When called to the aid of a beautiful woman down on her luck, Shamus is surprised to discover that he and Suzanna are destined to be together. Lifetime unions between mystical beings like Shamus and ordinary humans like Suzanna have been unheard of...until now. But the real question is, will Suzanna want him when she discovers that her exciting new lover is actually a leprechaun?
Shamus could feel her need calling out to him.
Despite his current obligations, the urgency of her call made it necessary that he drop everything to assist her. Her need was overwhelming. Dropping his cards down onto the oak poker table, Shamus stood up. He nodded to his four leprechaun associates, "I'm really sorry gentlemen, I have to go."
"I bet you do," his buddy Cass commented dryly from across the table as he rolled his gleaming green eyes. This succeeded in giving the impression to the others that Shamus was trying to pull a fast getaway, before he endured the humiliation of going broke.
Shamus had to admit his pile of gold was starting to look pretty puny in comparison to the other leprechauns at the table, so he could understand them thinking that might be the case. "Well I guess luck wasn't on my side tonight, fellows," he chuckled, throwing up his hands in defeat and giving a gracious bow.
A round of knowing chuckles erupted at the table in response.
"If the lad has to go, he has to go," the eldest of the group, at the ripe old age of three hundred and ninety-seven, stated in his defense. In the case of Mel, three hundred and ninety-seven, looked more along the lines of twenty-five. Tall, dark and handsome, that was how the ladies, both mortal and mystical, described him. Not exactly the normal image to spring into a human’s mind when thinking of a leprechaun.
Shamus finished off his beer. The beer at that particular tavern was the best in Leprechaun Valley, so he wasn't about to leave a drop behind. Slamming the beer stein onto the table, he leaned over and snatched up his remaining gold, throwing it into the front pocket of his black trousers. "Until next week, men."
He received a murmur of farewells from the others in response.
Shamus exited ‘The Lucky Man's Tavern’ and headed for home. ‘The Lucky Man's Tavern’ was an exclusive leprechaun-only tavern, which he frequented regularly when he wasn't busy with a charge. A charge being the human or humans, to whom he was assigned to bring luck and lead back onto the path of their destiny.
When a human happened to be seriously down on their luck, then the leprechauns could sense it. The mechanics of which leprechaun was paired with which human wasn't really known, even to the elders, but the system worked, so no one bothered to question it.
Her need became stronger with each passing second, making his stomach clench. Part of the reason why leprechauns answered the calls was simply because the calls became increasingly intense, mentally and physically until they were answered. If you wanted some time to yourself to relax you did your job quickly and efficiently. Shamus was thankful he was very good at what he did.
Too bad I don't play poker as well as I take care of my charges, he mused, grinning to himself. He'd be one rich leprechaun if he did. Shamus picked up the pace as he continued to make his way home, anxious to get to work.
He needed to get to his pot of gold. The pot of gold was the key to the leprechauns’ communications with the humans’ world. It was what some might consider an oracle, of sorts. It told them where their charges could be found and also allowed them to watch the humans with whom they were connected. It not only helped them determine what was causing the human such bad luck, but also, by watching, they could better help to get the humans back on track and fulfilling their destiny.
He hurried inside the small log cabin he called home, taking long powerful strides as he headed for the living room where his pot of gold was kept. Once in the living room he made straight for the left side of the brick fireplace where a large black kettle containing his gold was situated. The kettle was an ancient cast iron vessel, roughly two feet in diameter and two feet high. It was filled with golden nuggets. As he reached the kettle, he fell to his knees in front of it. Touching the rim on either side, he recited an ancient Leprechaun chant which he had learned by heart as a youngster.
The gold nuggets began to liquefy into a thick, metallic broth. Once fully liquefied, Shamus watched as images began to appear within the kettle. Images of a woman appeared, of the woman who needed him so badly.
Shamus's kettle brought to him Suzanne, and so he watched, evaluating the severity of her situation. Sometimes a pinch of gold dust blown in the human's direction from a distance would be enough to get their life back on track. With Suzanne, he felt that her situation would require a more hands-on intervention. When calls came to him with the urgency that hers seemed to have, it meant there was something seriously out of balance in that person's life. As he watched over her throughout the next few days, he began to realize that she perhaps needed more than a little sprinkle. She needed a full blown sandstorm of it!
