Wednesday, March 14, 2012


In honor of the upcoming holiday, we were to write a story that takes place on St. Patrick’s day--any time, anywhere, and includes the following words: Ireland, beer, Warwick Davis, leprechaun, shillelagh, Lucky Charms, and UFO. Oh the possibilities and the fun! Please enjoy.


Gerald O’Reilly couldn’t believe his eyes. His mother, who had been born in Ireland, grew up with tales of the ‘little people’ and shared the legends with him often. Mom had never believed leprechauns existed outside the imagination, but here was one, green coat, hat and all, right in Gerald’s backyard. He was trapped inside a large jar, which had rolled against a large rock next to the shed. Gerald knelt and leaned in close, wondering if communication was possible. After all, he had no knowledge of the old dialects.

“Excuse me, but, you are one of them, aren’t you? I mean, today is St. Patrick’s Day and that’s when you come out, right? By the way, if you keep jabbing that rock with your little stick, it’s going to break.”

“LITTLE STICK?” The small man’s voice boomed. “It’s called a shillelagh, dumbass, and as soon as I get out of here, I’ll jab you right in the…”

Gerald was horrified. This was no leprechaun--couldn’t be. This was some kind of experiment gone wrong, deposited here by a UFO. But why here? Why HIS yard?

“GERALD FRANCIS O’REILLY. AREN’T YOU FINISHED WEEDING YET?” His wife’s voice echoed throughout the neighborhood. I’m in the backyard, he thought, not in the next county…

“Still working, dear,” he responded. “ Lots of tough ones this time.” Hopefully, that will keep her quiet for another five minutes.

“Wait just a sec,” Gerald said quietly, looking behind him to make sure none of his neighbors were out to see him chatting with a jar. “Shillelagh? Yeah. Right. Why are you pretending to be a fairy? The little green men are supposed to be maybe 3 feet tall, and you’re what? Around 6 inches? I‘m sure you‘ve never heard of Warwick Davis, but he‘s in the movies and he plays one of you and he‘s not 6 inches tall.”

The small man’s face was turning as bright a red as Gerald had ever seen. He knew who Warwick Davis was, and enjoyed his performances. What does this boob think--I live in a cave or something?

“Fairy? Who you calling a fairy, bub? I am a leprechaun, and if you knew anything at all, you’d know I can’t lie when I’m…, I mean, in a situation where I’m…, oh, fuck it. Why I‘m a bit smaller than the industry standard is none of your business, but let me just say, it‘s the result of what I prefer to call a minor indiscretion. Let‘s leave it at that.

How I ended up in here is quite the amusing story though. The thuglet in the second grade that lives down the block put some Lucky Charms in a jar for his class’ Catch-A-Leprechaun Project. I am forced to admit I can’t just walk away from those. Everything was fine until this damn jar started to roll and got wedged up against a rock. To make matters worse, when the little punk saw me, he ran screaming home to mama and no one ever came to get me out of here. How about you? How’s about you give me one more roll and we’ll call it a day?”

GERALD FRANCIS O’REILLY. I DON’T FEEL LIKE MAKING LUNCH TODAY. WHY DON’T YOU GET ME SOME BURGERS AND FRIES.” Gerald was certain none of his neighbors would come out now. Whenever Emeraldine was sharing their lives at full volume, they all retreated behind closed doors.

“Okay, dear, I’ll go in just a bit. Almost done out here.”

Gerald still had some concerns about his little visitor.

“Explain something to me first before we talk deal. How come you talk like you do? Why haven’t I heard any ‘ye’s’ and ‘yon’s’, and why haven’t you called me ‘laddie’ even once?”

The little man knew if he was going to talk this clown into freeing him, he needed to start ‘making nice’. These humans were all the same. They all believed in the Tooth Fairy and that dude in the red suit with the reindeer. But all of it had to fit a stereotype. Magic was in the air and it made them feel all cozy and warm. It would be necessary for him to make this man feel all cozy and warm without technically lying. Oh crap.

“Look fella, what’s your name anyway? Mine’s O’Halloran, but you can call me Hal. I realize I‘ve been a bit…, well…, tense? But you can certainly see why, can‘t you? You ever spend any time in a fucking pickle jar?”

Hal could feel himself getting pissed again. A deep breath was in order.

“Anyway, I speak all languages and dialects, and since I doubt that you are familiar with the old tongue, I’m trying to speak in such a way that makes conversation between us easier. See?”

That made perfect sense to Gerald. He now knew this was all really happening. This was so much cooler than some old parade downtown.

“GERALD FRANCIS O’REILLY. MY FEET HURT. COME IN AND RUB SOME OF THAT OINTMENT ON MY HEELS.” Terrific. Follow up touching those feet of hers with some lunch. Can’t wait…

“Happy to, dear, let me get all my tools put away.”

He pretended to salute the man in the jar.

“I’m Gerald, Hal. Pleased to meet you.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, chump. Let’s move it along. It’s stuffy in here.

“Do you think you could possibly assist me, Ger, and roll me away from the rock?”

Gerald wasn’t sure how to approach the pot of gold thing, but it was now or never.

“If I do set you free, you’ll lead me to your pot of gold?”

Oh brother. Here we go. Gimme, gimme, gimme…

“Gerald, my man, what would you do with a pot of gold? Wouldn’t you rather have a nice portfolio loaded with high-interest CD’s, some bonds and investments in some European start-ups?”

That certainly was not the response Gerald had anticipated. He was under the impression that Hal’s pot of gold would be automatically his. Maybe mom had gotten it wrong…

“Well then, what about three wishes? If I set you free, would you give me three wishes?”

Enough was enough.

“What are you nuts? Do I look like a fucking genie? Three wishes? Look, you sorry excuse for whatever you are. You get me out of here and I’ll do one thing for you. My pot’s out of the question. I mean, I’ve got an image to maintain. But I’ll give you one. Deal?”


* * * * * * * *

Gerald was going to miss the little guy. Meeting him had been such a unique and satisfying experience. Hal was so much more interesting than his buddies from the factory. He decided he’d shower and put on his new jeans and St. Pat’s tee and head downtown to catch the parade. Lots of ladies come out to see the parade. There were also all the booths set up with food and beverages. The perfect setting to make new friends…

First however, he’d have to stash the jar where it would be safe. He located a lid that was just the right size. Gerald knew he couldn’t bury it outside. What if a dog dug it up and alerted its owner. Be tough explaining that. He decided on one of the shelves in the basement. It could be covered with an old tablecloth that would be easily removed should he decide to visit, although he didn’t anticipate that coming up very often. Hal said no care would be required, and Gerald knew that had to be truth. But still, ever considerate, Gerald tossed Emeraldine’s foot ointment right into that jar with her.

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