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i'm not upset
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
She did it.

The blade tore through in one swift streak across his throat. Caleb let go of her instantly as if he'd received an electrical shock. Tears ran over the sides of his blue eyes and he smiled widely, sadly. He blinked a few times and fell to the side on the bed.

He couldn't talk, only gargle around the blood. Caleb lifted up his hands and signed.


His body shook and seized but he managed through the blood and tears to wink at her. If he could, maybe he'd be laughing at her a little.


Caleb was waiting with Andy for him to purchase a new external hard drive. He fiddled with some of the junk from the impulse aisle while Andy was rung up.

"Oh. You get a free pair of headphones," the employee informed them.

Andy turned and elbowed Caleb to bring him to attention.

"Don't you need new headphones? This hard drive comes with a lagniappe."

Caleb scoffed. "That's an awful big word for bumpkins like us," he said, adopting an exaggerated accent.

Andy smiled and framed his face with his hands "I have book learnin'. It's when you get like, you know, a free gift with purchase or like, buy 12 donuts get the 13th free."

"Oh, so like when you buy stuff and then get a piece of shit you don't want and you feel too guilty to be like 'No, I don't need this piece of shit.' ?" asked Caleb.

"It's about your perspective. It's a bonus."

"Or it's a junk you got stuck with once you got the thing you really wanted," responded Caleb, looking directly at Andy.


Caleb knew that it would be extremely painful for Kimiko to do this and that it would be hard for her to be alone again, but it would have to happen eventually for her to win. Maybe this would even get her another prize. He could never in a million years have been the winner, he knew that from the second he woke up. This was all he could really think to do to help her, it was all he thought he was capable of.

It was a good shot too, he thought. The terrorists would eat this up. Betrayal, love, friendship, tears. They were entertaining as fuck.

He bit his lip and looked up at her trying how to explain what had happened as succinctly as possible given he didn't have a lot of time and his signing was somewhat limited.

<You would have had to do it sometime. Ask for real cheese next time. If lucky, you'll get a gun.>

He brought up his hand up and pressed it against his mouth. Caleb then put his hand up against her lips.

He sobbed, but tried his best to maintain his smile. The last thing he wanted was for her to feel bad about what had happened. Caleb wasn't upset about dying really, he realized that he was crying because he would miss her. As much as he felt the pain pouring from his neck, the ache in his heart matched.

<You're the coolest girl in the world.>

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The Lagniappe · The Hunting Cabin