Holding the bottle of invisible ink, I told him: “This is not my color.”
I’d made it too far by then to be caught by some barely grown soldier with an untidy hair garden on his upper lip.
He’d decided to inspect my toiletry bag at the border crossing, probably because he hadn’t been near anything that smelled like a woman in some time.
Of course none of my toiletries were actually toiletries. The soap was explosive, the lipstick corrosive. Each point on the hairbrush was so sharply filed, you’d comb your own ear off if you tried to tidy up with it.
All of that had escaped his notice, except the Rouge Bunny nail polish. That tiny vial had never met a cuticle, but I’d used its innards to scribble out many a top secret message.
“Bun-nee?” the guard said to me. He hadn’t understood my denial. He was stuck on the label, sounding it out.
“Yes, bunny!” I said, switching tacks. “Hop hop!” I waggled my hands behind myself, miming my own little cottontail. His eyes followed.
“Bun-nee,” he said again. “Playboy?”
Five words of English, and that’s what he had. The centerfold was a universal language, it seemed.
“Yes, Playboy bunny!” I embraced the confusion, and him, planting a kiss on the less-acned of his cheeks.
With a dazed grin, he quickly tucked the nail polish back amongst my tools and stowed it with my luggage.
I hopped gamely through the rest of border crossing, letting him watch my backside bounce.
“Playboy!” He said to the guards at the final gate, pointing at me. I kissed them too, once on the cheek, and kept hopping.
They watched me hop, hop, hop right back to neutral territory, the only Playboy Bunny in history with nuclear secrets in her garter — though maybe I shouldn’t assume.
Front page image by Anita Carril.
GHOST WRITER is a project by Tracy Danger Mumford. New sections are released every other Sunday. If you’d like to receive email alerts—and that’s all you’ll get, a short email—saying the new one’s up, sign up here: