Thank you again to MadisonWoods for all her work and organization. You can visit her site and read through the other Flash Fiction Friday postings at:

For those who are new, MadisonWoods shares a photo prompt to which several #FridayFictioneers will compose a 100-word flash of fiction. Come and play, won’t you?

Here is my contribution:

Hallowed Ground

Kindness glimmered in her cloudy eyes as she handed them severed milk jugs, stained purple, and sent the little Indians to hunt fat berries. They stalked through wooded glen with feathered hair and reaped their fruit. Returning, they found her bent, rolling crust upon floured board. Grandmother smiled as she washed and sugared the berries, mounded them, blanketed them. She sang songs with a tongue they did not know. At a pop-up table they ate cob corn and barbecued chicken, drank bug juice, devoured sloppy mountains of black-cap pie, told old stories, never once noticing the burden of your reservation.


  1. Linda says:

    That’s a lovely way to end the story, a nice juxtaposition between the children’s ‘fun’ and the grandmothers ‘reservation’. Many layered once again. Here’s mine too:

    • JKBradley says:

      I’m glad you saw those parts. I think many will focus upon the nice time a family shared. What they may miss is that this is all happening on a land we call an Indian Reservation. This was a true experience I had as one of those little indians so many years ago.

      • Linda says:

        It’s easy to miss the tiny details you often add JK but I’ve found myself spending time looking for them and enjoying their discovery. šŸ™‚

  2. This is a story to meditate. I loved the description. Mine’s on the list but the list does not seem to be visible this week so here is the link in longhand:

  3. TheOthers1 says:

    Nice work! I liked this tale. Fun in the midst of hardship.

  4. boomiebol says:

    Felt very sweet and somewhat meditative. Well done. Mine is here

  5. Nifti says:

    Ah. “The burden of your reservation” stood out to me. Then I read Linda’s comment. How smart.
    Come take a look at mine:

  6. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear JK,

    Summers past rose from the heat haze of my memory as I read your story. Bug juice. Two words that speak volumes to me. Each sentence was carefully crafted and set the tone perfectly while the last quietly unveiled the hidden layers of her life and added reams to the tale. You continue to engage, enthrall and entertain your readers. Bravo.



    • JKBradley says:

      Very glad you enjoyed, Doug. I was one of those ‘little indians’ many years ago, and this story did take place in real time, then, on an Indian Reservation.

  7. And I assume this is about a Native American grandmother perhaps, making her grandkids at home in the woods. Full of tastes and smells of foods of the past. Bug juice! I think of tea and lemonade but maybe other people called other drinks by that name. We drank that at Town Creek Indian Mound once, hearing about glories gone by. Cheers, Lorelei

  8. Sad they could not understand grandmother’s “song of a tongue they did not know”… But bug juice? For real? Enjoyed this. Still working on mine.

  9. Carrie says:

    Ooohhhh, interesting ending. I read it as a comment on the pilgrims and thenindians and how they gave up so much…lovely little tale

    • JKBradley says:

      Carrie, yes. This is truely what happens on our Indian Reservations, at least it did happen on a sweltering day in upstate New York some 33 years ago.

  10. Kwadwo says:

    This story brings back pleasant memories.

  11. raina says:

    Nicely packed paragraph. Its a really comforting scene too. I did have to read it over and over to make sure I captured it all…

  12. Adam Ickes says:

    Wonderful tale. Funny how the world of a child and the world of an adult can be so different even sharing the same space. Mine:

  13. A fine fun-filled post on family and strong times. Quite reflective as well. Mine is here and linked:

  14. Beautiful, JK. Really, it evokes so many differing feelings in so few words, and I commend that!

    We’re linked but I add it direct, too:

  15. erinleary says:

    Really intriguing, another example of kid’s perceptions versus the reality. Nicely woven story – your descriptions made it seem very real. Mine is here:

  16. I read it three times, because there are so many layers, as there might be in preparing a good meal. The bug juice gave me a moment’s hesitation, mind you but it’s the ‘burden of your reservation’ that will really stick with me for a while.

    • JKBradley says:

      Thank you, Kathy. I’ve mentioned to others, this was an experience of mine from what seems like a lifetime ago, on an Indian Reservation in upstate New York.

  17. Brian Benoit says:

    I liked the way you enter that last phrase with “told old stories,” as if drawing attention to the one old story they seem completely unaware of. The imagery and wording is great, though, beyond the impact of that last line. All nicely weighted sentences.

    Brian (

  18. Enjoyed that story, JK and I see from previous comments its autobiographical šŸ™‚ My good friends live on a reservation in ND. So much going on that is not discussed, let alone resolved, in the public eye still to this day. Loved your tale!

    • JKBradley says:

      Thanks, Madison. I share Iroquois heritage through my mother and have ties to another world far from the one inwhich I live currently. It is so interesting how the roots pull at you from time to time.

  19. Nice that the roots pulled at you this time, JK. I was waiting for it to turn somewhere, only because I’m used to that now and I read it a couple more times to get at all the juice. Do people still sing in that tongue (forgive my ignorance, I just hope it is still passed down)?

    • JKBradley says:

      The native language is quickly being lost. It’s sad. The world drags those who have the attributes and skills away from the reservation and the elders eventually will all be gone. I’m actively trying to pick up some of the pieces…Thanks.

  20. Wonderful look into a family making memories from an existence they may not have chosen for themselves if given a choice.

  21. Jan Brown says:

    Had to read it through twice (that’s a good thing) to understand the “you” in “your reservation.” Still savoring the full flavor of the story. Excellent!

    • JKBradley says:

      I wasn’t entirely sure how to end that last sentence, I attempted to anticipate the readers perspective, then finally I just went with my gut. The ‘you’ is all of us, everyone in the US, the reservations were created by the US, so the burden is there. And yes, the reservation is also Grandmothers as it is the only place she can call home.

      Thanks, Jan.

  22. Sweet, poignant with an underlying sadness. This one touches me, particularly the autobiographical nature of it. I loved the grandmother singing in a tongue the child didn’t understand. Somehow I pictured her clearly at that point. Thanks.
    I’m on the list but here’s the link anyway.

  23. flyoverhere says:

    Grandmother is a kind and gentle spirit, lifting the spirits of the little ones without allowing them to see her burden! At least that was me take and a very good read!

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