CONCEPTA'S REMEMBRANCE. | By: Terry Collett | | Category: Short Story - Chronical Bookmark and Share


We are commanded by the fourth Commandment to love obey and reverence the parents in all that is not sin Concepta Connell remembers Father Burke saying when she was a young girl and had the Father come to the house and tell her the way of things when her mother had gone to the Father and said she'd been disobedient and had not been doing as she was told despite her da giving her backside the size of his hand and the lash of his tongue and sending her to the bedroom without the supper and the lights out and now sitting in Donovan's bar beside Davy Doyle the sudden remembrance of the old priest with his hat in his hand and his dark eyes peering into her eyes and soul brings a smile to her lips yet not of mockery or disrespect but how things were then with the Church and the priests and her parents thinking that the father bless his old hat and eyes could have solved anything at all with regards to her and her finding her way in the new world breaking out inside of her and with the burning of bras and throwing away of morals not that she considered herself a bad girl as such or one of those loose women her mother had always gone on about over dinner with her da looking at her mother as if she'd lost her mind and wanting her to close her mouth with the words and stuff the food in the hole and chew herself to silence but she seldom did Concepta remembers always the one with the words and judgements and the pointing finger even in the shops when she was supposed to be shopping and gathering the goods for the home and Da bless his rural ways and porter soaked skin would walk behind her with the heavy sighs and raised eyes to Heaven and wanting the time to shift to get himself to the bar and lift his porter to lips before the angels came or dark Death with his scythe to cut him down like the wheat in the fields and as Davy offers her the cigarette and lights it with his own and gives her the wink promising a good time ahead if she could get him home sober enough she looks beyond him at the seat where her da once sat in the corner with his pint of porter and his pals and the laugh deep and heavy as peat and the pipe stuck in his mouth and the cap on his head pushed back revealing the receding hairline and the scar on the forehead where a stone thrown by some idjit Protestant had struck him as boy and she looks away and feels Davy put his hand on her thigh and push back and forth his fingers warm and kindly and she looks him in the eyes the bright blue eyes the eyes of an angel her mother had said once when the gin had softened her tongue and heart before the demons of dementia came and stole her mind and left her childlike in her ways and means and words and Davy pushes his hand further up her thigh and she senses her flesh tingle the skin suddenly coming to life as if it had been asleep for a thousand years and his look and his smile and the cigarette hanging there at the corner of his mouth like some suicidal fool ready for the jump and the nose of him like a noble thing stuck there on a face of a peasant on the features of some loon yet she loves him with all her heart and flesh and wants the clock to ticktockticktock her and him home to the bed and the lights out and the church bells to chime the time and the features of Father Burke altering into the sweet Davy Doyle with his masterly ways and the lovemaking talent to bring her to her knees and the rockabye baby passion that will always please.

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