• Published 23rd Jul 2021
  • 283 Views, 4 Comments

Wearing a Parachute (Wallflower Makes Some Memories) - Mockingbirb



"It doesn't count as suicide, if you're wearing a parachute," Wallflower Blush insisted.

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Jumping

"It doesn't count as suicide, if you're wearing a parachute," Wallflower Blush insisted. "I mean, if I'M wearing a parachute. YOU should get out of the car now."

Rainbow Dash scratched her head. "Are you sure you know what you're doing? This seems kind of dangerous."

"It's not like I haven't done this before," Wallflower replied. "Don't you remember? No, of course you don't."

"Another thing," Rainbow Dash said. "How did you get Flash Sentry to loan you his car?"

"Get out!" Wallflower said. "Now!"

"Okay, okay." Rainbow held up her arms as if to fend off the shouting. She opened the car's door on her side. When Rainbow was half out of the car, the young athlete said, "It's not too late to change your mind."

Wallflower gunned the engine. "Get all the way out before I drag you over the cliff!"

As the car started creeping forward, Rainbow hopped out and released her grip on the car's doorframe.

As Wallflower sped towards the cliff edge, Rainbow pulled out a mobile phone and held it up. She was filming! Wallflower laughed. Did Rainbow really believe Wallflower could jump the car OVER the canyon?

Once the car hurtled over the edge, Wallflower felt weightless. Now was the time to get away from the car. The girl pulled her legs up, rotated her body, and pushed off with her legs, to escape through an open window.

As falling speed and air resistance increased, Wallflower air-surfed with her body, to gain more distance from the vehicle and from the cliff. When she was satisfied with her position, the often-forgotten girl pulled her ripcord, opening her chute.

She watched Flash's car fall towards the rocks far below. Even after it hit, there was a delay before she heard the satisfying crunch.

Wallflower pulled one of her gloves off, reached into her extra-large sweater pocket, and touched a special stone artifact. Good thing the stone worked not only on human memories, but on electronic memories as well. Computers might be losing files and crashing at EweToob's headquarters, but that wasn't Wallflower's problem.

All she had to do was stay alive, destroy all evidence, and erase other people's inconvenient memories. Those three things would keep her free.

***

Rainbow looked over the edge of the cliff and down, eyeing the smashed car's pieces.

"I don't know," Rainbow said. "The last thing I remember..." Rainbow checked her phone. She tapped on the screen. "Factory reset? What the--how did this happen? Everything's GONE!"

Twilight looked at the phone. "Maybe we can at least get your address book back from cloud backup. Let me have a go."

Rainbow handed the phone over. "I don't get it!" the athlete shouted. "I don't even remember how I got here. I don't seem to be hurt, but I don't know what happened."

Fluttershy nodded. "Sometimes trauma can cause people to have trouble remembering things. Especially head trauma. Did you hit your head, Dashie?"

"I don't remember if I did or if I didn't!"

Fluttershy reached up and gently stroked her friend's hair. "Now be sure to let me know if anything hurts, even a little bit."

After a few minutes of hands-on investigation, Fluttershy seemed satisfied that Rainbow's head hadn't been struck with, by, or on anything. "Now if you start showing any symptoms," Fluttershy said, "I mean, any symptoms other than the memory loss that you're already having, be sure to call the rest of us right away."

"Sure," muttered Rainbow. "If I remember to do that."

***

Next Monday at school, before the first class started, a sports car rolled into the student parking lot. It looked a lot like the kind of car Flash would buy, if he could afford a replacement.

"Hey." Twilight giggled and blushed. "Nice car, Flash."

"I know," Flash said. "It turns out, the car company lost most of their records about the car I bought from them. They apologized for never having turned the car over to me, apologized for being ten months late in delivering it, and insisted I take this one."

"Huh," Twilight said. "Well, I guess for once a computer error works out in someone's favor. That's SO MANY cars you've gotten just this year."

