Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Chapter 4 - Michael's Return

Michael woke on the side of the road, on Tumble-hill, where he had first met Megan. It felt like so long ago. Looking around he was puzzled; everything looked so much smaller than normal. Why, he was getting wet standing underneath the hedge. Then he realised.

“I’m big,” he shouted. “I’m big” he leapt into the air and bumped his head on a branch. “Ouch!” Michael looked around but no one was watching him. He stepped out from under the tree and on the road. He took a few hesitant steps towards Megan’s house; tripped over his own feet and fell flat on his face. Fortunately, the road only being a mud track, he didn't really hurt himself.

"I'm big" he shouted.

‘This’ he thought ‘is going to take a bit of getting used to’ he got up, and dusted his clothes off. Tying again he took a few small steps. ‘It’s all a question of balance’ he considered. He looked around at the hill and the lake. ‘It all looks so different. I like it! Better proportion.’

He remembered the room full of fairy dust, and gave a huge grin. He picked up his magical stick with the pocket-handkerchief tied securely on and started to whistle.

At Megan’s house he stopped and knocked on the door. What luck, Megan answered it. Michael took his hands out of his pocket and stopped whistling. What ever would her mum say? Whistling was all very well in Fairyland but now he was part mortal he would have to learn to behave like one.

“Yes? How can I help you?” said Megan not recognising Michael. For he had changed much since the fairy Queen’s spell had worked upon him.

“My love, it is me! Returned to you from Fairyland” Michael plucked one of the Forget-me-not’s that she had planted by the door and handed it to her. Megan looked in to his eyes and sure enough found that it was Michael, for she had never seen anyone else with green eyes.

Inside the little, white-walled house Michael sat by the warm fire and told Megan of all of the exploration he had done at the castle. All the while he had a big grin on his face.

“Why don’t you take a look at what I got you as a present?” He said and put the pocket-handkerchief on her knee.

 Inside was a small, golden pile of fairy dust.

Megan looked at him carefully “did the queen give you this then?” she asked.

Michael looked down for moment, “well not quite give…” he said, and “more like didn't notice me helping myself to a bit.”

“Well what shall we do with it?” said Megan “Won’t the queen notice us if you try to use it?”

Michael looked up again “I hadn't thought of that” he said “but there must be a way. I think that as long as we don’t use it in front of other mortals, it will be ok.”

Megan dipped her finger in the pile then tasted it. She did it again.

“This is wonderful,” she said. “ It tastes like honey and lemons.”

Michael just looked at her. “You’re not supposed to eat it darling,” he sighed, shaking his head “I don’t suppose there will be any ill affects but don’t try anymore just in case.”

The wind started to howl and the windows started to rattle. Megan and Michael clung together in panic. The lights went out. Upstairs Megan could hear the ornaments falling from their places and smashing on the floor. Then the door flew open.

Orlaith stood there. Her hair flying round her face and a whirlwind of leaves swirling round her feet.

“I have come to claim what belongs to me” her voice was terrible to hear. No longer sounding like the tinkling of bluebells but as fierce as a lions roar.

Megan and Michael held each other tighter. Each of them looked at the chair where the pocket-handkerchief lay with the pile of golden dust upon it.

Orlaith’s attendants swooped down and snatched it away.

“I hereby decree that as punishment for your crime, you Michael will be banished forever to the lost rooms in the Enchanted Castle.”

The whirlwind round her feet moved over to Megan and Michael and tore them apart. Michael vanished in the middle of the dust and leaves.

Orlaith turned to the attendants “Return this to the chamber” she instructed them “seal up the back entrance to the castle to make sure that he will never escape. Then return here and deal with this mortal child. You may do with her what ever you wish.”

In a flash the fairies were gone. Megan picked up Michael's beloved stick, caught up her coat and ran out of the back door as fast as her legs could carry her.

                        *                      *                      *                      *                      *

The smell of the small, white flowers was sweet in the air around. The leaves rustled as the warm, evening breeze softly swayed the branches above her head. A couple of small, brightly coloured birds twittered a lullaby softly from their nest of twigs, at the top of the trees.

Megan was tired, she had traveled all day and now she needed to rest. She crawled under a large bush with pretty white flowers covering every branch. Michael's stick was now safely in her pocket. Megan patted it absently from time to time as if to check that she still had it near. 

