An Early Childhood Chapter 24 Part 4


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 Chapter 24 Part 3.

                “You will be dead by morning, Flanagan!” yelled the weatherlock. With that, he once again disappeared from the edge of the cliff. We watched as the figure departed and Tancred looked at me in despair.

                “He must be killed, now, during the day,” I realised, “He must be murdered now. He’s too powerful during the night, Tancred. What with the lack of the sun and the more severe cold and his ability to change the weather. He must be killed now.”

                “Wait… hold on here one moment,” Tancred said, incapable of comprehending what I was suggesting. “You’re telling me that you’re going to try to destroy one of the most evil forces in all of Ireland?” Tancred asked, absolutely and totally and utterly incredulous. “The Mahdi himself would find such a task difficult!”

                “Floudh Rak has to be stopped,” I said. I punched my right fist into my left palm.

                “Not by you he doesn’t. We are all of us wounded now, Paddy Flanagan. We must run like a snotty nose, you eejit of an infidel. And return to fight another day!” It was plain to Tancred that I was effectively committing suicide. Then he raised his eyebrow. “But I do have a plan!”

                “What’s the plan? I insist that you tell me! Insist!” I ordered.

                Ignoring the pain in my body, having fallen into water and been half wrecked by the climb up the cliff face, and with Tancred ignoring the pain in his leg, wherein he had been half fecken shohhh (which is the Irish for "wounded by a bullet"), we sprinted the half a mile, passing our wounded and dead comrades, back to the now broken rope bridge, stripping it of a good fifty odd yards of thin but strong cord. I didn’t know what Tancred’s clever plan was, but we were soon returning to the spot from where we had seen Floudh Rak the evil weatherlock.

                “What are we doing exactly?” I asked him, and I watched as, with bewildering speed, Tancred snatched his bow and quiver out of his multi-bulti utility belt and tied one end of the rope around five arrows, which he had handed to me to bundle together to make one large bolt, and together we tied the other end around his waist, leaving the rest of the rope to coil and snake on the mucky path.

                “I’ve got to get over there now if we’re to catch him,” he said. Tancred held his longbow, and placed the newly-created bolt into the bow.

                Tancred drew the arrows back, pointing the weapon across the cliffs to the other bank.

                “Wish me luck,” he said.

Continued in Chapter 24 Part 5.