Bonaparte, Iowa


This is my response to this week’s What Pegman Saw flash fiction challenge. K. Rawson posts a weekly challenge based on a Google Image.  The above photo is this week’s challenge: Bonaparte, Iowa.  The story has to have 150 or fewer words.,-91.8023562,3a,75y,331.

Good Parting

This was supposed to be our romantic getaway.  He said I would love Bonaparte, Iowa.  He said we would escape the stress of the city.  We would go antiquing.   We would buy pottery from local artists, eat wholesome food.  I believed him.

Just as I had believed him when we first met at Burke’s Used Bookstore.  He looked so handsome then, hunched over a paperback copy of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.  He campaigned hard to win me.  Who could withstand such a siege of charm?

I believed him when he said he would really leave his wife this time.  But that was before he took me to Bonaparte, Iowa.  Before we stayed in the hotel room with the green paisley wallpaper and the stained roller shade in the window.   I realized in Iowa it would be good to part.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own flash fiction, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.



Author: DebraB

I am a Professor of English at Concordia University-St. Paul. I have a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests include American literature, contemporary literature, Middle Eastern literature, African literature and feminist theory.

9 thoughts on “Bonaparte, Iowa”

  1. A romantic weekend in a run down town with a stained blind at the window? Maybe he’s the one trying to push her away, force her to finish it! Great tale and well told

    1. Thank you. I liked your story about the girl who had joined a cult. ( I couldn’t figure out how to comment on your blog). What a nightmare for a parent!

  2. Lovely sad story. Love how the repeated “believed him” winds it’s way through the story. It really resonates. Thanks for participating in the prompt!

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