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: julia’s place

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: 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.

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