His own world, on the tip of his index finger. His mouse cursor was an invisible hand that could copy/paste flowers, scroll bushes across the screen, and pick up swimming pools. Thought bubbles seeped from the people’s heads like slow-rising water drops; messages in white, green, and red—color-coded: talking to themselves, talking to no one, and talking to him. They’d ask him for things, which he’d give to keep them happy. He enjoyed watching their lives play out.
Soon, they'd multiplied, and he could not keep track of them. Requests went unanswered; when he did remember to click them in, a person would only be happy until they saw what he'd given to someone else—like Amanda, who no longer sailed her boat because the neighbor’s husband had a bigger one. Plus, he realized that following one of their days would make him feel like he was missing out on something more interesting pixelating outside his computer screen.
Disheartened, intimidated, and afraid, he left them and went outside to ride his bicycle before the light was gone and it became too dark.
Andy Tu recently quit his teaching job to pursue his writing full-time, and because he realized that he is a rather terrible teacher. He’s currently revising his first novel and applying awaiting decisions from MFA programs. He lives in California and has work forthcoming in Calliope and Infernal Ink.