“A New Beginning”

Spring, 1849

My dearest wife,
I have survived my first year in this unfamiliar country where I have staked our claim. The land is harsh: a hillside covered with rocks, barren trees and soil cursed with sand, stone and more rocks. However, there is a meager stream over which I have built a simple stone structure. It has one room, a doorway, a window and a slate roof. The slate was a surprise, and I pray, will bring us our fortune as we have an abundant supply.
I have enclosed money for your passage and eagerly await our reunion.
Your loving husband,
William Fitzgerald

(Based on “Photo by Piya Singh“, madison-woods.com, Friday Fictioneers, September 07, 2012.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to “A New Beginning”

  1. I’d love to see that stone structure:)

  2. Sandra says:

    An elegant piece with a voice that was ‘spot on’. Very nicely done.

  3. What an excellent response to the prompt! It felt loving and just right.

  4. Paul says:

    I haven’t seen the photo prompt yet, but don’t even feel like I have to. Just the right voice captutes the time wnd the man. Well done.

  5. 1849 ? Well hope he “staked his claim” near Sutter’s Mill , California.

    • vbholmes says:

      Stupid me! I was thinking of the Irish potato famine when I chose the 1849 date. I considered having Billy Fitz pull up stakes and move West but William Fitzgerald is a practical man, and with an abundant supply of slate at hand, he chose to foresake the gold in the bush.

      • Upon second read it is mindful of the plight of millions of people that settled the American continent from Jamestown to the Great West from 1607 till last 1800’s. We have lost our sense of pioneership and grit in face of adversity in our present culture. Of course living in the inner city of many of crime ridden areas is also challenging.

  6. A sweet, good-feeling story. I’m sure this hut will be paradise compared to where she is…(probably living in dire poverty) in the Old Country. NIce work. I’m 9 on the list.

    • vbholmes says:

      My hope is that the Fitzgeralds will prosper and move to a more suitable spot where they can have a garden and keep the necessary livestock. However, being a bit of a romantic, William will bring his family back to the stone building once a year to relive their humble, yet happy, beginnings.

  7. The piece talked about a place and a structure, but it actually spoke of love, hard work and devotion. A love that spanned an ocean. Nicely done!

  8. raina says:

    Really like this 🙂

  9. boomiebol says:

    Very very nice! I liked it much,,,speaks of dedication, love, courage and more…nicely done.


  10. billgncs says:

    hope his claim is mining, not farming — but this had the feel of the pioneer times and I liked it very much

  11. Hints at a big story this. Very suggestive

    • vbholmes says:

      Working on a sequel to my historical novel, Reverberation, The Novel, and may expand this and work it into the plot. I like the photo–and William Fitzgerald. Between them, they offer a lot of possibilities. Thanks for the comment!

  12. You set the tone, the time and romanced the reader. Very nice.

  13. unspywriter says:

    Very well done, and the name “Fitzgerald” put me right in the time and place. Mine may be the bookend to yours: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/diaspora/

  14. Lovely. Makes me feel nostalgic, even though (obviously) I wasn’t around in 1849.

    Our two tales are here: http://www.lazuli-portals.com/flash-fiction/two-tales-the-old-mine

  15. You know.. there is something to be said for keeping our memories intact.. I love this one. xx

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