Last night I spilled some watercolor and inadvertently created a new state named "Ticonderoga," after the No. 2 Ticonderoga-brand pencil that rested against my desktop lamp. It's a brave new world, and its robust fishing economy is generously fed by three lakes that lap against its magenta shores: Lake Eugene to the north, and Lakes Dixon and Avery, which hug its southern border. Its capital, Moto City, is famous for its wild-caught Cadmium sandwiches, which can be enjoyed along the boardwalks during the Moto Music Festival come mid-November. Cooled by the balmy winds sweeping off Lake Avery at autumn's end, its boardwalks can be heard clattering with the shoes of college kids, some hand in hand, considering the wide expanse of ocean that rolls into the horizon. Last year when Aimee Mann played, the sound of her guitar seemed to skip across the surface of the water like a polished stone, similar to the one Casey, a student home from Cape Cobra, smoothed in her left hand. "u home for txgiving?" texted Brian, her (ex) co-worker from the office supply store she worked at freshman year before she transferred schools. She put her phone back in her pocket. Talking to Brian was like pulling on a loose thread, not unlike the one that swung from the back of her olive green sweater. She knew better than to reply, not wanting for handfuls of loose yarn and quick goodbyes in the morning of his studio apartment. Probably the same one he had since the last time she saw him. "I Can't Help You Anymore" began to play down the pier. Looks like Aimee was invited back this year. This song always reminded her of closing the office supply store late at night after her boss had left, when she could play whatever she wanted and sing as loud as she possibly could. Some nights she would scream and try to shake the stacks of 28 lb. carbon white like leaves. Her pocket vibrated. Probably Brian. Again. As the band continued to play, Casey turned to face the water and rubbed the stone in her left hand, warming it up, waiting for the right moment to let it go. If it wasn't for her mother trying to reach her, she'd throw her phone instead, and wait for it to skip or sink.
micro short story