#MWBB Week 2.1 : Sally MacLennane

Once a year, on March 17th, those of us who haven’t died yet, celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at the Sally MacLennane. This year was no different. My grandson wheeled me in, “Now, Grandfather. You know you’re not supposed to drink.”

“On this day, I drink, and you know it!”

Jamie, Liam, Conner and Dillon all raised their tankards and belted out, “Hear! Hear! We’ll drink to that!”

“I see Ryan’s not here this year,” I observed, as I studied the room.

“He took the train to Dublin three weeks ago,” Liam took another chug. “Should be with the others now.”

Dillon hollered at the barkeeper, “Bring Gavin his first round!”

“I’m on it! I’m on it!” came the answer.

Conner raised his drink, “Aye! Won’t be long before we’ll be joining them!”

Ah, I wished I were 50 years younger when the barmaid handed me my drink. She was grandly built, and my old eyes followed her as she walked away, her little kilt barely covering anything as her hips danced the way a pretty woman’s always had.

Jamie roared, “I see you’ve noticed our dear new friend!”

“I’ll drink to that!” I tipped my drink, and let the brown pour. “Well, Ryan, the least you could have done was drop a postcard in the mail when you got there.”

We drank away the night, into the early dawn. My Grandson joined right in, it wasn’t like he had a choice. We told the stories once again, of our wives, and sons and daughters, and of all our friends now gone, all gone, on the train to Dublin and beyond.

“Was Eathan that left first, as I recall.”

“Aye, he did,” Dillon agreed. “And we all cried like little girls that day, we did.”

Liam set his drink upon the table, “It was the first time one of us left.” He stared into his drink, “The first time.”

Conner shook his head, “He could have told us he was leaving. Going to Dublin and beyond.” He raised his drink and drained some more, “Was rather rude of him, you know. Not telling us about the train.”

And as the dark began to fade away, falling before the sun, we sat there at our table with our drinks, and remember every name.

What does it mean, when ancient men like us, get sloshed on Saint Patrick’s Day, you might wonder. It’s what old men do to live with the memories of all the friends and loves long gone, so we don’t feel so alone. And we never say they’re dead and gone, buried in the cold hard ground. That would be so permanent. It’s better, don’t you know, to leave hope and dreams alive. And say they’ve caught the train to Dublin and beyond. And someday know our turns will come, and we’ll ride that train, and join them.

In Dublin, and beyond.

480 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for Year 2, Week 1 (Week 2.1) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other stories in the challenge.

#FlashFridayFic #39 : The Door

Unicornio, by Salvador Nunez, shared as part of the Peru Arte Valor effort.The door sat across the clearing, just beyond the tree, right on the edge of the cliff. The face where the handle should have been laughed at me. “Coward!”

I’d brought my shovel to dig my way around the door. To its left and right. I’d looked for ground to dig through, but there was none. I could walk right up beside the door, to its left or right. The ground ended beside the door. There was nothing beyond the door. There was nowhere to dig too.

Beyond the door, there was nothing. No pathway. No land. No trees. No fields. No city in the clouds. Nothing. Just blue sky, clouds, and in the distance, mountains. Nothing.

The door face laughed at me. “You can’t figure me out, can you?”

“I’ve looked beyond you, you know. There’s nothing.”

“You mean, nothing you can see from this side of me.”

I got up, grabbed my shovel, walked up to the door and stepped to its left. “Watch this, you idiot!” I held the shovel by the handle, and reached to the right side of the door, grabbing the shovels blade. “See! There’s nothing there!”

“You mean, nothing you can see from this side of me.”

The door goaded me. “How is your cold, frozen, uncaring, bitter, lonely heart, human?” I glared at the door. “Do you long for more? Is there more to life? Has there got to be more to life than just your job? You dull, dreary, day-to-day life that never changes. Where there is no color?”

Then the door said the one thing I could not stand. “You’re afraid to open me, aren’t you, coward!”

I’d heard enough. I grabbed the face by its nose, and turned it upside down. I opened that door, and walked through.

And all my dreams were waiting there for me.

309 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Rebekah Postupak‘s #FlashFriday, Week 39. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #Flash Friday. They are good reading.