Saturday, January 14, 2012

Free Short Story: Outback Love, Part 1 by Neale Sourna

Outback Love, Part 1 [an Australian Western]
by Neale Sourna

Coober Pedy, South Australia; 1919

I'd come from a lush place, of trees and wide rivers, and had sailed a long, exhaustive time, thousands upon thousands of miles from my home, a half a world away, after receiving his letters and deciding I'd be his wife; even though I'd never met him face-to-face.
Pete'd waited several days at the port, her ship was late, and he'd wondered what she'd actually be like. People often weren't like their letters. He'd read every one, more than once.
I sighed; there wasn't a tree for miles round, not even a decent bush, as Pete drove the wagon into the interior. My God this is a large country, and barren. And my future brother-in-law seems a nervous sort, as he fidgets beside me and barely speaks to me.
The woman made Pete speechless, this soon-to-be sister-in-law. Just being beside her made him nervous. She wasn't beautiful, but she was a fine looking woman, fine enough that—.
"Pete, we're to be brother and sister, call me Maddy." He didn't touch her name, as if it were too intimate a thing for him.
"Why're you here, ma'am, a … a fine lookin' woman like yourself, and smart too, well spoken, you could have anyone. You even read and write, but you come all the way HERE?"
"For your brother." Pete was silent a long while, then quietly asked.
"His letters that good?"
"Well, I...." I was alone with this work-hewn stranger, hundreds of miles from any other person, whether friend or foe, so my lot was cast, as I stared at his strong, and possibly deadly hands. I'd never....

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