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Category: Fiction

Donal Mahoney: New Short Fiction

Donal Mahoney: New Short Fiction

Doing Laundry on a Farm in the Fifties   Grandma Gretchen’s in her rocker and she has something to say. She tells a visitor, a young man from the city, if he plans to write a book about life on a farm in the Fifties, he likely has a lot to learn. She knows about that life because she was there. She says he needs to know about the little things as well as the big things if the book…

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The Letter

The Letter

Response to a Letter Recently Received Fiction by Donal Mahoney   Dear Margaret, Your life as explained in your letter recently received is very difficult to read. It’s been 40 years since we last saw each other or talked. Most of your problems I knew nothing about. Bits and pieces I somehow became aware of over the years. One of your brothers or sisters may have mentioned something they had heard at Christmas or on Father’s Day, but they were…

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Donal Mahoney: The Deli on Granville

Donal Mahoney: The Deli on Granville

Patsy Foley Was Roly-Poly in 1947   It may have been the devil himself who prompted the kids in my schoolyard back in 1947 to chant “Patsy Foley’s roly-poly from eating too much ravioli.” At first, no one could remember who started the chant. Patsy, a sweet and ample child, was in the third grade. As happenstance would have it, I was in that same third grade, infamous already as the only boy wearing spectacles in our class. After I…

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Donal Mahoney: Paddy Murphy’s Wake

Donal Mahoney: Paddy Murphy’s Wake

Paddy Murphy’s Wake   The priest had been there earlier and the rosary was said and relatives and friends in single file were offering condolences. “Sorry for your troubles,” one by one they said, bending over Maggie Murphy, the widow silent in her rocker, a foot or so from Paddy, resplendent in his casket, the two of them much closer now than they had ever been. A silent guest of honor, Paddy now had nothing more to say, waked in…

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Charles Tarlton: The New Hire

Charles Tarlton: The New Hire

THE NEW HIRE   This would be Hampton Davie’s third academic job in as many hard years since he’d got his Ph.D. in poetry at Winston. He started out prestigiously enough, teaching the introduction to American poetry and a seminar on Wallace Stevens at Bisby University, but that had not worked out. He’d quickly got another position, a little farther down the rankings, at Rolling Rock, but that, too, had dissolved in his hands. Now, he was at Button College,…

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Donal Mahoney: Behind the Barn With Carol Ann

Donal Mahoney: Behind the Barn With Carol Ann

Behind the Barn with Carol Ann  Back in 1957, kissing Carol Ann behind the barn in the middle of a windswept field of Goldenrod with a sudden deer watching was something special, let me tell you. Back then, bobby sox and big barrettes and ponytails were everywhere. Like many farmers, Carol Ann’s father had a console radio in the living room, and every Saturday night the family would gather ‘round with bowls of ice cream and listen to The Grand Ole Opry….

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Donal Mahoney: It’s Almost Sunday Morning

Donal Mahoney: It’s Almost Sunday Morning

      It’s Almost Sunday Morning          In the summer of 1956, any Saturday at midnight, especially when the moon was out and the stars were bright, you would be able to see Grandma Groth sitting on her front-porch swing waiting for her son, Clarence, a bachelor at 53, to make it home from the Blind Man’s Pub. He would have spent another evening quaffing steins of Heineken’s.          Many times that summer before I went away to college, I’d be strolling…

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Donal Mahoney: Mike Fitzgibbons and His Morning Paper

Donal Mahoney: Mike Fitzgibbons and His Morning Paper

Mike Fitzgibbons and His Morning Paper   For 35 years, Mike Fitzgibbons had never missed a day driving off at 4 a.m. to buy the newspaper at his local convenience store. Snow, sleet, hail or rain couldn’t stop him. There was only one paper being published in St. Louis at the time but Mike was addicted to newspapers. He had spent his early years reading four papers a day in Chicago–two in the morning and two in the evening. He…

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