October 10, 2012 at 7:16 am | Posted in Kindle, Short Stories, Teen, Writing, Reading, YA, Young Adult | Leave a comment

An excerpt from Gary Egan’s short story “Friday’s Children.” A story from Ireland.

Only the Spanish tourist seemed concerned. He stepped over his rucksack and went up to the driver.

“Excuse please – the guys at back of bus, they crazee.” He pointed at Alan Casey and the others. “You do something, yes?”

Michael Flaherty wasn’t best pleased.

“You’re alright. They’re only messing.” He added, jabbing his thumb up the aisle. “You shouldn’t have brought your rucksack on the bus, you know.”

“Que?” The Spanish tourist stared at him uncomprehendingly.

“Never mind,” sighed Michael Flaherty. “Just go back to your seat, please.”

The Spanish tourist shrugged and did as he was told.

For The Spanish Inquisition, racking was a device for extracting confessions of heresy. Sean Gorman’s heresy was to be spastic at sports and clever at lessons. One Friday, another would-be victim had escaped persecution by turning the tables on his persecutors and racking himself. But Sean, unable to rise to the occasion, found himself raised against his will. Teresa Moynes raised her head from her homework, not to look at Sean on the rack, but to bless herself as the bus passed the cathedral. Sean caught the eye of a girl he fancied but found no sympathy there: she fancied his principal tormentor, Alan Casey.

Things might have stopped there but it was Friday, remember. The day of the week when things go further. As the newscasters say when they’re about to read the results of soccer matches to be broadcast later, if you don’t want to know the score, look away now.

To find out more of what happens on the bus, read “Friday’s Children” in SUDDENLY LOST IN WORDS Volume 1.

Available on (USA) and (UK) for 99c or 77p.

Gary Egan has published fiction in Britain and Ireland (Chapman and U Magazine), poetry in Australia (Famous Reporter and Island), and essays in the United States (Verbatim and The Language Quarterly). He has also performed stand-up tragedy live on the Giraffe’s Neck Tour, including the dingleberries of the Edinburgh Fringe.


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