by Peadar Ó Guilín
The giant left them to be replaced by a man bearing a pair of earthenware bowls containing a dark, lumpy substance. Marie watched it warily, and Toby knew she was already thinking of leaving. She had expected champagne and chandeliers; a feast of caviar and lobster while famous men took time out from their wives to steal glances at her across the room. Her dreams did not include the absence of a menu, brown lumpy stuff and a waiter who looked like he’d eaten bad chicken the night before. In fact, Toby noticed, while the wine stewards were all fine, strong men, the food waiters who passed through the flickering firelight were frightening to behold. Their faces shone with a veneer of sweat which beaded and ran into the rough spun tunics they wore. They shook as though palsied, and each of them moved as slowly as possible, hurrying only under the glare of the wine stewards. Not one of them looked Irish.
“What is this bleedin’ crap!” hissed Marie.
“Er-Erta,” said the waiter. He looked terrified. “Erta.”
About the Author
Sample some of Peadar’s FROZEN STORIES. Random House published his first novel,THE INFERIOR, in 2007 (2008 in North America). The translation rights have since been sold to ten different markets. A sequel called THE DESERTER will be appearing in the U.S. and Canada in March 2012. He is also the author of numerous short stories, the most recent of which is “Heartless” over at BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES (December 2011), “Fairy Gold”, due out in LORE in March 2012 or “The Dowry” in the next issue (#16) of BLACK GATE.