Oranges are the Bitter Fruit was first published in SWW Decades Anthology. The brief was to write a fictional short story and link it with a person who had lived. CY O'Connor [1843 - 1902] was an Irish engineer who is best known for the construction of Fremantle Harbour and the Goldfields Water Supply pipeline which carries water 530 km from Mundaring Dam near Perth to Kalgoorlie Boulder in Western Australia.
I have since published it in The Japanese Grandmother, my short story and poetry magazine.
Below is a short excerpt from the story. You can read the rest on my website at www.authorsden.com/laurellamperd
ORANGES ARE THE BITTER FRUIT
The boy had watched the house since daylight.
Last night, he planned to break in and steal food when the occupants were asleep. Then his hunger was bearable. Now it was like a raging tiger. Getting food was all he cared about but he was frightened. He hadn't broken into a house before.
He saw the man leave on horseback early in the morning. Then some children left in a horse-drawn carriage and a woman an hour later.
For a long time, there wasn't any movement at the house and the smoke had cleared from the chimney.
When he thought it safe, he stepped from behind a bush and glanced up and down the road. No one was in sight. He ran across to the house and climbed the fence before fear got the better of him, and jumped down into the courtyard.
It shocked him to see a young girl whom he hadn't noticed, standing at an easel, painting, in the shade of the wide verandah.
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