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The Irishman

I was climbing up the small hill into the Castle Park when I heard him calling through the darkness. Then I saw his torch light. I couldn’t make out what he was saying. Then he was behind me. I speeded up. Excuse me, he called. Excuse me, he said again. I stopped and turned to face him. He was young, tall, stringy and with a large brooch in the shape of white heart on his jacket lapel. Excuse me, he said again, have you seen a man? He’s about this high, he said gesticulating with his hand a height about a foot shorter than he was, and Irish. He’s this high, he reiterated, and Irish. I’m sorry, I said, I haven’t seen anyone, and started to walk off. He followed me, repeating his question. Are you sure? he said finally. He did say he was here. Sorry, I said. I heard him all the way down Great Darkgate Street, shouting for Gerry.

Two girls passed me on Northgate Terrace just before I was assailed by the gorgeous smell of the bread being baked in The Pelican Bakery. They can’t have been much older than twenty. Possibly they were younger. One of them was pushing a pram. I leant into the wall to let them pass. Inside the pram was a child of perhaps two or three. It’s eyes peered at me through the plastic rain covering. It was not yet three am.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.