“I really miss Simple Stan,” Roderick says.
“Me too,” says Ripp Terrorgrip. “That guys sure had a lot of spunk.”
Everyone but Sylvia chuckles knowingly.
“He would have loved that thing with the empty boxes,” chuckles Gary.
“And the gnomes. He thought gnomes were so silly,” says Emere.
Everyone but Sylvia nods in agreement.
“All he wanted to do was row his boat,”says Hurin.
Sylvia can take it no more. “What are you all talking about?” she says. “Who is this Stan fella?
What empty boxes? I don’t know any gnomes!”
The Fancy Lads look at their feet.
“Well, Sylvia,” says Roderick. “Remember that night that we left you at the bar to pay the tab?”
“We sort of had an adventure without you.”
Sylvia’s green face turns red with rage. “You. Adventured. Without. ME?!”
Emere puts out a hand to touch Sylvia’s shoulder but quickly retreats, thinking better.
“We’re sorry,” shuffles Gary.
“You really would not have cared for Stan, anyway,” Roderick says.
“He was a big of a dick,” says Hurin.
“And lifting empty boxes is not that much fun,” says Emere.
“And gnomes are so short,” chimes Ripp.
Sylvia looks at the faces of her fellow adventurers. She thinks about the night at the bar, abandoned by her companions, sitting alone at a table with a check in-hand. At the time she was very angry, sure she would kill these men the next time she saw them. And she might have. Except the bar tender smiled at her. And because he was very handsome, she smiled back. And then he offered to buy her a drink, and she accepted. She spent many hours at the bar, waiting for the bar tender to get off work. And that’s where she would have stayed of Roderick’s little pest had not come looking for her. And while she did not get to stay with the bar tender as she had planned, she now had something to look forward to when she returned to town.
“You’re right,” she says to Ripp. “Gnomes are too short to care about. And this Stan, with his empty boxes, he sounds dull and ugly.”
“He was,” nods Roderick.
“Okay,” says Sylvia. “Whatever.”