Bitten By A Dog On TuesdayNovel.

John Divine is an animal rescue worker who turns vigilante and sets about hunting down those who have intentionally caused pain to helpless animals. Unwittingly, one of the abusers he accosts is the teenage son of a work colleague, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As John gets deeper and deeper into his vicious acts of retribution he can no longer reconcile his beliefs with his actions and he begins to unravel. John’s past begins to come to the fore through dreams and memories, which sheds new light on the deeper psychical mechanisms at play that have manifested in his murderous behaviour. Every action in life has a knock on effect in the greater scheme of things and one childhood incident set a trajectory for John from which he cannot escape.

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The Liberation of Marian. Flash Fiction.

A girl with green hair and a portfolio uncomfortably wedged into her armpit rushes towards the door; Marian holds it open for her and smiles. The girl smiles back then disappears amongst the others. That what-am-I-doing-here feeling sweeps over Marian for the hundredth time; she swallows it down and follows the directions to the first floor.

Eyes glance upwards as she makes her way to an empty seat. All nervous. All eager. Before her neatly ironed skirt reaches the seat Marian is acutely aware that she is the oldest person in the waiting area. She tells herself it doesn’t matter and then proceeds to list reasons why she’s too old to be there. STOP IT she almost says aloud. A door opens and a young man exits; she can’t be sure of his age but she knows she’s old enough to be his mother. The next candidate is called into the room.

A storm in Marian whirls up a million reasons for her to leave. She places a hand on her stomach and takes a deep breath. This is for me. This is my time. She thinks back to just five short years ago and how different her life was. How the hum drum of domesticated unhappiness was knocked for six by a massive heart attack. In her grief she found freedom and realised there was no longer a reason to be held back. The things she left behind far too long ago could be hers again. Marian smiles at the thought. The only person standing in her way this time is herself.

Originally published in Liberties: Flash fiction from Ireland (2015).