"Oh, come on!" Suzanne growled at her little silver Ford Focus as she pumped the gas peddle, while turning the key in the ignition, "Go, damn you, GO." The car wheezed and whined, considered starting, but ultimately decided against it.
She sat back in the worn fabric car seat and closed her eyes. She shook her head in disgust at her little car. "Of all the rotten luck," she muttered opening her eyes again. She looked at her watch, 8:10 am. She didn't have to be at work until 9 am and the drive was only about fifteen minutes, so even if she was forced to call a cab she still wouldn't be late. She just preferred to get there early. If she didn't, then the parking lot would be full, which meant she'd need to park on the side of the street. That meant every two hours she'd need to go outside and move her car to avoid getting a ticket.
I need a new job, she told herself for the hundredth time that month. She'd been saying that for a couple of years now. She just never seemed to actually get around to looking for one. Or maybe wasn't motivated enough. She secretly feared that at the age of twenty-eight she was becoming one of those people who accepted their dead end jobs as their life-long career.
This can't be as good as it gets, she thought in disgust.
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes, and rubbed the rabbit's foot she kept on her key-chain for good luck. She turned the key in the ignition once again. The engine started to turn over, making her hold her breath in anticipation. Start, baby, start! With a little insistence from her foot on the gas pedal, the car finally roared into life.
She mentally threw her fist in the air in a victory salute.
Throwing the car into gear, and flipping on her signal light, she pulled out from her parking spot and onto the street. Suzanne felt as if she had just won a grand battle. Man versus machine. For this round man had won outright.
The victory was short-lived as she pulled onto the highway and headed for the other side of town. By the highway, the drive would normally take her fifteen minutes to get to work. But not today.
Cruising along slightly above the speed limit, Suzanne's spirits were beginning to lift. She sang along with the Beach Boys on the radio. They were a wee bit before her time, but on a warm, bright summer’s day like today, they seemed a perfect fit.
The song ended, to be followed by the local traffic report. According to the announcer the highway in Boston heading from east to west was currently impassable, with an expected half hour wait due to a massive, multi-car accident.
"Pfft. Think they goofed on that report," she said out loud, with a little snicker. It was smooth sailing, not even a hint of traffic to be seen. She had barely gotten the words out of her mouth when she rounded a slight bend in the highway and was confronted with a massive back-up of traffic stretching as far as the eye could see.
"Ugh," Suzanne let her head fall lightly onto the steering wheel as her foot slammed on the break, bring the car to a halt. She heard the sound of screeching tires behind her and winced. She looked up and down the highway, attempting to see if there was any way to exit it at that point.
She was stuck sitting right where she was until the cars were permitted to continue onwards. "So much for getting a parking spot on the property," she muttered.
Snatching her large, black leather Gucci handbag from the passenger seat of the car she pulled it over, onto her lap. Unzipping it, she searched for her wallet within the sea of needless junk she tended to fill it with.
Pulling her wallet from the purse, she set the handbag back down in the passenger seat and unzipped the section which held her change. Might as well get my handful of quarters ready now for today's parking, she thought becoming annoyed, like she usually did when she had to pay for parking in order to simply go to work. It made her feel like she was being forced to pay to work at her shitty call center job. Buck-fifty to make minimum wage, taking shit from people for eight hours. Sweet deal, indeed.
"I need to get a new job," she muttered to herself yet again.
When peering into the change compartment of her wallet, she realized she didn't have enough for her first two hours at the meter. Short fifty cents. Suzanne exhaled loudly as she shifted her car into park. As long as she didn't turn it off she'd be fine, it was the starting that became problematic at times.
Surely there is fifty cents somewhere on the floor, she reasoned pushing her seat back as far as it would allow and looking down to the floor. She grinned to herself as she noticed two sparkling silver pieces on the floor. Bending down, under the steering column she snatched them up. Two quarters - perfect!
