Flash Fiction

My first flash fiction piece is here…

Irish Times Review

Great review in today’s Irish Times: A murderous vicious streak emerges when a group of older women go on holiday; a man buries the infant girl he could never have claimed as his own child; a student discovers an unlikely connection with a hard-nosed teacher; a member of the Orange Order exiled in Ecuador maintains a Catholic priest’s lifesaving transport system. There are gasp-out-loud moments in each of these perfectly composed stories, some of which are inhabited by characters seething with hatred, others of which uncover unexpected moments of kindness which emerge in the most unlikely circumstances. Malone is a powerful storyteller; assured, compassionate, clear-eyed in his observation. Humanity runs through this collection like a ley line and the dark machinations that bubble beneath the surface of many of the stories are perfectly balanced by the ribbon of quiet love that winds its way through others. It is a true pleasure to read such an accomplished collection.

Extract From the Cill Rialaig Diary, Oct 2016

In Denny Summer’s artist’s studio the other day, I was sitting with a mug of coffee and thinking to light the stove. The wind was on the cry a little and a good fire from the turves I’d bought from Joe Moran would smother the din a little. A crying wind can make you feel sorrowful. I could almost taste the sorrows and tears of the souls; it came like a dab of salt to a raw tongue.

My writing for the day was done and a sip of the good stuff in the coffee was after putting a grand eye to matters. As I moved from the armchair to fetch the starter log, a sudden movement caught my eye on top of the outer wall of the conservatory. The head of a cat, maybe? I waited for more than the head to appear, wondering if I had put too much of the right stuff in the mug – the mug embossed on its side to tell me what it was – I presumed otherwise I would not know.

Not a cat.

A fox.



Perhaps a year old. Or into her second, but not by much.

Beautiful russet coat, matching a crop of rusted ferns curtaining the cottage at the rear, before a steep ascent of lichen mottled boulders to the ridge.

I moved under the glass ceiling and we watched each other. She displayed no surprise at seeing me, which probably meant she’d been observing me before my eyes had come to her. Fear did not thrive because between us lay a thick glassy sky and not a scrap of food she might want to fight with me over.

I said, ‘Hello?’

She did not reply.

Nor did she have Fox etched on her for me to know what she was.

We studied each other intensely.

I wondered if she were an augury?

Time passed.

I put my fingertips to her glass socked paw.

Her green eyes to my blue. Not a blink between us.

I thought of a woman I used to know.