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“That’s way too skinny,” said Ramira. “The abdomen has to be fatter.”
“Abdomen?” said Hector.
“You don’t know what an abdomen is? It’s the butt!”
“Ah, okay...” He annihilated his work and tried again. “Is this closer?”
“Better. But the legs are too long. And there aren’t enough eyes. And can you add some hair?”
He gave it another shot. “How about now?”
“Agh, here, just give me your phone. I’ll find you a picture on the internet.”
Hector did as he was told.
The group continued on together, and Hector just kind of followed mindlessly along as he and Ramira became absorbed with creating the perfect spider for her. She found multiple pictures for him to work from, but they were all different species and so bore variations that kept tripping him up. At length, though, he came up with something quite realistic-looking, even down to the fine hairs on its back like Ramira had asked for.
“Wow, there you go!” she said. “You’re really good at this! It’s perfect!”
He handed it to her. “You sure? It’s not too heavy? I can make it smaller, if you want.”
“No, no, it’s cooler this way! I can beat people with it!”
“Just kidding.” She prodded him in the stomach, pretending the spider was biting him. “Bragh! I like it a lot! Thank you!”
“Ha... you’re welcome.”
She turned it over in her hands. “You know, it’s kind of like a Melchor action figure.”
Hector blinked at that. “You’ve seen him fight?”
“Yep. It was really scary.”
“Oh. I’m sorry...”
“It was really cool, too.” She frowned, though. “But I don’t think I want to see it again...” She made the spider bite him on the arm this time.
Hector wondered how many terrible things she’d seen already. She didn’t look traumatized, but who could say what effect everything actually had upon her?
What an unfair world it was. He’d known that all along, of course, but it seemed different now, maybe because he felt so powerless again. For a long time now, he’d felt strong, like he at least stood a chance against the problems he saw before him. If someone was in danger, he could just save them. Simple enough. But this little girl here was caught up in a conflict so far out of his reach that he couldn’t even imagine how he might genuinely help her. She and Marcos and Emiliana--they needed more than some stupid lump of iron.