“So,” said Finnegan, while
resting one hand on his hip, “what’s your grand plan for sneaking into the
The sound of wheels
thumping along the wet streets drew Captain Malcolm’s attention. “I do
believe a plan is headed this way.”
Bright beams of light
shone from the headlights of a delivery truck, chasing away the shadows
of the darkened alley. Captain Malcolm yanked Finnegan behind the
nearest dumpster to hide. A moment later, the gears of the vehicle came
to a grinding halt. A delivery man appeared from around the back and
unloaded wooden crates onto a dolly.
Out of earshot of the
deliveryman, Captain Malcolm whispered to Finnegan before shoving the
leprechaun into the light coming from the headlights. “Distract him will
forward. “What are you planning to do?”
“Let me worry ‘bout
that,” said Captain Malcolm.
mumbling under his breath while scurrying over to the delivery man.
Leaning against the side of the truck, Finnegan said, “What’re you doing
my good fellow?”
The delivery man jerked
forward, almost dropping the crate. “Oh, hey there. You here for the
Saint Patrick’s Day parade?”
whatever you say,” answered Finnegan.
The delivery man
shrugged and turned back to his task.
“What’s in the
crates?” Finnegan peered at the delivery man from above the stack of boxes
while giving the all-clear signal to Captain Malcolm.
said the delivery man.
his brow at the comment. “What is?”
The delivery man
paused. “You just asked me what I had in the crates.”
“Oh aye…I did,
Rolling his eyes,
the delivery man steered the dolly away from Finnegan, but stopped when the
cart bumped into a solid, unmovable object. “What th--?”
“Did you say
“whiskey”?” Captain Malcolm grabbed the edge of the crate and sniffed. “And
tis good whiskey by the smell of it.”
“Do you mind
moving? I need to deliver this to the pub and I have a schedule to keep,”
said the delivery man.
you’re in luck,” said Captain Malcolm, with an unholy glint in his eye,
“because you no longer need to worry about that schedule.”
The delivery man
grunted from Finnegan’s weight as jumped onto the top of the crates and
yanked the cap down over the man’s eyes.
grabbed a coil of twine from inside the back of the truck to bound and gag
Once the hostage
was secured, Finnegan helped Captain Malcolm stuff the delivery man into the
back of the truck, Finnegan then wiped the sweat from his brow before
saying, “Now what do we do?”
for a moment, eyeing the crates of whiskey and an extra uniform hanging on a
peg in the truck. He ripped the top of the lid off one of the crates, yanked
out a bottle of whiskey, guzzling down the contents of the bottle. When
finished Captain Malcolm wiped away a few drops of golden liquid that
dribbled down his chin, into his beard.
Finnegan arched a
brow. “Is this really the best time to be drinking right now?”
Malcolm finished the bottle and sat it on the ground. He grabbed Finnegan by
the shirt and pounded on his head, squishing him into a tiny ball.
Finnegan. “What are you doing?” He slapped at Captain Malcolm’s hand, but
without any success.
“Quit it,” said
me,” cried Finnegan.
point. Now shut up and shrink down into a ball.” Once finished, Captain
Malcolm shoved and poked Finnegan into the now empty whiskey bottle.
dust blew from the top of Finnegan’s head. He stood at the bottom of the
bottle and let out a string of ancient Irish curses.
held the bottle up to the truck lights on the back of the vehicle. He
wavered several times as the whiskey began to flow through his veins.
you’re too small to hear right now, or else my ears would be burning,” said
Captain Malcolm as he closed the door to the truck. “Now be a good
leprechaun will you? Tis the only way I could think of to sneak you inside
the pub. You see, the other leprechauns know you, and they’ve never seen my
face before. Your clan only knows me by legend.”
as he stomped his foot. “They know you more by your infamous exploits!”
“accidentally” shook the bottle while shoving it into the empty spot in the
crate. “Oh…sorry. Didn’t mean to do that.”
“You evil pirate.
You’re going to pay for that,” said Finnegan.
“If all goes as
planned,” said Captain Malcolm’s as he cleared out several lower crates with
the whiskey before hiding the treasure inside. Once the gold was secured, he
wheeled the dolly toward the back entrance of the pub. “You’ll soon have
your treasure returned to its rightful place, and I’ll finally be free of
your wretched presence.” A moment later, Captain Malcolm stumbled into the
pub, where all the boxes were stored. Clouds drifted over the moon, casting
ominous shadows across the darkened alley. The smell of musty stone
buildings filled the storeroom. All the while, Finnegan’s muffled curses
sounded from within the wooden crate.
“Shut yer trap,”
whispered Captain Malcolm. “I’m about to go inside.”
