Chilling to Nick pushing the sky away
Sitting working due to October deadline for tax returns here in Ireland, Listening to Bob Dylan asking a woman to give him just one more chance and wishing that I was sitting in my reading room at home and writing stories or poems or working on one of them there novels that will one day be finished
Long listed in a competition about chicken soup . Considering how much of it I have eaten I shocked I didn’t win lol http://brilliantflashfictionmag.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/finish-the-story-contest-results/#more-314
chicken Soup Ice Cream
She met him at an international student exchange.
He was German—not her first choice. But he was dark and subdued, unlike the Brazilians who talked too much and ran their eyes over every woman in the room.
“Hello. I’m Sharon,” she said.
He stood up. “My name is Hans.”
They drank plastic cups of fruit punch and communicated in simple English phrases until it was time to go, and then Hans grew agitated.
“Will you … can I … “ he began, fighting the language.
“All right,” Sharon said.
She wanted to see a movie but his English wasn’t good enough.
They went for ice cream instead.
“In Germany,” he said, “We have an ice cream shop that sells every flavor in the world … even chicken soup ice cream.”
“Does it ruffle your feathers if you are feeling hot?” I asked him. Those brown eyes that I would look into for a lifetime went out of focus until a smile spread across his face with his comprehension.
“Yes, it is very stimulating,” he laughed, placing his hand on my arm gently, spreading his touch to reach my heart.
Thankfully the parlour didn’t serve chicken soup flavoured ice cream. I would have tried it if he had insisted, his awkward stiffness entrancing me into submission.
Six months later I sat at a table in his hometown, my stomach rumbling with excitement and panic. I smiled as he put the bowl in front of me. The one spoon, I tasted under his hopeful gaze and pretended to like. Amidst the giggling and talking we held each other’s hands with love. I looked back, as his arm wrapped around me, to see a waitress emptying my bowl, but his eyes were on me alone.
Pen in hand searching for words . The other gripped firmly. One used the other motionless. Words spill out on to the page slow at first then erupting . Sprouting out in fountains of sentences and paragraphs. They speak to my soul telling me their plans their past their future.
Starting in a field not knowing where the path will lead but not that it matters. It’s the sights along the way, the words of the people you meet the smiles the tears the dreams. None of them are yours they belong to the story to the characters. They take your hand some hold tight and some loose and they lead you to their world
Sound this word is used extensively in Ireland to designate an individual as been a good fella. For example paddy is a sound lad, means that paddy is a lovely fellow that you could entrust your mother to without having to worry about her safety.
Sound also means that something is build securely and safely. Eg jaysus lad that’s a sound tractor means the tractor would pull a herd of cattle up Mount Everest with out any bother.
It also refers to the noises that things make like in normal countries
A Child’s hunger for hope
“Can you keep going for another while Liam?”
He raises his head and it slumps back, to stare once more at the dirt of the road. She takes this as a yes and keeps going. Words use too much of the small amount of life left inside of them. Her hair hangs limply reaching for the ground. Her head is too heavy for her to hold up.
The twilight is fading to night, another day further from their home, another day closer to no where, for there is no where to go. There is no rainbow to slide down to find a slice of bread, not to mind a pot of gold. Yet still they continue on, like all the rest, shuffling from one place of hunger to another. The eternal hope of their hearts being bleed dry by the road as it stretches out ahead of them. Each mile takes its toll from their gaunt bodies and minds. The heartbreak, of leaving their mother in her bed to lie alone for ever, grows in their hearts, threatening to spread out and consume them. The priest hadn’t opened the door when they knocked.
“I have the sickness children” he had called out from behind the wooden door.
“But our mammy is dead Father, what are we to do?”
His sobs took another bite out of their hope as they listened to him crying behind the door.
“There are no men to dig a grave children”
She had caught him by the hand and taken him back to the bedroom where she brushed her mothers beautiful red hair and washed her face and then as the corpse lay in the bed with her hands joined together in an eternal prayer for salvation they set off on their journey.
The water of the stream cooled their weary feet. They starred up at the moon afraid to move.
“I think mammy is up there with daddy side by side just like us, watching and waiting for us Lizzie”
He moved his eyes and he saw that his sister was sleeping. Her pale skin translucent in the moon light. He wondered had she gone to heaven, as sleep took him away from the pain of his empty stomach for a time.
“Liam wake up, look what I found”
In her hands were berries. She put one in his mouth. An explosion of taste hit him and he stood up and fought to keep inside that which was so hard to find, his stomach rebelling against the foreign feeling of something been fed to it.
Their hands were purple after they had eaten as much of them as they could find.
“My face feels funny Lizzie”
“Its just you are smiling Liam, it always feels funny when you do something you haven’t done in a long time.”
The water from the stream tasted better than last night and they felt for a moment that perhaps they could fight on against this famine, as they put one foot in front of another along the gravel road once more.
They only saw the cottage when it was beside them, their heads cast too low to notice anything but the distance they were going. She saw the look of hope in his face.
“Its too dangerous Liam, they might have the sickness”
She stood watching him, too weak to stop him, as his tiny hands knocked on the door.
A child’s voice cried out
“We have the plague, move along”
But the door creaked open in response to Liam’s sobs.
A boy stood looking at them, his hunger as evident as theirs. His eyes sunken into his head were glazed over as he joined them as he also leaves behind his lost family, just as thousands of other orphans that year. All three joined in one hope all heading for nowhere with everyone else on the roads of a country of forgotten people..
© Frank McGivney 20 January, 2014
The character from a book I most feel I am like is Walter Mitty . Standing gazing into space with my imagination travelling to new worlds and waking from a daydream to the look of people wondering am I a bit on the slow or weird side. Thinking that normal is the one place I’d hate to end up to be
If words are bricks then poems are the palaces that rule the world. The ultimate play with words to express the inner thought. Poems are the sculptures moulded from the poets words
is there anything as good as meeting new people who just hold you with fascination. From work today and yesterday and from the writing class last night I had the pleasure of listening to people who were more refreshing to listen to than standing under an ice cold waterfall in the middle of the Amazon..
I came out of the high court today and walking down the quay to my car i seen a right looking boyo and his girlfriend and he with that head upon him and he looking into the windows of all the cars obviously waiting to find something to rob and all I kept thinking to myself was one question “do scum bags float in the liffey” .
My first short story to be published was launched last night in the Castle arch hotel in Trim. The night was aspectacular of poets and authors reading the most wonderful peoms and short stories and drams.
It was an experience I sharded with my wife and two kids and one I hope the children will always remember. They of course reckioned mine was the best, slight bias there.