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Memory with Cruelty

Short story By: Ken Simm

An Irish memory.

Submitted:Jul 17, 2008    Reads: 147    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   

Three boys sitting on a dry stone wall on an island off the coast of western Ireland in the summer of 1968.

A dry stone paddock on a cliff edge. The Atlantic side of the island. Green sea below and large
breakers on large rocks. The smell and the sound of it. Hot in the sunshine.

One boy is crying, one is throwing rocks towards the cliff edge but not quite reaching. The final
boy is picking small stones from amongst the seagull droppings on the wall.

Two large men without shirts and red flesh, walk up the hill behind the ruined crofter's cottage
near the paddock. One man carries a dirty, soiled pink saddle strap.

The paddock wall has been damaged in several places. There is a large hole in the wall on the
cliffward face. Several of the larger stones have been displaced along the top of the wall.

A number of seagulls float, parallel with the top of the cliff.

The broken body of a skewbald horse lies at the bottom of the cliff, its head moving slowly,
delicately in the white and green water. The waves slowly turning pink.


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