“I’d feel much
safer if you hadn’t just drunk the entire contents of a bottle of whiskey
before going into battle,” said Finnegan.
“It keeps me
of denial went unnoticed by Captain Malcolm. The door opened with a creaking
sound, making Captain Malcolm cringe as he gingerly pressed against the old
wooden door leading from the back room to the pub interior. Once through the
doorway, he wobbled toward the bar, winking at Hamish as he slipped past the
crowd of leprechauns. Captain Malcolm lifted a crate off the dolly and
slammed it down onto the bar as the leprechauns jumped Hamish.
booming voice of King Rogan cried out. “What have we here?”
Alpin glanced at
Captain Malcolm, narrowing his gaze on the man.
Alpin glanced at the
stranger, narrowing his gaze on the man. He let go of Hamish's hair afford
nudging Gobban in the ribs area
command drew everyone's attention. “Who are you and what are you doing in
turned on his heels, “Oh, you’re for the St. Patrick's Day parade?”
parade, but you still haven't answered my question,” said King Rogan.
several whiskey bottles on to the counter, one of them being Finnegan,
Captain Mal com stuttered, “I’m... uh, the delivery man... uh, I bring in
the whiskey to the pub.
youngest of the leprechauns, poked Captain Malcolm in the stomach. “I think
you should be handing over a bottle of that whiskey if you know what's good
With a shaking
hand, Captain Malcolm held out one of the bottles. “You’re not to be
drinking this whiskey. It's for the celebration.”
to Gobban. “He looks familiar.”
his brows. “We've never met any male humans before, so how could he be
familiar to you?”
“That part of the
question, I do not have an answer for,” said Alpin.
“Then keep quiet.
You know how King Rogan hates to be disturbed in any way,” said Gobban.
“From where do
you come from?” King Rogan waived at several of the leprechauns who formed
into a human ladder, so he could climb onto a bar stool for a better look at
the delivery man.
sight of the deliveryman knocking an empty bottle to the ground, and coughed
to cover the noise of the falling glass. He spied movement inside the
bottle, but kept quiet about what he saw. A smirk appeared in the corner of
Alpine's mouth as he met Captain Malcolm's gaze. Alpin grinned and gave a
slight nod before stepping in front of the bottle containing Finnegan, to
shield him from view with his body. Alpine then nudged the glass with the
back of his heel, sending the bottle with Finnegan, toward Grams.
hung open, but he quickly shook off the surprise.
“I know you,”
said Donal, grabbing Captain Malcolm’s leg to stop him from leaving the pub.
“You’re the pirate who stole Finnegan’s treasure.”
An evil glint
appeared in the pirate’s eyes. “You sure about that? If you're going to make
accusations, you best know what you're talking about.”
Hamish, cornered by several
of the leprechauns, inched toward the Captain.
King Rogan kicked aside a
bottle that stood in his way. “What have we here then? A trick of some sort
to fool us into letting the old woman go free?”
Hamish smacked his hand down
onto the counter. “Enough! You let her go.” He narrowed his fear is gaze on
King Rogan and knocked the leprechaun’s crown askew. “And she's not just any
old woman. She's Grams!”
King Rogan's eyes grew round
as sparks of red fairy dust burst from his enraged body. “How dare you
defile my rights as the king?” The other leprechauns surrounded Hamish,
standing in front of Captain Malcolm. Aidan held back Gobban by pulling on
“And now, I've had enough of
your insolence. You will either tell me where the treasure is or tis the end
for you and your Grams,” said King Rogan.
As an answer to the
ultimatum, Hamish grabbed a bottle of whiskey from the crate and winged it
across the countertop at King Rogan, sending the leprechaun flying through
the air. The rest of the leprechauns jumped Captain Malcolm and he mesh with
fists flying, knees lunging forward and feet kicking in a flurry of
activity. Hamish groaned as an elbow landed against his rib cage. He
shrieked in outrage when a set of leprechaun teeth sank into his calf, and
when he heard the snap of Grams chair as the leprechauns fighting Captain
Malcolm, slammed into the wooden leg, Hamish struggled to his feet, flinging
leprechauns off his body.
Meanwhile Finnegan poured
himself from the bottle in changed back to his full size. “Whew! That was a
tight fit.” He tiptoed behind Grams to untie the ropes wrapped around her
“Oh bless you dear,” said
Grams flexing her fingers to release the blood flow back into the now blue
fingertips. “That was very sweet of you Finnegan, but really. What were you
thinking, bringing Hamish into a pub? This is no proper place for a young
Finnegan wrinkled his brow at
Grams comment, and said, “I do believe we were more worried about you than
what was proper for the laddie.”
