Background: Just before he passed away, Michael’s grandfather gave him a map to the location of where he would find the mysterious little people his grandfather had claimed to have met. The little people were supposed to appear in a nearby glen at midnight once a month on the night of the full moon. His grandfather had called them Leprechauns, but he told Michael that they were really creatures called Bosites.
I arrived at the rock marked on the map just above Glen Daire, and sat down. Cold wetness seeped through my trousers. Once in a while the clouds would part a little revealing the full moon. It was now five minutes until midnight. I had set my digital watch with the clock on the computer, so I knew my time was right. As the seconds went by, it felt like a drummer in a rock band was in my chest. Finally, I heard beep-beep-beep. It was midnight. Nothing happened. I waited about three minutes and still nothing happened. How could Grandpa do that to me? Why did he lie? Maybe he didn’t know he was lying—he was just plan crazy. My hopes of proving his stories evaporated like rain on a hot sidewalk. I had risked by life coming out here for nothing.
As I stood up to start home, my ears hummed. Little by little it got louder and louder, and I realized the sound was not just in my head. It sounded like someone moving a finger around the rim of a good drinking glass. Could this be what Grandpa meant when he told me to listen for the glasses? I turned around toward the glen and couldn’t believe my own eyes. As the sound got louder and louder, figures began appearin’ in the mist. Grandpa had not lied to me!
I squatted down so I wouldn’t be noticed. At first it seemed I could see clear right through them, but as I watched, the figures turned more solid. Soon the glen was filled with human-like creatures, each glowing with an eerie bluish-green light. They were hard to count because they keep moving around, but I think there were about fifty of them. They were about four feet tall, but looked more like adults than children. It was as if someone used a computer program to shrink adults to kids’ sizes. I expected to see them all dressed in green like Leprechauns. Instead they wore colorful short sleeved shirts and tight shorts that looked like, of all things, bicycle racing outfits.
I had no intention of actually meeting them, so I stayed safely on the rock, out of their sight—or so I thought. I just about leaped over the whole glen when I heard: “So who do you think you are?”
One of the little creatures was standin’ right there next to me with hands on his hips and a smirk on his face.
“What?” was the only word I found the breath to say.
“I am the one asking the questions, not you. I repeat. Who do you think you are?” the little creature asked in a snippy manor.
“My name, if that’s what you mean, is …is…Michael…Michael McCracken.” I couldn’t believe that I had almost forgotten my own name.
“You are Seamus’s grandson?”
“You knew my grandfather Seamus?” I asked. At that point I was sure that these creatures must be my Grandpa’s Leprechauns.
“Please now. Remember I am the one asking the questions,” the little guy said sounding like a police inspector.
“He is…was… my grandfather.” I was too intimated to say anything else.
“Yes. We are grieved that he is no longer in the living world. Now you are our leader and I will take you to us. Follow me.” He started scurrying down the hill.
I, on the other hand, remained glued to the rock. “Hey, I think you got that line mixed up,” I called down to him.
He stopped, noticed I was still standing on the rock, and gave me the same kind of look Mom gives me when I toss my dirty underwear on my bedroom floor. I knew he meant business, so I took a deep breath and set off after him. It was hard to keep up with the little guy without tripping down the steep bank.
“I dare say, you humans are incredibly slow on your feet,” the creature said as I finally caught up with him at the bottom of the glen.
When a group of the little creatures started to collect close around me, I almost peed in my pants. Fortunately, they quickly moved apart making a path for another who strutted between them. He was wearing the traditional bicycle race leader’s yellow jersey.
“You are Seamus’s grandson, I presume. It took you enough time to get here,” the yellow jersey wearer said.
“I needed to wait until my parents were asleep so I could sneak—”
The yellow jersey wearer interrupted, “Okay, enough. Humans have the excellent ability to make excuses, and I see you are no different. Margaret, you did a good job of finding Michael.”
“Margaret? I thought you were a guy,” I said in surprise.
“We Bosites are both,” said Margaret at the same time as the yellow jersey Bosite said, “We are neither.” They corrected themselves. Margaret said, “We are neither,” while the other said, “We are both.”
“Anyway, I happened to like the sound of Margaret, and I don’t appreciate your making a big deal about it,” Margaret stated.
I was almost afraid to ask, but finally got up the courage to ask the creature wearing the yellow jersey what his name was.
“I prefer a more traditional Bosite name. I am called Eldon.”
“My grandfather said you are one of the good Leprechauns.”
Eldon frowned and said, “We are not, I repeat not Lep— that terrible ‘L’ word you just said.”
“I’m really sorry. Grandpa told me not to call you that. I guess I forgot,” I said fearing that Eldon might have the ability to turn me into a frog or something worse.
“Apology accepted. Just don’t let it happen again,” Eldon said. “We haven’t got all night, so come now and partake of the BBQ with us.”
“BBQ? You came here to have a BBQ?”
“I can’t stand these stupid questions, and I have more important matters with which to deal. Margaret, will you please take Michael off my hands for a while?”
“It will be a pleasure,” Margaret said.
“I didn’t intend to make fun of your name. I really do like the name Margaret,” I said realizing that I might have caused hurt feelings.
“That is perfectly understandable. I was bit harsh with you on our first encounter, so let us call it even. You will see that I am a Gauger and not a Scaler.”
I didn’t understand the meaning of the Gauger-Scaler thing, but I was getting along fine with Margaret now, and I didn’t want to disturb the sensitive, temperamental little creature.
Margaret continued, “You must excuse Eldon. He left only because he wanted to be first in line for the food. You see we live our lives in a different dimension than you humans. We see humans around us enjoying their lives with food and all other pleasures available to those in the firm state. We can have none of those except for a few hours once a month at the full moon when we have the ability to materialize into the firm dimension. I think that Eldon might be a bit jealous… you being a human and taking over leadership and all.”
“Me taking over leadership? What are ya talkin’ about?”
“Like it or not, you have come to us. You are now our leader. It is your responsibility to save everything,” Margaret said.
“I’m not smart enough to lead anyone,” I protested.
“You are in error. Come let us obtain some food before it is all consumed. We have collected lots of goodies tonight including sweet corn and chocolate cake. Please help yourself.”
Margaret led me to several tables filled with food. Everything looked good, but I was so upset by the crazy idea that I somehow had become their leader, I wasn’t hungry. Eldon came over to us licking his fingers after eating a large piece of chocolate cake. “You better eat up Michael, once you come with us, you won’t have any food for another month. Of course, you won’t require food or drink when you are transformed. Nevertheless, you will still be one of those humans and will miss it,” he said.
“Transformed?” The hairs on my arms stood at attention.
“No need to worry, Michael. Once you lead us to confront Kalvar, you will be restored to your puny human firm state again.”
“Eldon, you have the wrong person. I’m not very smart and not the leadership type. I don’t even know this Kalvar character. I don’t want to confront anyone. And…and I don’t want to be transformulated.”
“Transformed,” Eldon corrected.
The humming returned. Eldon motioned to Margaret who took both hold of both my hands and looked me in the eyes.
“Now try to relax. Because of pressure changes, it is best you not hold your breath, just breathe normally,” Margaret said in a soothing voice.
“But I don’t want to be transfor—OH!”