changes creatures who feed on human psychic energy must necessarily change accordingly. So they who were once seen as monsters were now more akin to conspirators in a spy movie.

Some, in fact, changed in other ways...


"No, Ataru-kun, no!" Shinobu held tightly onto Ataru's hand. "Don't... don't leave me!"

"Too late, baby" said Ataru. "I'm taking off to space with Lum. You can't stop me. Cherry tried but he couldn't either."

Lum beamed with joy. "I'm so happy, Darling! I'll take you to a wonderful honeymoon spot on Epsilon Aridani Major. We'll need to go shopping first, though. I'd be overdressed on Aridani in this outfit."

Shinobu fought back tears. "Ataru-kun, I can't take you to other planets. Maybe I'm not as pretty or sexy as Lum. I'm just a real human girl. But if you stay with me I'll always be there for you. I'll always love you!"

"That's the trouble with you, honey," said Ataru, unmoved by Shinobu's pleading. "You're dull! If I stay with you, it'll be a lifetime of working nine to five, changing diapers and watching both of us get old. Why should I settle for your boring old life when Lum can show me the universe? I'm staying with Lum. She's my dream girl."

Lum giggled. "You say the cleverest things, Darling!"

Shinobu held firmly onto Ataru's hand. "No! I won't let you go!"

Lum gave Shinobu a cold glance. "Too late. He's mine." For an instant Shinobu saw beyond appearances. This was no princess from outer space. It was...

Then Ataru was gone.


"Success, Leader. The subject Moroboshi is ours."

"Excellent. A hard-won prize, much more difficult than your previous subject. What was his name? Morisato? No matter. Let us begin the feeding at once."

"Yes, Leader."


Shinobu watched as Ataru lay on the hospital bed, staring blankly ahead. He no longer reacted to her touch, nor to anything else. The equipment that Doctor Cherry had hooked him into now showed that his vital signs were deteriorating slowly but surely. Ataru's body was now slipping away to join his mind, to join his imaginary space princess.

"There is nothing more that can be done," Doctor Cherry said dolefully. "I had hoped that talking to you might help him back to reality. But he was too far gone."

"I failed." The realization set in that Shinobu would never be able to talk with Ataru again. Nurse Sakura held her tight as a wave of pain and sorrow came crashing over her.

"It is not you who failed," said the Doctor. "Perhaps... perhaps it is fate." It was all he could say to Shinobu, all he could say to himself. As a doctor of many years he had lost patients too many times, but it never got any easier.

Ataru, still oblivious to the world, began to mumble: "Oh, Lum, what an awesome new bikini..."

A lecher to the end, thought Shinobu... to the end... but he was her lecher. Or he had been... not any longer. She had lost him to an imaginary alien.

Except there was something she dimly remembered. Something about succubi? Creatures feeding on psychic energy? No, surely that was just her imagination, trying to come up with something to blame this whole thing on. Just a dream.