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2021-11-12 | Lucius | I Message

"Hey, Kibbles! How many phones ya got there?", boomed Lucious.
Kibbles glanced up, and in a low voice like he was telling a secret, said "Circle", and looked back down at twelve iPhones of various ages with one in the center. He was sitting in a small level area on the side of the ravine on a shredded blue tarp. Repeatedly he would mumble something, look up at the stars, mumble something, and look at each phone in the circle, and then close his eyes for a few minutes.
"What's up with Kibbles?" I asked.
"He just got out of the loony bin...", Lucious started to say.
"Again!", said Aimee, smiling.
"He got out of the loony bin last month for arson, and what did he do? He started stealing iPhones." Lucious shook his head. "What, you don't steal?", chided Aimee.
Skreet kicked Aimee. "Shut up. Let him tell the story. I love Kibbles." She paused,"and you, honey." There were four of them sitting around a small campfire, skreet tucked up under Lucious' arm.
"He got the idea that people were stuck in a black hole. Literally, a black hole in the universe, and the only thing they could commicate was 'iMessage' and their name. He would steal phones from people on the bus that had an "I message", as he calls it, when people left them sitting next to them on the seat. I tried to tell him that there was more to it, that he could unlock the phones, but he threatened to knife me and I stopped talking about it. He charges them on the solar panel during the day and does this thing at night where he relays messages to the black hole, trying to reassure them."
"Weird.", I said,"How did he get his name?"
"He only eats kibbles. He takes them from dog dishes, ever since he got put on the street during the Reagan administration. He lived that way for twenty years, and then one night he took some kibble from Old Man Kreason's back porch while Kreason was smoking his pipe. Kreason would talk to him almost every night after that. He would go on and on, and Kibbles would respond as he does with single words every few minutes. After Covid hit, Kreason's business started to go down. I don't know how that can happen with people dying, but I guess not enough people died, and there were no funeral services, so that explains it, I guess. Anyway, Kreason was crying one night while Kibbles was hanging in the bushes. Kibbles said, "Why?", and Kreason told him that business was down, and he couldn't make the payment for the new funeral parlor he just finished the landscaping for, and he was going to lose it in foreclousre. The next day, that huge funeral home near 1st and James was burned to the ground. They are still looking for Kibbles."