An Early Childhood Chapter 24 Part 5


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 4.

                I gave Tancred a rabbit-punch in the head so severe that it knocked him out. I untied the rope from his waist, and re-tied it around my waist. The rope was a bit tight – I had developed what is known in the world of heroes as a touch of the “Shatner bellies” and the rope bit into my scroggle, the shtomach spilling out just a tad.

                “I hope this works,” I sez to meself, aiming the weapon high into the sky, eventually unleashing the arrows.

                The bow sang and the bolt sailed high and true, soaring across the river. The rope to which it was attached struck the bow of a tree on the other side, and the bow acted as a sort of cleat, the rope wrapping around it three times. The tree stood atop the cliff, and the branch, from where I stood on the other side, appeared to be strong enough to hold my weight. I took a step back. I was very anxious, having already plunged into the river once already. It had been terrifying, and I had no wanting to be repeating of the same.

                “My prayers are with you,” Tancred said, as he came around. “Good luck and God’s speed.”

                “Oh! You’re conscious!” I said. “Do you really want to go yourself, across the river?”

                “No. It looks very frightening, Paddy. You just gave me a dig, and then you took the rope from me yourself.”

                I looked over the edge into the waters, which were even more violent than they were the last time I had fallen into them.

                “I don’t mind, though,” I said. “If you want to go, I mean.”

                “No, no. You punched me. You’ve made your views very clear by punching me in the head.”

                “I know but I’m kind of – I’m very scared, Tancred.”

                “Oh. Do you not want to do it now?”

                I started to cry.

                “Awww, Paddy,” he said. “Wait till I tell the boys about Cryee McTearful Knickers! THE ONES WHO ARE STILL ALIVE, THAT IS!”

                I stopped crying then, with a final shhniffle up through the nostrils, and a quick, manly gobadeen of shpiock out of the mouth and a quick glance down - I'd fall four hundred feet if it was a day, with a massive splash into the water below.

                “Yeh fecker,” I said, half to myself.

                We shook hands.

                I stepped off the ledge.

 Continued in Chapter 24 Part 6.