The Modern Beatles


John, Paul, George and Ringo started their musical career in the summer of 2003 at the height of the booming reality shows.

They first appeared on the voting show “Big Voice Superstar” as solo artists, having failed in the first round they were brought together by a music mogul. They all hailed from the city of culture, Liverpool, different areas but the general charm of being liverpulian gave this music mogul the fire to move forward.

Now, they didn’t get as far as they wished on the tv show having been beaten by a singing woman who had a trained dog by her side, they were called Suzie Dogro. They were only at the first round, a show judge by the name of Johnnie Roughidge decided they needed more Help!

This however did not stop the Fab four on their road to success. Having failed getting massive exposure on the telly they went on the road to Europe. They started of in the Reeperbaum which was like the devils asshole. So deliciously sinful that the Fab four had to take time out from their tour.

This was only the beginning…

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Retro Classic Review : Quest for Glory 1 – So you want to be a hero? (VGA version)


Quest for Glory 1 – Disappointed there isn’t a Dragon

This is the first RPG I ever played and I recently discovered I could play it in all its glory right here!

I have to say that I was not disappointed at how nostalgic I became from replaying this Sierra classic.  After all I was only a child when I discovered it in 1995 and played it on my step dads Atari ST (EGA Version) eventually landing a state of the art PC with the VGA Version!

I was so excited I could play this game on the brand spanking new PC, it took 30 minutes to install and play.  It was so worth the wait and i looked at it in awe as the Sierra screen flashed.  

The senses came back to me as I played recently online, a faint familiar whirring of an old pc, the excitement of carrying on my adventure…the cheeky “sick” days so I could play the game.

This was truly an experience for me as a child and the game stayed with me through new games I discovered.  Through Final Fantasy Vii to Skyrim I always remembered this game fondly.

From the opening credits my childish eyes were mesmerized by the detail in the graphics, the amazing 3 games in one (Fighter/Thief/Mage) and the way it was so replayable.

I always seemed to name my character the same Drizzt, after the infamous Drow I read about, it just seemed to be my thing. 

Back into the game it seemed so cool to have all these options and silly puns, it appealed to my silly Monty Pythonesque humor. 

It truly is a gem of a game and although I find some of it too repetitive now but it still has a little treasure left in the playability. 

So you want to be a hero?  Well read on…

——————————————————-


The game starts as I said with three character classes.  yes the old age question in the lore of games…Sneaky Thiefy? Sagey Magey? Tighter Fighter?  The choice is absolutely down to your preference.  Ive played them all but I always have a warm spot for the Thief.  I guess its just the sneaking and getting into situations that are tricky.

So after choosing your class the adventure starts and you stroll casually into the town of Spielberg, a quaint Germanic looking town that has a castle nearby, a healers shop and on the west is a creepy cemetery.

The town itself has an adventure guild, a magic shop, an inn, a wee market stall (ask for a date!), an item shop and an inn.  There are other stores but I think the owners had a stroke of bad luck and all they do is spend their days in the inn.


Highly recommend the Dragons Breath by the way.

You stroll into town and immediately the Sherrif and Yo Yo mad Otto have spotted you.  What kind of ruffian has wandered in to this humble town?  Its you, you silly nana.

You ask the questions by changing the hand icon to the lip icon and click over the sheriff, don’t bother with Otto because hes in love with his yo yo.

So anyway once you start chatting with various characters you start to get a feeling that something is not right in the valley, indeed it is not! 

Theres lots of hostile creatures after you, an ogress by the unscary name of Baba Yaga, missing selfish children, brigands and a freaking minotaur!

I wont go into too much storyline but theres plenty to explore and the battle system is cool.  Little jokes and puns make this game really fun also.

Anyways enjoy the game!  Its amazing and any questions let me know! Whats even better is that theres five more and one more in production.

How good is that?

Warlords : The Queen Of Shards


The frigate bounced off the waters with magnificent speed, the calm sea waters disturbed by the great ship Queensbane. Twelve cloth sails propelled the frigate faster than any ship known in Earthengaugh. 

