Tuatha De Danaan #2 The Wild Eyed Witch

The old hag stumbled around in her worn down cottage.  Her determination to finish the magic was of pure passion.  The cauldron bubbled and glooped as she went looking around desperately for some ingredients.

Her hair was withered and white, her eyes rolling around crazily.  She looked under old pots and pans, searching through ash and soot.  She found it!  She cackled hard and loud.

It was a jar of clear liquid.  She was about to put it in the cauldron.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you!” Said a small voice behind her. She grinned evil and narrowed her eyes to the side.

“Conarght!” She turned “Always a pleasure!” She bowed respectfully.

A little man no taller that a foot stood near the doorway. His Brown beard making him look wizened and a red hat that struck out against the night.

“And the same to you Margharta!” He looked at the jar “and..ah…what would ye be needing that for?” He nodded at the item.

“Oh this! Well I’m using it for my health, dear friend!” She screeched and guffawed.

“You truly are insane” he muttered under his breath, she didn’t notice.

“You know that’s not meant for the likes of you! It’s the sap of the Hawthorne tree!” He sighed “when will you mortals realise?”

The witch slyly looked around, she slowly danced inbetween the ruined braces of the cottage.

“But we both know I’m no mortal, don’t we? My wee saviour!  I’ve been this way for a hundred years” She hissed “it’ll be fine! No worse than what I am!” She snarled and stormed back to the cauldron.

“Please don’t, you don’t know what will happen!” Conarght pleaded.

The witch unpopped the lid, looked at Conarght while the liquid fell out, about to go in. It didn’t go in, what happened was it turned direction in the air. Safely away.

The witch cursed at him, the leprechaun remained steadfast.

“Don’t be meddling in things your not supposed to!” He warned poking his finger at her “that Hawthorne tree is not to be touched!”

With that he left and the witch was alone. She hated him, always meddling in her affairs.  She grabbed the bottle again but found it replaced with a beer bottle.

She screamed blue murder for the whole night, even conarght heard it two miles down the road as he entered the portal to his home in that Hawthorne tree.

Somehow he knew she would try again.

He would stop her.


Conarght spied on the witch for a good two weeks, he didn’t trust her and always knew she was up to no good.  He remembered how they first met.
He had honest intentions.

It was 1710 and he was walking by a cottage in Islandmagee, he heard a racket from inside.  A woman screaming insanely, he walked closer to the house to see the trouble.
He relished in mischief and could not resist the urge to look. He hopped up to the ledge as quick as a flash.  As he peered in he saw a woman sitting down at a table, she screamed “leave me alone!” And all manner of curses.

As she screamed things were flying around the room by themselves, plates smashed into walls, cups dancing around and chairs scraping the floor.

Conarght looked amazed, he started to grin.  Someone or something was doing this, he went on the hunt.  He tipped his little red hat to the woman and hopped off the ledge.

He sensed magic.

Like a beacon he was drawn to it, away from the cottage and through some hedges into the forest.  He walked another 40 yards or so and went through some shrubs.  There!

He saw her.  A silhouette of a woman who looked as of she were conducting a band.  Her hips swayed with the magic her hands waving to and fro, flicking and jerking.

She was a young thing, no more than 25 years old.  She cackled under the waning moon.  Conarght was about to go interrupt her, when some men jumped out and grabbed her.

“Margharta! You are to be on trial as a witch!” One of the four burly men grabbed her arms, another her legs.  She screamed and kicked out but she was overpowered.

Conarght giggled at the scene.  He loved all this drama, he stepped out unseen.  The men had ropes and tied her person about a tree.  They were interrogating her.

Conarght was standing right beside them unseen. Except her, she saw him, he cursed himself.

She started to grin.

The men looked on at her, she was a beautiful young woman with jet black hair with several white stripes in her hair.  A sign she had dealt with death to be sure.

“What say you witch? Have ye been tormenting yon widow in that cottage over yonder?” Asked the leader.

The witch cackled.

“Yes! She deserves it you Fools!” She screeched, the men held their ears “she murdered her husband, my lover! she needs to leave this mortal coil .. as do you!” She looked at Conarght.

“I wish you four would die a slow painful death!”

Conarght groaned, he flicked his hand.  Immediately the four of them put there hands to their chest.  They were slowly suffocating, lungs filling with water, panting and screaming the men slowly died.  It went on for hours, the pain killing them.  One of the last screamed with his last breath to let him die.

The witch cackled all the way through the mass murder.  She screamed happily. “Show yourself leprechaun!”

Conarght made himself visable, he grimaced at the thought of her. She smiled.

“Where did you get your powers?” He inquired, she was a powerful mortal.  He didn’t understand, and there wasn’t alot he missed.

“My mother’s side have been strong with magic but I’m not revealing anything to the likes of you!” She continued “I made a pact with the devil!” 

Conarght laughed out loud, the devil! Of course, always the devil.

She was not amused by this.

“I wish for these ropes to be released from me”

He flicked his hand and the ropes fell loose to the ground. She stepped over the ropes and bent down to each man, she drew little stars on each man’s forehead, the third eye.

Conarght had witnessed this in tribes a long time ago, it was normally for protection from spirits.  Dependant on the way it was drawn, it could have been a curse on their families.

This woman was evil.

“Why have you spent two wishes so quickly?” Conarght had his hat off scratching his thin Brown hair, he was trying to change the subject.

“I don’t need you!” She snapped and stormed towards him “I don’t need anybody!”

Conarght was a great judge of character.  Arrogance.  That was her trait.

“I wish to live forever now be gone with you!”

Cornarght sighed, he flicked his hand and went away through the bushes.  He went to the woman’s house, he jumped on that same window ledge.  He peered in once again.

The woman that had been petrified earlier looked relieved and happy enough. Everything had stopped moving and she was enjoying some food. Conarght felt sorry for the young woman, her tears were on a pool on the table.

He was going to meddle.

He put both his hands together and started to rub.  The magic stirring in his hands, he put his hands to the window and an invisible beam went straight into the woman’s body.

The woman felt a rush of joy, she began to cry tears of happiness.  When the beam had finished she rejoiced to god.  Her hands up to the sky.

Conarght jumped off the ledge.  As he turned he saw a shadowy figure approaching the house, the witch.  She started to run towards the house.

The leprechaun hit her with a disabling magic, she fell to the ground.  

“You’re not to go near her, ye hear me?” Conarght boomed. “If ye do, I will murder you a thousands times and more, I’ll keep bringing you back too!”

The witch spat.

“She killed my lover, you imp!” She started to sob.

Conarght pointed to the house “that place is protected, she is protected! You cannot touch her, if you do the magic will return to you tenfold whilst she remains unharmed.  And.” He added for impact “that includes all her kin from now to eternity.”

The witch cursed and ran off.

That was the first time Conarght encountered the Wild Eyed Witch.  For 80 years or so their paths crossed.  She was very tricky to deal with.

And here he was two weeks after his last encounter, watching her trying to get more Hawthorne sap.  She dug into the tree roots and recoiled in horror when she was thrown across the forest floor.

He protected his home.

She was a nuisance.

The witch sat in crumpled mess from where she’d been thrown.  Muttering curses at the air.  She wasn’t hurt, just in shock.  She started to rub debris off herself and slowly stood up.

“Show yourself devil” she said without conviction.

Conarght appeared right by her foot, his height reached her knee joint.  How old and withered she had looked, how fierce her eyes still glared.

She scowled.

“You did this to me, wretched thing. All I ask is for some Hawthorne sap to get me some youth.  You deny me!” She glared at him and pushed on “why???”

“If I recall rightly you’re the one who wished to live forever” his little finger pointing, accusing “ye should never take wishes for granted!”

She went to kick conarght but he dodged so quickly, she had no hope. Conarght giggled at the kicked leaves falling around her.

She looked pitiful, the once beautiful witch was now a hag.  Destined to grow older and older till she was nothing but bone. Conarght had a bit of sadness for her, not much and not even sadness.  He couldn’t place it, his eyes brightened.  He knew what it was, it was pity.

The witch started to sob. Conarght shown himself, the witch stopped sobbing. She wiped her tears.

Conarght went to a large stone and sat there, his feet dangling over the edge moving to and fro.  

“Why do we cross paths so much? There must be a reason!” He asked out loud, perhaps not even to the witch.

“Well, you are meddler. I am but a magic user, I made a simple mistake with a wish” her eyes still wet “is there anything to reverse the wish?”

Conarght shook his head, he stood up and pointed in her face “I told ye, ye must be careful what ye wish for!  I can’t magic an unwish, there’s nothing I can do for you!” He started to pace up and down with his hands behind his back. 

He wanted to help, at least if he did he would have little trouble with the witch as she wouldn’t be long for living. He took his hat off and peered inside the big hole.  He started to whisper into it and the witch swore she could hear a whispering back.

The leprechaun looked up from the hat, he shook his head.

“There is a way of reversing the wish” he shook his head knowing full well her answer already “but you have to give up your magic.”

The witch was angry.  She physically shook with rage.

The leprechaun knew full well this would not end well.  As he put his hat back on his head a lightning bolt hurtled fast at the leprechaun.  A powerful bolt from the witches hand.

The leprechaun put his hand up and repelled the bolt like it was a rubber ball.  The lightning bolt smashed into the witch and she fell back, stunned.

Conarght tutted, she should have known better.  He went to check the witch and she was breathing fine, he clicked his fingers and her body rose up in the air.  It was levitating and following the leprechaun.

He took the floating body to the Hawthorne tree, he waved his hand and a black mist appeared.  It was a portal to his home, he disappeared into it with the floating body.

Inside this portal was pure brilliant white, a room of immaculate cleanliness. There was nothing in the room but Conarght and the floating body.  He waved his hand and the body dropped.

