I live in the North East of England.
Being a finalist in an Alibi T.V./Harper Collins crime short story competition spurred me on to increase my then leisurely output of short story writing.
My novels, ‘Speedy Emi’, ‘The Borders’, ‘Easy Killing’, and ‘The Pilgrim Seed’,’ are all available as e books on Amazon Kindle. Books that I have unpublished for periodical checking are ‘The Addiction Line’, ‘The Chosen One’, and ‘Rejected’.
I write crime from the criminal’s viewpoint; there are no plodding detectives in my books. My stories are structured around the shenanigans of criminals in dispute with other criminals, or the world in general. Even ‘Speedy Emi’ (based on the life of a young girl now living near my home town) is a story woven around crime. In fairness to Emi (not her real name) her well-documented life of crime was the result of her not too pretty childhood. If you think it’s hard to progress in a ‘man’s world’, see how this wonderful girl did it.
There are few hero detectives in my stories.
My infamous claim to fame is that as a young boy, I was part of a group of kids that ‘borrowed’ a car belonging to a very famous London crime ‘Firm’. Once we’d discovered who the car belonged to, we dumped it pretty quick. I, like the other boys, never left home for a month; yep, we were scared witless.
Many years later, a main member of the gang heard about our escapade, and how frightened we’d been. Apparently he laughed about it, flapped a dismissive hand, and said, ‘Tell them they’re forgiven’.
September 2018 Issue #1 (Theme: New Beginnings) Kathleen’s Monologue
September 2018 Issue #1: Kathleen’s Monologue
I was over here looking for work; staying with my cousin Declan, y’know, in the room above the pub. It doesn’t half rain in England, doesn’t it? Mam says Dad hated the rain, just like me.
I wish I’d known me Dad, even for a few years, just so I could remember a few of the good times we may have had together. But, no, the bloody Brits shot him dead, didn’t they.
Mam was eight months gone at the time. So, they killed my Dad, and brought me forth one month early. Ended one life, and started another, you might say, both prematurely.
I did a degree in Chemistry, and, like all good graduates, I was approached, offered employment, sort of a role in life. They thought I was a bit of an oddity, deadly; y’know, pretty, cute, but capable of making a bomb.
I love Ireland, rural Ireland, Irish Ireland. Anywhere west of the east coast and its cosmopolitan capitol, with its Georgian Architecture and gummed up pavements, created by Americanised International Tourists.
As a child I loved to run the fields back home, across the meadow, up the hill to the cliff top to watch the ocean liners steaming westward to the new world. Mam used to scold me, ‘… barefoot through the grass,’ she’d say, ‘dew on the tops of your toes. Good job your father’s not here to see you, he’d have slapped your…’ And then she’d remember, and look away so I couldn’t see the tears.
Now, me going to school in thin cotton dresses is how I see Ireland. Down a country lane on a hot summer’s day, with silver flashing off the underside of the leaves on the trees. And always the sun shining.
It’s good to have memories; but you have to be careful, memories evoke emotions, and not always good ones either. I see Brits everyday, no problem, we get along fine. A drink at night with my girlfriends, a meal when we can afford it, and if we can’t afford it, we chat the single men, it always works.
But then I see other Brits, the politicians, and the boys in the forces home on leave, still in the uniform of the invader, and that’s when the bitter memories bring out the hate, real fucking hate! Like I want to kill someone for what they’ve done to my country and its people. See! See what memories do? But it’s not the boys in uniform is it; it’s the bastards behind the system. The bastards who send mother’s sons and daughters out to kill and be killed.
Did you know there’s a light burning continuously in a window of the President of Ireland’s official residence, just outside Dublin? It’s supposed to represent a candle that Irish mothers put in the window to guide their sons and daughters home. And on the quayside at Dublin, have you seen the pathetic skinny statues of figures representing emigrants going to America after the famine. Yeah, America, land of the brave and the free. But where were the fucking Americans when we needed food in the first place? That’s Ireland, all heartache and suffering, and we never attacked anyone in our miserable lives.
But, things are better nowadays; we’re a modern country, with new Hi-tech industries, and a pretty buoyant economy. Good, eh? So, I should be glad, I suppose, and let bygones be bygones. Yeah? Sorry, I can’t. Your lot killed my father. I want revenge, and I’ve got the formula.
I wasn’t supposed to surface as quickly as I did, but, as they say, ‘Shit happens.’ Mickey was pissed when he saw me. I was watching him spewing up, over the dustbins behind the pub. I got a good look at him as he looked up, and, to be truthful, even from that distance, from a window of my room on the first floor, he looked gorgeous.
Mickey came back to the pub that night, and asked about the ‘angel in the upstairs flat’. He’s a Gobshite, but I love him. After that, I couldn’t avoid the inevitable; I’d been spotted. The decision makers back home went spare. Jesus, all that time, all that money, and I’d been eyeballed after five days. So much for get settled in, see the lie of the land, do the job, and get out; Mickey bolloxed all that up, but I love him. Anyway, I was told to surface, and integrate, live a normal life – and I did.
I’ve been here seventeen years now, got two kids, Erin and Patrick, and both doing well at school. So, I should be happy shouldn’t I?
I got a letter today, from Sabita’s mother. I was at University with her in Dublin. She was from Afghanistan, Sabita I mean, not her mother, ‘cos her mother’s still alive, so she still is from Afghanistan. Sabita’s not from anywhere now, she’s dead, killed by the bloody Brits in Helmand province. An innocent bystander they said. Couldn’t be avoided they said.
Pause. Well, here’s something else that couldn’t be avoided – this sleeper’s going to surface, and fight back, for me Dad, and for Sabita. You Brit’s are gonna pay. You have to learn, every time you invade, you create an enemy. Parents tell children, children tell grandchildren, all the hatred, it’s passed on from generation to generation.
Five-day war, six-day war, there’s no such thing. When the clean war of the soldiers is finished, that’s when the dirty war begins – the one that comes without warning. And let me tell you, it’s coming – now. This is a new beginning. And that’s a fucking fact!