Not caring that the ground was dirt, or that her only cover, were leaves that made lacy patterns in the sky, she watched the sunset turn slowly from orange to pink. Then finally to that deep shade of blue that only appears when you are out in the country away from all of the city’s lights.

Before the stars rose to sing their song in the sky, Megan was asleep.

Oblivious to all of nature’s glory around her Megan slept on, dreaming of things so wonderful, that she smiled even as she dreamed them. 

Megan encounters  a new friend and finds some rather surprising side effects in Chapter 5 - Discovery for Megan

Coming soon

Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Chapter 3 - Orlaith's Decision.

Queen Orlaith had somewhat mixed ancestry. Her mother was a tree-sprite who had fallen in love with her father one moonlit night. After Orlaith was born her mother returned to guard her tree and never revisited the world of her husband. Her father was a king descended from a long line of kings. After his bride's desertion of him and their new baby girl, he had sworn never to love again. After all turned eighteen he made her Queen and spent the rest of his days looking for his long lost wife. But that's another story.

Orlaith grew up with a fierce sense of protection for the people she ruled, gained from her mother. Her father, after bringing her up alone, had left Queen Orlaith with some remarkable character traits. she had the courage to do whatever was needed for the benefit of the people and never to doubt her resolve.

From the extensive line of kings before her father she gained a proud tilt her head and a high-handed way of doing things that came with being the last in a lengthy line of royalty. Her parents agreed on one thing before her mother left and that was her name. They chose well for Orlaith means Golden Princess and that is exactly what she was.

Michael, rapped smartly on the doors of the castle. Both doors swung open without even the smallest of squeaks. Well, thought Michael, at least my knock is loud enough. He walked inside the entrance hall. There was a faint smell of used fairy dust in the air and his green walking boots clattered loudly on the highly polished floor.

He walked to the end of the whole way and knocked on the door he found there.

"Come in," said a musical voice from the room beyond.

Michael pushed the door is wide and stepped in. Glancing around him, he noted the plush pink carpet, pink silk on the walls and as curtains and the pink cloud and petal painting on the ceiling. He shuddered lightly and walked on until he was standing in front of Queen Orlaith's throne.

Queen Orlaith sat proudly on her throne. Long tresses of golden hair reached her waist. Bright, sparkling, blue eyes adorned her face resembling jewels in a crown. there was no doubt in his mind as to who she was. A kindly features became amused that she noted Michael's reaction to the pink d├ęcor.

She chuckled "pink is obviously not your colour Michael," She said. "Now why don't we get down to business?"

she clapped her hands together and at once a chair appeared beside him. Michael sat down gladly. One more clapperboard in attendance running in with the tray laden with cake and sweet water to drink.

"I suppose you have seen the newspapers today?" Orlaith said laughingly.

"Well I've seen a good few other people reading them but I was in such a hurry to see you that I did not stop to find out what's in them" as if he hadn't had a good meal of Robbins, Michael chose a large piece of cake and took a bite.

Orlaith clapped her hands in delight, bringing forth a whole shower of paper on Michael's head. "Shall I read to you?" She said "it's not everyday that something like this happens in Fairyland!" And without further ado she started to read.

Michael sat and listened as she read; his eyes bulging as he devoured slice after slice of the most light and delicious fairy cake he had ever tasted. Orlaith's voice rang clearly through the room, although to Michael it sounded like bluebells tingling in the breeze.

The story on the front page of the newspaper carried all of the details of his meeting with Megan. It told of how he been caught only the day before and that was why he had had to give her his heart.

"Now why didn't you summon me when all this happened," asked Orlaith gently. "I would have gladly giving you all the gold in the world, to spare you the fate of marrying the mortal."

"I know," said Michael "but she is so fair and good that when I looked into her eyes I found that I wanted to give her my heart."

Orlaith chuckled again, "I had a feeling that it would be something like that." She rose up from her seat. "I have been feeling every night for some time now, that this girl, Megan, has been wishing that you will grow tall so that you could marry. I notice that she doesn't wish you to stop being a creature of magic, she just wishes you to grow tall."

She paused and started to walk slowly across the floor.

"At first, I wondered if she did not wish you to become a mortal, because she wanted you to keep your magic to use, and make life easy"

Michael stood up, a fierce gleam in his eye, all waved his objections aside.

"I know, she said, if Megan's intentions had been selfish I never would have heard her wish. I soon came to realise that she wanted you just the way that you are because that is the way that she came to love you."

Michael sat down again and picked up another piece of cake.

"You didn't realise" she said quietly

Orlaith watched him with an expression of contemplation on her beautiful face. It was times like this that Orlaith's ancestry really showed itself. she liked Michael and felt that if it was up to her then she would not have any problem letting him do whatever he wished. But on the other hand the rules that govern fairyland with there for a reason. Mortals were notoriously untrustworthy, it would not do to start letting them roam Fairyland.

Orlaith's father spoke to her only rarely and she was growing up but the few things that he said made a big impression on her. On the day of her coronation he had imparted only one piece of advice. "Rules had to be made and stuck to, this land of ours to work. It may be very hard at times you to make a decision. So when you find yourself in a position where you have to make a choice that you don't like, remember that the rules were invented so that fairytales and happy endings could come about."

Orlaith continued, "So I thought that I would grant your request and make you tall. Before I do, I must warn you, that once it is done, it will be done forever. I will leave you a small bit of magic but no more than that. If you wish to live as a mortal then I cannot that you have more magic than a mortal would have if he were a wizard." Orlaith paused for breath.

"That would mean no more Fairyland."

Michael looked up in shock. "No more Fair..." his voice trailed away as the words sunk in.

Orlaith looked at him "You didn't realise" she said quietly.

"I just assumed that I would still be able to come and visit occasionally." He said sadly.

Orlaith thought for a moment "Why don't you sleep in one of the spare rooms here tonight. Then you can think it over."

Michael nodded meekly.

Orlaith clapped her hands. Attendants came to remove the rest of the cake. One took Michael by the hand and led him to a room just off the main hall.

"You should be comfortable in here," she said, "just whistle if you want something and someone will be along." She closed the door behind her gently. "Michael sat down on the bed and thought about his life in fairyland and the almost daily adventures he had encountered while living there. He had chosen to move his home to the mortal world for a while to escape his destiny as a shoemaker but he had not thought that he would ever stay away for long.

Then he thought about Megan and how much he had already come to love her. He thought about the way she tossed her hair when she laughed and the way that her eyes sparkled in the morning sunlight. Then he thought about the way she had tenderly waved him goodbye not knowing where he was going but in perfect trust that he would return and make things all right.

A crushing sense of responsibility settled on his chest. He had to find a way to make everything turn out for the best. Michael looked around him. It was a comfortable green room; the attendant was right. At any other time he would have loved to stay here but just now he felt as if his heart was breaking. Choose between Megan, the girl he loved above all others and Fairyland. He laid on the soft bed of downy feathers and let a tear roll down his nose.

                 *                *                 *                *                 *                *                 *                *

Michael awoke from a deep, dreamless sleep feeling much refreshed. Sure enough, he had his decision made and a plan up his sleeve. He whistled a merry tune as he lept from his bed. As expected, an attendant appeared.

"I would like some more of that delicious cake I had last night, for breakfast this morning please." He said. "And then, please could you ask Orlaith if I could have tour of the castle. it is the last time I will see it."

The attendant left as quickly as she had come. By the time that Michael had dressed in his smart green outfit the cake had arrived. He sat down to enjoy it properly. There's no smell of used fairy dust in here he noted. This must be the sort of room where they only ever put leprechauns. No fairy would be seen in here, it isn't pink enough.

Michael was of the opinion that although marshmallows were nice to eat, he really did not see the point of living in a room that looked as though it were one. Ferries on the other hand, probably thought along similar lines when it came to green rooms.

The attendant came back. "Orlaith will show you around the castle herself" she announced, as if she was surprised that the queen of the fairies would do such a thing.

Michael's second. That would make his plan a bit more difficult. But nevertheless, he was a leprechaun and therefore quicker than any fairy alive. He smiled and walked to the door. The attendant had vanished again; typical of a fairy, he thought to himself.

Orlaith was waiting in the Throne room again. Today it was a slightly darker shade of pink, Michael noted. Less like candy floss and more like rose petals. He gave a huge grin and declared his intentions to stay with Megan.

"You will be missed a great deal by all that know you," she said graciously. "I had the feeling that you would choose Megan."

Michael grinned still further "let's take that tour," he said.

“Well we only needed one room last night because we only had one guest.” Orlaith laughed. “You do know that the castle runs on magic don’t you. It can be as big or as small as I want it to be but the outside will always look the same.” I think that it gets a bit draughty sometimes, so I only like to have enough guest rooms for the number of guests we actually have. That way they always get one that is to their taste.”

“So this tour…” Said Michael

“Well everybody expects a tour, so I add on rooms to the castle as we go round. We will have plenty to see.”

Michael looked slightly perplexed for a moment, and then his face brightened. “So what about the huge, underground, store rooms for the magic-dust that everyone talks about. Are they real?”

Orlaith looked hard at Michael, as if she was making up her mind. “Yes, they are real, come this way and I’ll show them to you.”

Michael was lead back to the throne room. Orlaith walked up to the throne and waved her wand. The throne split in two and moved apart. Beyond, Michael could see a stairway leading downwards.

They walked down the steps together; Orlaith’s wand lighting the way. At the end of the stairway there was a small room filled with piles of fairy dust. Gleaming gently in the light from the wand, the piles seemed to glow with golden light. Michael thought that he had never seen anything that looked so enchanting in his life.

“Now you know why this is called the Enchanted Castle,” said Orlaith quietly.

Michael nodded.

Turning, Orlaith walked to the base of the steps humming a tune as she went. Michael looked for a moment longer, then turned and walked to the steps also.

Back in the throne room the attendants were quietly waiting. Orlaith then sat on the throne once more.

“You have seen the source of fairy dust and magic in this realm. Are you still sure that you wish to give up this fair land of ours forever, for the love of a mortal?” She asked solemnly.

Michael looked her in the eye and replied “yes. I would have lived here happily to the end of my days if you had asked me to give up travelling for it is a fair wondrous place, but since I first saw Megan I knew that I would rather die than live without her. So, since you ask me to leave and never return I will do it, and with a light heart because I know I will soon be with the one I love.

Orlaith lifted her wand. “So be it,” she said.

A crack of thunder sounded in Michael’s ears and he found himself swirled in a wind that had sprung up as if from nowhere. Spinning around and around, he felt himself being stretched. His arms and legs were getting longer. Blackness enveloped him and he knew no more. 

Michael's and Megan learn what happens to those who defy the queen of the fairy's in Chapter 4 - Michael's Return

Coming soon

Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Chapter 2 - Journey to the Gates of Fairyland.

Megan and Michael decided to get married as soon as they possibly could. They knew they would face many problems in the way they were sure they could find means around them. Obviously the biggest problem was that Michael was a leprechaun and Megan was a mortal.

Now the nature of magic is arranged, so that any mortal, who wishes with all of their true heart, may get precisely what they wish for. Megan wanted nothing more than to marry Michael but as he was a Leprechaun and so much smaller than her, it seemed impossible. Every night and she went to bed with the same wish in her head, that Michael would somehow grow to be taller so that they could wed.

Megan thought long and hard about how tall she wanted him to be. Not to tall or she would not be able to reach up and kiss him, but not too short either. She wanted to be able to gaze up into his eyes. Each night she went to sleep wishing with all of our hearts that he might grow to be the ideal height.

Michael meanwhile, been a practical creature of logic and sense, realised that this sort of magic was beyond his capabilities. So he decided to pay a visit to the fairy queen. Before he left he told Megan that he was going away for a while and presented her with a small blue forget-me-not, just the colour of her eyes. He put on his little green walking boots (now newly polished by Megan) and a little green hat, tipped to one side, on top of his head, and then set out to visit the fairy kingdom.

Leprechauns have a way of travelling that is really quite unlike any other. Not everyone knows about this little stick with the pocket handkerchief that they carry everywhere, but even people who've met a  leprechaun, and seen the stick, may not have realised why it is important.

Well I will let you in on the secret. The stick carrying the pocket handkerchief is the key. This stick is where leprechaun keeps its magic. Whenever leprechaun wants to travel, he has only to pick up his stick and untie the pocket handkerchief and hold it tightly by the four corners. Then using the magic in this stick, the pocket handkerchief will fill with warm air to carry him to wherever he wants.

So Michael took out his red spotted, pocket handkerchief and his magic stick. He floated gently on the breeze and landed at the gates of fairyland. He packed away the pocket handkerchief, picked up the stick and walked up to the gatehouse troll guard.

The troll stood tall against the gates. It looked like the gatehouse to be built for a smaller person. The troll would have had to duck his head as he walked through his front door. A little signs that over the letterbox in the gatehouse doorway 'Robin the gatehouse troll' Michael suppose that any fairyland postman would no Robin without a sign but reasoned that perhaps the sign was there so that visitors the castle know who he was.