The witch woke up. She was amazed.

“Ah-where is this? Am I alive?” She was checking herself.

Conarght looked at her “you are deep in the heart of my magic, from here you can do anything.  Be anything.  The only thing you can’t do is hurt, this is your home now. This room” he waved his arm around “is your kingdom, all you need to do is think”

“So I’m your prisoner?” The witch snapped.

“No nothing of the sort” the leprechaun grinned. “You’ll never age, if you want to be young just think.  Trust me this the best offer you’ll get from me.” He added with a bit of smarm “or I could take your magic.”

She looked angry again.  Always angry this one, if only she knew what he had done.  She would be as angry as the old Gods of Ireland!

“I’m helping you, Margharta!” Conarght turned away and flicked his wrist, the black mist forming. 

“Farewell, my angry little witch!” He turned and bowed with his hat.  He turned back to the mist.

He walked through it and was once again in the forest.

He chuckled.  The witch was imprisoned all right, she was in an illusion, a room created out of magic.  Nowhere near his home, he wouldn’t have that.

  The witch would still be there for millenniums, but the most important thing is he wouldn’t have to deal with her anymore.

And Sometimes, just sometimes when the full moon was out, the little leprechaun could hear faint cries of help.

He smiled every time because he knew they were her cries. And she deserved it.  Arrogance will get you no where, especially when dealing with a leprechaun.

The world was better off without that Wild Eyed Witch.

Last of the Leprechauns

So we went to a quaint little town just south of the Northern Irish border, 8 miles south to be exact.  Its weird to know that we can cross two countries and not have checks etc.

We were travelling from near Belfast to Co.Louth. A beautiful scenic drive that’s ruined by maniac drivers not paying attention to the road.

We arrived in Carlingford at 11:58 and I tried to find a parking space to our destination.  We found it eventually. I noticed a large Leprechaun statue pokin his head from the hedge.

We were greeted by Kevin, a Leprechaun Whisperer outside the shop of Last Of The Leprechauns! He told me if I were looking for leprechauns that I need to look at the ground because I’d run them over.

So we bundled out of the car and into the shop.  My daughter being grumpy as she’d spent an hour in the back bored as a fairy without wings.  However, her eyes lit up when Kevin said to her to come take a leprechaun, choose wisely he said.

She chose the Common Sense Leprechaun out of the 30 or so figures.  So once we got the little figure we bundled up the stairs covered in fake grass.

When we got to the top we were greeted with a number of wooden chairs.  When we all sat down the Leprechaun Whisperer took his place on a big wooden chair.

“Now, who believes in Leprechauns?” He asked, he reminded me of a grandfather telling a tale.  All that was missing was a book, slippers and a wee pipe sticking out his gob.

We all stuck our hands up to confirm why we were there.  Kevin began his tale.

“Now, I’m what they call a Leprechaun Whisperer” he started “and I have seen leprechauns, now what happened was there was a loud scream on the mountain! And the person who heard this scream was the owner of the pub P J Ohare, who’s since passed.”

“And so he went to investigate where the scream happened on the Foy mountain, and what he saw was a piece of scorched earth and a little green suit and hat.  What he found in the suit were 4 gold coins!”

I was loving this tale, and Kevin really made it better.

“It came to be that I took possession of the coins after PJ OHare passed over.  One day whilst I was walking up the mountains with my dog, I saw three leprechauns!  Now when I saw them I was frozen and the dog was too!  We were frozen whilst looking at them!”

He imitated being frozen.  His eyes rolled up to the heavens and he went stiff as a board and it seemed forever when he did.

A few giggles from the kids.

He relaxed and carried on with the tale.

“The leprechauns disappeared under a rock and I was unfrozen.  So I went home and wondered whether to tell anyone about this.  I got home and it transpired that I’d been gone a long time!”

His tale was really believable, I’m skeptical but the child in me desperately craves for these things to be true.

“I became a believer in the Leprechauns and what I started to do was lobby a case to protect the wee folk.  We were successful and right now there is protection for the wee folk through the EU.

I also set up a leprechaun hunt in the mountains.  If anyone could catch a leprechaun to prove their existence, there were four toy leprechauns in the mountains with 1000 pounds under each.

I sold leprechaun hunting licences for 10 pounds.  The mountains were covered with people, they had nets and leprechaun traps, you name it.

Now, I’ve been told by a leprechaun that there are 236 of them left and the millions that died were because people stopped believing in them.

I was able to talk to the wee folk because one of the four gold coins enables me to see and talk with them.”

The tale ended in this wee room, and we preceded to the underground fairy cavern. He shown us all manner of things and tales.

There was much more said but I’ll leave it to your imagination and if you visit.

I highly recommend this place.

If you’re skeptical like me you will still enjoy it and get lost in the magic.

Enjoy The Last of the Leprechauns at 1a Gran Road, Carlingford, Co.Lough, Ireland.

Tuatha De Danaan #4 Conarght of the Gold

Take away all of that fake imagery of your typical Leprechaun. This tale is not for everyone infact it is intended for the believers of us.

The faerie folk.

Come, take a walk with me through the ancient dusty road where many a creature have fallen by the wayside. Too many to count.

My questions are the same as yours. Who are we? What are we? Why are we here?

I’ve heard of old Gods, I try to communicate with them but nothing. I leave offerings in holy places of the ancients, I’ve searched the length and breadth of the land. Nothing.

My name is Dearthel, Changeling Prince of the Fairy folk. I am the joining bridge between our worlds.

I was human for 17 years as a boy named Fergal, I lived and breathed the mortal life. I lived with my six brothers and my surrogate father, I often visit them but I’m never visable. I know they are kept well by my fellow folk.

They still await my return. Never believing that I perished. Oh I was so happy there in that little village.

Until an encounter with Conarght of the gold under that Hawthorne tree, that day changed my destiny forever.
Eventually I got involved with the other crowd. I was hunted after escaping the banshee when I was a newborn, my mother released a pure magic to keep me safe. When my true nature was revealed the banshee was after my blood.

But alas.

After the destruction of the Red Banshee a year ago, I had a thirst for knowledge, an unquenchable desire to know where we came from and for our genealogy. It was consuming me. I need answers that Conarght had.
My mother worried about me getting involved with Conarght again. But I needed answers as he had been around longer than us.

I asked the devil Leprechaun to help me.

Conarght of course was closed off in body and spirit, it took alot of persuading. Day after day I would visit and plead. Stubborn little creature he was.

I finally broke down his barrier by telling him I will make the last wish. My last wish would release him from our grasp. Although he did tempt me by telling me to wish for the knowledge. I declined, as much as I yearned to.

His story is within these volumes. Once completed he will be released.

This story is told in the words of Conarght himself. I will write as if it were a formal interview.

Beware, you may be mislaid and tricked along the way. Not by my words as I will write exactly what he says but just a warning to you. Leprechauns like to fool and deceive. Always the way with this particular trickster.

Something he said to me that haunts me everyday. Be careful what you wish for!

Many have fallen on the road of the lonely Leprechaun. Too many to count.

I walked to Erith’s house, down the little allies and avenues of this little fairy kingdom. I changed my form to my original fairy size so I could walk.

Little fairy folk going about their day to day life. Rejoicing in their little ways,it always amazed me how different humans and the fairy folk were. None of us envied anything we had or hated.

Their was a fine balance here, I understand in the past that their were faery tribulations. The folk had been captive of evil at one point. But it didn’t matter now. We were at peace.

The little streets were flecked with gold and crystals of every colour. Nearly at Edith’s place, I jumped up and started to fly. The view was brilliant, the little streets giving off an amazing shine almost like a rainbow road.

I flew fast to Erith’s house. Her wooden door fast shut. I knocked three times and instantly the portal opened. It was my beloved Edith, her golden hair down with little silver bows hanging on random strands. Her golden eyes lit up when she saw me, next moment we were dancing in her living quarters in the air.

Hugging and gently kissing, we were in love. What a feeling!

Eventually our passions died and we drifted down. The purpose of my visit. Conarght.

“How is he today?” I asked getting lost in her eyes again.

“Grumpy! As always!” She giggled.

“Well I hope he’s going to keep to his promise” I said looking towards the cellar door.

She turned my head with her gentle hand.

“He will my love” she kissed my brow “go now and see.”

I walked to the cellar door, not quite expecting anything. Down the dark steps I went, the light softly illuminated the cellar room.

The cellar was very wide and tall, rows and rows of casks of vintage Mead. Delicious.

At the very back wall, the leprechaun standing up with his front leg standing and his other leg half cocked up. He looked like a giant to me in my current form. So I switched.

The role was reversed in the blink of an eye. He sneered.

He looked at me with disgust as asked him how he was. He was bored of this cellar. Not being able to get out at all. My mother put a force on the door of the cellar.

“Well are we going to start today?” I asked suddenly and it caught him off guard, I was never this quick to ask. Normally it would be a little game before I asked. A battle of wills it could best be described.
“Well now, if you want to know our history. I’ll tell ye! But it won’t bring you happiness or closure to the ailments of your mind.” He quickly glanced over at some chairs and a table then pointed.

“Shall we sit and talk your heiness?” Mocking me as always. His little red hat still over his one eye, a permanent Cheshire cat grin.

So we sat, I waved my hand and there appeared some food and stout. He jumped at the chance of food and drink, I smirked in spite of myself and he saw it. I remembered the time it was the other way when he tried to trick me through food and drink.

He was not happy, he spat out the food he was chewing.

“Oh funny now is it? Well now, I understand” he said spewing out bits of the food.

“Oh how the mighty have fallen! Cornarght you tried to trap me! Now it’s me who’s trapped you!” I quipped back.

He scowled. “Well if and when I’m released there will be hell to pay. And ye will be my first visit my sweet Prince!”

