How to Buy Happiness

Obligatory Post-Credits Teaser

The dark-haired girl had a slightly deranged look in her eye, but that didn't bother her, because that's what she always looked like. Daddy said she was beautiful, and that was all that mattered. She was catching up with her distant cousin – distant as in "lives on another planet" not the "barely related" type of distant. She knew there was a good reason they only ever chatted via text, but when she asked Daddy about it, he told her that it wasn't important, so she'd dismissed it. Daddy loved her, and that was all that mattered.

For the past few weeks, Cousin Timmy had been quiet. That had unnerved her. He'd always sent her lovely stories about how they would become space pirates together and roam the universe, having adventures. She never bothered telling him that she could never leave Daddy's side. But she'd enjoyed the stories.

When they suddenly stopped coming, she began biting her nails again.

Now, after a whole month, Cousin Timmy was finally sending her new messages. She knew all the old ones by heart, having read them over and over and over. But suddenly, his stories were different. He apologized for his long silence – he said he was getting to know his father again. She was glad for him, his father had never really paid him much attention. Not at all like Daddy, who loved her no matter what. There was one thing about his new stories that made her frown; Cousin Timmy had made a new friend, someone called 'Rocket'.

MYRA: is rocket real or did you make him up?

TIMMY: He's real, but you'll never believe it – he's not like you and me, he's a talking raccoon! :D

MYRA: what is a raccoon? some sort of animal?

She did love animals. They made her sad, though. Her animals never lasted very long, no matter how hard she loved them...

TIMMY: Pretty much. Should I send you a photo? ;P

MYRA: yes

The picture popped up on her screen and her mouth fell open.

It was a photo of her cousin and a bunch of strangers standing in front of a tree with a face. There was an annoyingly pretty, green-skinned woman, a bare-chested man with tattoos, an overconfident man in a red leather coat... and the most adorable little creature she had ever seen. It was wearing clothes, but it was furry, with lively, intelligent eyes and a beautiful, ringed tail! He looked so soft! She wanted to cuddle the little thing so badly. She wanted to love him and hug him and squeeze him so tight!

She realized she'd forgotten to close her mouth and had to wipe her chin.

Cousin Timmy typed many, many messages after that, but she never even read them. She was too busy staring at the picture. After a while, her cousin gave up the conversation and signed off.

She continued to stare at the picture.

That night, she couldn't sleep. By morning, she knew what she had to do.

"It's a talking raccoon, Daddy," she whispered, her stare blank as she held up one of the many printed copies of the photo and pointing at the enlarged image of the cute little animal, "I want it, Daddy..."

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