This is a fan fiction story based on characters from the Lonesome Dove television show,
which belong to Rysher Entertainment and Hallmark. No infringement on copyrights is intended.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a story just for the heck of it. It serves no purpose. All and all, this story is really pretty bad. It has no redeeming values, but then, nothing I write does. Itís all meant in fun -- tongue in cheek. I found leprechaun information sketchy on the web, so any mistakes I made concerning the little men are my fault.
Joanne Long ~ March 14, 2001


Clay Mosby looked at the invoice that had been handed to him and glared. "This isnít what we agreed on." He tossed the piece of paper on the bar and looked at the little man who had made the delivery. "I am not in the habit of renegotiating at the last minute."

The Leprechaun King stood on the bar in the Ambrosia Club and eyed Clay Mosby. "I understand that, but Iím afraid I have to be firm here. If you donít give me what Iím asking for, well, I can no longer supply you with unlimited-shot six-shooters. The wee pixies have raised their prices and I am forced to pass the cost onto you...youíre a business man, Iím sure you understand." The leprechaun motioned to his gang of little men and they began to pick up the boxes they had just delivered. "If you are unwilling to meet my terms, I can find someone who will."

Mosbyís eyes narrowed and he frowned. "Okay, youíll get your crate of cabbage, but it will take me a while to get it together."

"We need the cabbage for our celebration. Weíre grateful for the corned beef and the green beer, but it wonít be the same without the cabbage." The Leprechaun King smiled and danced a little jig across the bar. "And a bottle of the finest French perfume you can find, just like the wee pixies asked for. The wee pixies are also fond of fine perfume. It wonít be pretty if they donít get what they asked for. I would never cross the vicious, wee pixies."

Clay examined one of the magical multi-shot revolvers. He reached behind the bar and brought out a bottle of his good whiskey. "I would expect you to do your drinking and frolicking at the Number Ten until I have the rest of what youíve asked for."

"Throwing us out, are you?" The leprechauns grumbled and stared at Mosby.

"I am merely suggesting that the Number Ten would be better suited to your boisterous celebrations."

The Leprechaun King smiled and nodded to the other little men. "You wonít see a soul of us until we complete our deal." He shook Mosbyís hand and disappeared, and the others followed suit.

Mosby checked his watch and yawned Ė it was almost 3:00 am. He picked up the small boxes and carried them up to his bedroom for safe keeping. Clay groaned and stared at his bed. The leprechauns had removed his sheets and folded them neatly, throwing them over the back of a nearby chair. "Thatís not funny," he mumbled. He was tired and crawled under the remaining blankets to sleep.

Suddenly the quiet of the night was shattered by the sounds of loud, happy leprechaun voices down stairs. Clay jumped up and flung the bedroom door open, but the bar was still and quiet. He turned back to his bed and the blankets were now over the back of the chair with his sheets. Clay retrieved a blanket and the noise resumed. He grabbed his pillow and pulled it over his head to shut out the sound. It would be a while before he got another good nightís sleep.

***** ONE WEEK LATER *****

The leprechauns were an impatient lot. Night after night they returned to drink and party and pick on Clay Mosby, always leaving the saloon an untidy mess for him to clean up. Each morning he would count the bottles of whiskey and grumble. The Leprechaun King was a man of his word Ė Clay never saw a single leprechaun.

Mosby felt bone weary. If only he could find the cabbage they wanted, then the leprechauns would leave him alone. He regretted ever dealing with the little men, but in a town such as Curtis Wells, a man needed a good multi-shot six-shooter and the leprechauns were the only ones in the territories who could deliver. Clay was grateful that Florrie would be spending the night with him. Perhaps she could reason with the Leprechaun King. He shook his head and drove the thoughts out of his mind. Mosby picked up a towel and began to wipe the beer and whiskey off of the tables. He picked up a tiny glass pig and tossed it in a box with the garbage he had collected from the floor.

The Leprechaun King stood in the bedroom doorway and looked down into the saloon. He watched Clay. The king smiled a mischievous smile and then pulled the fancy sheets off of the bed, folded them neatly and draped them over the chair. A glance out the window brought an abrupt end to his pranks. He stared in amazement, then hurried outside to follow Amanda to the Number Ten. The Leprechaun King was badly smitten.

