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Shandon Belltower, Cork, Ireland Created by Kglavin
The 26 eclectic-genre short stories for my #AtoZChallenge are excerpts from travelogue notes by
fictional character Gahlen, who first appears in SHARDS OF MEMORY – Oral History in a Heartbeat.
Each A-to-Z daily post is a stand-alone tale - partly true, partly fiction.
Absorbing an Ancient Scene
Genre: Exploration with Comic Relief
Chiming bells sent us searching for an access to the steeple tower. We scrambled in typical sibling rivalry fashion toward a narrow stone staircase. Naturally, I came in last, but not due to my bum leg. I had stopped to dip my fingers into another holy water font. Carved in jagged lettering along its facade were words I assumed were of Irish dialect. While I recognized certain words as English, their meaning escaped me. I copied the letters, exactly as they appeared on the font, into my notebook for future research.
MAD ETHIS PANT
AT THEIR CHAR
By the time I reached the stairwell, my sisters had begun their climb toward the bells. With each step, I felt the space between the staircase walls diminish. Though not one to suffer from claustrophobia, I experienced a heightening fear. Obviously, my overactive imagination was at work.
Fairy tales had been the path my grandparents chose to teach me the intricacies of my ancestry. Had this stairwell once witnessed a dastardly act that bled into the walls - my sensitive nature absorbing the ancient scene and translating the event into a current dread? Reluctant to analyze the surroundings further, I urged my legs to climb faster, adrenaline seeking to overpower . . .
Before that thought fully formed, my sisters called down to me. “Stop lingering, Gahlen. The sealant on the rock steps is potent enough to make you start hallucinating.”
With a shudder of relief, I rushed upward, the poetic rhythm of Shandon bells urging me on. The panoramic view from the tower made my efforts worthwhile. In silence, we surveyed the city. I snapped several photographs knowing I could never fully capture the tranquility of the River Lee rippling through the Irish countryside of Cork. My overactive imagination would have to suffice.
*Craftsmen MADE THIS PANT (font) AT THEIR CHARGES (for their patrons).