Two years after the burning apple tree firebombed her cousin and killed him with flaming apples – the aftermath of the opprobrious roach flicking incident which ignited Veronica’s hair and sparked the desiccated old apple tree – Veronica felt healed. Tattoos in a repeating pattern of two intertwined flowers – Speedwell (her name) and cardamine hirsuta (Harry’s name) – decorated her scarred and hairless scalp, symbols of the business they created from the ashes of her cousin’s torched life. Harry thanked the gods for Veronica’s protean gifts. She was hardy, his darling Vee.
Their llama farm flourished. They harvested tiny amounts of fleece and painstakingly spun it with hair offerings from their customers’ loved ones – dog hair, cat fur, budgie feathers, snake skin, locks of babies, locks of lovers. The resulting sentimental yarn generated a profit that made Harry giggle.
“Twist of Fate”, their new business, grew as quick as Harry’s hemp plants which thrived in the soil enriched by Llama dung, a miraculous accelerant. Occasionally a llama reached over the fence to the hemp garden. These snacks led to a feeding frenzy abated only with a shocking quantity of carrots. But the farm was happy. Eventually, hemp was added to Twist of Fate’s fiber product line and from there Harry and Veronica claimed their place in Vancouver Island lore as the Brits who worked it out with fiber.
*Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings. – Stephen King On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft