Francis Stacker Dutton: Copper Country: 99 Word Flash Fiction

Funny how things turn out. Here I am. An Englishman born in Germany ending up in South Australia. Sheep was my game. Fine merino. I had an eye; could pick fine fleece from  inferior. My sheep went missing. Looking for them changed my direction. Found copper and started a mine. Needed miners so I went to England to find ’em in Cornwall. Sold my mine shares instead and wrote a book about South Australian mines. Made a fortune. Didn’t have to work but ended up South Australia’s Premier. Seat of Light. Ironic. Can’t have light without copper. Copper country.

In response to Charli’s 99 word prompt where she asks:

January 4, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Copper Country. It can be any place, fictional, historical, or on another planet. Go where the copper leads.

Respond by January 9, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published January 10). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

Historical fiction – Francis Stacker 1818 -1877. He apparently died from a skin disorder – which makes me wonder whether copper, so influential in his life, also caused his death. It is only supposition on my part but he could have suffered copper toxicity syndrome.



About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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33 Responses to Francis Stacker Dutton: Copper Country: 99 Word Flash Fiction

  1. Excellent response, Irene. Copper country! Charli certainly knows how to make a think, doesn’t she?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Very entertaining story, Irene, and pretty clever that it’s historical fiction.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. calmkate says:

    clever and well written, love it … I’d like to meet the bloke and I know it’s a story!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So much history packed into 99 Words. I enjoyed the lesson. Well done, Irene.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A. E. Robson says:

    So much ‘history’ packed into a 99 Words lesson. Well done, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alexander De says:

    I like this character, Irene. Want to sit across the table and hear stories, drink coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What they all said. You sure got a history wrung out of a few words. Good voice and pacing for the job.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You encapsulated such an eventful life in just 99 words! Bravo. By the way, talking about South Australia’s PM, I was just reading Bill Bryson’s Down Under yesterday, and at the very beginning, he wrote about how he could never remember who Australia’s current prime Minister was, and knew no one who could remember it either 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. The state premiers I think that is very true of — I’d never heard of this chap until Saturday when I wrote it. The same could well be true for our Prime ministers – my husband woke me the other morning and asked who our prime minister was. I know I was still half asleep but I couldn’t think of who it was although I could tell him our opposition leader. I think we have had only a few memorable men fill the post. I enjoyed Bill Bryson’s Down Under immensely and was very impressed with his level of research (which he does for every book he writes). 😄

      Liked by 2 people

  9. mrmacrum says:

    A lifetime covered in 99. Excellent.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Charli Mills says:

    Well done, Irene. The truncated story-telling style works really well and sounds like meeting the man at a pub and hearing his story in 99 over a pint. Interesting historical character, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Copper Country « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  12. Michael B. Fishman says:

    It’s funny how the decisions we make – and sometimes the ones made for us – influence the course of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Norah says:

    Nice telling of an interesting piece of history in a flash, Irene.

    Liked by 1 person

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