WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.
THAT DAZZLING SMILE by Kevin Fortune
April 8, 2014 Short stories Tags: Ireland, Kevin Fortune
For over sixty five years now – nearer seventy – ever since we were kids in the street, me and Ben have been joined at the hip. When we were young we were reasonably fashion conscious, mostly in our efforts to get girls, but nowadays we’re like dirtied up versions of Gandalf and Radagast, facial hair and all. It’s a kind of a disguise, you see, as our unwashed, shuffling, old man movements can sometimes fool the Dead into thinking we’re them. Except when we’re on our bikes, of course.
In recent years, in this suburban desolation, we’ve had to avoid corpses entirely because we can’t defend ourselves too well anymore. Bad joints and malnutrition have made us slow and feeble; Ben even more so than me. His arthritis barely lets him walk. So for us its eyes peeled all the time and ears open all the time, but this morning we dropped the ball. Not a single whiff of danger registered on our radars. I mean, with our experience we really should have seen them coming. It just goes to show how charmed we’ve been all along. (more…)
A TEMPORARY PATCH JOB, PART 3 OF 3 by Kevin Fortune
March 10, 2012 Longer stories Tags: Ireland, Kevin Fortune
SEQUEL TO PART 2
I watched as a patch of bog, brown on brown, oozed like lumpy liquid from a drainage ditch. It took me a moment to recognise it as human. I wasn’t sure if it was some lost, crawling corpse or if it was that little teenage waste of space. To my joy it was the latter. I didn’t realise it but I’d actually been looking forward to this. I moved deeper into the shadows and watched him crawl across the open ground and into the trees. The eejit must have thought he was invisible because of the mud; John feckin Rambo. I let him come.
Once again the pine needles dampened my footfalls nicely as I ran at him from behind, but at the very last second he heard me and turned; startled. He only had time to raise his machete in self-defence before I shattered his wrist with the bog oak. The blade went flying. I rotated with the swing and burst his nose flat on the return journey. He hit the ground without bending and didn’t move after that. (more…)
A TEMPORARY PATCH JOB, PART 2 OF 3 by Kevin Fortune
March 9, 2012 Longer stories Tags: Ireland, Kevin Fortune
SEQUEL TO PART 1
I hadn’t pumped near enough juice to keep us in the air for more than a few minutes. We could land safely anywhere; in a nearby field or something, but we’d never take off again with empty tanks. We didn’t want to lose the Cessna so we had to return and finish our refuel. Weeks beforehand we had discussed the possibility of this very situation and we developed a procedure to deal with it.
“D’you remember the plan?” Greg shouted. I sat on the floor where the right hand seat should have been and tightened my leg straps. He poked at the fuel gauge to illustrate the gravity of our situation. “Just coax them away from the runway long enough for me to land. You’ve already kung-fu’d over half of them so the rest are probably quite demoralised already. Keep out of their mitts and I’ll be down directly!” (more…)
A TEMPORARY PATCH JOB, PART 1 OF 3 by Kevin Fortune
March 8, 2012 Longer stories Tags: Ireland, Kevin Fortune
I’m Richie, and this is my little brother Greg. I’m the eldest and he’s the youngest. We’re all that’s left of the five Byrne brothers – but you know the way it is; you know the story. The other three are dead I imagine; dead and wandering in Canberra, in London and in Vancouver, along with their families. But I try not to think about it; it’s too unsettling.
We’re in a bit of a mess at the moment, Greg and I. I’m sitting in the pilot’s seat of our parked Cessna 206 and I’m waiting for the first glimmer of light to wash into the eastern sky. When it does I’ll attempt to drag this aircraft skywards for one final flight. Hopefully to a place where Greg can get some help. He’ll be okay if he’s seen to; he’ll pull through, but I fully expect to be dead by this afternoon. Thankfully he’s out cold, I think, and unaware that I’m fatally damaged, but I can’t turn around to see. Quite frankly I don’t believe I’ll ever leave this seat alive, no matter what. (more…)
FOLLY OF THE DEAD by Kevin Fortune
September 7, 2011 Longer stories Tags: Ireland, Kevin Fortune
A deadly unstoppable tide is approaching and the only way to avoid it is to run. But as I prepare to fly out from Kildare to the Azores in the Twin Otter I’m haunted by thoughts of Della. I can think of nothing else as I worry for her safety. I think about Ralph Patterson, her idiot husband and I wonder, as death closes rapidly in on us all; does he have a survival plan and will it prevent me from ever seeing her again?
Ralph is my sometimes business associate. He’s a money making genius on the Trading floor but outside of that he can be a gobshite of biblical proportions. He has a brain of course, and I hoped to god he was using it instead of performing some sort of headless chicken routine. This was the possibility that planted misgivings in my head. (more…)
NEEDLES by Kevin Fortune
March 18, 2011 Longer stories Tags: Ireland, Kevin Fortune
The following handwritten account – found in a farmhouse in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare – was initially accredited to flamboyant Z War hero John Fletcher as it had been signed with his name.
At the time it was widely discredited as a forgery as its manner and tone did not reflect Fletchers famous idiosyncratic style, nor did his apparent timidity in the text match the warriors’ well known ferocity. However, new anecdotal evidence has recently come to light that hints at this documents possible authenticity.
The following abridged version, appearing here in print for the first time, was originally intended for inclusion in the biography: “John Fletcher: Corpse Killer!” but was excised by the publishers who feared that this unverifiable adventure would leave them open to litigation should it prove false. Also, Fletcher’s controversial actions during the War might subsequently have become open to serious revisionism. (more…)
THE POWER OF PRAYER by Kevin Fortune
October 2, 2010 Short stories Tags: contest winner, Ireland, Kevin Fortune
Ray Wilkins finally became a human wreck within weeks of the world ending.
“My Raymond is going to end up in the gutter if he doesn’t pull his socks up.” His mother once prophetically stated, never dreaming of the circumstances in which her words would come true. At the time of her pronouncement the rest of Ray’s large family sat round the dinner table and nodded their heads respectfully in agreement. (more…)
CLICK. by Kevin Fortune
March 25, 2010 Longer stories Tags: Ireland, Kevin Fortune
Once upon a time – and not so long ago, either – when I was properly, certifiably mad, I almost traipsed, in my lunacy, right past this unlikely sanctuary.
How could I describe this refuge? If you can imagine a powerful subterranean deity angrily punching the earth from below and forcing one hundred acres of passable farmland three metres straight up, then you have an idea of it. How more people haven’t stumbled upon this place baffles me. Perhaps there’s no one left alive to find it. (more…)
THE NEW VIKINGS by Kevin Fortune
December 4, 2009 Short stories Tags: contest winner, Ireland, Kevin Fortune
“Mr. Whelan, Mr. O’Keeffe, why do you persist with this ludicrous idea of returning to Dublin? Even on some amoebic intellectual level you pinheads must understand that Dublin is shut to us forever. It is home only to the teeming dead. Teeming! Pressed tightly together in the parks and thoroughfares. Moaning beneath the statues of our baffled Patriots. Staring myopically at nothing. Bereft of stimulus. Swaying in the wind from the Dublin Mountains. Sodden and mildewed by the rain off the sea. There is nothing for you there anymore my little ex-junkie friends. I’m afraid you can never go home. Don’t ask me again.” (more…)