George picked up his pen. “Something to write with, something to talk with”, he thought and moved around the inside of the shed, pacing up and down.
His breathing felt easier as he held the pen. He sipped on his tea and switched on the candle light. A cuckoo cooed in the evening. He could often hear it when he was in between waking and sleeping. It was soothing and lulled him into a deep state of rest. His hand moved and it was pleasing to him as his writing made a path in his mind.
“Where will we go today”, he would hum to himself. “We’ll go over the sea and far away, for I am tired weak and dark”.
George stepped outside to stand in the sun that warmed the stones and his bones. “Where have I been?” he thought.
“It seems hell has taught me the nature of heaven.” He climbed over the wall of his back garden and followed the lane down to the sea. He looked upon the pale blue stretch of sky. The birds and butterflies were celebrating a new day where the minutes were not minutes, the hours were not hours and the years were not years.
George took off his black shoes that matched his suit. He walked on his bare feet in the soft sand, and felt the rosary beads in his pocket. He whispered his prayers along each bead. “What are eyes for?” he wondered. These flicking light beams that open with the sun and close with the moon.
As he sat, something wet licked his hand. A little brown and white terrier with rough fur darted all around him and then wandered off. George watched his tail wagging happily until he was out of sight. He lay down. Before he closed his eyes he thought of a title for his new story. “I’ll call it ‘The Sun and Moon’ ”, he thought. Satisfied, he gave his breath up to sleep.
A cold wind woke him. He wiped the saliva from his chin. The dusk had begun to settle with little bits of white seeping through the black clouds. “Everything has character”, he thought as he looked at his steps. He watched two butterflies fly in the back door of his neighbour’s house. The cool breeze brushed off the sleep in him and was fresh on his face. His neighbour’s head peeped over the wall. “Your only crime is the depth of your isolation”, he said slowly. George stopped. “I read that in the newspaper today”, he grinned showing the teeth under his moustache. “Is there any cure?” George asserted. His neighbour laughed, “Maybe your dog can give you one”. George turned around to find the terrier he had encountered nudging his leg. George rubbed him and waved goodbye to his neighbour.
As he walked, he saw the dog was chewing on something. From the corners of his mouth it looked like toast. “Hello Toast”, George said. “From now on you’ll be called Toast”. He left Toast by the back door of his house. A curious thing happened. George peered out of his bedroom window and looked at Toast waiting outside. George resolved that he would lose interest and go back to his owner and settled into his bed for the night. Toast did not go away. Night after night he stayed by George’s window. It was comforting and George always looked with delight when he unrolled the curtains in the morning and found Toast was still there and so excited to see him.
Every time George felt anxious his neighbour’s words entered his mind. “I have to die alone because no one else is going to do it for me but how often have I heard someone say they don’t want to die alone”, he thought.
Toast looked up at him innocently from inside the kitchen. “What do you think Toast?” “Are we all petrified of our isolation?” Toast yawned. “Good answer”, he said and leaned in to hug his fur. He heard a plop come from the front door. “The paper” he thought. He shuffled to the spot and quickly scanned the pages to the writing section. The title of ‘The Sun and Moon’ was there in big black print by George C. What a thrill it was to see his story in print. “Come on Toast”, said George and beckoned him out the front door. “Let’s celebrate”.
Lena O’ Connell
Lena O’ Connell graduated from the Limerick School of Art and Design in 2009. She
specialised in fine art, sculpture. Lena currently lives and works in Tipperary, Ireland.
She teaches art to children and is aspiring to undertake a higher diploma in