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PART five: diin

Chapter 30: Garbage Town

DIIN and her SKIMMA were inseparable. They did everything together. They chatted and told each other stories as they sorted through the never ending trash heaps. They sat together whenever they got a chance to eat. They ran all over the town they lived in together, chasing the various felines and canines they saw hunting for food in the same places as them, while just as often ending up being chased by them instead. They made friends with two of the felines and one of the canines. Both felines were tiny, gaunt creatures, barely a few months old, and quite likely related to each other. The canine, on the other hand, was a large, mean looking brute of an animal, one whose demeanor was the exact opposite of its physical appearance. A gentle creature, it often shared the food it found with the felines it met through DIIN and the SKIMMA. DIIN shared whatever she could with her three starving acquaintances, an act of kindness that laid the foundation for a very strong friendship.

The three animals followed DIIN home one fine day, and hung around outside her abode, despite DIIN’s parents doing everything they could to chase them off. The trio eventually began hunting food for DIIN and her family, bringing them all sorts of larger reptilian insects, on the rare instances they were able to find them. DIIN’s parents repaid their kindness by letting them into their hut, and DIIN watched with joy as her family multiplied.

A year passed by before DIIN or the SKIMMA even realized it. The felines grew rapidly in contrast to the canine. DIIN’s town, the only home she ever remembered having, saw rapid growth as well. More huts and tents propped up all over the town, as poorer OSZA made their way to it, in order to eke out a living by sorting through the ever increasing heaps of trash that kept forming throughout. The trucks that delivered the contents of these garbage mountains showed no signs of slowing down, despite the ugliness, the diseases, and the environmental decay that they brought along with them.

DIIN spent a day or two every week dipping into the lakes near her town, looking for anything of value in them. The felines always ran back home whenever they saw the lake. The canine, however, always jumped in after her, and they had a blast splashing each other until DIIN’s mother eventually found her, and dragged her home by her ear. DIIN always left the SKIMMA propped up at the edge of the lake, so that it could watch over all of them. She didn’t understand why her stuffed friend’s fur, unlike that of the canine, was so sensitive to the lake’s water. She accepted its truth, but she did not like it.

Towards the end of the year, DIIN quickly scrambled out of the lake one evening, when she thought she heard her mother screaming as she looked for her. DIIN began gathering her things as fast as she could, in order to make her way home before being discovered, but froze when she realized that her SKIMMA was missing. She forgot about her mother’s screams, and frantically ran all around the lake, but her furry friend was nowhere to be found.

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