Friday, April 5, 2019

Elderly Fare at Cork Market #AtoZChallenge


The 26 eclectic 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.

By Dylan - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Elderly Fare at Cork Market
Genre: Humor
(389 words)

Once we settled into Devlon’s taxicab, he drove along the bank of the River Lee, pointing out the Butter Museum. “They give an interesting history of Ireland’s success in the butter trade and how they stored butter in bogs.”
Turning the corner, he said, “Taking the St. Patrick’s Street Bridge to the English Market for a scheduled fare. See St. Finn Barre’s Cathedral looming?”
At the market, Devlon pulled up to an elderly woman. She dragged a wire cart overflowing with fresh vegetables. Devlon whispered, “She won’t allow me to assist with the cart or open the door for her.”
While she unlatched the back door and struggled with her possessions, Devlon kept talking.
“Cork’s English Market has been a landmark since they laid the foundation stone in September of 1786. They offer the best local food.
“Everything from olives to eels,” the elderly woman said, hauling the cart into the back seat and forcing my sisters to scrunch together.
“Headed home, Mamó?” Devlon asked.
Ah, I thought, his grandmother. All of Ireland must be related.
“Where else would I be headed with a cartful of groceries, Devlon? Of course, home.”
“We just drove past the Butter Museum,” he said, unfazed. “These folks are visiting from America, checking out their ancestral roots.”
“Is that so?” she said. “What name would you be upholding?”
Devlon translated: Which of your ancestors left Ireland for America?”
“The Keogh family. They sailed from Cork to Quebec. That’s in Canada. Later, they migrated to Wisconsin.”
“I know where Quebec is,” she snapped. “Wisconsin most likely is a state in your country.”
“Gramma,” Devlon said, pointing to me, “this is Gahlen. Seated next to you are Rianne and Vondra. May they call you Gramma?”
“Devlon,” she said, “what is my name?”
Devlon squirmed. “Sorry, Gramma, I never knew your name.”
“Exactly. And if you don’t know my name, why should these strangers?” She sighed, then said, “Yes, call me Gramma. Do you know what I once found buried in the bog behind our farm? A finger bone. Oh, the stories I could tell about ritual sacrifices.”
“Gramma,” Devlon said, his voice a bit shaky now. “Are you sure you want to tell such stories to a bunch of strangers?”
“Strangers?” she asked. “They are practically family, calling me Gramma. How much closer can we get?”



  1. Grandma sounds quite a character and not one to be messed with! Excellent.

    My A-Z of Children's Stories

  2. Elderly people don't hold back what they are thinking, Keith. Nothing to lose!

  3. I really enjoyed the dialogue in this. Good, witty banter. :) Eliminate One Obligation to Avoid Burnout

  4. Would love to hear more about your missing Ireland. Expect the topic will pop up in at least one of your AtoZ posts.

  5. Good story.

    I have actually had Irish butter. It was pretty good. Not very different, but still, it tasted good.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author


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