Friday, January 16, 2009

Featured Writer: Alan Kelly

You have to Dig Deep to Bury your Daddy

Walking past reception was always such a task for Mary. The group of heifers from admin, who engaged in regular routines of pampering, pruning, pigging-out and petulance, would all be gathered around discussing their weekend and would invariably attempt to engage her. Mary looked at the floor and walked by quickly . She had never been the kind of woman easily tempted by novelty and catharsis.

With her neck still red from the noose’s kiss, Winnie Ferns, a gangly, flat-faced, dreamy nut of a woman, shouted Mary’s name.

“What is it, Winnie?” Mary asked in a quavering, fragile voice.

Winnie dangled a large envelope at Mary like a fisherman teasing a fish. “A note was left at reception for you.”

Mary gingerly pinched the edge of the offering with her thumb and index finger as if it might bite her. “Thank you.”

Later, Mary sat on a park bench and looked at the envelope. Enclosed within were two curious items. The first was a photo of two children, emaciated and lying face-down with their blond hair matted with dirt. The second was a press-cutting which was about the apparent murder of a teenage boy found in Phoenix Park.

Then Mary noticed a third item: something folded up in a piece of white parchment. She opened it and discovered a Union key with a ragged blue tag containing the letter C and the number 165. A message written on the parchment:
“Failure to adhere to this custom could result in serious consequences”

Mary furiously crammed the items into her bag. There had obviously been further developments in the death department. Mary saw that the rain had started.

Alan Kelly has contributed to 3:AM, Pretty Scary, Penny Blood, Film Ireland, Butcherqueers, Bookslut, GCN and The Laura Hird Showcase. His fiction has appeared in Dogmatika, Beat the Dust, Gold Dust, Sein Und Werden, Six Sentences, Parasitic, The Beat and Shoots and Vines. He works as a film and arts journalist and resides in Ireland.

Call for Submissions

Shoots and Vines is looking for more work for the online zine. Send poetry, flash fiction, prose, vignettes to

If you have been published here, submit again. The purpose of this zine has always been to give readers a place to read work by their favorite writers and new writers.

I am also looking for more photography and artwork.

Shoots and Vines Print is off to the copier this weekend. In February, I will begin working on April's issue: poetry, prose, micro flash, art, and photographs are needed. Send subs to the above mentioned email, but please put print zine in the subject.