Captain Malcolm shout drew
everyone's attention. With a roar like a bear, he rose from the ground,
flinging leprechauns left and right. King Rogan and a few others that clung
to Hamish released their grip and charged Captain Malcolm. The pirate
grunted from the impact and fell backwards onto the floor, landing on his
backside. Several of the leprechauns laughed as they jumped up and down on
Captain Malcolm's body.
Hamish, surprised by his
unexpected freedom, ran toward Grams, but found his path blocked by King
Rogan. He leapt at the King and yanked the leprechaun into a headlock.
Hamish jumped up and down several times, before shouting in outrage when
King Rogan sank his little teeth into the pink flesh of Hamish's hand.
King Rogan lunged to the
left. “Ha! Thought you had me didn't you. Shows how little you know.”
Finnegan stepped in front of
Hamish before King Rogan threw a handful of leprechaun dust onto the lad.
“Enough!” Silence filled the room. “I said, enough!” King Rogan arched a
brow, pausing with his arm raised midair.
“The treasure is yours,” said
Finnegan. “Just let the others go free.” He waved a Grams and Hamish.
King Rogan growled. “Not
before I see the treasure first.”
Finnegan nodded a Captain
Malcolm, who shook off the few remaining leprechauns clinging to his legs.
“What about me?” The pirate smashed two leprechauns’ heads together,
knocking them unconscious. “I’ve suffered too much for the treasure, not to
be compensated for my troubles.”
Finnegan glared at the
pirate. “Quit your complaining and just toss over the gold.” Captain Malcolm
rummaged through the crate of whiskey and tossed the bag at King Rogan, who
caught it in mid air with both hands.
“I'll be taking that now,”
said the king.
While the king stared at the
bag he held in his arms, Finnegan unscrewed the top to a jar of pepper that
he found on top of the table next to Grams.
King Rogan choked back a cry
as pepper blinded him and a dark cloth engulfed his body. “What the devil?
Help!” The king sneezed several times.
“Ah ha! Got you now, you
little troublemaker.” Grams shoved the sweater over King Rogan’s head that
she pulled from her bag, trapping the king inside the cloth. She gasped for
air, knocking the king over before shoving her knitting needles into the
bottom of the yarn, sealing the edge of the sweater tightly together.
“Let me out!” King Rogan
kicked against the yarn.
Grams tugged on the seams,
making sure they were secured. Leprechaun dust gathered on her hand and she
wiped the gold onto her shirt. “I've had just about enough of you.” She
poked one of her extra knitting needles fell to the floor at King Rogan's
“Stop! I give up. I’ll give
you everything you want.” King Rogan quit squirming from inside his sweater
prison and began to shake uncontrollably with fear.
Grams fanned her flushed face
with her hand. “Ooh, I do believe I've had a tad too much excitement this
night.” She paused and held out her hand. “Hamish, be a dear help your Grams
over to the chair.”
Hamish ran to her side,
shoving the leprechauns that stood in his path. He grabbed her arm and
helped her to the nearest chair, but her legs collapsed beneath her weight.
Hamish held her frail body and gently laid her on the floor. “Are you all
right?” Worry marred his brow as he shouted at the group of leprechauns
gathered around. “Quick, someone get me a pillow.”
Finnegan returned a moment
later with a coat that he found behind the bar. “Will this do?”
Hamish didn’t waste time on
an answer, but rolled the cloth into a ball and stuffed it beneath her head.
He then sat on the floor next to Grams and held her hand in his, stroking
the sallow skin.
Grams gasped for air. “I'm so
tired. Just let me close my eyes for a moment and catch my breath.” Her
breathing grew more labored, her face pale as a ghost, her skin clammy to
the touch. Tiny pieces of leprechaun dust clung to her upper lip. “I think I
need to lie flat on the floor.
Hamish’s gaze grew watery.
“You already are Grams. You already are.” As she gasped for air, Grams
inhaled the dust and choked on the gold. Tears ran unchecked down Hamish's
cheeks. “You'll be all right Grams. Just take a deep breath. All you need is
some air.” He turned to glare at the leprechauns who knelt at her feet.
“Stand back. She needs air. You're all crowding too close.”
Captain Malcolm knelt at
Grams side and held her hand as her eyes glazed over and the last breath
rattled throughout her frail body. He lowered his head for a moment before
grabbing Hamish’s shoulder. “She's gone lad.”
“No,” Hamish cried. He laid
his head in her lap and stroked her lifeless hand. “She's just resting.
See?” His words choked on the sob, building in the back of his throat.
