Short Story by Aoife Burke

This is a story of a girl called Katie. She is a writer and on this day she sat in a busy cafe watching the

world go by.

She had to write a story for a magazine and she sat amongst strangers as usual, and tried to write

and focus on her writing.

People with families, couples, and loners like herself all out for the day were all around her.

There was laughter and chatter. The sound of dinner plates and cutlery. She writes a story and this is

the basis of her writing and the story

of her observations. She writes about "dreams" a poetic writing.


Dreams. By day or by night. When I sleep I never know what will occur. Will I have a pleasant dream

or a nightmare? During the day it is

easy. The mind wanders and I gaze up at the white fluffy clouds in the sky and imagine what it would

be like to fly among them.

I could fly a thousand miles in the sky and roam where ever the heart takes me. Alas I am earth

bound and gravity makes sure I stay there.

"I wish I could fly", by Roxette is still one of my favorite tunes and reminds me of college. And so I

daydream of another world where gravity

doesn’t hold me down and I am free to fly like a bird. Towards the sun.

In the recesses of the mind, throughout the pains of life, there is a twilight world. It exists in the

imagination. Blue grey and dark hues,

imagine being in a forest next to an isolated lake. The forest is flecked with dark beams of moonlight.

There are moonlight animals and giant

mushrooms big enough to sit on. There is a boat to take you across the lake and oars where you can

row yourself. In this oasis of tranquility

there are fireflies flying past and the sounds of crickets.

What a dream to set sail across this lake in the tranquility of near silence and just the twilight. The

water ripples beneath the boat and there

are rainbow colors. A tiny toad springs onto the huge mushroom. Could he be a king or a prince? As I

bend over to kiss it, I awake from my dream. "

She stops writing and looks around the cafe and makes mental notes of what she sees.

Cafe observation: sound of cutlery dropping chatter. Laughter. Music.

People reading. Eating, drinking. Low lighting warm room.

Waitress hurrying to and fro with plates full of food or empty.

Customer huddled together in groups. Pictures and photographs hanging on the wall. Tables waiting

to be cleared. Chairs pushed

back ready for next customer. The sound of register opening and closing and money changing hands.

People using napkins on mouth or on the lap. Candlelight flickering softly. The clatter of plates and

the hum of the dishwasher.

Clock ticking on wall chiming on the hour. The gentle glow of the alcohol taps. The rows of spirits

hanging upside down.

The mirrors making a room look bigger than it is.

Customers clad in jeans, runners and jumpers. Student vibe, leather bags draped over chairs. The

sound of ice being scraped

from an ice bucket. People come in from cold, huddled in their jackets and scarves. People read the

newspaper and check

their phones. Glasses stand half full, ready to be emptied into their owner’s mouths. The smell of

freshly prepared food

and the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. Tapping her pen against her teeth as she tries to find a new


She decided to take the bus home and lies down in bed and starts to dream in her sleep:

In her dream she was at the shore line of a beautiful beach. She is wearing a blue chiffon dress and

beautiful blue jewelry. She decides to swim fully clothed and

goes swimming in the deep blue sea, diving beneath the water to admire the beauty beneath the

surface. She sees a shipwreck and decides

to go back to the surface as the seas and winds were a little rough.

As she was dreaming anything could happen and she goes horseback riding along sands and through


The path through the woods leads her to a graveyard. It is spooky and the skies were getting dark.

She finds her own gravestone in shock

and wakes up. She has dreamt the whole thing awoken by her dog on her bed. She submits her story for

publication a short time later and hopes for the best.

Blog by Liam O Donnell

I am still hanging on hopefully to the third level goal of achieving at a professional study target.

But what is the target, or goal. The doctor told my mother that– — — — -“Study is out from now on– -“

So– — — — — — — -what , instead? Something meaningful. The Beatles seemed to have an answer.

“We can work it out”.


I am still as confused as ever.– — — — — — — Third level? — — — -Yes/No?

My scenario in Flannan’s College, when I was doing well, and doing Latin/ Greek, for my

Inter. Cert., was in the Church at night. The Lonely student at night, I called it.

At sixteen, I applied myself to Latin,– — — -Gallic War(Caesar), and did well.

Then, I began to go off the rails.


I began to become less perfectionistic with the Latin professor, a priest, in my fourth year.

Transition year, that is. I eased up on the perfection, with the priest who taught us History

and Geography, for the Leaving. I began to take my foot off the pedal, very much, in History

and Geography. The Maths. And Physics were way too much for me. I began to let things slide.

Very much.


My previous very good goals began to become less important, and my achievements became

less, and less. I just let things go. A guilty conscience began to raise its ugly head. My previous

brilliant student role became less, and less.


If only! I began to compare myself unfavourably with others. I generally lost interest in achieving

academically. There was nothing I could do to arrest the downward slide.


I began to compare myself unfavorably with my brother, who, at this stage, had gone on to

University. I was , meantime, in the teacher training college, in Drumcondra, and not doing so well.

At this stage, I had been diagnosed, labelled, and incarcerated, not to mention the medication.

I began to lower my expectations in life, and moderated my goals. I began to change my thinking.

I never got on well with third level professors in the Irish Universities. I began to look across the

water, at the U.K. I found the syllabus of International Correspondence Schools, London, and

completed a course in Storekeeping. I succeeded in obtaining a job, as a library assistant, in

Newbridge, Co. Kildare. My late father (God rest him) put it very well, when he said,”The

library is a kind of store”.


But, I did not value the job well enough, and abandoned a promising career with Kildare Co.

Council. I left the library without telling the boss, and hopped on a bus to Dublin. It must have

looked like I was irresponsible , and I paid the price. I thought it was easy to get a job

but I found , to my cost, that such was not the case. My boss in the library refused to

take me back. I spent a few days in Gardiner Street, in a bed and breakfast , in Dublin,

and searched around the locality, hoping to find anything in the nature of a job.

But, all to no avail!


I travelled back home to West Clare to my parents’ house. My mother

was disappointed to see me back home again. This was compounded by the fact that I had

purchased a yellow satin bellbottoms trousers, and a loud yellow jacket. The hit records of the

time were Gilbert O Sullivan’s “Nothing Rhymed”, and George Harrison’s, “My sweet Lord”.

Also , another hit record was Tony Kenny, singing,”Hey girl, what you doing down there”?

And, Neil Diamond, singing,”I am, I said”.


I remember songs from Red Hurley, such as,”Bring back the good times”, and I loved to hear

Red on the radio. Neil Sedaka hit the charts with his,”Happy Birthday, sweet sixteen”.

I was a regular purchaser of the “New Spotlight” magazine, with all the very latest news

on the Showbands.


Being at home, once again, kind of eased the pressure on me, but I still was ambitious to get

a job. My father offered me a job as a meter-reader, with the E.S.B. He was the local E.S. B.

Boss. It suited me better, as I was at home, and felt better. I was on medication. And could

go to all the local dances, and lived with my parents. My brother was doing accountancy

at this time, in Dublin. I settled into the role of the local meter-reader. I also became involved

with the local Fianna Fail cumann. We held church gate collections, and fundraised with socials

in the local hall. I also attended Ard Fheishes, and Youth Conferences. We also canvassed for local

politicians, at election time. The year was 1971/2.