I waved my hand non commitedly. I grew tired of his threats, he was powerless..at the moment.

“So shall we begin my little Red Hat?” I was a bit impatient with him these days. “Don’t worry about that last wish, it’ll be granted!”

He sighed, bit into a piece of bread and took a long draught of his stout. He sighed. Then he began

“If I were to start anywhere twould be on the beginning when Ireland and indeed the world were together. Every country of Earth joined to the hip, as it were.” He stopped. His eyes rolled up, he was looking into himself for more information.

“The whole world? One continent?” I said baffled.

“Yes, and it was better. No rivers or seas to separate my kin or yours” he said sadly. He carried on.

“Now, in the beginning there was endless mist from every point of the Earth. Out of the mist came the mother of our kind. A beautiful woman of beautiful designs.

She was a giant woman of fantastic proportion, so high she stood that the Mourne mountains looked like a stepping stone. her golden hair flowing freely, blue eyes full of joy… tsk! fergal is ye would of seen her!

We asked her, as her children, where she came from. She pointed to the ground and smiled, always smiling. Her magic was her essence. She was mother nature incarnate.

Her name was Danu

She created everything from the mist including our kind. Her magic was strong, all she did was grab a handful of this endless mist and create. Thats how nature was created including us.

Our mother goddess loved us and treated us greatly, then she made man kind. That’s when the great turmoil started.

Now I was a youngling when I started to communicate with my mistress, she noticed my musical ability to make men weep or rejoice. I could entrance the feeble minded with notes.

Now me and my fellow leprechaun folk grew to hate man and his desires, so basic and trivial, we despised him. It created a problem with our High Mistress, she wanted peace and accord.

Then the Formarians arrived.”

“Who are the Fomorians?” I asked politely whilst taking a sip from my stout.

“A proud race, proud indeed! Now, these beings were giants too like Danu. The difference being Fergal that they were everything the Tuath Dé danann were not.” He stopped.
I ignored his reference to my old mortal name. He smiled and nodded his head. Another drink of the stout.
“They were evil. Their leader was named Partholeon and he said they came from underground below the mist. We all met as friends at first, we were told of a place deep in the Earth where a beautiful light lived and life surrounded the light.
Pantholeon was a great leader, he scared us at first. The sight of him! A goats head with one eye would you believe! The body of a man with the legs of a goat. He spoke richly about our two worlds colliding and forming an everlasting alliance. He is the father of what you would call goblins and trolls.
Now it came to be that there were to be a great council between the Tuath Dé danann and the Formarians to decide on the fate of such a truce.
And as it so happens nearly everyone alive in that day voted with their right hand as a yes.
However after the truce was summoned, we all got along great and we held a fantastic banquet. I was chosen to play my fiddle, I played with all my heart and soul. I made the entire crowd weep and rejoice with every tug of my bow.
So impressed was the fomarians that they gave me and my fellow leprechauns a gift each, from their own land. The gift of gold.” He looked down at his empty cup sorrowfully. “Ah fine days they were. Where notes of music rang true and love was pure” he shook his head as if he had swallowed a bitter pill.
“So what happened to them? The fomarians?” I asked desperately. I’d never heard of them before and I eyed him with suspicion.
“Well, we would be jumping ahead there now! What I will say is that it was a long peaceful reign, and I grew to love the formarians. Too much and so did our little group. At court we would talk about how great it was to have them. They lured us with their spirit and nature, I for one loved their little ways of magic.” He laughed. “Oh how they tortured men, always mankind. They hated them as much as we! Danu was outraged when she heard of mankind being treated with contempt, men being mocked by changing appearences and giving fake dreams of wealth. She hated it and I loved it.” A little gold tear welled up in his eye “But I loved her, my mother.”
“I can understand your hatred for mankind but it’s pretty petty to go against your own mother for that reason” I stated matter of factly.
“What would you know about it?” He snapped back, he was so angry his face flushed red, the gold tear sliding down gently. “You don’t understand anything of our nature, just a whelping king!.”
“OK but still one reason to be misled into another group. It’s not right” I snapped straight back.
“Well maybe so, but my rebellious nature is as it is now and was back then. The formorians never changed me and Pantholeon was like a patron saint to me.” He breathed heavily before he continued. “So it came to pass before the turmoil with mankind that Danu and Pantholeon were to be as you call it husband and wife. For the sake of peace between the two worlds it was to be done. Only when Danu rose up against her husband, after a long peace, over the treatment of mankind did it go sour.
So sour was the milk between the two that they began Wars across the continent. These Wars were arguments between the two, humans waged war on the fomarian folk who tormented them. ‘If they can torment my creations then they can face the consequences’ she told the court one day. Pantholeon sat her down immediately.
The formarians were outraged, they left by their thousands…scheming. It then so happened that Danu was dethroned and murdered but not by the Fomarians. She was killed by humans.” A sadness swirled around the leprechauns eyes “I miss her”.
“The humans were pawns in the Fomorian plans. The fomarians leader Pantholeon one day stole a thread of Danus hair, and changed himself through magic to Danu. His transformation was perfect, he was able to transform Danu into himself as she slept soundly.
He ordered the humans in that night through a secret passage in the Holy Mound and informed them in the disguise of Danu that their enemy lay asleep and needed to be slain”
Conarght was feeling low, he stood up and stretched. His hands behind his back and his head shaking back and forth.
“I hate them, all of them!” He screamed and I saw a bitterness surround this little being “they sliced her to ribbons! Mortals tearing away at sacred flesh! Flesh never to be broken, blood never to be spilt!”
“That’s horrific! And so I assume the power went to fomarians? I can’t believe how easy it was to kill a goddess!” I was in awe of what he was telling me, this stubborn little being never wanted to talk!

“Yes, well they did have magic too those days” he replied. He looked at me and prompted “the humans dummy!””So the fomarians had power over the world once she died, however her ultimate power had one last trick. When she died her seed fell into the ground. Every inch of her skin grew into the ground. What happened in the next century or so was a whole crowd of people born from her death. Mermaids, fairy folk, the good people, gnomes etcetera etcetera. The fairy folk who knew nothing of how they came to be.” He looked at me hard and asked “you know where she’s buried?”

“She’s still alive you know.” Conarght said breaking the silence “Danu, well not physically but I see her everywhere in nature.”

“What would you say to her now Cornarght?” I asked sympathetically holding out a hand in friendship. He waved it away.

“I’d tell her I chose the wrong side” he nodded his head solemnly like he was agreeing with himself. He started stroking his beard and thinking. I waved my hand and more stout appeared. His eyes lit up and he started to drink.

“Like the banshee” I prompted.

“No nothing like her! I owed the banshee a debt I couldn’t pay. I didn’t choose her side” his face turned angry again. “I think it best to leave it now.”

“What happened with the offspring from the Goddess?” I changed the conversation.

“Well like any child might do, they went looking for their mother. A massive army of fairy folk scouring the country for their dead mother” he paused “they didn’t even know where they were, this great chunk of land and the massive sea surrounding it. It took alot of learning and understanding. Alot of them died, survival of the fittest you would say. In the end they never found her but they found the fomarians.”

I sat there staring at the little fellow, his hat fully over his two beady eyes, he had pulled out a pipe and started smoking.

“Tis a shame that many died. These were powerful faery folk, 300 times more powerful than you are now.” He smiled menacingly “or ever will be.”

I ignored the patronising tone, I was happy to be getting information.

“The fomarians tried to deceive as they once did with us, however something in the troop of faerie folk never did trust them. Whether it was Danus subconsciousness dwelling in every one of them or indeed their own thoughts… I’ll never know.

What happened next was that the faery folk rose up against the fomarians. The battles were so great that the world was broken apart and mankind, faery folk and the fomarians were scattered across the continents.

There were and are 234 of my kind left in Ireland, some unknown number are scattered around the world. They have different names but essentially the same as me. Of your kin there are thousands in Ireland and again an unknown remainder cut off in other countries.

Mankind were not happy, most died through the changes on the planet. Not having enough hindsight to stay in one place. Some fell off the openings in the land and most drowned.

They became a bitter people and instead of focusing on the magic they chose weapons. Several tribes invaded each other and it’s been that way since. I pitied them, the Fools. Now I hate them.”

He looked disgusted at me, he was wanting more stout and food. A flick of the hand and it was replenished.

“Go on Conarght, what happened next?” I asked like a small child pleading for a story.

“Well all them invaders of other lands fell from our original life, war thirsty and confused they invented fake gods and deities. There were a few groups who paid homage to Danu, they built enormous moments in places.

Your kind helped these believers of Danu build these monuments.

The fomorians were absolutely furious with mankind, they decided to wage war. These hardened demons decided to copy mankind and build boats and forge steel. They invaded lands and took the women, fallen angels that took the daughters of mankind, they also stole most of mankind’s history and destroyed it. Until the fairy folk aided mankind.”

The leprechaun took a deep drink.

“Did the faery folk destroy the Fomarians?” I asked desperately.

The leprechaun looked me in the eye while still holding his drink.

“It was a bloodbath”

“The Fomarians were no match for the faerie folk who banished the lot of them whence they came. They forced them back home and how the world settled down.

Pantholeon was dragged by the fairies to a mound, he was still proud. The fairies cursed him worse, with the magic bestowed upon them by their mother.

Centuries and centuries they pleaded with him to tell them of their origin. He laughed in their faces, they tortured him with all manner of things. His one eye defiant of his captors.

Now his curse was simple, so simple!” The leprechaun chuckled to himself.

“What did they do Conarght?”

The leprechaun was giggling now, I think the stout was having an effect. He calmed himself between the chortles and I actually joined in not knowing what the joke was.

“Well now” conarght gulped “right now, so basically they turned him into a human for all of eternity” he guffawed at the punchline. He was making me laugh, so contagious. He snapped back into serious and scowled at me.

