Good riddance, Thomas’s so-called friends had said when the judge pronounced sentence. Too foolhardy—nearly got us all nabbed.
And now here he was, as far from cool, green Smugglers’ Cove as it was possible to be: Port Jackson, the steamy, insect-infested convict colony where he would end his days.
Some planned to escape; in such a huge, empty country, the odds were good, they argued. Thomas was tempted to take the risk.
Then he heard that more ships were due, bearing a cargo of female convicts: wives, to tame and civilise the felons.
Thomas considered his options.
If you’d like to know a little more about the efforts of the colonial authorities to adjust the gender balance and turn the mostly male convict settlement at Port Jackson into a viable colony, here is a short article from Wikipedia.
I hated to admit he was right, but Patrick’s experiment was working: two garden beds, one lavished with love, the other merely watered and fertilised. The difference was remarkable.
Patrick was delighted – he doted on his ‘lovelies’, stroking their branches, murmuring soft words. He spent whole nights with his arms entwined in dangling foliage, his face pressed into spongy mulch.
Enough was enough. I needed some of that affection. I stormed outside, hedge-trimmer ready, then froze. There was Patrick, delicate green fronds shooting from his fingertips, his legs furrowed, woody, rooted in soft soil.
Another story for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks once more to Rochelle for hosting the weekly link-up. You can read all the other hundred word stories here.
The morning sun warms my face. One last day to ready myself and I’m grieving that I must leave just as Summer approaches. Some might say I’ve basked in more than my share of sunshine. Perhaps so.
Oh yes, I have regrets—that I trusted one who had so clearly demonstrated his duplicity; that I must now submit meekly to this outrageous betrayal, for her sake.
Only she matters now. Who will protect her? Who will show my little Elizabeth how to survive in this dangerous, fickle world?
But I must resist such thoughts. They will bring me undone.
This is my contribution to this week’s Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle. You can read all of this week’s 100 word stories here.
I don’t often attempt to write historical fiction, although I’m fascinated by the stories behind the stories – the real motivations and attitudes behind the words and actions of people in the past; the unrecorded realities which can only be addressed in fiction.
In my own reading I’m a fan of alternative histories, stories that imagine ‘what if …?’ What if some historical event, large or small, had played out differently? What would the world be like?
Here is my 100 word story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers link-up, hosted by Rochelle. Read the stories by other contributors here.
Chester winced at the name of the show, and smirked when she gave him a rundown of the storyline. He meant to say ‘Er, no thanks,’ when she offered him a ticket, but her eyes were so bright, her dancer’s legs so long.
He sat near an exit – planning to slip out to the bar once he’d seen enough to pad out conversation.
He wasn’t at all ready for the ocean of sound and movement that pinned him to his seat.
‘You ok?’ she asked when she joined him afterwards. ‘You look pale.’
Sharon stood back to get a better perspective. Yes, she’d enhanced the photo a little – added a warmer tint, erased some surface cracks, but surely any interested party would be willing to look beyond the tired exterior. The framework was sturdy; just creaked a little when the weather changed.
Nevertheless, Sharon decided she had time for a few cosmetic touches – a blush of terra cotta, some sky blue highlights – subtle, nothing garish.
He’d be here at 5. Sharon poured two drinks, re-checked her makeup and studied his photo again. So handsome – she just knew this was the one.