“You are so stupid!” her mother was screaming at Mary. Mary was picking up pieces of delph. Mary’s brother was stood to the side smirking and her step-father was giving her one of those looks, those ‘I’ll see you later’ looks.

This was Mary’s life; her brother caused trouble for which Mary got the blame, causing her mother to lose her temper meaning she’s need a couple of spliffs and some mellow Southern Comfort to chill her out till she passed out, meanwhile her mother’s husband would use Mary for his own ends.

Mary had an alter-ego, her name was Morrigan, Queen of the Crows, Queen of the Dead, no one messed with Morrigan. It was always later, much, much later that she could invoke Morrigan. She had rituals, she would purge, she would shower in the hottest water possible, scrubbing every centimetre of her body till it tingled (for Mary’s tingle read scrubbed raw till blood appeared). As she dried her body and yanked at her long black hair so tufts of rat-tails would come loose from her scalp, she lit candles and placed her arms from elbow to wrist in the candle flame, backwards and forwards till she could feel it. Finally she banged the back of head against the wall of the bathroom until she became Morrigan.

Morrigan left the house, dressed all in black, with a long black cloak, she paused in alleys, she slithered between shop doorways, watching, waiting for her step-father leaving the bar so she could if she wanted to, kill him.

Watching and waiting, waiting and watching; thinking of her baby sister asleep in the cot. “Touch her Derek, and you will die!” she howled into the night. She swept along the road howling like a banshee, Morrigan Mary, no one dares….

Morrigan decides

“Got it!” She shouted with glee at the wall this time whilst jumping up.

“The old bat down by the river with all the cats, she’ll give me a roach if I feed her moggies, genius!”

Mary set off in the glow of the orange street lamps, striding purposefully. It was seven and would take an hour to feed the gazillion or however many cats were there tonight.

There was a light shining from the window so she knocked and opened the door . The stench of cat piss hit her as she opened the inner door and the noise of mewing kitties enveloped her.

“ Nancy, it’s Mary from the estate. Will ye be wanting yer cats fed Nance?”

But Nancy wasn’t listening; in fact she hadn’t listened all day, not since dawn when she drew in her last breath. She stared at Mary, and conversely Mary stared back.

Mary momentarily wondered should she call the doctor or the ambulance or something. Something she decided and poked Nancy who was sitting immobile in a green frayed fireside chair. No response. She slapped her across the face as hard as she could. The head moved to one side with momentum caught in that spin, forever, paused.

Something else she thought, scanning the room. Nancy’s hash box was always kept in the centre of the mantelpiece, it was an old tobacco tin that had been covered in sanded down and varnished matchsticks, like parquet flooring. Mary knew all this because her dad had one and she used to stroke the glossy top. He took it with him when he left, not that he was there much, spending more time sent down than out for good behaviour. That was where he made the tin, she had thought to ask Nance who made the tin for her but she’d forgotten. Who cares, she thought as she stuffed the tin down her knickers and went in search of Nancy’s handbag. She knew where that was because Eileen and her used nick the odd bit out of it every now and then.

She emptied the purse out onto Nancy’s lap, making use of the tweed skirt she was wearing that was taut across the thighs making a perfect table for change gathering. In the notes compartment she found a fresh crisp €20 note and grabbed all the silver from her lap leaving the copper in a sagging pile. Stuffing the coins into her jeans and stashing the note inside her bra. She would have chips on the way home.

“Thanks,” she said to Nancy. Still inert. Still dead. She scuttled out of the house leaving the door open as she rushed into the night.

Groove– ee Suzie

Yea, thank you Lord, it has been a long time coming and I have tried to be patient in my waiting, scared that it would never happen again. Last night I broke my duck and wrote. I had been thinking about doing it for ages but was scared what kind of voice would come out. The days of “Slasher Suzie” are gone. I can’t get to that point of utter hopelessness in my writing because I can’t feel it in my life.

It was a strange night, I had studied, I had read and got back to my three blogs after being immersed in Nathan and David for three days. It was half past midnight and I was about to switch off and go to bed. A friend had emailed earlier and the content of the email was still ruminating around in my head. The story I wrote was not her story, far from it, but it was the inspiration.

It was a short piece about 1200 words, a third of what I’d done in my exegesis of 2 Samuel 12:5-7 earlier on in the day. However it is complete, the tragic half finished pieces that litter my bedroom do not have a new playmate, and “A Tattered Affair” is posted on blogger.

I am not pressurising myself to keep producing, I’ll be like a hen, laying every day and then stop for a rest before continuing again. I am in a state of awe at our Lord, that he managed to get through my scaredy cat state to help me move on from my block.

I haven’t read much Christian fiction, Joshua and Joshua’s children and a few by some American ladies. I am sure there’s edgy stuff out there but I can’t write wishy washy tales that present themselves as Christian and yet the only Christian thing is they go to church. (not Joshua stories, I found part of those to be lovely narrative, the inter faith  one especially) One of the authors I read started out with Mills & Boon, which I have to admit (if that’s the right word) I have never even read the back cover of one. Maybe they are good literature for their genre, but it’s not me.

My two favourite authors are dead, Douglas Adams and Anne MacCaffrey. I still get great stimulation from Douglas’ “Dirk Gently” books, Hitchhiker is a bit different because it was written just at the beginning of the digital age and so is quite difficult to translate to the technology we have now, even the size of the “Guide” is laughable in today’s context.

I can remember a time when I would scour the charity shops of Cork hunting for a new Anne MacCaffrey, “Killashandra” was my first introduction to her but I was soon swept away to a land where people, dragons and dolphins worked together against a hostile environment. Two years ago re-read a few but I couldn’t ‘get them’ anymore. I was left grieving for the characters because they didn’t know God. I know sad isn’t it feeling sorry for fictional characters but I did.

Talenkynic, not sure what to do with her, I  think I will leave her hanging for a while longer, till I am more mature and can know how to have an alien in a Christian story. Mary, my beautiful queen of the crows, Morrigan. I still love her, she was my first character, totally unloved and unloveable, she had no redeeming features at all, and yet she broke through and was written whilst I was waiting to get on a plane at Kerry Airport.

So I’ve got my groove back, I can write (Yea) and I must be patient for the next inspiration, not scared but excited at the prospect. Lord I wait, thank you