INDEX OF SHORT STORIES

FLUFFY GETS THE SACK

Daddy passes me the tin lid, full of birdseed. I rattle it, call “tom-tom-tom” into the sky and watch for the pigeons coming home. It’s hot up here on the roof of the pigeon loft. My head’s a bit dizzy but it’s a very important job. The pigeons are flying home from France and I need to get them down quickly …

FAMOUS

After school, I have to play outside. Mammy’s at the factory and Daddy’s in England looking for work. I’m not allowed in the house on my own because I can’t be trusted. 
Me and my best friend, Rosemary, sit on the pavement, poking sticks in the soft tar …

COME INTO THE LIGHT

“I know you’re there.”
“Ears like a hawk, you.”
“Come into the light, where I can see you.”
“Not yet.”
“Will you join me in a dram?”
“It’ll kill you, that stuff.” …

DINNER FOR BILLY

Billy lived alone in a corridor and wore blue silk drawers. On wash day, Mammy closed the curtains on our kitchen window so she couldn’t see them on Billy’s clothes line. He had a matching vest, a bit frayed at the edges, but without the faint brown stain on the drawers …

CELESTIAL CHESS

Heaven. Friday morning. 
Angel number 4501 is summoned to His Presence, or HP, as he likes to be called.
HP’s magnificent voice rolls out, setting clouds, cherubim and seraphim a-tremble. A few feathers shiver and fall off 4501’s wings.
“I have an important job for you, 4501. There’s a music festival tomorrow in Everyman’s Park.” …..

BLACK IS BLACK

He sidled round the edge of the door just before closing time. His face was waxy yellow, the tightly-stretched skin giving him a cadaverous mien. Wisps of white hair clung to a dandruff-dusted scalp. His bony arms dangled out of an over-sized sports coat and he shuffled into the office on heavy, highly polished brogues.
“Eh, we’re closed, mate.”
He advanced to my desk as if I hadn’t spoken and …

BRIDGET’S STORY

The big yard with its rounded benches here and there, the many windows with bars across. The part of the big yard has a big shed where you could warm your feet and hands on the pipes; where you could see women doing the washing and listen to the steam hiss from the high windows.