In January my wife and I entered a writing contest. There were several categories in which to enter. I sent pieces in for the “flash fiction” and “articles” brackets. Lo and behold, I was a finalist in each of those two categories! There were only two finalists and the winner announced. As a matter of fact, Sandra, also was a finalist in the two groups she had entered, “devotionals,” and “articles.” The only two finalists in the Articles grouping were Curt Lovelace and Sandra Lovelace. My award is proudly displayed here. Here is the really funny part. I do not write fiction! This was just something I put together out of the blue one day and Sandra encouraged me to enter it into this contest. Below is the flash fiction piece. Next week I’ll share the article. Let me know what you think.
To The “Old Sod”
The tide rolled in, as tides will inexorably do. Bob sat on a rock looking across at where he imagined Ireland to be. He’d never been to that land of his ancestors. Heck, he’d never been anywhere except New England. “I don’t even have a passport.” He thought. But, he dreamed of Ireland.
At 32 years old, Bob had a stable and mostly enjoyable job. He was an engineer. “Engineers don’t dream fanciful dreams,” he told himself. But, he dreamed of Ireland. He was not interested in a short visit. No, Bob wanted to go all in. He wanted to move to the “Old Sod.” He knew the history. He knew the geography. He’d heard Larry Cunningham sing “Lovely Leitrim” hundreds of times. He longed to see Loch Allen and watch the Shannon waters flow.
It would be irresponsible to just pack up and leave, wouldn’t it? He would leave behind his family and his friends, the familiar places, the girl with whom a relationship just might bloom. He knew he could get a job. He’d already checked online. Engineers can get jobs.
On Monday morning, Bob was at the Post Office in Portland where he made out his passport application. He even paid the extra $60 for expedited service. He’d made up his mind. He was going. He was moving to Ireland. There was no need to dawdle now. Having taken the day off from work and made a list, Bob went about his business, his exciting business. Bob was moving to Ireland.
Next Bob went to his bank and made sure of the procedure for transferring his savings to an Irish bank once he was settled. As a single, employed, unattached engineer, Bob had accumulated a sizeable amount of savings. He made sure his ATM card would work in the Republic of Ireland.
Being an engineer, of course, Bob had a plan as well as his list. He’d already checked Ireland’s website for entry requirements. He needed no visa. He could make arrangements for a stay longer than three months once he arrived and settled. He had already booked airline tickets on Aer Lingus. He was flying to Shannon Airport in one month. A room was booked at a bed and breakfast in Carrick-on-Shannon for two weeks. He had signed on with an engineering head-hunter. He was already getting job possibilities.
“I’m moving to Ireland,” Bob exulted. Now he needed to resign from his job, with good references, he assumed. Then he’d dispose of his belongings, give notice to his landlord, and begin the series of goodbye parties that would undoubtedly ensue. He was on his way.
Three months later, winter had come to Galway. The temperature was near freezing. A slight rain was falling. Bob loved it. Secure in his new lodgings and his stable and enjoyable job. He was happy. “I did it. I moved to Ireland,” he mused. It hadn’t been entirely easy. There had been some difficult periods in the transition and he still had to go through the legalities of long-term residence. But, he was beginning to enjoy a new circle of friends and he’d already had a visit from his lady friend who still lived in Boston. Guinness was better when it was fresh. Bob was home.
The tide rolled out, as tides will inexorably do. Bob sat on a rock in Galway Bay and looked westward, imagining the rocky coast of Maine – and smiled.
© Curt Lovelace, 2015