“You devil!” He grimaced “making me happy, no need to be happy in this tale!”

I threw my hands up and scratched my head puzzled. “OK, go on.”

“So the thing he hated the most he was changed into forever and what’s more he was banished to the middle of earth with his people. They saw his human form and he was thrown from grace. I hear he’s the lowest of the low now.

The great faery King Grethanel was a kind and honourable sprite, after the banishment he set about trying to unite tribes of fairy folk in Ireland. It was with great success, humans and faery lived well.

Me and my kin were thrown to the way side, always had been. By then we had become solitary creatures and we tempted men. We would meet up every so often for remembrance and tradition.

Often we would trick a human into some misery. We loved how gullible and foolish they were.

The King heard of our folly centuries later and he put a curse on us. That we would be solitary forever and never our kin should meet. We had our ways of changing luck and one of the greatest gifts was wishes and gold.

We understood men’s greed, even from the beginning” he stopped and looked around “it’s getting late, maybe time to retire.”

“Very well I understand how taxing it is” I passed him an extra stout mug “one for the night.” He slugged it down and went to the corner.

I looked at the leprechaun and he was sleeping. Sleeping with one eye open.

I retired from the cellar in my other faery form, and my hopes were lifted. This little stubborn fellow had told me alot tonight. My mind was in ribbons wondering about all he had said.

Was the truth told to me tonight? Ah, that little fellow was a nightmare, like a riddle within a riddle.

I talked deeply with Erith about it all, my soul mate believed the tale and convinced me so. I walked slowly through the fairy lights that lit up this tiny city.

I’d been here in my home for less than a year and still couldn’t believe all that had happened. To know there were other tribes of our folk out in the world gave me hope!

I started to fly up into the sky, so natural was it to fly high and swoop and dance. As I flew up I wondered about our ancestors and how fantastic they must have been.

I flew faster towards my own little home, it was not a Palace, I didn’t feel like a Prince and needed no such wealthy estate.

I got home and my mother was waiting.

“What did the little monster tell you?” She asked not looking at me, the worried look on her face pained me.

I relayed the tale to her and her face looked relieved. Until I came to the Fomarians and her face dropped, something about the name made her heart drop and she looked at me with sincere worry.

“I must tell Dearthel, this is the truth” she said shaking.

“However do you know mother?” I asked puzzled.

“Because I was there my love” she shook her head “I saw Pantholeon dragged down to the depths of the Earth.”

My jaw dropped, why didn’t she tell me before? I was hurt she could not say to me.

“Some things are better left in the past, I never knew of my mother. I was the first to come and now” she paused, tears streaming down her face “I am the last.”

The little leprechaun had told the truth! I was excited and pained, bittersweet would be a better word. I could see my mother’s pain. I wanted to know more.

“Tell me what happened mother?” I gently said stroking her face.

“When I was “born” it was from nothingness. I was born from magic, pure magic. That must have been our mothers wish, I have kept quiet for hundreds of thousands of years” she wiped her tears “it’s why the banshee was after you. She wanted you as you were born from me, an ancient. She is and was in league with the Fomarians. She dwells neither here nor there, on the ground or below the surface.”

Angrily she shook “damn that little fool Conarght!”

“It’s OK mother, I’ve seen a side to him I’d never seen. The imp has shown me emotions I’d never seen!” I looked seriously into her eyes “he cried!”

“Means nothing to me, you know he was the one that told the banshee where you were, he made me lose out on a long time with you”

She was right, damn him! The years to fairy folk are slower than the human life. A day here is like a year there, so to my mother she was waiting at least a thousand in her time.

Thinking of the banshee gave me the shivers, that cold black aura surrounding it like black ice. Not worth bearing to think about.

“Son, the banshee was a Fomarian!” She looked scared “Don’t you see! We are not safe, they will come back. The banshee will doom us all! She’s probably told him all”

I looked at her, my heart dropped.

I had a sleepless night, my eyes tried to close but when they did all I could see were wretched images of the Banshee. I tossed and turned in bed, almost feverish.

When I woke up early I flew quite literally to Eriths house. Edith was still asleep but I opened the door and rushed straight to the cellar door. I walked down the steps and saw the leprechaun still in the same place, with the same one eye open whilst dreaming.

I woke him up.

“Get up! Much much more to discuss!” I demanded he tell me more.

Conarght was up like a flash and running towards me, he put his little hands at my neck and pushed me to the wall.

“NEVER DEMAND ANYTHING OF ME!” His voice was full of venom. Then he grinned like the devil. He let go of me then started pacing up and down with his hands behind his back.

I rubbed my neck, amazed at how powerful he was, the little creature was pacing faster and faster. He didn’t like showing emotion, he was breathing heavily and muttering to himself.

What was this little fellow thinking?

He stopped abruptly. “Pantholeon is still around you know. He was banished for a long time, even when Danu appeared to an English King in a great lake” he looks at me wanting me to acknowledge.

“He was banished before the murder of Danu?” I was starting to see there was a mystery unravelling.

He flicked his hand as if dismissing my theory. He tutted loudly, he took his pipe out and concentrated his look at me. He blew an O smoke ring.

“I loved her you know. I ressurected her. Well I say ressurect, not quite. An image of her you would say, she has dabbled in the history of the world.” He blew another several O rings.

“So she’s still around?” My mind was ripping over itself.

“Yes! You fool!” He hissed “but not as you think, she comes when needed. When Arthur needed direction she was there, when Finn McCool needed knowledge she gave it and when the ancient druids needed ritual she shown them.

The thing is Fergal, I loved her. She was my wife!” He growled.

I gasped.

“I am Pantholeon!” He exclaimed “and if you do not release me I will slaughter your people, I will burn down your world with the fire of a thousand sun’s”.

I panicked, was it really Pantholeon? I studied the little one carefully, his eyes burning with fire. He looked convincing.

“Wait a second! You would say anything to get released, how can I trust you?” I paused to see his face change to dumbfounded, I continued “what proof do you have?”

This made him chuckle, he was really grating on me now. He was always switching emotions, it was hard to keep up.

“You’re right, I have no proof. But I can show you.” He put his finger to my head.

Immediately I closed my eyes and my spirit was carried down into an underworld. My spirit dropped throbs mounds and mounds of dirt until it fell to some spiritual plane.

The world had a huge green grass ring and the sky was the purest blue, a giant orb was in the centre revolving.

I saw in the distance some goblins fighting, they were hissing and snarling. I only noticed them at first but behind them, further in the distance were millions.

An army of creatures.

Cornarght was with me as well in this spirit world.

“Don’t worry they can’t hear you but I’ve to show you something” he said to me.

“Come! Follow me!” He ran into the distance.

I followed.

I ran with Conarght towards the mass of otherworldly creatures. As I ran I noticed the grotesque minions, they disgusted me and the vibe of hatred emanating from them was nauseating.

They carried broadsword and shields, the evil oozing from their eyes. We carried on running, through the green grass. “Come on! I want you to see!”

We sped past unnoticed by the masses of the army. Until we came to a monument of some description, tall it was in the form of a humanoid. I looked carefully at it, it was absolutely massive. The body of a man with cloven hooves, when I looked up it had the head of a goat with one eye. It was a statue of Pantholeon.

I gasped but was urged on by Conarght, we ran past it and ended up outside a massive temple structure. We went inside this golden structure.

When I got in what I saw was impressive, massive busts of all sorts of creatures. A woman with snakes in her hair, a dragon and many others. All on opposite sides of a path. I felt their eyes on me as we ran.

Conarght was ahead of me, this hall seemed to go on forever. Then we came to the top of some stairs, I looked down and saw an auditorium. Thousands of people surrounded a stage, a semi circle of jeering souls.

On the stage were four figures surrounding a chair, in the chair sat a being, the description matched that of Pantholeon.

“We are ready Sire to go up into the world!” One of the figures yelled, the crowds cheered.

“Ready for the war!” Another said.

The crowd screamed! It hurt my ears the noise of them, until the seated figure put a hand up. The crowd silenced.

“We shall go up! But peaceful, we must otherwise we will be cast down here yet again.” Pantholeons voice boomed.

The crowd cursed and jeered at these words.

“Come up here if you defy me!” The leader was standing now. A giant compared to the rest of them. The crowd shied away. “I must create union before we release havoc and chaos in that world” he continued.

The crowded room laughed, hissed and spat in joy. How easily led they were.

Conarghts face was sad, he looked tortured. He saw me glancing and changed completely, the mask back on. He grumbled, then put his finger on my forehead again.

A flash of searing light.

We moved from that place to a familiar area. I saw a young Hawthorne tree, I saw a beautiful giant woman, it was Danu. She had hair the colour of the sun and her skin colour was almost transparent. She knelt by this Hawthorne tree as if were a twig, she put her hands gently on it and whispered words.

The Hawthorne tree began to bear fruit and she smiled.

I couldn’t stop looking at her, how beautiful and fair she were. Her blue gown mixing in with the blue sky. It was almost like she were the sky.

“Danu!” Thundered a voice and I saw a hoofed man running towards her “my love!” Said the one eyed pantholeon.

“Yes my love?” Danu replied sweetly. She stood up and embraced him.

“My creatures are growing impatient with mankind, they are starting to revolt” he exclaimed “I may have to destroy them”

“Do not Pantholeon! I am trying to help them, do not destroy. Teach.” She pointed at the Hawthorne tree.

“Danu, you do not understand. It’s in their blood to revolt.” His giant hand shook the little tree, I felt the roots crunch. “Let me destroy them, I do not want to go back home.”

A black hooded figure looked upon the two giants, it saw the Hawthorne tree and dissapeared.

“They won’t harm you while I am here Pantholeon and they cannot harm me. Unless I’m sleeping.” She looked at him and laughed merrily “you needn’t worry”.

