She had sent off a balloon as a child, willing a pen pal into existence. She had been very careful with the address, her best cursive properly tucked into a plastic sheath. No reply had come back. Her classmate Horace had received an aerogramme from Texas, which seemed impossibly far away. The teacher had pinned it to the bulletin board where it stayed all year. Dear Horace. She suspected he’d faked it. In June, she stole the letter, rolled it into a bottle then tossed it in the lake. The next year, Horace was back with a taller tale. There it was, the warped original and a new card with the Cleveland Terminal Tower. She didn’t know why life was like that, why everything happened to just a few people. Why most dreams were sloughed off, balloons gumming up farmer’s fields.
(written by Claire Tacon, read by Chioke I'Anson)
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