Conor Dillon – Beginnings Excerpt 6
We walked back to the house, Shamus striding out confidently and me, dragging my feet behind him. He instructed me to go to the kitchen, where he would attend to my hands. He asked the cook for a bowl of salted water and instructed me to let my hands soak in the bowl for a while.
Once I was satisfied that my hands had ceased throbbing, I lifted them out of the bowl and Shamus dried them carefully, trying his best not to hurt me. I had my meal, took my leave and went to my bed. I cried myself to sleep in frustration for letting myself and my tutor down so.
I awoke the next morning with every bone in my body aching and protesting, If this was progress, I wanted none of it! After we had eaten, Shamus examined my hands and decided there would be no chopping for today. But if I thought I was in for an easy day, I was certainly in for a shock!
We left the house and strolled around the estate until we came to a hill, not the highest around, but quite high for a boy of my age. Shamus gave me my instructions, I was to walk to the top of the hill, then back down to where he stood.
I smiled to myself, thinking in my ignorance that this would be easy, but I soon learned different. Shamus laid down on the grass and said, ‘Right boy, off you go, walk to the top and back to me again’
I started off fine and confident, but by the time I had walked a third of the way up the hill, my ankles were throbbing and my calves aching. But I was determined I wasn’t going to let that hill beat me. I looked up to the top of the hill, and visualised the hill as the giant, The man who had killed my father.
(C) Damian Grange 2018