It was early on St-Patrick's day, and I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time. I was doing this of course because link wears green. That's as creative as I had gotten so far with my St-Patty's day activities. I had started a new game, I even named it "Patty".
The game was progessing along nicely and I was headed to get myself a pocket egg and wake up a suspiciously familiar looking mustachio'd man. However a small piece of dialogue caught my eye. Now I'm not claiming I've memorized every last pixel and polygon of the zelda series, but I had played this game through a couple times before, maybe three, three and a half? The dialogue went as follows:
You Borrowed a Pocket Egg! A Pocket Cucco will hatch from it overnight, Be sure to give it back when you are done! Did you know you can balanca an egg on end during the equinox?
A rational person might have done a google search or something on either the topic of balancing eggs, or the correct dialogue that was supposed to be in the game. Not me, I was already up and on my way to the refrigerator.
After a shameful 2 hours of trying and failing, my frustration grew too large and I childishly laid down on the kitchen floor. I was staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out what kind of style the stucco was (that rhymed with cucco...), when I thought to myself:
How long have I been holding this egg in my hand?
Apparently, I hadn't left it on the table, but had been holding the egg while I was sprawled out starfish-style on the linoleum. Naturally, I tried balancing it, fail.
I tried again, fail.
Luck of the Irish
I thought to myself for some odd reason. Then the egg stood up!
I stared at the egg, standing, so perfect, It was awesome. But I knew if I moved it would like fall over, so I just quietly stared.
Then I saw it, something small distinctly ran past my field of vision, it came from the top, which would be the left. Please understand that In my floor based perspective, I am perpendicular to the egg. It traversed behind the egg, so the distance from my face to the egg was equal to the distance of the 'thing' to the egg.
The same way the Sun is currently spaced between the North and South poles?
Why did I think that? I didn't know. It just happened. But I didn't have time to think about that, I had a 'thing' to look for.
I stood up sharply and scanned the room. Nothing. Then the living room. Nothing.
NO, wait! At the window!
The 'thing' jumped out the open window but I distincly saw it from behind for at least a second. At the risk of sounding absolutely insane, the easiest way to describe that I saw would be: Leprechaun.
It was wearing all green, it distinctly had feet, but I didn't see much leg. It was all so fast, but I know a boot when I see one, and this thing was wearing green clothing, and boots. The cothing looked disgusting, like they have never ever been changed or washed, but had been worn for decades. Now when I think of leprechaun's I think of belts with shiny metal buckles and Stovepipe hats. Unfortunately, it didn't appear to have any of those. It was just a small person-shaped thing in tattered green clothing and boots.
I went over to the window and caught another glimpse of it running along the side of my house towards the 100 year old maple tree in my backyard. It was almost impossible to see because the green of his clothes was an exact match of the new green grass that was just beginning to grow. I knew what I was looking for, so I suppose that gave me a fighting chance.
I ran out the front door leaving it open, little else mattered other than persuing what I knew could'nt be a leprechaun. Because I knew that it couldn't be a leprechaun, I absolutely had to find it.
I ran towards the tree and saw a rustling of leaves and sticks near the far side of the trunk. As I got closer my foot snagged on a root that had arched its way out of the soil. My fast hit the ground/root system and my head rung like a bell. The entire left side of my face was soggy, wet, cold and throbbing with pain. I crushed my eyes closed for a few seconds and spat out a small piece of chipped tooth. I rolled over to the other side, so I was now entirely wet, and facing the tree.
Hey a hole!
There was indeed a hole, and inside was slightly illuminated, the entire tree appeared to be hollow, the bark was only three inches thick. The tree was easily 15 feet in diameter, so it would be easy to fit a person, or even a couple people inside...
Or a large amount of very little people...
That's when a blur of green rushed past my peeping eye, and then an incredible pain. Something had poked me directly in the eye from the inside. The pain didn't last long, but the sharp poke to the eye was enough to convince me that leprechaun or not, something was in there. I ran to the toolshed and got my chainsaw. I headed towards the tree and started the engine.
The sound of a chainsaw is not a beautiful thing to most people. It's annoying, unwelcome, and is an excellent way to get a point across. Before I had a chance to actually reach the tree something sharp struck me in the neck. It stung alot, I hit the killswitch on the chainsaw and checked what had hit me. It was a nut, I still had it lodged in my skin. I grabbed what little piece of it that I could, and pulled.
The pain that followed was intense. The seed had been filed down so that it had sharp rearward facing barbs that tore open a small whole of flesh in my skin upon removal. I felt the warm sticky blood trickle lightly down the right side of my neck, soaking into my shirt. It wasn't a terrible wound, but it was enough to send me into shock as I realized that this wasn't some joke. Leprechaun's may very well exist and it seemed I was in a fight with one.
What the Fuck do you think you are doing Human?
Then I realized that something had been talking inside my head. What I was passing of as my own thoughts were no genuine. I thought about this for a moment.
That's right. You can hear me. I know you can, Human.
Stop calling me 'human'! I yelled out loud. My neighbour who had been watching this from the back porch went back inside, shaking his head.
I silently obeyed. I went back to the toolshed, neglecting the chainsaw, and got a shovel. I dug for six hours, only stopping to drink some water and rest my arms. It was beginning to get dark out, and I could hear people around me getting ready to go out for their green beer drinking and general merryment. A large portion of the trees roots were exposed where I was digging, I was literally digging a path under the tree.
I put down the shovel, and got down on all fours. I reached my armes into the wet, black soggy mass of fine roots. It make me think of some sort of really creepy pasta that I would never eat, nor should anyone else. Then something grabbed my hands. Not one thing, but many things. And more as my arms got deeper and deeper into the soggy blackness. I emerged within the tree to have very little light to see by. The smell of death invaded my nose. Pure carbon decay. I realized as my eyes focused that the inside of the tree was lined with squirrels. Dead squirells, and a few chipmunks. Most of them were only pelts now, I then saw all the scattered bones that made up the floor.
I suppose I was too shocked by all the dead rodents on the wall to notice the twelve other 'things' inside the tree with me. I could now tell that they were of human form, but very small and disgusting. If this is what Leprechauns were based on, they were way off. Their faces were distorted, very small eyes and nose with a mouth that looked too big. They all wore the green clothes. They stood and stared at me. Some had dried caked blood around their mouths and hands, others had patterns drawn on their faces with what also appeared to be blood. The largest one wore ornaments made from small rodent bones around his neck. In a voice that seemed to only exist in my own head, he spoke:
Human. We are too many in this one tree. We have nearly exhausted our winter food supply. You shall acquire us larger sustenance.
I didn't know why, but I got on my knees, and crawled out the hole at the center of the bottom of the tree. My emergence from it was like a rebirth, I was repurposed. I went back to the toolshed and acquired the chainsaw again. I began marching down the street, the pullcord in one hand ready to start the engine. There was a bar at the end of the street, it was already packed with people.
I was only steps away from the bar when I fully realized that I didn't know what I was about to do, and there was not way of stopping myself...
Happy St-Patricks Day Everyone!