“I liked the rush, I liked the crunch. Never did look back at the fallout.” Mathias held his sainted Irish mother’s work-worn hands in his, and squeezed them tight enough to stop his own hands from shaking.
“Once I had a taste of it, don’t ya see Ma, it was like the drink. The guns, the power, the knowing I.. Uh, well, I don’t know about this. How to explain it to you I mean. But I couldn’t stop, Ma. Couldn’t say no. And now, well, now I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. I’m in too deep. I’ve done too much. I can’t.. I mean..”
Tears still stinging his eyes, Mathias looked upon the once feathery lines, now cut deep into the soft, pale skin around his mother’s tired eyes. All the worry and strife he had thrust upon since he took up the fight for the cause had taken their toll. He had done this to her, as surely as if he had taken a knife to her himself.
“You’ve not involved yourself in some little snickersnee in the street this time me lad.” His mother licked her thumb and swept away a smudge of dried blood from her youngest son’s cheek as she continued. “You’ve killed a man. There’s no burryin’ your face in me skirt pleats gonna save ya now. You’ve got to run. You’ve got to go. There is no other way.”
A prevailing silence swept in, swallowing them both. The moments that they had left to be together, ticked off in the rain drumming on the roof. The words they could not bring themselves to say, murmured low in the rumblings of thunder- far off and away in the distance.
- Rain drumming on the roof
- I don’t know about this
- Snickersnee (which was a new word for me, meaning a fight involving knives)