Tag Archives: Ballybough

I, Aardvark: Aardvarkian Origins

I, AARDVARK.

I came downstairs the following morning and found Allie grinding coffee beans. The sound system was on. Coldplay were singing Violet Hill and the aardvark was doing his best Chris Martin impersonation.

“Your taste in music is…”

“What?” I asked, sensing an urgent need for caffeine. It had become clear to me that Allie was neither a prank nor a figment of my imagination. He was here, in my living room, organising breakfast.

“Depressing.” Allie broke open some eggs into a bowl and began whisking. “We can use some of the cheese for the omelettes. I hope you like them runny.”

“I don’t normally eat breakfast,” I said. “Mornings are hit-and-run for me. I hit the shower, then I run out the door.”

Allie’s snout drooped. “I know. I had to go out and buy some provisions. Just because you skip the most important meal of the day, it doesn’t mean I have to.”

I opened the fridge and took out a bottle of Coke. Allie rolled his eyes. “That’s healthy,” he said.

“You sound like my mother,” I replied.

“I’ll take that as a compliment. Did you sleep all right?”

“Good enough. Once I got over the whole talking aardvark thing, I pretty much conked out.” I thought of something just then. “Did you say you went out?”

“Yes,” Allie replied. He was now stirring the omelette mix in a pan. To my surprise, I found I was getting hungry. “You hadn’t any eggs and you were low in milk. I hope you don’t mind. The receipt is on the table.”

“But how…?”

“How what?”

“If I’m the only one who can hear you, how did the people at the shop know what to give you?”

Allie shook his head. “Jimbo, Jimbo, Jimbo. Ever hear of a shopping list?” He scooped out the omelette, divided it up into two plates, and handed one to me. He took his own plate and sat himself down in an armchair beside my CD and DVD shelves. He sucked his breakfast slowly, appearing to savour every morsel of egg and cheese. “I wrote out what you needed and and picked them up at the Spar.” He giggled to himself. “I caused a bit of a stir, let me tell you.”

Ballybough Community Centre

“I’d say you did. We don’t get many aardvarks in Ballybough.”

“I think it was more your Stetson.”

“You wore my Stetson?”

“Yup. Black goes well with blue.” Did I mention that Allie was blue? I am now. “How was your breakfast?”

I swallowed the last of them. “It was good,” I answered. “I have to get ready for work soon. Then I have to figure out what to do with you.”

“What’s to be done with me?” He gave me a concerned look. “I hate to say this, Jimbo, but you’re stuck with me for the time being.”

“But there has to be some kind of law that says I can’t.”

“I checked on the Internet.”

“And?”

“There isn’t. Unless there’s an antiquated Domestic Aardvark Act that I’ve missed somewhere along the line, you and I are a team.”

I put down my plate. “Well if that’s the case, you better come along with me.”

“To your job?”

“Yes.”

Allie’s front paws and snout rose in exultation. “Yippee! I have a job. What do you want me to do?”

I looked at the coffee pot which had just finished brewing. “You can start by getting me some coffee.”

Allie saluted an aardvark salute, which involved both paws and snout meeting at the centre of his forehead. “Aye, aye boss.”

I sighed — again. “No need to call me boss, Allie.”

“Okay, boss,” he grinned. “Can I wear your Stetson again?”

(C) James McShane

A Portrait of The Artist as a Post-Dystopian 24th Century Vampyre

Don't need no toothbrush!

How’s it going’, horse? I’m not too bad, thanks for bleedin’ askin’. This vampyre shit is the business, init? Not that I thought so at the start, mind you.

There I was, knocking back pints of Bud at Molly’s in Ballybough, minding my own beeswax, when all of a fuckin’ sudden, I’m a vampyre! It turns out that the blood transfusion I got at the Mater (you should have seen the other fella – I hit his face so hard he was eating from a tube for months) wasn’t the “good stuff,” if you know what I mean. No, it was contaminated with some stem-cell virus shite. Now I suck blood and live like a parasite.

Not much change there, so. I did that when I was human, living off my dole and my ma. But now I don’t age; I get to keep my ladykiller looks, as well as my Burberry.

Fuck sake, boys, Dublin hasn’t changed much in 300 years. Fianna Fail are still in power. Just our luck that Brian Cowen got infected at the same time as me. Now no one can turf him off his throne. Still, at least the Boys In Blue finally won the 2312 All-Ireland GAA Football Championship, their first since 19-fucking-95.

Wankers!

I joined Facebook For Vampyres yesterday. I’ve 450,ooo,ooo,ooo friends now; but if I start getting invites for bleedin’ Farmville there’ll be hell to pay.

"Dying Light," by D. Scott Meek. Order it now or face my fist!

The vampyre chicks are a bit of a let-down, though. I’m all for showing off some flesh, but bloody hell, lads, wearing nothing but the smile on your pug-ugly rotten faces is enough to turn me off my shrimp curry. I’ve seen better looking birds at a shooting range.

I still can’t get the hang of Twitter yet. I’ve only two followers: my ma and my best friend, Georgie Sparrow. Georgie is the oldest vampyre in Ireland. We celebrated his 301st birthday last week by getting right and royally hammered in Fairview Park. A right laugh we had.

I better be off; the sun’s coming up and it doesn’t play well with my complexion.

See ya next time, suckers!

(C) James McShane 2010

Scott Meek’s Blog: reading. writing. revolution.

The Book: Dying Light.