Flash looked confused. "So many cars? I don't remember ever getting a car from them before."

Twilight started to say, "Do you expect me to believe..." She turned to her five friends standing next to her. "Girls, maybe you had a point before. Maybe Flash IS kind of dumb."

Rarity said, "Darling, I didn't want to tell you before. Even though I did tell you. I think you need a more sophisticated companion. Not some simple-minded, unrefined brute."

"You're right!" Twilight said. "There's a planetarium show later this week. Maybe I can meet some cute guys there!"

Rarity frowned just slightly. "I wasn't thinking of some cute GUY, exactly...oh, never mind."

***

"So that's when I figured it out," Wallflower Blush said to the boy sitting next to her, in the driver's seat of his aging, tiny automobile. "I mean, it's really different for different people. But for me, the main reason I wanted to kill myself was, I felt embarrassed and ashamed all the time. I felt like every time I interacted with anyone, I was doing everything wrong. I felt like everyone hated me."

"But I'm sure people DON'T hate you!" Chips said. "Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. I think most people understand that."

Wallflower nodded. "Since then, I've found ways to conquer my fear that if I did anything wrong, people would hold my mistakes against me forever. And I HAVE talked about these things with a lot of people. I've learned how to ask people questions in ways that don't feel as high risk for me.

"I finally came to understand, people didn't really hold my mistakes against me the way I thought they did. People liked me ok, if they even knew who I was at all. But at least I wasn't important enough to most of them, for them to bother to hate me."

"Hmm," Chips said. "This is all very interesting. I never realized psychology could be so fascinating. I like you a lot, Wallflower. I really want to get to know you better."

Wallflower laughed. "Oh, you're kind of cute in your way, Chips. But I didn't want to spend this time with you so you would become interested in psychology."

Chips blinked. "Why not? I think this is great."

Wallflower grinned devilishly. If she smiled in just the right way, she got cute little dimples. "I just want you to forget a few of the answers to tomorrow's physics test, so you won't ruin the grading curve. And then I want you to forget that I asked you to forget."

"Huh?" Chips said. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Exactly!" Wallflower replied. "Oh, and the day after the test, I want you to forget that you were supposed to forget the answers. I want to see if that makes you remember the answers again. See, I'm trying to figure out a way to bring memories back after I steal them. Oh, and forget I told you that."

Chips looked around, confusion written plainly on his face.

Wallflower leaned over and kissed him. "Well, this was a fun date. Thanks for tutoring me. See you next week!"

"Sure," Chips said.

As Wallflower walked away, Chips marveled at his good luck. "That girl almost always does better on the physics tests than I do. And she still keeps asking me to tutor her every week. How is this even possible?"

***

In an activity room that no one else was using at the moment, Twilight and her five best CHS friends sat around a table.

"I wrote viruses to hack all the computers and mobile phones anywhere in the school," Twilight explained. "That should make this criminal investigation a little easier."

Rainbow Dash laughed. "WHAT kind of investigation, Twilight?"

"Criminal. This CRIMINAL investigation."

Dashie laughed again. "It sure is."

"Would you cut it out?" Twilight complained. "Here I am trying to save us from forgetting everything we ever knew, and you can't think of anything better to do than make fun of me."

Rainbow said, "I'm sorry. I guess even if hacking everyone's computers and phones seems illegal, the problem we're fighting is so bad that what you did is kind of ok." Rainbow muttered, "Not that I think you wouldn't want to do it anyway."

"What, Dashie?"

"Um, I'm sure you have good reasons for doing what you did. So what's the rest of your plan?"

"My theory is, the mysterious events seem to be correlated with electronic devices losing their memories too. Like your cellphone, Dash, when Flash's car went over the cliff again last weekend."

Dash's phone played a factory default alert tone. "Noooo!" Rainbow cried. "All my favorite sounds. I'll mourn you forever, ketchup song."