They play fought for a while, two giants frolicking in the grass. Until they lay together side by side. The two were in love, I could tell.

Conarght looked at me.

“Nothing is as it seems Fergal!” He shook his head “no matter how dark a heart is…if it has love it has light”

The two giants started to sleep in the fields, Conarght and I sat beside them.

“For centuries, possibly millennia we were together.” He said sadly.

“Are you really Pantholeon?” I asked sincerely. I didn’t know what I was asking.

“All in good time” he put his finger to my forehead and we were back to the auditorium.

This time a human sitting beside that chair. He was miniscule to that chair.

The four figures still there.

“Here is your King Pantholeon!” One of them said “and here is his punishment!”

The figure put his hand above Pantholeon, the other three mimicked the gesture, magic formed in the hands. Darkness engulfed the human, so thick it was that no inch was visible.

“The king was tall! Well now he’s small!” The figure exclaimed. “I call upon the banshee!”

The blackness dissipated and there in the obliteration stood Conarght. Just as I see him now! He looked a pitiful sight. I saw a black figure floating slowly towards him. The banshee was at the stage, she took off her cloak and presented herself.

It was the redheaded woman that Conarght had banished from our home.

“Take him banshee! To the Hawthorne tree!”

Conarght grimaced.

The first time I’d seen him grimace about that Hawthorne tree.

It was the first time I’d realised the tragedy of that tree.

The banshee put her cloak on, grabbed the small figure and floated upwards.

Conarght sadly put his finger to my forehead.

“Time to go”

We were back in the cellar staring at each other. I was gobsmacked at the images that I’d seen. Conarght was pacing again.

“Where are they?” I asked him.

“Who?” He replied absent mindedly.

“The Fomarians! That army! Where are they? Are we safe?” I quickly replied.

The leprechaun looked at me dumbfounded. “Well, you’ve been fine for milleniums, they’ve never returned. The problem they have is that they don’t know how to find the way to here. They’ll never know unless I tell them. The banshee is the only powerful thing that can get through.” He looked into my eyes sincerely “because she’s undead.”

I was relieved that we were safe.

The leprechaun stopped pacing, a little grin appeared on his face. “So fergal I’ve told you my tale straight and true, now, can you please make that third wish?”

I was thinking about it and then I took hold of my senses. What if he lied about it all? What if he would go straight back to this world? The images were impressive but I couldn’t be sure, not with Conarght.

“Conarght” I started tactfully, his grin turned to malice “I may have to keep you longer, I need a clear head.”

At this the leprechaun went into rage, he kicked and screamed at everything he could get his hold on. He went berserk and started cursing and shouting at me. A permanent scowl on his face, I had my answer.

I would never know unless I wished it.

He stopped and looked at me.

“Then wish!! Wish for whatever it is you want!” He yelled “I want free of this wretched place.”

I walked away from him and screeching continued. I wanted nothing more to do with him, he was a riddle I wasn’t meant to solve.

He was our prisoner for years to come, I visited him often at the start. He would tell me of tales about warriors he’d met and quests he’d helped on. But always every visit came the wish. Eventually he gave up talking, unfortunately I stopped visiting.

But one day around 100 years or so, I was walking with my mother through the woods when we came to that Hawthorne tree.

On each side of the tree stood figures I’m black cowls. The same from the visions of Pantholeon.

Our world was in danger.

They were coming.

They were here!

Tuatha De Danaan #1 The Hawthorne Tree

I was a young man back then when I stumbled upon the Hawthorne tree. A young man with no understanding of what that day would entail.

It was a warm spring day, the air was crisp and the forest smelled fresh. I had just finished working down on O’Carroll’s farm, it was one of many a hard day tending the fields. Alot of men would complain of the work but i enjoyed it and found it to be very therapeutic. I had started my trek back home through the forest to my village.

I heard the birds chirping merrily high up in the branches, as if they were enjoying the same day as i. Every tree had a flock of birds sitting merrily tweeting, all trees except one tree. The Hawthorne.

It was a beautiful ancient tree full of grace, it’s battered branches held their own against the winds of time. Arms stretching right to heaven as if in celebration to the one Christian God himself.

But the Hawthorne tree was not natural. Not even close, it held secrets in its bark and right to the underlying roots. I had heard many tales growing up in my village to be wary of this magnificent tree, to never break a branch or be doomed for eternity.

This was the spring of 1959, the world seemed to be progressing with technology and what in my mind as a child would call magic. I thought of the wonders often as I took the long walk home, all the excitement of new human human adventures. I was thinking particularly of cars that I had heard of and seen on my many ventures to the big city when my thoughts were broken.

I saw him. I could never forget him.

I encountered him slumped under that Hawthorne tree. He was small in stature but the body was in proportion, i would of said about three foot tall. His small red hat was tipped over his one eye and a small tooting sound escaped from his mouth. He was sleeping soundly.

I saw from my crouched position his little suit and it was the brightest burgundy with little shiny gold buttons, his shirt a fine white and braces the colour of night. The thing that amazed me was his shoes, so polished they were that it looked like black marble. His sleeping position made him look like a statue but I could see his chest slowly going up and down through his contented breathing.

I crept slowly from my crouching position to get a better look, I had heard of the Leprechauns before but only in childhood stories, i could not believe this. I thought maybe O’Carroll had worked me too hard today and this was the aftermath.
Nevertheless I approached carefully towards this little creature, tooting from his sleep, I was so close to that cursed tree.

Suddenly before i could get any nearer a twig snapped under my foot, i cursed myself for being such a fool. This sleeping creature woke very quickly, his body popped up from the ground un-naturally and he twirled around three times until our eyes finally met. It seemed like a lifetime as he stared into my eyes and it seemed I’d stopped breathing. I shook off the spell that he was throwing my way, entrancing me into the other-world.

His eyes glowed angrily as if he had been caught out, he grinned as he saw I was still in my crouched position. He let out a merry little laugh as his eyes widened and relaxed.

“Ah, ye got me there now! I was having a wee snooze. And who might you be? Friend or foe?” The creature said pointing a gnarly little finger my way.

I stood up, feeling like a fool having been caught sneaking. I felt a bit ashamed that i had dared to intrude on a magical being by stealth.

“My name is Fergal, just a man on his way home to his family” says I in a nervous, shaky tone. I did not know what was to become of me.

“Ah, Fergal, well come sit with me” he ushered me over with his small hands patting beside him, he clicked his fingers and a wooden chair with a plush cushion atop appeared beside him. “I’d like a wee chat wit you, if you be so kind”. His voice melodic and childlike.

Cautiously I sat beside him on this extremely comfortable chair, wondering what on earth I could talk to a leprechaun about. I needn’t have worried because he started anyway. His eyes narrowed a little as he looked up at me.

“So I guess we have to sort the wishes out Fergal” He said slyly with a little glimmer in his eye, i did not like his tone “You can have three, but please I beg of you not the crock of gold.”

“Why? What’s wrong with the gold?” I was excited by the notion of the gold, the leprechaun had a saddened expression on his face. He stroked his little beard in contemplation as if stretching through time into memories long past.

“I always get asked Fergal, the truth of the matter is that I dont actually know where it is. It’s beyond wishes now. You see I have been around for a long long time, I hid it near my youngest age” the leprechauns wizened face shook with rage. “Just don’t wish it”.

I sat there with the leprechaun in the stillness of the forest. Emotions were up and down, from frightened, confusion but i remember well that the exhilaration in me was overwhelming. Here I had found a supposedly mythical being right in front of me. Not only had I found him but we were talking like human to human, normal conversation with a leprechaun. No one would believe me. I decided there and then not to utter a word about this as much as i would love to.

“Yes Fergal! Keep it to yerself” the leprechaun said offhandedly as he was in contemplation. It shocked me that he read what seemed to be my mind. It suddenly dawned on me that I had never asked him his name.

I looked at him and his mouth widened, grinning from ear to ear. He waved his hand and in front of us a banquet table appeared from thin air. A barrel of fine stout dropped on the table. Music was playing somewhere that he had magicked, fine fiddles and lutes playing and entrancing me. I got off the chair and felt the need to dance, he danced with me and he laughed which made me laugh. Suddenly his laughter turned to a menacing cackle and he stopped, he clicked his fingers once more.

Chairs appeared and he bade me to sit, so I did.

Now I don’t know what you’ve heard about the wee other crowd folk but they are tricksters and deceivers, liars and crooks. I was impressed by this little man but I was wary, this unknown creature was wily and i knew it well. I could tell by his eyes, they glowed with mischievousness and danger.

“My name is Conarght” he said as if he read my mind earlier. With that sentence he finished with a sneer, almost like he felt contempt for even letting me know his name. He jumped high up and landed softly on the chair next to me, then bounced on to the table. Conarght did a little jig up and down this table, he was entertaining to watch and i found myself clapping to his jig.

He waved his hand in two opposite circles, a mug appeared in each of his hands. One small red and gold lined and the other a bigger mug that was blue and silver lined. The mugs were both made of the finest metal and glistened with flecks of gold.

He invited me to eat to which I politely declined as I had heard stories of folk disappearing after dining with the faerie folk. There was a flash of anger but it dissipated as we continued to converse in generalities. He told me of his many adventures in time long before i was there, he said that there were so many that he couldn’t talk about because there were ancient secrets he could not reveal.

He told me of the old kings of ulster, the Fomarians and invaders of old Ireland to which I scoffed. He was displeased at my mockery, even punched the table hard that it felt like lightning struck and he put me right verbally.

“One day the world will see it to be true!” He screeched. Then he calmed, smiled and poured some stout for himself and me. “Mortals are all the same.”

