It’s a Boy

Dear Planet Earth,

The freedom fighters came back today. Santiago and Roberts dropped by my room for a visit, all smiles as usual. I think they told me their first names once, but I like remembering everyone by their last names now. It makes me feel like I’m on a football team.

They told me some pretty exciting stories. They raided a camp of mole people two days ago, about two hundred in total. The few tanks we have left was enough to get the majority of the suckers before they could prepare a real attack. We lost three men, and a dozen more are injured, but the troops see this as our first major victory, and a much needed one at that.

I found myself smiling with them as they recounted the highlights of their campaign, using words like “offensive,” “retreat,” and “battalion.” It made me feel like I’m in Call of Duty.

Those sick bastards brought me back a present, too. They heard me complaining before about how we still haven’t got a good look at the mole men, how we can’t be sure of what these things really are yet. So, they put a burnt little skull on my knee and started laughing hysterically.

It’s shiny and smells like an ignored campfire, and yet there’s something so human about it — the macabre, distinct shape that haunts our dreams, reminds us of our one and only fate. Or so you would think until you recognize the overall smallness of it. The eye sockets that seem too big. The teeth that seem too numerous.

It’s still sitting on my knee here in room 204 of the maternity ward. I can’t bring myself to touch it.

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