wartime violence

Check out part one for the whole story from the beginning if you like. As always, comments and ratings are more than welcome!

Part Two: Great Love, Great Loss, and the Great War

Years wore on since that night on the eve of November, and my visits to the Connollys became less frequent. My bones couldn’t take the mile walk over the rolling road more than once a week. Humphry, or Fry as we’d call him, came more frequently to help me round up my poor few cattle for count and care with my old friend Shep.

Fry was still a quiet boy, now of twenty, and very respectable. Still I sent my regards home with him to his family whenever I could and I still I walked down the road every so often to visit. But the best times were when Aideen came down the road to visit me on her way to the village. She was sixteen and had been out of school for years. Her unexpected visits were always my favorite part of the day. Sometimes she would make tea while Fry and I tended the farm, and sometimes she would stay long after Fry had left and we’d had our tea. The best of all was when she would come, have tea, and stop over to me again on her return from the village. She brought the bread and maybe some treat from a shop or a neighbor, and would stay until the small hours talking with me, eating stewed rhubarb and sugar. We traded stories– I only had a few, but she had new ones all the time. Sometimes she would cut my grey hair by the light of the fire and the kerosene lamp and shave me. Sometimes we would play a game of hearts or thirty-one.

But the people were talking. I knew it to be true from the teasing I’d get when I saw her father, or when I talked to the people down the road. I never saw nor read a glimpse of shame on Aideen’s face, but I knew. The hills of Bonnakeen were talking. They were talking over tea and whisky and beer about all the time that the Connolly girl, the child Aideen, was spending with the old bachelor Denny Doyle.

“Bless her heart, that Aideen Connolly, helping the poor old Doyle brother in his old age,” says one.

“Aideen is the absolute life of Denny, without her he’d be gone yesterday,” says another.

“Would you believe the sinful conduct between them? She, only sixteen, and he a man of eighty-two?” says a third.

But they were all wrong, for there was no sinful conduct at all between us, and neither was it charity that brought her to me during the night. It was a true and beautiful friendship that kept us together so much and so often. Later that year, the voices faded as the violence in the Irish countrymen’s blood boiled up and over and became the War of Independence.

The Easter Rising swallowed all rumor. Hushed voices spoke of land and law and loss. The belief in omen and fate faded away. Violence accented the sudden, the unexpected, and the unforeseen possibilities in life. Catholicism became, more than ever, the national supernatural. The opportunity to shape the future was on the people’s minds. There was a Great War happening in Europe, but the war that came home to Ireland was all ours.

Fry fought for the Republicans, Owen farmed like his father and stashed an arsenal, and Úna ran messages for the boys in green. I will always believe that Eoin and Cait must have had some kind of prescience to give Owen the English version of his father’s name, because eventually everyone would have to take an anglicized name in the face of the half-crazed Black and Tan squadrons. Aideen never joined the cause.

For me, it was not an option. I lived through the famine, I’ve seen the destruction of lives, and I was too late in years to share in the victory of the young rebels. Aideen and I were so close that our company kept us safe, for the most part, from the tragedy. Her closeness to me tacitly pushed her away from her family and her country. We were only us on a farm, on a road in Bonnakeen.


One December day in 1918, she came to me at an odd hour in the day.

“They captured young Owen,” sobbed Aideen through the door, “they’ll make him tell… or they’ll kill him… and none of us Connollys is safe anymore. And you neither Denny, ye poor man.” And she sobbed onto my shoulder.

“Well what do you mean Aideen? I never wanted to be involved in this war, and I have nothing here to hide, save for knowing you.”

“Ye don’t know me well enough Denny.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I told Owen. I told him not to hide the arms on our farm anymore.”

“So they’ll find nothing then.”

“No!” sobbed she. “We hid them in the gullets here, on your land. The word is out Denny. Don’t think that people have forgotten about us. Worse that we are friends and nothing more. Yer to be the target from the first word out of Owen.”

My sorry situation was clear. I had been dragged into this conflict, living in this republican stronghold of Bonnakeen in the south, but I could still get out of it. Aideen and I spent all day looking for the tarps full of arms in the countless gullets on my old farm. We checked thirty gullets on forty acres. We trudged through the bog, the rusted thorny wire, the Queen’s woods, the frozen streams, the overgrown lane on this dilapidated land that would make 1,000 countrymen cringe. We found the three bags, containing six rifles and five revolvers all in all. As we returned to the house, Aideen reached into the window of my crumbling chicken coop across the road and took out two boxes of bullets.

“These I hid myself,” Admitted Aideen, and well of her to remember.

We walked together one mile up the road, and left them square in the middle. If the Black and Tans came to shake my house down, they’d find nothing. Whoever found the arms first, British or the Irish, could keep them.

I was a reinvigorated man when Aideen and I walked my farm and dug out the awful guns, but when we got back to the house, we were both dirty and exhausted. We boiled some water that Fry had saved for me in the pantry and drew a small bath.

First Aideen bathed in the pantry alone and then she drew a new bath for me, bringing the tub into the warm kitchen and drawing the drapes. She undressed me and washed my body. She washed away the dirt of the day and a week. She looked on my body for the first time with kind eyes, and I know it was not just my imaginings that I saw want in her eyes too. She heated more water in the black kettle that hung on the crane by old sooty hooks. She lugged the heavy thing over to me, dirty rags insulating her soft white hands and poured it in the tub so I felt the warm current convect through the cool water and surround me. She dried and dressed me and then the knock came.

Three Black and Tan soldiers came through the door as soon as Aideen turned the knob.

“What the fuck are you doing here past curfew you stupid Irish cunt?” barked the man in charge. Pushing her against the pantry door, he repeated.

“Can’t a good caretaker give her neighbor a bath?”

“Not at this hour. You know the law better than anyone you Connolly scum!” The other two soldiers had their guns trained on us while the boss ran the show. He turned to his henchman and grabbed his rifle. “Besides, that’s not what the villagers say. We hear everything,” said he, dropping the barrel of the gun to lift Aideen’s gown, aiming it at her feminine mound and pressing it into her pubic bone. Aideen muffled a painful grunt with her lips. He scrunched down her panties in front and nuzzled the tip of the barrel between her labia. She shuddered at the icy coldness that stuck to her flesh. As he pulled her up to her toes she felt the aiming spoke press into her hole.

Seeing the pained look on my face, the child Aideen flashing away before my eyes, one of the henchmen pushed me under the chimney between the seat and the fire.

“Look away, you old bastard. Pledge the Queen.” I crouched in the corner looking at the wall, declaring my allegiance to the Queen. I heard a few more grunts, a punch to the stomach and I started saying Hail Marys under my breath. I would’ve been killed if my man was paying attention, but his neck was craned way around to watch his superior at work, getting his on the job training. He thought I was pledging his Holy Mother the Queen, not my own.

Before the bastards could get her knickers off, a Captain in his uniform arrived. He burst through the door and started at the scene for a brief second before collecting his wits. “They found the arms down the road boys. We need them before the mics get them. Now, twits. Move.” Aideen’s man dropped his rifle and pulled his gob from her breasts. The three men quickly filed out in the same order they arrived, and the Captain followed slowly, taking off his cap to us to apologize as he left the scene.

Aideen walked to me on weak legs and I sat on the seat. We cradled each other.

“Ye poor girl.”

She shuddered, “I didn’t think when you saw me the first time it would be like this Denny. We’ve paid so dearly for this war.”

“It was the best we could do, my girl.” Then I bathed her to wash the filthy feeling out of her.

We sat quietly by the fire as the real dark of five o’clock in winter set in. She sat on my lap for the first time since she was a tike. She turned and kissed my neck, and I kissed her head. Kissed my chest, then she got down on her knees, sitting on her feet, and unbuttoned my pants, pulled them down and took my soft cock into her mouth as it laid over my testes. Today was not like any other that I’ve known in this life, thought I. I must be in some other place. But she continued, she took my trousers all the way down and off, then undressed herself completely. I saw her young body for the third time this day. She stayed on her knees and avoided my gaze. Licking and suckling so gently with her moist mouth and her ruby lips. Her face was soft and swollen from the tears of the day. With the blaze of the fire at her back, all I saw was her dark outline. The joy and astonishment in my heart fogged my eyes, just like they had been fogged so many times before in the presence of this girl.