Amanda unlocked the door to the dingy bar and walked in. She sighed and threw her shawl on to a table.

The Leprechaun King rushed up and hugged her leg in an affectionate embrace. He smiled up at her: his big, dark-haired love bunny.

"Damn-it, Call, leave me alone." she said. Amanda looked down and glared at the leprechaun. "Itís going to be one of those days."

"I will make you queen of all the leprechauns, my sweet vision of femininity." He danced a wild jig around her. "But you have to catch me first."

"Catch you! Why would I want to catch you?" she asked him.

"For me pot-o-gold, of course." He looked at her lovingly. "You have to catch me. Itís the rules."

"Gold? Did you say gold?" Amanda purred. She knelt down and looked at the little man. "You know, sugar, you are kind of cute."

"I have an important business deal to complete, but when Iím done, you can catch me and all my treasures will be yours."

Amanda grabbed at the Leprechaun King, but he was swift and her hand closed on thin air. She stood and grinned, he would be back. Iíll get that gold and then this town will be mine, she thought. Not quite trashy enough, Amanda readjusted her dress so a bit more of her assets were showing and opened the Number Ten for business.

The Leprechaun King now divided his time between bothering Clay Mosby and gazing at his beloved Amanda. Out of loyalty, he did his drinking at the Number Ten, even though the other leprechauns preferred the Ambrosia Club.

***** DAYS LATER, EARLY MORNING *****

"Clay, are you okay?" Florrie asked. She propped herself up on one elbow and shook him awake. "You were having a nightmare."

He stared at her for a moment. "The little people," he mumbled, still half asleep.

Florrie looked confused. "What little people...do you mean Call?"

"No, no! The other little people." Clay sat up and brushed hair out of his eyes. "They wonít let me sleep. Didnít you hear them?"

"I donít understand. Who wonít let you sleep?" Concerned, Florrie put her hand on his back. "I didnít hear anything."

Mosby, now fully awake, glared. He picked a pocket watch up off of his dresser and checked the time. "You should go."

"Are you sure? Itís barely light out," she purred in to his ear. "We have time to--"

"No, I have too many things to do this morning. Youíre going to have to leave...NOW." He stood and put his clothes on. Mosby took a deep breath, then slowly opened his bedroom door and peered into the saloon. The coast was clear Ė no little people. He was safe for now.

Florrie smiled and gave a bit of a wave as she left, careful not to be seen by the upright citizens of Curtis Wells.

Clay walked downstairs and mentally counted the bottles of whiskey behind the bar. Five were missing. Sitting on the bar was a little, green pig figurine. "Stay out of my bar!" he shouted, and he threw the pig across the room. He sat on a chair near the bar and rubbed his weary eyes. No matter what he did, they returned night after night. The little people. They drank his whiskey, smoked his cigars and short-sheeted his bed. And night after night, they left him another vile pig knick-knack in return. If only he could get the cabbage, if only....

He looked at the multi-shot revolver and wondered if the gun was worth the harassment. Mosby rested his head in his hands and worried that he was going insane. It was too early in the morning to go insane. He really didnít need this aggravation this early in the morning. Clay stood and went upstairs to get his hat and coat. He had to check on his new employees at the Lonesome Dove. Now was as good a time as any, he thought. He locked the door to the Ambrosia Club behind him, even though he knew the leprechauns would get in anyway. They always did.

***** AMANDA *****

Amanda Carpenter groaned when she opened the door to the Number Ten. The place was a mess Ė empty liquor bottles littered the floor. "Damned leprechauns," she muttered and grabbed a broom. She picked up a toppled chair and brushed crumbs off of a table. While she cleaned, she read the note they had left her:

Amanda,

Darling. Keeper of my heart. Sorry about the wee bit of a mess we left. I know we promised it wouldnít happen again, but you know how a touch of whiskey can influence a manís judgment. Perhaps there is something we could do to make it up to you. Would you be the dear that I know you are and get us a few things? Weíll not be greedy, just a few supplies to keep us going. You will be handsomely compensated for your time, beloved. Iíve made a list below. We will come round to collect our goods after youíve closed for the night.