“Grams is just closing her eyes for a brief rest.” Finnegan and Gobban wiped
at the tears pooling in their eyes.
Out of sight of the others,
Alpin kicked King Rogan and cursed the leprechaun under his breath. He then
removed his hat as a sign of respect and approached Hamish. “She was a nice
lady. There was none finer than she.”
Gobban choked on his comment.
“Always loved her, I did.” The rest of the leprechauns nodded in agreement.
A leprechaun named Manus,
stifled a sob. “When she was a little girl, I used to play hide and seek.
You know what?” The other leprechauns shook their heads. “She found me every
“Me too,” cried Donnell from
the back of the crowd.
“I loved her shortbread
biscuits. In fact, I always keep several on me in case I'm ever hungry,”
said Alpin, finishing the last crumbs he found buried in his pocket. He eyed
the lone crumb in the palm of his hand. “Who will make me biscuits now?”
Hamish surged to his feet,
outraged by the leprechauns’ show of sympathy. “How can each of you stand
there and tell me how much you cared for her?” His face grew beet red as he
wiped away the angry tears that ran down his cheeks. “If you hadn't
kidnapped her, she would be safe in bed right now.”
Alpin scuffed the toe of his
shoe along the wooden floor. “I didn't want to kidnap her. I even kicked the
bottle that Finnegan hid inside, toward her chair so he could rescue her.”
“What about the rest of you?
If you had defended her against the king she'd still be alive.” Hamish
kicked King Rogan, who grunted from the blow. “This is all your fault.”
Gobban wrung his hands
together. “We only wanted her to help us be free of our king. He's very
“All you had to do was ignore
his commands,” said Hamish.
Gobban gasped. “We couldn't
do that. We elected him as our king.”
“That didn't stop Finnegan
from trying.” Hamish’s soft-spoken comment rang throughout the room.
“He's right you know,” said
Finnegan. “We let our pride keep this despot in power.” He nudged King Rogan
with the toe of his shoe.
What the devil?” Captain
Malcolm's cry broke into the budding argument and everyone turned to look at
what the pirate was pointing at. A tiny golden glow bloomed in the middle of
Grams chest and spread throughout her body like ripples in a pond, growing
luminous in the darkened room.
Stunned, Hamish stared at
Grams’ body as the light radiated from within; spreading toward her hands
and toes. The golden glow faded toward her mouth into a tiny ray of light
and burst from her lips, spraying the room with golden dust in every nook
and cranny. A moment later, she coughed up a mouth full of dust.
“Och... that tastes horrid.”
She leapt to her feet and cast Hamish a radiant smile. “Would you be a dear
and get me a drink? I need something to wash the taste of leprechaun dust
from my mouth.”
Hamish stayed rooted to the
spot with his mouth hanging wide open. “But...how? I don't understand? I
thought you were dead?”
“Go on with you now. I can't
speak very well with this dry mouth,” said Grams.
Hamish stumbled toward the
bar and rummaged through the bottles behind the counter until he found a can
of club soda, before returning to her side.
Finnegan patted Grams
shoulder. “She captured King Rogan and must’ve inhaled some of his
She nodded as she sipped from
the can. “That's much better.” Grams sat her drink on a nearby table. “Now
then, what shall we do with King Rogan? He's caused quite a mess and we
can’t be having any more trouble from him.”
Captain Malcolm cut in. “I
say we turn him into a stone statue.” He waved at Finnegan. “He did it to me
for several hundred years.”
Finnegan chewed on his bottom
lip. “It might work,” he said, before pointing an accusing finger at the
other leprechauns. “But since he's a powerful leprechaun, we all need to
band together to use our powers to curse him. He's a king after all.”
Alpin stepped forward. “I for
one would be glad to have him gone from my sight.”
Gobban choked on his own
words. “He made me grovel...grovel. I am the know-it-all of our clan and
still... he made me grovel.” Gobban paused, narrowing his gaze. “Count me
The other leprechauns piped
in with, “Me too”. “I'm in.”
Captain Malcolm grabbed the
sweater with King Rogan inside. “You all be ready when I open the sweater. I
need to take back what belongs to me.”
Finnegan snuck up behind the
pirate. “Don't you mean what belongs to me?”
Captain Malcolm paused for a
moment before removing the knitting needles. “No.”
Finnegan rolled his eyes
before turning to the other leprechauns. “Is everyone ready?” All the
leprechauns nodded. “Now!”
King Rogan fell to the floor
and then leapt into the air to try and escape, but not fast enough. The clan
of leprechauns formed a semi circle, tossing a cloud of dust in his path.
Once the king burst through the gold cloud, he turned to stone.
