So. This is the opening for a story I wrote a while back. I've always liked the story and, of course, the opening. The story was based on elements of a dream I had that impressed my imagination so much that I had to give it life through words. I've never been able to find a good market for it, partly, I suppose, because of the the odd way it's put together.
It isn't particularly long. I hope you will read it and let me know what you think.
The story is called, "A Step Beyond Summerhill" and is copyrighted by me
My gran’da’ used to tell me, “
, for a story to be any
good, it has to have an Irishman in it. By temper, or by birth, there has to be
an Irishman.” We are the Bryan O’Connors
and we’re Irish, but this isn’t our story. It is really a story about --who
was never charged with murder--and his wife, Lucius Tanner Eva--who
was never found.
My grandfather, my gran’da’, was
a bluff, old, off-the-boat son-of-the-sod who never completely left Seamus
Flynn O’Connor Eire behind when he came to the states. He had a rich,
lilting brogue that rolled over you like a warm ocean wave and left you
breathless at the beauty of the rhythm and the words. He was a shenachie,
a storyteller. Though in truth, a shenachie is so much more. They are the
poet-storytellers; the historians who tell you the way it should have
happened. They have a tale for every occasion and every tale they tell reminds
them of two more. My gran’da’ gave me the heritage and traditions of old
Ireland. He gave me the sense of wonder my American engineer father never could.
My gran’da’ worked for the Tanners and used to tell me stories as he worked. Stories of clever
Jack and Sean-the-Fool. He would tend the garden and
I would hear about the little people and why it is so hard to capture and hold
a leprechaun. He would repair a door and tell me why I should respect the
Gentry--the Sidhe--and I learned what to look for in the woods to avoid being
stolen away by them. For you know that if you spend any time with the Faery,
everything will be different when you go back home. All that you knew and loved
will be dead and gone.
These are the wonders I grew up with. My gran’da’s stories were real to me and more genuine than the evening news. I think the reason these stories were so vivid was because there was always a note of belief in my gran’da’s voice; an implied statement of truth. As if he was saying, “I wasn’t there when this happened, but I knew someone who was and this is what they told me...” Some of his best yarns started with the statement, “...now I’m no shenachie but...” It was at that point I knew I was in for a wonderful ride back to the
youth; the Ireland of Faery and Banshee and wise women and foolish men,
yearning lovers and happy endings. Ireland
Well, I’m no shenachie, but...