A car horn blared from behind, startling her. By reflex she jerked her head up to smash the back of it on the underside of the steering wheel. A sharp pain rushed through her head. A second car horn began blaring in harmony with the first, followed by a third.
"Alright, alright," she muttered sitting up, and readjusting the seat.
"What's your problem lady?" a male voice in the car behind her yelled impatiently.
"Wake up!" A second male voice added.
Looking straight ahead, Suzanne noticed the highway ahead of her was empty and the traffic to her left was speeding along beside her. Even more car horns blared as she shifted the car into gear and continued on her way.
As anticipated the parking lot was full by the time she arrived at work so she was forced to pay for parking at a meter off-lot. Good thing I found those two quarters on the floor. Once parked she shut off the engine and quickly hopped out of the car and into a deep puddle of water she hadn't noticed to be there when parking.
The water seeped up over the top of her feet, which were wearing a brand new pair of black strappy heels, soaking her feet and the new shoes. Taking a deep breath to help calm herself, she backed away from the car and out of the puddle, slamming the door shut behind her.
"Great start to the day, Suzanne," she muttered to herself as she fed the meter the four quarters.
At 5 pm as all the other call center workers turned their telephones off for the day, Suzanne found herself still tethered to the phone listening to a potential customer rant and rave about their competitor’s poor service. She didn't care about the customer’s problems with the other telephone company; as a matter-of-fact she couldn’t have cared less if they switched companies at all, at that point. Currently, the meter her car was sitting at was running out of time, hitting its two hour mark and if she didn't get out there soon there would be a hefty parking ticket under her windshield wiper.
By 5:10 pm Suzanne had finally had enough of the ranting woman on the other end of the telephone. She asked her straight out whether she wanted the service or not. The woman was annoyed with her current provider, but Suzanne was far from shocked when the potential customer eventually answered, that despite her issues with her current service provider, she was going to stay with them for the time being. She would contact them if she changed her mind.
Angry, Suzanne released the call without bothering to say goodbye, or using a ‘proper’ closing dialogue. Tossing her headset into her desk drawer and locking it inside Suzanne hurried out of the building and towards her car as quickly as her heels would allow her to move. She struggled to hold the knee length skirt of her pale yellow sundress down as the strong, warm wind attempted to send it flying up and around her.
"Bloody great!" She snarled as she approached to see exactly what she expected to see: a ticket placed neatly under her windshield. "Great day this had been so far," she moaned. Plucking the ticket from under the wiper she did her best to avoid the puddle as she unlocked the car door, opened it and slid behind the wheel.
Leaning over the passenger seat, she popped the glove compartment open and tossed the ticket in with all the others she meant to pay, but just never seemed to have the extra money to do so. She chuckled to herself; perhaps her problem wasn't one of needing a new job, but finding herself a second one.
Straightening back up in her cat seat she was confronted with her newest nemesis: the car starter. "I swear if you start for me from now until payday I'll buy you the best starter money can buy," she promised. She inserted the key in the ignition and turned it. The usual battle began. It coughed and spluttered as it tried to start, wanted to start. She pumped the gas and held her breath, but ended with nothing, just a familiar irritating growl as it attempted to start, but failed.
A knock came on her car window startling her enough to cause her to jump in her seat slamming the side of her head on the rear-view mirror. "Damn it!" she muttered under her breath. Turning her head, she quickly rolled down the window.
As she rolled down the window, the man who had rapped on it bent down to peer in at her, concern evident in his brown eyes. He gave her a sympathetic smile. The smile was brilliant, displaying two dimples and a set of perfectly straight, white teeth. He was easily one of the most attractive men she'd come across in quite some time. Something about him seemed to radiate serenity, automatically calming her rattled nerves.
"If you continue doing that, you'll just flood it," he advised.
I'm aware of that, she thought irritably, but instead she said simply, "I have this under control, thanks." She attempted to roll the window back up.
"I'm Shamus Flannigan," the dark haired man extended his hand, through the window to her, stopping Suzanne from rolling up the window.