St. Patrick's Imaginary Iine

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

just a little st. patrick's day tale.

Ah, tis the Emerald Isle and we have come upon a whisper of a town that adds booming voices to the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

For the sake of an Irish Discussion, we'll call the town Siosma and the meaning of this word is what has happened to this town.

Right down the middle of the town is an imaginary line and as the line is followed we see that it separates only one building.

The owner of the building saw what problems might come about by having half the building on one side of the imagined line, and the other half on the other side, so he built a wall between the two sides and he had a double door placed in the middle.

The doors were for maintenance reasons and remained closed and locked when maintenance was not needed.


Over time the two halves became occupied by two businesses.

On the one side was Fitzpatrick's Pub, opened from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on this St. Patrick's Day.

And in the other half of the building was O'Reilly's Baked Goods, opened from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Now, our story begins at 7:00 a.m. on the morning of this particular St. Patrick's Day, and we see Joseph Fitzpatrick coming out his Pub's front door. He stops for a moment, draws in a breath of cool fresh Irish air, and then he makes a right turn, military style. A few steps further and he is at the threshold of the imaginary line, he stops again.

With shoulders drawn back, stomach sucked in, he continues walking until he reaches the door of the Bake Shop, another right, again military style, then he steps forward and opens O'Reilly's front door.

O'Reilly saw him come in, but paid little attention until Fitzpatrick got to the Display-Case where O'Reilly was working.

"Well, Fitzpatrick, what brings you on my side of the line?" O'Reilly asked with a displeased look on his freckled face.

Fitzpatrick smiled and replied, "Is that any way to talk to a potential customer?

It just so happens that an enticing smell found it's way into my Pub and I'm sure it was coming from your shop, so I thought I might come to see what you were baking for this fine St. Patrick's Day."

O'Reilly frowned and then replied, "I'm not baking anything for Patties Day, you know that! I'm baking what I always bake for a Wednesday, Soda Bread, Apple Cakes, Assorted Pastries, Fish Pies, Shepard Pies. Oh, and some Beef and Guinness Pies on special order for Mrs. Sanders, she's having a family get together.

So like I asked before, what brings you on my side of the line?"

Fitzpatrick replied, "I have a proposal, a business proposition that I'm sure would benefit the both of us."

O'Reilly closed the display case and leaned back against a work table, then he folded his big brawny arms and said, "Give me the details, I could use some extra cash right now."

"Fitzpatrick smiled wider this time, then he stated, "This is BIG, Really BIG! At 7:00 p.m. we unlock and open the double-doors between the Pub and the Bake Shop."

O'Reilly gasped, then asked, "What in heaven's name would we want to open the doors for?"

Fitzpatrick brushed back his reddish hair, and then replied, "We would be creating the opportunity for people to get food. Drunk people that can get something to eat, drink more; I know I did a study."

O'Reilly's eyes grew wide as he asked, "Is that why you been sending Little Jimmy Gallagher over here at 6:30 every evening to buy up unsold fish and meat pies?

You didn't think I knew who he was buying them for, did you? Why you conniving. ..."

Fitzpatrick cut him off and said, "I was doing it for both of us, honest! You'll make more money off of this temporary merger than I will, and like I said, it's just for one evening. At 11:30 tonight, we close the doors and lock them just like nothing ever happened. If anyone should ask, we'll just say that there was a maintenance problem."

"People will remember," O'Reilly stated as if it would start a war or something.

Fitzpatrick laughed, then said, "Drunk, happy, people won't care or remember squat. And the way hangovers go, what difference would it make anyway? For them it will all be a fuzzy dream.

The drunk ones wanting food will have Crossed the Line, and the food people wanting to drink will have crossed the line too! It's a win, win, they won't tell on themselves!

"O'Reilly looked at Fitzpatrick and asked, "What happens tomorrow?"

Fitzpatrick replied, "Everything returns to normal, just like nothing ever happened."


St. Patrick's Day celebration came and went, and after a few days we find O'Reilly sweeping the sidewalk out in front of his bakery. Then Fitzpatrick came outside to do the same.

The two men, hardly looking in the others direction, mumbled a pathetic, "Good Morning," then after a quick sweep they went back to their front doors.

As each entered their perspective doors they both glanced at one another and one said, "Same thing next year?"

The other just smiled.



D. Thurmond / JEF


Submitted: March 17, 2021

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Vance Currie

A clever, entertaining story, JEF. Based on truth, I think. That's probably why pubs serve snacks. Can't get beer at the bakery though.

Thu, March 18th, 2021 9:01pm


Thanks for commenting, it means a lot. ---. And yes, there is fact and fiction woven all through this tale. With all the division in the world today I thought this ending should have a spark of hope attached.

Fri, March 19th, 2021 11:04am

Ann Sepino

Love this! I could really use some baked goods myself. Not more alcohol though, because it's already a bit too warm where I am. :) I love when stores that complement each other are built side by side in real life. It makes shopping and eating out much more convenient.

Sat, March 20th, 2021 9:48am


Thanks Ann, have a great day.

Sat, March 20th, 2021 12:27pm

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