 On board were the 113 crew including the Captain Banobany as well as the 100 ton of plunder. She had sailed the rough seas of Earthengaugh for close to 12 years.  Her red hair always tied in a pony tail under her black hat.  Her immaculate black suit and white shirt stood out against this crew. 

She looked into her spyglass and saw her target.  A ship ahead in the horizon with the flag of Tartha.  Her hated enemy, it’s emblem of a Red Cross with black arrows pointing outwards.

She smiled menacingly and shouted down to the few crew members gambling on the deck.

“Avast!” She yelled.  An instant hush surrounded the deck and the crew looked up in awe. A small grin appeared on her face, she hopped off her platform and somersaulted onto the deck. She landed gracefully and put her hands behind her back.  One hand within easy reach of her scimitar, she paced up and down.

“Those bastards are sailing on a ship a little farther to the North.  We need to be swift! Dead men tell no tales!” She growled the sentence then looked at a few of the faces with a piercing nglare.  “Well?” 

“Get on with it!” She demanded.  A few of the men winced and suddenly the hush turned into shouts of commands. Men rushing here and there, some pulling various ropes to set the main sails up.  One pulled a rope and up rose the flag of the Queensbane.  Four green Daggers pointing in each direction.

The ship’s pace fastened and the ship was soon near the enemy.

******************************

“Captain Banobany will suceed in her mission Lord Commander!” The Queen knelt forward on her throne “you should have more faith in her Sir!”
The Lord Commander grimaced at being scolded by the Queen.  This royal woman was no fool and he knew the price of not taking advice.

“My queen” he started confidently but took a deep breath to think clearly “I trust your judgement but this Captain Banobany is a known pirate”.  

The Queen interrupted.

“Ah! Ah! Ah” she tutted “Not a pirate any more. Dear Sir she’s a privateer!”

The Lord Commander was thrown off guard and his expression was puzzled. The Queen urged him to proceed.  The Lord Commander took another deep breath and continied.

“Nonetheless I have concerns she may turn to our enemies if the price is right.  Hoc confident can we be that she will keep her contract.  This item you need is so precious!” 

The Queen rose from her throne.  She towered over the audience in this grand chamber.  Her mithril throne glittering behind her.

“She will Sir Lancel! For if she does desert us…she will die!” The Queen sat down abruptly and Sir Lancel frowned.  He immediately bowed to hide the frown from this Queen, she was dangerous.

The Queen contemplated her next course of action.  She looked carefully at Sir Lance  his dark eyes showing their true intent and distrust of her plan.  She had to play this out carefully, she could have him executed but then his loyal men would not align themselves with her.

He was a smart man she knew this, with his colourful rainbow hair and brooding honour she had to keep him on side.

“Very well my loyal Lord.  I have decided that you should take a ship of your choosing from my Armada, take the best men in my Kingdom.  Make sure she completes her goal!” The Queen bent forward in her seat “Do this and be successful or I shall send you to the Mithers!”

The Lord Commander winced and bowed once again.  He took his leave with several soldiers behind him.  

The Queen sat back and put her closed hand to her chin as if in contemplation.  Her voice confident she commanded her advisor forward.

“Sir Alistair!” She did not mo e from her stance.

“Yes Ma’am” a stocky little man standing to the right of the queen answered.

“What say you of our current predicament?” The Queen was still staring at the door that was now closed.

“Sir Lancel is a valuable asset to our kingdom.  I fear that although he is loyal he does not trust this pirate” the Queen turned her head abruptly in annoyance.  Sir Alistaire nodded in apology “he does not trust this privateer, I believe this is the best outcome if we are to recover the Shard.”

The Queen turned her head back to the door.

“Hmmm.  Indeed.”  Her eyes narrowed as she thought of the Shard.

****************************

The frigate Queensbane was hurtling towards the enemy ship at dazzling speed, it was less than a league away.  The crew were getting ready for battle, Captain Banobany growled as she took out her spyglass.

She saw the enemy crew loading cannons and running around deck to prepare for battle. She smiled menacingly.

“Boyce!” She shouted and a toothless crewmember with one hand scuttled next to her.

“Yes cap’n?!” Boyce said excitedly.

