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Hardly a Fresh Start

She glared at the offending ship, shooting daggers at the gangplank where so many had been cast into the ocean’s depths during the journey. She would be haunted by their screams for the rest of her life, and she hated them for it. Spitting at the brown Virginia grass, she turned away from the cursed vessel, vowing to never cross the ocean again.

The husband dragged her trunks to the house. She snorted at the word. House. Her father would have called this collection of hand-sawed logs and cloudy glass an outhouse. A fine wife he’d sold off, given over for a textile mill and half her dowry.

She turned to glare at the boat once more, pulling her shawl over her shoulders in a futile attempt to block out the cold.

“Goody,” her new husband called back to her, “See about gathering some fire for the stove while I talk with the parson.”

“You’d do well to not label me ‘Goody’ until we’ve known each other longer,” she smiled, all white teeth and sneer beneath curved lips, “You have no idea what sort of wife I’ll make you.”

He grunted, leaving the heavy trunk outside the door before abandoning her for the great house.

She watched him go, taking in more of her surroundings. She’d never felt so cornered by her surroundings. The irony did not go unnoticed. Stifled by buildings one could throw a stone over. She missed England, and yet…her thought left her. She would not allow herself to regret. No regrets over a husband she could never love. No regrets over leaving her only family for a colony so new there were still sentinels posted at the gates to guard against attack, the knowledge of the Roanoke disaster so fresh in all their minds.

They were all fools. They would die here.

She watched the husband, who’s name she could hardly remember most mornings when finding him at her side, speaking with the parson, that self-proclaimed savior of the New World, her blood boiled. Yet, with a tilt of her head, in the fading sunlight, she couldn’t help but wonder how much the Savior would pay for a night in her bed, and for her silence.

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