About the Author
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

World Voices Home

The Literary Explorer
Writers on the Job
Books Forgotten
Thomas E. Kennedy
Walter Cummins
Web Del Sol


        The ferry is full as it is most Mondays. He watches it berth. The ramp clanks down and the cars and vans drive off quickly. Once on board, Eamon fishes out some euros for the fare, and checks his pocket for the envelopes with the cash. This, too, is part of the routine. Each Monday he takes her pension from the Movement to Mrs McGettigan, the widowed mother of a volunteer killed by the British Army. For a moment, he wonders about the dead man in her drive last week. She has left messages for him, texted him also, and to his shame he has not phoned her back. Well he'll make it up to her this morning, spend a bit longer with her, and linger over the fry she insists on cooking for him.
        How my days pass, Eamon reflects. Quietly, without much fuss or excitement, so unlike the past, but the better for it – these are the best sort of days. He gives his lectures when invited. Running the two B&Bs and café he owns with Mary take up his time. On Mondays, he doles out the pensions for the Movement, which come from the business. After he pays his fare, Eamon switches off the engine and allows the rain to obscure his view of the cars in front and on one side. This journey to Magilligan is not busy; the ferry traffic is one way at this time of day, there is nothing to see and the trip is short and familiar. Eamon closes his eyes and listens to Shostakovich.
        And is startled, wide-awake and alert when the passenger door opens. Eamon reaches for the tyre lever he keeps beside his seat. A young man, collar turned up, baseball cap pulled low over his forehead gets in.
        'Jesus, a hoor of a day,' he says. 'Turn that thing off.'
        Eamon does not reply. He switches the radio off. Slowly he relaxes his grip on the tyre lever but retains hold of it for a bit longer until he realises what he is doing and lets go.
        'Still quick enough,' Tom O'Connor says, watching Eamon's hand as he brings it up from the side of his seat.
        'You should have told me you wanted a lift. I'd have picked you up.'
        O'Connor does not answer. He drums his fingers on the dashboard. 'How's things?' he asks eventually.
        Eamon is annoyed by the intrusion of O'Connor but also wary. He knows O'Connor has not dropped in for a chat. O'Connor has no talent, apart from his ability to inspire uneasiness, precisely why he holds the position he does. 'Fine,' he says eventually. 'Nothing to report. On my way to pay some pensions, like I do on Monday.'
        'Good. How's the hotel business?'
        'We just do B&B.' Eamon pauses. 'It's all right. We make a good living.'
        'Yeah. Still it's a lot better than it used to be.'
        Eamon nods in agreement. His mind is racing. What the hell is O'Connor doing here, creeping up on him? He is also annoyed with himself for being so lax, so open to an ambush. 'Sure, yeah it is.'