The Big House

It was a cold January evening as the rain numbed faces stood looking at the orange flickering flames of their toil.  The big house, that once had so dominated their lives, was no more.  The deed was now done, and was never, ever, to be spoken of again…

Wars, by their very nature, are nasty callous and cruel events. With those described as ‘civil’ even more so. The fickle hand of fate, picks out the just and the unjust for its pleasure, at times the almost random nature of this cruelty is aided and abated by equally cruel people.  This story concerns the acts of such people, and the long-legacy such acts can leave.

When your mother goes into a home, all that was her life, all that was your childhood home becomes a single room. Possessions that hold memories are whittled down to those of significance, those of real importance. So, when your mother dies and you clear out the few trinkets that she kept, those few items that remain are those that really mattered to her.

You find an old small shortbread tin that you’ve never seen before, when you open the tin and find a collection of medals and a sepia photograph of a soldier and two young girls. You have to ask yourself who were they; and why were they so important to your mother, and why were they such a secret that she never mentioned them?

This is the tale of such a quest, a tale that visits the still raw wounds of a nasty civil war in Ireland, and of a dirty secret that had been buried and forgotten about since 1922.


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