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.

Controversial Racial Post!


OK I’ve had it with them, warts and all. I’m sick of the flipping looting, pillaging, gangs of gits who promote violence, I’m sick of the murders and the cannabilastic traits they’ve been known for since men arrived on here.

I’m sick of the whole “race card” when they lunge at me or push me hard. I’m tired of their hatred for us and getting agitated because we attack them.

Who else are sick of these flipping goblins? Green slimy feckers.

A Goblin Called Gloop


Gloop was not your everyday goblin, his bulbous nose stood out like an orange on his face with glooping snot hanging from it pretty much always. Hence his name, Gloop! you dummy!


His little black beady eyes sat atop the massive nose and blinked every few seconds, little yellow pupils in the centre. These little eyes could see both day and night which makes it confusing for our little goblin to sleep.


Now, his hair was tufty, in fact so tufty it was that he could make his very own clothes out of it. He often farted due to his diet and his over excessive drinking.


He is a very selfish creature, his massive bulging belly shows that he is a greedy little fellow.


His fat little sausage fingers were always dirty and never out of his mouth biting his fingernails, and his teeth were bent and missing in parts.


His favourite food is worm sandwiches with a lovely glass of slug juice, but if he could find some lovely bird poo. Delicious!

Now our tale begins when our very nosy hero stumbled upon an old wizard near his smelly cave.


Gloop was hunting some rotten rats when he stumbled over a log, he cursed his luck as he bounced a few times of the ground. His round stomach was very jiggly fellow readers!


Just as he was about to get up, his head tilted from side to side in a confusing way. His eyes crisscrossed and a questioning look appeared, what he saw there through the trees was a…a…thing. He didn’t know what it was.


He had never encountered a human before but he started laughing and rolling around. It was the funniest thing he had ever seen, skinny little creature with a beard and a hat.


He laughed so hard that he farted.

The fart being so loud that the human looked his direction.


“Uh-oh!” Gloop said in the normal dozy goblin way, he scuttled off away from this thing. The old thing was chasing him now and it seemed to be throwing hot things at him. One hit him in the bottom and he howled and howled, he started hopping as he ran.

“flipping eejit!” The wizard muttered under his breath. The wizard had his hands behind his back now as if inspecting the scene.


The wizard stopped and watched this extremely stupid goblin rolling around, hopping, standing up, somersaulting and rolling in the air.


“Still…an energetic flipping eejit” the wizard said, one hand came from behind his back and he threw a flash of magic at Gloop. Gloop was stuck in the air, frozen in time, his eyes able to move but nothing else.


“Ah Goblin!” the wizard exclaimed, Gloop farted in surprise, he was terrified.

The wizard laughed, he continued “Allow me to introduce myself”. The wizard bowed gracefully, his purple robes flowing as he bowed. “I am the great Greandath of the Pearl Jaguar In The Southland Of The Great Plains Of The Other Side Of A…” Gloops eyes went into spasm “Me..Greandath!” he pointed to himself getting the gist of Gloops brain power.


He flashed his hand at Gloop and instantly he was released from his frozen state, he bounced a few times and then stood up. Gloop shook himself like a dog and brushed off debris from his goblin clothes.


Gloop looked up at the wizard “you Gr..es.” he tried very hard to say the name, his eyes went crazy with using his brain which was the size of a pea. He strained hard to use it but ended up farting loudly, the wizard guffawed and slapped his hands on his robes.  This made Gloop angry. His fists clenched and he focused again “you, Gr..ea..n..dath!”


Greandath stopped guffawing “Bravo old chap! well done!” he approached the goblin and poked him hard into the chest. “And you?”


Gloop scratched his head.

The wizard repeated the poke on the chest, Gloop responded with a reactive punch in the chest which sent the wizard 5 or 6 feet into some hedges.


The wizard recovered heaving from the blow “strong blighter too” he wheezed. Greandath had leaves sticking out everywhere from his beard and his posterior. He was not angry, just amused by this creature.


“This will not do” he muttered, he approached the goblin again who was still scratching his head like nothing had happened. The wizard could have easily struck out and killed him but he decided that this goblin could be an interesting development in his plans.


He pulled off his plumpy hat and put his gangly arm down it, his tongue out to the side of his mouth, he concentrated on what he needed. He pulled out several items like a lettuce to which Gloop winced, he didn’t like ground food as he called it, the lettuce bounced on his head.


Then a kettle was brought out of the hat “No no no, I must find it…it just won’t do” the wizard launched half his body into the hat and Gloop could hear jingling and jangling, crashes and bangs. “Ah-ha! Found it!”.


Greandath pulled himself out and he was brandishing a potion, bright green colour and looked slimy. Gloop licked his lips, he thought it was slug juice, his grubby hands were reaching and his nose was dripping with snot.


He couldn’t control his greed, the wizard unpopped the vial but he needn’t have bothered as stupid Gloop bit into the vial and started eating and drinking, glass and liquid whole.


Greandath screamed in horror “you’ll kill yerself you buffoon!” he slapped his hand against his face. Gloop enjoyed it, he really did, he was getting a sore throat and he could not understand why! His face contorted as the liquid settled into his third stomach, his eyes went crisscrossed again and he farted but this time green fumes came flying out.


He fell to the ground in agony.

The last thing he saw was the wizards confused face.

