Fingal’s Cave – Gillian Brown

2000 words General Fiction / Crime

A young woman’s boyfriend has mysteriously disappeared. One night she sees him in a dream. In the morning, she finds herself back on the beach where she and Paul laughed and loved. Here, she meets a woman. What is her connection to Paul? What really happened at Fingal’s Cave?

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Paul’s voice breaks into my sleep. I wake up in a cold sweat before grasping his words. Could this mean he’s still alive? I crush the thought before it takes hold. At daybreak, I trail barefoot through the dunes and onto the beach. When I close my eyes, I can feel the grip of his hand, and hear him reciting his poetry. But the words that once resonated like music in my head now tear at my heart. Standing in the surf, I squelch the wet sand up between my toes. It is the first time I’ve been back here since he went missing and the police hunt began, weeks ago. The case is ongoing, but it seems less and less likely he’ll be found alive.

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Life Sentence – Gillian Brown

1770 word Historical Adventure

Having escaped from an Australian-bound convict ship, Daniel lives on a deserted, Pacific island. When a chance of rescue comes, he hesitates. If he returns home, will the woman he loves forgive him his dreadful crime? Will the authorities find him and hang him? He must decide.

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Daniel dropped his bunch of freshly-picked bananas and pushed his mass of hair behind his ears. Beyond the chaotic chatter of the jungle was the faint but distinctive rattle of an anchor chain. His heart leapt. A ship! After all these years. Or was his mind playing tricks again? Such phantoms appeared in his dreams. He pulled at his beard with his forefinger and thumb. There was only one way to find out. He cursed as he scrambled and slithered over the moss-clad rocks to reach the highest point on the island. The tangle of vines and the prickly undergrowth tore at his skin.

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