Yours forever, The Leprechaun King

3 woolen blankets, green if you please
6 bars of fancy soap
1 pound flour
1 pound coffee
1 pound sugar
cookies and hard candies
all your love

She laughed and folded the note, then stuck it in her pocket. "Youíve got your nerve if you think Iím going to shop for you. Just look at the mess you left."

Austin tossed his hat on the bar beside her, making her jump. "Are you talking to someone, Amanda?"

"How long have you been there?" she asked curtly.

He smiled, "long enough." Austin snatched the letter out of her pocket and read it. "leprechauns? That means gold."

"Only if you can catch them!" She grabbed her letter back. "And theyíre impossible to catch. I know. Iíve tried."

"Looks to me like they want to catch you, Amanda." An evil smile crossed Austinís face. "Maybe all we need is the right kind of bait."

Amanda glared at Austin and stuffed the note into her blouse, hoping that she would be able to find it again. "And just what bait are you talking about?"

Austin smiled an evil grin and ran his fingers down the side of her face. "Something the leprechaun wants, Amanda. Something only you can give him."

"Get out of here, Austin." Amanda jerked away and tossed Austinís hat at him. Still, she knew he was right. She had exactly what the Leprechaun King wanted and she was more than willing to use herself as bait for the pot of gold. She watched Austin leave the bar, he turned and stared at her one last time before going. "Good riddance!"

"I agree, my sweet tower of love." The Leprechaun King gazed up at her and smiled. "Perhaps you would like to accompany me to my hollow tree someday? I have treasures beyond your wildest dreams."

Amanda smiled, "I can dream pretty big."

"We have a date then," he said, happily. "Iíll come for ye, say, a bit after two in the morning. I have to steal the sheets off of Mosbyís bed and turn all of his underwear inside out first."

"Iíve done that," Amanda quipped. "Of course he was wearing them at the time and...."

The leprechaun glared and lit his pipe. "Enough of a stroll down memory lane. Iíll see you as soon as I am done with me business." With a wink he was gone.

Amanda hummed. The gold was as good as hers.

***** NEW MANAGEMENT *****

Stewart Goodthing stood at the door to the hotel and proudly polished the doorknob. He beamed at the thought of his new position Ė innkeeper of the Lonesome Dove. "You wonít be sorry, Mr. Mosby." he said excitedly, vigorously shaking Mosbyís hand. "My wife and I will treat this place as if it were our own!"

"Iím sure you will, Mr. Goodthing. You came highly recommended. Iíll leave you to your work." Mosby tipped his hat to the manís wife and turned to leave. He felt good about the hardworking couple. One less thing to have to worry about, he thought. He walked across the street toward the Ambrosia Club, stopping briefly to glare at Call.

Call was polite enough to glare back. He was well aware of the code of behavior that had to be maintained to keep the little town running smoothly. He absent-mindedly scratched at his belly, then settled back on his bench. It was a warm, pleasant day and he didnít want to waste it doing anything productive.

Luther brought the stage to a halt and put the brake on. He jumped down and opened the door. Offering his arm, he helped the passengers out of the coach. Luther scooped up the few bags and walked to the hotel to drop them off. Then he went looking for Call.

Call nodded to Luther. "It looks like rain tonight. I guess Iíll be getting me a room."

"Better hurry, Call. I just dropped off a coach load of people. Might not be any rooms to be had." Luther grabbed Callís arm and hoisted him up off of the bench. He walked with him to the Dove and up to the little desk to check-in.

With great care, Martha Goodthing adjusted her fichus tree that she had brought to decorate the dining room. She smoothed the color coordinated table cloth, then went to see about her guest. "May I help you," she asked graciously. She pruned dead leaves off of a potted mum.

"I need a room for the night," Call said, he looked around the newly painted hotel.

"You are in luck. I have one left." Martha turned the registry book toward him and handed Call a pencil topped by a long pink ostrich plume.

Luther stared at the pencil then carefully touched the feather. "What kind of bird did this come from?"

Call shrugged, then signed his name. He followed the hostess up to a well-kept room.

Martha brought the mum with her and sat it on the dresser next to the bed. "Itís the little things that make everything special, donít you think?"

