Treading the Uneven Road: Stories By L.M. Brown #Extract

51o1sIzHXkL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgPublisher: Fomite
ISBN13: 9781944388805
Genre: Short Stories
Release date: 15 03 2019
Price*: Kindle £N/A (GBP)/  Paperback £11.79 (GBP)
Kindle $N/A (USD)/ Paperback $10.50 (USD)
Pages: ~ 208
You can get this book here:
Amazon UK
Book Depository

Description of the book: The stories in this collection are set 1980’s and 90’s Ireland. A by-pass around a small village has rid the residents of their once busy traffic. They feel forgotten by the world. The need to reach out and be heard is explored in every story, from the young woman who starts to have phone conversations with her husband’s gay lover, to the dyslexic man who confronts his cruel teacher years later and the woman whose dreams are shattered because of a married lover. Treading the Uneven Road introduces us to a society that is unravelling and we cannot help feel for Brown’s characters who need to make a choice on how to carry on.

Extract: Blackbirds

It’s not like I spent years thinking about Hagan. I didn’t give her damn about her when I lived in Dublin and I don’t remember thinking of her when I was in secondary school. I dropped out at fourteen anyway. It was always crap and I was hardly ever there, but I waited around a couple of years for Joe to finish. He was the smart one. He was funny too and always made a joke of everything. Joe wanted to be a musician. I just wanted to get away, but after five years in Dublin, Joe was dead and I was home living close to Hagan. She was my first teacher. When I started school, there were hardly any kids in the village so there were only two teachers. She had the younger kids, from 5-8. We were all in the same classroom. It’s changed since then. There are more houses going up, but back in the day Hagan never had more than fifteen kids in the room. She was constantly moving around the classroom giving exercises and orders. Joe said she made him dizzy. He tried to make me laugh but I never found anything funny about Hagan. She took a disliking to me straight away. One of the first days in school, she pointed at letters on the board and asked me what they were. I refused to answer. I kept my mouth fastened and every time she prodded me, I shook my head harder. I was nine when the other teacher Richmond said I had dyslexia. At that stage I couldn’t give a fuck. Hagan had decided I was a trouble maker years before. I’d spent hours in the corner of her class room. My legs would seize up from standing so long. I never said anything to Ma. Ma didn’t talk much anyway. As for Da, he was a long haul truck driver, he probably still is. I don’t fucking know. He stopped coming home when I was 7. But I don’t really want to talk about school or my parents. I just want you to see the type of person Hagan was. So you can understand everything that happened.

After Joe’s funeral, Ma’s friend, Faith Wheeler, came to the house to ask me to wash dishes for her. Faith wasn’t so bad. She was small with dark hair and lively eyes. Everyone else had a dull disinterested gaze. My last boss in Dublin was like that. He was a mechanic and I was his apprentice. He used to tell me things and all I could see were his dead eyes peeking out from the dirty face. Half the time I wouldn’t listen and his voice would rise as if that would make a difference. After I got the sack, he refused to pay me for the week he owed. He told me to get lost, so I did. But down the road, I started to think that it wasn’t right that he was keeping my money. I went back. The garage was empty and I spotted the tool box lying off to the side. I went for it without thinking that the boss was in the jacks and would be done before I could get away. He pressed charges. Joe was on his way to the police station when the accident happened. I don’t really like to think about that, or how strange he looked at the wake. I stood at the coffin for a long time, and he was nothing like the Joe I knew. I told myself he wasn’t there and I might have believed that if it weren’t for all the crying and sniffling. People were coming up beside me blowing their nose and saying it was so sad, and I couldn’t look at their faces. I wanted to disappear into the coffin with Joe. I wanted to be invisible. His mother kept coming in and out of the room. She’d sit for a while and then start bawling. She’d always made me nervous. She had a way of looking at you as if she could see deep inside and she didn’t like what she saw. I was too preoccupied with Joe to worry when she came beside me.

Photo for book Cover #1.jpgAbout the author: L.M Brown grew up in Ireland, but resides in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters.  She is the author of the novel Debris. Her short story collection Treading The Uneven Road will be released March 15th. Her stories have appeared in over a dozen magazines, such as Electica, Litro, Review Americana, Eunoia Review, Fiction Southeast and more. She has a master’s in creative writing from Emerson College.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LornaBrownAuthor/


*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.

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