“Arm the lads! Make sure the boys hold on tight when we near the ship.” The privateer looked back into the spyglass.

“Aye, Cap’n!” He ran off to command the crew to obey the orders.  

The Captain never looked away from the ship, she was looking for weak spots in the ship.  She noticed after closer inspection what looked like charred wood, a tell tale sign the ship had recently put a fire out under the deck.  It was on the aft end of the boat, perfect to sink this ship.

It was a difficult situation as she had orders from the Dreadful Queen to recover a shard and she could not sink it straight away.  That same Queen who blackmailed her into the Royal Contract, her blue eyes narrowed.

“Margyle!” She roared and a tall skinny man appeared to her left side.  

“Yes Captain!” He stood proudly taĺl beside her.  She threw the spyglass behind her and with fast reflex he caught it.

She paced up and down the platform never taking her eyes of the distant ship.  Her arm raised as she did so.

“Take a look in the spyglass, at the aft side just under the main deck.  What do you see?”  She concentrated her pointed finger at the vessel.

Margyle grinned, this woman was not only beautiful but clever “You’ve found a weakness Captain!” 

“I’m thinking to sink the miserable vessel to the depths of Eloin.  But alas there is something I need to attain in it” she narrowed her eyes and glared at Margyle “as Weapon Master good this great frigate I’m wondering if you have any input?”

Margyle took the spyglass away for a moment, he looked at this beautiful woman.  Then he looked back into the spyglass.

“We could still sink the ship…just means that time would be important…and the bravery of the crew” at this point there was a similar at his throat.

“Our crew not brave enough boy?” Sneered Banobany.

He took the spyglass from his eye and looked her straight in the eye “I’m not talking about our crew…but theirs!” The scimitar dissapeared in an instant. She snatched the spyglass back and viewed the ship, she noticed that most of the enemy crew looked malnourished and chaotic.  This might be easy.

“Very well Margyle! Load your cannons and give the order on my sayso!” She turned the steer of the ship and made a straight path to this doomed vessel.

The frigate was closing in cutting the water like a hot knife on butter.  Soon they were organised and the Captain addressed the crew.  Her platform was enough room to give her speech and she started with her scimitar in the air.

“Lads of the sea! Our enemy is not far” her scimatar pointed to the ship “we are but moments from glory! Give your all to this cause and I will give you fortune!  Disobey and you know the consequences!” She squished her sister so fast it seemed a glint of sun had appeared.

“We shall storm the ship! Follow my lead, I will board with half of you, when I do the remaining crew must pull back our frigate to the side and blow a hole into the aft end of that ship!” She put her scimitar away “Draw lots on who is staying and who is storming with me!”

She turned to the enemy ship who was so close now, they would be there storming the vessel in less than 5 minutes. The Captain gave the steer over to a crew member and balanced on the bowsprit, walking so delicately with her scimitar out and a dirk in the other.  

The enemies were moments away and the bowsprit was approaching the vessel quickly.  The Captain grinned menacingly and let out a roar!

“Boys! Get ready for war!”

The fierce roar of the crew of the Queensbane echoed along the empty sea.  Only the seagulls who flew heard along with the enemy.

Captain Banobany leapt with mighty courage as the bowsprit touched the enemy vessel.  She screeched and howled as enemies rushed towards her but she danced through the skirmish with fìnese.

Her scimitar whirling around her head and hitting each target, the dirk did as much damage and caught an unfortunate enemy up through his chin and mouth.  Blood squirting everywhere and on her white blouse.

It didn’t take long before half her crew were storming the ship, they were behind their captain.  Some of the enemy crew had guns and were shooting, Captain Banobany looked around searching for the bastards Captain.  

She scanned the scene whilst shots were being fired from all directions.  She saw him, he was looking down upon the scene.  What a coward she thought! He should be in the skirmish, she ran towards him and cut unto several enemies killing then instantly.

Her dirk stabbing the eyes out of an unlucky deck man.

“Landlubbers!” She chortled as she ran straight to the platform where this Captain stood.  A blade narrowly missed her side and she stopped, turned around and faced the attacker.  Her eyes narrowed looking at the spindly crew member, she cut his leg off with one mighty scimitar cut.