"I hadnít thought much about it." Call mumbled. He was overwhelmed by the newly decorated room. He picked up and poked at an over stuffed throw pillow.

Martha quickly fluffed the pillow and placed it back on the bed. "There, thatís better."

Call and Luther exchanged glances. "I need to see to my horse. Sheís a bit lame this morning." He walked by Martha, brushing the door frame when he did.

Martha pulled a small rag from her pocket and wiped the wall where he had rubbed. "Canít even see it." She smiled. "Iím on my way down too. Iíll join you."

The three walked down the stairs together. Martha adjusted the satin sashes adorning the staircase on the way down. "Like I said, itís the little things."

"Letís go get a drink, Call." Luther grabbed his arm and pulled him to him toward the Ambrosia. "Then we can go visit the ladies."

"Not right now, Luther. I have to tend to my horse first." Call stretched and walked toward the livery.

Luther slapped him on the back. "Iíll come with you. Then we can go get that drink."

They made their way to the livery. Call stopped short and gasped. "What the hell."

Luther stared at the horse in the stall and chuckled, then turned to Call. "Sheís green, Call."

He glared at the big man for a moment. "I can see that, Luther!" His eyes blazed with anger. "It ainít funny!"

There she stood, Callís mare, the Hell Bitch. She snorted, shook her green head and buried her nose in a bucket of grain. From the tips of her ears to the bottoms of her hoofs, the mare had been dyed a deep, emerald green.

"A man who would dye another manís horse green is capable of anything." He rubbed the horseís neck, but the color didnít come off. Call shook his head in disbelief. "Why couldnít they just hit me on the head like everyone else."

"Do you have any idea who did this?"

Call took his hat off and ran his fingers through his hair. "It ainít going to be hard to find out. Look." He pointed to the ground. An array of green spots led out of the livery and down the street. "Come on."

They followed the little trail, across the street and back again, down to the tents and over to the bath house. In and back out of the Lonesome Dove. All around Curtis Wells, until finally they reached the Ambrosia Club.

Call flung the door open. "Mosby!"

Clay personally emptied and stacked shot glasses on the bar, forming small pyramids. He raised his eyes slowly and glared at the men. "What is it now, Call?"

Newt Call charged into the saloon and up to the bar. With one hand, he swiped the glasses off, on to the floor. "Youíve gone too far this time! A manís horse, of all things...how could you dye my horse green?"

"I havenít got the slightest clue what your talking about."

"My horse! You dyed her green...or more likely you had one of your goons do it for you!" Call slammed his fist on the bar.

"Dyed your horse green?" Mosby indignantly asked. "Blue, yes. Purple, maybe...but never green! I swear, Call, sometimes I think you belong in the monkey house!"

"I followed the trail right to your doorstep. Explain that!" Call yelled. "You may as well as signed your name!"

"What trail?" Clay growled. He stepped around the bar.

Call stomped to the door and pointed to the ground. "That trail!"

"Itís gone," Luther said, staring at the wooden walk and the muddy street. "Well if that donít beat all.... Hell, Call, weíre here, we might as well have that drink."

Mosby walked back to the bar, mumbling to himself. He had bigger worries then Callís green horse. He yawned and stretched and beckoned to the men. "Have a drink, on the house."

Luther nudged Call, then grabbed him by the shoulders and dragged him back into the saloon. "At least the dayís not a total loss."

Carter the bartender served the two men, then mopped up a spill left by a previous customer.

Grudgingly, Call accepted the beer and then leaned on the piano. "If Mosby didnít do it, then who?" He didnít like having the only green horse in town.

"Maybe it was that cowboy who whacked you on the head last week."

"Maybe...but which one?" Call leaned thoughtfully.

Luther looked at the top of the piano. "Hey, Mosby! Whatís with all the pigs."

Mosby looked up and to his horror, five ceramic pig statues sat staring with twinkling piggy eyes. He stared at the vile knick-knacks. "I donít find that very amusing."

"They werenít there this morning, Boss." One of the ever-present, disreputable henchmen said. "Maybe one of the new piano players put them there."

"Maybe...but which one?" Mosby stared at the ceramic porkers. He knew the leprechauns had visited him again, but refused to acknowledge the prank.