Tuatha De Danaan #3 The Curse of the Village


It was a moonlit night in the quiet village of Marghara, the stars were out shining in the sky like little flecks of hope.  Undisturbed by the comings and goings of the tiny folk under their twinkling lights.

The village was dark save for the little windows beaming firelight.  In one of the houses of said windows, there lived a little boy, a very nosy little boy who would often defy his parents wishes.

At their desperation they decided to leave him be from all his plans.  Tonight he had a plan, he was going to investigate the old ruins near the village.  He had to find out what was in the ruins and he told his parents what he planned to do.

His father often said “Rory! You’re a damned fool, but ye are nearly 14. If you are foolish enough to put yer nose into things then I won’t be fixing it!” Always the same answer more or less.  Well Rory knew his limits, he knew how to survive.

Often he got out of trouble, he was wily.

He would mark out a way in to these castle ruins and find the treasure.  He dreamed of treasure.  Apparently. He heard from the drunken old boys, there was a tunnel in the ruins and deep down there would be mountains of gold and silver.

He couldn’t resist looking.

So he packed his trusty compass, a flaslight, pen and notebook and set off as the sun began to set.  His parents fast asleep.

He began to walk past the village and through the woods.  He walked for an hour or so until he came to a clearing.  He loved how everything had a story to tell.  Here in the forest the myths and legends of old Ireland swirled in his mind.

He saw the Hawthorne tree not 500 yards away and remembered a story about a boy that went missing about 50 years ago from some village nearby.  Apparently a leprechaun had got to him and he was never seen again.

He heard tell of strange creatures that roamed around the forest, friendly and horrendous of allsorts.  Rory was a believer, he knew the woods were alive and there was magic in the air.

His flashlight still on he walked past the Hawthorne tree and for another hour he finally came to the ruins.  It was pitch black.  How magnificent were these ruins!  How beautiful it might have been when it was built!

He searched around the perimeter of the sunken courtyard, almost looked like boats in a sea of fauna.  Rory heard twigs snapping to the side of him and then to his other side.

He panicked and turned his flashlight to his left.

Nothing.

Turned to his right and still nothing.  He shrugged and carried on but some strange sensation happened, he felt like he was being watched.

“Who goes there?” He said confidently.

No answer.

He walked on around the side and he heard the twigs snapping.  This time some small grubby fingers touched his arm, he recoiled in horror.  He fell to the ground in his panic.

When he looked up with his torch what he saw terrified him.  A goblin.

A goblin with a huge bulbous nose, small beady eyes and a furry body.  The arms and legs were small in comparison to its bulky body.  Not only that but there were 50 or so more behind this one.

“Intruder! No pass!” Rasped a stony voice.

But in a flash Rory was knocked out, a goblin club came crashing onto his head.

Rory woke up, his head ringing. He rubbed his head and felt a swollen lump.  He was in a dark damp place.  He searched for his flash light desperately.  It was gone. A sliver of moonlight streamed from a crack above.  A lifeline.

“You’ll never find it” a voice boomed out of the darkness. He could make out two yellow eyes blinking, then sharp white teeth. “Your magic light beam.”

“Who are ye?” Rory asked.

The creature smiled, Rory reckoned he might have been about three foot tall from the proportion of his teeth from the ground.  He rubbed his head again.

“Right now, I’m the closest to a friend you have! See up there” a furry hand silhouette pointed up “the goblins are having a meeting on how to eat you.”

Rory was terrified, never before had he expected this to happen.

“Don’t be afraid young ‘un!” The creature held out an item, his flashlight “I am a friend, do you trust me?”

Rory grabbed the light and turned it on, the small room illuminated and he saw his “friend” for the first time.  A goblin, but different to the others.  Same fur but cleaner, and his hair was in braids.

The creatures yellow eyes narrowed from the bright light.

“I’m going to help you, but when I do I beg you to tarry for a little while.  Do you agree?” The goblin put his hand out in friendship.

Rory had no choice but nodded his head and said yes.  He took the hand of friendship, the goblin smiled and uttered a few words.

Immediately Rory began to shrink, the ground was getting closer and closer while the goblin was getting taller and taller.

The process had finished and the goblin put his hand down to pick Rory up.  Shaken, Rory was petrified. The world was big and it just got a whole lot bigger.

The giant goblin hand scooped him up like he was a fly, very gently the goblin put Rory in his fur and hurried off out the room.  The creature went up and down underground hills and around corners until he came out above ground.  Rory heard shouting and cursing in the distance.

“Roast the pipsqueak!” A voice said “grind him to dust and flavour some deer with it” said another. Rory keep hidden in the fur of this goblin.

Silence happened when this creaturr came close to the others.

“The prisoner is gone!” He announced and the six or seven goblins started howling.  They shook their fur with rage and howled like wolves.  A crescendo of noise that hurt Rory’s tiny ears.

He recoiled deep into the goblin fur that smelt musty.  The howling stopped, the creatures started talking.  Rory slowly edged forward to put his head out.

“He is an outsider, Margyle. He’s…hes…tasty” said a red furred goblin licking it’s lips.  Sharp teeth bared.

The one named Margyle slowly put his hand up.  “We will not be eating him, nor shall we chase him” 

“Drats!” Said another one in annoyance and started pounding his fists on the ground.  “Why? All we have is rats to eat, I’m tired of skinny rotten rats.”

Margyle walked slowly away, Rory climbed the fur to the top of the goblins head.  They were out of sight from the little clan of goblins.

“Why have you saved me?” He asked.

