The Hippies –

His hands were shaking, the place was freezing.

Grey stubble and long fingernails.

The table was strewn breadcrumbs and a bowl of rotten fruit.

Curtains blew in the open kitchen window, even though it was snowing outside.

He’d been in an accident. I know this because he said: ‘I was in an accident.’

‘Was it bad?’

‘It wasn’t my fault.’

‘Someone crash into you?’

‘I crashed into the back of someone else. Court next month.’

‘How can you crash into someone else and it not be your fault?’

‘I was drugged.’

‘Who drugged you?’

‘People I had living here.’


‘They were stuck for a place to stay. I felt sorry for them. So they were staying here.’

‘And they drugged you?’

‘At first it was little things – money going missing. Money I left out for the TV licence, and the electricity. And food from the fridge.’

‘Were they locals?’

‘So called hippies.’

‘What they drug you with?’

‘Some kinda horse tranquilizer. They slipped it in my tea and then asked for a lift to the dole office. By the time I got there I didn’t know where I was. They had a waiting car set up and I drove straight into the back of it.’

‘Were the guards called?’

‘They were. Did me for drug driving.’

‘What they say when you told them what happened?’

‘Said to save it for the judge.’

‘Where they now?’

‘The hippies? They got €10,000 each and hit the road. Haven’t seen them since. I could be looking at time for dangerous driving – off the road for sure. There was people here looking for them last night.’


‘People they owe money to.’


‘Who knows?’

‘What you say to them?’

‘I wasn’t here. My brother was.’

‘What they say to him?’

‘He wouldn’t answer the door.’

‘Good plan.’

‘Not really, they kicked it in anyway.’


‘So now I need a new door.’

‘What they say to your brother?’

‘Nothing. They hung him out the top window by the legs.’

‘Poor lad.’

‘Then they dropped him.’

‘Was he ok?’

‘Not really. The neighbours were very annoyed.’

‘Were they giving out?’

‘Woman next door complaining she couldn’t sleep. Sure it wasn’t my fault.’

‘Will they be back?’

‘You can be sure of it.’

‘What’ll you do?’

‘They usually come at night so I sleep in a doorway downtown and I come back here during the day. My brother was caught cos he wouldn’t leave with me.’

‘Is he going to be ok?’

‘Dunno. Ambulance was here. He’s in the hospital but I’ve no car to go over so I don’t know. Do you find it cold here?’


‘I’m going to burn an armchair later.’

‘That should help.’

‘Do you want tea?’

‘No thanks.’



Buy Mick Donnellan’s Novels here. 







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