Alicia was right in the middle of a talk with Jay about Ranma ½ when she heard a scream and the sound of crashing glass. It made both Jay and Alicia snap bolt upright. “What the hell was that?” Alicia asked, surprised. Just then, Kate came shooting out of the kitchen and barreling through the living room. “Kate! What’s wrong?” Alicia asked as Kate snatched her backpack off the hook by the door and shot out the door in one fluid motion. “Alicia! There’s a weirdo in your kitchen!” she cried frantically over her shoulder as she went flying down the driveway and took off down the street. Jay raised an eyebrow. “Say what?” he asked. “What the heck is she talking about?”
“I don’t know. Nobody can get into my aunt’s kitchen except through the living room,” Alicia stated, concerned. “That’s weird.”
Alicia had thought to go look to see who was in her aunt’s kitchen, but it turned out she didn’t have to.
“Hey, miss! Wait! Come back!” a shrill voice called. Surprised, both Alicia and Jay turned in the direction of the voice. There was a man standing in the doorway to Alicia’s aunt’s kitchen. It was Speed Racer. “Um...” was all Alicia could say. Jay’s eyes widened and he started to nudge Alicia. “Alicia...are you seeing this?” he asked, voice wavering. She blinked a couple of times in disbelief and rubbed her eyes. Both Jay and Alicia were speechless. There was silence. Finally, Alicia found her voice. “What are you doing here? You didn’t break in, did you?” she asked incredulously. She didn't really know what to ask, but figured that was a start.
“Break in??” the guy from the kitchen responded, stunned. “I’d never!”
“Um, Kate didn’t ask you to dress up like what’s-his-face and come over here, too, did she?” Jay added hesitantly, still not quite believing in the identity of the man in front of him.
“Dress up like – what? What are you talking about?” asked the other guy, baffled. Jay started to answer. “Well, Alicia said that if I dressed up like--” Alicia cut him off yet again. “That’s the second time today Kate’s freaked out on somebody,” she remarked, more to herself than anyone. “What is it with her and men, anyway?”
Speed helped himself to a chair and sat down across from Alicia. “Okay, wait a minute,” he said. “Lemme get this straight. Kate was that girl that ran out of the kitchen,” he stated. Alicia nodded.
“Okay. By the way, I didn’t mean to scare her,” he added. Then he pointed at Jay. “But what’s he doing dressed up like me? And how does he know what I wear?” In the midst of all the heyday generated by this stranger showing up, Jay had forgotten about his costume. He coughed and looked down at his lap, suddenly very embarrassed. “Oh, that,” Alicia answered, a grin spreading across her face. “He was trying to impress Kate because he’s in love with her and the only way that he thought he could do it was by dressing up like Speed Racer, who’s this guy on a TV show that Kate’s a big fan of. Well, I mean, he’s you, I guess, but you’re supposed to be a character on TV,” Alicia finished. Alicia was a little confused, to say the least, but she didn't seem to think that the man across from her was faking his identity. The only other thing that baffled her was why Kate freaked out on him and ran off. Kate loves him, she thought. Why did she run away?
Alicia looked over at Jay. Jay looked like he wanted to die and Alicia was trying hard not to laugh at him. “Well, I don’t know why I scared her so much. I was only going to ask her where I was. I wasn’t going to hurt her,” Speed added.
“Well, see, it’s not that she thinks you would. If anyone knows about you, it’s her. She didn’t count on the real you showing up in my kitchen,” Alicia explained. “See, here you’re a character on a popular TV show. People here don’t think you really exist.” There was silence for a minute as this sank in. Then Alicia asked, “By the way, how did you get into my kitchen without me noticing?”
“Well...” Speed hesitated, scratching the back of his head. “It’s kind of unbelievable.” Alicia eyed him with a look that someone’s mother would give them if they came home too late. He sighed. “All right. I was in a laboratory, and I was confronting a madman who’d built a whole bunch of nukes that he was going to use to take over the world. Anyway, he had some of his henchmen knock me out. When I came to, I was seated in a chair in the middle of the room. The madman was standing across from me, and he was holding a remote control of some kind. He told me that he’d figured I might be a threat to his plans for world domination, and so for that he’d come up with a device that he said would get rid of me for good. He declared that he’d use it to get rid of anyone who got in his way. He then activated the device, and I ended up in the kitchen of your house. I could hear you guys talking in the other room, but you didn’t seem like you were dangerous, so I figured I’d just sit and wait for someone to show up.”
“Then Kate freaked out on you and ran off,” Alicia said, as an afterthought. There was more silence. Then Jay piped up. “Uh, by the way, where is Kate?” he asked. “She ran off like, 30 minutes ago.”
Alicia shrugged. “I dunno. Probably somewhere downtown,” she answered, and added, “Except I don’t have a car, so I don’t know how we can go look for her.” There was silence. Almost before he could stop himself, Jay spoke up. “Well, I have a car outside...” he contributed, then instantly realized what he was saying and who he was saying it to. He quickly clapped a hand over his mouth. There was silence. Alicia looked at Jay inquisitively. Speed looked at Jay. Jay eyed Speed Racer warily, thinking of his own car and how many man-hours he had to put in at Buddy’s to get it. If this guy really was who he appeared to be, then Jay wasn’t about to let this guy drive his car, much less touch it. Oh, no. “Hey, Jay,” Alicia started. Jay already knew what she was going to ask and violently shook his head. “Oh, come on,” Alicia protested.
“Yeah,” Speed chimed in. “Don’t you want to find your friend? It’s getting dark,” he noted. Jay mumbled something that neither Alicia nor Speed could hear and trailed off. There was silence as Jay contemplated the rescue plans. Finally, he looked up and stated, “All right. We’ll use my car to go get her, since I’m the only one with a car at the moment. But I’M DRIVING.”
On to the next chapter. ---->