I attended my second Fiction at the Friary event in Cork City at the end of March.
Fiction at the Friary is a free monthly literary event in the Friary Bar at the bottom of Shandon Street, organised by Madeleine D’Arcy and Danielle Mclaughlin.
The event is held on the last Sunday of every month from 3 to 6 pm. Each month, there is a reading from different authors. We were treated to a reading from Eimear Ryan, of Banshee literary magazine, in February. At the March event, Danny Denton read from his upcoming novel The Earlie King and the Kid in Yellow. This debut novel will be published in Jan 2018.
My friend Aoife and I attended the event and it was very relaxed and friendly. We love to read (We’ve even started our own Facebook book club Reading in Between in the Wines) and we thought that this sounded like a great way to connect with other book lovers and writers.
Fiction at the Friary is open to anyone with an interest in writing or reading. There is a highly optional writing exercise and an open mic. The open mic is highly entertaining and my favourite part of the day. During the open mic session in March, two people read what they’d written during the writing exercise, they were just brilliant! Cork is full of talented writers.
The writing exercise at the March event consisted of two writing Prompts, a beginning sentence and a picture. Here are mine!
This was my attempt, who knows, it may become a full story with a middle and an end.
In an hour, Mother would be here and it would be time for the Great Burning.
But for now, Agatha sat on the wooden bench at the edge of the pond. Below the murky surface giant multi-coloured fish swam, while a line duck flapped away happily on the surface. The sight of the duck reminded her that she too was alone now.
Thoughts of the many times she’d sat in this exact spot with Myrtle flooded her mind. On sunny days, when Myrtle was too frail to do anything but sit and stare, they would come down the pond. Agatha would bundle Myrtle into her wheelchair and layer her in soft woolen blankets. They sat there in silence, needing no words. Myrtle would have a look of pure contentment on her thinning face, her skin almost translucent in the daylight and her too bright eyes dreamlike.
It had always been Agatha and Myrtle, as far back as Agatha’s mind could stretch. Such old-fashioned names for young twin girls. But it was only Agatha now; half a twin, half a person. She sniffed back snot, fighting back tears but they escaped down her cheers and chin. Loneliness overcame her and she felt like there was a giant weight pressing on her chest.
Agatha focused on the fish, trying to calm down, trying to forget but wanting to remember. She NEEDED to remember. She Had to remember every little detail of Myrtle’s face. The real Myrtle, the Myrtle with chubby cheeks and an enthusiasm for every small thing in life, from poached eggs to wedding celebrations.
Tonight, they would celebrate Myrtle’s life and burn all of her material trappings – her wheelchair, her medication, her bedclothes and mounds if soft woolen blankets. A fire to remember Myrtle and what she had been before sickness had rattled the life out of her.
Tomorrow, they would burn Myrtle’s mortal trapping, her body.
But for now, Agatha sat and was soothed by the same oriental fish, swimming in the same pond, that Myrtle had loved.