I have, for a long time, wanted to do some adventure stories set in Canadian history. People (at least in Canada) have a perception of Canadian history as being rather dull and boring, as most of our (colonial) history is one of farmers, trappers and fishermen just trying to get by while important things happened down South (or elsewhere in the world). However, nothing could be further from the truth!
Canada, especially in its formative years of the 17th and 18th centuries, was a place filled with not only farmers and fishermen, but gentry (here by choice and otherwise), adventurers (of all kinds), soldiers, fortune seekers, thieves, pirates, businessmen, and gamblers. It was a place of intrigue that was in constant threat of invasion (by the British when the French held it, and by the Americans when the British held it) and a vital part of the European economy it was helping to keep in motion. Then, there was the near constant conflicts with the Native peoples, and the threat of not just raids, but outright annihilation by the people whose land the Europeans had taken and who outnumbered the Europeans by thousands to one.
Does this sound like a boring place?
I liken it to the American Old West, but with swords instead of guns, as the European guns of the time could only really be fired once (and rarely hit anything) before your enemy was at your throat with a knife. While the American Puritans of the time were trying to live humble lives to the South, Canada (called New France until the British took it) was a raucous, wild country which the French were trying to civilize as fast as they could.
At the forefront of this effort was a lonely town on the Saint Lawrence River named Ville-Marie, which sat next to a small mountain which was called Mount Royale. Eventually, this town would become the vanguard of French civilization in New France, a city known as Mont Royal, or Montreal as we call it today.
And, this where I decided some good stories could be told.
The Fox Cycle is a collection of Flash Fiction (1000 word or less) stories that I am writing with the goal of fleshing out this setting and the people who live in it. I refer to it as a cycle, because it covers a large period of time 1668-1717 and focuses on a single pair of characters- the former Musketeer Gerard la Russo and his adopted daughter Renard la Russo, a native girl. The plan is to do ten of these stories (one for each of ten weeks), which will vary in tone and style as part of a creative challenge to myself. I may do more if I have further ideas, or I might save the ideas for longer tales of Renard and her father.
I hope you enjoy them,
Click Here to Read the First Story: The Musketeer
For those who prefer it, the whole cycle can also be found on Wattpad for your mobile reading convenience.
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