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Apr 2018
He reached into the paper bag his friend handed over and pulled out a small picture frame.

“Do you want it?” his friend asked.

He turned it over carefully to see what was in the frame. Through the glass, he saw a beetle mounted in cotton, displayed along with a strip of paper that held its name. It looked like something good to have hanging in his room.

“Yeah, but why?” No one just gives away nice things. At least no one gives stuff away without a reason.
“Why, what?”
“Why are you just giving stuff away?”
“Oh,” silence, “I just don’t need it.”

It was a non-answer, a truism, something people say just to get people to asking questions without lying. That’s not enough, he thought. If there was anything he knew about his friend, it was that he liked to talk.

“Wait, so why don’t you need it?”
“Just take the whole bag. Maybe just give back the 3DS games”

He turned the frame around. There was a mark in the back, like someone tried to open it up with ballpoint pen that ran out of ink. Whoever made it gave up after one try but still managed to leave pinholes in the cardboard.

“Are you sure?”
“I think you’re asking too many questions for free stuff, guy”

He looked through his friend’s bag, wondering what else was inside. It was clothes, mostly, and ruffling through it wafted up a scent. The smell and the fabric, it was decidedly feminine to him. He had more questions, more thoughts to investigate.

A car, pulled over next to them. “My ride’s here,” his friend said.

He looked at the beetle. Its wing casings were a sickly yellow. He saw a few writhing brown dots come from under it. He felt sick. Maggots, he thought.

“Carlos,” he called out, handing back the bag, “I’ll keep the beetle”

His friend turned back, took the bag and left.
Kevin Castro
Written by
Kevin Castro  20/M/Manila
(20/M/Manila)   
437
   Darrell Landstrom, --- and Ƨ
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