I'm a writer living in Lake County, California. My stories, memoir & poetry have been published in various literary magazines over the years--I'm in love with flash fiction, and most recently, reading & writing the 100-word story. Tight writing is my thing.
An East Coast native, I love mild winters, anything Jane Austen, and the raucous coast of Northern California.
Hot & Dusty Winds
Mrs. Riley fell down the stairs, Dad said. No accident, Mom said. She lay there for hours before dying, my brother said. The winds blew hot, churning up dust. Mrs. Riley baked cookies, grew daisies in her garden. Now I was forgetting; now I had their grit in my eyes.
Upcoming in Blink-Ink, June 2022
The Book of Regrets
This morning I realized I couldn’t read my book of regrets any longer. I’d had enough. There’s only so much guilt a person can take.
I called my neighbor and asked if she was reading hers. “Last night I did.” A long pause. “Though I can’t say I like it much these days.” She was whispering. Guilt again.
“Why don’t you and I have a book burning party?”
“Can we do that? My mother can’t put hers down –”
“I don’t know about you, but my book’s leading me south.”
“I know what you mean.” She wasn’t whispering any more: a good sign.
We agreed to meet that afternoon at my house. She arrived, clutching her book, wearing lipstick and a blue silk scarf. She looked different, and I said so.
“I feel different,” she said. “Are we really going to do this?”
“Let’s burn them in the front yard. Out in the open.”
“Aren’t we breaking the rules?”
“They’re someone else’s rules.” I was already moving toward the door. “I’ve got everything ready. Come on.”
She hurried after me. “What made you change your mind, disagree with everyone?”
My doctor would say it was menopause; my husband would call it a mood, my minister, defiance, my teen aged son, rebellion (at least he’d be smiling). “As I said, I was going south. Had to turn the car around.”
She grabbed the metal garden tub, and I grabbed the kindling. She sprinkled kerosene; I drew the lighter. Then she said–just as we threw our regrets inside the tub, whumph!-- ”My mother’s going to have a fit.”
“I’m scared too. Now light.”
The fire blazed with such force that she and I jumped. Laughing, she raised her hands to the heat, and I laughed too. The smoke blossomed and sighed, stretching itself into the sky, and eventually vanished.
From Platform of Prose
Heat against her back, Esther weeded her front garden. She spotted a young man, walking along the usually empty road. In his hand, a pink zinnia. She stood. He held up the flower. “I found it growing wild!”
Her son would have been his age. Still, Esther smiled. “Beautiful!”
He grinned, soon disappearing from sight.
David. She returned to weeding, murmuring his name, which soothed her even as tears slipped down her face and dropped into the earth.
From Friday Flash Fiction