Hamish grinned. “Stupid
Captain Malcolm grabbed the
treasure from inside the sweater. “Ah, here you are.” He hugged the bag to
his chest. “Now, what do we do with this?” The Captain tossed the stone
statue of King Rogan onto a nearby table.
Hamish glanced around the
room before saying, “How about on the shelf up there, between those empty
Grams nodded, grabbing the
sweater from the floor that was used to trap the king. A moment later, she
shoved it into her bag. “Shouldn't waste good yarn.” She turned to Gobban
who had tears streaming down his face. “What's wrong with you dear?”
“I'm just... so... so...
happy!” He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. “You can't imagine how
nice it is to have him gone from power.”
“Aye,” said Donal. “He worked
my nerves like a harpy.”
“So you'll be forgiving us
then?” Alpin peeked out from behind the bar while scrounging through the
shelves for food. Upon finding a bag of mixed nuts, he shouted with joy.
“Of course,” said Grams. “It
was all for a good cause.”
Hamish clenched his fists
while he listened to the leprechauns apologize and Grams forgive them. He
shoved aside a chair, knocking it to the floor. “Has everyone gone daft?”
“Hey! Watch it,” said Captain
Malcolm, sidestepping the chair and yanking it toward the shelf. “You almost
hit me with that.” He rubbed at a smudge on King Rogan's cheek before
shoving the statue into the back corner of the shelf above a window,
mumbling to the former king, “At least you get a nice view while you are
stone, I was shoved into the bottom of a drawer for several decades.”
“I don't understand any of
you,” cried Hamish. “First Grams is kidnapped by all of you,” he pointed
toward Gobban and Alpin, “and then she dies while trying to save us and now
she's come back to life.”
“What’s your point dear?”
Grams sat her bag on the table.
“How are you alive?”
“Oh, that's an easy one to
explain,” she said while strolling over to the bar. “Ah, here we go.” She
twisted the cap of a bottle of tea and guzzled the fruit flavored liquid.
“That was refreshing.”
“Grams, are you going to tell
me what's going on?” Hamish tapped his foot while he crossed his arms over
her chest, waiting for an answer.
“Aye, right.” She slammed the
empty bottle onto the countertop. “It was the leprechaun dust. It has many
Hamish arched a brow.
Finnegan hopped onto a stool
and rummaged through the crate of whiskey before he grabbed a bottle for
himself. “Are you deaf? Is there wax in your ears? She said it was the
leprechaun dust that saved her.”
Captain Malcolm grabbed the
whiskey bottle from Finnegan. “I’ll be taking that now.”
“Hey! I was going to drink
that,” said Finnegan, stomping his foot.
“You don't need it. It'll
stunt your growth.” Captain Malcolm winked at Hamish before tossing back
half the contents of the bottle. “Now, about the treasure.”
“What about it?” Hamish found
a can of soda and guzzled the beverage.
“Since I've been put to all
the trouble of saving it, I should be allowed to keep it,” said Captain
Finnegan opened his mouth to
protest, but Grams next words cut them off. “Done.”
“What?” Finnegan jumped onto
the counter and glared at Captain Malcolm.
“You can have King Rogan's.
I'm sure he won't need it any longer,” said Grams patting the leprechaun on
Finnegan glanced at the
ceiling for moment and sighed. “All right, I'll keep the king’s treasure.”
“Wait a minute now,” said
Captain Malcolm. “Isn't the king's treasure much larger than Finnegan's?”
“Don't you mean, your
treasure?” Grams grinned for moment before declaring, “I do believe I'm
rather tired and lord knows that Hamish could use a bath.” She wrinkled her
nose. “Is that oil all over your clothes and hair? And do I smell french
“Oh, aye,” said Hamish, “but
it was for good cause.”
Grams pursed her lips. “No
doubt. Now fetch the car. We should be going back to the house. I need to
pack for my flight back to Scotland tomorrow evening.” She whispered in
Gobban's ear and he nodded before gathering the other leprechauns together.
A few moments later the clan disappeared from the pub. Meanwhile, Captain
Malcolm headed out the back door to retrieve the car.
Staring at Captain Malcolm’s
retreating back, Finnegan jumped to the floor. “I think I'll go with him.
He's not very good at driving the car.”
Once everyone left the pub,
Hamish pulled his Grams into a bear hug. “I thought I lost you. Don't ever
leave me like that again.”
Grams return the hug and
grunted. “You can count on that. Now fetch me my bag and let's get out of
Hamish grinned. “Sure thing.”
As he and Grams headed toward the front door, he failed to notice the trail
of leprechaun dust scattered onto the floor from Grams shoes.