There was a short story competition held by the Irish Post with a deadline of 3rd March. I think they have announced the winners now so I am free to post my entry. This particular competition had a maximum word count of 1000 and accepted stories with an Irish theme. Here is the link so you can see the winner and try yourself next year: The Irish Post New Writing Competition: http://writersweek.ie/competitions The genesis of the story is based on a week holiday I had there once when I was sixteen or so. We were too young to drive and see the area and I think probably too young to care much for the cultural side as well so I’m afraid we spent the week getting trashed and having a jolly. It was a great week but I remember thinking it would be great to go back one day and see the place properly.
A Week in Cashel
“I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland,” dad says as he’s packing my bags. He’s whistling away as if it will be the adventure of a lifetime. Mum’s downstairs on the phone making sure all the arrangements are in place.
“I know,” I say - he’s told me several times already this week.
“Just make sure you keep warm and be nice to everyone,” he says, ignoring my tone of frustration. It’s not that I’m not excited but this is my first time away and I could do without him adding to my nerves.
We arrive in County Tipperary. It’s cold and I know now why my dad told me to keep warm. Fair enough. I’ll let you have that one. Our taxi is waiting and I feel superior and very adult when I see the driver is holding a sign: CLEARY to CASHEL. It’s a long drive to the house we’re staying at. That would be me, Paul and Rory. I’m to look out for The Rock.
“My dad is going to kill me,” I say to the lads. I’m standing outside the front door blowing mist from my mouth. Rory’s next to me, and Paul’s double-checking the doors and windows are locked up and the place is as we found it.
“Just make it up!” Rory says. It sounds the only plausible thing to do but doesn’t fill me with confidence.
“Do you know anything I can say?” I ask Paul as he makes it back to us. He folds his arms tightly over his chest; he’s cold and unwell… definitely the most severely hungover of all three of us.
“Nah, I haven’t been round here at all. Don’t have a clue mate,” he replies. He’s probably still a bit drunk so I can’t blame him. I’m feeling useless myself, “Just say it was closed.”
The cab arrives and we repeat our journey in reverse. This is only the second time we have been out of the grounds of the cottage in daylight the whole week, the first being when we arrived. It’s been one long party… inside. I try to take in the first field I see and memorise the hedges, fencing and skyline. It’s green, is all I can think. I’ll just say it all looked like that. How will he ever know? He told me he’s never been here. But I won’t take Paul’s advice and tell him the rock’s closed. That’s the worst excuse I’ve ever heard, how can a rock be closed? He must think I’m bloody stupid. I’ll tell dad that it was raining too much to go out. I’m coming back the first chance I get anyway.
Have a great week,