Margyle s eyes turned from a dark yellow into a soft white glow.  He smiled.

“How could I kill my own kind?” Margyle slowly nodded his head.

“A long time ago I was human, come!” He sadly gestured to a hole “I’ll tell you all about it, then you will need to complete a task for me.”

Rory was carried swiftly down a hole and through tunnels.  Up and down underground hills, he would never have been able to get through this in his normal size.

Margyle ran fast for miles underground, it was so dark that Rory could not see anything in front.  Eventually Rory felt the goblin come to a halt.

“Here we are little one” Margyle hand searched his fur for Rory, he grabbed him gently and put him down on the soft dirt.

Margyle waved his hands and a light glow appeared around the small alcove they were standing in.  Rory looked around and saw various pots, pans and what looked like books.  There was one chair and a straw bed in the corner.  Close by was a little river and above that some tree roots.  Massive tree roots that continued down through the river bed.

Margyle grunted as he sat down and beckoned Rory to lie down on the straw bed.

“I’ll tell you what happened my little friend” he slowly spoke “as I said I would need you to do a small task.”

Rory nodded, not knowing what it would entail.

“So about 200 years or so I was changed into this form you see now.  I was a young man, engaged and ready to settle.  It was all arranged until the woman I was in love with…” his tone was sorrowful “AM in love with…she is a witch or was…her beauty knew no bounds.”

Rory was starting to guess what the task would entail.  Margyle continued.

“Oh Rory! If you had seen her! Hair of the blackest night, well it was until she used her magic on me.  You see I found out she was a witch and I confronted her.  I caught her in a ritual. She was enraged to be found out, her arrogance over rode her love for me. ”

He looked at the tree roots sadly, they twinkled from the light of the alcove.

“She turned me into this form, she knew of a tribe of goblins. The ones up there! And she asked them to take me in. She laughed as I went with them, yelling to me that she would play the grieving bride to the best of her ability. Days went by when I thought she’d changed her mind or at least see me.  She never came back and I hated her but I still loved her.  Meanwhile In the goblin world it’s total warfare, I fought with them everyday and I survived. I killed Frengal the Dogfighter in my first month and I am now a Chief Warrior in this tribe.  My name is Margyle the Red and I am a goblin. I am consigned to my fate.  Now the task of Marghartha.”

He pointed to the roots of the tree.

“My love, the witch Marghartha is in the tree there, it is a Hawthorne tree so be careful! I’ve heard that Conarght of the Gold has her imprisoned somewhere deep in the heart’

Rory pulled his head up.

“Why would you free her?” He asked “even after what she dId to you?”

“Well my love for her is still there but it’s deeper than that…I’m giving her something she did not offer me.” Margyle was tearing up.

Rory looked at him puzzled.

“Freedom!” Margyles tears flew freely.

“I’ll give you a few things to take” Margyle said as he sat musing, his hand to his lips.  He was deep in thought. Almost in meditation.

He snapped his fingers and a potion appeared, a potion that was tiny. “This is for her, I’ve had this a long time.  You must get her to drink it! It has properties to make her smaller than you, so small she can fit in your pocket.” He paused “we’re going to have to make you invisible! Oh and that potion..she will lose her magic.  Do not mention that!” He flicked his hand.

“You are invisible now. Conarght of the Gold will not disturb you, he’s not been seen in 60 years, some believe him dead” Margyle scratched his head.

“Why do I need to be invisible Margyle?” Rory looked up at the giant goblin.

“Because inside that tree are creatures of the darkest colour of magic! Best keep your wits, you can sleep before hand. I’m sure one night would do her no harm” the goblin looked at the tree roots, he imagined her face staring out at him. He shook his head abruptly. He loomed at the straw bed, Rory had fallen asleep.

Margyle smiled. Then turned back to the tree and studied paths for his new friend to climb.  He uttered a few words of magic and a little thin light illuminated up and around the tree roots.

A pathway for little Rory to climb.

Rory was having the best sleep, dreamt of his parents and treasure.  He awoke refreshed and content. As he rose he stretched and yawned.

It dawned on him where he was, back in that little alcove. His happiness fell off like wet clothes. Margyle was nowhere to be seen, he saw a little writing on the floor illuminated by light.

“Go on Rory to the tree, climb there and set her free!”

Rory shook his head, the last of the sleepiness fading away.  He grabbed the tiny potion and went on his way.

He travelled through the cave by a little light on the ground. Margyle must have left this trail he imagined, it took him all the way to the underground river.  A small piece of wood lay on the river bed.  Enough for him to sit on, he used his hands to row.

The wood floated softly towards the hawthorn tree, he could see the light trailing up the tree.  His path to free the witch.

He felt like an ant in this world, so small and fragile.

He was at the tree, time to go.

Rory looked up at the tree, it was like looking up a mountain.  His small stature made him look like a flea to the tree.  He began to climb, quite a few little cracks and holes went up the tree.  He carried on for a good hour until he was exhausted.  How could he climb this tree?  It might as well have been the largest mountain in the world.

He got to a ledge after following the lit path.  Rory sat and rested, not for long as he heard rumblings from below.  He peered down the sheer drop and saw little heads coming towards him.  Little heads with two thin lines coming out.

The heads grew larger as they approached Rory.

DONT FEAR!

Rory scrambled backward and hurt his back. The rumble got louder, almost deafening. Two thin lines slowly crept over the ledge.

DONT FEAR!

