Three Wishes (From A Leprechaun)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Be careful what you wish for, especially if the wish granted by a leprechaun. (KT's horror challenge Myth #1 Leprechauns).

Submitted: August 27, 2009

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Submitted: August 27, 2009

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Three Wishes
Jacob was out digging for worms to go fishing with when he found it. A little box buried about a foot underground. He brushed the caked dirt from it and exposed a silver latch. He pried the latch with his dirty fingers and flipped the box open. He was nearly blinded by the glare from the gold it contained. This was the miracle he’d been praying for. He didn’t know how much it was worth, but he felt that it would probably be enough for his mother to keep the house. Fishing was the furthest thing from his mind now, he couldn’t wait to get home and show the gold to his mother. He hurried to his bike and picked up his fishing rod that was next to it. Juggling the box and rod he stood his bike up and climbed on.
No sooner did he do this than he heard a strange voice. It sounded low and far away. “Wait there!” it said. The boy paused and looked around. “That doesn’t belong to you!” it spoke again. Jacob had been looking too high for its source, for when he looked at the base of the tree near where he had been digging, he saw an odd little man. He was smaller than any dwarf that Jacob had ever seen, about the size of a baby he thought. The man was dressed to the nines in a rather garish green suit. His shiny black shoes were decorated each with a single gold buckle. His tiny head was partially covered with a wild mane of fuzzy red hair and his mouth, which was half obscured by a wiry beard of the same color, had a pipe protruding from it. Even though he looked more like a bad game show host than the character on the cereal box, Jacob knew what he was. “Leprechaun,” he stammered. “Oh yes young lad, you be right about that,” the leprechaun said taking the pipe from his mouth and tipping the ashes onto the ground. “I’m quite impressed that you’ve managed to find my gold. Many a man has tried and failed, every one,” he added. Jacob’s eyes widened as the leprechaun advanced a step toward him. “Don’t be afraid lad, I only be wanting my gold back. Usually you have to catch me to get three wishes, but today is your lucky day.”
Jacob rolled back on his bike to distance himself from the man. “I know about leprechauns and your tricks! Why should I trust you?” “You should trust me because you hold something that I want and I hold something that you want. It’s a fair trade my boy,” the leprechaun reasoned as he walked a little closer. “Now, what do you wish for lad?” the leprechaun asked. “I wish you would go to hell!” Jacob swung his fishing rod at the leprechaun knocking him off of his feet and then he turned and peddled as fast as he could away from him. He could barely hear the leprechaun yell as he fled. It was all too garbled to understand and he didn’t care anyway. He was nearly home and there was no way the leprechaun could have matched his speed with his tiny little legs. Jacob even cut through the clover field because he read that four leaf clovers repelled the little gremlins and surely the lot held a number of them, although he’d never been lucky enough to pluck one himself.
His mother, Adele was busy in the kitchen needing dough for biscuits when Jacob stormed in. “Jacob, you’re getting dirt everywhere,” she chided. He dropped the filthy box on the dinner table much to his mother’s dismay. “Get that thing out of here!” she yelled. “Mom, look inside,” he encouraged. “What is it?” she questioned looking at it in confusion. “It’s the answer to our prayers,” Jacob said as he opened it revealing the gold coins. “Jacob, where did you get this?” his mother demanded. “I found it buried in the woods.” Jacob reached in and grasped a stack of the coins and dropped them back into the box with a shrill clatter sweeter than any music. “Did you steal it?” she asked suspiciously. “No mama, I found it just like I said. Finders keepers, right?” His mother looked at him sternly, “I better not find out otherwise.” She took the box and hid it in the cupboard. It would be safe there for the night, just until she made up her mind what to do with it. She certainly needed the money to pay her overdue bills, but how would it look for her to suddenly come up with a box of gold coins.
She needed to think things over, so she sent Jacob to bed with a belly full of stew and buttermilk biscuits. He was so proud of himself for finding the gold, but he still neglected to mention anything about the leprechaun. He wasn’t quite sure how his mother would react to it. He thought it would just complicate things further and it was just better left unsaid. He could actually picture his mother making him give the gold back to the leprechaun and apologize for taking it. As he lie in bed he started to doubt his not taking the wishes, but then quickly assured himself that he had done the right thing. Of what use was an old box of gold to a little man who lives in the woods anyway, he reasoned with himself. If he could grant wishes, certainly he could wish for more gold for himself. Jacob’s eyes closed and soon he was fast asleep.