I felt it grow. I felt my cock grow in her mouth, slowly. She suckled so softly, letting the pleasure mount and last. She savored every drop of wet love that we shared, never swallowing a drop of saliva. My cock was bathing and floating in a vessel of saliva sealed by the dark and fiery lips of Aideen. Every now and then she’d let a stream of viscous drool spill out of her mouth, down my testes and onto the floor where she knelt. Aideen moved her tongue about my cock in circles until I eventually grew so that my head emerged from its skin. Once she felt it emerge she gazed up at me and the fire in her eyes was all I could see of her, the fire and a ghostly shadow. She let all of the saliva out of her mouth as she rubbed her lips on my cock, slid her teeth on the head, and more than anything else she did, she rubbed me with her red tongue. The tingling top, the wet bottom, her tongue rubbed me in ways I had never felt, soft circles and firm strokes. I felt rejuvenation, and those eyes watched me like an angel of fire’s. She bobbed up and down, up and down on me, never looking away, never blinking. I saw her eyes transform to an orange from their usual emerald, and my grey eyes turned with hers as they reflected her gaze back. Sucking me and filling her mouth with my length and girth. She dropped her head down, slowly. I thought my cock had reached as far as it could, then a thin squeezing membrane and my head popped through and down her throat with a small noise.

Her throat was soft and wet. It released me, and then swallowed me again. Each time I heard the workings of her beautiful mouth and throat, and her eyes burned in to mine. She hummed and moaned softly. She sucked on the whole cock and then just the head. I could feel myself contorting and stretching, compressing and expanding, growing harder and bigger still. I took hold of her copper strands of hair and she took my wrists, pinning them to my sides, burying her face in me, opening her throat to me and shaking her head vigorously. The sweet sparks of pleasure made me jolt and her eyes never left me. Even when I looked away I could feel them. Aideen crouched lower and went down again, hard, lashing her tongue in all directions. As her knees spread, her engorged labia touched the cool floor, wet with her own saliva, and as she came up off the floor, a trail of thin drool and sweet womanly nectar mixed and trailed to the ground.

Now she bobbed, coming completely off of me and slurping back down, all the way to her throat. Over and over again. My cock turned completely rigid and stood taller than ever before in my life. She swallowed the whole length and girth of it. As she pushed her throat’s sphincter against my head and pulled back she made the gurgling noises of a hungry sow, but she showed no shame or embarrassment. Tears boiled out of her burning eyes, which seemed to blaze more yellow than the orange glow of moments before, they rolled down my thighs and mixed with the potion on the floor. I got harder still and her efforts doubled to get the whole shaft down inside of her. I started to buck against her uncontrollably, feeling her teeth press against my scrotum and pubis. As she felt me on the verge of coming she buried her face into me one last time, gripped my throbbing testicles and licked my sac. I cried out for Jesus and Mary and Joseph to save us and Aideen wriggled her face around, nuzzling her nose from side to side into me. I came a stream that lasted through many strokes of the pendulum of the kitchen clock. She grunted and squealed with possessed passion and delight. I poured my cream down her throat and into her belly. She needed not swallow for her throat lay relaxed and open, and my cock was past any resistance as I poured down. Then she backed off and plunged down on me again, pulling from me an equal orgasm to the last, making my back ache. Further spurts ran down her throat and at last I was spent.

“I love you Denny.”

“And I love you Aideen.”

She got limberly up from the ground and sat on my lap again. Her back was scorching from the fire. I felt her heat through my clothes on my chest, and her hot arse in my lap.

“My, Aideen, you must be the talk of the village. Is that what you and the boys get up to after the dances?” inquired I.

“Oh God no Denny. I’ve never done a thing like that before.”

“Sure then how could you know to do a thing like that?”

“I love you Denny. I have loved you for years. I was driven mad by the passion. I wanted you to feel young. I wanted us to discover ourselves together.”

“You aren’t telling me that yer still…”

She nodded and tears formed again in her eyes. She guided my hand down to her femininity and pushed my middle finger in just a little. There I felt her virginity. “As Holy Mother Mary, Denny.” spoke she, softly in my ear.

I was beside myself. My mind mulled on these things as she returned my hand to her stomach.


“…yes, Denny?”

“You are from a small family.”