Two little eyes peeked up from the ledge, ants.  These creatures seemed to communicate telepathically with Rory.

“Friend of Margyle, we here to help” the ant said telepathically, it turned it’s head sideways as if confused “I not know?”

The ant started to poke Rory with one of its ligaments, it’s mouth clacking excitedly. “Bring to queen” 

Rory was overwhelmed with fear, this ant looked absolutely monstrous.  Then he remembered what Margyle told him, he was meant to be invisible.  He looked at the creature and tried to communicate.

“NO QUEEN! ME GO UP TREE. MARGYLE!” Rory pointed upwards at the gold illuminated path.  The ant followed his finger upwards.  It shrugged.

Rory went on. “MARGYLE MAKE ME INVISIBLE.  HOW YOU SEE ME?”

He was met with laughter, the ant was stomping on the ground guffawing.  There were other ants poking their heads up from ledge.

The ant suddenly stopped and replied.

“YOU INVISIBLE YES. ME ALIVE CAN SEE.” It’s leg rose up as in imitation of his “DEAD CANNOT SEE.”

Rory looked dismayed, dead things up there in that tree.  What had he gotten himself into? His parents voices echoed in his mind, warnings.

He looked up to the ant and firmly said “NO QUEEN.  UP!” The ant started stomping and squeaking fast as if trying to fight some primal urge.  It rushed to Rory, panicked and in the moment Rory put up his hands in defence.

The ant gently grabbed Rory with its mandibles. The ant started to climb, as it went up, Rory could see down behind the ants thorax millions of ants climbing.  The weirdest feeling that an ant could carry a human being.  

The ant followed the golden path around the tree roots and made steady progress.  The powerful legs of the ants made the tree easy to climb.

They reached a massive ledge to which the golden path stopped.  The ant left Rory on the ground and went to turn away. “STOP!” Rory screamed telepathically. The ant slowly turned it’s head, the two little eyes showed no emotion.

“WHATS YOUR NAME?” He asked the ant. Laughter from the ant.

“ME HAVE NO NAME, ME NO NEED” With that the ant crawled over the ledge and descended down the tree root.

“THANK YOU ANT” Rory replied.

Rory decided to make a little camp here on the ledge, he could see Margyles little cove from here. Not so far off but to Rory it was a huge distance.

As Rory relaxed and thought of what to do next he heard scraping metal.  It was coming from inside a hole just west of the ledge.  Scraping of metal against a wall, it was getting closer and closer.

There was a giant eye looking from that hole, it looked left and right as if searching something.  The scraping carried on and the eye left the hole.

“His name is Magnus” came a familiar voice “Magnus Barefoot, a trapped viking.  His spirit lurks in the tree, beware.”

Rory looked over to see across the water it was Margyle. 

Rory looked back to the hole and the eye was back.  Scraping of metal. Rory decided to move but the eye stayed in place searching frantically.  The path was wide and Rory was able to move quite stealthily.

He sneaked around until he was at the back wall, he was able to reach the eye.  He looked around on the ground for something.  All he could see was dust, he remembered he had his torch.  An idea formed in his mind, he took the torch out.  He stepped in front of the eye and turned the torch on.  Rory aimed at the eye with the light but it did nothing.

He didn’t know what else to do, this eye was horrible and the metal scraping sent shivers down his spine.  He threw the torch down harshly, the eye went straight to the noise.  Rory heard a foreign language being uttered and mumbled.  He couldn’t quite make it out.

He made a mistake, the eye was motivated to find something and went back to frantic searching. Rory picked up the torch and stabbed the eye with all his heart.

As he did loud bellowing pain erupted from Magnus.  Howling in a strange dialect.  The eye was gone but the metal ceased scraping, it was now chopping.

Rory had to find somewhere . And fast.

“He can’t break through Rory!” Margyle voiced echoed.  Rory had fumbled to the ground perspiring, a hand gripping his torch like death.  It was covered in fluid from the giant eye.  Metal chipping at the wall relentlessly, his head hurting.

He got up, every chop of that Viking sword sent a chill crushing down his spine.  

“Then where do I go Margyle?” Rory yelled, the chopping stopped.  Margyle pointed calmly to a small hole on Rory’s right-side.

The hole was just right for his to walk in.  He put the light on, thank god he brought it tonight.  He surveyed the hole and was amazed at what he saw. A small hole it was but inside was a huge cavern stretching high and wide, several paths leading this way and that.

 Jewels and crystals sticking out of the cavern, the light bouncing through it all.
He was dismayed when he saw several paths leading off the main path.  He sat by the entrance wondering what to do.  He suddenly remembered his notebook and pen.  It was in his back pocket, he drew it out and started scribbling and doodling the paths.  His torch going up and down the tunnel for accuracy.

He was happy with the drawing and decided to try the first path on his left, his torch scanned the tunnel and it was empty so he walked down it, for about 30 minutes or so he had no encounters and was ready to head back.

Then he heard laughter and merriness.  Intrigued, he went further.  A glow of light around the corner, his torch turned off.  He was about to turn the corner, that soft glow becoming more brilliant.

He peeked around the corner and saw a massive room, he saw people dancing and singing.  The place was beautiful, many rows of seats and tables full of food.  The women sat on knights laps and jesters pranced around.  There was a huge throne at the end of the room.

A giant to Rory, or a normal sized person sat there.  It was a king, Rory noted by the crown atop his head.  

