The Man with the Cloven Feet (Short Story)

“lets go break into the old abandoned house” Laura had suggested.
“Yeah!” aggreed Amanda.
“Guys, that’s tresspassing.” It was always me left to be the mature one. Possibly because I was twenty and they were both sixteen. But hey, they were my best friends.

The house was covered by trees. Fields surrounded for miles. It was an old farmhouse from the 1800s.
I kicked the front door in. Nobody had lived here for decades.
“The original owner of this house went insane and killed his wife” Laura whispered to me.
“Yeah? Probably because of all the dirt”.
Suddenly we heard a crash and turned in an instant.
“God Amandam be careful!” Laura declared.
“Sorry, there’s no light in here and the windows are boarded up!”
“Well then keep up so you can use the light off my phone with us.”

We walked through the small hallway into the first and only room on the right. It was a living room.
The floor was covered in newspaper. There were rosary beads and a picture of Jesus Christ on the mantelpiece.
“Man hangs himself in ‘haunted house.'”
“What?”Laura asked me.
“It’s the headline in a paper. Look, it’s this house!”
“That’s weird.”

We walked through all the rooms. They were similar to the living room. Old, ran down furniture and antiques covered the rooms along with pictures or the Lord Jesus.
“Lets head out” suggested Amanda. “It’s getting boring.”
We turned to leave but as we reached the front door a breeze blew it shut. I tried to open it.
“It won’t open!” I twisted the handle and tried harder. I eventually resorted to kicking which had no success.
“Keep trying!” Urgency sounded in Amanda’s voice.
Suddenly a crash came from behind us, we turned in a hurry to see what it was. Amanda walked over to see.
“It’s a picture of Jesus. Must have fallen off the wall with the wind.”
“Guys, the door won’t budge,” I informed them.
“Go away Colm” whispered Amanda. “It’s not funny.”
“What?” I asked. “I didn’t do anything.”
“You’re poking me.”
“No I’m not!”

“Guys, shush!”
“What’s wrong Laura?”
“I’m not sure Colm, but I thought I heard someone tell us to get out. Someone must be here.”
“Oh crap, let’s get out of here!Door won’t move, lets try get out one of the boarded up windows.”

We went back into the first room on the right.
We turned in a hurry,
“Guys the door just slammed shut!”
Suddenly warmth struck me. Turning I saw there was now a fire in the fireplace.
“Uh, was that always there?” I asked.
“Oh shit, guys I don’t like this at all.” Laura was truly scared.
I tried kicking down the window but it wouldn’t budge.
Suddenly I heard laughter. Deep, manly laughter. We all turned to the door where there stood a shadowy fiqure.
“What are you doing in my home?” The dark, mysterious man asked.
“We, we’re sorry, we thought this place was abandoned” Laura apologised.
“Why no, this has been my home for almost two hundred years. It’s not abandoned.”
The three of us looked at each other and backed up against the furthest wall but the man stepped nearer.
“What do you mean?” I inquired. “You’re two hundred years old?”
The man chuckled a deep, sarcastic laugh.
I looked to his shoes and noticed he wasn’t wearing any. Instead he had cloves for feet.
I nudged Laura and showed her. She screamed but the man just laughed more.
Then, in the blink of an eye the man burst into flames and walked out the door whistling.

The three of us stayed in the room shivering, terrified.
“What just happened?” Laura asked.
The fire had now gone out, or was it ever lighting.
“Did we imagine it?” I asked. There was no proof anywhere of the events that had just occured.
“No way. How could the three of us envision the same thing?”
I couldn’t answer Amandas question, but neither could any of us.
The three of us walked out the door, and there was the front door, left open. The way we left it when we first entered. We looked at each other.
“We don’t speak of this to anyone okay?” I suggested.
“Deal” the two girls responded in unision.
We walked out the front door, back into the warm sun.


A man, once loved in his land,
Betrayed, he had been left alone.
Alone, and lonely he feels,
He needs a drink.

He walks to the tavern,
Takes a seat by the bar.
To his right, just out of earshot,
He sees his old friend. A friend of the woman kind.

