256 Words

Rat Deliverer

Thomas Sennett

Among his relatives in County Wexford it was well-known that Francis Xavier McDermott was a lucky man. He had won a green card lottery in 1987 enabling him to emigrate to America.

"I'm in medical supply," was what Francis told them. He supplied biologic specimens to medical schools and research facilities in the New York Area. He delivered rats and mice in large cartons. He drove a white truck and made his deliveries at night from midnight to six.

Being a rat deliverer was a good job. Paid far more than he would have made back home. But his thoughts were often of Ireland. He thought of his brother and his wife and their three kids; he had their picture on his huge American fridge. When he fell asleep after his last delivery, usually around 8:00 AM, he often dreamt of a red-haired girl from home who worked at the fish shop, and whose breasts---evident even under a smock---were heavy and hard and thoroughly Hibernian.

He sent money back home at Christmas, and in return they never forgot to toast him. And Francis very often drank to his old friends---at least until his liver faded and he was forced to quit drinking. Once a year he would get a portrait taken at Walmart in a new business suit to send back home.

Everyone said Francis was happy in America. Francis was quick to agree. He was a proud man and found it hard to admit a mistake. "America is great," Francis would say.

Copyright ©1997 Richard B. Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

Please contact the editor for free text versions of this very short story formatted for e-mail, usenet news, or ftp.

Story Bytes


August, 1997
Issue #16

256 Words