His eyes looked around the room with annoyance. Cold eyes that struck his spine deeper than the Viking sword.

The King stood up and held his hand to silence the music.  The music stopped immediately.

“Who are you all?? You do not live by me!” The king bellowed.  “I hate you all!”

With that the king took his broadsword and cleaved his way through the hall.  His eyes were still cold, he didn’t look passionate even through the massive swings.  He wasn’t exhausted, he wasn’t showing emotion, he was just killing these people as if he were bored.

There was blood everywhere, people screaming and yelling to stop. Not one knight took his sword up to fight. Rory was horrified at the scene, he couldn’t look.  The king finished once the last person slid of his broadsword.

He went back to his throne and sat in the same posture Rory saw him in. 

The blood emptied from the floor and the people that had died rose up and began laughing and dancing once more.  The king looked on with those emotionless eyes.

A beautiful lady went to his side and whispered in his ear.  The king let out a sigh and stood up.

Again he put his hand up and the music ended.

“People of Dal nAraidi, your High King Buile Shuibhne has just been informed that Magnus Barefoot has been alerted to an intruder amongst us.” At that moment a massive thump, then continuously on the door.

The king looked annoyed to be interrupted.  “Open the gates!” He bellowed.

Some knights rushed to the door and unbarred it, massive timbers removed that required four knights on each side. The door slowly opened, a familiar scrape on the floor.

The Viking Magnus slowly emerged through the portal.  He approached slowly and his footfall echoed through the chamber.  his helmet had ornamental wings sat atop, piercing eyes under the rim.  his tall stature and muscular build made him look quite formidable.

He stood before the king, his sword by his hand.

“Intruder. Beware” the Viking said pointing to his eye, his broken English tearing through the atmosphere.

“What does he look like invader?” The king asked 

The Viking shrugged and proceeded to hold out his hand.  His finger and thumb slowly going down to show a description of the size.

The king laughed at Magnus, mocking him for his description.  Magnus took offence and he replied with a sword straight through the Kings heart. The Viking turned to the hall.

“Kill intruder! Beware!” Pointing at his eye. he glanced around the hall pointing.

Rory was horrified that he was being hunted.  Who the hell were these people? And what did he have to do?

His thoughts were broken when the king resurrected, his mortal wound healed instantly and he told the Viking to leave. the Viking did not flinch and the king took his broadsword and waved it around.  He then sat on his throne confident that Magnus got the message. he sat in that same posture and the Viking left dragging that sword down the stone floor.

Rory knew there had to be something to this room, what was it?  He just wanted to get out of here.  away from the horrible scene.  the door slammed with great force.  

Rory heard a voice, a female, inside his mind.

“Come away from the mad king! he is tortured forever, leave him be!”

startled Rory looked around to see someone but there was nothing.  Rory obeyed and ran back to the main path.

There she was in the middle of the path, a beautiful blonde woman with the bluest eyes.  She dwarfed Rory in stature. She was smiling at Rory and he was at peace.

“who are you??” he asked.

“I’m Danu”

Rory stood puzzled.  who the hell was she?

“You shouldn’t be here” Danu smiled, her hand was out beckoning him forward.  He did so, the power emanating from this blonde woman was immense.  

She waited for him and knelt down, her hand was on the ground and Rory clambered in.  She took him up to her face and began to speak.

“I’m Danu, I am very old and I know everything in this world.  You are Rory from the village Marghara.  I’m afraid your parents believe you the Curse of the Village” she laughed lightly “but this is not so, you are the first human to enter the other side.  It’s not a curse.”

She sat Rory on her shoulder , he gripped her blur cloth tightly so he wouldn’t slip.  It was a long way down.  Danu looked around, she started to hum a melody.

“Who was that King, Dani? Why is he killing those people?” Rory gently asked.

“He was a very nasty King Rory, he killed many but he killed an ancient tribesman.  He wanted to learn our old ways but was unsuccessful, he killed the ancient.

And so as a final farewell the ancient follower of our ways banished him here for all eternity. With his final breath he uttered sacred magic to the king.  He will play out his hatred and see no satisfaction forever.”

Danu looked sad, her blue eyes welling up with tears.

“All he had to do was give up his kingdom, he could have found his way with our ways.  Men’s hearts are material now and they harden their hearts to love.” She looked at the tunnel and heard faint screams, then she turned to the main pathway.

“Danu, who are you?” Rory was perplexed.

Danu startled by the question did a little giggle “men always surprise me!” Her mouth did a smile to the side.

“I have many names Rory, I am mother earth for one.  I was here at the dawn of time and will be here forever. It is so complicated for you to comprehend who I am, for now I am just Danu.”

Rory sat up straight.

“You mean you’re all powerful? A goddess?” His mouth dropped.

“I was” Danu smiled weakly “until betrayal.” She tugged at her hair as if trying to shrug a memory away.

Rory looked around the cavern, so beautiful and massive, they were in the middle of the cavern.  Suddenly the scraping of a sword coming from one tunnel nearby.  They both looked to the left and there the Viking stood.  Magnus fully armored and sword unsheathed.

He approached Danu.

“I smell him on you” his voice full of hatred “where is thing?” He licked his lips looking up and down Danu.  Danu in a flash put her hand up and Magnus was frozen in place.

“He is a bothersome beast” Danu shivered “such a pity he’s full of hate.”

She took her hand and placed it on her forehead, focused and pointed to the ground. She awoke from trance.

