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To Weave With Words

To Weave With Words

Автором Pat McLoughlin

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To Weave With Words

Автором Pat McLoughlin

Длина:
153 pages
2 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jun 29, 2018
ISBN:
9780463550533
Формат:
Книге

Описание

In this eclectic compilation of short stories, Pat draws on his own life experiences, on anecdotal narratives and on events both past and contemporary. Some of the stories are based on actual historical events – ranging from the national to the international. Other stories are the fruits of childhood memories that made a significant impact on Pat’s philosophical worldview. His stories encompass the factual and fictitious but all are conveyed with a conversational style of writing that immediately engages and continues to hold the attention of the reader. There is a superb mixture of humour and tragedy, of harmony and strife, of love and conflict and of loneliness and companionship.
-Dr. Paddy Fullam, 2018

Издатель:
Издано:
Jun 29, 2018
ISBN:
9780463550533
Формат:
Книге

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To Weave With Words - Pat McLoughlin

To Weave With Words

Pat McLoughlin

Limerick Writers’ Centre Publishing

Copyright © Pat McLoughlin 2018

Smashwords Edition

First published in Ireland by

The Limerick Writers’ Centre

12 Barrington Street Limerick, Ireland

www.limerickwriterscentre.com

www.facebook.com/limerickwriterscentre

All rights reserved

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Book Design: Lotte Bender

Project Editor: Stephen Riordan, Katherine Brasseux

Managing Editor: Dominic Taylor

Cover Design: Lotte bender

Cover Image: Author

The stories in this book are mainly works of fiction. Some are taken from real life and names have been changed.

ISBN 978-1-9998614-3-8

ACIP catalogue number for this publication is available from The British Library

Acknowledgements

You alone can do it, but you cannot do it alone; this is a quote from ‘GROW’ the World Community Mental Health Movement. It’s their maxim but it could easily apply to the many things we achieve as individuals – it certainly applies to the production of this book.

I would like to thank the following people who paved a way to allow my thoughts and concepts make the transition from their subtle state to pages of this book.

Many thanks to Ron Carey – a brilliant poet and a generous man with his knowledge and expertise. Through his masterful tuition, gentle pushing and wholehearted encouragement, he instilled in me the confidence to assemble and publish my diverse collection of short stories.

Hats off to Dominic Taylor of the Limerick Writers’ Centre for his patience, tolerance and valuable advice. He took my collection and, with care, attention and expertise, he chiselled them into this beautiful publication – through his alchemy, he turned metal to gold.

High kudos also to Stephen Riordan of the Limerick Writers’ Centre for, not only casting a discerning eye on my work, but also for his constructive feedback and for utilizing his amazing digital skills to make this collection available as an e-book.

What can I say about Dr Paddy Fullam? With his objective eyes, scholastic mind and red pen he rolled the bumps and filled the hollows as he painstakingly proof read my collection. Once again, I was blessed to have been the beneficiary of his masterful talents and gracious encouragement – a man of letters and a thorough gentleman.

Thanks to my wife, Eleanor for allowing me the time and space to indulge myself in what can be a solitary activity. To my daughter, Orla, who is always the first person to read and validate my individual stories; to my son, Shane, who keeps me supplied with amazing and stimulating reading material; to my two adorable grandsons, Gavin and Dara, who continually teach and inspire me.

P.S. Without Dominic, Stephen, Sheila and all at the Limerick Writers’ Centre, these stories would never have seen the light of day.

Dedication

To my dear, departed mother, Mary Mcloughlin (nee Hogg); she always believed in me –even when I didn’t always believe in myself.

The holy water on my brow,

As you came to tuck me in;

The water jar between the sheets,

That killed the winter chill.

The words of kindness and of praise

That raised my youthful spirits,

And sent me off to school each day;

Convinced that I was gifted.

The sacrifices made for me,

When colds and flu’s were rampant;

You squeezed the orange and browned the toast,

While I took it all for granted.

The nights I awoke in a troubled daze,

When I dreamed you had moved on;

And lay awake, in that worried state,

Until morning proved me wrong.

If this troubled orb we live on,

Had more mothers just like you;

The world would be a better place

For people of all hues.

Preface

I regard it as a singular honour to introduce Pat McLoughlin’s first publication. Writing short stories is a very demanding and challenging literary discipline but Pat has more than measured up to this challenge. In his poem Adam’s Curse, W.B.Yeats – in referring to the demanding task of poetry-writing, makes the assertion:

"A line will take us hours maybe,

Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,

Our stitching and unstitching has been naught."

