An Early Childhood Chapter 24 Part 3


An Early Childhood by Paddy Flanagan is a mock surreal autobiography, narrated by a fictional Irish war hero, champion bodhran player, and television presenter. Its first chapter is here. It parodies misery memoirs (such as Angela’s Ashes by the late great Frank McCourt), as well as time travel adventure, pop culture, and literature of various kinds.

Continued from Part 2 of Chapter 24.
                The man pointing the rifle at Tancred was Jarlath O’Halloran, who along with running the town’s liberal pub, was actually quite a crackshot as he enjoyed going hunting, an absolute marksman so he was – coz he could hit a fox travelling at thirteen miles per hour, and that was no bigger than two yards. And Tancred knew there and then that his number was up, as he only had bows n arrows n swords.

Then, quite suddenly, a bullet lodged itself in Jarlath’s arm between his wrist bones. Instead of firing his rifle Jarlath dropped his weapon and looked at the wound in his limb, only to have his skull cleaved open by Tancred’s sword. Tancred ran through the second criminal, decapitated the third and kicked the fourth, screaming, off the cliff. The one-armed Bishop O’Brien now stood alone, his own rifle raised and pointed at Tancred’s head.
                I grabbed the rifle which Jarlath had dropped and fired it through Tancred’s legs. The dumdum shot up the caniving bishop’s nose and blew the back of his head open. He fell back onto the bank dead. I pulled myself onto the dirt path off the edge of the cliff and tried to catch my breath. I fell to the grass to join him, exhausted. It was a long time before either of us spoke.
                “You saved my life,” Tancred said, gratitude rich as gravy with a lot of cornflour in his voice as he made the acknowledgement.
                “Not for the first time,” I replied.
                “I thought you were dead,” he admitted.
                “So did I,” I panted.
                “How did you get back up here?”
                “I climbed up,” I laughed.
                “Any other survivors?”
                “I don’t think so,” I says.
                “Flanagan!” my name was screamed out, echoing across the river, bouncing off the cliff faces, before the name’s owner (me) looked up and pulled myself to my feet. The caller could be seen at the top of the cliff on the other side of the river. Floudh Rak stood at some eight feet in height, wearing all black, his cape billowing gently in the wind. Tancred and myself both looked up in awe at the enraged creature.

 Continued in Chapter 24 Part 4.