A classic form of story is the alternative history tale. In the spirit of the season, let’s look back through time and imagine an alternate history regarding the Pilgrims. While they didn’t discover the Americas, they are part of US culture. Most of what is remembered about them is grossly inaccurate anyway, so I suspect just writing events as they actually happened will seem like alternative history to some.
I am setting one qualifier for limiting the scope of the story. Well, one qualifier beyond it relating to the Pilgrims anyway. In this history, the native people of North and South America did not suffer the plagues of disease that wiped so many out before much exploration of North America began. There isn’t a word count, a genre or set of words you need to use. The difficulty of this one comes from the research. For example, how would Tisquantum have acted when he returned to find the Patuxet tribes still alive and well? How would the native Patuxet have greeted the Pilgrims after what they had suffered at the hands of Thomas Hunt? Clearly Tisquantum saw no direct fault in the Pilgrims in our own history. Whatever he had suffered at the hands of others, he was quick to teach them and share what he knew of his people’s lands.
Would they remain open, or would the travelers be forced to remain in their boats longer than the 3+ months they did in our own history? Ask yourself questions about all of the subtle play of events before this as well. From the very first visitor to the time of your story, disease is no longer a factor. 500 nations and countless numbers of native people filling every part of the country. It is a lot to consider and though most of those nations won’t directly be within whatever story you write, their stories will influence the world around them and thus have an impact on what you write.