By Joseph Palmer
The hissing was quite unusual, the boys had not been in any hissing fights since Tory James had been brought home from the cattery. Palmer slipped out of the bed and headed for the front of the house to see what the comotion was about. His wife rolled over in bed in protest.
“Sleepy.” was all she said.
He passed the bathrooms, his with the shower, and hers with the tub. Seperate baths are a usefull tool to a sucessful relationship. The door to the front bedroom / computer room was open just enough for the cats to freely come and go, and enough to reveal the glow of the monitors.
I don’t remember leaving the machines on, he thought. As he got closer the sound of an occasional mouse click was heard, then a double click. The cats hardly ever double click, he thought, then paused. He returned to the bedroom and retrieved the brass putter from behind the accordian case, which was hidden in the closet like some illegal contraband. He returned to the front bedroom door and opened it with the putter.
Akane looked up from the computer.
“Hi, sorry, did we wake you?”
“I told him he shouldn’t come.”
“Him, the CATatonic one.” She pointed to Ranma who was curled up on top of one the monitors, his ponytail dangling in front of the screen. “He had a bit of a run in with your cats, and they got the better of him. They are very cute, what are their names?”
“Oh, ah, the big one is Miko, he’s part ragdoll, the blue point Berman is T-Chan and the little seal point is Tory James.”
“Yeah, well sort of, Miko and T-chan have been ‘tutored’.”
“That’s good, they make better pets that way.”
Ranma jumped to his (four) feet, hunched his back and hissed at Akane.
“Not you, baka!” Akane scolded him, then scritched him behind the ears.
“Um, if its not too much to ask, how does he do that? How can a full grown martial artist curl up on a 17" monitor like that”? Palmer asked.
“Perspective. He’s just drawn that way,” Akane answered and returned to the computer screen.
“There’s just one more thing...”
“What are you two doing here?”
Akane took a sip of hot tea from a cup, then put it down. Ranma jumped down from the monitor and sniffed the cup.
“We figured since you come nosing around in our private lives, we would return the favor.”
“Um, what are you doing on my computer?”
“Not much, I’m just getting the hang of it. I haven’t seen one like this before.”
“It’s new, It’s called a BeBox. I designed the hardware”
“That would explain all of these books.” Ranma said. He had returned to normal. Well, as normal as he gets. “Got any Manga?”
“Left file cabinet, top drawer, Those two boxes, and those two down there, and and some in the bookshelves behind Akane.” Palmer pointed around the room.
“Cool!, you have Patlabor! You can keep these Marmalade Boys though.”
“I’ll take those.” Kasumi said as she entered. “I think Yu is a dreamboat.”
“Oh get real.” Nabiki sniffed as she entered . “Still, he must have money to go to that school.” She selected volume 1 of Sesame Street and retired to the corner with a pack of rice crackers and a cup of tea.
“Hey what’s this Red thing in the Fanfics folder?” Akane asked.
“Don’t read it yet. It’s only a sketch of what I want to say.”
Palmer moved to take over the computer. As a warning to beware of Akane, Ranma gave him a look that said;
“Just think about what it would feel like to go through a sheet of 5/8" sheetrock, a couple 2x8 ceiling joists, some 2x10 roof joists, a layer of 3/4 plywood, and then a layer of shakes, not to mention that funny metal tile stuff. Then, after all that, if you really want, I can tell you all about re- entry burns.”
Palmer froze in his tracks.
Akane opened the file.
“Lemme see!” Nabiki was up and looking over Akane’s sholder.
“Me too!” Kasumi looked over her other sholder.
Ranma slumped into a corner. “Oh Jeez. Every time you release one of those Akane goes all mushy on me. I can’t tell you how happy I am that there are only four seasons.”
“So, is that so bad?” Palmer asked.
“Well at least you could write me into lemon or two,” Ranma shouted.
“Shhh! You’ll wake my wife!” Palmer pleaded.
Akane threw a copy of Using HTML at him. “Hentai! You just want to star in another lemon. In your dreams!” She dripped sarcasm.
Kasumi cleaned up the sarcasm with a tissue.
“What’s this about?” Ranma flipped through the HTML book.
“Its a book on how to do Web pages.”
“Oh, You got one of those?”
“Yeah, “http://www.josephpalmer.com” Palmer replied in a shameless plug, pronouncing the ‘~’ as ‘Twiddle’. "It’s new. I’m going to exclusively use my BeBox to write and maintain it."
Editors Note: My old URL contained a ”~”, one of the reasons I wanted a permamnent, new URL. It does mess up the previous line, though...
“Whatever.” Ranma said. “Got any Orange Road?”
“Top shelf of the closet, under all those old AOL disks”
For a time the room was quiet, except for the occasional click of the mouse, and a shuffle of page.
“I’ve got two questions, do you really think in those sort of sentences, and do you know where Furinkan High school is?” Ryouga asked as he entered the room.
“No, not really” Palmer answered to both.
Akane finished the story, and looked at Ranma.
“Oh no, now what?” Ranma said resignedly. He knew that look.
She got up from the chair, went to Ranma, and sat in his lap, and burried her head in his sholder.
“Palmer, you asshole!” Ranma looked at him with a look that would take Takahashi four pencils to perfect.
“Leave him alone Ranma,” Nabiki said. She sniffled and started to search for financial data on the hard drive.
“I’m going to go play with the cats.” Kasumi said as she slipped out of the room.
“You have cats? Cool.” Ryoga said. “Everyone should have pets. Are they pure breads? are you going to breed them?”
“Yes, and no. We’re going to get Tory Nutered soon.”
“Maybe you should do that with P-chan” Ranma said to Akane.
She nodded silent agreement. Nabiki spit her tea all over the monitor, and Ryoga turned green and crossed his legs.
“I-I have to be going.” he said and left as if he knew where he was going.
“Well I’ve seen enough.” Nabiki intoned. “Can you see if you can get me in on the IPO?”
“Sorry, I have nothing to do with that.” Palmer apologized.
“I’d like a bigger part in the story after Red then.”
“Okay” Palmer agreed.
“We should be going too,” Ranma said.
“Will you be back?”
“Depends on the whim of the FFML I suppose. See ya.” Ranma left with Akane in tow.
Palmer cleaned up the teacups and cracker wrappers, stopped at the bathroom on the way back to bed, the climbed back into the sliver not occupied by wife or cat. Tory woke and began to purr with enough gusto to make the folks accross the street with the muffler impaired Harleys close their windows.
This might make a good story.. he thought as he drifted off to sleep.
October 5, 1997
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“Revenge?” (Version 1.1) 1995 Joseph Palmer
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