I longed for the stout as I was thirsty, he knew it. I reached for the cup, I noticed his eyes narrow and darken as i did so. I grabbed hold of my senses before it was too late, i would not be a prisoner to this imp. I put the cup straight down, so hard that the mug fell over and the liquid trickled out over the table. He glared, his eyes burned with hatred.

“Fergal, in one way or another you will be staying here forever…with me.” He hissed and spat. I looked at him with contempt, i had heard about leprechauns and wishes and my heart started thumping. Maybe i could try this one last trick on him. So i began my gamble.

“I have three wishes Conarght! I know well enough straight and true that you won’t hurt me until the three wishes are up!” I shot back with conviction.

“Well…now…I suppose…” the leprechaun turned his head away, his eyes frantically turning from side to side, his tongue was out and seemed to touch his nose. I looked disgusted at the sight, his head turned quickly, twisting to look back at me and then back into the previous position. Deep in thought, his mouth turned into an evil grin and he looked back at me.

“Alright Fergal, I’ll tell thee thus. I will not harm ye or your kin four now. Here are four gold coins.” The leprechaun dropped them onto the table, four dull duds sounded. “Hold them near because they are more precious than air.”

“Four gold coins?” I asked in exasperation and worry “why ever would you offer these to me?”.

“Ah, well there is a catch to it so there is” the leprechaun grinned menacingly “it’ll take four years to be rid of these, that’s one year for each coin”. 

I was worried about what I was getting into with this devil, I gulped as I asked “and what if I refuse Conarght?”

The leprechaun rose to his feet and stared deep into my eyes. I felt his voice go straight to my soul as he uttered.

“Be wary of your decision as I shall make your life worse than all the plight of Ireland.  Worse than every disease in the known world.  The worst luck to ever befall a human being, yes even worse than Cormack Mac Art who was stabbed by his own!” The leprechaun smiled menacingly “or you could do the tasks I ask” he twirled his little finger around his Brown beard. He hummed a little merry tune.

I was scared beyond measure, how could I defy the little creature.  He had me ensnared, I knew it and he knew it.

“Well I guess I have no choice Conarght. What are the tasks?” I asked worried about what it entailed.

“Ah!” He sat down quickly “All in good time, what I would suggest is to go home and wait for me.  Remember this though, be careful what you wish for!”

With this he snapped his fingers three times, instantly
He put out a long finger and slowly tipped his hat down, the table dissipated and all the objects faded away. He sat under that Hawthorne tree in the position i had found him.

“Time to go home Fergal, its getting late now, go home”

I looked at him in horror, his one eye peeping from under the hat menacingly. It was indeed getting dark and i decided to run home as quick as i could, i heard cackling in the background as if he was following me home. This was the day i had met the Devil.

I woke up in bed after the race home and exhaustion from Conarght.  It was now night time and i was restless. The darkness surrounded my room like the dark magic from my encounter.  My six brothers all snoring deep and hard in the knowledge they were safe.  The racket however could have woke the banshees of the hills from their mournful sleep.

I for a brief moment felt relieved thinking it was all but a dream however the feeling passed quickly.  I had sweated profusely in my restlessness and the beads ran down heavy from my saturated forehead. 

It was too real to be waved away a dream. The little leprechaun was too real and his voice was burned into my brain.  

It was 1959 and I reminded myself this could only happen in a dream.  However, I remember working the whole day on O’Carroll’s farm, was that a dream? I was so confused. I went through doubts and reality, what was real and fake. I even believed it could be the aftermath of a magic trance, i held my head in my hands and stared at the floor.

My body jerked in unison as i remembered!

The coins! I reached for my trousers that I had worn in this encounter and searched frantically.  In my rush I heard four dull thuds hit the wooden floor, I peered over my bed.  The moonlight streaming in through the window, illuminating four gold coins.

I was overwhelmed with anxiousness.

A whisper in my ear.

“Await my return Fergal! Keep them safe four me” The leprechaun said behind my right ear, his hot breath felt like acid on my skin.  I heard his laughter and his tiny silhouette figure bouncing from chest to chest then up to the window sill. My brothers did not stir at all, just continuous snoring.

 With a final menacing look, the leprechaun touched his crooked hat and adjusted it, he then gave me one evil look then hopped out the window. Cackles surrounded the field he run away into.

I jumped out of bed finally after what seemed a lifetime, scared witless was i. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just wanted to be free of this little man. I ended up not sleeping a wink and i felt sometimes he was at the window watching and waiting. Sometimes hearing pitter patter footfalls or heavy breathing.

So the next day I went to the church, I lit a candle for the wee folk as I thought perhaps he would know.  The candle lit at once and when I said the name of my captor the flame went straight out.  The candle never lit again.

The priest watched me in vain and came over to ask who I lit a candle for.  I just said Connor which raised even more questions. I didn’t want to be angry with the priest so I politely took leave.

As I got out the church I felt eyes on me, then a voice.  The voice beckoned me to the forest by the village.

The voices beckoned me to the forest from the church, like a strong magnet i was drawn in their direction. It was seducing me, swaying me into a dreamlike state almost like Conarghts but felt safer. However I tried to resist the calls but it was too strong for my mortal mind, the seduction was impossible to resist. A current of persuasion, a tidal wave of comfort.

Whatever it was it took me deep into the forest, must have been an hour or so i traveled, so deep that I didn’t know where I was. The voices grew stronger and stronger, urging me forward until it suddenly stopped. Silence for what seemed a lifetime.

I snapped out of the trance, I looked desperately around to find the source of where the voices might have been. Upwards i looked and i saw sunlight trying to break through the roof of the trees but only ended up with little specks on the ground.

I trembled as i was scared for my life. What had brought me here?

As my mind raced and I panicked, my eyes dropped to the ground and I noticed a massive ring of some sort. As i looked closer i noticed it was a ring of mushrooms but these mushrooms were all the colors of the rainbow.

The silence was abruptly ended.

“Fergal McKay, son of seven and father of none!” Came a small voice, more of an announcement than a question.  The voice was soothing and melodic, i felt at ease instantly but still an amount of fear lingered.

“It is I Fergal McKay! I beg of you to show yourself as I am afraid.” My teeth chattered with fear as i uttered these words.

“No need to fear us Fergal, son of Thomas.” Came another voice, soothing like the first but a different tone.

“Yes no need to fear us but HIM! You need to be careful seventh son!” Another voice said with a hint of urgency.

“Conarght of the solitary folk, he will trick you, or try to at least. We saw you lit a candle for him” yet another voice spoke.

“I thought it might help ease his heart of hatred for me and release me” I said turning around to look for the bodies of the voices.

“Do not. We blew out the candles as it would be blasphemous to that God. We respect religion but Conarght would himself be utterly delighted.  We need to guide you through this new chapter in your life.  The hardest part has started.” A mellow voice said in my ear.

“Are you the wee folk of history my mother told me about?” I asked matter-of-fact.

Weeping. Many voices weeping.

“We will reveal all Fergal, right now we need to protect you” a little arm grabbed my shoulder then climbed over.  It was the same size as Conarght but beautiful.  Her wings were translucent and glittered in the specks of sunlight.

Her little dress was a dark purple and her eyes a golden shade to match her hair. I was falling in love with her and then she snapped me out with her voice. She saw me blushing but went on.

“Conarght will arrive tonight at your house, he will ask you to leave your house.  Refuse him thrice.  He will kick up a fuss and threaten but we have your house protected.  He would not dare interrupt the magic of the Tuatha De Danann!” I did not understand any of this and her little voice broke my heart, almost like a bittersweet song.

My head was swimming, tuatha de danann! The mythology was true! I couldn’t cope with this, I was drawn into a secret world of the faerie folk. The Tuatha De Danann were myths passed down generations, i would never have believed it all to be true.

The little faerie put her hand to my face and it soothed my soul.  She flicked her wings and flew around my head, laughing.  She touched tree leaves high above and with each touch the leaves turned to a bright white light.  The forest below was illuminated.

I looked around and to my amazement there were millions and millions of tiny winged creatures staring up at me.  All laughing and rejoicing. A little band began to play and the dancing commenced.

The same little faerie came and sat on my shoulder again. 

“My name is Erith, daughter of Elith the master of dance” she said merrily ” I am at your service Fergal, always”.

“Why am I here?” I asked, I didn’t want to look at the beautiful creature as I was afraid of falling in love, i believe any mortal would fall for her within seconds.

“All in good time Fergal, you have an important role to play” she said with a tiny amount of sorrow. “Home is closer than you think” she looked at the mushrooms, shook her head and the sorrow was replaced with joy.

“Come!” she commanded, her tiny hand pulling my shirt and i was pulled up, surprised by the strength from her.

I stayed there with the wee folk for a long time, it seemed i had spent a week with them but it had been an hour or two.  They actually fed me food and drink and I was not scared, there was something so familiar about these folk like I belonged here somehow which of course was impossible to me. What Erith had said about home being closer than i thought played on my mind a lot.

“Nothing is impossible” said a little voice that belonged to Erith “but you should be going soon, it’s getting dark”.

“Yes, I should, I don’t want to keep the leprechaun waiting now” I groaned sarcastically. “But please could I have a guide out of the forest?”

“Yes of course Fergal seventh son!” A flick of her little hand and two little orbs of light appeared “follow these lights, they will guide and protect you”.

“I thank you, Erith daughter of the forest” I said hoping to impress, I received giggling. I think i had been too eager in my respect. I felt embarrassed and walked towards the lights.

So I followed the lights out of the forest, it seemed like miles and miles.  The undergrowth of the forest going from soft under my feet to the hardness of dry stone. 

My heart fell when I saw we were approaching the Hawthorne tree, that same tree I saw the devil Conarght.  I hurried past the tree as the little lights tugged me quicker.  I felt his presence but couldn’t see him.  The tree gave off the all too familiar aura of fear.