"I like them!" Luther picked them up, one by one, admiring the swine.

"You want them, take them," Mosby said.

"Come on Call. Letís head over to Twylaís." Luther grabbed his arm and dragged Call out of the bar. He called back as he left, "Iíll be back for the piggies later."

***** TWYLA *****

Twyla read and reread the hand-written love note. She held it close to her heart and sighed. She knew she owned a whorehouse and was a whore to boot, but that didnít stop her from having feelings. Twylaís heart was pounding and she was as giddy as a school girl. Once again, she read the note:

My Dearest Twyla,

So many times I have watched you from a far distant place and felt a yearning deep in my soul. I can no longer contain my passions. I find that I am unable to get you out of my thoughts, I must be near you. To hold you just once would be bliss and give my life meaning.

Yours forever,
Austin Peale

Twyla peered out of the window at the street and her hands shook nervously. She smiled and fixed her hair. Austin was coming down the road as he did every day, and she wanted to be ready.

The leprechauns snickered and scrambled out of sight. What a good prank this was. They knew Austin wanted to catch one of them, greedy man. Now they would have a bit of fun at his expense.

Austin entered the Sporting Club and looked around, surveying the girls who worked there. He stepped toward a young blonde.

"Mr. Peale, may I see you for a moment." Twyla gestured toward her personal rooms. "In private."

He grinned at the blonde whore. "Iíll be back in a few minutes. Wait for me." Then Austin followed Twyla into the large bedroom. "What can I do for you...."

Twyla pushed the door shut behind them and locked the door. "You donít need to pretend anymore," she said. "I have been watching you, too."

Before he could speak, she kissed him and shoved him back on to her large soft bed. Austin was stunned and overwhelmed by the large, amorous Twyla. He was overwhelmed for more than three hours.

Call walked down the stairs on his way out of Twylaís. Luther stepped out of one of the rooms. He hugged a barely clad woman. The two men stopped and looked at the giggling whores, who clammored for a look through the keyhole of the large madamís bedroom door. The door flew open and Austin staggered out. He turned and waved to Twyla, blew her a kiss, then stumbled outside. Twyla knew he would be back.

Luther and Call trotted behind. "What were you doing in Twylaís bedroom?" Luther asked.

Austin stopped, smirked and buttoned the top three buttons on his wrinkled shirt. "Finding God." He smirked again and wandered away from the other two. He was humming.

***** THE HORROR, THE HORROR *****

Clay was tired and business was slow. He decided to close the bar for the afternoon and get some rest. Lying down on his stripped bed (he had given up on making it), he quickly drifted off. The empty bar finally quiet, he slept peacefully for the first time in weeks.

Luther tried the door to the Ambrosia Club. "Closed. I guess we will have to go to the Number Ten."

"I canít go drinking. I have to go sit on my bench now, Luther." Call yawned and crossed the street. "Iíve been negligent in my scowling at Mosby. The very moral fiber of this town depends on my scowling at Mr. Mosby."

Luther shook his head. "Suit yourself." He walked on down the muddy street alone.

Call glared at the Ambrosia for a respectable amount of time.
Finally he stretched and leaned back on the old worn bench, a good dayís work. He decided to get some rest before going over to the Lonesome Dove for dinner. Call would worry about his green horse later. He pulled his hat down over his eyes and went to sleep.

The leprechauns silently waited for Call to doze off, and then they picked up his bench and carried it in to the Ambrosia Club. They sat the bench beside Mosbyís bed, then hid.

With boisterous glee, the leprechauns began to dance and party in the bar. Soon drunk, they rode Unbobís pigs round and round the saloon like little horses. They whooped and hollered and drank and danced.

Call woke with a start and sat up. He blinked and looked around the tidy room.

Mosby sat up and rubbed his eyes. The leprechauns were at it once again. He stared at Call, and at Callís bench.

"You stole my bench," Call shouted. "You stole me!"

"Stole you?" Mosby was indignant. "Why would I want to steal you?"

Call stood. "You canít deny it. The evidence is right here in front of you." He pointed at himself. "You wonít get away with this, Mosby. Iím a witness."