Michael the leprechaun, read person audience, with her majesty the queen of fairyland, Orlaith" Michael said in his most lofty an important voice.

Robin looked around him with a puzzled air, as if he thought he might have heard something but then again might not have.

Michael the leprechaun, requests an audience, with her majesty the queen of fairyland, Orlaith" Said Michael a little bit louder.

Robin patrol again looked up from his newspaper. This time looking as if he had heard something and was not sure where the noise was coming from.

Michael looked around him unsure whether or not to risk shouting at a troll. They were as well known as dragons for their unpredictable tempers. Then he caught sight of the sign above the letterbox, again. Underneath the words he had noticed before, with some further letters inscribed in some very messy handwriting. 'Knock loudly, I have earache and won't hear you'

Summoning up all his strength Michael took a deep breath and yelled,  "down here!!!"

At last Robin spotted him. "What do you want, little tyke?" He grumbles. He lowered his hand for Michael to step up onto. Then raised him level with his face so that he could better understand what he was saying.

"Michael the leprechaun, request an audience, with her majesty the queen of fairyland, Orlaith" Michael said meekly.

You are looked at Michael with a peculiar expression. Then he exclaimed with surprise "I know you. you're the leprechaun on the front page of the newspaper this morning"

Michael blinked not quite sure what to say to this. He really could not think what he had done to get on the front page of the newspaper.

"I know you are a bit busy at the moment, I imagine that her Majesty is already expecting you, but why don't you come and have a spot of lunch with me before you go up to the castle? I might be of some help in your quest."

Michael hesitated looking at the size of the troll.

"Go right on in" after all it's not often that this sort of thing happens."

The troll lowered him to the ground; Michael's curiosity got the better of him so he went through the gates and cross the threshold of the beckoning dark door beyond. Inside the gatehouse the rooms were not as dark as Michael had feared. There were a few cobwebs hanging round the window panes and the odd chunk of dirt littered on the floor but the place had that homely, lived in air that you only get when someone is happy with their house.

In the middle of the rooms that a huge table, solid and dark. Around it sat for chairs. One had a tattered cushion on the seat and looked as if it was sat in each day, the other three looked as if they were not used for years and two years end. Robin placed Michael on the table then he turned to the mantelpiece and picked up a small pincushion, this he placed on the table for Michael to sit upon.

Then he lowered his great frame into the chair with a cushion on. Michael look shocked at how one minute the chair had looked gigantic to him and the next it look dwarfed in comparison to the trawler contained. Robin cupped his hands together over the plate set before him. Promptly became filled with Robin's favorite meal, sausage and mash and peas. Then he repeated the movement in front of Michael and a miniature of the dish appeared, just the right size to wet a hungry leprechauns appetite.

At this Michael could only stare in wonder. At last he closed his open jaw and plucked up enough courage to ask,

"How did you do that? It's not the sort of magic trolls do normally is it?"

Robin laughed heartily at this. "Each of the leprechaun," he said, "I know you are longing to." At this Michael picked up his knife and fork and proceeded to tuck in.

"I was given the magic by Queen Orlaith after I agreed to come and work here as keeper of the gates." Robin talked slowly so that he did not split on Michael as he talked. "It was at the end of the last war, when the king of the trolls was making the Great Troll – Fairy Peace Pact with herself. Orlaith decided that the time had come when she required a little more security, more of a precaution than anything, and I was chosen to come here."

Robin looked a little bashful as he thought about how he had come to be chosen.

"About a week before the pact was finished in writing, it was discovered that the Troll King's daughter, Elspeth, had fallen in love with a commoner. well to cut a long story short the troll King decided that sending this commoner  away to guard the Queen Orlaith's gates would solve two of his problems at once. Needless to say you will have gathered already that I was the commoner in question."

Robin looked down at his plate he had finished every scrap. He looked over Michael who was still tucking in happily.

"Not long after I left, the King flew into a rage at the protests that and Elspeth was making on my behalf and decided that he would send someone to kill me, so that he need not worry about unsuitable alliances any more. I spotted the would-be assassin at one, and tried to knock him out with a big stone. but unfortunately I hit him a bit hard." Robin looked very sad that this. "The King said it was an act of unprovoked aggression against one of his subjects. (He had conveniently forgotten that I was still technically one of his subjects.) He used it as an excuse to declare war once again on the fairies."

