I’m really thrilled to have a short story included in this year’s edition of The Ogham Stone, the annual literary print journal published by the University of Limerick’s Creative Writing department. And what a sumptuous publication it’s turned out to be.
‘It’s the Little Things’ was shortlisted for the first Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award in 2016, and I’ve been looking for a good home for it ever since. I don’t want to give away too much about it, other than to say that the idea was sparked by a first-line prompt in my writing group. The line was, ‘I can see your house from here.’ That, to me, set a very particular tone, one that wouldn’t be very ‘me’ but which I had a lot of fun with. The result is about grief, resentment and Christmas cake. Here’s the opening passage:
“I watch as the police car pulls up outside your house. That’s the good thing about lace nets, they make me invisible. Not like you, with your modern, naked windows, inviting the whole world into your life.
The two police officers take a moment to study your car, kicking at the flat tyres and skimming their hands along the scratched sides. They’re ridiculously young, and I can see them chatting casually as they walk up the garden path, then putting on serious faces as you open the door and show them in…”
My thanks to the lovely editorial team for offering this tale of loneliness a bit of much needed company.
The Ogham Stone 2019 is available at Books Upstairs, Dublin, and O’Mahony Booksellers, Limerick, and costs €10. It can also be ordered by emailing email@example.com (details here). To keep an eye out for future submissions, you can follow them on Twitter or Facebook.