His eyes were on me, I could tell, he was seething with rage. So tangible i felt his wrath but i knew i were in the protection of Faeries. However he did not show, for half an hour or more I walked without a hint of leprechaun tricks.

The lights just kept a few yards ahead of me and I worried occasionally if they were deceiving me but I believed deep in my heart they were not.

Eventually the forest came to an end and there lay a perfect shape for me to pass through between two trees. I could see my village, it was now twilight.

My father must be worried I thought, and my brothers what would they think?

I hurried home past the church and other houses.  I opened my door and was amazed by what I had seen.  A feast with all my kin laid before my very eyes. These were hard times and I wondered how this came to be.  My father too ill most days had become youthful and happy.  He was eating like a madman, wallowing in this rich food.

I knew it must have been the fairy folk who delivered this sumptuous feast. I was happy as I wanted my family to have the best, however magical it all seemed.
My father looked up and saw me, he was beyond happy and ushered me to his side.

“My son, what have you done to provide us all of this?” He waved his hand across the table like a King presenting his territory.  My brothers toasted me with whatever was in their hand.  It felt like the old days when my mother was alive, when everybody was happy and joy filled the air.  I silently felt my heart drop at the thought nuy I snapped quickly out of it.

“Is this my doing da? I don’t think I’ve done anything worthy of this!” I replied.

“Son, there were 10 hampers left on the table around tea time with a note.” He reached into his pocket “this note!”

I unfolded the note and read :

To Fergal, the seventh son. I hope this finds you well,
Erith Daughter of the Forest!

I crumpled the letter quickly, my face was a picture of amazement. Daughter of the forest, was that the inside joke? Was that why they had all giggled?  They really had some insight if they did. After all tea time was during my encounter, at least i thought it was.

Nevertheless, I told my father I had met a rich woman because the truth would of scared him witless. Probably stop him eating too.  I explained that I had done a good deed for this rich unknown woman who perhaps returned the favor by the feast. They were satisfied with my answer and i was relieved as no more questions arose. I ate some of the delicious feast and it was truly sumptuous, the honey ale was smooth too. It dawned on me suddenly that i was extremely tired.

So I took leave and went to lay down.

As I lay down and closed my eyes I opened them briefly and I saw that cursed leprechauns face staring down into my eyes.  So close he was to my face that I could feel his ancient breath on my nose.  He was not happy, in fact that was an understatement. His foot tapping impatiently on the wooden floor, his face grimaced and he tutted.

“I warned you Fergal, seventh son, to be careful what you wish for”

With that he waved his hand.

He held me with those old golden eyes, his teeth were bare and I could see they were sharper than i had thought. He growled in frustration then suddenly looked away.

“Come with me Fergal” he said soothingly, i shook my head as a firm no.

He put his hand to his beard, he stroked it as if pondering the meaning of life. His eyes went sideways fast and back, he was scheming as he had done before so in the forest.

“Why are you here? Whatever did I do?” I plucked up the courage to say. To this he held his little hand up.

“Wait a moment now” he demanded. He was annoyed, irritated and very angry. 

I looked around the room, I was to sit here while this magical creature acted like the high king of Ireland himself. Well I was getting tired of him and his fancy ways, I wish I’d never went near that Hawthorne tree.

Suddenly, he looked up smiling at me.

“Now, fergal, would you ever believe I won’t be needing your help no more” he said grinning “I’m sure you’ll be glad of it, so I need one last thing of ye”.

“And what is that?” I asked suspiciously.

“Well, can ya tell the faerie folk to take the enchantment of this house? I won’t be needing to threaten anymore” he said sincerely, almost had me and all.

“Now Cornaght! Come now, you must think of me a fool! What should happen if I could even call off the faerie magic? I imagine you would double cross me somehow, put all the bad luck on me” I defied him, I really hated the creature.

At this he was enraged, so enraged that lightning hit a tree near the church in my village. He started cursing my name and insulting my family honor, if he were a man he would have been punched to the ground.

“Leave now this house at once” I demanded him and he was taken aback, he stopped his cursing and looked straight at me.  He was like a statue in his shock.

“Fergal, or seventh son as they like to call you, ye can’t get rid of me that easily. Now, boy, give me the coins and I’ll leave ye in peace” he rasped. I shook my head. I don’t know why but it was my instinct to keep them, even though every fibre in my body wanted to throw the coins in his face.

“Leave this house!” I said loudly.

Conarght got extremely angry, he was hopping up and down on the spot. Another lightning strike closer than before. The little creature went to wave his hand as if to strike me, when nothing happened he realised his error.

“A thousand curses fergal! A thousand!” He screamed.

He started pacing up and down the room.  I laid back down on the bed knowing I was safe, that he could not hurt me here. It made him even angrier that I was comfortable in his presence.

“Why did you have to find me fergal” he was still pacing up and down “I’ll have to find a way now out of this, you’re under protection from them…what to do…”.

“Just leave me be Conarght” I said exasperated “can’t you just leave me out of whatever you’re doing, I don’t understand any of it”.

“Ah! So it’s alright for you to come tumbling into my affairs and leave unscathed.  We are both in a bit of bother. You to me and I to them.  It’s miserable.” He stopped pacing and put his hands on his hips.

“Just leave this house”.

With that he was gone, disappeared. I was relieved and I fell soundly asleep.  

A dream.

I dreamt I was a tiny baby in a cot, smaller than an average baby. As I saw my little hands I noticed they glittered like the fairies in the forest. I looked up and saw my mother, except I didn’t recognize her. This beautiful woman had black hair and golden eyes, a trait of the faerie folk.  She turned and I noticed the wings.

This seemed so familiar and yet not real. Was the events of the past week catching up with me in dreams? I woke up.

The rooster was crowing and the leprechaun was nowhere to be seen.

As I got up from my slumber I felt the doom overwhelm me as I knew I had to leave the safety of this house to go to the fields for work. I would have to avoid that dreaded forest. I rubbed my eyes to shake off the sleep or lack thereof.  When my hands came down something reflected into my eyes, it came from the window sill.

The gold coins were there, he must have tried stealing them from the house but the magic must have stopped him from doing so. I must admit I did a small laugh because I knew how he would have been, hopping mad he would have been.

He would have cursed the whole night back to the Hawthorne tree.

My brothers were still sleeping, I tried waking them so they could get up and do chores and some to leave for their own work.  One by one they got up, their bellies still full of food from the night before.

I took hold of the coins and got dressed, ready for the new day.  I walked for miles around the forest to get to o’Carroll’s farm. I was put straight to work tilling the fields.

As I worked I could not shake last nights encounter with that wretched creature.  What did it all mean? Was it real? Was I dreaming about someone else?  Or me?

So many questions.

I kept working through the questions in my head whilst ploughing and tilling.  Then he came. I groaned.

“Now Fergal, give me the coins” he said calmly and patient.

“No! Go away devil!  I have had enough of you! Be away with you!” I shouted.

The leprechaun hopped onto a bucket of seeds I was carrying.

“Are ye sure ye wanting to go down this road fergal?” He angrily spat “all I want is rid of ye now!” He sat down cross-legged on the bucket of seed as if in defeat.

“Well it’s your own fault so, trying to trick me” I said.

He instantly stood up, pointed his gnarly finger at my heart.

“You mortals are all the same, pushing the blame to someone else.  You shouldn’t have seen me, ye shouldn’t have talked…” I stopped his little tirade.

“If I remember rightly King Cornarght” I bowed mockingly “you bade me to sit for a “wee” chat”.

He was not happy with my mocking.

He looked me up and down as if studying me, he was looking for answers to why I was special.  Why was it the faerie folk had helped me? His eyes were all over the place, left to right, up and down, around and around.  There was something about me he could not put his finger on.

Suddenly his eyes lit up, he looked scared as if some realisation had hot him.  Something had scared him. Something dark hurt his soul and he ran away.

I shrugged my shoulders and carried on with my work.  O’Carroll’s daughter came over with a flask of water an hour later.

“Fergal, you’re a grand man, look at the work you’ve done!” She brushed her hand across the field. “My father will be proud!”.

I was a little startled at the work I had done, then I looked at her green eyes and was more startled by that. She liked me.

“Ah, Kate tis nothing. I’m paid to work” I said to her staring at her beautiful auburn hair.

She got a bit lost in our moment, she shook her head fast and offered me the drink. Then she run off as if embarrassed 

I then heard giggling in the field.  Then light flapping.  The faeries.

They must have helped me with the fields. I drank the water, it was refreshing.  More better than leprechaun stout, I chortled at the sad joke.

I continued to work hard into the evening until it was time to go.  I packed up my things and left the fields after saying goodbye to a puzzled Brendan O’Carroll.  He saw the field was ploughed and tilled all by me, I did a 7 man job in a shift. Nevertheless he was thrilled and gave me some extra money.

“You’re a good lad Fergal, regards to your da!” He waved as I went.

I walked down the little country lane around the edge of the forest when I saw a woman in the woods.  She came closer as she saw me, her face.  I knew it. She edged closer out of the forest.

It was the woman from my dreams.  My mother.

“Who are you?” I asked the woman “I saw you in my dream last night”.

She didn’t speak, she stared and seemed like she was floating rather than walking. She touched my head with her long finger.

Flashes of memory, a fairy mother with her child.  The child cooing then a black creature appearing over the mother.  The darkest black, shrieks coming from it.  It could only be a banshee.

The mother protected the child and with the love of a mother one final blast of pure magic.  The banshee flew away.

Another flash of memory. 

The mother running with the child Iin a basket to a nearby village.  Running Past a familiar church, to a familiar door.  My heart raced. The baby turned from fairy to human size.  Wings disappearing.  The mothers wings disintegrating.

The basket was left by the door. My door.

Flashes of the boy growing up, the mother watching from afar. My mother. 