“There! The path, second before the end on the right.  That’s your path to Margartha.  She is hidden even from me.  But I shall stay here with Magnus, he will bother you no more.” She gently took Rory off her shoulder and kissed his head.  He was placed on the ground.

“Thank you for being here Rory, it has been lonely for Mother Earth” she smiled “go on your noble quest to the witch.”

“Thank you Danu!” Rory was exasperated.  He waved farewell and travelled down the path.

He approached the tunnel Danu had told him to go down. The path through this tunnel was extremely cold, deathly cold.  He shivered uncontrollably from the atmosphere.  He carried on and walked straight in.

The coarse tunnel gave way to smooth stone, he passed many pathways into other parts of this wall.  He knew what it was, a maze.  A huge maze at that.

He heard a blood curdling scream.  It was at the centre, a woman’s voice screaming.  Rory ran into the maze looking for the voice, desperately trying to find the woman.  Screams hurting his little ears.

He sat on the ground helplessly.

He was lost in the labyrinth with the screams getting louder.

He was lost.

Rory sat on the ground listening to the screaming in the distance.  He covered his ears to try and dampen the raquet.  After fifteen minutes the wailing stopped, Rory was dizzy with fatigue.

He tried to keep his eyes open but he just couldn’t, his eyelids were heavy.  He fell asleep.

In his dreams he was flying high above this labyrinth, he soared to the top of the cavern and could see every part of the maze.  He saw figures walking the paths of various routes, but what drove his eyes was the centre of the maze.

He saw a figure with golden hair sitting by a machine and massive amounts of straw.  She was making the straw into gold and outside the centre wall was a mass of black.  It’s head tilted upwards towards Rory’s figure and let out a horrible scream.  The banshee was advancing fast towards Rory in the sky.

The one thing Rory heard in a deathly voice.

LEAVE!

The banshee was just about to reach Rory, within an inch it was there.  Rory woke up with a start.

As he awoke he felt a tingling sensation, he was disturbed by the feeling.  It was in his left pocket, a small circular item.  He had forgotten he had his compass!

He took the compass out and it’s hand was whizzing fast, so fast the compass was getting hot.  Rory got up and started to walk the perimeter of the maze, he walked a good ten minutes until he came to an opening in the maze.  The compass stopped.

Not knowing where to go but follow the compass, Rory felt it was a lifeline.  He followed this path until the compass stopped.  He took the right turn and he kept this on for a good 3 hours or so.

The compass had took him to the direct centre of the maze, however at the entrance Rory could see that banshee.  It’s black mass covered most of the doorway, more impressive to Rory in his small stature.  He could see two hands hooked to each wall and two legs gripped either side as well.

It was horrific to look at, two red eyes were searching by the entrance.  Narrowed eyes penetrated into Rory’s soul, it sensed him here and it screeched, fantastically white fangs were seen.  Rory’s heart shrank inside, the creature never let go of the wall.

How could he get past this thing.  It was impossible, he had an idea.  It was a bit of a longshot, the creature couldn’t see him but sense him.  He picked up a small rock grain and threw it as far as he could.  

The banshee immediately flew past with an immense scream.  Then it went down the corridors searching.  Rory had no time to lose, it would be back in a flash.

He ran straight through the entrance and there he saw that beautiful blonde woman yarning.  The gold was exquisite.  The woman was unconcerned with Rory, he looked around the room.  There were massive straw piles which seemed to be replenished immediately.  Rory hid in there, he could see the entrance opposite.  Looking around he saw the woman was feeding the gold yarn wire down a well.  

Thames’s his escape route.

Before he could think about going down he saw the banshee, her eyes were not red now but fire, Rory was not horrified now…he was petrified.  The banshee went for the woman and started slashing and slaying the beautiful woman.  She had blood seeping from her body and flowing towards Rory.  The banshee kept on at the woman and did not stop for one second.  The machine was broken, straw flew around the room in a whirlwind, the young woman’s dead eyes looked into Rory’s.

GO! YOU CANNOT SAVE ME MORTAL! IF I LEAVE THE WORLD WILL UNRAVEL!

As soon as she said that time seemed to rewind.  The straw came back to original positions, the machine fixed itself and the young woman came alive and sat back to her work.

Rory didn’t think about it, he made a run for it.  The banshee felt his presence and began to swipe for him.  It was confused at his size and his invisibility, and with that luck was on Rory’s side.  He jumped into the well, he tried to grab the golden thread but missed.  He fell for what seemed forever but he grabbed the thread finally and was safe.

All around him it was pitch black, the only light was from the golden thread.  Rory reached into his back pocket with a free hand and grabbed his torch.  He turned it on and he saw fleshy like substance on the circular wall.

To his astonishment he pointed down and the light lit the bottom just five feet below.  He jumped down and with a squelch there was a rumble.  The golden thread went down into the ground presumably carrying on.

The circular wall was massive, Rory touched the walls and the substance was sticky.  At the opposite side was a massive face, it’s eyes were closed until the light shone fully on it.  Massive wide eyes opened, it squinted in the light.

“WHO ARE YOU?” It bellowed.

Rory was perplexed, could it see him? He was getting confused.

“I’m Rory”

“Rory?” The creature looked confused “how did you get here? I suppose you want something?”

“I need to find the witch Margharta, the goddess Danu sent me onto this path” Rory explained not fully knowing what to expect.

The creatures eyes lit up.

