These are some of the short stories written by my father, Richard MacDonnell over a period of several years. He died of Progressive Supranucleur Palsy in May (PSP) in May 2013. Not much is known about PSP at the moment.
Here is one of his short stories:
Man on our hill
I was walking one day on the hill behind our house, when I met a stranger.
There was something about him I couldn’t quite place. He was a stranger and yet I seemed to know him.
He greeted me, as country people do.
The stranger said to me, ‘Isn’t it wonderful to see signs of Spring is bursting out round you?’And I said, ‘Spring, what Spring? It is still mid-winter. I don’t see any signs of Spring. The buds on the trees don’t give clues that they are about to burst out. There is no blossom. There is no sign yet that winter has lost its grip.’
The stranger ignored me and went on. ‘Oh yes, Spring is certainly on its way. The signs are all around you, if you only have the eyes to see. Look at the violets under those leaves. Don’t you love that purple. I think there is magic there. First come the purple and then the blue and finally the white. It happens every year like that.’
Then I looked into the stranger’s eyes and this is what I saw. I saw that this old man had been around since the beginning of time itself.
The man gave me a conspiratorial wink as if he and I were old friends. And then he faded, till he had completely gone from my sight.
I was left alone with the greening buds of another Spring. With the pinks and the whites of the blossoms and the all the signs of the year on the change again.
I never did meet that man again.
All I have is the purple and the blue and the white violets to remind me of the stranger I once met on our hill.