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Queen of the Leprechauns

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Ellen Gable, an advertising executive, arrived home from work later than usual.  “Hi, honey,” her husband, Dale, said, went to her and hugged her.  “Did you have a rough day?”

“Not too bad.  How about you?”

“There were kids, lots and lots of kids who needed shots and physicals before going to camp.  Come sit down. I made spaghetti and meat balls and garlic bread. Speaking of kids, how’s our baby?

“Dry and fed. Now let’s eat,” he said, and they went to the dining room and ate.

As she was chewing, she looked across the table, gasped, and jumped to her feet.

Her husband dropped his fork and stood.  Ellen, what’s wrong?”

She pointed to the end of the table. “Look,” she said staring.

Dale looked where she was pointing.  “Look at what, honey?”

“It’s a…a leprechaun.”

“A leprechaun? Where?”

“He’s sitting at the end of the table, eating.”

“This is delicious. Your husband’s a good cook,” the leprechaun said in a heavy Irish brogue.

“He likes what you made. He said you’re a good cook,” she said slowly sitting.

Dale went to the end of the table and stood at the chair where Ellen saw the leprechaun. “There’s no one here, Ellen,” he said, “and there isn’t a dish of food on the table.”

“Ellen, only you can see me,” the leprechaun said.

“Why?”

“Because mortals can see us only if we want them to see us, and you can see me because I came to tell you that you have been chosen to be our queen.”

“Your queen?”

“Aye, your highness.”

“Dale, he said I’ve been chosen to be their queen.”

“Ellen, what are you talking about?”

“I’m not sure I know,” she said and turned to the leprechaun.  “Uh, do you have a name?”

“Aye. My name is Declan, your highness.”

“Uh, Declan, why was I chosen to be your queen?”

“Shannon O’Connell, our late king, was our king for 545 years and produced many little leprechauns who became adult leprechauns, who, let’s say, were unsuited for leadership. It turns out that your great, great, great, great, great grandfather was a leprechaun.  We conducted extensive genealogical research and found you, and learned that you have the qualities to be a leader, so we voted and decided that you should be our queen.

“I know I have Irish blood, but how could a person have leprechaun blood.  Leprechauns aren’t even real.”

“Your highness, everyone is related, and, as for not being real, what am I, a dream? Pinch yourself to see if you’re awake.”

“Okay, I’ll go along with this. What does the queen of the leprechauns do?”

“First, you must choose a king.  Then, you must rule. You must make decisions.”

“I have to choose a king?  Declan, have you noticed this man next to me, who thinks I’m crazy? He’s my husband. You could say that I already have a king, and one is enough.”

“Ellen, you’re talking to nobody.  Let’s go to the emergency room.”

“I’m not sick, Dale.  Now, where were we, Declan?”

“I was saying I’m sorry, your highness, but your husband is not a leprechaun, so he can’t be your king,” he said as he finished eating.  “That was delicious.  Well, are you ready?”

“Ready for what?”

“Ready to go to the leprechaun castle in the land of the leprechauns.”

“You’re kidding. My friend, I’m not going anywhere.”

“Your highness, you can’t rule the leprechauns from here. You have to come with

me to your castle.”

Dale, I wish you could hear this conversation. He wants me to go with him to my leprechaun castle,” she said laughing and disappeared.

****

Dale sat on the edge of his son’s bed. “So, your mommy went to the land of the leprechauns and became the queen of the leprechauns, and she and the leprechauns lived happily ever after.”

“That was a good story, Daddy.  Will Mommy always be queen of the leprechauns? Will she ever come home?”

“I don’t know.  She’s been gone for six years, and that’s a long time. Well, Jamie, you go to sleep.  I’ll see you in the morning,” he said, kissed his son, and went into the living room, sat on the couch, put his head back and sobbed.  “Ellen, where are you?”

 

The End

 

While teaching  communication skills and English at a community college, Mr. Greenblatt wrote short stories, and plays, one of which won a reading at Smith College. Since retiring in 2000, he has written short stories and novellas.





 

 

 

 

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