Veronica Lavia


Veronica Lavia is a writer, filmmaker, based in Boston, Massachusetts.  She graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a BFA in Visual Arts. Her artistic concentration was Video Art.  Through the manipulations of both textural and image based signifiers, Veronica attempts to deconstruct the multilayered fabric of contemporary society. Her creative work is a quest to unearth the hidden “magic” (forgotten memories of generations’ past) from the maze of technological mirrors. Nostalgia is one of the guiding themes that allow her reader/viewer to explore disremembered histories.  Veronica and her partner/husband are currently producing a feature film in which words have lost their meaning, becoming exploited commodities.  At the same time, Veronica is working on a series of speculative fiction novels, subtle critiques of the narrative of spectacle.



By Definition


“The drawer, a massive piece of wood; cut in pieces; divided into sections. Multiple compartments nestled one on top of the other; used to host clothing, particularly underwear and socks: essentials for everyday life.  Mechanical structure of shelves built on even wood rails. Modern dressers use cabinets equipped with roll-out shelf sliders. This particular model is a good example of a wood/metal structure with rollers. It doesn’t open.” Elisabeth closed her black diary. She stepped back and observed the shabby dresser. The drawers were tilted to the side, crooked. The concept of “even wood rails” didn’t apply to this piece of furniture.

Elizabeth grabbed the wooden handle of the first drawer and pushed upwards. The drawer creaked, but didn’t budge. Elisabeth yanked the drawer, forcing it to roll out of its sliders. The screeching sound of wood on wood gave her goosebumps. She stopped, frustrated. The shelf hadn’t moved.

“Com’on!” Elizabeth hit the drawer with her elbow. The drawer rolled back to its original position. She stared down at the piece of furniture, biting the inside of her cheek. She clasped her fingers on the drawer’s handle, and pulled, annoyance escaping her mouth. The dresser tipped towards her.

“No!” she shouted, using her body to block the fall. The dresser slammed back into its original position. All the drawers slid open at once. Her diary was now perched at the edge of the dresser. She ignored it, and with a final tug, opened the drawer. It rolled out perfectly.

“What the hell are you doing?” A harsh voice intruded the bedroom. Elisabeth didn’t flinch. She turned toward the door. The silhouette of a tall woman filled the dark corridor.

“I’m getting ready.” Elisabeth put her hand inside the top drawer, extracting a worn out pair of black socks. The woman didn’t reply. Elisabeth soon heard heavy footsteps descending the staircase. She closed her eyes, and sat on a well-made bed. She put one sock on, bracing her leg. Her big toe escaped the tip of the sock, sliding through a well carved hole. She wiggled her toes. She repeated the action with the second sock. This time her toes remained hidden inside the dark fabric. It was her heel that peeped out.

She went for her backpack, grabbed the diary from the dresser and shoveled it inside the bag. She tiptoed towards the door. She forced her feet into a pair of old sneakers, and headed towards the staircase. A speck of orange glowed past the last step. Dust flew in contemplating mist under the sunlight. She jumped into the pool of sun, rushing to get to the front door.

“Where do you think you are going?” The harsh voice of the woman spoke again. Elisabeth froze; her hand on the handle. The front door was a game of reflections. Rainbows refracted through layers of glass, prisms that diverged one from the other. They were oscillations of atomic dipoles that re-radiated their own waves out of phase. The light felt warm on her skin, a kiss of color for her overly pale complexion.

“School.” Elizabeth stepped away from the door. She couldn’t distinguish the face of the woman in the dim light of the corridor. She didn’t need to see, to know. Her aunt carried her hair up in a disordered bun, which might once have been a ponytail. Her hair was a tangle of spikes. They reminded Elisabeth of hay. Her face conserved the beautiful traits of an ancient Greek statue that had traveled through the storm of time. Her eyes were melting, sliding down her face one faster than the other, on the waxy surface of the skin.

“If she only knew what you do, always going out with them.”  Her aunt teetered. Elisabeth passed her tongue over her lips, patiently holding her breath. Long dark spheres encircled her aunt’s eyes. She never slept. She restlessly wondered around the house: a ghost before her time.

“I have to go to school.” Elisabeth glanced towards the light outside. The sun was rising higher in the sky. She was going to be late.

“She wouldn’t have done this to me, she’d have stayed here.” Her aunt stepped out of the shadows. She was twisting her hands compulsively, knuckles against knuckles, nails on skin. Elisabeth looked down at the shaky hands of her aunt. Her eyes narrowed and took a slow step back.

