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i'm not upset
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<Is my company not good enough for you?> she asked.

Caleb shrugged once. He shrugged a second time quickly after.

"How does that help me, huh? What's that do for me?" he said, pointing emphatically at himself. "I was like, fuck, it's Kimiko. I was just clearing my throat loudly while taking a stroll and walked into a clusterfuck. Who are you even? Kimberko?"

A moment passed and he sheepishly signed <Welcome>. She made a crack back at him about him not being much in the way of physical prowess except for his extraordinary ability to chain smoke. He laughed weakly and sat back up, scratching his head through his gray beanie and looking down. Caleb noticed for the first time that they were sitting on a tiger skin rug. Kimiko gave him a slice of pizza. He picked it up and made the sign for "thank you," moving his hand from under his chin.

He took a bite of it and swallowed. Caleb made a harsh gagging sound and looked at the pizza with suspicion.

"Is this vegan? Are you serious? You know how I feel about vegan cheese! I'd rather starve. Literally, Kimiko. We're really about to die here and I don't want to eat this. God, we should have a policy as America to turn away people who can't appreciate cheese. You wouldn't cut it in my America."

He stood up and stretched, looking around the cabin. There was a kitchen. Outside the window he didn't see anything besides trees, no other people. He put the slice of pizza on a counter and delicately touched a small collection of spoons that was hanging on a wall near the kitchen. They were covered in dust, but they looked like souvenir spoons his grandma collected.

He offered her a hand to help her up. It struck him that playing house in this cabin was a bit childish and stupid and he felt embarrassed. As soon as they stepped foot outside the illusion would be broken and even now, there was a wrinkle in the scenario. It would be extremely easy to be seduced by the situation and make believe that they were on a trip to the woods together. Easy, yes. Comforting, sure, but it would only make the shock of going back outside even worse.

"Did they give you that too?" he asked, regarding the big sword.
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The Lagniappe · The Hunting Cabin