She turned and ran back towards her target, a musket fired towards her and bullet aimed straight for her heart. She saw the smoke from the musket and dived into a roll along the galley and jumped on to the staircase to the platform where the pirate captain stoood.

“Targosa! I am here to kill You!” Banobany sneered as she pointed her scimitar at his chest, the dirk in her right hand held out in readiness.

Targosa looked down the length of the scimitar, he glanced to the right where on deck the two crews fought with ferocity.  The howls and screams vibrating through the timbers.  It was hard to tell which side was winning.

“You cannot defeat me Banobany! This is not a woman’s worl-” he gulped as the scimitar pressed on his throat.  She looked to her left and smiled menacingly.

“Looks like you’re going to be defeated Targosa!” Her eyes narrowing and her blue eyes showing true rage, she looked at this Captain and found nothing of a leader. His short black beard and young clean face betrayed the truth.  She understood her error at the last second.  This was not Targosa.

She ducked as a cutless swept through the air aiming to kill her.  She lost her balance to the rocking motion of the ship.  She stared up and there was the real Targosa with his cutlass bearing down on her.

The pirate gaffawed as he saw her lying there, she kicked out and flipped forward. She was on the attack now and proceeded to duel in the midst of battle.  Metal swords blinked together as she feigned and thrust, Targosa studied her as they fought looking for weaknesses in her defense. 

Her face full of malice she thrust forward, as she did so Targosa swung his cutlass narrowly missing the top of her head.  This was her weakness.

He twirled around as her scimitar missed his left shoulder by a whisker, he countered with a downward cut and a step forward throwing her off balance.  Banobany pushed back until both swords were crossed between them.

“You need to die you coward!” She spat in his eye and he stumbled backwards, she sneered and the full rage came in a blur from her criss crossing scimitar.  The dirk digging the air in between the strikes until Targosa was on the floor surrendering.

“Enough!” He yelled at this crazed woman but she was not stopping, her sword was about to thrust when she stopped.  Her hateful eyes looking down at him, she had defeated him now whether tobkill him or keep him for other purposes.

She kept the sword on him and surveyed the scene behind her.  Her crew were beating the enemy but the Queensbane was a little bit behind the enemy ship.  She saw one of her crewmembers coming towards her in panic, his bloodied face showing battle scars and the adrenaline could be seen from his eyes.

“Ursula!” She shouted, this man heard his Captain and went straight over to her.

“Tie this Captain up! He’s coming with us, maybe the Queen will give us a price for him” she kicked him hard in the stomach and Targosa winced and weighed in pain.

Instantly Ursula found some rope and tied Targosa up so tightly he was bleeding.

“You’re a fine fighter wench, but you’re not a pirate!” Targosa spat at her foot and she responded with a knee to his chest.

“You’re right Targosa. I’m not a pirate tis true, I’m a God damn privateer.” She sighed as she turned and looked at her ship which was on its starboard side. Cannons facing the enemy ready to fire at the enemy ship, she had to be quick.

“Boys!” She screamed amongst the fighting “throw the enemies overboard and be prepared! The cannonballsare to fly!”

She turned to Ursula “Make sure that yellow livered excuse of a pirate gets on our boat alive!” Her face turned to menace “or else!”

She opened the door to the deck below and dissapeared to find the shard she was ordered to find.

Banobany rushed down the stairs to the lighted deck below, her eyes squinted to adjust to the dim light.  Her scimitar out in case of a rushing attack but no one was here in this small room.  The room was stacked with boxes full of food, there were no treasures that she could see.

She looked to the end of the room and there was a small door, she rushed towards it and tried to open.  It was locked.

Cursing her misfortune she stepped a few paces back and kicked at the door, it was a strong kick but not enough to break.  She took another run at the door and kicked as hard as she could, the moment she struck the door there was an almighty crash.

The door flew open and she flew in, caught by surprise she landed in a heap and another crash hit the boat.  They’ve fired the cannons she thought, she looked around and she could see this was a living quarter with a bed and cabinets.  

