Amy Gaffney

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Encouraged and encouraging writer, I sometimes get caught up in the philosopical side too much. I like to lose myself in stories, and have done ever since I could read.
The more I lose myself the happier I become.
Although lack of homemade dinners and fresh knickers are a hell of a way to get found again.
I am currently studying English in UCD and nominated for the Dr HH Stewart Literary Scholarship this year.
I have just finished editing a general womens fiction piece which tells the story of Jessie, her inheritance and family secrets; and intend to carry the story on into a second and a third book.
Blood is thicker than water isn’t it?

Writing sample

“This is why I love you.” He turned, then groaned as Mac’s jeep roared up to the door. Mac jumped out as Dan muttered under his breath. “What does he want now?”

“I don’t know Dan, come on. He’s not the worst and he’s given us some great advice.”

“Whatever. It’s as if he’s here every evening these days.” He plastered a smile on his face as Mac strode up to the steps.

“Looking good.” Mac grinned. He turned to Jessie. “Did you give that man a call about the windows?”

Jessie couldn’t help herself. She grinned back at Mac ignoring Dan’s annoyance. “I did and he was so helpful and much cheaper than the other quote we got. Thanks.”

Dan bristled beside her and she sighed. “Look Mac we’re starving. Why don’t you have a look around if that’s why you’re here? We’re heading down to the river to eat our grub. Chat to you later ok?”

“See ya Mac.” Dan didn’t wait. He was gone before Mac replied – his long legs striding over the gravel towards the fields that sloped down to the river.

“What’s wrong with him?” Mac raised an eyebrow.

“I don’t know. Hungry I suppose.” Jessie made to follow Dan. She stopped and looked back at Mac. “Why are you here again Mac? Is it to do with the money? We never decided how much I should pay back each month.”

Mac squinted into the sun. She looked perfect here with the sun at her back, her hair was blonder than ever and her face lightly freckled. She looked just as she had when she was fifteen before she’d discovered what her body could do for her. She was wearing baggy jeans and a loose fitting black t shirt that skimmed her waistband and he could smell her skin.
“Just popping in to see how things are going.” He raised his hand to his eyes.

“Right. Well things are going great.” Jessie watched him for a minute before gesturing the beer in her hand. “Listen Mac I’m going to head down to Dan and get some food ok? Have a look in the house if you like. I’ll see you around.” She turned to go but he called her back.

“Hey Jessie. I’ll come over tomorrow evening when Dan’s at training. We should talk about that payment plan.”

Jessie looked at him and nodded. “Ok, that’s fine. I’ll see you then.” She waved at him as she left. Although it was after eight it was still hot and her t shirt was stuck to her back, and she felt that awful sensation of being watched too intently as she walked away. Glancing back only confirmed what she felt. Mac was standing on the steps of her home, his hands in his pockets, his legs spread and his eyes on her every move. Picking up her pace a bit she held her breath until she’d rounded the hedgerow and was out of sight. Then she ran the rest of the way down to the river’s edge.

“Whoa! What’s the hurry?” Dan looked up.

“I’m starving.” Jessie lied and flopped down on the grass beside him. “What did you get me?” She stuck her head into the paper bag, forgetting Mac as the aroma of salt and vinegar drifted towards her.

Jessie avoided going up to Rathdarragh House the following evening. She didn’t want to see Mac without Dan around. He was beginning to make her feel uncomfortable, watching her and walking around her house as if he lived there. He’d lean in when she spoke and often placed his hand on the small of her back as they walked through the house. It felt too close. She was still waiting to hear from the credit union about a loan, and she didn’t have anything to pay him back with yet. She chose instead to take a bubble bath to ease the knots that were bunched up just under her skin. Dan brought in a glass of wine as she relaxed, kissing the tip of her nose as he placed it beside her.

“Oh thanks! I feel like I’m at a spa now.”

“You couldn’t call this five star.” He flicked bubbles at her.

“Hey!” Jessie giggled. “Stop! No, it’s not five star, but you make anything five star.”

“You love bug!” Dan kissed her again. “I’m off. There’s a meeting after training but I’ll be back in time for the film at nine.”

“I love you Dan.”

“I know!” he blew a kiss. “See ya later.”

Jessie lay back in the old steel enamelled tub, up to her ears in scented bubbles and listened to the sounds of the countryside through the open window. Birdsong trilled and further away the muffled thuds of hooves in Simon’s yard soothed her busy mind. It felt extremely decadent to be in the bath so early in the evening, with the sun streaming in on her. She knew that her mother would have been delighted to see how happy she was, and that she would’ve loved Dan. He had supported her plan to turn her home place into a guest house wholeheartedly, often staying up late to do research and offered insightful suggestions. He was all she needed.

“Who’d have thought that coming home would be the best thing I have ever done?” She closed her eyes against the slowly setting sun and it tinged pink through her eyelids. She sighed and drifted off into semi consciousness. Prickling at the back of her mind was how Dan would react when she told him that she had borrowed the money from Mac. He’d be angry and hurt; something that she wanted to avoid. But it was becoming more difficult to avoid his questions about where the money was coming from. She had lied. It made her feel sick, and it didn’t help that he didn’t trust Mac and told her often. He always maintained that Mac had a thing for her.

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