My apologies for the delay in posting
Shamus O'Flaretty looked like a typical immigrant from rural Ireland. Big, red headed and apparently as thick as three wooden planks. Unfortunately Shamus's appearance hid a razor sharp mind and an insight into human nature denied most ordinary mere mortals. That was O'Flaretty's curse.
Although he did not recognise it at the time the curse first manifested itself when Shamus had barely attained the tender age of six. Shamus had a friend, another young lad who was, because of his small size, a constant target for the bigger lads at school. Shamus was a handy lad and took his small friend aside and taught him some of the finer points of fisticuffs. The result was that one of the bigger boys got a bloodied nose from his smaller opponent. The bigger boy, severely embarrassed, got a few of his colleagues and caught Shamus behind the school toilet block. He was given a sound beating by the mob for having the effrontery to teach the smaller boy how to defend himself.
Shamus first began to suspect the terrible power of the curse when he took his first job. He took a job on a factory assembly line and with his fine tuned insight soon discovered deficiencies in the assembly process. He went to his boss and explained how, with a few low cost improvements, production could be increased by a factor of ten. His boss was a mean mannered individual and stole all the ideas and presented them as his own, Shamus got fired.
Shamus's next brush with his destiny occurred shorty before his twenty first birthday. He fell in love with a fiery, Auburn haired Colleen with eyes as green and sparkling as Emeralds. She completely took his breath, and his common sense, away like the whispered song of the Siren winds. He was smitten, he was hooked, never before had a young man's heart beaten with the intensity that Shamus felt. He got down on one knee and begged the girl to marry him with promises of undying love and devotion. Unfortunately in the fog of madness that is young love Shamus's remarkable insight had deserted him and the girl laughed in his face. He never saw her, or the money he had lent her and her alleged "brother" again. Shamus emigrated to Australia and arrived in Sydney with a suit case, twenty pounds, and his slowly returning insight.
Shamus fell immediately in love with the wide brown land that so contrasted with the land of his birth. He went bush, into the great Australian Outback and soon encountered the mining industry. His strong build and willingness to tolerate hard work and harsh conditions made him immediately attractive to prospective employers and Shamus prospered. Unlike some of his colleagues in the mining camps he refrained from wild access with the money he earned and saved and planned. Soon Shamus became a leading hand and then a foreman on the job.
Shamus was highly regarded and doing well for himself, until the dreaded curse struck once again, this time with devastating force.
Shamus found true love and in the process of that giddy condition proposed Marriage to his beloved. In view of his previous experience Shamus was somewhat surprised when the young Lady accepted, and agreed to meet him at the alter. The Wedding was a grand affair and in due course the happy couple escaped to enjoy their idyllic Honeymoon. They returned from that holiday and set about the pleasurable business of producing a family. In the meantime they made the financial commitment to purchasing their first family home and Shamus enjoyed the financial gain and status that comes from a promotion to a Managerial position. In the second year of their marriage a Son arrived to expand the household and they set about diligently producing a sibling for the first born. It was in the sixth month of his bride's second pregnancy that the dreaded curse struck. Shamus's new managerial role brought with it an office in the company's head office and a secretary. The secretary was young, attractive and very much aware of how to use her beauty to manipulate the male gender. Shamus was a lamb to her slaughter. The result was predictable, sudden, and life changing in it's impact.
Shamus lost his job, his reputation, his self respect, and his wife. She left him and, of course, took the light of Shamus's life - his Son. Shamus turned to his insight and it soon became apparent to him that his life was a parody, he had only one course of action - he would depart this world and the shame it brought upon him. He found a suitable high cliff face and launched himself into the void. The O'Flaretty curse was waiting in ambush. Six feet into his plunge to meet the grim reaper a gnarled old tree branch snared him by the ankle as he passed by. Shamus was left hanging by one ankle over the one hundred foot drop to his doom. It was night and despite his frantic efforts to release himself Shamus was left to dangle, upside down and by one leg, until the early morning brought recognition of his plight and rescuers arrived.
His wife responded to his careful approaches and finally agreed to see him. He cautioned himself to be careful and turned every facet of his being to using his insight. No more mistakes, he was aware, he was ready to confront the curse if it tried to strike. He bought a new suit, and a large and impressive bouquet of red roses. His heart sang, he felt on top of the world and stepped onto the footpath to hail a taxi. His wife - and his family - his Son and the Daughter he had never seen was only fifteen minutes away. The taxi pulled up and he opened the rear door to step in. That is when he heard the Banshee's wail and the hidden heart defect finally burst his aorta and sent him crashing to the ground.