An Early Childhood Chapter 11 Part 4

Continued from Chapter 11 Part 3.



An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock, surreal autobiography by a fictional Irish literary figurehead, champion bodhrán player and broadcaster.

            The inside of the house was a mess. Constable Combover and his wife were hanging upside down in the bedroom from hooks, two pools of blood beneath them, Constable Combover’s funny haircut made a full mockery, hanging off him and starched solid with blood. Their guts hung loose outside of their opened shtomachs. Their eyeballs, gouged out with what could only have been a spoon, dangled from their sockets in a cartoon-like fashion.
            Scrawled on the wall in blood was a savage indictment which read:
            “The Republicans
            are the ones
                        who bloody well
            did this.”
            I wasn’t entirely sure what this meant exactly. An officer and his wife murdered, seemingly without cause or provocation, and a rather obvious message from the murderer or murderers ostensibly revealing their identity but in reality pointing the finger at innocents.
            I knew one thing, however; the fair folk were involved. As I looked over the bedroom, I saw a comb composed of glittering gold on the floor.

            “The mark of the banshee,” I said aloud, as I scooped it up and placed it in my pocket, and I heard someone behind me and I swung round to see Colonel Tiptoft standing at the bedroom door.
            “We’ll catch them, Father,” he said, as he sucked on his pipe, “You mark my words. This is their first murder of this nature and it’s going to be their last…you mark my words. Republican bastards.”
            A plume of smoke tumesced from his nostrils and for a moment he looked like a ferocious dragon. Tiptoft gave me a reassuring pat on the back as I made the Sign of the Cross and muttered the few words of Latin with which I was familiar.
            I left the room, feeling quite nauseous after viewing the sight, and I slowly departed the scene of the crime rather than dashing away, so as not to alert the un-entitled authorities. I returned to my men and Father Rorty, who had just come to, and as I undressed myself and returned the clothes to the priest, I described with as much gore as I could muster the details of the crime scene.
            “We’re no doubt the scrapegoats,” said John Fisherman-O’Reilly, a fierce head on him of anger and rage.
            “The word is scapegoats. Scrapegoats are diseased animals. We’re a shower of patsies. I’m going to go on a reconnaissance mission to find out more about what happened last night,” I burst out of me then, as I got back into my tramp’s disguise. “You men wait here and don’t bat an eyelid till I return.”
            “You’ll get yourself killed, man!” shouted Tancred, and he slapped me across the face. “Wake up to reality!”
            “NO!” I shouted back, pushing him away. We stared at each other fiercely, and then with an even and confident tone, I replied: “You wake up, MISTER!”
            And that settled it.