"How do I know you arenít trying to set me up?" Mosby shot back. "You could have planted yourself here, so it would look like I stole you."

Callís attention suddenly turned to the small box of multi-shot six-guns. He knelt and examined the contents of the box. "Youíre in league with wood nymphs, sprites and fairies.... I didnít think that even you would sink so low."

"Donít tell me that you never bought a magic gun from a forest denizen, Call. Iíve seen you shoot." Mosby grabbed the revolver out of Callís hands and put it back in the box.

"I have, I admit it, but I ainít never brought the little folk into town. What were you thinking?" Call took his hat off and ran his fingers through his hair. "Damn you, Mosby. You put the whole town at risk. Just what are we dealing with here? Elves, fairies?"

Clay Mosby closed his eyes for a moment, then spoke. "Leprechauns."

"Leprechauns? You bastard!" Call paced, then whirled and faced Mosby. "The Hell Bitch is green because of you. Thatís on your head. What is it they want?"

"Cabbage."

The noise from downstairs grew louder. The pigs squealed and knocked over chairs. The leprechauns laughed and sang.

Call darted out and down the stairs, and Clay followed. The bar was silent except for the sounds of the loose pigs. The room was a mess, empty bottles strewn all over the floor. Another small glass pig sat on the bar.

"Itís only a matter of time before they are hiding their gold and start making shoes." Mosby picked up the little glass pig and rolled it in his fingers. Glancing up, he saw Unbob strolling by. Clay opened the door and called to him. "Unbob, come get your pigs."

"Why are my pigs in your saloon again, Mr. Mosby?" Unbob asked. He took off his hat and stepped into the bar. "I keep the gate closed. I check it every time I go near the pen."

"It ainít your fault, Unbob." Call said. He grabbed at one of the pigs, but the animal darted away.

"I have to lure them out, they ainít going to want to leave on their own." Unbob hurried outside, he soon returned with a handful of treats for the pigs. "Come on sweetie, come on."

Mosby grabbed the treat out of Unbobís hand and smiled. "Cabbage. Where did you get this?"

Unbob shuffled and looked at the cabbage then at Call and Mosby. "Mrs. Goodthing, over to the hotel. She has this great big garden where she grows all kinds of things."

Clay and Call dashed out of the saloon and ran to the hotel, leaving Unbob behind to collect his pigs.

Martha Goodthing stood at the door to greet them. "Mr. Mosby, Mr. Call. How very nice to see you."

"Mrs. Goodthing." Clay removed his hat. "I was wondering if we couldnít bother you for some cabbage."

"Cabbage? Oh my, yes. I grow my own vegetables, on my own farm here in Montana." She beamed and motioned to the kitchen. "I have red cabbage, green cabbage, chinese cabbage."

"Green would be just fine," Call said. He studied the hotel, it was meticulously cleaned and decorated. The tables in the restaurant were covered with colorful table cloths and bright flowers in glass vases. Napkins were folded neatly, in little duck shapes. Stewart Goodthing was busy aligning the silverware in even rows on each table.

"I have the nicest baskets to put your cabbage in, I picked these up in a little craft store in Vermont." Martha handed them each a basket and began to fill them with the green cabbage. She stared blankly at the men. "They accent the cabbage nicely, donít you think?"

Call stepped back away from the grinning woman, he cast a sideways glance at Mosby who glanced back. "Yes maíam, the baskets are very nice."

"I would be they first to say that you have excellent taste in
baskets, Mrs. Goodthing." Clay said.

Martha filled each basket with fresh round cabbages. "Could I interest either of you in some pate, or perhaps a fresh omelet madewith fresh eggs, laid by my very own hens."

"I am tempted, however we are in a hurry," Clay said, he carried the basket of cabbage to the door. "Some other time."

Martha and Stewart Goodthing stood in the doorway of the Lonesome Dove and waved good-bye while the two men hauled the cabbage back to the Ambrosia Club.

The Leprechaun King stood on the bar waiting. "Itís about time you got my cabbage. I was beginning to think I would never be free of ye. And I see you bought a fine perfume. The wee pixies will be delighted." He gestured to the other leprechauns, who took the baskets and disappeared. "Good evening, Mr. Call. The offer still stands, you can join us, if youíre a mind to."

