CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE ESCAPE FROM THE SAFEHOUSE, THE MURDER OF THE LOCAL CONSTABLE AND THE BEGINNINGS OF A FAIR FOLK CONSPIRACY (PART THREE)
“An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan” is a mock, surreal autobiography by a fictitious Irish television and radio personality. It parodies misery memoirs (such as Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt) and cannibalises from various sources. It's postmodern, don't you know.
Dawn rose on my home village and I was awoken by a cold, sharp morning mist which hung on the ground like the dry ice prevalent in the music videos which I shot for my band years later.
I woke my four men and we climbed out of the ditch and brushed the dew off each other’s clothes in a comradely fashion.
“Howyeh, Paddy,” said Father Rorty passing by on his bicycle.
“Father Rorty!” I hailed, having to shout quite loud on account of the fact of Father Rorty’s deafness in his later years, “What in tarnation are you doing up so early in the morning?”
“I’m on my way to Constable Combover’s house,” Father Rorty explained, his severe expression hiding nothing. “Wasn’t himself only murdered in the wee hours this morning? He was indeed, and his poor wife widowed now, were it not for the fact that she was murdered into the bargain. She was too. Terrible, twas, absolute terrible, and I’m on my way to his house now to conduct the Last Rites over their bodies.”
Father Rorty’s news caused me to feel somewhat faint. The first time I’d met Constable Combover was in Lord Pembroke’s newsagent a long time before, and he had served the community well.
“I can only hope, Master Flanagan, that twasn’t you and your Republican friends who murdered him, because if twas, may the Lord have mercy on your souls.”
I climbed over the wall and to Father Rorty’s bicycle, and I said:
“Father, I’d never dare to do such a thing. I realise there’s a war on, but there was no grief between myself and Constable Combover.” I thought to myself about the situation, and I realised that myself and my men would be the principal suspects in such a nefarious crime, although I didn’t voice my concerns to Father Rorty. I knew too that such a criminal act would be regarded by the community as evil, and that we would lose a great deal of popularity as a result, so I deemed it necessary to find out who the real killers were and exact my vengeance upon them.
“A penny for your thoughts, Paddy,” Father Rorty said, seeing that I was in pensive mood.
“Well, Father, I need a disguise to get a look at the murder scene,” I explained to the priest, “So what I’m going to do is knock you out with a quick rabbit punch to the head and steal your vestments and your bike,” I said, as I delivered a blow to the ageing priest that sent him back onto the road unconscious.
I turned up at Constable Combover’s house a good half of an hour later with a priest’s frock on me and stepped though the police tape and British soldiers surrounding the house and went up the stairs and into the bedroom. Let me tell you now, and I won’t say this to frighten you or put you off your dinner, but if you’re eating your dinner while you’re reading look away now and finish your dinner before you read the next couple of paragraphs, because never let it be said that I’d be the one to not be putting anybody off not eating their dinner. Unless, of course, they were dieting and in want of some encouragement.
Continued in Chapter 11 Part 4.