Twilight pointed her phone at Rainbow Dash. A moment later, Dash's phone started playing a song that doesn't exist in our world. "Shake, shake, shake your bottom! Shake it like a bottle of ketchup! Shake it, shake it! What a juicy ripe tomato."

Twilight reached over and silenced Dashie's phone. "Now as I was saying. If I can constantly keep track of all the computers and phones, and monitor their status, I can detect when files are deleted."

"Oh!" Rainbow said. "Like by some hacker."

"Yes. But we're not looking for someone who hacks in and fixes stuff, like me. We're looking for an EVIL hacker who DELETES people's data."

***

Because classes were over for the day, Twilight had taken over an empty classroom for her friends' meeting.

A wall-mounted big-screen television-monitor showed a map of the school. Detailed data was superimposed on different classrooms. A clock at the top of the display rapidly cycled through the day as colors and numbers appeared and disappeared and changed all over the map.

Rarity sniffed. "Twilight, that is the most color-uncoordinated display I think I've ever seen since...well, in the last hour anyway. How should anyone expect to keep track of all that information, when you show it like that?"

Twilight sighed. "The point of my presentation is, the center or focal point of the data deletions moves from place to place throughout the day. If we compare the pattern with everyone's schedules, we discover that exactly one student's class schedule matches it. The clues point to Wallflower Blush."

Twilight's audience looked at each other. "Who?" Rainbow said.

"So you don't know who she is?" Twilight asked.

Rainbow shrugged. "There's a lot of things I don't know."

"But the fact you don't remember who she is...don't you think that's a little suspicious?"

"Yeah. Now that you mention it." Rainbow bit her lower lip. "But are you sure this 'Wallflower Blush' really exists? I feel like I would know who she is."

"Yes, I'm sure. And I think if we plan properly, we can find a way to stop her from causing all these problems."

The girls plotted and schemed. But partway through, Twilight interrupted the others. "Excuse me," Twilight said to a girl in the back. "Who are you?"

The green-haired girl stood up. She started to recite a poem (Originally published in the 1800s! Expired copyright! Brief excerpt for fair use!) by Emily Dickinson.

"I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you -- Nobody -- too?
Then--"

Twilight interrupted, pointing at the door. "POETRY Club meets down the hall."

The mysterious girl nodded. "I'll see myself out. You can forget I was even here."

***

In a suburban neighborhood, outside a house that looked a lot like the others, the human Main 6 huddled together and whispered. They conferred and double-checked. They moved into position to confront Wallflower Blush. They struck!

Since they weren't experts in apprehending dangerous criminals, their "strike" was Pinkie Pie skipping up the front walk to knock on the door.

Pinkie said, "Girls? You should look at this." She pointed at a note on the front door. With the porch light glowing overhead, she read it easily.

"Dear Besties (but not besties with me)
You tried this already yesterday. Don't you remember?"

"Son of a donkey!" Rainbow shouted. "She KNEW! She KNEW that WE knew! She was just toying with us the whole time!"

Rarity shook her head sadly. "She's a manipulative, scheming little minx." Rarity took a deep breath. "It's too bad she wasted her talents by using them for evil."

"I can't believe she outsmarted me!" Twilight complained, shaking her fist. The other girls looked at Twilight.

"Us!" Twilight said. "I can't believe she outsmarted US."

Fluttershy said, "Years ago, I could sense that Wallflower was hurting. But now, I don't know WHAT is going on with her."

Applejack said, "If only people would be more honest with each other...well, y'all know how Ah feel about that."

A tear ran down Pinkie Pie's cheek. "I was already looking forward to Wallflower's So Glad You're Reforming Party. And now I don't know if she'll ever get to have one."

Something rustled in the bushes.

"What's that?" Pinkie Pie asked.

