Fishmonger

Fishmonger

Photo by Garuna bor-bor (copied from Flickr)
Photo by Garuna bor-bor (copied from Flickr)

The paper seller cries, “Herald, or Press! Challenger explodes! Lost in space!” as I pedal down Winetavern Street; the wet grey slates on the buildings mirroring the plump clouds that drop rain on the city. An old woman pushes an ancient shopping trolley along, her knee clamped in a large brace, the tartan material of her cart saturated. From a gutter, spattered drops cascade over the two smiling faces of children behind a window. The city shushes, sluices, church bells ring muffled on humid air. The old crone goes in the door of the fishmonger’s, plaid trolley rattling up the two steps behind her. Plaice. Flounder. Skate. Trout. Seventy-five pence a pound, flat-eyed in pools of murky water. A Harp bottle cap wedges between two cracks in the pavement and a house sparrow tik-tik-tiks the metal with its stubby beak. My pant legs are clipped by metal, the threads of another pair of jeans flitted in the links of the chain. I wipe my nose on the silvered sleeve of my jacket and count the floating flies in the window. The old woman slips a paper-wrapped package into her bag and zips the top shut. As she exits, a fly pitches into the fishy sea, wings a-buzz, fast, then slow, its life slipping beneath the waves

James Claffey

About James Claffey

Writer, James Claffey hails from County Westmeath, Ireland, and lives on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, CA. He is fiction editor at Literary Orphans, and the author of the short fiction collection, Blood a Cold Blue. His work appears in the W.W. Norton Anthology, Flash Fiction International, and is forthcoming in Queensferry Press's anthology, Best Small Fictions of 2015.

Writer, James Claffey hails from County Westmeath, Ireland, and lives on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, CA. He is fiction editor at Literary Orphans, and the author of the short fiction collection, Blood a Cold Blue. His work appears in the W.W. Norton Anthology, Flash Fiction International, and is forthcoming in Queensferry Press's anthology, Best Small Fictions of 2015.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *