A bolt of lightning flashed
across the sky followed by a boom of thunder, sending a startled Hamish from
his bed. He shook off the fright and pulled back the curtains from the
window. Angry black clouds rolled in from the ocean, turning the night sky
even pitch black. Shards of lightning rolled through the clouds of the upper
hemisphere. A twinge of unease ran down Hamish’s spine. He couldn’t explain
why, but he knew something was wrong, now he just needed to find out what
bothered him. A moment later, he tiptoed down the hallway, passing Grams and
Captain Malcolm’s rooms, finding nothing out of the ordinary.
The television flickered at
the end of the hall, so Hamish crept across the carpet to investigate. He
tiptoed into the living room, trying not to make noise incase Grams slept in
the recliner. Nothing seemed a miss, so he scanned the room, looking for the
remote control to turn off the television, when his gaze fell upon the stark
white piece of paper positioned in the middle of the recliner. Curios, he
tiptoed over to the chair, but the hair on his neck stood on end as he drew
closer. Reaching out with his ghostly white hand, he gently held the note.
He scanned the paper several times before the words sank in.
“They took her.” The note
fell to the floor from his shaking fingers. “I can’t believe these stinking
leprechauns took my Grams.” Hamish ran down the hall toward Captain
Malcolm’s room. “Captain Malcolm! Finnegan!” He yanked open the door.
Finnegan appeared in a shower of gold dust, a moment before Captain Malcolm
leapt from the bed with his sword at the ready.
“What!” Captain Malcolm
“She’s gone,” cried Hamish.
“Now laddie, Grams was old
and sick. She said she didn’t have long to live anyway. It was the wasting
disease that she had,” said Captain Malcolm.
“She’s not dead you idiot,
the leprechauns have her,” cried Hamish.
“Don’t be calling me an idiot
if you know what’s best for you.” Captain Malcolm lunged toward Hamish.
“She’s sick?” Hamish’s face
grew even paler in the dark room.
Captain Malcolm stuttered.
“I’m sure she’s fine. You just woke me from a deep sleep, that’s all. Let’s
go rescue her.”
“You’re lying.” Hamish poked
Captain Malcolm in the chest. “I heard you say that she was dying.”
Finnegan grabbed Hamish’s arm
to yank him away from Captain Malcolm’s reach. “I’m sorry to be the one to
tell you this Hamish, but Captain Malcolm was trying to spare you further
pain; all though he lacks finesse in that area.”
Hamish slid into the chair
dazed by the unexpected news. “Why didn’t she tell me?”
Finnegan patted Hamish’s.
“She wanted to enjoy her visit with you. If you knew she was dying, would
you have taken her shopping, or out to eat, or to the jail for that matter?”
Hamish shook his head. “I’d
have wrapped her in blankets and made her rest in bed.”
Finnegan’s piercing gaze met
Hamish’s brooding one. “And that’s why she didn’t tell you. She wants to die
with fond memories, not with memories of spending her last days in a
“I see what you mean.” Hamish
grumbled under his breath as anger washed over him. “I’ll not have her spend
the last moments of her life as a hostage to idiotic leprechaun.” A low
guttural growl erupted from deep within Hamish’s throat. “Let’s go get
A flash of lightning split
the sky, revealing Captain Malcolm’s unholy grin. “Aye, let’s do that.” He
shoved the sword into the scabbard attached to his belt. “I’m off to hunt
leprechauns. Anyone care to join me?”
Hamish snorted. “For once,
you and I are in agreement.”
Captain Malcolm led Hamish
toward the front door, but Finnegan stood in the way and said, “Aren’t you
forgetting something?” An arched brow was Captain Malcolm’s only response.
Finnegan glared at the pirate. “My treasure?”
“What about it?”
“It’s the only bargaining
tool that we have to get Grams back,” said Finnegan.
“You’re just saying that
because you want your treasure returned to your greedy little hands,” said
With his hands held behind
his back, Finnegan paced back and forth. “I won’t lie to you; I do want it,
but if I have to give up my beloved treasure to save her life,” he choked on
the next words, “I will.”
Captain Malcolm lowered his
voice out of earshot of Hamish. “She’s dying and for all we know, she’s
already passed on to the next life. If I ever find the treasure we can use
“You rotten pirate. I heard
that!” Anger flashed from Hamish’s gaze as he stalked Captain Malcolm.
The pirate held both hands in
front of him. “Now laddie, don’t do what you’re thinking. You’ll only hurt
yourself.” He backed up a few steps, out onto the porch.
Hamish approached one step at
a time. “She defended you against Finnegan and convinced my parents to let
you stay here, even though you drove them from their own house…and yet, she
still gave you her support. This is how you repay her?”
Marvin squawked from the cage
within his room. “Bad pirate. Bad pirate.”
“See? Even the parrot
agrees,” said Hamish, frantically waving his hand at the doorway.
Finnegan tripped Captain
Malcolm. “The lad is right you know. You’ve only thought of yourself. Now
it’s time to think of someone else for a change.”
Captain Malcolm tumbled down
the front stairs and landed next to the rock that Grams had shipped over
from Scotland. He lay sprawled on the ground next to the rose bush with a
look of disbelief on his face. A moment later he leapt to his feet.
Finnegan stepped in front of
Hamish. “You’ll not harm the lad.”
“What?” Captain Malcolm
shoved Finnegan aside and knelt next to the stone. His fingers gently
caressed the cold rock as his voice grew low and raspy. “There you are,” he
“What are you going on
about,” said Finnegan.
“I remember this rock. Once
you escaped from me all those years ago, I was angry, so I stole this rock
to remind me of the best whiskey I ever tasted.”
Finnegan’s eyes began to
tear. “You think I have the best whiskey?”
Hamish nudged Finnegan. “Can
we focus? If we don’t have the treasure, how are we going to free Grams?” He
turned toward Captain Malcolm. “Are you sure you’re not lying about not
stealing the treasure?”
Captain Malcolm arched his
brows. “Aye, I’m quite sure.” Finnegan hugged the rock and wiped the
tears from his eyes.
“We definitely don’t have
time for this,” said Hamish, tugging on the leprechaun’s coat.
“You don’t understand,” said
Finnegan, hugging the rock tighter to his chest. “This is where I hid my
“Where?” Hamish paused when
it dawned on him what Finnegan was saying. “Are you saying that the treasure
is inside the rock?”
Finnegan leapt to his feet,
pointing his finger at Captain Malcolm. “You lied! You did have my treasure
this whole time.”
Captain Malcolm sauntered
over to the leprechaun and flicked the tip of Finnegan’s nose. “Aye, I had
the rock. Hid is somewhere on my property too, not sure where, but I did not
lie, because I didn’t know the treasure was inside.”
“You mean to tell me,”
shouted Finnegan as he stomped his foot, “that you had the treasure this
whole time, but never knew it was inside the rock? I just thought you were
lying to me.”
A sheepish grin appeared in
the corner of Captain Malcolm’s mouth. “I was drunk at the time. I didn’t
remember anything once we returned to the ship.”
Captain Malcolm shoved
Finnegan in front of the rock. “Work your magic.”
Finnegan caught himself
before stumbling to the ground. “Okay,” he said, before he shoved Hamish out
of the way. “Stand by the tree over there. I need room.”
“For what?” Hamish poked his
head out from behind the tree trunk, careful to keep his body shielded for
whatever Finnegan planned to do.
“For this.” The leprechaun
wiggled his fingers ten times, shook each foot three times, and wiggled his
rear end, seven times. Leprechaun dust fell from his fingertips, scattering
around the rock.
A hoot of laughter sounded
from next to Hamish, making him turn to glance at Captain Malcolm.
“That’s the secret to opening
the rock?” Captain Malcolm laughed so hard that tears fell from his eyes
before he started to choke from the lack of air.
Hamish pounded the pirate on
the back. “Are you all right?”
“Aye, I’m fine.” Captain
Malcolm wiped the moisture from his eyes. “I’ve waited for so long to find
out where my beautiful treasure was, and it’s been near me all this time.”
“What do you mean, your
treasure? Without me you’d have never been able to open the rock,” said
“Without me, you’d have never
found the rock,” said Captain Malcolm. “So, it’s still mine.”
While Finnegan and Captain
Malcolm argued, Hamish ran into the house, pulled a backpack from the closet
and scooped the treasure inside. He flinched, when Captain Malcolm stopped
him as he headed toward the car.
“What are you going?” Captain
Malcolm glared at Hamish.
“I’m off to save Grams while
you two spend the rest of the night arguing about the gold.”
“Leave the treasure,” said
Hamish squared his shoulder,
securing the strap over his right shoulder. “No.” He stared Captain Malcolm
in the eye for several seconds before breaking eye contact. “I don’t have
time for your non-sense. Let’s be off.”
Finnegan tugged on Hamish’s
pant leg. “I admire your courage, and I don’t mean to be negative, but how
are we getting there?”
Hamish reached into his pants
pocket and tossed the set of car keys at Captain Malcolm. “You’re driving.”
“Me?” Captain Malcolm’s gaze
“Aye now quit your whining
and get behind the wheel,” said Hamish.
Captain Malcolm stared at the
keys resting in the palm of his hand. “Why would I do that?”
“Because I’m too young and
Finnegan’s too short. I hate to say it, but you get to save the day,” said
Captain Malcolm grumbled as
he slid behind the wheel. “Now what do I do?”
Hamish reached over and
shoved the car key into the ignition. “Turn the key to start the engine.”
Hamish then glanced over his shoulder at Finnegan. “Are you buckled in?’
Finnegan hurried to do as
Hamish asked. “Are you sure this is the wisest course of action?”
Hamish wrinkled his brows.
“Letting a pirate drive your
mum’s car,” said Finnegan.
“I don’t see any other
choice.” Hamish shrugged his shoulders before pointing at a switch on the
console. “Turn on the lights,” he said to Captain Malcolm.
“There are lights on this
thing? That would come in handy on my ship.” He fiddled with the switch,
flooding the driveway with light.
“Are you ready?” Hamish
didn’t wait for Captain Malcolm to answer before shoving the gears into
reverse. Captain Malcolm pressed the gas and brake pedal at the same time,
making the car lurch forward.
“This is not going to end
well,” said Finnegan as he covered his eyes with his hands.
“You’re not helping,” said
Hamish through clenched teeth, before the pirate backed the car over his
mom’s prized flowerbed. He closed his eyes for a moment and muttered, “She’s
going to be so mad.”
“Who?” Captain Malcolm asked
while glancing over his shoulder for anymore objects in the his path.
“Here, just drive to where I
tell you and don’t worry about anything else. I’ll just pretend I don’t know
what she’s talking about when she starts in with the yelling,” said Hamish.
Captain Malcolm snorted as he
drove down the dark street. After several close calls with other vehicles on
the road, the pirate pulled into the parking lot across from a pub named The
Crafty Leprechaun. Hamish smirked at the irony.
“How quaint,” said Captain
Malcolm, “an Irish pub. I do believe I will feel right at home here. When
this is over, I plan to have a bottle of the finest whiskey that leprechaun
treasure can buy.”
Finnegan poked Captain
Malcolm’s shoulder. “It was your love of whiskey that started all this mess
in the first place.”
Hamish whispered out of
earshot of Captain Malcolm as he opened the car door. “So I’ve heard.”
The streets along the wharf
were wet from the rainstorm that rolled out to sea. A full moon hung low in
the night sky, providing the only light on the darkened streets. Captain
Malcolm grabbed the bag from Hamish. “Hey!”
“Shush,” said Captain Malcolm
as he clapped his hand over Hamish’s mouth. “Are you trying to give away our
presence? Believe me when I say that they will be keeping a lookout for us,
so I suggest you keep your mouth shut.” He led them into a darkened alley
next to the pub.
Raindrops clung to the spider
webs that hung from the stone buildings. The pungent smell of rotted garbage
made Hamish gag. “Can we…hurry it up? The…smell is blinding me.” Hamish
wiped his eyes with his shirt sleeve.
“What smell?” Captain Malcolm
flattened himself against a building wall as he glanced up and down the
“Oh, right, I forgot,” said
Hamish, “you’ve lived with your stench for so long that you’ve lost all
sense of smell.”
“That’s the smell of a
Hamish choked out, “It’s the
smell of rotten garbage is what it is, but if you want to lie to yourself
about your bathing habits, feel free to do so.”
“I will,” said Captain
Malcolm. “Now be quiet. I have a plan.”
Hamish waited in silence to
hear this grand plan and arched a brow at Finnegan, who shrugged his
shoulders. Captain Malcolm rifled through the trashcans along the back wall,
pulling out scraps of meat, rotted eggs, spoiled milk and rancid butter.
“What’s all this for?” Hamish
stared in disbelief at the pile of garbage at his feet.
“I’m going to put this on
you. It will make you smell so bad, the leprechauns will leave you alone,”
said Captain Malcolm.
“There’s no way you’re
putting maggot infested meat anywhere on my body.”
Captain Malcolm paused.
“You’re not giving me a lot of choices.” He glanced around the alley and
spied a bucket of grease next to the back doorway. A moment later, he held
the bucket over Hamish’s head. “Strip down to your undergarments.”
Hamish jumped aside. “I’m not
removing my clothes.”
Captain Malcolm dumped the
grease on Hamish. “Okay then. No one will be able to catch you because
you’re too slippery.”
“Yuck!” Hamish held out his
arms as grease dripped from his sleeves, onto the ground.
“And you smell like those
lovely potatoes that McDonald’s cooks,” said Captain Malcolm.
“You mean french fries?”
Hamish wiped the oil off his face. “Oh, and the French people created them.”
“Never speak such blasphemy
again. Only a Scotsman could have invented that and if you continue with
your lies, I’ll be forced to remove your tongue,” said Captain Malcolm.
Hamish snorted as the pirate continued. “You can walk right in, free your
Grams. And none of the leprechauns will be able to grab you.”
Hamish shuddered. “This is
“Quit your whining. Finnegan
and I will sneak in and help you out,” said Captain Malcolm.
“I’m taking the gold.” Hamish
reached for the bag, only to have his hand slapped away by the pirate.
“It’ll be safer with me. I’m
stronger and I carry a sword,” said Captain Malcolm.
Hamish looked pointedly at
Finnegan. “If he tries to escape with the treasure, you have my permission
to turn him back into a stone statue.”
Finnegan winked. “You had
doubts that I would do that?”
Hamish shrugged. “He’s
crafty. If I’ve learned one thing since meeting him, never trust a pirate.”
“Never do,” answered
Finnegan. “Now go get Grams and we’ll sneak in another way. Try to head
toward the back door and we’ll fight them off while you escape.”
Hamish released a pent up
breath. “If you think it’ll work.”
Captain Malcolm stiffened his
spine. “Of course it will work, or else any leprechaun who stands in my way
will suffer my wrath.”
“Here goes,” said Hamish.
“Wish me luck.”
“Luck!” They both called out
to Hamish’s retreating back.
“Aye,” Hamish whispered,
“you’re not the ones walking into danger.” He crept toward one of the
windows in the storefront and peered through the glass. A layer of soot
blocked his view. Using the edge of his sleeve; he wiped away the dirt. A
squeaky voice coming from behind, made Hamish’s blood run cold.
“You wouldn’t happen to be
sneaking in now would you?” The leprechaun grabbed Hamish’s pant leg, but
pulled away when he touched the slimy jeans. “Och, what is this?” Alpin
sniffed his hands, tasted the oil and hesitated before licking his fingers
clean. “Do you know Grams?” At Hamish’s nod, Alpin tugged on the boy’s
sleeve. “You better come with me. She needs you. Hurry, we don’t have much
Hamish, surprised by the turn
of events, stumbled after the leprechaun into the pub.