The Shard was here she was told and she began to search high and lo frantically looking for this item.  Another crash and the boat was tilting very slightly, she turned to look elsewhere when her eyes widened.  

She turned back and looked at the bed, it was under there she was sure of it. She lifted the bed and to her surprise was an old man lying in strange garments.  He looked at her in horror.

“Who are you?” He asked weakly, his eyes bloodshot and his beard quivering.

“Never mind who I am! Where’s the shard??” Her malice returning, another crash against the boat.  

“Shard? It’s not here i promise you!” The old man looked shocked at the mention of a shard. Banobany lifted her scimitar for the kill.  “Noooo!  It’s not here but I can get it if you let me live!”
Banobany had no choice but to lift the old man “you are coming with me, if I find out you’re lying to me it’ll be worse than drowning on this vessel!”

The old man nodded slowly, she grabbed him by the tunic and dragged him up. “Get moving!” She booted his behind and he fell forward, another crash of the cannonball against the enemy ship.

They both ran up the steps and out onto the main deck.  Her ship was now advancing back as this ship was tilting further up.  Most of the enemies had perished as well as her crew, there were at least 30 men left of her crew.  

Ursula still had Targosa at the aft of the ship, the Queensbane was near to this ship now so close that they could board very soon.

Banobany looked behind her thinking she had made a grave error however she had no time left to think on.  She threw the old man down to the main floor and jumped swiftly down. 

The Queensbane was edging near this ship and the crew on-board were already getting the boarding planks ready.  This vessel was fast sinking, Banobany was dragging this old man to the aft end of the boat.

It was starting to rock uncontrollably with water getting in, Queensbane was moments away.  Finally the moment came to board back safely, boarding planks down and the crew boarded back on.  They were carrying loot from the cargo deck, enough to keep them happy.

The old man and Banobany were the last to board, as soon as Captain landed on the Queensbane the enemy ship started sinking into the depths of the sea.

She walked amongst the cheers and yelps of her crew, happy to have anothèr victory on the sea.  She confidently walked around on board until the noise died down, she raised her hands up.

“Lads you did me proud!” She grinned widely “you shall eat like kings tonight! And maybe one of you will be lucky to spend a night in my company!” The men eagerly looked at her wanting the offer.  She continued.

“And then!” She gyrated “you can eat like a king!” The men howled in laughter and lust, they did truly love and fear their leader who had brought them fame and fortune.

“Now men! We must keep our wits about us!” She took her scimitar from her scabbard and rested it on her shoulder and paced the floor.

“For we are not all friends here” she stopped at Targosa and put the point of the scimitar to his Adams apple, she raised an eyebrow.

“Are we? My dear cowardly Captain?”


The Mighty God shivered with anger, he stood an impressive height against the priests that bowed before him.  The void was black as night, only the inhabitants of this void were illuminated in a light yellow aura.

The God was humanoid with great bulging eyes, and long hair, a massive crown upon his head.  His name Seurez and he was the God of Illumination, a fierce fighter for balance in the world.

“You must find all the Shards my loyal priests!” His voice boomed and blasted around the empty void, seemingly bouncing into infinity.

The Priests kept bowing in their medititative posture, their voices returning telepathically to the void in agreement.  Yes my Lord!

I am bound within my realm to stop such calamities, my brother has told me that I must let the creatures of Earthengaugh to do as they please!” The God looked saddened then returned into grimacing again.

“I will inform you of precise locations of the nine shards when I know them, we must protect them at all costs! The Queen must not have them!”

Yes Lord of illumination!

The Priests loved this God of their order and believed in his view on things, they were wholeheartedly connected to his course of action.  The God grew stronger with the belief of these priests, all 12 of this order had done great things in his name.

He nodded with hope “Go now my priests, except for the High Priest Banjael.  I should like to speak to You!”

Eleven of the priests dissipated into nothingness leaving the void and returning to their bodies.  Rejoicing as they went.

Praise Seurez! God of illumination!

 One priest left in the presence of this mighty being.  “Banjael! I want to give you the shard locations, my vision is cloudy and I wish to use your powers to find the Shards.  This Queen will not prevail!”

