Veronica's Garden

I originally started this blog to promote my novel, Post Rock Limestone Caryatids. Now I write essays and poetry about everything, including the Flint Hills, healing, parenting, etc. WARNING: emotional content, sometimes intense. Read at own risk of feeling.

Tag: flash fiction

Disintegrating. Flash Fiction

I’m supposed to go somewhere, but they took the suitcase. I tried to make one out of calendars and feathers, but nobody took the garbage out. I don’t know how she can live down there with all that. The drawer is stuck. Someone stole it from me. No, not the scissors, I can’t reach it. It’s time to go, but I don’t have enough light. Where did they put it? There used to be a house, but it’s gone now. Where did she go, the one with light around her head? She had a beautiful door. There was something important, I need to remember.

Thanks to Julia’s Place for the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups, and the prompt, “. . . I need to remember . . .” Go to the blog to see how other people have interpreted the prompt.

The Mom Who Read Too Much, flash fiction

The movie was stupid, but her kid had the book from the library. Silly YA, but why not take a look before returning it. Turned out the book was good, well-written. Three hours later she checked the page count. 400 pages, oh. Next morning she read with breakfast, after the kids left. Noon, best thing would be to finish it as quickly as possible so she could get on with things. Late at night, her last thought was, what time does the library open? She could return it, and get the next book in the series. And so it begins.

It really was well-written. Either that, or I'm reading too many self-published books these days . . .

It really was well-written. Either that, or I’m reading too many self-published books these days . . .

Thanks to Julia’s Place for the prompt, “. . . and so it begins . . .” See her blog for links to other interpretations of the prompt, and to see her ongoing 100 Word Challenges.

4th of July: Flash Fiction

All day, trucks and soldiers. At night, bangs and whizzes and flashes of color in the sky to the east, the part of the city where Uncle Roy lived.

“What is it, Mama?”


“Is it the 4th of July?”


I knew the 4th of July only came once a year, but this was every night for many nights. Why they were shooting fireworks? And where was the music? On the 4th of July, they played lively music with the fireworks. But even when I listened carefully, I could hear none of the flutes or tubas or even the booming drums.

The end had begun.

Thanks to Julia’s Place for the prompt, “but even when I listened carefully.” Visit the blog to see how other writers developed it.

100 Word Challenge: Forlorn

I don't know who gets photo credit. Most likely my daughter Rowan Ireland. Or her sister Kiran.

I don’t know who gets photo credit. Most likely my daughter Rowan Ireland. Or her sister Kiran.

She lay on the lumpy couch, half-listening to static and new-age music through borrowed earbuds. There was a voice singing something like “If I were to fall, would you catch me?” but the sound kept cutting out and she wasn’t sure that was it. Maybe technical problems would kill the teleconference. She’d signed up for a free psychic reading, but the presenter was overwhelmed and had offered this instead, a guided meditation on Finding Your Own Answers. She wouldn’t have taken it, but she needed answers today, answers nobody could give her. The song ended, another began, jazzier, upbeat. She waited.

Thanks to Julia’s Place for the prompt, “fall.” See the site for other entries, and to enter your own.

100 Word Challenge: Holding The Light


Once she knew she was going to die, she forsook obligation. She would lie in the afternoon with her feet at the top of the bed, head in the bright patch where the sun shone through the window. She liked it right on her face. Sun on her lips, warm as a kiss. Brilliance she could see even through closed eyelids. While sounds of the household floated around her, she only held the light. Sun sinking inexorably out of view, but there was still enough light if she nudged the curtain with her toe. Soon the warmth and light would fade, and it would be over.

Thanks to Julia’s Place for the prompt, “. . . but there was still enough light . . .” See the blog for other entries.

Cupid’s Arrows at 350 Meters/second

They twinkled about him, tiny droplets of a cool spring rain; they washed over him, crushing the air from his lungs, a deep ocean wave– a towering rogue wave –portending disaster. They drove straight to his heart, each a sublime gift from Cupid, shot at 350 meters per second. He adored the golden locks cascading down her shoulders; her smile was a lighthouse on a stormy cliff; but what transfixed him, what obsessed him, what drove him insensate to dive to her feet and profess his desire to die caressing her delicate ankles with his lips, was that sound, those notes, the notes from the piano.

100WCGU (7)

Thanks to Julia’s Place for the prompt. See the blog to read other interpretations of the theme, and why not join in the fun?

100 Word Challenge: Ache

When she saw the orange dot she ached. Soon the tree would be removed from the distressed woods; there would be no more struggling for light, an end to endless hunger for nutrients its tangled roots could never find, hopelessly snarled among those of neighbors it could never leave. A decision had been made, this tree’s time had come. It had had a chance and failed to prove itself the strongest or most deserving of life. Soon, its life would be severed forever, and she ached, an amorphous, crushing pain, that she wouldn’t be joining the tree in nothingness.



The prompt this week was a photo of a tree with an orange dot spray-painted on it, to mark it for culling. See Julia’s Place for other responses to the prompt.

100 Word Challenge: Potion

Some recipes took time, some cycles not being as predictable as commonly held. When all save one ingredient were assembled –the bloodroot, the amanita mushroom, tongue of a stillborn vulture, jimsonweed gathered at dark of moon, essence of luna moth arrested by the venom of a black widow, psilocybin, ergot steeped in wine thirteen days and nights– then she began to wait. It came a week later than expected, but she had the calm patience born of certainty. In cold, dreamless sleep, she woke to a tickle on her inner thigh, and smiled slightly. Her blood would complete the potion.


Thanks to Julia’s Place for the prompt of a recipe fit for a witch. See her blog for other scary-licious recipes.

Dry: 100 Word Challenge

For as long as she could remember, drought. Hot sun so bright she had to squint even to look down at the gray road. The old people talked of wetter times, when things grew and the whole horizon was green, the creeks overflowed and the rain turned the road into a river. She tried to imagine water falling in sheets, or as chunks of ice. But it was too far beyond all she’d known, sky the color of faded denim; plants that sprouted and died; mirages shimmering, taunting, in the distance on the parched pavement of the endless simmering road, flat and hard as a creek gone dry.

Thanks to julia’s place for inspiration. Check out the other flash fiction on her blog.

Five-Sentence Fiction: Sombrero

The damn thing wouldn’t fit anywhere, not on the closet shelf, not in a drawer, not in a box to be stashed out of sight under the bed or in the locked storage space under the stairs. She should just throw it out. It always ended up in the way, on top of the dresser or falling off the bookshelf onto the couch right when she was about to sit down, with a plate in one hand and a TV tray in the other. Not that it really reminded her of –well, she was good at not thinking about things that didn’t need to be rehashed. She didn’t waste any energy on the past, and one of these days she would toss that sombrero right in the dumpster.

%d bloggers like this: