Short Stories

A Perfect Prayer

 

Afterwards Maryn could not explain why she did not put the eggshells directly into the compost bin, why she put them in a bowl and placed it on the window sill. She’d just come in from work, tiredness dragging at her as she struggled in with the shopping. A late meeting, her mind straining against Magill’s words. Missed targets, raising the bar, strategies going forward.

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Published in the Irish Independent March 2013 and shortlisted for a Hennessy award in 2014

Woman Walking on Nassau Street

 

That woman on Nassau street. Her image on the screen of my mind like some subliminal messaging system. I saw her yesterday, not long after I arrived here in the city. I keep coming back to it, why she stood out from all the others, the incongruity of her clothes and makeup.

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Published in Census 2 Anthology, (Seven Towers 2009) and professionally recorded for ‘Stories for the Ear’, Kildare County Council

Boy on a Window Ledge (Extract)

 

When she comes in from the shops Dolores has that preoccupied look that is a sure sign that something is wrong. You can feel your body tensing. She sits down at the table with her bag still over her shoulder and she looks up at you with a frown. There’s that heavy feeling in the air that you sense sometimes before a thunderstorm.

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Published in Crannóg Literary magazine, Spring 2013
Examples of Humorous Essays

Tick Tock

 

It was the last day of February and I was ten minutes early to pick up my daughter. The carpark was empty. I had nothing to read so I settled back behind the wheel and closed my eyes. I was pleased with myself for arriving early. For once my resolution is working, I thought.

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Winner of Humorous Essay, Listowel 2007

The Cave

 

I’m not a fan of caves but when my kids wanted to go and see the Ailwee caves I agreed to the trip when they told me how educational it would be. I told them I’d been before and that I’d be happy to look around the Interpretative Centre and read about it over warm tea and a comforting scone while my husband brought them into the bowels of the earth.

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Published in Census 1, 2008

Listowel

 

The first person who speaks to you in Listowel this year besides the landlady is an old woman who is sitting on an Esb box outside the Listowel Arms, and she calls you over and asks you to go to the shop and buy her some bananas. And you look at her perplexed, mentally assessing her clothes and deciding she doesn’t look poor and wondering if you heard her right and you say ‘Why?’ in a puzzled kind of way and she looks at you as if you were stupid…

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Extract
Novels

Memory and Desire

 

Upstairs he stood the prints of Gina and Bridget on the mantelpiece side by side and put the smaller prints on the table.
‘Excuse me for a moment,’ he said. He came back with some old-fashioned lace blouses and Bridget’s diary and letters.
‘Please, I want you to help me. I want you to sit in that chair by the window and read parts of her letters and diary out loud to me. I want to hear her words in your voice.

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Short Extract

How Sad is That

 

After lunch we were all very lively from the swimming and the concentrated exercises earlier and everyone was chatting and laughing. Looking around at the lively good humoured faces I had a feeling that this holiday was going to turn out ok, in fact it could be one of the best ever. Which is ironic considering the way it turned out.

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Short Extract