Michael suddenly sat up "I remember that, it was in the papers at the time," he said

Robin looked unhappy "then you remember what happened next?"

Michael nodded. "I certainly do. After the King declared war on us it was discovered that he had been building up his armies the years. He had only been pretending about the pact." Michael looked puzzled. I don't understand it one day the papers were full of how the King had declared war on us and the next all was quiet and back to normal, the war never happened."

Robin looked even sadder. "The day Orlaith received the declaration of war she gathered around her some of the most powerful fairies in the land and then performed a magic spell so complicated that to this day I don't understand how they did it. Elspeth vanished from her chair by the King throne and was never seen again. Orlaith had taken her is hostage to prevent the war ever starting."

"I can see it in your face, your appalled. I can't tell you what I was feeling that day when I found out what had happened. But I will tell you how I found out. Queen Orlaith came down here to tell me herself, the day after the spell was cast. She said that Elspeth was still alive and quite happy but I would not be able to see her again for a long time. Then she said that she was depriving me of a wife and a well-known good cook she would give me a present of these powers."

Robin stood up and fetched a bright peach from his fruit bowl. He handed a slice to Michael them put the rest in his mouth at once, Michael chewed thoughtfully on his slice absorbing the information that Robin had given him.

"What about the help you might be able to give me in my quest to bring me and Megan together?" Megan asked.

Robin grinned. "I don't know if I can be as much use you in the way of actual help. I thought you might want to know a bit about whom you're up against. Orlaith is not just a powerful woman who is led blindly by the rules of the land. She will bend them every once in awhile to get to the end result that she likes."

Michael nodded

"Elspeth was taken from me by force but Orlaith let me know herself and she all but hinted that she had one of her grand plans in mind." Robin mused aloud. "If only I could be sure that the rumours about the stockpile of fairy dust in the castle were the true then I be up there in an instant, then I could go and rescue Elspeth."

Michael looked puzzled "do know where she is then?"

Robin looked a little shifty at this "I have a fairly good idea. But you need more magic than I possess to survive there. So I will wait here until she is returned to me."

Both the enormous troll and the minute leprechaun sat in silence for a short time each buried in their own thoughts. Then a peculiar group approached the gates of the castle there was one who is part troll, one who was part goblin and with the cutest looking dog. They were striding around as if they owned the place. Robert Michael decided to go and take a look.

The part troll seem to be the leader of the small company, on seeing Robin he strolled up and demanded in no uncertain terms that he should be left up to the castle. Robin, seemingly unaffected by this rude manner, took down the clipboard from the top of one of the gateposts and ran a finger across the named mittens on it. "Name please."

"Eamon and Dermot" the leader replied. "We do have an appointment with the Queen, here is the letter, we were sent asking us to come."

Robin flicked through the sheets. "You are not due for two days according to this. Let me have a look at your letter."

The taller man fished out a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and handed it up to Robin;

"As I suspected," said Robin. "You have forgotten to take into account the time difference between fairyland and the mortal realms haven't you?"

Robin moved over to the opposite gateposts. He tapped a large stone about the height of his face then waited. Shortly a voice could be heard faintly in the distance.  Michael could see a faint outline of somebody's face on the stone. Robin conversed quietly with the face for a moment then came back to the group.

He handed the leader of the group his letter back. "You will have to wait in one of the hostels in your own section I'm afraid. You will be reimbursed this time, but don't make a habit of this."

Michael meanwhile had removed from his pocket a sausage he had saved from his dinner with Robin and was feeding it to the dog. Seeing this, the part goblin that was holding the end of the rope tied round the neck of the dog gave it a yank. The group moved away from the gates.

Robin meanwhile had opened the gates the Michael to go through. "I hope all goes well with you" each of them said at the same time.

They smiled at each other once more. Then Michael went on his way. As he followed the path to the castle, every person he met called out hello. Many were still reading the newspaper the Robin Hood mentioned he knew him from. Michael realised he perhaps should have asked to see robins copy, but felt sure he would find out what it contained soon enough. He waved uncertainly at the people whom he had never known before and hastened his work to the door of the Enchanted Castle.

Back in the world of mortals Megan was feeling quite upset at Michaels departure.she knew that he would be back soon but thought that it was quite unfair to leave her so soon after their engagement. For Michael had not told of his plan to see the fairy queen, he only let her know that he had to leave for awhile. She planted the little blue forget-me-not in her garden right by the front door and it bloom day after day reminding her of him every time she tended it.

