by James Wylder, who thanks you so much for reading about our Forgotten Heroines today. Who was your favorite? Hope to see you again soon!
art by Bri Crozier, who you should absolutely look up other work by. We're fans of "Peach Soda."
The Tourist pulled the chart down, and pointed at it with a rather excessively long pointing stick. Pathway sat with an ice pack on her head, Ashlyn was reading a book called, "The Untold Adventures", ("Well I didn't do that...oh no wait that did happen." she said at least three times.), Miranda was on the floor playing with spray-paint, and making the whole floor into a mural. Shona, well, Shona was just lying on the floor staring up at the ceiling throwing a ball up and down.
"Hello? Are you even listening? I have another plan to get us noticed!"
"What are you going to do?" Pathway said flatly, "Blow up a universe? Run off with Ashlyn for a long time, and then neither of you tell us what happened for literally days while the two of you avoid each other in comically romantic mishaps around the Pyramid?"
The Tourist pointed at pathway, but no words came, and she lowered her finger, and shrugged. "Okay, so maybe my plans haven't gone according to plan."
"That sounds like a pretty big problem for plans, "Pathway replied.
"Can you just get...all the way off my back about this?"
"I'm not on your back, I'm in a chair."
"This is why you weren't in the novel, bejeebus." The Tourist rubbed her forehead, and Miranda coughed. All eyes turned to her.
"Hi, yes, Miranda here. CNN. So, Miss Tourist, why are we still...doing this?"
"What's with the CNN gag?"
"I thought it was fun."
Shrug, "You know, I take that back, continue."
"Thanks, look, we've already done a lot of stuff. We ended the world!"
"That got undone pretty quick," Ashlyn muttered.
"...and formed a rock band."
"Okay, that part was actually fun," Pathway noted.
"But my main point here is...I think we had a good run at this? People paid some attention to us. We had a good time."
The Tourist frowned, and lowered her pointy stick. "We can't just, end things now, there's still so much to do!"
She fumbled through her trenchcoat pockets, but came up with nothing, "Uh...well..." She threw the pointer, and adjusted her sunglasses, "there is a mysterious final task I had for us...one big plan to change everything for us."
"No there isn't," Ashlyn said,
The Tourist frowned, "Well don't tell them that!"
Ashlyn sighed, "Admit it, just admit why you're really doing this, Tourist!"
She threw her hands up, "I already told you! Attention! I could not have been more clear this was all just a selfish ploy for attention!"
Ashlyn crossed her arms, "Is it."
The Tourist froze solid, and glanced at the rest of the room, "Uhhh."
"Hmn?" Miranda asked.
"Yes, go on," Pathway prodded.
"I missed most of that but please say the interesting thing," Shona said.
The Tourist turned around, this was not going her way. She was supposed to keep this going for some time, not end it all with, ugh, being *honest*. It was grotesque. No, no she had a better plan...she started the laughter slow and soft, and increased it in intensity, throwing a hand in the air, fingers splayed in a claw. "So then, you finally figured it out."
"Yeah," Miranda said, "we literally all knew you weren't going to be honest, again, and just do something weird like that. We all know why you're doing this, just say it."
Shona raised a hand, "Actually uh, Tourist, let me point a thing out? You do realize that none of us would be here still if we didn't like hanging out with you, do you?"
The Tourist's jaw went a little slack, "Uh, no?"
Pathway raised an eyebrow, "Do you really think any of us care about recognition the way you do."
"Oh I absolutely do," Ashlyn said.
"Sorry, do you really think any of you but you and Ashlyn were in this for selfish reasons?"
"Hey!" Ashlyn and the Tourist yelled back.
Pathway stood up, "We're still here because this is fun. It's fun to spend time with friends, so run around, to be somewhere. If you spend enough time alone, those things become precious. And you may be an emotionally insecure jerk, but in the end you do the right thing, even if, you know, you have to posture about not doing the right thing for ten minutes."
The Tourist looked at her feet.
"We're here because we like you, stupid. So throw out your plan. Let's find a path somewhere else. We'll go with you, right?"
Miranda nodded, "It's been fun, and if we're lucky we can find another roller derby."
"I've been bored ever since we finished mopping up the Centro resistance, so this has been pretty great, plus there are a lot of great food trucks when you have a time machine," Shona said.
"It's not a time machine it travels along narrative--nevermind," The Tourist tried not to smile. She failed, so she spun around again to face the controls to the pyramid. "Right, well, if there's no plan, then let's go somewhere exciting."
Ashlyn perked up, "Somewhere wild?"
"You could say that. One of my favorite places. Where beasts come from all over to compete for who is the supreme beast." She grinned, "If you're all still up for the ride?"
The cheers told her they were, and as the Pyramid zipped off, The Tourist felt her face flush.
The right kind of attention, after all.
* * *
Ashlyn sat there, completely unimpressed.
"You said beasts. You said it was wild."
The tourist pointed out, "It's exactly that! No lies!"
"Personally, I am having a wonderful time," Shona said, holding the bag out to the couple, "popcorn?"
"Yes," Ashlyn grumbled, and took some, chewing angrily.
"I hate you," she mumbled to the Tourist.
"Love you too."
Ashlyn stopped and stared, "Sorry what was that?"
"Oh uh, I mean, I despise you, you...filthy...human...with all that finely done hair and...attractive bisexual aesthetic."
"I don't entirely know what that means, but please continue while I eat Shona's popcorn."
Pathway and Miranda slipped back in, carrying their commemorative stuffed toys.
"You really like that stuff?" the Tourist said dryly.
"It's so cute!" Miranda said, waggling the stuffed animal in front of her by awkwardly leaning over all the other seats.
"Yes, they are soft," Pathway replied.
"Well this whole thing is still stupid," Ashlyn muttered, as the announcer came back on to announce that the next round of the puppy bowl was starting.
"Shh! Miranda said, "Look the little golden retriever fell asleep!"
"So did Shona," Pathway noted.
The Tourist smiled, honestly. She'd never forget this.
Thank you so much for joining us on this journey today, and may your own memories with loved ones keep you warm until we can be close together once again <3 -The 10kd Team.
Poet, Playwright, Game Designer, Writer, Freelancer for hire.