I believe the same demands are made on the author of short stories. Only Pat himself is aware of the many hours he spent stitching and unstitching each story. Then, after all the honing and fine-tuning, there is the universal question all writers will ask of themselves, Will this appeal to the reader? and that of course is always the great unknown. However, having had the privilege of reading the entire collection of stories, I am convinced that Pat should have no worries on that account

There is an honesty and authenticity in his work that is both refreshing and extremely appealing. In this eclectic compilation of short stories, Pat draws on his own life experiences, on anecdotal narratives and on events both past and contemporary. Some of the stories are based on actual historical events – ranging from the national to the international. Other stories are the fruits of childhood memories that made a significant impact on Pat’s philosophical world view. His stories encompass the factual and fictitious but all are conveyed with a conversational style of writing that immediately engages and continues to hold the attention of the reader. There is a superb mixture of humour and tragedy, of harmony and strife, of love and conflict and of loneliness and companionship.

Each story takes the reader on a memorable and enthralling journey. On the way, you will meet a diverse range of characters that portray the rich and varied tapestry of human life. All the stories have cleverly constructed plots that will absorb and engross the reader’s mind. The destination of each story will hold the reader in suspense right up to the final lines. Rather like the mystery tour, there is often an unexpected twist in the tale that will cause the reader to pause and reflect.

My fervent hope is that each reader will enjoy Pat’s work just as much as I did, and will appreciate Pat’s rare talent and ability to captivate. I am sure that Pat’s next problem will be the many requests from his readers for much more of the same.

Beir bua agus beannacht.

-Dr. Paddy Fullam, 2018

Contents

The Joy of Giving

The Barrington Disconnect

Custom and Practice

A Wing and a Prayer

Catch Me If You Can

Divine Intervention

The Ghost of the Castle

Footings

A Little Birdie Told Me

Up for the Match

The Major's Legacy

The Tommy Gun

The Uninvited Guest

About Limerick Writers Centre

About the Author

The Joy of Giving

I KNOW ALL THE RESPONSES – but I don’t understand a word. The priest is now well into the Latin Mass and I’m in a world of my own. With my hand in my pocket, I can feel the corners of the brass ‘Thrupenny Bit’ that my mother had earlier given me. Three penny-bars after mass – I can’t wait!

I make an effort to concentrate on the remainder of the Mass but, hard as I try, I fail miserably to stay in the present. I now have a loose action plan worked out – I’ll devour two of the bars and save the third one for my mother – simply delicious!

She has made no such request, but I can picture the surprise, excitement and delight on her face when I present it to her. This vista brings a smile to my face and I am determined, no matter what, to make-her-day.

Before I know it, I am being carried in the slipstream of the congregation as they shuffle slowly towards the sunlit exit at the rear of the church. I dip my finger in the holy water font, make the sign of the cross, and give my pocket another check to make sure that my piece of treasure hasn’t escaped.

As the coast clears, I race to Egan’s shop and gladly exchange the piece of brass for three silver-wrapped pieces of delight.

Whack…I smack the first bar against the limestone window sill. I can hardly contain myself, as the silver paper splits to expose the inviting light-brown toffee inside. I experience a mouth-watering rush of saliva as the slab of toffee lands on my tongue and sensations of pleasure permeate my entire body – Manna from Heaven!

My ecstasy is somewhat dampened when my friend, Tom Mahony, sidles up to me and says: Give me a sweet!

I reluctantly hand Tom the other half, and we quietly chew our way through Pound Street. The odd word is forced out through melting toffee and churning saliva, and by the time we get to Cullen’s Avenue, the precious substance is gone and our gobs are empty once more.

Tom looks in my direction and says: Have you got any more?

My head keeps telling me to say ‘NO!’

My heart relents!

Tom has been generous to me in the past, and minutes later, we have gobbled the second bar.

We part company. Tom heads up the avenue to his home and I keep thinking about the one mile I still have to travel, with nothing to chew on the way.

I can feel the bar in my pocket and the temptation is unbearable. I take my hand out of my pocket in an effort to remove the desire – it works – for a whole minute. My thoughts race back to the bar. I fight them and tell them:

No! This is for my mother!

It’s proving to be a long and torturous journey home and, by the time I reach Rockvale Cemetery, I have convinced myself:

She won’t miss a little piece – if I break it cleanly and wrap it neatly in the silver paper.

Once more, the delicious taste and flavour delights every inch of my being, but, as the chewing and lip-smacking abates, a strange unsavoury feeling starts to gather momentum. The ecstasy gives way to sadness and I start to experience an unpleasant emotion in my solar plexus. In school, the nuns had told us the story about the people who ate the ‘forbidden fruit’…It all came flooding back to me as I fretted over the bad deed I had done. If there was any way I could replace the piece of toffee, I would do so in a heartbeat. I feel deeply remorseful as I trudge homeward with a heavy heart.

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