To his left, another, this time no friend,
But his old partner in battle. His best friend.
Sitting, socialising with the betrayer.
The man who demolished his social life.

He looks, behind him he can see,
Not one or two or three,
But several of his old friends.
He turns to leave, and never return

Sean’s First Love

It was the weeks leading up to Christmas. The lights were up around the city, there was snow starting to fall. Ireland really was beautiful around Christmas.
Sean decided to go out around the city with his friends. He met them there and noticed a girl he had never seen before. She was five foot two inches tall he guessed. Five inches smaller than him. Beautiful, tanned skin. Sean knew she couldn’t be Irish.
This girl was talking to one of Sean’s friends. It turns out Sean’s friend was also her friend. Sean approached his friend and got talking. The three of them laughed and talked, and spoke about Santa and Christmas, and presents. The girl announced she had to leave. Sean offered to walk her home so she graciously accepted.
The two of them walked back to hers. She stopped as they passed through a narrow walk way to sit down for a moment on the cold, icy, snowy ground under the street light by some buildings which were made of stone. Sean set close to her.
Sean noticed her shiver and gave her his jacket.
“Thank you” she smiled at him. “Are you not cold?”
“Nah” replied Sean. “I’ve a few layers under this hoodie.”
They sat for what seemed like only a few minutes to Sean, but it turned out they had been sitting, talking for over an hour. The girl announced they were outside of her house already, but she was enjoying the company so she did not want to part ways just yet.
She hugged Sean, kissed him on the cheek, and thanked him for walking her home. Sean couldn’t stop thinking about this girl, and when he got back to meet his friends he asked the one who was with her how he knew her.
“We’re really good friends and I really like her. I’m thinking about asking her out” the friend replied.
“Oh.” Sean was disappointed, but tried to hide it. “Well you should ask her out” he smiled”
“Thanks man” the friend responds.
The following day Sean ran into the girl in the city again, told him his friend had asked her out. When Sean asked her about her response she said she couldn’t bring herself to say yes.
“That’s a pity” Sean states. “He really liked you.”
“I know. And he’s so lovely. I really like him. But no more than just a friend. I wish I did, because he is so nice, it’s just I don’t find him attractive as a boyfriend at all.”
“I understand.”
Later in the day Sean got the girls number and after they departed ways they stayed up all night talking to each other on the phone. A short while later Sean asked her to be his girlfriend. She said yes. Sean had never been so happy. After all the hard times in his life, it all seemed worth it. Sean knew he was hopelessly in love with her.
Christmas came and went and it was the best Christmas Sean could ever remember, and he knew it was because of this girl. He could not believe his luck.
Suddenly they got into an argument. Something petty which just blew way out of hand. It lasted for three of the longest days of Seans life before he apologised. She accepted his apology. All seemed okay between them. Sean met her the next day and brought her out to a restaraunt for lunch. It was the first proper date he had ever been on. But then she was also his first love. Sean apologised again for upsetting her and what he said but she told him not to worry. They hugged, they kissed and they made up. Everything was fine.
New year eve came. Sean was in his friends house spending the night while his girlfriend was out with her friends. Sean was playing computer games. He was with his best friend and the friend who introduced him to his girlfriend. Sean was texting her throughout the night. He could tell she was drinking by how she was texting. Sean didn’t mind, she was able to look after herself. Sean got a text but never replied for about half an hour as he didn’t notice it. He was laughing with his two friends. They were now watching comical videos on YouTube, having a good time. Suddenly Sean felt his phone vibrate and realised he hadn’t replied.
Sean’s eyes started to tear as he read through the four pages of the text message. His friends consoled him. In the text she apologised for any pain she may cause and for ddoing it over text. Sean didn’t reply. He just stared blankly at the phone. His friends tried to console him but no words could fix what he was going through. Sean hoped, pleaded and begged God that she didn’t mean it. He prayed that she only said it because she was drunk.
The following morning Sean text her and asked her if she meant it. She said she did. And that was the end of it.
Three years later and they still have not spoke.