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Stories by Laura Lagana
Hamish McWallace and the Leprechaun Treasure - Chapter 13


“Keep it down in there,” shouted the police officer from the doorway before turning to finish his paperwork.

“Now,” whispered Gobban.

“Are you sure this will work?” Alpin eyed the drunken man’s ears as the other leprechauns spit on the man’s head.

“Of course it will. Have any of my plans failed yet?” Gobban smeared his spittle throughout the man’s hair, making the strands nice and slippery.

The man slapped at several leprechauns before drunkenly saying, “Quit…it. Stop it.”

Gobban and King Rogan ignored the man’s pleas and shoved his head toward the now widened bars that the leprechauns had pulled apart a few minutes before.

“Stop! My head won’t fit,” cried the man.

“Sure it will,” said Gobban. “I have faith in my plan.” With much grunting and shouting, the man’s head slipped through the bars.

Donal, the youngest of the leprechauns, yelled for the guard, making sure his voice was heard by the other officers.

A moment later, the door slammed against the wall. “Now what do you want,” said one of the policemen.

The slurred words of the drunk said, “The leprechauns…they…spit on me. Got stuck in…the bars. Need…help.”

The officer gasped. “What the-?” He grabbed the keys from his belt and opened the cell door.

Gobban and Alpin yanked the door from the officer’s hands and pulled him further into the cell by his pant leg. Donal kicked the officer’s rear end, shoving him against the far wall. While the officer tried to regain his balance, King Rogan led the leprechauns from the cell. Alpin was the last to leave and shut the cell door behind him, with the drunken man’s head still wedged between the bars. He then shoved the stolen officer’s keys into the cell door and locked the two men inside.

King Rogan slipped out from behind one of the now empty desks and wiggled next to Gobban who hid under a chair. “What’ll we do now?”

“Give me a minute.” Gobban eyed the other officers who worked at their desks, before glancing at the door. “We need a distraction.” Muffled shouts coming from the cell drew the other officer’s attention, who left the room to investigate. After the men left the area, Gobban waved at the other leprechauns to follow his lead.

King Rogan mumbled as they crept from the building, “Couldn’t have planned it better if I tried.” Gobban shook his head, but kept his mouth shut.

A lone patrol car was parked in the far corner of the lot. Gobban led the way as they scrambled toward the vehicle and fumbled around in their pockets. Alpin strolled behind, whistling an Irish tune while swinging the keys on his finger.

Shouting came from the front door of the police station as the officers rushed outside to capture the escaping leprechauns.

“Give me those key,” said Gobban, who then opened the car door to let the other leprechauns inside.

The policemen banged their nightsticks on the hood of the car.

“Hurry!” King Rogan shouted at Gobban.

“I can’t reach the pedals.”

“Must I do everything?” King Rogan pointed at Donal. “You there. Get down on the floor and start pressing on those things.”

“Much obliged Your Highness.” Donal hunkered below the dashboard and pressed on one of the pedals.

“Not that one you dolt,” shouted Gobban. “Try the long one…on the right side.”

The police car lurched forward, forcing the policemen to move aside.

Gobban adjusted the side mirror as he steered onto the road. No police cars followed in pursuit, no flashing blue lights, no wailing sirens, nothing.

“Ah ha! We seem to have escaped.” Just then, Gobban noticed Alpin’s smiling face appear in the rearview mirror. “What’re you grinning about?”

Alpin chuckled. “While you were all scrambling about, I let the air out of their tires.”

“That’s a stroke of genius,” said King Rogan. “I should promote you as my man-at-arms.” He leaned over to say to Gobban. “You could learn a few things from him.”

Gobban kept his mouth shut, all the while, gnashing his teeth together.

“How long till we arrive?” Donal peeked above the edge of the seat. “It’s a bit cramped down here and I can’t see at all.”

“How would Gobban know,” said King Rogan. “You should be addressing that question to your king.”

Donal sighed. “How long Your Most Royalness?”

“Give or take awhile,” said King Rogan.

“Thank you for sharing your most profound insight, Your Highness.” Donal ducked back under the seat, out of King Rogan’s vision.

“I’m glad to offer.”

As Gobban drove the car closer to his destination, he turned off the lights and told Donal to give less gas to the car. The police car crept down the dark street before Gobban parked it several houses away from the McWallace residence.

“What do we do now?” Donal climbed out from beneath the floor.

“We wait,” said Gobban.

Donal whispered, “For what?”

Alpin smacked the back of Donal’s head. “For all the lights to go out in the house. We can’t go sneaking inside if they’re all awake. It wouldn’t be called sneaking then, would it.” Alpin rolled his eyes..

Silence filled the car, minutes ticked past, eventually turning into hours. Bugs landed on the windshield, flying away a few minutes later. There the leprechauns waited for the lone light in the living room to shut off.

#

Kate called Alasdair’s cell phone from within the taxi cab. “I’m about to go into the house. Yes it’s dark. It looks like only the television and one of the living room lights is on, but the rest of the lights are off.”

“I’ll be home shortly. There was a problem with some of the accounting books. We’re finishing up.” Alasdair’s weary voice whispered through the other end of the cell phone.

“Want me to heat a kettle of tea?” Kate paused when she spied movement coming from the bushes in front of the house. “I don’t believe this,” she cried into the phone.

“What?” Alasdair’s voice cut into her tirade.

“Your daft mum must be having a party of some kind because a gaggle of leprechauns are going into the house.” Kate sneered. “She didn’t even ask me permission to have more guests.”

Alasdair sighed. “You know how friendly she is. She hates the thought of guests staying at a hotel instead of her house.”

A low growl erupted from deep within Kate’s throat. “But it’s not her house…it’s mine!”

“Now dear, she’s only here for a short stay and she’s getting on in years. Why don’t you go in and tell her we don’t have the room,” said Alasdair.

“What? She’s your mother. You handle it,” shrieked Kate. “She’ll just give me a guilt trip and tell me this is all somehow my fault and until you fix everything, I’m staying at the hotel.” She slammed the phone shut before hearing Alasdair call out that he’d see her there. “Take me back to the hotel,” said Kate to the taxi driver.

“Sure thing ma’am.” The cab pulled away from the curb with a snarling Kate in the backseat, cursing her mother-in-law.

#

Grams shoved a ball of yarn into the bag at her feet. She then stuffed the almost finished sweater and knitting needles inside. A moment later, she turned off the lamp on the end table next to her chair, before spreading a blanket around her legs. The muffled voices that came from the television were the only sound in the living room. Grams’ eyelids began to droop and her head lolled to the side. Flickers of light flashed throughout the room, casting leprechaun shadows along the ceiling, but Grams never noticed since she was fast asleep in her chair. A small chubby hand slid across her mouth to muffle the startled cry that burst from her lips. King Rogan grabbed the blanket from Grams’ legs and tossed it over her head. Afterwards, the leprechauns held her wiggling body and carried her back to the police car while Gobban scribbled a quick note and left it on the now empty chair. Alpin blocked Gobban’s path.

“It ain’t right. She didn’t do anything to us. She’s always been a friend to the wee folk.”

Gobban shoved Alpin through the hallway. “I know, but what can we do? We’re the ones who elected him as our king and now we have to obey him.”

Alpin choked on his next comment. “Even though he’s a complete idiot?”

“Yes,” said Gobban. “Now keep quiet before we wake her family.”

The television continued to flicker in the now empty living room long after the leprechauns kidnapped Grams from the house.  


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