The God held out his hands, he concentrated his mind on the priest, as he did so symbols flew out from his head and went to the priest.  A yellow ring with a black hole settled on the priest and landed on his head.

Teleportation! The God said telepathically.

Another golden symbol came and settled upon the priest this time it was a bull with mighty horns.

Strength!   He said again telepathically.

The God was bestowing gifts upon this priest to use on a quest for the shards.

Thank you my Lord! Replied the High Priest.

The God shook the concentration and his booming voice returned.  “Find the Queensbane! There you will find the Shard!”

Praise the God of Illumination!

Go my child!”

The High Priest dissipated into nothingness and returned to the mortal world of Earthengaugh.

************************

Banobany kicked the old man down the stairs to the stow, then Targosa followed.  She went down the stairs after locking the door, she casually walked down the stairs to the two figures lying on the floor.

They were writhing in agony, so for added measure Banobany kicked both in the stomach.  Wincing and writhing they were both pleading for her to show mercy.

She stepped over them and ignited a few lanterns, she hummed a sea ditty as she did so adding to the eerie atmosphere.  She walked to a table with chairs and grabbed two of them at the same time.  The rocking of the boat making a creaking sound whilst she walked.  She set the chairs next to each other, she grabbed the old man and set him on the chair.  Then Targosa was placed upon the other, his hat falling off as he was placed.

He spat at her, his hands tied behind his back.  She returned the favour with a strong punch in the man’s groin.  She bent down and put her face just a few centimetres away from Targosa.

“Targosa” she said calmly “let’s make thìs a nice conversation” she grinned menacingly.  The enemy Captain was in agony and could not concentrate, she turned her head slowly to her left.

“And you!!” She tutted “You need to give me info on this shard!” She took her dirk out and just played on his cheek, not driving it too hard and not too soft.  The old man’s eyes widened in horror.

“Think carefully!” She took the dirk of him and played with it in front of his eyes.  

She stood up and paced with her hands behind her back, after returning her dirk to its belt.  She walked backwards and forwards in concentration.

“Targosa?” She turned to him with a questioning look “why would a feared pirate have an old man on board?”

Targosa looked at her and started guffawing, he was laughing hysterically and looked at her all the while.  He stopped as soon as he felt her scimitar on his groin.

“Tell me!” She demanded.  

“Well…we found…” her scimitar pressed harder “him…on the island of Gartner….” the scimitar point prodding on.

“Spit it out man or lose them!” She snarled.

“That’s just it…banobany…he said he needed passage…” he grimaced as the blade was cutting “please…stop! I can only tell you this! I’ve nothing else!”

Banobany believed him, his eyes told the truth and a man that was in a predicament such as this would confess his sins to the great God’s of Dalon!

She sat on the table looking at the backs of the prisoners, Targosa was heaving up and down.  His laboured breathing over the suffering he had endured.

The old man had been still the whole time, thìs man was strange and she called out to him.

“Old man, what is your name?” Her questioning was not threatening and he didn’t seem scared.

“I have many names in this world, this life my name is Dariot.” He said with confidence, her eyes rolled.   Great! We have a lunatic!  She slapped her hand on her thigh and gaffawed which brought the uneasiness to another level.

“So! We have a mad man and a madder pirate!” Her eyes widened in delight and she smiled, she walked past the chairs to the stairs.  She walked up and before she ascended she turned “Targosa you should be happy!” She laughed “you are going to see the Queen!”.

“And You!” He pointed at the old man “you will explain to her about the shard!”.

To her surprise the old man laughed so she responded by running and landing a punch that knocked him over in the chair.  Happy that he got the message she straightened her tunic and ascended to the main deck.

She locked the door and returned to Captains Duties.  Something still did not sit right.

*********************

Dariot was still in the same position on the floor that he was left in, he was groaning.

“What a woman! Eh?” Targosa exclaimed to the fallen man.  His face full of admiration, he was only half the pirate she was and he had a morbid fascination with her.  He hated her too.  He was conflicted in what he felt.  The old man broke his concentration.

“How could she leave me like this?” The old man had a massive bruise on his head from were she struck him.  He struggled to get up and kept trying to find momentum.

