New Story


I wrote a thing, just because I wanted to write a thing. I don’t know what it is. Maybe you can tell me.


It was kind of cold. The skin behind Kelsey’s knees prickled up like a static charge, and she wished she had a jacket to wrap around her legs. Or at least a scarf.

“…well? What was his excuse?”

Johanna’s cigarette dangled from the tips of her fingers, entirely forgotten in the wake of the story. Kelsey watched the tiny, angry ember on the end of it sputter against the ash.

“What do you think it was?” she answered, her voice echoing louder than she expected. She wanted to stop talking about this. About anything.

“Well I don’t fucking know, do I, Kelsey? I’m not the one who’s been dating the guy for four years.”

“Three and a half,” Kelsey corrected, prodding at the skin along the hem of her skirt. It was turning red and starting to itch. She tried rubbing it, but that just make it hurt.

“Whatever,” Johanna flicked the cigarette,  ashes tumbling to the porch. “If you didn’t want to tell me, you shouldn’t have brought it up.” An ember lurked among the tiny ash pile, glaring red against the wood. Kelsey wondered if it might burn the whole place down. It was so tiny that it hurt her eyes to keep it in focus.

Johanna was taking a long drag. Kelsey could tell because she’d stopped talking, and Johanna only ever stopped talking when she was really mad, and when she was really mad, she smoked. Well, she smoked more. And with greater enthusiasm.

Kelsey tore her eyes away from the aspiring fire, leaned against the railing, tried to see the stars through the clouds.

“He said something about avocados.” She said, and again her voice felt like lightning flicking across her brain, filling the space between her ears. She didn’t want to think about it anymore.

“…avocados.” Johanna repeated, her voice taking on the deadpan lilt of practiced sarcasm. “What is that, like, hipster code for forbidden fruit? Was he cheating on you?”

The stars were a futile effort; Kelsey closed her eyes. They stung slightly. She’d had them open too long.


Johanna harrumphed, and the sound felt wrong. “This is why you shouldn’t date hipster boys,” she concluded. “They don’t make any goddamn sense.”

The breeze picked up. Kelsey’s bangs ricocheted off her eyelids. It was time to end the conversation.

“Yeah,” she said. “Frat boys are easier, anyway.”

“That’s the spirit!” Johanna paused—another drag, Kelsey guessed—and then the thud of shoe against floorboard announced the end of the cigarette. “Let’s go distract the DJ with our tits, shall we?”

An insistent hand slipped into the crook of Kelsey’s elbow, and she had to open her eyes as it dragged her back into the bar.

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