Megan slept every night now wishing that he would come home soon. She started to collect up smokes, boxes, books and tables, and all sort of useful things for their house together. Until her room was quite full, and her mother was quite filled with the despair that she would never see her nice green carpet in the spare room ever again.

Michael's adventure continues as he gets to meet the fairy queen in Chapter 3 - Orlaith's Decision 

Coming soon

Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Chapter 1 - The Meeting of a Leprechaun

One day, last October, Megan was carrying the water up the road to her mum's house. She was also looking for the last of the blackberries to make the pie with, so she was looking very hard at the bushes. Then she stopped under one of the beautiful bushes with pink flowers on, there was a leprechaun.

She was sure that if she had not been looking so closely at the hedge she would never have seen him. He had a smooth faced with no chin whiskers. This made her pause for thought, as her mother has always told her that leprechauns had chin whiskers. Perhaps he is a younger leprechaun, and that's why he doesn't have any, she decided.

Megan been a clever girl, and well versed in folklore, went over everything her mother had ever told about leprechauns in her mind. Then Megan decided to sneak up on him and asked his gold. Knowing that now she had seen the leprechaun she had to keep it in her step, Megan fixed her gaze on him and crept up very slowly.

The leprechaun lay dozing in the shade of the bushes and dreaming, as a leprechauns do, about better times in his life. All of a sudden he realised that he was caught in a young girls gaze. he leapt up, startled, and more than a little embarrassed at being caught so easily. Using all of his powers of persuasion, he begged to be released.

Megan looked him up and down but never looked away. He was wearing an outfit all in green, from the very attractive hat with a pretty buckle on, to the bottom of his shiny green boots. Why, she thought, he even has green eyes. As she looked closer she realised that the miniature man was not as he had first appeared. One point of his shirt collar was neatly folded down with them but; the other stops straight up into the air and waved gently in the wind. His cuffs were afraid, and the shiny green boots were little scuffed at the toe.

Wondering if this leprechaun, who looked so uncared-for, could possibly have any gold she nevertheless plucked up courage to do decided to try.

"Now that I have caught you in my state, I won't let you go until you give me your purse of gold". Said Megan bravely, not quite sure she could stay that long, but more than willing to try for a purse of gold.

The leprechaun started to cry. His eyes filled with tears, and his shoulders started to shake with emotion.

"I'll have none of your tricks now Mr leprechaun." Megan spoke more softly just in case he really was upset. "My name is Megan Merrow, I know your ways, and I won't look away so you might just as well give me your gold."

The leprechaun raised his eyes and looked at her mournfully. He slowly stop sniffing and looked Megan over. He saw young girl, a little bit unkempt (she had been sampling the blackberries) but with kindly blue eyes. No wedding ring and none of that fiddly stuff he disliked so much. He looked closer and realise that she was trying to be as nice as possible about the whole 'taking of his gold' thing.

"What do you need God for anyway?" He asked "You don't look like the sort of girl who needs any. I would say that it looks like you are well fed and cared for, what more could you want?"

Megan looked him over as if to try and determine if this was another one of his tricks. "I still live with my mother," she said "and although I love her very much and I never want to live anywhere other than right here, I would like to have a house of my own so that I can have more than just a few minutes each day to myself."

In this the leprechaun recognised a kindred spirit. He thought to himself about how long it had taken him to break away from his parents and all their high hopes for him joining the family shoe-making business. Feeling sorry for the girl and deciding that he would like to help her on her way to freedom he thought about giving her the gold. But then he remembered.

"I can't give you my gold," he wailed.

"I was caught yesterday by little boy near the coast and I gave him the whole purse. I was on my way to the end of the next screen burn to get more from the bottomless pot, when I got so tired that I had to sit down for a minute. That's when you saw me."

He sniffed again wiped a tear from his eye.

"Truthfully I'd rather give the gold to you. That little boy was so nasty. After you took my purse, he tied me up in a sack and ran away, shouting that if he hadn't I would come after him put a curse on everything that he spent the money on."

The leprechaun looked up at Megan again. "Honestly I don't have any."

Megan sat down by the leprechaun. Even when she was sitting down at the leprechaun was standing he was so small that the top of his head did not reach her elbow.

