Monday, March 25, 2013

What the Leprechaun Said

I have been hanging out with a new writing community over at and I'm learning so much from these guys.  This month all bloggers were encouraged to join a chain, writing a brief piece with the prompt What the Leprechaun Said.  Easier said than done, my friends.  Here is my contribution to the chain and please take a minute to check out my fellow bloggers' posts in the chain below the story.  Enjoy!

                The first day that Kristoff Khaun showed up in all his fat, green glory to interview with the boss, I couldn’t help but thinking, “Oh, hell no, not another one.”  We’re going to all be out of jobs if these leprechauns continue to proliferate like this.  Ever since they decided, “We have rights too!  We shouldn’t have to live in the shadows anymore!” life has changed for all of us, especially here at The Sun Scoop newsroom.  Leprechauns are sneaky little bastards, and I could just feel the immorality and debauchery oozing from Kristoff Khaun like a poison slime.  From the moment he showed up for his first day on the job, decorating his cubicle with art deco prints of clover, the other leprechauns here have flocked to him.  I didn’t like it.

For twenty years I’ve enjoyed my corner office overlooking the city below, and the clack of typing keyboards has fed my soul.  I was the first full-time reporter hired here (a real catch for the editor, Mr. Jenkins, if I do say so myself), after just graduating from Columbia University… ahem, first in my class.  I played a major role in building this paper.  I helped develop our reputation as credible and exciting.  I put in long days and nights writing, editing copy, and chasing leads; and ever since the leprechauns came out of the closet, it’s been one terribly written story after another.  The problem—leprechauns don’t know how to listen.  They chatter nonstop at the water cooler, in the kitchen, even in the bathroom stalls.  Leprechauns are as blind to their character defects as they are to their inferior writing.

As the old-timer here, Mr. Jenkins had asked me to “help the new guy along” and I, being a team player, agreed.  His first two weeks on the job, Kristoff did not shut up.  Ever.  I’m not sure how he found the time to get any work done, so I anticipated tearing his first stories to shreds with my red ink pen.  I stick to the old school style of paper copy.  Don’t email me an attachment.  I want paper in hand, so I can comment in the margins.  It’s the tried and true method of editing from way back.  Kristoff didn’t balk at my instructions, and three days before his deadline, he sauntered into my office with a folder containing two new stories. 

“Thanks,” I said, not turning away from my computer.  “I’ll get to these this week.”

“I was really hoping you could look at them today.  Mr. Jenkins has already assigned me to cover the school board debacle and the Johnson trial, so I’m going to be out of the office for awhile.  I was also hoping to take my wife on a trip to the Hamptons this weekend, then my mother-in-law is coming into town next Monday.  Have you ever been to the Hamptons?  I’ve got a place there, if you ever want to stay.  Oh, and I’ll need those stories back.  I always like to keep a paper copy of my work.  This electronic stuff doesn’t work for me, I prefer—”

“Yes, I’ll get to it when I can.”

“Well, I’m really hoping that will be today.  See, I’ve got some things to take care of.  I appreciate your help and all, but I did this work before when I was at The York Courier.  I did all of the editing there, and I’m pretty busy these next few days.  I’m taking my wife—”

“Yes, I’ll get to it when I can,” I repeated and swiveled in my chair to face him with a forced smile. 

Kristoff rocked on his heels for a moment then forced his own smile before leaving my office.  Stupid, arrogant, piece of—

A newbie should know his place around here.  What could he possibly know about being busy?  And what’s this about the Johnson trial?  I wanted that story and had already interviewed seven people.  I always go ahead and start on the big stories since I’m the only one around here with any salt as a writer.  All day I recalled recent conversations with Mr. Jenkins, wondering if I’d irritated him somehow.  Even by 5 PM, when I stopped by the restroom before going home, my inner monologue was at a frenetic pace cursing Kristoff and replaying all my interactions with the boss. 

“Oh, hey there,” Kristoff said, coming out of a bathroom stall behind me.

He joined me at the bathroom counter, where I was already washing my hands.  Our eyes met in the mirror, and I wanted to look away but couldn’t.  He was still talking, talking, talking.  The image of the two of us in that bathroom mirror held me.  His eyes held me.  His words.  And amidst his barrage of meaningless chatter, I caught something he said.  I can’t even tell you now what it was; I only know my thoughts began tumbling from my mouth in an uncontrollable stream. 

“You think you’re hot shit, just because you worked at The York Courier?  I can’t stand uppity leprechauns like you, thinking you know more than those of us who have years of experience.  If you could just see yourself, standing there with that smug grin on your face….”  On and on I rambled, mortified, while Kristoff stood silent, smiling at our reflections in the mirror. 

“My mother was a crack whore who was killed by my father, her pimp.”  The words fell from my lips, and I gasped in horror. 

In an un-leprechaun-like silence, Kristoff pulled a brown paper towel from the holder, dried his hands, and nodded with a smile before leaving.  I stood there alone, avoiding the mirror, already able to see myself much clearer than I ever had before.  Disgusted and shocked, I saw my deepest parts, beyond the slim torso and Cartier tie clip, to a place I thought only existed in leprechauns.

Participants and posts:orion_mk3 - (link to post)
robeiae - (link to post)
writingismypassion - (link to post)
Sudo_One - (link to post)
randi.lee - (link to post) pyrosama - (link to post)
katci13 - (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes - (link to post)
Angyl78 - (link to post)
KitCat - (link to post)
Bloo - (link to post)
dclary - (link to post)
ConnieBDowell - (link to post)
Lady Cat - (link to post)
Araenvo - (link to post)
MichaelP - (link to post)
Ralph Pines - (link to post)
mdgreene50 - (link to post)
scatterjoy! - (link to post)
SRHowen - (link to post)
dolores haze - (link to post)


  1. Awesome fable! From start to end, this was very engaging and the end brought it together so well.

    Great writing!

  2. Really good story. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  3. You kept my interest until the end. Very cool story.

  4. Leprechaun powers!
    Okay, that picture freaks me out. Lol! It's a perfect fit for this post.

  5. Leprechauns as social commentary...interesting! Did Kristoff make the main character say those things...or simply bring them to the surface?

    And I'm sorry you don't have more comments yet. I'll have to be sure to post a reminder in the thread.