Posted by: victanguera | July 29, 2009

Exercise #32

Ooh, I seriously wonder if I should let this one out into the wilds. I’ve thought of this one as my big idea and that my WIP and writing is all just practice so I can get this concept to work properly. Oh well, if someone nicks the idea, such is life I guess.

Reilly’s fist almost smacked me in the nose when I opened the door. Moving quickly, he blocked the door with half his body when I tried to slam it in his face.

“Niall had disappeared,” he said, half in and half out of my apartment, held firmly by the door I still tried to shut.

“Yeah, so what.” I pushed harder. He grunted, but didn’t budge. Neither did the door. Bastard. I added him to my list of people to hate. Right behind Niall. Reilly could consider it his reward for being Niall’s right hand man.

“I need you to help me find him.”

“Look, I don’t really care what happens to him. I wouldn’t be in this state if it wasn’t for him.” I would have waved my hands at my pathetic apartment and annoying mortal body, but Reilly might scoot through the door if I didn’t keep pushing it against him.

Flexing his shoulder in a catlike stretch, the door popped open under my hands. I stumbled against the frame when the pressure released. He glided past me into my kitchen. I glared at his back. He didn’t see my scowl, but it made me feel better.

“Thanks for letting me in,” Reilly said. He surveyed my kitchen, taking in the battered furniture and mismatched dishes. Straddling a chair, he rested his arms on the back and watched me as I started a pot of coffee. If I had to put up with him, I needed to do it with coffee in hand. Too bad the caffeine wouldn’t help wake me up.

“You only managed to get in because I was half awake. What exactly do you think I can do that you can’t?”

“Save us.”

Ignoring the comment, I dug around in the cupboard and pulled out a bag of granola and dumped some into a bowl. Sniffing at the carton of milk in the fridge, I decided it wouldn’t kill me and poured some on top of my cereal before I sat down beside Reilly.

“Save you? Yeah right. I’m only a mortal now. I can’t even save myself. Saving the world? I’ll leave that up to the big guys.”

I ate my cereal, hoping that would wake me up. Three more hours sleep would do me more good. But I had to get rid of Reilly first. And I didn’t think he had any intention of leaving without me.

Great, I would have to rummage around in my underwear drawer in case I owned some spandex. If Reilly expected me to save the world, I needed to dress the part. I rested my head on the table in despair. God. Save the world. Maybe the lack of sleep made it sound more ominous than it really was.

“Did you ever consider why you didn’t die when you gold was stolen,” Reilly asked.

I thought the price a leprechaun paid for loosing their gold was mortality—death in a slow form.

“I am dead. It just hasn’t fully set in yet.”

“What do you know about your parents?”

I raised my head an inch off the table and peered at him, not really understanding what my parents had to do with his demand that I help him, or Niall, save the world. Although I didn’t want to talk about my parents, I’d rather talk about them than my mortality. Or his plans for me.

“My father was a leprechaun and my mother was a banshee,” I said. My mother hadn’t been the happiest person to have around the house, but I still loved her. Until she disappeared on us.

“Your mother wasn’t a banshee, Riona.”

I stared at Reilly in surprise.

“Yeah. How do you know?”

“I just do. You mother was an ad sidhe.”

Was? Did that mean she had died? I also wondered if that was why she disappeared when I was so young. She must have left to find people to eat in her quest for vengeance. Or maybe she went off to right the wrongs of the world. I was a little fuzzy on what an ad sidhe did right now. Blame it on the lack of sleep.

“So what, I’m not actually a leprechaun?” Well, that was true anyway. I was only a mortal now after all. “I’m really some kind of righter of wrongs? Killer of evil doers. Or something.” I definitely needed more coffee. And more sleep. I laid my head back on the table and closed my eyes.

“Not really. Have you got any more coffee?” I blushed in embarrassment. I hadn’t even thought to offer him any.

“Yeah, help yourself.” I gave up on sleeping on the table and waved towards the cups, watching his spare, competent movements as he filled his mug. He held the pot out and I pushed my empty cup across the table for a refill.

“You aren’t a leprechaun any longer, but you didn’t loose your other abilities when your gold was stolen. Your mixed blood is the only reason you didn’t die.”

“Nice to know my mother gave me something.”

It almost made up for her taking off without telling any of us where she was going. Almost.

“It also means you won’t be able to rest until you get it back.” Reilly was wrong. I’d been resting just fine, thank you very much.

“I’m fine. Or I was until you and Niall showed up. If you leave, I can go back to being fine again.”

“Are you really?”

I turned away abruptly, not wanting him to know about the sense of restlessness that ate at me constantly. About the fact that no matter what mortal activity I tried, it didn’t fill the yawning gap inside me.

“I don’t want to have anything to do with Niall. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have lost my gold in the first place.”

“Some things aren’t as they seem,” Reilly said.

What the hell did he mean by that?

Reilly looked at his watch.

“All right, we have to go,” he said.

“Look, what makes you think I’m going to help you? I have things to do. Niall can look after himself.” Now that I knew I could get it back, number one on my list would be tracking down the person responsible for stealing my gold. “Saving the world can wait.”

“No it can’t. You’ll help because you know you have to. It is a compulsion for you.”

He was right; I could feel it tugging at me, like it wanted to eat my skin alive.

Reilly didn’t even let me pack a bag. Hopefully it didn’t take clean underwear to save the world.


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