Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ogham Court Excerpt 1: What has Nora Gotten Into?

Welcome to my current project.  I've spoken about it with you in earlier posts and thought it was time I shared some of it with you.  It is still in first draft stage.  I am also trying first person for the first time.  Nora, Aine and Devlin are minor characters in Dark Dealing. But Nora stared to pester me for more page time.  

So tell me what you think. Does first person work?  Do you get a sense of Nora? Do you want to know more? 

Ogham Court Opening

        “I’m so sorry for your loss, Nora.  I know I will miss her terribly. So gifted, so important to the community.”  Another face to try to remember, another hand to hold.  The line seemed to never end.  People I’d never met and only a few familiar faces moved around the pub, eating, chatting, and drinking.  It was a busy Tuesday night at the Salmon Run Inn on Ogham Court. Aine’s memorial service was good for business. I spotted that man and woman I’d met here six months ago after a real wake.  Thankfully, they’d reintroduced themselves.  Liam, he was from Ireland and Micaela, she was from Boston or New York, I wasn’t sure.  Most everyone stopped to speak to them.  
            Dozens of people had stopped to offer me their condolences and assistance.  I would never recall all the names, but I wouldn’t need to, they were Aunt Aine’s friends.  After tonight, I would be on my way back from this hidden alley in Tribeca to Manayunk and unemployment.
            A face, clean shaven, a gray suit speckled with September raindrops emerged through the crowd.
            “Ms. Brooks, I am sorry to disturb you at this time but I was concerned I would miss you. I’m Michael O’Halloran.  I was your aunt’s attorney. I represent her estate.”
            “What can I do for you?”  From across the room, I could see the bartender and owner, Devlin Shea, eye the lawyer.
            “I was hoping that you could stay for a few more days.  There are certain matters pertaining to Aine’s estate that I need to go over with you.  If you have other pressing obligations, we could speak by phone and arrange a better time to meet.” His voice was cultured and gaze direct behind the gold rimmed glasses. Aunt Aine did not get him out of the Yellow Pages.
            Aunt Aine seemed to have no other relatives, although there had been rumors of a husband once.  Despite being my aunt on my father’s side, she had been kind and generous.  I suppose I could stick around and help clean out her apartment and settle things.  It’s not like I had a job or a life to get back to.
            “Not a problem, Mr. O’Halloran.  My time is yours.”
           
            I lingered until everyone had left except Devlin Shea.  I supposed he wanted to lock up and go home, but the dark shop and apartment that waited across the street was a bleak prospect. My parents hadn’t been able to make it in for the funeral; not even Aine’s death could get them in the same room.  The usual excuses: hard to get away from work- my father’s excuse; money tight- Mom’s excuse.  Like I didn’t get the money thing.  At least they have jobs.
            Devlin came out from behind the bar and pulled up a chair beside me, two glasses and a botlle of whiskey in hand. “A toast to Aine.”
            I had never drunk straight liquor of any kind before I came to New York.  It had been Cosmos and Long Island Ice Teas in fancy bars in old Philadelphia.  So I wasn’t a slacker, but on my last trip Aine and Devlin had insisted I acquaint myself with the uisce beatha. I still couldn’t pronounce the Irish and trust me it sounds nothing like it looks.  As near as I could tell it translated to holy water.  It had grown on me and tonight I could use a wee-bit, strictly for medicinal purposes. I remembered part of old toast one of Uncle Harry’s precinct buddies.
            “I don’t know the whole thing, but I know the it ends – and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”
            “A goal for all of us.  To Aine.”  Devlin clinked his glass against mine.