"So what happens now?" Megan asked the leprechaun. "I thought that you had a rule to cover every situation, and when you got caught in somebody's gaze you had to give them your gold. That's the rule".

The leprechaun started to think again. This girl to be exactly what he needed. She looks sweet and caring, she obviously did not care for the hustle and bustle of the city, although her clothes show the places where they had been mended, she obviously had time to care for them and not just drove them away as so many other mortals did. Also he realised she had been picking blackberries to make a pie. A girl who could cook! He thought again about the lack of wedding ring on her finger and the way that the sunlight bounced off their hair, making it shine as if it was made of well-polished metal. Then made up his mind.

looking up into her eyes he started, "but I have no gold." Pausing a brush the hair from her face so she could see that he was sincere. "I have only one thing left in the world that I can give you, and that's my heart." Taking a deep breath, he looked up into Megan space. "Would you like that?"

Megan blinked in surprise of the unexpected turn of events had taken. When she opened her eyes the leprechaun was still there. "You didn't run away!" She exclaimed in surprise.

"I offered you my heart," replied the leprechaun, "that means, from now until the end of time, I won't disappear just because you looked away for a second. That's not the way leprechauns do things."

Megan thought for a moment. "I think you're right and what's more I think you're quite the nicest leprechaun I have ever met." Then a sense of humour came into play "I was simply taken by surprise; I didn't think that you would propose to knee while sitting under a hedge."

The leprechaun snorted with laughter. "Where better?" He asked, "I suppose you want me to get down on one knee as well."

Megan started to laugh too. "You are small enough now." She said "if you get down on one knee I won't be able to see you!"

They sat and laugh together for a while. Then the leprechaun stood up with a serious look on his face. "Well" he said. "We had better get back to the question at hand. Will you agree to marry me then?"

"Of course" she replied. "Don't you think we had forgotten something though? You haven't told me your name."

The leprechaun scratched his head and his merry eyes twinkled with laughter. "You can call me Michael"

Megan are Michael's adventures begin in earnest Chapter 2 – Journey to the Gates of Fairyland.

Coming soon

Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite.

Background information & Prologue

Megan village, Tumble-hill is a small, out of the way village not far from the west coast of Ireland. As you might expect from the name, it is built on a steep hillside, covered with heather and other sweet smelling flowers. This hill gained its peculiar name from the number of tourists tumbling down each year. Of course these tourists don't know all of the wonderful things that happen on the hill they just try to climb it to the top for the view. Which is very nice but not really worth breaking your leg over. About halfway up a Tumble-hill, three small shops and two pubs draw the houses near. This is the center of the village.

Leprechauns other shoemakers to all magical folk. They are generally intoxicated so they have a reputation for being surly and quarrelsome they are also well known for being tricky creatures. Their sprightly movements ensure that they are far too quick for the average mortal to spot. The only known way to capture one is to fix your eye on him and not let him out of your sight. Each leprechaun carries with him a purse of gold. He will haggle over his release after trying many times to trick you into looking away. If by some miracle you manage to get your hands on the leprechauns gold, be sure that you spend it before morning for it will turn to ashes at dawn.

Megan Merrow had lived in the village of Tumble-hill the most of her life. Each day she would fetch water from the well and deliver it to her mother's house. The water from the well tasted much nicer than the water from the tap, but that was not why she took the time to fetch it each day. this will her time. she would look up at the sky and down at the grass, always marveling at whatever she saw there. Megan loved these few precious moments of peace and tranquility as she strolled up and down the lane.

Megan was a dreamer, and, as if she had sensed this on the day she was born her mother had picked out a name to live with her and give her strength. Megan often reflected that although her name was the Greek for 'mighty' she could not think of a more mismatched pair than herself and her name. Only once she had tried to talk to her mother about her feelings on the matter. Her mother had said that ''she may have skin as soft as a peach but that did not mean she lacked a hard center'. Megan being young spent some time exploring the idea by licking the skin on her hand to see if it tasted like a peach and occasionally pressing her tummy to see if she had a hard center.

Already Megan's older sister, Sylvia, had left Tumble-hill for the bright lights of Galway. Sylvia declared as she left that she could not stand the quite any more. Grace, Megan's younger sister, had decided that she would be moving to the city the first day she could. Megan on the other hand, relished the small details of life. A pebble that looked just like a heart or finding a patch of tiny, wild strawberries and picking just one as she walked along the road.