Fiction Friendship Sad

London Aug 17th

 Dear John

You asked in your last letter why Ireland and its lore was so important to me. I, after all, have a tenuous connection to Ireland. My great grand mother hardly shaped me as an individual. I never grew up there. Yet in a way I do feel it in my DNA. I was tested in fact and am one third Irish according to my mitochondria. I am told I have the twinkly eyes of the Irish, the proclivity to rise to a fight and the committed desire to pursue activities I will feel ashamed of the next morning. More than this, as you know, I grew up catholic. Went to a catholic school, where if you weren’t Irish you were Italian. I was an oddity, so I think I adopted Eire. And I grew up playing the music, the reels and slip jigs, da d diddley with pints of Guinness, maybe it crept inside me, tainted my heart and flavoured my emotions. Smuggled inside by a minority DNA government fighting for freedom.

You’ll think me stupid, I can hear you teasing me, but when I went to Clifden last year, to where a small cluster of my genes are buried, when I drove into the hills and was met by that wild but friendly landscape; soft, rolling grass hills with swathes of flowers rolling over pale grey stone; and at the coast, dark, jagged, rock cliffs rising straight up from the water; water, coloured by the algae on the seabed, reflecting swirls of dark green and purple beneath the white foam lashing into the rocks. Even to me, a confirmed townie, it was magical. Beautiful. I just stood next to the road and cried. I didn’t know why. It was overwhelmingly beautiful, but that alone wouldn’t have made me cry. It was some unfulfilled deep seated longing. I know I laugh at Americans from Detroit playing the bagpipes in a kilt and Nike trainers, you are allowed to tease me, I’m fair game. Something touched me though, something inside me or maybe some exterior magic, I don’t know, but something undetectable but very real.

And the lore. Why banshees and mermaids and the gentle folk? I don’t believe in anything. I’m an arch rationalist. You’ve known that since uni. The thing is. rationally I know it makes no sense, but I still want there to be something. Something wonderful and undiscovered. And if something has survived its going to be in those wild quiet hills. Enough of the locals credit it. Even if they have gone, I like to believe they were there. They are great stories. Solid evidence of things difficult and contrary and troublesome, but also magical and which deserve to have been true.

London is grey – I realise this isn’t allowed when talking to you in freezing Canada – but I can’t wait for spring. Hoping to see you in February in London? My regards to Debra.

Kind regards


Thurs 17th

Outlook found new events


We thought you'd like to know that we've dispatched your item(s). Your order is on the way, and can no longer be changed. If you need to return an item or manage other orders, please visit Your orders on Amazon.co.uk


Friday, August 18

Order summary

Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry

by W. B. (William Butler) Yeats 

It's easy to return an item. Visit our Online Returns Centre.

Learn how to recycle your packaging at Amazon Second Chance.

If you need further assistance with your order, please visit Customer Service.

We hope to see you again soon.


David arrived home a little late, an incident on the Victoria line. He tucked his briefcase under his arm as he searched for his flat keys in his jean’s pocket. He stooped to pick up the amazon package on the doorstep. He flipped the living room light on and dropped the package into his case as he made for the kitchen, grabbing the kettle and filling it.

“Thank God for tea. Alright rabbit, alright I haven’t forgotten you, give me a moment.”

He picked up the note from the cleaner. He had asked for an extra midweek clean and of course she wanted the money but she had sounded tetchy. His note on one side in neatly written biro – Vanya, Thanks for coming at short notice, money in usual place. David – Her reply on the other in untidy scribble – thanks, can you give me more notice next time, V.

He dropped it into the kitchen bin, where it landed on fresh white plastic. Then he fell into his evening routine. Ordered a takeaway, Chinese. Ate it from the glass topped IKEA table in front of Netflix, an American thriller with that Japanese woman, sipped a Belgian beer, showered and fell into bed under a John Lewis duvet. 

He woke late, Seri had become insistent. She demanded he rose. He ate a rushed bowl of cornflakes, brushed his teeth, rushing to get ready. He stood indecisive in front of the mirror in the bathroom.

“Shirt or Tee?”

He decided shirt. The blue one. His sister had said it looked good at Christmas. He hurried out at ten thirty, shutting rabbit into the living room, she wasn’t chewing through his internet cable again.

“Behave” he cautioned the unconcerned animal. He returned a moment later.

“I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on, rabbit.”

He fished an unopen amazon package from his case. Rabbit continued eating. 

It was sunny. Young girls passed by in crop tops, stomachs tanned and unscarred, gathering up the last of summer. He headed, excited, for Russel Square gardens. Weaving through Korean students and the first leaves of Autumn he headed for the Italian café and ordered coffee. A flat white. 

“Thank you. No, no food.”

Found an empty metal chair, shooing pigeons away, sat, sighed and sipped. Tore and poured the brown sugar and stirred slowly. Clockwise.

The package sat on the shiny table, still sealed.

Tuesday 22nd 

Dearest David

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet me on Saturday. So lovely to finally meet you for real after our wonderful correspondence of the last few months. And lovely to sit outside after a week of stuffy conferences and dull meetings.

I am so annoyed Bremen came up at the last minute and I have to rush away to the extraordinary meeting. I’m afraid the Critical Childhood Studies Collective is my baby. I am the convenor and these things are so important, as I’m sure you realise. I’m not the only one with a madly busy life! Clawing up the academic ladder is increasingly tough, especially in India these days. 

I wish we could have had more time, so sorry about the theatre tickets. The Crucible is such a stirring play, I’m sad I shall miss it. I hope you enjoy it and found someone to take along at such short notice. 

It was so thoughtful of you to remember my interest in folk tales. I’m sure the book will be good material for a comparative article. I am nonstop for the next few weeks, but I hope to find time during the Christmas break. When its cool enough to think. Find some time for reflection and productive thought in that rare break from the treadmill.

I’m not certain when I will make it back to London, everything seems to happen in China or America these days, but I hope we can meet again soon and that I can meet your beautiful, sweet rabbit one day. She looks adorable in your new profile photo

Must go, last call.


Heathrow airport

August 20, 2023 12:43

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Tom Skye
13:23 Aug 26, 2023

Really nice pocket of time captured uniquely. The structure was unusual on first read. Had to skip back a little, but it definitely left a cool impression. Enjoyed it. Nice work


Vid Weeks
13:27 Aug 26, 2023

Thanks Tom. I wanted to experiment with a non conflict structure. Not sure I got it quite right, but was an interesting exercise. Glad you enjoyed it


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
12:49 Aug 21, 2023

Interesting look into one man's life Vid. Like sneeking a peak into one person's reality. Being Irish myself, yes indeed why Banshees and Mermaids. Also Werewolves would you believe, there is a very Irish connection. I wrote a story about it which is posted here, Wolves on a Train. Couple of minor catches that might help. Seri - should be Siri? "Ordered a takeaway, Chinese. ate it from the glass topped IKEA" - Ate needs capital A. "He ate a rushed bowl of cornflakes. brushed his teeth" - same, with Brushed. Extra 'e' in Koreean just cosme...


Vid Weeks
13:31 Aug 21, 2023

Thanks Derrick appreciate your feedback


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.