Wallflower dramatically emerged from a hedge. With both hands, she held up a soapstone souvenir statuette from a distant land (maybe Tieland, or Viet Nom Nom, or MadeInChineighLand?) "You will never defeat me!" Wallflower announced. "I have this...rock thing! It has the power to--"

Trying to make it look like an accident, Wallflower dropped the statue. On the ground, it lay in two pieces. "Oh...WEEDS! I've broken my magical statuette, source of my evil powers! Now I have no way to defend myself in a magical battle! You have defeated my evil wizardry!"

Wallflower pushed her way back into the tall bushes, using a shortcut through the neighbor's yard to run away.

By the time anyone thought to chase after Wallflower, the green-haired girl was gone.

***

Twilight shrugged. "Well...I guess we won? Unless there are any more surprises waiting for us."

Boots clattered on the sidewalk behind the girls. They spun around to see a girl with streaky red-blonde hair and a leather jacket.

"The REAL Wallflower Blush!" shouted Rainbow. "You've got a lot of nerve showing your face here."

Pinkie Pie giggled. "That isn't Wallflower. That's Sunset Shimmer. I know who she is from the yearbook. It even lists her hobbies! She likes looking cool in a leather jacket, playing rock guitar, trying not to still be an evil scheming villainous nasty birch, and wishing that her friends still remembered her." Pinkie's blue eyes went extra big. "What are you doing here, Sunset?"

Sunset blushed.

"Wow!" Pinkie said. "You blush really well!"

"This is pretty embarrassing. I'm here because I've been having memory problems."

Twilight frowned. "There seems to be a lot of that going around. Do you have any clues you could share with us?"

"Sure! But I guess they're mostly the useless kind." Sunset dug in her pocket, pulling out some items. "Movie tickets."

"Hmm," Twilight said. "Tickets for two. Looks like you went to the movies nearly every Saturday night for months and months. Who did you go with?"

Sunset half-shouted, "I don't remember!"

Twilight sighed. "Of course not. Got anything else?"

"Sure. I've even got photos. USELESS photos." She showed the girls a set of four pictures from a photo booth. In each photo, Sunset was one of two people, but the second had been cut out with scissors.

Twilight examined the photos. "This doesn't prove anything. But it LOOKS like the second person in these photos might have been shorter than you. And in each photo, the cutout for the head and shoulders is pretty big. From the size and shape, we can GUESS she had long, messy hair. What do you think, Rarity?"

Rarity asked, "May I?" She carefully took the photos, and held them directly under the porch light. Rarity pointed at a tiny spot at the edge of one cutout. "We can just barely see a little bit of green, wavy hair. It matches Wallflower's."

Twilight nodded. "Any other clues?"

Sunset blushed even deeper. She pulled the collar of her leather jacket to one side.

"My," Rarity commented. "That is quite the hickey. Do you remember how you got it?"

"I wish." Sunset sighed. "I might have had a really good time. Or maybe I didn't. I guess I'll never know. It makes me so angry, you know? Even if I'd been regular dumped, at least I'd remember who did it. But now I don't even have that."

Rarity nodded. "It's not fair. We at least have the right to learn the lessons of our mistakes. And she took that away from you too."

Sunset said bitterly, "At least I learned one thing. Never go on a date with Wallflower Blush. Even if you have a great time, which you might not, you won't remember it the next day. Which is half the fun, really."

Dashie said, "But I thought half the fun was NOT remembering it the next day!"

Fluttershy nudged her old friend, and whispered. "Not helping, Dashie."

"Sorry," Rainbow said. "Yeah, you're right. How do you know whether you want to do it again, if you don't even know what it was like last time?"

Sunset clenched her fists. "Seems like I did it again and again, several times. Did I do it because I knew I'd had a good time? Or did I do it again because I'd had a terrible time and I didn't know?" She sighed. "I guess I'll never know."

Applejack said, "Ah think Ah see another clue."

"Where?" Rainbow asked. She followed AJ's gaze. "Oh. Maybe that IS a clue."

A battered old car was parked down the street. The car was decorated with moon and star shapes. Big letters on the side advertised "Magical Performances By The Great and Amazing Trixie," with contact information for bookings.