“Danu! Oh how I dream of seeing her Rory!” The creature smiled weakly.

“Well, if you want to know, you are in the very heart of the Hawthorne tree.  Tell the tree where you want to go and I will open the portal, I am the Guardian.” The creature explained.

“I want to go to the witch Margharta”

“Very well Rory, here is the portal” the creature looked to the left and a portal just Rory’s size opened up. It was a brilliant white and Rory had to shield his eyes.  He turned his torch off.

“Thank you guardian”

And with that Rory entered, as he entered there she was the old hag.  There was nothing but white, all Rory heard were the screams of a tormented soul.  Shouting obscenities at a Constant, Rory was told by Margyle that this was the leprechaun.

Margharta looked at Rory and came straight over, she grasped him tightly.

“Who are you fiend? Friend or foe? Friend or foe? Friend or foe? You must be friend!” She looked away “or ye be foe.  Did the trickster send ye?”

Rory knew now he was dealing with a mad woman, and a dangerous one at that.

He had to tread gently.

The witch released her grasp, she saw the small opening from where Rory came. Her eyes narrowed then looked back at the small Rory.

“Are you from outside this…this…place?” She looked around at the white room “yes, yes you must be!”. She started to sniff Rory, Rory grimaced as the nose came down.

“Stop it Marghartha!” He screamed.

She instantly stopped, her head went back up and tilted to the side “how on earth do ye know me name imp?”

Rory stood up in her palm, he brushed himself off and puffed his chest out.

“I’m here to free you! Stop sniffing and treating me like a toy if you want out!” Rory searched around his body looking for the potion to give. He couldn’t find it, in fact he couldn’t remember taking it. He groaned, had all this been in vain?

“Hold on witch, I will be back soon!” Rory needed to get the potion, he could use the Guardian he supposed. Possibly to go back to Margyle.

The witch did not let go, she was suspicious. Her eyes narrowed even more.

“Listen, I need to make you smaller! So you can fit through that hole!” He pointed at the small black portal.

“Very well imp, I’ve nothing to lose. Go!!!”

Rory leapt down from the lowered hand and ran straight through the portal. How foolish he seemed! He got to the Guardian on the other side and told him he wanted to go to Margyle.

The Guardian yawned and twitched his eyes, a portal next to the old one appeared. He walked through.

There Margyle was in his little cove, the only thing is that he was looking from high in the tree.

“MARGYLE!!!” Rory yelled at the top of his chest, no answer. It was a long way down and Rory had no idea what to do.

Just then a finger long and slender poked out of the hole and hooked Rory in. He was scared, he was pulled straight through. He needn’t have worried as that finger belonged to the hand of Danu.

The guardian stared at her in awe, he watched every moment with intense glaring. He was speechless that she had come.

She stood there smiling, Rory told her of his plight and how foolish he’d been. Danu smiled all the while and her blue eyes bore sympathy and love.

At the end of his story she nodded and flicked her hand. Two potions appeared. “Here” danu offered “one potion that is Margyles intended for the witch. The other is from my own concoction. Give it to her.” She smiled broadly, Rory looked at the potions but they were massive.

He looked at Danu exasperated to which danu giggled quite loudly. She flicked her hand again and the potions shrunk smaller. They got small enough that Rory could hold both under his arms comfortably.

“Everyone deserves a second chance, Rory” danu smiled and rubbed his head lovingly “be safe, and be as quick as you can!” She lowered her hand and Rory went through to the witch.

She was waiting for him and she was angry.

“What took you so long, Imp?” She screamed.

Rory had to sit down, this was too much. He was absolutely shattered, so tired beyond the point of exhaustion. The witch advanced and saw the two potions. She narrowed her eyes and grabbed both potions between her thumb and finger.

“These mine?” She asked not paying attention to Rory. Rory was fast asleep, the witch shrugged and took the potions both at once.

Suddenly the witch was covered in multicoloured swirls of mist, from light shades of colour to dark.

Her transformation complete she approached Rory with caution.

The witch was extremely small and vulnerable.

Rory woke up after a few hours sleep, he felt rested and a bit more relaxed.  He awoke to a beautiful woman on his chest, she was smaller than he.

Her jet black hair looked sleek and shined against the white room, one long streak of white ran through the satin like hair.  She was beyond beautiful, she was exquisite.  Her Brown eyes glistened in the light.

“You’re finally awake!” She exclaimed, the witch had a happy tone “my saviour!”

Rory took a while to think, this small woman he now has in his palm looked so fragile.  He let out a yawn.

“I want to see Conarght! I want to see the trickster!” She screamed, her tone changed from happy to anger.

“Why should I take you to him? You are no match for him in your current form” Rory batted back, the witch contorted with rage.  She started chanting and rubbing her hands in a magic trance.

Sparks flew but nothing happened.

She tried again to no avail.

“What have you done??” She screamed, she fell on Rory’s hand and started biting and scratching. Rory grimaced, her biting and scratching was akin to a bee sting.  Her words were venomous, she cursed at him.  He was about to throw her when he came to his senses.

He put her on the ground.

She sat there for what seemed to be years, sobbing and crying about her lost magic.

“Marghartha, we must go. Do you want to leave?” He said tenderly “Margyle is waiting for us.”

With the mention of Margyle her ears pricked up and her tears did stop.

“Margyle? Is he still alive? I thought he’d have perished years ago!” She looked away deep in thought “must have been a true transformation, thought his mortality would have died.”

