Today on the blog I have an excerpt of Rain Falls On Everyone by Clar Ni Chonghaile. Published on the 15th of July, 2017 by Legend Press. I do hope you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by.
Rain Falls On Everyone ~ Sneak Peek
Theo ran. Feet pounding, arms pumping, chest heaving, heart
racing. In this frenzy of motion, the only still thing was his
mind. He had to get away. That was the only goal: to put as
much distance as he could between him and the pebble-dashed
house where a man he knew little, but enough to hate, lay in
a pool of sticky, gold-flecked blood. He had to get away from
Deirdre’s terrified eyes, from her outstretched hands with
the grazed knuckles. He sped through the estate and out onto
the main road, his open anorak flapping behind him like the
clipped wings of a giant crow.
He didn’t stop until he was heading west on a country road.
He had covered miles, at first frantically and then steadily with
his long, loping stride. He stopped, bent, placed his hands on
his knees, and still his brain did not engage. He saw the road,
noted its silvery greyness, looked up to the half-moon and
then over the stone walls, across the fields. He registered the
absence of cars. No surprise there at 2 am on a minor road
leading out of Dublin. To his right, a two-storey house – a
relic from the austere Ireland of the 1950s – loomed like a
sentinel, marking the boundary between the sin-filled city and
the countryside, where legend had it, maidens once danced at
crossroads while boys played hurling without helmets.
He needed transport. It was his first clear thought since the
gun went off. He would never make it on foot. Deirdre might
not set the Gardaí on him right away but it’d surely happen.
He’d done her a favour, no doubt about that, but sometimes
people didn’t want favours. In those first, freeze-framed
moments after the sharp crack that marked the beginning and
the end, no one had moved, no one had said anything. Deirdre
was the first to react.
“Go, go now!” she hissed, grabbing a notebook and writing
furiously. “Go to my father. He will look after you until you
can get out.”
She pushed the paper into his hands. Did her fingers
flinch as they touched his? She had written her father’s
address, just a few lines of scribbled instructions, a list of
villages to pass through, a left and then a right down a lane.
A roadmap to oblivion. Before he left, he tried to read the
moral relativities in her eyes but he found only fear. It hurt
him then and the memory stung now but there would be time
for a reckoning later.
He checked his phone. The battery was nearly dead but
who would he call anyway? He clambered over the nearest
wall, dislodging the top stone in his wake. It clunked dully
onto his toes. He cursed, but in Kinyarwanda. The words had
the force of a Taser, freezing him to the spot. He hadn’t used
his own language in years. The last time was when he was
around sixteen and went to a meeting for African immigrants
in a church near his home in Clontarf. Teenage identity crisis,
he supposed. He never returned. Instead of feeling at one
with the other young men, who sat awkwardly on squeaking
plastic chairs in the echo-filled basement down below the
world, he felt more like an outsider than ever. The social
workers – a pudgy woman in a tracksuit and garish pink
lipstick and a man in the kind of jumper most of the young
black kids wouldn’t be seen dead in – were kind and well-
meaning and utterly clueless about what made the lads around
them tick. It wasn’t their fault. They were offering practical
solutions – language classes, dole forms, counselling services
– when what the young men wanted was someone to wave
a magic wand over their heads to make them the same as
everyone else. All teenagers need to comply with the pitiless
rules that govern their world and they were no different. But
because they were black, and had funny accents, and strange,
sometimes tragic, tales of foreign lands, they would never fit
in. The boys knew it but they didn’t get this far by respecting
the limits of the possible. The social workers, who might well
have had teenagers at home with their own hang-ups about
belonging, didn’t recognise that same desperation in the boys
around them, though it was in every snazzily trainered foot,
every awkwardly mumbled Dublin colloquialism, every too-
Theo, a young Rwandan boy fleeing his country’s genocide, arrives in Dublin, penniless, alone and afraid. Still haunted by a traumatic memory in which his father committed a murderous act of violence, he struggles to find his place in the foreign city.
Plagued by his past, Theo is gradually drawn deeper into the world of Dublin’s feared criminal gangs. But a chance encounter in a restaurant with Deirdre offers him a lifeline.
Theo and Deirdre’s tender friendship is however soon threatened by tragedy. Can they confront their addictions to carve a future out of the catastrophe that engulfs both their lives?
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