HAPPY NEW YEAR
Reminder: Free short story – see below ‘A Pearl for Your Enjoyment.’
How are those New Year resolutions going? It is the second day of 2024 – have you made it this far?
Me, you ask? Yeah, well, I’m still working on the resolution I made in 2023. To keep my head down and finish this current novel. The end is in sight, I promise. I have the next LAST FINAL of all FINAL edits to go. I won’t tempt fate and write ‘Maybe” here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE
Keep safe, Keep smiling, Keep reading, Keep writing.
Current Weather and Tides
I have been reading another book “The Last Charge of the Australian Light Horse” by Peter Fitzsimmons which has distracted me lately. It relates so much to this next novel of mine. It gives me a lovely feeling to see, that even though I write Historical Fiction Adventure, my story is quite believable and on the mark when it comes to the events of the Australian Light Horse in Egypt, the Sinai and Palestine.
A Pearl for Your Enjoyment
An excerpt from Chapter One of the novel, “Chill of Blame” is due out in February 2024.
“Attention everyone! This is as far as this train can go. Flood waters have damaged the rail bridge. A barge has been provided to take everyone across to the Home Hill side where you will be met by another train going south.”
The army man with shiny new corporal stripes on his sleeve quipped, “What, the army making sure us blokes don’t get extra leave here in the tropical north, then?”
The passengers scrambled to collect their belongings and rushed outside to take in the sight of the swirling floodwaters. Billy and Joe, each with a sugar-bag holding their possessions, did not waste time making their way out onto the river bank. The narrow strip of timber pylons holding the railway lines was just visible above the raging waters of the Burdekin River.
A voice rose above the roar of the waters and the gasping comments from the passengers.
“It’s on the way down, now. You should have been here yesterday.”
The shout of a tall slim man with his arm outstretched lifted heads towards the far river bank. Twisted twin ribbons of steel had been snapped and bent by the flow of powerful waters. The heavy timber pylons over there were either missing completely or crushed like splinters.
Joe slipped and slid through the mud to assist a woman holding a heavy basket on one arm while keeping control of the two young children clinging to her skirts with the other. He called for Billy to help.
What appeared to the onlookers to be a very small open vessel struggled to make headway through the strong current as it approached the bank where the passengers stood watching and waiting. Doubt, and not a little apprehension, filled every person within the crowd.
Under the guidance of the vessel captain, the family groups were loaded onto the barge first.
“You blokes and the mail and supplies can wait for the next trip.” He called up to where Billy, Joe and the other men from their carriage stood.
Everyone on the bank watched the vessel and its precious cargo as it ploughed through the dirty brown churning waters. Only occasional gasps of horror or relief broke the silence as the vessel slowly fought its way to the other side. A cheer broke out when they saw the passengers climb the distant bank.
Silence returned to the group on the north side of the river while their gazes followed the boat back on its torturous journey to collect them.
Joe and Billy were squashed against the rail at the bow of the vessel as they made the journey over the flooded Burdekin River. Brown waters swirled only inches below their feet. They watched in awe at the sight of tree trunks, broken branches, dislodged dunny houses and other fragile structures that rolled and roiled within the torrent of flood waters. Debris appeared and disappeared at the whim of the raging current. Some collected in huge clumps in the timber pylons of the bridge. A yell and pointing fingers drew everyone’s attention to the sight of a weakening beast as it struggled to keep its head above the unforgiving waters.
Look out for the novel Chill of Blame 2024