It all began with Garth Brooks. Just one man- Troyal Garth Brooks, born in Oklahoma in 1962, a Country Western singer by trade. He was the cause of all the trouble. It was HIM!
Or was it?
Was it Troyal Garth Brooks’ fault?
After all, it wasn’t he who decided to sell tickets for five concerts, six months before a licence would be granted.
And when the licence wasn’t granted for two of the five concerts…..
To Bill, the rest was history. He had heard it a million and one times, the story of how Brooks had caused all the trouble. How he was caused THIS.
It was a Wednesday morning, November of 2014. Bill’s skin tingled with the cold as he clutched onto the wooden beam, hanging as he was from the ceiling of the bank. He heard a sudden buzzing in his earpiece: “Bill. I’m in.”
He breathed a sigh of relief. She was in. The alarm had been switched off. Bill let go of the beam and fell the short distance to the ground. He ran around the corner towards the safe and, in the darkness, right headfirst into Mia.
Mia pulled the earpiece out of her left ear. “It took me about 20 seconds. The system here is, like, laughably shit.”
As she spoke to Bill, she pulled off the pair of blue latex gloves she had worn to keep her fingerprints from getting on the alarm keypad.
Bill grabbed her hand and they ran into the safe room.
Ten minutes later, after they had opened the safe and taken over ten thousand euros in cash, they drove home.
Ripped posters of Garth Brooks adorned the buildings on either signs of the road, reminders of a time when Ireland still had hope.
The homelessness rate had gone up by over 4000%, and it was obvious.
Joan Burton’s appointment as Tánaiste hadn’t helped either.
But it was Brooks’ fault.
Garth Brooks. The name rolled off the tongue in a sickly manner.
The man. The fat man. The American. The singer.
And who was even going?
Who were the 20% who had bought tickets?
Where had they been when the government fell, and where the fuck were they now?
Bill and Mia were luckier than most. They had skills to help them survive, and they were healthy. Their friends and family hadn’t been so lucky. When Garth had abandoned the country, many had fled to the oceans, the seas, the rivers. Desperate for hope, for life, for something… more.
This wasn’t the end. The end was yet to come. This was only the beginning.