Call bristled, "I ainít that short. Iím almost as tall as Mosby!"

"Pity. Youíd make a fine leprechaun." He puffed on his tiny pipe. "Iíll be away now. Iíve one last task before I leave your fair town."

Call glared at Mosby one last time, then headed out into the street. He paused and smiled, his bench was back in place.

Mosby glared back, then climbed the stairs and headed for bed, his sheets were nowhere to be found. He didnít care, he crawled under his remaining blanket and went to sleep. This time the saloon stayed quiet.

***** BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR *****

Amanda waited for the Leprechaun King to show up. She primped and preened and tarted herself up. Tonight, she intended to catch the leprechaun and get his treasure. Tomorrow, the town would be hers for the taking. "Well, sugah, I was beginning to think you werenít going to come."

"Not come...never in a million years, lassie." The Leprechaun King patted his chest. "You have to catch me to get me treasure."

"Now you wouldnít run away from little old me, would you?" Amanda moved closer.

"Thatís the rules, I canít change them." He rubbed his beard thoughtfully. "I guess I could run a wee bit slower."

Amanda grabbed at the little man and he darted out of the Number Ten. She followed close behind. She grabbed a second time, but he dodged and trotted just ahead of her.

Austin came down the street and tripped over the little man. He helped him up and brushed the dirt off of the little green coat. "I didnít see you there."

"Austin, thatís the leprechaun! Catch him." Amanda jogged down the street, her assets bouncing wildly.

Austin let the leprechaun go and continued down the street toward Twylaís. "Sorry Amanda, I got a better offer." He headed for Twylaís. He intended to stay.

"Come here, you little...." She chased the tiny man out of town and into the woods, until they came to a large gnarled tree.

The leprechaun danced and grinned. He pushed on the tree and a little door opened up. He rushed inside the tree.

Amanda circled the tree for a minute, then pushed where the Leprechaun King had. The door opened and she crawled inside the tree in search of her treasure. The interior of the tree was grand, a brightly-lit, well-furnished home. The rooms were spacious and the furniture was full sized. She searched for the leprechaun, but he was nowhere to be found. Amandaís eyes grew wide Ė in one room, the gold and jewels were stacked to the ceiling. She began to fill her purse and pockets. She tried on the rings and necklaces and bracelets.

"That wonít be necessary," the Leprechaun King said. "Itís all yours, my beloved lass."

"All mine?" Amanda replied excitedly. She let the gold coins run through her fingers. "With this kind of wealth, I can live in high society in any city I choose."

"Alas, you canít." The little man grinned and puffed on his pipe. "You see, you shanít ever leave here, my love."

"Canít leave? What do you mean, I canít leave?"

"The sun is rising and you are trapped here for eternity." He laughed, and tossed a couple coins on to a pile of gold. "Itís how the magic works. Donít worry, I will love you forever. Iíll teach you how to make shoes and we will grow shamrocks together."

Amanda leapt to here feet and ran to the door but it was no longer there. She screamed and cursed at the leprechaun to no avail. Amanda, trapped, was never seen in Curtis Wells again.

***** FINALLY, WE ARE AT THE ENDING *****

Call spent the night in the hotel, then opted for the livery stables Ė something about Stewart and Martha Goodthing was unnerving. He gently stroked the Hellbitchís green neck.

"I can get that stubborn leprechaun green out of her horse hair," Martha said. "I developed a formula that will remove the dye and condition her hair at the same time."

Startled, Call jumped and whirled. "You can wash this out?"

"Certainly. Give me a couple of hours and she will be as good as new. leprechauns use an inferior vegetable based dye. This isnít even a challenge." Martha rolled up her sleeves and got to work. Soon, the Hell Bitch was her old self.

Call shook his head in disbelief. Normal people shouldnít know these things. He saddled the mare and rode out of town. He needed to put distance between him and the town. As he rode down the street, he waved to Martha Goodthing, who was polishing his bench. Deep in the forest, next to a large gnarled tree, he slowed and listened. For a moment, he thought he heard the anguished cries of a disillusioned leprechaun.

THE END

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March 14, 2001


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