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September 25, 2016 / hbrowne4

The Ferry by Teresa Fenton

From a prompt “The ferry sailed that day without the Moriartys”

The ferry sailed that day without the Moriartys. A trip planned for months, to a new life, work and living in the same town as uncle Dan in Manchester, was suddenly shelved. The emotions running through the eight people whose names were on that family ticket were many and confusing when dad announced in a very gruff voice that journey would not be happening.

“Why? Was the only word that escaped from everyone’s lips in a mad gasping tone. No response came from dad except two words in a low pitched growl, “talk soon”

The smallest boy was instantly very vocal and full of happiness that they were not going after all, leaving all their friends, “Hurray, hurray” was all little Cormac could keep shouting. “I get to keep my friends and play boats and fish down at the sruthan”. The twins, John and Jane went down the road to check on the birds nest they had been watching with love and interest for ages now. Dad, Martin was rubbing sweat from his brow and mumbling something complicated about their long standing routines and the country they knew so well. Mam, Margaret, was crying her eyes out with what seemed to be a confusing mixture of joy and sorrow. Angela held her mother’s hand but stayed silent out of fear of saying the inevitable, wrong thing. Michael and Joseph were throwing each other over the back of the settee.

When mam could speak she said “Oh God what will the neighbours think? We can’t hide the truth. They will drive us mad with questions.  Why did we not go after all the plans, the expense, the wait and the painful good byes.”?

She looked at Martin, pointed and nodded towards the parlour and off they both fumbled, leaving all of the bewildered family to themselves. “We could play for time” said Margaret “we could hide the car and we would get a whole day to put our own thoughts together and then try to explain to the family the dilemma we are in. You know only too well that people have suffered when this news got out, maybe we should have taken our chances and gone anyway. We can’t now, because the ferry has left, oh god, my head is splitting”

Martin is just sitting on the edge of the hard chair, listening in a stunned silence and seems powerless to get to grips with his opposing feelings. “We can’t get away with hiding for a whole day Margaret, you know that because we cannot keep the six of them locked in here until tomorrow, so we have to hurry and just get ready to face facts, tell them the whole truth and take the consequences”

Margaret rubbed her eyes hard and admitted that he was right, that the truth had to be faced, the honest truth, hoping that the neighbours were fond enough of them to accept this, to understand what had happened and continue life just as it had always been. “Come on now Margaret, lets bite the bullet, gather them all together and break it to them”

They walk back to the kitchen, shout all six names, and within seconds they all appear. “Just a half an hour ago we got a phone call from a man we do not know. He advised us to sit down, he then called out a familiar list of numbers and finally told us we had won fifty million euro in the lottery”

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