I’m participating in the March blog chain over at Absolute Write — more info, if you are interested, can be found here. Basically, a bunch of writers sign up to post blog posts based upon a specified prompt. The prompt this month is “What the Leprechaun Said.”
My story is below. You can find a list of all the other participants and links to their blogs immediately after. Read them and comment!
Leprechaun with rainbow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
HOW TO TRAP A FAIRY TALE
Erin started at the clang of the extra large Havahart trap slamming shut. After waiting for hours, she had fallen asleep and missed it. But she knew what was in the trap, what had to be in the trap.
Erin knew because she had planned it just right. She had borrowed her dad’s big trap (the one he used to catch raccoons when they got into the garbage), and lined the outside in green felt from her mom’s hobby supplies. The supplies she used before she got sick, and couldn’t work on her hobbies any more.
Her mom was the reason she was trapping leprechauns in the first place.
A fake piece of gold (really just a spray painted rock) was the bait, and although Erin didn’t think it looked much like gold, she knew leprechauns were greedy. That’s what the stories said, especially the ones Mom used to tell her. Before she got sick, and didn’t have the energy to read. Dad said Mom would get better, but Erin didn’t think it was true. So she had taken matters in own hands (one of Dad’s favorite sayings), and gone out to capture some magic. A leprechaun.
She crawled over to the Havahart trap, staining her jeans in the damp, March grass, but not worrying about it. Once the leprechaun granted her wish, no one would care. They’d be too happy. A miracle, they’d call it, like her father said about the Red Sox winning the World Series.
She knew this was stupid. She was eleven, old enough to know that leprechauns weren’t real. Except, hadn’t she seen them, frolicking on the lawn in her backyard, late at night when she was supposed to be asleep? It hadn’t been a dream, no matter what Dad said. It hadn’t been.
And so, the trap. With something inside.
“Hello?” Her voice was quiet. Too quiet. “Hello?” Better.
No one answered, but something moved inside the cage. Shifted from one little leprechaun foot to the other. At least in her mind. Maybe.
“Hello? Don’t be afraid. I just need . . . I just need your gold.” Gold, to pay for Mom’s cancer treatment.
Nothing. The leprechaun would be mad. They were jealous of their gold, so she had to be very careful. Erin couldn’t let him trick her, couldn’t let him lead her into a cave where she would sleep for twenty years, or end up trapped in another world. A leprechaun world. She had to be smart for Mom.
“So this is how we’re going to do it, okay? I’m going to ask you to swear to take me to your gold and give it to me, no tricks, and you’re going to agree. Okay?”
Nothing. A soft sound, maybe a sigh, maybe an extra low growl. No words. Was she wrong? Maybe she hadn’t caught a leprechaun? Maybe it was a raccoon, or a ‘possum (she hoped not, she hated ‘possums, the beady eyes and skinny, ratty tail). Maybe it was a poor, scared creature and here she was, trying to talk to it like it was a person, or a leprechaun. She liked animals, she didn’t want to hurt –
It moved. Whatever it was moved inside the cage, and for just one moment she caught a glimpse of it at the bottom, where the green felt didn’t quite seal off the cage. It wasn’t a raccoon. Or a ‘possum. Whatever it was wore boots. Little, black boots.
“I know you’re in there. You, you leprechaun.” Erin stomped her foot. What if it didn’t cooperate? What if it just sat in there, waiting?
“I’m going to count to three, and then I’m going to leave. And if I leave you there, you’ll never get out. Never. I mean it. I’ll do it.
“One . . . two . . . thr –”
“Yes.” The voice was high pitched, but seemed very old. The voice of a great-grandpa. Erin’s heart thumped, rattling in her chest like a Super Ball. It spoke. The leprechaun spoke.
“Yes? You mean, you’ll take me to your gold?”
Silence. Then, one word again.
“You have to say it.” Those were the rules. He had to say it. “Say you will take me to your gold with no tricks. And I can take the gold. Promise you won’t hurt me.”
Silence again, except for Erin’s heart. Then a gurgle from the cage, followed by a promise.
“I promise to take you to my gold. You can take it. No tricks. No hurt.”
Erin considered a moment, afraid now that her plan would be successful. Afraid of what was next. But her mother needed the money, and she was brave. She had to be brave. She bent down, sliding open the cage door.
Let the fairy tale begin.
March Blog Chain Participants and Posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
robeiae – http://thepondsofhappenstance.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Sudo_One – http://sudoone.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
katci13 – http://www.krystalsquared.net/ (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes – http://taraquan.com/ (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
KitCat – http://twilightasylum.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
Bloo – http://www.emergencyroomproductions.net/ (link to post)
dclary – http://davidwclary.com (link to post)
ConnieBDowell – http://bookechoes.com/ (link to post)
Lady Cat – http://carolsrandomness.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
Araenvo – http://www.simonpclark.com/ (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
mdgreene50 – http://www.gettotheinside.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
scatterjoy! – http://www.sleepinginanunmadebed.com/ (link to post)
SRHowen – http://srhowen1.blogspot.com/ (link to post)
dolores haze – http://dianedooley.wordpress.com/ (link to post)
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)