“No point old man, lie there and pray to the gods!” Targosa sighed deeply “No point.”

Dariot gave up the struggle and lay still, he surveyed the dark room and breathed a sigh of relief that at least the woman had left the room.  

Suddenly a blue rectangular light appeared just by Dariots head, black colour filled the thin blue line and it looked like a doorway.

Two hands reached out and grabbed the old man in the chair.  He was dragged in quickly through the portal before Targosa even noticed.  The doorway closed as suddenly as it appeared.

Targosa looked around in horror that the man was gone, his eyes widened and he feel extreme pressure on his chest.

What would Banobany do now to him when he didn’t even know?

It was a few hours later and he heard the door unlocking…

The Death Of Bruce Delaney : Chapter 1 : The End


The hospital bed was cold and damp, a man lying still on it, his sweaty body was dying after 86 years of life on earth. A shell of a man now lying upon this cold hard bed in possibly the most sterile place in the universe. His eyes looked heaven ward and his breathing shallow. He knew his time on this mortal coil was coming to an end.

Surrounding this old man were his 3 daughters and 2 sons, all sobbing and sniffing in torment. His heart breaking at their grief and silently screaming in his head that he loved them all, hoping they would hear his thoughts as he could not speak. The throat cancer had taken away his communication, he wept.

The heart monitor beeping monotonously, irritating him as if each beat were a countdown to his death. He could feel himself slipping, his eyelids heavy, he chuckled inside thinking of the moment fast approaching. Death. Funny he thought to himself, I’d never thought I’d go like this, his memory went back to heavy drinking days and close shaves with the moment approaching. Death.  The Many cigarettes he had, he could almost smell the aroma of smoke surrounding him.

He gazed at his family one last time and closed his eyelids, the last time he would see this life. With a silent farewell and a roll of his eyes, he went to sleep peacefully. A feeling of calmness overwhelmed his entire being and his soul released instantly as the heart monitor made the continuous beep. Bruce opened his eyes, younger eyes…eyes that could see clear and bright. He looked at his hands, young hands! his new body looked transparent but glistened against light and he saw his old hand through the new.

He got out of bed and stood looking at the door, a doctor shaking his head as he walked out. He felt the Doctor was stricken with grief, but a different kind, a feeling of failure and compassion for his family. He felt sorry for the Doctor and didnt realise how much of a burden a job could be.

 Bruce turned back around and there was his old shell of a body lying in that cold bed. It looked like old clothes that had been dirty and filthy with all sorts of disease, his new body was fresh and light.  His mind went through all sorts of scenarios and he started getting flashbacks of his life.

It lasted what seemed a minute but he had reviewed his entire life under one minute, every thought in 86 years! Hos concentration was broken when he looked at his old body again.

His family sobbing harder and freely, absolutely grief stricken and tormented with regrets and heartbreak. He was astounded at the scene and briefly saddened, he shouted “I’m here! Don’t worry!”
His family did not hear of course and he felt sad, if only they knew how close they were to eachother! He approached them all and put his hand on each of their heads and kissed them. He cried with their pain and embraced their heavy heart. His old body laid motionless with eyes closed and no breath escaping, he was truly dead and worried about what happens next. For now though he wanted to be near them but something was drawing him away that he couldn’t resist.

“Farewell, my children!” he tearfully said “I shall wait for you to come to me!” He started to rise onto the air, floating slowly.

“Bruce!” a voice came from the doorway, a man stared back at him. A very kind man with a golden shine around his body. Long brown robes flowing as in a breeze, with a bright white belt around his waist. He held both his arms out, his bearded face smiled. “Come my long lost friend!” Bruce began to float down again slowly and walked towards the man.

Bruce knew the man but could not place him, he went straight to him and gave him a hug. The man emanated love and kindness, he also sensed that this man had a wicked sense of humour. Unconditional love poured out of this man.

Something clicked in Bruce’s mind, he looked away as if searching, he looked at his family grieving over his shell of a body. He looked back at the man with tears in his eyes. A realisation of who this man was.

“I’m so sorry for how I treated you Joseph” his tears fell as he recognised a long lost friend of his youth “I didn’t realise what an idiot I could be”.

