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PART five: diin

Chapter 28: The Trash Heap

A few hours after the parade ended, the SKIMMA was found by one of the various cleanup teams. The cleaning crew went through everything they had collected at the end of their shift, just as they always did. None of them wanted the SKIMMA, which had become dirty and disheveled. The creature was thus promptly thrown into the trash truck that they had brought along with them.

The SKIMMA, along with the trash it was buried in, were then transported to a monstrously huge garbage shipping facility, where they awaited their turn to be processed. The stuffed creature got lucky when its time to be compacted arrived. It fell into the trash compactor at the perfect angle, and nudged itself between the most ideal bits of trash. Further, the creature managed to get itself stuck at the exact depth it needed to be at in order to survive the compactor’s strong and deadly jaws.

Over the next few days, the SKIMMA was put into a massive shipping container full of other large cubes of compacted trash. A few weeks later, the container was shipped out to a poorer country, where its contents were supposed to be sorted into what could be recycled and what couldn’t, with the latter expected to be compacted a second time before being buried in a landfill. A few months later, the cube of trash that enveloped the SKIMMA was flung onto a large mountain of garbage. The impact caused the cube to break into multiple pieces, and thereby dislodge the SKIMMA, which rolled down the steep mountain and found itself in the middle of one of the largest dump sites on the planet.

The SKIMMA lay between multiple, unstable, towering heaps of trash for a long time, until a tiny hand reached for it, as the three suns of UWA were about to set and end an unusually long and hot day. The SKIMMA found itself facing a pair of large, bright yellow eyes; eyes that presided over an even larger smile. A shrill, happy scream was let out as the mouth that uttered it closed in on the SKIMMA, with the smile turning into a kiss as it neared.

DIIN! Don’t you dare! Come here right now!” a deeper voice screamed, just as the kiss was about to make contact with the SKIMMA.

“Look what I found Mommy!” the child said excitedly, as she approached her mother.

“Can I keep it? Please?” DIIN softly asked a few minutes later, as her mother silently turned the SKIMMA around, examining it from every possible angle.

“Yes. This can be your birthday gift for this year. But do not kiss it. We’ll clean it up when we get home,” her mother answered, as she threw the SKIMMA back to her daughter. “Now get back to work child. We need more usable material if we are to eat tonight.”

DIIN knelt on the ground, and used some nearby string to tie the SKIMMA to her chest, before happily hop skipping away and disappearing into a far off trash heap.

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