Monday, July 30, 2012
Risky business it was. Smoking a joint in the rectory parlor. Fr. Kevin sat on the davenport near an open window, waving as much of the smoke out the crack as he could, and knowing it probably wasn't helping much. Tomorrow, he'd have to open all the windows on the first floor, and use several cans of FeBreeze before the room would smell normal. And that was just too damn bad.
His nose throbbed with every exhale, and he could see that by dawn, he'd a have a pair of award winning shiners, just in time for 8:30 Mass. He could imagine his parishioners whispering and poking each other as he said Mass with a huge bandage on his swollen nose, his eyes racooned in shades of black and blue. The news of how he came to look like a prize fighter was most likely the topic of conversation around every dinner table in town, and by Wednesday afternoon, he'd be the butt of dozens of unfunny jokes.
So be it. He had really thought the woman was having a freaking heart attack, and the last thing he had expected was for her to haul off and pop him one in the nose. Touching it gingerly, he winced and determined it was likely broken across the bridge. He debated whether he should stop by the clinic and have someone look at it, see if there would be any permanent damage. Of course, then he would have to explain to the attending doc how he came to be in such a position, and he wasn't up for the smirks or snickers that would follow the story. In addition, his last remaining pair of decent dress shoes were soaking wet, and probably ruined, from his walk back home in the railing monsoon. No...he'd just stay here and self medicate with this mighty fine weed. It seemed to be doing the trick already.
From outside the opened window, he could hear cracking and creaks, as if someone were shuffling around in the hedges next to the building. He should have been alarmed, what with the murder and arson still unsolved. But he was far too mellow to get off the sofa and investigate, and in a few moments, he saw two small hands curl around the window sill, followed by the rest of Brian's wee body.
"Go away!" Kevin mumbled. "I'm not in the mood for any other worldly fairy shit right now. I've had a crap-ass day, and I just want to relax in peace. Besides, the last time you were here, I ended up sick as dog "
The little man hopped off the window sill, and dragged a small burlap bag behind him. Leaning on the arm of the sofa, he chuckled and replied, "Not my fault ya ken not be holding your whiskey, lad. Boys your size in the Old Country can handle double what ya swallowed up."
"Honestly...I don't give a flying flute about the 'Old Country'...or the 'Old Sod'...or anything else right now. So why don't you just take your mini self off some where...and crawl back under some rock ...or rainbow..or where ever it is you came from...and leave me alone."
Brian scowled and shook a pointy finger at Kevin. "Your rudeness, lad, is second only to your need to act like a wee bairn. If you weren't Margaret's boy, I'd have turned you into moss for the tone ya been taken' with me. So why don't ya be settln' your ginger self down, and share some of that fine tobacco you be smokn', and we can be friends again. See...I come bearn' gifts." He opened the ties on the burlap bag, and from it produced both of Kevin's missing shoes.
"You didn't happen to also bring along my gold proof coin, did you?" Kevin asked, passing the joint to the tiny man perched on his sofa arm. Despite his common sense, he giggled at the thought of a stoned clurichaun wondering around the streets of Dollyville.
"I most certainly did not! The day I willingly give up gold is the day my Creator should come and whisk me home. That gold was your gift to me...and I intend to keep it!"
Feeling pleasantly happy, Kevin was in no mood to begin an argument with fairy folk, so he dropped the subject and asked instead, "I suppose you'll be wanting your chair back?"
"Ay...and my bowl and spoon too. Mighty hard breakn' the fast without 'em. And since ya be singing a politer song...I may be inclined to help ya out a bit."
"That face of yours be lookin' like a piece of raw meat, lad. With a snap of my fingers, I could make ya right as rain."
"You mean with some type of strange fairy magic?
"Now, I wouldn't be calln' it strange...it's as real as the air we breath and ken not see...but yes..a touch of fairy magic... and poof! Face looks good as new."
"Uh...no thanks. I'll just let it heal the good old fashioned mortal way."
"But that'll take way too long, lad. Ya'll be walkn' aroun' with that nose lookn' like a grape for days and days. Why not take me up on the offer...and let me do ya a favor?'
"Um, maybe because I'm a Catholic priest. I can't go dabbling in supernatural, fairy magic. It just wouldn't be right. My conscience wouldn't allow it. I'm sure it's bad enough you're here, sitting on my sofa, having this conversation."
"Suit yourself, lad. I was only offering a wee bit of kindness."
Despite the absolute absurdity of the situation, Kevin laughed and added, "You must think I'm pretty stupid. We both know that a clurichaun, or any fairy folk for that matter, would expect something in return for a favor, and I'm surely not going to put myself in debt to the likes of you. Not now...not ever"
The little man smiled slyly, and handing the joint back to Kevin, replied, "Ever is a mighty long time, lad. Ya'd be wise to watch your words."
Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus