Dennis McFadden’s Working Man’s Quarters ~ Another View From the Keyboard

As promised, here is the writing space of Dennis McFadden, author of the very fine short story collection Hart’s Grove, and participant in this blog’s “Why The Short Story?” A Conversation Among Writers. You’ll find here, too, an excerpt from another of his wonderful stories.

Dennis: This is where I do most of my writing and watch the sun come up. It’s located upstairs over the kitchen in our old (1857) farmhouse in what was at one time the “working man’s quarters.” Appropriately enough. My muse, disguised here as a cat, is getting old too, and needs her heat lamp now. She lets me know if I neglect to turn it on for her. From the window she watches the birds and rabbits, and fondly recalls the good old days.

Excerpt from “The Three-Sided Penny” (The Missouri Review, vol. 30, no. 4):

In the end they blamed the travellers and closed the book. Old Foley gave in to despair. Friendless before, he was now all but shunned, seen as possessing enough bad luck to rub off on anyone misfortunate enough to give him the time of day. Only Lafferty stood him a pint or two when he could afford it, the Murphy’s not the Guinness. One night Foley shows up dressed to the nines, in his tweed jacket, threadbare but clean, and a fine woolen tie. His best trousers held up by his rope. When asked the occasion he smiled and stood a round. Says he, “I’m after closing a deal,” and he’d say no more on it, despite all the prompting and cajoling, the speculating rampant that he’d found his three-sided penny, in a different pocket from where he’d thought he’d stashed it, the old fool, or hidden elsewhere where he’d forgot in his state that night, or that indeed he’d discovered another. But wasn’t he found next day in his shanty, beside his own donkey Isadora, Cromwell the killer bull suspiciously frisky in the field beyond. He was hanging from the rafter by his rope, Foley was, his trousers dangling loose about his feet.

Dennis, thanks again! And a reminder to our writer-readers, we are eager to see your space, too, and to read your writing. Guidelines for submissions are at the right. -PMc←

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