Unit Sixteen

They have weapons and they shoot their weapons. Raul is hungry and he does not have a weapon. I used to have a fish and I kept it in a plastic sack, Raul says. Kelly has thin arms and she walks with her arms like she does not know that she has arms. I hate fish, Kelly says. We can sleep here, Danny says. They will not bother us now. It is good you can speak to them, Raul says. I know, Danny says.

The desert is in a country that looks like a square. It looks like a square on a map. When they were in the war room the country looked like a square and the desert looked like a hand—a woman’s hand inside a square. There is a lake close to here, Danny says. Danny is from Kansas. Kansas looks like a square. There were tiny green spots on the map, Danny says.

They have weapons and they keep firing their weapons. Raul doesn’t have a weapon. When did you see the map, Kelly asks. When we were in the war room, Danny says. I shouldn’t have left my weapon in the war room, Raul thinks.

Kelly looks like a frog and when they were in the war room Kelly grabbed Raul’s arm and said, Shhhh. And Raul did not say anything. Then Raul went to the bathroom and thought about circles and making boys and girls with Kelly in the back of the truck. I don’t know, Raul says. Kelly snickers. The desert is a hooker, Raul thinks. At least when you look at it from the map.

The village king is tall and thin and he smiles and has white teeth but he does not like to look at Kelly because she looks like a water creature. A frog, he says and laughs. She looks like the things that are in fantasy books, he says. The children in the village laugh and point at Kelly. Kelly thinks that she might kill the children because they are laughing at her. My father would be angry, Kelly thinks.

I would take care of you in the basement, her father says. Kelly shakes and she turns into a purple color and Raul tells her to stop shaking. He is not here, Raul says. Who, Kelly asks.

They are not white because they live in the desert and the desert is hot. They won’t give you water, Danny says and Danny is hot because he is in the desert. Your state is square, Raul says. It is more like a rectangle, Danny says. We buried my aunt in a rectangle, Kelly says.

Maybe we should kill one of them, her father says. I told you he wasn’t here, Raul says. Who, Kelly asks and shakes her head. Her hands are dry and cracked and look like tiny canyons in the high plain states. Like Kansas, Danny says.

In the night they still fire at them. Kelly covers her ears with her hands. Danny speaks to the man who is the king of the village. Will they stop shooting, Danny asks. When there is water, the king says. The little boy who laughs at you should die, her father says. You really need to sleep, Raul says.

Danny laughs at you.


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