Inside the trunk, something started thumping.

"Horrors!" Rarity gasped. "Did Wallflower lock someone in the trunk? How very unladylike of her!"

Rainbow asked, "Didja lock WALLFLOWER in the trunk? 'Cuz if you did, nice going." She readied one hand to give Sunset a fistbump.

"No," Sunset said. "That's just Trixie. Whenever we drive anywhere together, she insists on being locked in the trunk so she can practice her escapes."

The trunk lid popped open. A girl sat up in the trunk, with ropes and chains falling off her body. "Taa daa!" she shouted. "The GRRREAT and amazing TRRRIXIE does it again!"

"Oh, my," Rarity said. "That does seem...I don't know what to say."

"The worst time was when I was pulled over for Trixie's car registration being expired, and the officer really, really wanted to check the car for drugs. When I told them I had a teenage girl chained up in the trunk...I've never had the police point guns at me that fast before."

"But it turned out ok!" Trixie insisted. "Trixie explained everything! They even accepted some business cards and a poster from Trixie. Trixie is pretty sure Trixie will get some birthday party work from that one teensy little traffic stop."

"I'm pretty sure the reason they wanted your business cards and a big poster of you is because it's part of their job to keep track of weirdos and loonies."

"The police said they wanted to put up my poster at the station! And any publicity is good publicity. Take it from one who knows." Trixie raised her chin slightly.

Pinkie Pie smiled a goofy-looking smile. "So, Sunset...Trixie and you are friends?"

"Yes. When my old new...new old? When my best friends at CHS forgot who I was, Trixie helped me look for the culprit who'd used the Memory Stone to make them forget me. The Memory Stone is a lost Equestrian artifact. Except it seems someone found it."

"Let's back up a bit," Twilight said. "WHAT kind of artifact?"

Sunset repeated, "Equestrian." She snorted. "If you don't even know what THAT is...I think you girls and I have a lot of catching up to do. If you'll even let me fill you in. If you don't hate me from back when I was evil, before you six helped me STOP being evil. Please don't hate me. Or please at least give me a chance."

"Honestly," Applejack said, "Ah have no idea what you're talking about. But Ah think we should all try to find out." She chuckled. "An' now that Twilight knows you know about a bunch of stuff she don't know nothin' about, Ah don't think we could stop her."

Pinkie Pie squealed, "Let's go to Human Joe's and hang out! They've got good donuts, and the coffee is out of this world."

Sunset looked skeptical. "Human Joe's? What kind of a name is that for a donut shop?"

Pinkie squealed, "They've got a space alien Area 51 theme going all over the store! It's so cute! And I think with all the different weird articles and artifacts, they might even have some clues to where I came from originally!"

Twilight said, "What."

"You didn't know? I was adopted!"

The other girls thought for a minute. They mentally compared Pinkie with the rest of her family.

"Ya know?" Applejack said, "That explains a lot, Ah reckon."

Pinkie nodded solemnly. "Don't get me wrong. My family who you've already met really is my real family. They raised me since I was a tiny baby, and we love each other more than I could ever say. But I've sometimes wondered about a few things."

"You and me both," Applejack agreed. "Let's go to this Human Joe's, and you can show us around."

That night, the eight girls compared notes about their old friendships, and started building new ones.

***

Years later, even though Wallflower seemed to be long gone from Canterlot, Twilight still had a scrapbook labeled "Case of the Forgetful Friends Friendship Data."

Twilight had started the scrapbook while investigating the memory anomalies, when she still had no idea who or what was behind the mystery. In case she herself forgot what her investigation had uncovered, she'd wanted something to remind her.

The scrapbook became volume one of a collection of notes and keepsakes, which reached far beyond the Wallflower mystery. It even had instructions for contacting Princess Twilight in case of emergency. Mostly, the book reminded Twilight of how she'd learned a series of lessons in friendship.