“My mother’s dead, Patricia.” Elisabeth spoke slowly. Patricia looked around, studying the walls of the corridor. She appeared lost, as if she didn’t know where she was. Spider webs dangled from the dark corners of the corridor, structures built from a single fragile thread that became tangles of death.

Elisabeth grabbed the door knob again, twisted it, opening it an inch. Patricia turned back to look at Elisabeth with wide eyes. Her pupils were dilated, as if trying to take in all the light the claustrophobic corridor could offer. She threw herself into a desperate attempt, her hands extended in front of her, awkward imitation of homemade horror. Elisabeth swung the door open. Patricia crashed against it, making the glass shake. Her hands were pressed onto the glass, frames to a bony face.

“I’ll see you tonight.” Elisabeth slammed the screen door closed behind her.  They were now divided by two wooden frames. A wining sound followed her steps, scratching of nails, biting teeth. She walked along the crumbling structure of the house. Paint had peeled off, leaving rotting wood with pail patches of bluish paint peels. She grabbed a rusty red bicycle, and after a few rushed steps, jumped onto the crooked metallic structure. She balanced her weight moving her backpack in front of her. She extracted the black diary and a pen.

With a quick movement of her hand she turned the front wheel right, entering a green country road. She kept pedaling, opened the diary and brought her pen to her mouth. The countryside extended before her. Low flat fields occasionally interrupted by trees, poking the horizon into a crooked undulation.

Bicycle, human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle; equipped with two wheels attached to a frame, still running since the 19th century. I’m still running.” She closed the diary, dropped it back inside her backpack. She moved her head side to side, wind caressing her cheeks. The bicycle wined at regular intervals, rust falling: red rain on white gravel.


“Hummingbird: the New World bird, the smallest of its kind. The beating of its wings creates a humming sound, rapid wing flapping rates (around 50 times per second.) It has the highest metabolism to conserve energy when food is scarce. It migrates, traveling 3,900-miles one way from Alaska to Mexico: a distance that equals to 78,470,000 their body length. I’m a hummingbird.” Elisabeth finished the sentence and glanced outside the window, on the far side of the corridor. A small bird darted back and forth within the branches of a blossoming pink wild cherry tree. Elisabeth bit her lower lip. Her cracked skin was almost bleeding.

 A long row of lockers stretched down each side of the corridor.  The afternoon was quiet, humid. The school was silent. She shifted the position of her legs. The tips of her shoes were facing each other. They were not symmetrical. A frown crossed her forehead. The top of the left shoe was slightly irregular, assuming an unnatural angle. She moved her feet to match them with the lines of the tiles, tips touching, creating a pyramid: perfection.

The door to her left opened slowly. A red headed girl walked out, a tragic expression on her face. She turned distractedly and her eyes brightened when she saw Elisabeth. Elisabeth lifted her hand up to say hello and to greet her friend. The red headed girl opened her mouth, but somebody else quickly grabbed the door, pulling it back, out of the redhead’s hands.

“Excuse me!” The redhead twisted, outraged towards the school counselor. The counselor ignored her, directing her blank stare towards Elisabeth. Elisabeth grabbed her backpack, and stood up as the counselor retreated inside her office.

“I’ll see you later,” the red headed girl whispered. Elisabeth nodded, and closed the door behind her back. The counselor stared down at Elisabeth. She didn’t offer for her to take a seat. Elisabeth didn’t move.

A barren white wall stood behind the counselor’s desk. Thin gray lines cracked the paint, crying down the wall, invisible curtains. A small cupboard stood to the left side of the desk. A collection of dusty books set upright, untouched on the second shelf. All the other shelves were empty. Next to the shelves, an old wooden frame held together the cracked glass of a diploma. A vase lingered empty, on the windowsill.

“Nobody came to the teachers-parents meeting,” the counselor stated. Elisabeth didn’t react, she waited. The counselor grabbed a folder from inside one of her desk drawers. She placed the folder on the desktop, and opened it, her long purple nails touching the white pieces of paper, with calculated care.

“All top grades.” The counselor looked quickly at Elisabeth, and then her eyes returned to the piece of paper. Elisabeth looked down at the black lines of ordered typing.

“Nobody cares?” The counselor looked back up at Elisabeth. This time her eyes remained nervous, gray and veiled. They had seen through too many people. Elizabeth grabbed the diary tighter and shrugged. The counselor sighed.

“Is there something I can do?”

