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Shillelagh: A Leprechaun's Bounty [TFTG]

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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 10:50 AM
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In a time before the plains of Ireland had been cleansed of snakes and before the English had pillaged its resources, the Emerald Isle was a mystifying place of fantastic beauty, brutal war, magical beings, blood thirsty beasts and of course – disgruntled leprechauns. Hundreds of years before our time the myths that we know of today were but fact.

Shillelagh



Three burly men burst in through the doors of a small seedy Inn built halfway into the forest of Red Path.

“We’ve come for the leprechaun!” one of them howled.

All three of them stood around six-foot-two with hunched shoulders made of cannon balls and fists griped white around wooden shillelaghs.

“I need no trouble in here now fellas,” said the barman from a distant corner.

The Inn was dark and musty with blood stains scattered here and there and smoke blanketing the wooden beamed ceiling above. Inside were mostly humans sat around wooden tables with their pints of blackness in hand.

The men ignored the barman’s wishes and waded in aggressively. They were after a notoriously prickly leprechaun by the name of Killian O’Leary, who was uncharacteristically poor and often in trouble with both local criminals and the Garda.

“We know you’re in here O’Leary...” breathed one of the men.

Half the pub turned their heads and one giant of a man rose to his feet and smashed his bottle over the table.

“If it’s me yer after I’ll bury the lot’o’ya!” he wailed, waving the shattered ale neck in the air.

“Sit down John, it’s a leprechaun there after!” growled the barman.

“Oh, the leprechaun?” asked the man. “Well there’s only one leprechaun in here and that’s Killian. He’s down there.”

John O’Leary pointed down the bar into a corner lit only by a lantern hanging on the wall by a rusty nail. The candle inside flickered slightly as a sigh spread around the Inn.

The three goons charged the length of the Inn and approached a broad but short figure sat on an extra tall bar stool in the dim light.

“You there!” growled the largest of the three. “You, Killian O’Leary, you’re coming with us.” He pointed menacingly with his shillelagh as he spoke, the whole time not quite daring to get too close to the leprechaun.

Killian sat there staring into his pint glass of soupy ale. He pulled out his pipe from his dark green jacket and tapped it on the mahogany bar. Stale tobacco flaked out and the leprechaun pulled a pouch from his inner pocket and poked his fingers between the drawstrings.

“Listen now leprechaun,” said the fattest of the men. “You’ve a price on your head. We’re here to make money.”

Killian ignored them further by slowly unwrapping the gold foil from a cube of flavoured tobacco he’d taken out of the pouch. He pulled the rich sinewy block apart and pushed some of it into the bowl of his pipe with his thumb. The three heavies looked at each other, silent and unsure of what to do next. By rights they were three; maybe four times the size of Killian, but this leprechaun had a reputation around the providence of Munster. People had seen him fighting at the bars and Inns and even going at it with sorcerers who’d spirited him away to the Black Cliffs, and with ogres who broke near enough every bone in his four-foot-seven inches of a body.

It wasn’t just the reputation or the rumours that put people on their guard around Killian though. You could just see it in his eyes. There was anger. In some way, what with his bony knuckles and scarred up face, this leprechaun was made to fight. He wanted to fight.

The silence in the Inn began to give way as murmurs moved amongst the people packed shoulder to shoulder at their stools.

Killian pulled a match from his trouser pocket, struck it on the underneath of his heavily stubbled chin and lit the pipe. He dragged the thick swarthy smoke and inhaled the taste of mango and lemons deep into his lungs.

“You know,” he strained without exhaling. “I got this tobacco from a smuggler friend of mine who’s sailed all over the world. He’s a right swashbuckler.” He breathed out, blowing a plume of smoke into the air. “He got it from a place called Rhodesia, where the kings there pave their streets with gold and wear jewels in their hats. They make this here tobacco from fruits that grow on trees with huge leaves and trunks that have got hair. I’ve never in my life tasted the fruit, but if it’s anything like this here tobacco, my god, it’s incredible.”

He cleared his throat briefly before taking another drag of the pipe and picking up his glass.

“It’s funny how you can afford expensive tobaccy when you owe half of Ireland money,” growled one of the men, a built figure with ginger hair sprouting from ever pour below his eyes.

Killian laughed to himself and for the first time he turned to face the men.

“Move along now ya bunch’a Jessies,” he said, with his thick Limerick accent and deep cutting voice. “Go on, p**s off!”

The ginger man waded in red misted with his shillelagh swung behind his head. As he moved in to strike, Killian lunged the pint glass into his face. The thick bevelled glass exploded into razor like shards and the ginger attacker hit the floor before he could land the shillelagh blow.


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I've another 10,000 words to this so I though I'd just cut some from the start and put it in for people to read.

Let me know what you think, all criticism welcome.
edit on 6-6-2012 by Scope and a Beam because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 11:00 AM
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Strange, this didn't even go onto the front page of short stories forum some how...



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by Scope and a Beam
 


This is an excellent story so far. You had me captivated as I read, watching the plot unfold slowly. I can't wait to read more. SnF.

You ask for criticism? Honestly, I read the story twice more, trying to find something to nitpic. It was a task, with such quality before me.

These are the ONLY things I could find:



approached a broad but short figure sat on an extra tall bar stool in the dim light.


short figure sitting on
or
short figure that sat on


same thing here:



mostly humans sat around


that sat
or sitting

Also a few slight punctuation errors, nothing major.

You'll make a copy-editor's job easy, if you ever publish your work.

Good luck in the contest!



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 06:56 AM
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I really appreciate the feedback thanks so much. I'll most definitely amend those points you made as well. I'd love to get this published, the story incorporates a religious army waging war across Ireland and I feel it would pique the interest of a lot of people.

Maybe I'll send it off to an agent some day.

Thanks again.



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