writerLowri Larsen started writing stories as soon as she could write. One of her first memories is writing a book of stories with illustrations about magic worlds for her brothers and sisters. Lowri currently lives in Galway and currently enjoys writing in a darkly-comic humour. She is soon going to be publishing her first novella called “Black Cat and the Japanese Umbrella” which can be purchased on Creative Space.

The blackbird after the tiger years

By Lowri Larsen

Once again I’m late for my singing on date. The queue that spills out to the grey rainy street of Galway has long ago disappeared . I hit the button on the machine that says current claim and number 261 comes out. Great my morale is at an all time low. I’m not even a person, I’m a number. What’s more my lack of employment that has lead to my chronic laziness means I can’t get out of bed before eleven.
I sit down and wait for my number to be called. When my number’s called I go to the counter. Glass separates me and a blonde girl about my age. She looks a lot more well maintained and in better nick than me. She asks for my card and asks ” What is your query today Lowri.” I know by the way she says my name she knows who I am. “I forgot to sign on this morning.” I say. She looks at me half horrified, half a smile in her eyes. “Lowri this is the third time in a row you have failed to sign on. If you fail to sign on next month you will have to sign on everyday.” What a brilliant start to the day.
I walk out to the street pulling my coat tightly around me. How did I come to be here. I once had dreams. I came here at the end of the tiger years. This is hell I think self pityingly. I look at a blackbird flying freely. I was a free bird when I flew here, I had dreams of a massive mansion. Now I’m just a caged bird trapped by the welfare system and the welfare culture. I’m trapped by the economic system and lack of employment.
Get a grip says the voice of reason in my head. I’m humbled and luck as hell to be privileged enough to live in a country that will give me 188 euros a week for scratching my arse. I’ll just have to get a grip and sign on at the right time in the morning.
I look at the sky and guess what the birds are flying real high this morning. The air’s fresh and crispy and on the floor is a black and white newspaper with stories inside. It makes me think today I just want my own story.