Magnetism –

‘Your man was goin around there sellin them for €50.’

‘And what do they look like?’

‘Just like normal magnets, but awful powerful. It’s like you take out the inside of a speaker and magnetise its strength by a hundred.’

‘And what do you do with it?’

‘You just stick it to the side of the meter box outside and it stops the spool goin around. The spool is like a wheel, and it counts up the units of Electricity used. If that’s not goin up, you don’t get charged.’

‘How’d you get caught?’

‘I’ve a Prepay box you see. And I used to be paying about €40 a week in credit. Then I said fuck that and got the magnet and sure then I was only payin €5….so they knew there was a problem and they sent someone down to do a readin…and sure they opened the box and seen it stuck there…’

‘What did they say?’

‘Reckoned I owe them about €1500….so they’re takin a few pound off me every time I top up until it’s paid. I think it’s way more than that, but I won’t argue. I’m still up, so fuck them.’

‘I heard they’re changin all the meters now anyway, so you can’t do that anymore?’

‘There’s ways around everythin. You can twist the wire goin in, or if you’re using a Prepay Meter on your wall inside you can use a hairclip, you know like what a woman puts on her hair?’

‘I’ve seen them, yeah.’

‘Yeah, well you can get one of them, or even a tweezers, and you can kinda stick it in between the 9 and the Hashtag button on the box and that’ll freeze it, stop it from countin your credit…’

‘How’s that work?’

‘Haven’t a clue, just one of the lads was doin it. Only problem is it makes a horrid screeching sound and you’d always be afraid of an electrical fire or it blowin up or somethin…’

‘And what did you do with the magnet? Did they take it with them?’

‘No. That’s another story.’

‘How d’ya mean?’

‘I sold it on again.’

‘For how much?’



‘Fact. So that’s another bit of profit, and do you know what I found out since?’


‘You can buy them on E-bay for €1.’

‘A Euro?’

‘Yeah. Delivered and all, and people out here willin to pay €150. I ordered ten last week, and I’m goin sellin them on as soon as they come.’

‘For €150?’

‘Or two for €250. You know that kinda way?’

‘I do.’

‘Do you want one?’

‘No thanks, sure I can buy it on E-Bay myself if I do.’

‘Fuck, I shouldn’t have told you that.’

‘Everyone must know that, though?’

‘Half them around here never even finished school, buddy. Can’t read or write, never mind buyin online. You need a guru like me for that. And sure I’ve debts to pay to them other crowd, that has to come from somewhere too…’




Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.



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