(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' “¿qué? ”

Manuel Smith was smitten. He had bitten off more than he could chew. He was at once sea and love-sick. The ground fell from under him and he groaned and grasped for the nearest support.

This was not a night for man or boat.

He only succeeded in pulling down upon himself a barrel of salted herring. The dead fish looked oddly ridiculous in their present surroundings.

Both man and boat resembled a bad scale model in a cheap shoestring movie.

HER TEETH GLEAMED AS SHE GLANCED FURTIVELY AT HIM. SHE BIT INTO THE CHERRY AND SUCKED THE SOFT FRUIT. BIT BY BIT SHE REMOVED THE FIRM FLESH AND SPAT THE STONE AT HIS FEET LIKE A CHALLENGE. SHE HUMMED “I GAVE MY LOVE A CHERRY...” A TRICKLE OF CHERRY JUICE ESCAPED HER LIPS AND STAINED HER WHITE BLOUSE EXACTLY WHERE HER LEFT NIPPLE MANIFESTED ITSELF. HE BLUSHED CHERRY RED. A SEA STORMED AND WAVES TOOK HIS BREATH AWAY.


The dead herring rose into the air and flashed back into the sea for resurrection. GOLDBLEND. Jars of coffee floated from his sight. A month’s supply of cigarettes was gone in a moment. He realized he hadn’t eaten and could only taste the bile on his salty lips.

SHE HAD WANTED HIM TO GIVE UP THE ISLAND AND COME LIVE WITH HER AND BE HER LOVE. SHE BIT HIS UPPER LIP AS SHE KISSED HIM AND THE KISS WAS BITTER AND BLOODY. THE ISLAND OWNED HIM AND NO OTHER.

He threw the rest of the island’s supplies overboard. The sea roared at this attempt to balance the danger.

SHE SNAGGED HER STOCKING AND SWORE. THE BLACKBERRY VINE STILL CLUNG TO HER AND REPELLED ALL ATTEMPTS AT DISENGAGEMENT. SHE SMILED AND REMOVED THE STOCKINGS... ASKED HIM TO MARRY HER.

THE WORLD WOULD NOT STAY STILL. EVERYTHING BECAME WHAT IT WAS NOT... IN THIS FIERCE RAIN ALL WAS FLUENT AND FLUID.
A fish hook bit deeply into his hand. He foolishly pulled away and the flesh swore and tore itself apart. The pain was a story that his hand was telling. He couldn’t be bothered to listen. A net wrapped itself around his leg and tipped him into the darkness. The darkness was wet and cold.

A jar of NESCAFE bobbed up to him…curtsied…and cuffed him about the ear. Attacked by his own possessions. Fred and Ginger would have to do without their morning cup of coffee.


HE ONLY DRANK TEA. SHE ONLY DRANK EARL GREY TEA. HE SAID HE WOULD NOT DRINK TEA WITH PERFUME. SHE LAUGHED AND TOOK ANOTHER LITTLE SIP. CAREFULLY.

SHE ALWAYS DRANK IT HOT.

It was cold and he was only aware of his toes. He felt he was becoming stone. They would find him washed ashore as a statue. His glasses eyed him from the top of a wave that was trying to spoon-feed him the sea. They did not float away but remained staring at him. His toes were cold.

The island had a hold on him. It was home to him. He loved its aloneness until she came and it became only loneliness. Without her. His toes reminded him of how cold they had become. He had lost something that could not be found. Without her. A salted herring smirked as it slapped him about the face. It appeared that all his possessions were trying to possess him…re-possess him. They gathered about him as if they not bear to leave him.


HE SUCKED EACH TOE SENSUALLY… INDIVIDUALLY. SHE SQUIRMED AND SCREAMED THAT HE WAS TICKLING HER. IN HER EFFORTS TO EXTRICATE HERSELF FROM HIS ATTEMPTS AT PASSION SHE KICKED HIM IN THE EYE.

THE PUB LAUGHED FOR A WHOLE WEEK AS ITS PROPRIETOR SERVED GUINNESS WITH A BLACK EYE. A BLACK EYE PATCH ONLY INTENSIFIED THE HUMOUR AND THE HYSTERIA. THERE WASN’T A DRY EYE IN THE HOUSE WHEN SHE EXPLAINED YET AGAIN HOW IT HAD COME ABOUT. HE COULDN’T FEEL...

...his toes anymore he felt that if he couldn’t feel his toes any more he would die.

RED LIPS...THE WHITE OF TEETH...A PINKNESS THAT WAS TONGUE...AND THEN HER LAUGHTER. HER LAUGHTER FILLING THE WHOLE WORLD AND ENLARGING IT. THAT WAS ELECTRIC.

The car battery that he made sure to bring back for big Paddy Mac smashed into his face. It was a shock not to have thought anymore. He couldn’t care less if his toes were cold.

ONCE AGAIN AS IF ON VIDEO REWIND THE PUB EXPOLDED AS SHE TOLD THE TALE OF HIS BLACK EYE. SHE LOVED FALWTY TOWERS. HE WOULD MISS TONIGHT’S EPISODE. HE HAD ALREADY SEEN IT BUT HE LOVED THE RE-RUNS AND WATCHED THEM RELIGIOUSLY
... AS IF HE HAD NEVER SEEN THEM BEFORE.

SHE FOUND HIS NAME HILARIOUS. JOHN SMITH. SHE WOULD SAY HIS NAME ALOUD TO HERSELF AND LAUGH. SHE CALLED HIM MANUEL BECAUSE MANUEL WAS HER FAVOURITE CHARACTER.

“¿QUÉ? ”

SHE THOUGHT HE WAS A STUPID GOBSHITE BUT SHE ADORED HIM. AND THAT WAS HOW HE HAD BECOME MANUEL SMITH.


“¿QUÉ? ”
SHE WOULD SAY AND TICKLE HIM TO DEATH. KAY WAS SAYING:
“¿QUÉ? ”

“YOU ARE SUCH A STUPID GOBSHITE MANUEL SMITH...DON’T YOU EVER TRY TO DIE LIKE THAT ON ME AGAIN! ”

ALL HE COULD SAY WAS: “ KAY...KAY? ”

User Rating: 2,6 / 5 ( 73 votes ) 1

Comments (1)

What an entertaining and emotional story, it had me from beginning to end and I thoroughly enjoyed the read! Thankyou Donall.