 Elisabeth glanced out the window of the small, barren office. She could see two hummingbirds appearing and disappearing in flashes of wings from behind the pink flowers of the cherry trees. Elisabeth shook her head.

“You can go.” The counselor dismissed her, eyes flitting back to the paper. She closed the folder and, with care, put it back inside her drawer. Elisabeth observed the action silently. When the counselor didn’t look up, Elisabeth smiled.

“Good afternoon.” She walked out of the office.


Elisabeth observed the cheese slide down, carried away by a still steaming pepperoni, too heavy for the thin rectangular pizza slice. The pepperoni fell on the plate and the cheese curled up on top of it, the white stained in red, a steaming spiral. She grabbed the pepperoni with two fingers, squeezed the meat and the cheese together, making a bubble of red tomato sauce erupt: the hot lava from a factory processed volcano. She placed the food in her mouth, flavoring the tips of her fingers.

“So that’s why I told him to go fuck himself,” the red headed girl concluded what had been a long explanation. She grabbed a red paper cup, with a blue straw sticking from its white perimeter. Her long curly hair moved over her shoulders to flop dangerously close to her plate. The gold hoop earrings swung side to side, shining in an excitement that matched the one of their owner. She studied Elisabeth thoughtfully.

Elisabeth grabbed a napkin and cleaned her hands thoroughly. She folded the napkin in two on the formica surface of the table.

“You did right.” Elisabeth looked up at the girl. The girl almost chocked on her last sip of soda and put the paper cup down energetically.

“Damn right, I did right!” The redhead’s eyes sparked: the warm amber mixing with the summer afternoon light. Elisabeth’s lips were crossed by a small smile. It didn’t reach her eyes. She looked around the small pizzeria. It was a shabby one room restaurant. Wooden panels covered the lower section of dirty looking yellow walls. It reminded her of home.

“What about you?” the red headed girl asked. Elisabeth shook her head. She grabbed the unfinished slice of pizza and took a bite. The cheese was chewy, sticky on her teeth.

“How’s your aunt?” the girl asked. Their eyes met and the girl nodded, understanding. She looked around the room as if checking if anybody was listening. She moved closer.

“Catherine has found an apartment. In a week school ends and we are moving to the city. The offer still stands, Elisabeth. We want you to come,” the girl said. Elisabeth looked away, turned towards the window. The small road of a dormant village extended itself east to west.

“Ashley, I…” She didn’t finish the sentence. Ashley grabbed her wrist, her eyes calm, reassuring. Elisabeth nodded.


“Memory: information encoded, stored and retrieved. The brain transforms the outside world’s data into chemical and physical stimuli for them to be collected. Retrieval, recall or recollection refers to the process of calling back the stored information. Long-term memory allows the brain to store large quantities of information. The amount of time the brain can remember is potentially unlimited. Its capacity is immeasurable. I remember my mother. Time I’ve remembered her: thirteen years, (for human standards not even a quarter of a lifetime). Patricia recalls her too, but to her, she’s not a memory. She’s reality. I’m not my mother.” Elisabeth wrote in the black diary.

She looked up, squinted. The sun was slowly setting in the horizon, plunging underneath the crests of a long line of evergreens. The field a drizzling rain of green and gold. Flowers swung in a fresh breeze, the grass the sea. She looked up; the leafy branches of an oak tree patterned with thin lines, the perfect turquoise of an ever changing sky. A stone stood underneath the tree: a lost life. She walked towards the stone, letting the red bicycle fall on the grass of the small path. She closed the diary and kneeled in front of the stone.

“I’m not you.” She traced a fading name with the tip of her index finger. She glanced up acknowledging the last sun beam as it said goodbye to the sky. A green ray spread like a wave over the countryside: a new ending. Elizabeth stood up, walked back towards the bicycle. She lifted it up and ran, grass hitting her legs. She jumped on the bicycle: the squeaky sound of metal marking the beat of her flight. As darkness descended, the light faded with her.

“Home: a dwelling, a place designated to permanent or semi-permanent residence. It can be used by an individual, a family or a household. It is often a house, an apartment, or some other building. It can be mobile. Home is considered to be a place close to the heart of the owner, a cherished possession. This isn’t home.” The crooked structure of her aunt’s house towered over Elizabeth, submerged in the purple shades of an evening that had forgotten the sunset. The high pitch screeching of crickets accompanied the advance of the night. Stars appeared: ghosts of lights that traveled too far to ever go back to where they came from.