Another flash of memory of the banshee wailing around a Hawthorne tree. A leprechaun angry and tormented by the wails. The banshee travelling miles and miles searching for the child that eluded it.

The flashes ended.

I looked at my mother, we stood there for what seemed an eternity. I broke the silence.

“What am I?” Tears in my eyes.

She hugged me, brought me close. Whispered in my ear “A changeling, my son”. I pulled away, I could see the hurt in her eyes.

“The woman of the mounds wanted you” she trembled “the banshee”. We were looking at each other with worry.

“You must not go back home, ever. Conarght of the Hawthorne will have informed the banshee.  He is in league with evil itself” she stopped suddenly. 

The clouds were turning dark, a storm suddenly coming.  In the distance a wailing, the banshee.  My mother urged me forward.

“Come, we must get to our home” she ran towards the forest, I ran behind her. We ran for ages it seemed, the devil on our tails.  The wails coming closer to me.

I followed my mother through tree trunks and over rivers.  She didn’t slow and I found it hard to keep up.  We stopped suddenly and she put her finger to my mouth.

I looked behind and saw the dark figure of the banshee looming.  It stopped and seemed to look left and right by a clearing.  Something moved to the right, the banshee followed it.

I saw a small figure appear from the clearing, he went to the left of the clearing. The leprechaun.

“They’re helping us Darthel, my kin are helping.  Come, we must hurry” she whispered.

So we ran on, past the Hawthorne tree and down the incline. We ran past a few clearings until I saw something familiar. A ring of mushrooms.

We jumped into the ring together.

What happened next was unbelievable. We dissapeared into thin air then a floating feeling, I was drifting slowly down.  I looked around, I could see a huge cavern.  At the bottom thousands upon thousands of twinkling lights.  Like stars that fell to the ground.

“You’re home Darthel! You’re finally home!” My mother was overjoyed and we spun around and around above the many lights.

I didn’t quite know how to feel.

“Be still my sweet Prince, your kingdom awaits”

We fell to ground gracefully.  Around us thousands of tiny folk gathered cheering and rejoicing. The sound of sweet music filled the massive cavern. We were like giants my mother and I, the little fairies like little insects.

A familiar little hand was on my shoulder, Erith.

“Welcome home my Prince, this is your kingdom” she said happily. In the background I heard a harp.  Six of the little faeries zooming in and out of the strings to make beautiful music.

A giant drum being bounced upon by another set of faeries, the music filled me with happiness.  I was overjoyed, I looked at Erith worryingly.

“What of my family? The people who raised me?” I uttered.

“Do not worry,they will be looked after by us unknowingly all their life. The faerie folk are indebted to them forever. You can visit anytime you like sire”. 

I was satisfied of the answer.  I knew they would be OK, I was worried the banshee and leprechaun had went there.  I took out the four gold coins.

My mother’s eyes widened.

“Give them to me Dearthal!” She urged “these are from Conarghts treasury, he has erred”.

My mother put the coins in her palm and brought it to her head.  She concentrated hard and uttered “Conarght of the gold”.

I heard a wailing sound then suddenly a crash to the ground.  It was him.  He got straight up and brushed himself down. He was annoyed and his face was showing complete distaste.

“What..now..where?” He turned around three or four times. The fairies all closing in a circle around him.  He looked dismayed.

“Conarght of the gold! I demand your obedience now!” My mother commanded.

“Of course Nerath of the bow, I respect your wish!” He knelt feebly, I could tell he was lying. So this was my mother’s name Nerath.

“Why have you summoned the woman of the mounds?  Was it to murder me and my son? SPEAK!” Her voice was thunderous.  

“I didn’t know it was your son, your kin” he said “but I knew he was special” he gave me a look of distain. I ignored him which made his ire worse.

“Very well, I’m afraid consequences have to come for you” she clicked her fingers.  Four fairies carried some iron handcuffs.

The leprechaun screamed and kicked, his protests fell on deaf ears. The iron cuffs were placed around his hands, he screamed in agony. They melted into his hands, dissolved into his skin.

“You have no power until the iron is removed.  I will remove them with one task.  Banish the banshee” mightily she roared, like a warrior queen.

“That’s impossible! You might as well ask me to kill the devil!” He yelled back.

“This is your problem now, we shall stay here until the deed is done!” My mother looked victorious over the leprechaun.

Until. A wailing was heard.

The leprechaun smiled, grinning from ear to ear and with two words struck the heart of my mother with fear.

“She’s here!”

The wailing continued, the banshee was nearly though the magical barrier.  My mother uttered quickly a few words and I was gone.  I was still with them but not physically, I could see everything but not do anything.  I could see the scene of everything.

My mother looked in my direction and put her finger to her mouth. I got the message.be quiet!

My mother was taller than all the faerie folk, I wondered why.  But any questions I had were abruptly stopped.  

The leprechaun was chuckling hysterically, he had won in his opinion. In his hysteria he hadn’t noticed I’d vanished, he started looking around and around trying to find me.

His laughing stopped.

“Where is he??” He bellowed.

“Gone, Conarght” my mother retorted. “Away from the likes of you!”.

“You’ve doomed us all you fool!” He screamed back “give me my power back to at least give me a fighting chance”.

“So you would turn on us the moment she arrives” my mother calmly and patiently said “not a chance!”

The leprechaun looked truly defeated, I even saw a golden tear well up in his eye.

The banshee was near, I looked up and saw a black mass slowly descending down. Almost like death creeping on his victim. Ironically that’s what a banshee was.

The black mass was gradually falling faster.  

It fell without a sound. A towering figure in black robes floating around the area we were in.  It hovered around, it stopped at a few faery folk then began to look again.  It stopped at the leprechaun and wailed.

The leprechaun winced.  His eyes filled with golden tears, the banshee looked around again.  It came to a stop in the middle of the circle.

A flash of light.

The banshee discarded it’s robes, there stood a beautiful lady.  A lady of fantastic beauty.  Her clothes were black and gold, she had a fantastic head of red.

“Where is the one they call seventh son?” She sang in her deathly voice. She looked at my mother “I wanted him long ago, hes mine!”

I winced when I heard these words, I’m glad she didn’t see me.  I wished… the leprechaun looked straight in my direction when I thought it.

The wishes!  I had three wishes!

I must think it through, this was a great turn of events.  The leprechaun looked worried.  He screamed to that banshee and pointed my direction.

“He’s not yours and never will be!” My mother said as the banshee flew fast to the area I was at.  It grasped at the air bit I had moved.

Think! What should I wish for?

The leprechaun looked at me again!

“There! There! He’s there!” He was hopping up and down.  

The leprechauns powers were diminished, if I wished it would be in vain.  I went to my mother’s side and began whispering for her to release the leprechauns powers.

I don’t know if she heard me. Hopefully.

The banshee was going mad, twirling around, grasping at the air.

“Tell me! Or I will make this my new home!” The banshee threatened.

Weeping.  Horrendous weeping from the wee folk.

My mother flicked her wrist.

“No, I will not give up my son!” She said squaring up to the red headed banshee.  

The leprechauns magic was restored. I began my first wish.  I wish for the leprechaun to banish the banshee forever from Ireland!

The leprechaun looked at me in exasperation. 

The banshee started to convulse, her screams hurt everyone’s ears, she started to melt into nothing.  The leprechaun was beyond angry. He watched the smoke rise from the ground.

His tears had dried up, a gold tear stain on his cheek.

“Second wish, your heiress” he said through gritted teeth, mocking me.

I wish for my mother’s fairy nature to return forever.

My mother’s wings grew back instantly and she flew up and around to the cheers of the crowds below.

“Granted sire” he said licking his lips, is eyes narrowed “last wish”.

“No more Conarght!”I appeared again “put the cuffs on”.  

The leprechaun howled and screamed, his magic lost. My mother flew down and interrupted.

“Take him to the cellar of Eriths house! I’m sure he’ll be comfortable!”

“I wished I’d never laid eyes on ye Fergal!” The leprechaun screamed curses and threats as he was dragged away by the wee folk.

“You’re home and you’re finally safe son!” 

“I know mother, but can we stay away from that Hawthorne tree?”

The Crescent : No.22

The poshness of number 22 can not be described.  Everything in the house was cold and organised. Immaculate and clean, straight and efficient.

 Josephine had a highly paid job and her husband had a monopoly on his services.

Josephine sat on the sofa drinking a green tea when a rap at the door.  Josephine rolled her eyes and went straight to the door.

She opened it.

It was her pimp.

“Yo posh nosh where ya been last night girl?” He asked calmly.

“Hey Norman…” she started.

“Don’t hey Norman me with that bullshit. Shit…you’re my money. Remember that!” Norman was getting irritated.

“Sorry” she replied sheepishly.

“Well shit ain’t ya gonna ask your daddy in?” 

“Y-y-yes by all means come in” Josephine ushered him in. Norman looked around.

“Mmmm, lordy, you have got some fine shit in here. Mmm hmm.” Norman was holding a crystal bear ornament.  He laughed a little.

“Well uh, I expected some work done for me last night” he started undoing his buttons “so I expect you to work hard right now”.

Josephine was already undressed and bent over.  Expecting it.

Just as Norman was about to take his clothes off the rattling of keys. Josephine’s husband.

Norman’s face switched from lustful to serious in an instant. Josephine stared hard at the door, in walked her husband Kyle.

Kyle looked at his naked wife then at Norman. Norman stared and broke the silence.

“Bitch! Where were you last night? You my number one rent boy, bitch!” Norman yelled.

“I was just taking the night off boss, I’ve got sting ring” Kyle replied.

“Bitch please, sit on over there” Norman said pointing at the sofa. He gave a disgusted look “gave you employee of the month and everything”. He turned back to Josephine.

“sting ring! PAH!”