Thursday, March 17, 2011


This week’s prompt was a themed word list geared around St. Patrick’s Day. The words were road, beer, luck, coin, pot, gold, rainbow, and snakes. I’m not sure how well my story fits with the St. Patrick’s Day theme, but this is how it wanted me to tell it. Please enjoy.


“Well, Jeremy, I thought you decided not to join me this evening. Neither of us is Irish, yet the possibilities for enjoyment are endless.”

“Kyle, I am sorry to be late. I came by way of the logging road to avoid the traffic and the floats from this afternoon’s parade. You have no idea what I’ve been through for the past few hours. Have I missed much?”

“Only the opening act, my friend. Are you sure you’re up to this? What happened?”

“Let’s sit over there on the grass and I’ll tell you about it. You remember when we last saw each other I told you about my new house by Dove Lake? Everything went smoothly and I was enjoying getting settled in. As I had mentioned, it was a quiet area and the residents kept to themselves, which was exactly the type of place I was hoping to find.

After I moved in, I noticed one of my neighbors watching me. There were times when I looked through my window and I saw him looking right back at me using binoculars. Can you believe it? I strolled over one evening when I saw him in his yard to introduce myself and perhaps lay any suspicions he may have had about me to rest. He was inspecting various areas in his yard with his flashlight. I greeted him and asked if there was a problem I could assist him with. He told me he was looking for snakes. He had seen a show on television about how snakes hide in the grass and how they can overrun a place. He’s an older gentleman and I didn’t want to upset him, so I didn’t mention there were no snakes in the area. I wished him good luck and went about my business.

Another evening he was out with his metal detector searching for a gold coin supposedly lost in the vicinity by some mobster years ago. After he’d learned of it from a documentary he’d seen, he knew he’d be able to find it. Again, I wished him well and continued on. There was always something important he needed to do as a result of information obtained from one of his programs. Perhaps I’m unable to empathize since I’ve never owned one of those television things, but his interest did strike me as a bit obsessive. Anyway, to this evening.

I was leaving to join you for this evening’s entertainment and when I opened my back door, there was my neighbor and he was pointing a pistol at me. He waved it in my face and told me to get back into the house and sit down. He had been carrying some rope as well and after telling me to put my hands behind me, proceeded to tie me to my own kitchen chair. He informed me that he had figured me out and that the time had come for me to confess. He stated the firearm was his World War II pistol and if I failed to cooperate, he wouldn’t hesitate to use it. He seemed so agitated, I decided not to let him know that I could see the gun was missing the trigger. Poor old fellow was just so confused. I asked him what it was that he expected me to confess to.

He told me about a special he had seen yesterday about buried treasure and how to read the clues and see through the disguises of creatures who guard their riches. The rainbow at sunrise in back of my house was the sign he needed and ordered me to perform the transformation and become my true self. I almost laughed, but I maintained my composure so as not to offend. He obviously was having some type of break with reality and I needed to remain calm and try to help him through it. People in town had told me ever since he was forced to retire from his job at the plant, all he did was sit in front of his TV and that became his world. I asked him who or what it was that I was supposed to actually be and he said he knew that I was a leprechaun and told me I’d better tell him where my pot of treasure was hidden or else. That was just too much, Kyle, and I had to end this once and for all.

I reminded him that I stood at 6 feet 5 inches and as far as I knew, leprechauns were considerably smaller. He concurred. I spoke as rationally as I could and spent the next hour or so trying to help him realize that television shows were not representative of life. Poor guy began to cry and apologized. He missed his dead wife and his job and didn’t have anything but his television. I told him it would be alright and he should go home and relax with a beer and a book tonight and tomorrow, I would take him to the Hobby Shack in town to find him some type of activity. He thanked me and untied me and said he’d look forward to it. It was so sad, Kyle, but I think this will help him.”

“Craziest thing I’ve ever heard, Jeremy. I wouldn’t have put up with all that nonsense. I’d have put him down after he spied on me the first time. So, he still has no idea that you’re a vampire?”

“None whatsoever, and I’ve no intention of harming him. I like the subdivision, but I wouldn’t be able to remain for long if I began killing my neighbors. We’ll find him a past-time and he won’t bother me again. Humans love their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and now that the concert is in full swing, let’s do a sweep of the outer portions of the park. There’s bound to be a few stragglers laying under the stars and I’m extremely hungry. Shall we?”


  1. Oh boy! I have a similar crazy neighbor who is so irritating I wish I knew a local vampire. Great Story!

  2. Beach, Glad you enjoyed this. I was in agony over how to present this and dreamed it became a narrative, so when I got up, I wrote it that way. Nutty, but I'm really happy with it. I totally agree with you about having a vampire buddy. Oh I'd keep his number on speed dial!

  3. Clever use of all the words! I like Jeremy, really like him, it would be great to get to know what his life as a vampire is like. He's not evil, nor Twilight-y, he seems like someone interesting... what's his next episode?

  4. Dreams are a writer's best friend, I believe. Delightful as usual, Joyce! I had a feeling something was up with your narrator.

  5. Flannery, That's so true. Only another writer would understand how things can come to you that way--and they really do! I wanted this one to sneak up on you. You kind of think, well, hmmm, there's something about him, but what... So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for commenting.

  6. Ingrid, Glad you like Jeremy as much as I do. I really would like to do more with him. He wants to help his neighbor find a hobby, not just so he won't spy anymore but because he feels sorry for the old gentleman. Perhaps it's because he understands what it's like to be old and alone. Although Jeremy does have Kyle, but Kyle's not terribly good-hearted. I'm going to watch for the opportunity. Let's get to know Jeremy a bit better.

  7. Terrific story. I loathe most vampire fiction, so I'm making a huge exception, here.

  8. Stephanie, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I totally agree. Most vamps are so boring and are so overdone, I pretty much stay away from those kinds of stories. But the vampire angle just seemed to fit right in here, but I wanted mine to be different. I wanted him to have a heart, so to speak. Glad you enjoyed it. I had fun with this one.

  9. Aye, lassie. Yon Jeremy had better be avoidin' those stragglers on St. Paddy's day. Their blood will be so Old Bushmills soaked the poor lad will pass out in the moonlight and wake in the dawn wit his skin on fire. Barkeep! A round of Guiness fer de house and we'll all be a'singing the praises of Lady Joyce, ta best tale teller in all da green-grassed counties 'o de Emerald Isle.

  10. Absolutely brilliant Joyce time and again you deliver the tighest Noir prose. I loved this one.

  11. AJ, I be forever beholdin' to ya for all these kind words. I have passed on yer warning to my old friend Jeremy, and he promised to be mindful of yer wisdom. So happy you enjoyed my tale of the old ones!

  12. Richard, Thanks for your comments and I'm glad you liked this one. I wanted to write of the dark ones with a little bit of heart.