Flash Fiction: The Rodeo Rider’s Wife

© Orla Donoghue

The wine at the fundraiser was free that night. Glasses never ran empty. I was two thirds of the way through dessert before I managed to slip away unnoticed. A car parked near mine rocked back and forth with the energetic activities of its inhabitants. From my driver’s seat, I could see he had his jacket on, with his shirt undone. If they had been lying down I wouldn’t have recognised him but there he was, acting like a rodeo rider, his chest puffed out. Always a show-off. I could have pretended I didn’t see them but I knew his wife. I drove away before he saw me.

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Short Story: Gamine

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© Vivienne Kearns

It’s early September and the plane touches down in Colombian heat. Humidity is high as Xavier walks down the small flight of steps, trying to cope with the midday sun as it blazes hard in the sky. The ground shimmers beneath.

His agent has telephoned ahead to let the media know that he is coming. Xavier thinks of his wife and daughter back home, wondering if he has done the right thing, spending this time away from them. He continues to sweat in the blissful AC coolness of the airport terminal building. His friend Miguel smiles. Miguel has travelled back with him, as support for this one last visit to Colombia before he retires. They peer into the brilliant light of the afternoon before heading out.

Two reporters show, one young, the other an old hack, his suit crumpled in the heat. Xavier attempts to walk past them. He does not want this scrutiny, but the young reporter coughs for attention.

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Short Story: Hidden

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© Vivienne Kearns

I wander through the grounds, a rag doll swinging in my hand.  Her hair trails on the soft rolling slopes of the green lawn below.  There is nothing to do here in summer. My private tutor Magali has left, deserting me to my mother and grandmother. The low fog of daylight obscures the castle behind.

The giant round stone structure blocks my view of the sea.  I hear horses pulling their cargo on the highway, farmers travelling to trade their produce in the village, and families passing by with echoes of laughter on their way to the fair.  Continue reading

Short Story: Escape

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© Vivienne Kearns

I awake in his house. Ice melts and crackles on the inside pane as it slides down to a sill full of stagnant water. Fully clothed, I lift myself off the floor and walk stiffly to the bedroom window, hugging my arms for warmth. The sky holds snow.

I turn to watch my two sons sleeping on the bed at the other side of the room, not wanting to wake them, but we have to leave soon.  A sharp sound comes from outside and I see dogs nuzzling at the metal dustbins for food. I shake the boys awake. Ardan, the eldest, dresses hastily, but Liam turns slowly and I have to drag him from beneath the covers. When they are ready I open the bedroom door. The house is silent so we venture out and creep down the worn carpeted stairway and into the grey winter’s light. Continue reading

Review: How Shopping Centres Inspired a Group of Writers

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© Vivienne Kearns

One of the exciting and rewarding aspects of being in a writers’ group is the community projects in which you can become involved. Looking back at 2015 it was a great opportunity to be included in ‘Circle & Square,’ a collection of short stories and poems, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of The Square shopping centre in Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland.

The publication was edited by Eileen Casey and was published by Fiery Arrow Press. The collection includes a host of acclaimed writers such as Dermot Bolger, Paula Meehan, Mia Gallagher, Ferdia McAnna, Geraldine Mills, Martin Dyar, Mary Guckian, Louise Phillips and Kevin Power, as well as members of the Platform One writers’ group. ‘Circle & Square’ is available for sale at Easons in The Square, Tallaght.  Continue reading

Memoir: All I want for Christmas is a cup of tea with my Mother

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© Orla Donoghue

I read Elizabeth Gilbert‘s new book Big Magic a while ago. It is so positive and encouraging and the stories of writers, poets and musicians are truly inspiring. On 26 November 2015 Elizabeth Gilbert visited Dublin as part of an event by Dublin UNESCO. It was a fantastic night chaired by Roisin Ingle. One line kept coming back to me, which were words of advice from Elizabeth’s mother which was “Done is better than good.”

After that event I found an old photo of my mother from the 1960’s drinking tea. It triggered some really happy memories and I wrote a few hundred words and sent it into the Irish Times Life for consideration in the Family Fortunes feature. It is published in the Irish Times today 11 December 2015. There’s something very special about sharing a pot of tea.  Continue reading

Review: The Lost and Found Poetry Workshop with Poet Eileen Casey

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© Orla Donoghue

At a great writing course many years ago given by the Director, Novelist and Screenwriter Ferdia Mac Anna he mentioned how many writers end up doing the “procrastination shuffle.” I am particularly guilty of this and there are times when I will do anything rather than sit down, open my laptop and start writing. It’s just so much easier to turn on the TV or spend time on Twitter than open a blank Word document.
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