Most of the way through the Wallflower section, Twilight had glued the "Dear Besties (but not besties with me)" note to a page of the scrapbook.

Her decision to glue it was unfortunate.

On the back of that note was a second message, which no one had ever noticed.

"Dear Sunset Shimmer,

At first, I just thought you were a bad girl I could use for harmless fun. But as I got to know you better, I understood you really have changed, and you're not evil anymore.

But I AM a bad girl, and I don't deserve someone like you. If we stay together, I can only get you into trouble.

I made you forget me, so when you never see me again, you won't miss me the way I'll miss you. Because you don't deserve to suffer...not the way I probably deserve to.

Love You (Not That It Does Any Good)
Wally"

***

Thousands of miles away from Canterlot High, Wallflower waved a hand in the air in imitation of Obi-Wan Kenobi. "You don't remember ever seeing me," she said.

A large, muscular man dressed in dark nighttime camo, and wrapped in weapon harnesses and ammunition belts like a very fancy Christmas present for violent psychos, said, "I don't remember ever seeing you."

"If anyone told you not to tell me where the self-destruct button is for the biological weapons factory, you don't remember any reason not to tell me where it is."

"Huh?"

"You don't remember any reason not to tell me anything."

The man smiled. "You're kind of cute. Want me to take you out to dinner? My name is Pavel."

Wallflower smiled back. "Thanks, but I have to wait until I get off work. Oh, and where's the destruct button?"

The man grinned cockily. "I know where everything is on this base. Doesn't that impress you?"

"Sure!" Wallflower said. "Where ARE the destruct buttons?"

The man leaned in as if conspiring with her, and gave her exact directions. "You want me to show you the way? I don't know any reason I shouldn't."

"No, thank you. I think you should stay here and guard this door, or you could lose your job. We wouldn't want that. It could make people feel suspicious."

"Oh. I guess we wouldn't want that?"

"It's been nice talking with you, Pavel. Oh, and forget this conversation ever happened."

Pavel blinked, and looked around in confusion. By the time he looked back at the strange girl with the foreign accent, she was already gone.

Author's Note

(I want this included EVEN when the story is downloaded as plain text. So here it is!)

Dashie's ketchup song is entirely different from any song in our world that has a similar name. Well, now that I wrote those lyrics, I guess Dashie's song DOES exist in our world a little bit. But except for the vague silly description "the ketchup song," everything about that song up to this date is original for this story and copyrighted only by ME.

"Original Catsup, do not steal!" :twilightsmile:

Any poem written and published in the 1800s (such as "I'm Nobody! Who are you?") is also safe for fair use of small excerpts. Or large excerpts, really. You could print up copies of the whole poem and hand them out on street corners.

I made the story's 'Original Cover' image by editing a screencap from "Forgotten Friendship." Don't steal my OC (either of them!) or you might start traveling down the road of evil. You might even become the kind of person who would make Sunset forget her wonderful waifu and ruin their perfect love. :twilightsmile:

More seriously: Scampy, I'm sorry about the misunderstanding in which an earlier story of mine tried to make fun of some things I don't like in commercial pop culture, and you seemed to think I was aiming at you? I honestly don't think you work to glamorize suicide or self-harm. I think you prefer to support people's decisions to live.

I also hope no one minds my decision to link to Monochromatic's story "The Choices We Make," because I think it makes a good counterpoint to this kind of story that I've written here.

Also, since this story is about a computer hacker...

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Comments ( 4 )

What have you done.

Why.

(I laughed.)

"Oh...WEEDS!

I'm not sure what this story was, but I'm willing to accept the headcannon that this is how Wally curses :rainbowlaugh:

"I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you -- Nobody -- too?
Then--"

Fun fact: Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to Pokemon theme. There, now you can't unhear it.

Delightfully goofy, with fascinating melancholy peeking out from under the laughs. Good work in counterbalancing the different components of the story, and thank you for it.

10911485
They also work with "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

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