Hawthorne Tree – Part 2 – A Dream Come True

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

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

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

The leprechaun rose to his feet and stared 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 I woke up in bed.  It was night time.

The darkness surrounding my room.  My six brothers all snoring hard.  The racquet could have woke the banshees from their mournful sleep.

I was relieved, happy to know it was all but a dream.  I had sweated profusely and the beads ran down heavy from my saturated forehead. 

It was too real to be waved away a dream. The little leprechaun talked in a way that was part of reality, 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.

The coins! I reached for my trousers that I had worn in the experience 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!” The leprechaun said behind my right ear.  I heard laughter and a tiny figure bouncing from bed to bed then to the window sill. My brothers did not stir.

 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.

I jumped out of bed scared witless. I didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to be free of this little man.

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.

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