“We are only four– I hope we are four siblings still, Denny.”

“Poor young Owen… but I had a thing in my head about your family…”

“What’s that?”

“How could yer ma and pa have only the four children, and them married so young and for so long? Was it that they were doing the thing we just did now?”

“Yes, that’s the case. That and more. They did commit sodomy to keep a small family, but also… they went to see Fifka.”

“Fifka? The gypsy? I haven’t heard about her since my youth. She used to be ’round these woods all the time! She even had a hut just outside the village, chrissake.”

“She travels. She’s never too far from Bonnakeen parish.”

“And you know her well, do you.”

“Well, I remember once going to her with my ma’ and pa’ when she was by the village. I was supposed to keep watch and make sure no one else saw them coming or going.”

“I should say. Yer family have built a great reputation.”

“After my parents were done Fifka came out with them, and ma and pa went down the road for their messages, and I went with Fifka behind the hut to play with her cats. There was Whitey, Blacky, and a checkered one named Daragh.”

“I should say those weren’t their real names,” I chuckled.

“I don’t know, Denny.”


“So she told me about the reality of all the superstitions us Irish have. She said the superstitions of the gypsies are very strong, but as travelers, they don’t have the same knowledge of the plants and earth as a people connected with their land have, like the Irish. That was when I was seven, after the birth of Úna. Since then I’ve gone back to her whenever she’s around. I have come to naturally know as much Irish medicine, spells, rituals, and omens as anyone, because I have the mind to remember them. And Fifka, she has knowledge of many European magics. I help her find the things she needs in the countryside.”

“Have you ever had Fifka do anything for you Aideen? Pesonally?” Inquired I.

“No, no. I take care of myself.”

This Fifka business was news to me, and the rusty wheels started to turn in my old head. But I could see that this babe of the earth had been affected by Fifka, whether she knew it or not. Aideen’s fire was not only born by her love for me, but by something Fifka had done. At least, I thought. You cannot spend so much time with a magic gypsy or befriend one without something rubbing off onto you.

“So what did Fifka do for your ma and pa?”

“I don’t know. It could have been spells. It could have been prayers. It could have been herbs. It could have been all three, but Eoin is very virile and Cathleen is still fruitful, and they haven’t had a babe since Úna.”

“Eoin and Cait, they always were so happy with each other. Perhaps love is not a bond between two, but three or more. Maybe the matchmakers and gypsies and priests are all that keeps a pair together” pondered I. But I was the old man, too late in life to truly behold its great lessons.

“Sure I don’t know, Denny.” assured Aideen. “Christians have God as their third person, the Celts had Achtland and Adammair, Eve didn’t find temptation on her own… but Denny, I love you from my own heart, and the bond between us is pure, it’s like we don’t need another thing in our blessed lives but each other, and nothing but ourselves has brought us together.”

“And what about Fate? What about the game on Halloween, the hair in the fire, the bleeding-heart war that kept you here tonight?”

“Denny, I know all I can about magic and Fate, omens and serendipity, but the only thing I truly understand is my love for you, and it’s pure, and simple, and it would not be so if there were other forces at work. The forces would have us torn from each other, the neighbors’ gossip, the violence, the odds, the luck of the fecking Irish would keep us apart. But we are here together and we are the only ones who know that this is no abomination. It is the two of us loving each other.”

“I always loved ye’ my dear Aideen.” And I began to cry.


The years went on again, and Aideen and I never left that intoxicating embrace. It was a moment of awakening, and we didn’t want to ever lose that feeling that we brought each other again. Fry stopped coming to help; the wild reclaimed the farm. We had only a cow and a garden. Aideen’s soft hands pulled more milk out of Maggie than anyone else’s could. Her earthen hands always pulled the biggest carrots, turnips, parsnips, and spuds. I could still chop the wood for the fire that burned all night, and all day in the winter. I had dug turf from the waste across the road when I was a young man, so we had a shed full of the dead land’s fuel.

We lived modestly and happily with ourselves, but there was never anymore sight of us. I ceased visiting the other four Connollys as did Aideen. Aideen made ghostly appearances in the village and spoke only to the postman or the constable, never to a friend or a neighbor. She kept her cloak hooded and close, especially when she went to Fifka.

July 2018
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