Letting Life Lead
Note: Written for The Writer’s Workout: The 500
March Contest: Paint it Green
Prompt: The leprechaun is tired of missing out on the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Interview a new character to guard his lucky charms.
Lu Leithbragan adjusted the knee buckles on his red breeches, tugged his black stockings, and brushed ash from his frieze coat — the Smoke-Wisp had had a messy exit. He’d grown tired of working on his holiday and required an assistant to facilitate a day off. Lu examined his slate for the next candidate: Degenerate Tooth Fairy Frey. He wondered what the sparkling enamel-thief did to earn the official title.
A shower of millet preceded the audible whomp of a teleport. Lu plugged one nostril and blew seed out the other.
“Present!” Frey the Fairy alighted on a mossy rock and took in the sights of the hidden glen and magic pool.
“Birdseed? Willywigs, that’s new!”
“Well, House Gnomes complained that sparkle residue harmed Dust Sprites and the environment, so…”
“This solution was sanctioned by The Cuspid Council?”
Frey laughed. “Nawp. Fine: two-hundred hours of overtime. The looks on snooty gnome faces: priceless.”
“Hmm, shows initiative…” Lu adjusted his pointed, brimmed hat and made the notation.
“I got to know. Are you the Lugh of the Tuatha Dé Danann? How’d you get this gig?”
“Lugh is my brother; the how isn’t important. Tell me, what will you bring to this position if you become my High Leprechaun Guard?”
The fairy folded her tattooed wings and leaned forward. “The better question is who else can you hire that’s got as much stock in mischief as me?”
“I’ve an imp or two with high qualifications.”
“Amateurs. Know what I did when kids tried to squeeze me for big bills for low quality teeth? I robbed their piggy banks and put their own loot under their pillows. I’ve saved enough to fill my own pot o’ gold.”
“Before the Council finds out?”
“See, we understand each other!” Frey furrowed her brow and cocked her head. “Hey, aren’t you supposed to be wearing green?”
Lu gave a wry sniff. “Aren’t you supposed to be clean-shaven?”
Frey rubbed the downy, gray beard shadow. “My granny was a quarter-dwarf. Men-folk don’t have to shave, why should I?”
“And why should the fat Master of Reindeer get to wear red and have all the fun?”
“You need sharp wits for this business. Tom Foolerys ossified on Gat and Bulmers will try to trap you for wishes and gold.”
“Pish. Ain’t nobody ever cracked the Rainbow Vault.”
“I’ve got the patent into perpetuity.” A proud Lu bobbed his chin at Frey. “Right then. Let’s see your lucky charms.”
Frey tugged her jacket with one hand. “Hey! I’m not showing you nothin’. This wand’ll skewer you like a unicorn horn through a hunter’s heart.”
Lu raised his hands. “Jaysis! Not those lucky charms!” He pointed to his crimson coat which had seven rows of seven buttons. “Luck Dragon scale buttons. Rare as hen’s teeth. You need all the luck you can get to evade capture.”
Frey laughed, lowered her narwhal wand, and opened her vest to reveal a bulging pouch. “No worries. I won enough blue pixie dust at poker to float this whole island. I’ll guard your treasure and charms right good.”
“Impressive. You’re hired.” There were no better prospects. Time ticked and pints and quarts waited.
“Do I get a shillelagh?”
“Sure look it.”
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