His mother, however, was not. Adele sat in the kitchen nursing a cup of hot tea. She had the phone book out and was jotting down the numbers for various pawn shops close by. Tomorrow she’d call and determine who had the better price to offer. Suddenly, she began to hear a commotion coming from her son’s room. She hurried up the stairs and threw open his door. The room was dimly lit and she could feel a cold breeze flowing in through the window. The moonlight revealed that it had been broken. She turned her eyes to Jacob’s bed. He was absent from it but she could faintly make out a moving figure across the sheets. Groping for the light, she never took her gaze from it. She let out a startled scream when the light fell on the little form.
The leprechaun was frozen by her horrified stare. “Who are you and where is my son?” Adele demanded. “I be the victim of a crime lass and your kin be paying for it unless you set it right,” the leprechaun hissed. “What do you want?” she pleaded. “I think you already know the answer to that one.” The leprechaun hopped from the bed, his shoes tapping on the wooden floor. “The gold is yours?” Adele put her hand over her mouth in shock as she truly realized the unbelievable situation she was in. The little man just flashed a toothy grin at her and nodded his head. “You will return my son if I give it back to you?” she asked. “I cannot undo what has already been done, but I tell you that your son be safe for the moment. I will give you three wishes in return for the gold. Three wishes to do as you choose.” Adele hurried down to the cupboard without hesitation and retrieved the leprechaun’s box. She quickly ran back to her son’s room where the leprechaun was patiently waiting by the window smoking a bit of his pipe. He extended his arms to collect his gold when Adele unexpectedly pulled it back. “I give you this and you will tell me where my son is with no tricks,” she said as she looked at the leprechaun intently. “If that be what you wish, so shall it be granted,” the leprechaun said.
She agreed and handed the box over to the elated gnome. He gave the box a short jolt as if to determine its weight and then he opened it and ran his hands across his precious treasure. He smiled ear to ear. “Your son be underground by the very tree where he found my riches.” “Oh my God, you promised he was unharmed, you rotten little bastard!” Adele shrieked hysterically. She lunged at the leprechaun snatching up his coat. “He is fine for the moment lass. Enough air for a couple of hours, I promise. I was just teaching the boy a lesson. I’m sure he’ll not take what is not his ever again.” The leprechaun struggled free from Adele’s lessening grip. “Now then, do you desire to use your second wish?” he asked. Adele gathered her composure and said, “I wish for my son to be here in this very room!”
“Mind the rules dear, I cannot undo what has already been done,” the leprechaun reminded her. She thought for a moment, careful to choose her words. “I wish you would take me to where my son is buried.” In an instant they were standing in a large clearing in the woods. Adele once more grabbed the leprechaun’s coat. “Show me where my son is buried?” she ordered him. “He is under that lone oak tree just ahead,” he told her as he pointed to a large tree about a hundred feet away in the barren field. Adele thought hard as she knew that she only had one wish left. “You promise not to trick me; I’ve given you what you asked for. You promise that my son is under that tree and you will not move him from there.” Adele pulled the leprechaun close to her face and looked deeply into his beady eyes. “Yes lass, I assure you that your son be buried under that tree and I promise that I shall not move him even one hair,” the leprechaun said earnestly. “Then I will be requiring a fine shovel,” she said as she let go of the leprechaun.
He brushed his green coat of the woman’s creased hand marks. “You wish for a fine shovel that will take the labor out of your task?” he asked. “Yes I do,” she agreed and a shovel appeared between the two. “You have been so careful with my gold that I will tell you that your son be buried on the side of the tree that the morning sun is just not gracing.” Adele turned to look at the tree, its eastern side lit bright with the morning sunlight. By the time she turned again to take the shovel, the leprechaun had vanished. It was true she thought, that you couldn’t take your eyes off of them or they’d be gone. She had a pertinent task though and no time to waste on his disappearance. She grabbed the shovel tightly in her hands, but upon turning toward her son’s burial place she quickly lost her grip on it. Adele fell to her knees in shock. “No! No!” she cried. The leprechaun had probably kept his word about not moving her son, but none of that mattered now. The once barren forest was now thick with trees, all oak just as familiar as the arbor under which her son had been planted. She ran frantically through the woods. “Jacob! Jacob!” she yelled. Her cries were met only by the wicked little laugh of the deceitful leprechaun.


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