She stopped talking to herself out loud and turned to Rory.

“Very well giant” she looked up, how the tables had indeed turned “take me to Margyle, I want to know what he wants.”

“I can tell you already” Rory replied, Marghartha eagerly awaited him to go on. “He wants to give you that which he has not got…freedom.”

A single tear went down the witches left eye.  She started to think she had made a mistake letting that man go, he truly had loved her.

She shook off the thoughts and retrieved her cold hard exterior. From an instant was a sad expression to a hardened cold grimace.

“Very well, take me there!”

Rory took her and put her on his shoulder, Rory didn’t see but she wept silently.  He walked out the portal, it instantly closed behind him and he went to the guardian.

He asked the guardian to open a portal to the bottom of the Hawthorne tree nearest Margyles cove.  A portal appeared and the Guardian winked.

“Just a moment! Before you go!” The Guardian yelled.

Rory stopped in his tracks, he wondered what possibly could the guardian want.

“Well, my greatest wish was to see Danu.  You made it happen and I would like to offer you a free portal to your heart’s desire.” The Guardian shook his nose and started to sniff.

“Ah, yes! The purpose of this adventure.  Where it all started , yes!” He kept sniffing “Rory, bring me your metal box.”

Rory brought his compass to the guardian, the guardian concentrated and sparks flew from his whole face and into the compass.  The guardian looked happy and content.

“All you have to do now is hold it in your palm outright, think of your portal.  It will be there, put your compass down to keep it open and pick it up to close.”

The Guardian was falling asleep “thank you for making my…wish…come…true” and he was asleep, snoring.

The witch tutted and rolled her eyes.

“Lazy git that one.” She retorted.

So they went through the newly created portal and arrived at the area where Rory had rowed across.  Rory saw that the leaf was still there where he had docked it.

He started to row the boat and heard the familiar scraping of a sword on stone, it was coming from the tree.  Looking up Rory saw the one eye of Magnus Barefoot looking around frantically.

Rory looked forwards shaking off the shivering anxiety. He pushed forward the dry leaf and started to paddle.  The leaf took forever to sail but they got to the other side after two hours.

Marghartha sat on the dry ground with a sad expression. “What is my purpose now Rory?” The first time Rory had heard any sadness from her “My magic was my birthright, it was my innate ability to survive, create and destroy.”

Rory sat beside the tiny figure, he felt sorry for her.  He tried to comfort her, he picked her up gently. He had to tread carefully with her feelings, he looked away in thought.

“Perhaps, if you had of used your magic for good…you might not be in this predicament.” Rory was matter of fact in his reply, not accusing.

The witch sadly shook her head.

“You know nothing of me, my history and what I had to go through. My family life was turbulent to say the least.  But no more on it.” The small witch stood up “I’m going to try my best to get my magic back, Rory if only you understood.  I’ve lost a part of my soul.  I need it back.” She looked deep into Rory’s eyes “I need to find Conarght of the Gold!”

Rory put her on his shoulder.

“From what I hear bed a trickster and an imp, tell me about him” Rory retorted trying to help her feel better.

“Ah we fought for 100 years or so, he’s a leprechaun.” She stopped as Rory had a smile appear “what? You don’t believe me?  You’ll believe in lazy wall guardians but not leprechauns.” He face was dismayed.  Rory stopped smiling and she carried on.

“He appeared to me when some men tried to execute me for being a witch, I was however in the middle of ridding the world of an evil woman.  A woman who had killed my lover, her husband. It’s not right but it’s the way love works.  She poisoned him and she had to pay.

The leprechaun appeared and granted me three wishes, I used them unwisely.  The last one I wished to live forever, a wish I’d come to regret.  I did live forever but my body aged old like the one in that white room.

I searched for potions, lotions and spells to make me younger.  I found the sap of the Hawthorne tree mixed with other ingredients can help you grow younger overnight.  So I needed the samples and the trickster found me trying it, he would not allow it.

A week or two later I went to the tree, he was there and we ended up in a magic fight.  Next thing I remember was being in that white room and the devil walking out.” She finished with a sigh.

“Don’t forget what you did to me!” Came a loud booming voice behind rory.  It was Margyle.

Marghartha was terrified.  He picked Rory up gently but only to see the tiny witch close.

“My love I have missed you” Margyle had wet eyes. Marghatha scoffed to which he shook his head. “I feel as though you have not changed”  he sadly shook his head.

He clicked his fingers and produced a very tiny potion, smaller than a grain of sand.  He put it on his other hand holding Rory.  Rory bent down and took it, he gave it to the witch.

“That will reverse the height, I wish you luck.”  With that he walked slowly away.  “Find your own way out.”

“Margyle! Wait!” She hopped up and down, waving her arms.  She gave up as soon as he left the light of his cove.  Rory bent his head solemly.  Poor guy he thought, still hoping for her.

The witch looked at the potion and then at Rory.

“Only one potion…” she grabbed it and gulped the liquid down.  She smirked after at Rory.

Suddenly she was growing and growing her normal stature looked like a giant to Rory.

Her fingers curled as she rose and Rory heard her groan.  As the transformation finished she looked down and snarled.  Her face full of hatred, her foot came down nearly crushing Rory.

“You lost me my magic!” She roared like a lioness.

Rory took cover and hid.

“I’ll find you Rory! And you’ll be sorry!” She wailed.

Rory had an idea but he needed to be quick.

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.

Always.

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!