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PART three: buns

Chapter 14: The Lucky Charm

BUNS cleaned the SKIMMA the following day. She kept it in her locker and rubbed its fur a few times every day. BUNS wasn’t religious. She had no faith or creed. She was a nihilist. She was however, just like every other mercenary in her company, superstitious. It was hard not to be in her line of work. The SKIMMA had saved her from certain death. And that made it a lucky charm in her eyes. The fact that her tendency to be superstitious was completely at odds with her nihilism never struck her as odd, or even slightly hypocritical.

By the end of the week, BUNS had gotten an eye patch made for her newly found lucky charm. By the end of the month, she had begun to talk to her SKIMMA, for a few minutes, before going to sleep on most nights. It was a rather uncharacteristic thing for her to do. BUNS confided in nobody, but her SKIMMA was different from everybody else. It didn’t judge. It didn’t give her advice with any selfish or ulterior motive. It didn’t pretend to listen to her. It simply sat there, holding her as tightly as she held it, listening to whatever she said quietly. Best of all, her SKIMMA knew how to keep a secret. She could tell it anything. She trusted the little creature. She enjoyed talking to it, even more so whenever she was inebriated.

BUNS had a lot of anger trapped inside of her. Talking, even to an inanimate object, helped. She eventually began treating her SKIMMA like most OSZA would a diary, telling it about her day, and how she felt about the other mercenaries in her company. Eventually, she began revealing more of herself to the stuffed creature, telling it about how the only OSZA who truly understood her was her younger brother, who, just like her, was gay. She told her SKIMMA about how having nobody to talk to was especially hard on such long term contracts, where the non-disclosure agreement forms that had to be signed included clauses about being completely cut off from the rest of the planet, no matter how improbable and unlikely you blabbing to your family about the messed up things you had to do in the field was.

She told her SKIMMA about how she was afraid to come out to the mercenaries she worked with, even those she thought of as friends. She told it about her childhood, and how hard it had been to pretend to be interested in males as she grew up, about how torturous it was to not be able to tell the females she liked how she felt about them. She told it all about her hatred for the world she lived in, and how the treatment she had been subjected to by its denizens had led her on a journey to nihilism, the only thing she and her brother truly disagreed on.

He, in her opinion, was a young, optimistic fool, thinking that he could change the world and the bigots that resided in it, make them accept him, find a way to change their thinking, and thereby normalize attraction to the same sex, all thanks to a number of other wide eyed, idiotic friends that he had made over the years. She told the SKIMMA all about the long arguments they had every time she went back home, him wanting her to contribute to the ongoing fight for their equality, her wanting him to stop caring about changing the narrow minded world they had been born into, and joining her in living on its edge instead, sitting back, watching it burn, laughing as the morons on all sides fought amongst themselves and devoured each other in the process.

She told the SKIMMA about the places she loved to visit when she was not on contract, places where she didn’t have to hide who she truly was, places where her ability to spend was all that mattered. Most of all, she told the SKIMMA how proud she was of her younger sibling, and how much she wanted him to succeed in changing the world like he dreamed of, about how much work being nihilistic all the time was, about how difficult it was to pretend to not feel marginalized, and isolated, and unaccepted, when your only fault was that you were born different from what was considered normal.

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