Thursday, June 07, 2012

Celebrating what truly matters

The Irish Times recently ran a short story competition with a prize of 10,000euros on the subject 'Celebrating What Truly Matters'.
With my new blog hobby and fancying myself as a bit of a writer , I entered the competition, along with 4200 others ( that's .1% of the whole population of Ireland!!). I didn't even make the short list. In fact, cue hard slap on the face, I didn't even make the long freaking list.
It was fun though - it is good to use the other side of the brain from time to time, ie the side that hasn't been killed off by chemical abuse!
Click here to read the story that walked away with the winnings.
And here is my story ( bear in mind that the competition was sponsored by Powers Whiskey and was limited to a mere 450 words)

It was dark and scary in there and I’d been locked up for so long I’d lost track of time - now and then the Da would open the door and let a bit of light in but he hadn’t let me out in months and I was craving human touch and company.
The Da kept me locked up. The Ma had nothing to do with me and the brothers barely knew I existed.  When I was let out, I was the heart and soul of every get together. I would keep the party going with sing songs and good cheer.  Dancing, singing, telling jokes and stories, I was the man to get it all going but I was only left out to celebrate something that truly mattered.
The last time they allowed me out was the granny’s funeral. She was a real character – she would wrap her hands around me to warm me up and whisper “ You’re the best, sonny, you and me, we’re going all the way” and she would always grab on to me tight on her lap when doing her rendition of My Lovely Rose of Clare. She was a dinger, right up until the day she died at age 93 and I loved her dearly.
That was some night. They came from all over Munster to say goodbye to  her – they were queuing at the Da’s house to come  and pay their respects and for the wake they knew would be wild at Murphy’s, a great house for a party. Of course, the Da came looking for me then and setting me down companionably beside him, gave me a real good bear hug. “We’re going to need you tonight boyo” he said as I blushed right up to my cap. “I’ll do my best ” I said but he didn’t hear me, again.
Nancy was laid out in her bedroom and when the singing and dancing died down and it was just us left, we decided to close the coffin. The Da carried me in his arms and the rest marched in solemnly behind us. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as we all said our goodbyes. The brothers were all in tears but there were some happy stories too and most of them centered around me, the bould boyo.
Then the Da had a brain wave – “She really loved you boy. Your place is with her” and he tipped me up to his lips, kissed me goodbye and placed me in the coffin beside his beloved Mother. Now here I lie, forever in peace and harmony with my own Nancy-o with her arms wrapped around my bottle neck.


  1. That was macabre. I like it! I can see how it might not sit well with some but I like unexpected twists and turns in a shorty. WRITE ON!

    1. Not what they were looking for, I think! Thanks anyway!


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