Elisabeth let her eyes travel the dark windows. The windows stared back. It had been a long time since she had seen those eyes alive. She stepped forward, but stopped again. Empty flower vases surrounded the house, barely hidden by the overgrown weeds. Plants other than weeds used to grow in the garden: colors with fruity smells climbing up the walls of a true home. The water hose lay a few feet away from her right foot. Time had eaten the green skin of the plastic snake. Holes patterned the hose, bites of abeyance. Elisabeth stepped on it and walked towards the house. The hose still dangled from a rusty faucet.

Elisabeth grabbed the tap and pulled it, hard. It screeched, the tube mumbling feebly. She kicked it. A long gurgling sound rode up the faucet. Elisabeth pulled harder on the tap. Brown water ran down the hose. Elisabeth opened the tap completely. Water squirted everywhere, down the hose and out its pattern of holes. She followed the liquid with her eyes, washing away dirt: washing away time. She entered the house, her sneakers wet; her hands dirty with rust.

“I told her.” Patricia rusty voice broke the silence of the house. Elisabeth turned to her left. Ashen light drifted from the small kitchen window. Patricia was sitting on a dusty wooden chair, her head resting on her arm just above the back of the chair. Patricia’s long legs were extended to the floor, barely covered by her robe. She was barefoot.

“I told her!” she cried, cutting the evening air. Elisabeth didn’t move. Patricia slid her feet on the floor, restless.

“She wasn’t supposed to go with him.” Patricia sobbed. Elisabeth gripped the straps of her backpack.

“She left, Patricia.” Elisabeth talked slowly. Patricia sobbed louder, unable to listen. She jerked herself up, bringing her hands to her face. A gnarled stump on a slab of wood, her hair gray: more ashes.

“I told her. You are not coming back,” Patricia hissed from between her teeth. Elisabeth looked down at the floor. Her sneakers created a small puddle puddled of mud. She moved her foot. The warm brown of the wooden floor shone, polished by extra earth, freed from dust.

“Nobody could have known,” Elisabeth whispered. Patricia turned to look at Elisabeth. Her hair fell over her face, concealing it in shadow.

“Elisabeth…” Patricia mumbled. Elisabeth took a step toward the staircase.

“My dear, little girl…I’m so sorry. Will you ever forgive me?” Patricia stood up from the chair. Her back bent forward, her hair over her face, the bedroom robe barely concealing her bony body.

“I’m leaving.” Elisabeth straightened her back, standing parallel to her aunt. Patricia froze. She looked down at her hands, shadows in the increasing darkness.

“You can’t,” she whispered. Elisabeth climbed the staircase. Sounds followed her, a slipping and falling on the wooden steps. She reached her bedroom, switched on the light. She threw her backpack on the bed and directed herself towards the dresser. The drawers had remained open since morning. She grabbed the few items she owned, and threw them inside her backpack.

“Elisabeth, don’t leave me,” Patricia grasped the door frame with her pale hand, but did not step under the electric light. Elisabeth zipped her backpack close. 

“Move.” Her voice was firm, calm, steady. Patricia’s hand shook, and slowly slid down the door frame. Elisabeth walked out of the room and down the staircase. Patricia followed her.

“She wouldn’t! She wouldn’t have done this to me!” Patricia stepped in front of her niece and grabbed the entrance door knob, blocking the door with her body. Elisabeth bit her lower lip, and observed the black silhouette of her aunt obstructing her way. She looked like a fly unaware that it´s trapped behind glass.

“She already did,” Elisabeth said. Patricia swallowed noisily. Elisabeth waited. The darkness became denser. Patricia moved away from the door. Elisabeth grabbed it, opening it wide. The smell of wet ground reached her nostrils. The garden was glimmering.

“Where are you going?” Patricia followed her. She stopped dead when she found herself suddenly outside the house. Elisabeth stepped on the weedy ground of the garden, her sneakers splashing in water. She turned towards her aunt.


 Patricia, fell to her knees, her head toward the sky. Elisabeth looked up, infinity descending. She started walking down the garden path, towards the road, her backpack pressing tight against her back.

“Elisabeth…” Patricia called for her. Her voice was lighter, less hoarse. Elisabeth paused at the border between grass and gravel: the division between house and road.

“Good luck.”


Travel: indicates movement of a person or a group of people between geographical locations. It is possible to travel by foot, by bicycle, by car, by train, by boat or airplane. (Less common ways of traveling are available.) People can travel with or without luggage, and not all trips are round trips. Mine: a one way ticket.”