“Hush! we have no hate in this next phase of life, do not worry. Know that I love you and that you need not fear. But please my name is not Joseph now, I have renamed myself Druzil”

Bruce nodded “So what happens now Druzil? where do I go?” he looked back at his family sadly “will they be OK?”.

Druzi nodded his head positively “Yes they will be fine in time,what will happen now is that you will stay with your family until you feel ready to move to the next level of life. there is no time limit, take all the time you need. you have eternity waiting for you” 

Bruce turned around and Druzil had gone.

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 Tourettes


Chapter 1

The crypt was cold and dark, a silhouette of a man stumbled and fumbled trying to find his way.

He was quiet, he heard a noise to the left. Nervously, he backed away then his arm twitched and quick as a flash flicked out hitting the wall.

“Damn it, cotton buds! Turtle soup!” He shouted. Something wasn’t right, an aura of evil was here.

He fell to the floor feeling hopeless. Moonlight streamed into the crypt through a small crack in the entrance. A thin claw was illuminated as it came toward the man.

Gasping the man went into full tourette mode.

“Gang tickling bum sniffle cardio!” His arms flailed as the hand moved ever closer to his shoulder. He swiped at the hand to move it away.

The hand retreated.

He felt the crypt was empty now. That the vile creature had disappeared. Did he imagine it? His heart was racing, his lungs felt frozen.

Laughter.

The creature was laughing.

The man’s arms kept twitching of their own accord. He had full blown tourettes and he was near hysteria in this panic.

The creature approached once more.

“Who dare disturb my home?”

The man flinched, the words came from every direction.

“WHO DARE DISRURB MY HOME?” the creature screeched.

“Floundering Mouse shit!” Replied the man. Scared, he kept quiet. The monster seemed taken aback.

“Hmm floundering Mouse shit eh? Floundering yes, yes, yes perfect name for a mortal…would you like me to light the room?”

“Shit crackers…yes…banana boat!” He replied.

“You’re a bit weird arnt you boy?” The creature flicked his fingers and the room lit up. What the man saw nothing, then he looked sharply to his left and there was the creature.

He stood like a statue, a statue with elongated fingers and legs. But his top body was small and tubby, his head merged into his very tubby shoulder line. His eyes beamed red and his razor sharp teeth were smiling.

The man fainted.

———

He awoke to singing, a beautiful songstress singing a melody made from the very fabric of heaven.

“Be still child,
All is well in dream,
It won’t seem to be long,
Just a moment with me”

The voice repeatedly sung this. He looked around, the room was still lit. He was confused, what’s happening he thought.

“Cock womb ling fudge packing fungus!”

The man kept looking around, trying to figure out where the singing came from. He stood up and walked around the cave. There were etchings on walls, lots of counting strikes.

His arms struck out and he hit his head.

A name was wrote next to a locked door, it said ” plekio pille”. Strange he thought.

“Plekio pille…what the hell is this…”

Suddenly a great realisation hit him, he turned to the entrance! It was covered over, sealed shut. No light came through.

He cried in frustration.

“Drunken fishing, toadstools”

The singing drove him mad. It was making him insane.

He fell back and closed his eyes. His eyes opened. He was looking up at the ceiling…the creature was hanging from the ceiling staring into his soul whilst singing this melody.

The creature stopped singing.

“You want to know what plekio pille means?” He asked.

The man petrified, nodded his head. The creature grinned.

“It means “I kill people”!”

With a swift drop the creature dropped to the man.

“Any last words mortal?”

“Yes” said the man.

“Well, go on!” Impatiently the monster growled, his razor sharp teeth dripping in poison.

“What are you? Bum droplets and candy canes, biscuits”

“I am…I am a ….oh fuck it!”

With that the creature tore into the man’s chest, straight to his heart and devoured it whole. The creature contorted awkwardly and at strange angles.

His work was done, he ate the heart and devoured the man’s soul. He stood up and went to the marks on the wall and with a long finger scraped a line next to the others.

It was time to celebrate. This was the 250th line on the count.

Time to get ready for the outside.