The Matchbox Girl


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


and other stories

By Mary Mannion

ISBN: 978-1-78382-223-2
Published: 2015
Pages: 118
Key Themes: Mental Health, Short Stories

About the Author

Mary Mannion spent most of her working life as a legal secretary and is now working in a play school.

Her first book, Trials Of A Legal Secretary, is also published by Chipmunka Publishing.

Book Extract

I think of my past like gene pools. Like dark, deep water. Like holes where generation after generation lie until birth. They climb out and gulp for air eventually. Even Celtic Tigers with botoxed faces and designer
handbags have gene pools. Even people in negative equity living on
cornflakes. Right back they go through time to slimy creatures who
emerged from these holes millions of years ago.

My gene pool is in Galway. The first memory I have of it was the day they gave me a nickname because of a photograph.

‘Where’s The Matchbox Girl?’ Mammy used to say whenever she was
looking for me. It was only when I was grown up that I knew why she
put that name on me.

I’d been told to stand in front of a matchbox for a school photo. I remember having a stain on my dress. The collar was frayed from scrubbing. My cardigans were in the wash and Mammy had me decked out in a raggedy old jumper. My bumpy knees were banging together, my hands down by my sides.

I was ashamed of the collar sticking out over the jumper. You never wore a jumper over a summer dress. ‘Jumpers with fair isle patterns for winter,’
everyone knew this, ‘little cardigans with beautiful pearl buttons for
summer.’ Afterwards I went around the edges of the collar with a blue pen as if that would somehow make it more respectable.


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