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Love Letters to Earth

A pair of tattooed warriors grips the anthropologist’s arms and leads him up a
hillock to a small round hut. Inside, the priestess, nude as always, shifts her raised knee
to keep her hammock swaying.
“Leave him,” she says. The warriors release their grips. One of them throws the
anthropologist’s frayed and bulky backpack to the dirt.
“Why the rough treatment?” The anthropologist has been here for months and
speaks her language fluently.
“You’ve learned too much,” says the priestess. “We’re going to have to kill
you.”
“I don’t understand. You gave me permission to stay as long as I liked.”
She shrugs one shoulder, a habit of hers. “Now you can stay even longer.”
Hers is the only naked body that has not lost its effect on him. “I’ve been
planning to write all good things about your people,” he says, “if that’s what you’re
worried about.”
“All lies,” she says. “We’ve been putting on a show for you.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“We know the most child-like tribes get all the government benefits.” She clucks
her tongue. “Believe me or not as you wish. You’ll be killed either way.” She opens her
hand and invites him to pull up a mat. “Don’t worry, you have until the rain stops,” she
says. The anthropologist looks over his shoulder. The warriors are gone and, she’s
right, it’s raining again, one of those light-switch rains that could quit just as quickly.
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