Category: The Last Seanachie

Stories need a teller. So I tell mine here.

My son’s dead body was warm, not cold

Pulp fiction writers have got it wrong. The dead are warm. They’re not stiffs, ice cold to the touch. My baby boy was floppy, he looked asleep. Three days earlier he’d been alive, and for three days my wife carried his corpse inside her. The cradle of life […]

The right to forget

Memory is a burden. A sack of worn-out belongings that have no purpose. Every memory keeps us in check, a stop light on our journey as we recall outcomes from the past when faced with the same junction. I was just three years old when I realised I […]

The 1,000 word stare

It is quite simply the most soothing sound I have ever heard. It has the insistency of a waterfall’s fight with gravity, the rhythm of a wave’s caress, the lightness of a leave’s rustle, the glow of a pollen-laden honeybee’s wing-beat. Ned’s voice. His chest barely moves and the […]

Middens and Piss-pots

Dawn’s light smuggled itself into the village. Like spider threads in the breeze, streaks of sunlight slinked through the tops of the trees before pouring into the patches of the cleared forest. It lapped up against the dozen or so huts before spilling back to form shimmering pools […]

Welts and wealds

“You smell like a hog, Vannius. Get up!” The words hung in the air, along with the smoke. “I said: Get up!” Again, firmer in tone but with the same little effect on the comatose figure sprawled on the furs, his snores wafting little gusts of ash and […]

Machine hearts, machine men

Ricburgis heard them long before he saw them. Even in the deadening depths of the forest, the sound of metal against metal carries. The oak, ash and beech did their best to muffle it as their boughs worked in the wind. But the creaks and rattles of mighty […]

Yoga for the lazy

Classified ads refer to them as ‘studio garden apartments’. You’ve got to admire estate agents. There is literally no reality they cannot alter with their mellifluous redefinitions. As a hack, I take my fair share of blame for curbing reality, corralling it with stock phrases, clichéd versions of […]

The etiquette of sauces

It was the smell that registered first: bacon, food of the gods, the drunk ones that is. Ambrosia? No, thanks.Then the sizzle, the reassuring sizzle filtered its way through a dim pop song. Was it Blondie? The sizzle matched the cymbols. Then the pain: shit, another hangover. And […]