Below, please see links to a selection of my short stories that I would like to share with you.
Dreamed a Dream
(Before you begin....
A Little about 'Dreamed a Dream'....
Of my short story ‘Dreamed a Dream,’ Michel Faber wrote: ‘…it grips us solely with the poetry of its prose and the atmosphere of long-simmered madness.’ (Foreword to Fish Publishing’s anthology 2005-6, All the King’s Men).
The madness belongs to Captain Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier (pictured here) who was second-in-command of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition to find the Northwest passage for ships across the top of Canada. Equipment aboard the two ships was state-of-the-art for 1845, but this did not prevent their being stuck fast in ice that refused to melt despite two springs. The story goes that Captain Crozier had advised Franklin against advancing into pack-ice. The men then suffered not only from hunger, but also from lead poisoning from the inadequate soldering of newfangled canned food.
First the Chicken
(Best non-North American entrant in the Raymond Carver online literary competition, Carve Magazine, 2005)
I move my mother into the sun, and I hear a chicken. A low chicken chuckle and a scratching rustle. In the silence, these things shout. My mother is safely propped, loose-mouthed on her blanket. Next to her, my little brother, Bébé, stands stirring the dirt with his big toe. I put my finger to my lips for silence and I creep around the corner of our house, towards the busy chicken scrabbling.
(Highly commended in the Sean O'Faolain Awards, 2010, and published in 'Southword')
... It’s as though he were talking about somebody else, maybe as though he were reminding himself of something. He doesn’t say much else about it, leaves a space as though there is something left unsaid. A space he could fill with remorse. It’s as though he might consider that, remorse.
“Right, Nan? Cuppa tea?”
Shirl was cranky, probably from nerves in all the noise and all the people in and out today. She had Nan by the elbow to the kitchen table, sat her down with Nan still gripping the big handbag with the thin dry speckled fingers - knuckles so big nowadays – and spoke loud into her face. Nan tucked her chin back out of the way.