In March 2023 we completed a series of workshops at the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU). With the support of the Fighting Words team, participants on the Shaping Futures course created their own story called Victoria's Secret.
A Story by: Eddie, Stephen, Owen, Harriet, Lisa, Rusha, Emily, Rachel, Marie, Thuy, Rejoice, Seán, Gerard and Tara.
Liz bought her ticket from the machine at the train station. She went out on to the platform and saw a magpie eating a bag of Tayto cheese and onion crisps that had fallen from the bin. She looked up and noticed that she would be boarding the train on platform thirteen. She looked down and saw beads of sweat on the palms of her hands. Her anxiety was building up, she was hoping that someone would not be sitting in her seat.
The brakes screeched as the train pulled out of Howth station, Victoria was lost in thought, staring out the window. She was in a vile humour she’d had an argument with her husband earlier that day and was plotting her revenge. She was on a mission and was focused and determined. She was wearing comfortable clothes that didn’t match her persona. It was a damp and rainy day as the Dart pulled into to Kilbarrack station. She thought that she had to stay alert with all of the Brown Thomas bags she had with her for the final transaction.
Victoria saw a lady running towards her and wondered why because there were free seats in the other carriages. The doors of the train open and she saw a lady entering the train staring down towards her.
Liz started to walk towards her seat.
She recognised Victoria, she had seen her often on the train but now she was sitting in ‘her’ seat. Liz entered into Victoria’s space.
“Hello?” Victoria enquired.
“Can I sit in that seat please?” Liz asked.
“No!” Victoria retorted.
Liz’s heart was really racing now her seat was just within her reach. She blurted out, “I can’t go backwards!”
“I beg your pardon?” Said Victoria with a wide eyed and confuse look.
“I want you to take your bags of the seats please.”
“There are plenty of other seats.”
Victoria was incredulous at this point.
“Is this a wind up, is this Joe Duffy?”
“I’ll have to go down and talk to the inspector.” Threatened Liz.
“I don’t care I’m not moving my bags!”
In desperation Liz reached out to remove the bags from ‘her’ seat. Victoria gets up off the seat, moves towards her and there is a scuffle between them.
Something falls from Victoria’s bag. Liz steps back in bemusement. One of Victoria’s secrets is out . . .
Victoria calmly pulls a silk scarf from around her neck and bends down and covers up the object and lifts it on to her lap and proceeds to polish it.
“No, it’s not what you think. It’s an antique. I bought it from a shop in Howth. It’s been decommissioned. It’s a very old Enfield rifle that was found on Ireland’s Eye over a hundred years ago.”
Liz’s head was in a tizzy. Her adrenalin started to rush through her body. She thought that the gun looked very real.
Victoria’s story didn’t add up and little did she know that Liz’s OCD kicked in. She became completely fixated on the gun.
When they got off the train at the same stop Liz decided to discretely follow the lady with the Brown Thomas bags.
Liz followed her from a distant. After she eventually she saw her enter into a building.
Victoria knocked at Leo’s door.
Leo welcomed her in and says, “Did anyone follow you?”
Victoria says, “No, no, no I was very careful I got the eight o clock train and got off where you wanted me to.”
She handed him over the gun.
“This is even better than I expected. Time for a quick sherry?”
Leo knew that Victoria didn’t realise the real value of what she had handed over.
She handed Leo a photo of her husband. She had taken it from the mantle piece it was from their wedding day over thirty years ago.
She said, “Here is the bollix that I told you about on the phone.”
As they walk out on to his veranda with Sherry glasses in hand Leo says, “Yes he looks like one!”
. . . . . . . .