If you make a pact with the forces of darkness, be sure to keep it. -Intellectual Shaman
Suburban homes match the people inside them; I was lost; and I couldn’t figure out why I was picking these guys up. I found the house where my co-workers were grilling. “Come, have a burger. Randy and Dan are inside! I found my golf clubs!”
They were brand new, just like the Lexus out front, and the wife in the living room. Even the grass didn’t seem real.
“Andy, it’s great to see you. You said you found a golf course we can play on, but all the local courses are closed,” Dan said. He was short and bald, average and athletic.
Randy walked in. “Golf is sort of like baseball, right?”
“Yeah, if you consider that they both require clubs.”
“You boys are cavemen; I’m expecting your wives any second, so you’d best skedaddle.”
“Andy doesn’t have a wife,” Dan said.
“Yeah, what’s wrong with you?” Robert asked.
“Oh, I just like my freedom,” I said.
They piled into my Jeep Cherokee and stacked their clubs on top of each other. Soon they were comparing sports statistics, mortgage rates, and how long they had until retirement. I didn’t hold it against them; they seemed happy, like they bought it from Home Depot.
“Why are we driving through the woods?” Dan asked.
“I found this place by accident; it belonged to a really old man until he was committed to an insane asylum.” Dan and Randy exchanged looks. “His passion was golf; he built a course the public doesn’t know about. We’ll have to trespass on government land, but you’re okay with that, right?”
Robert raised his eyebrows. “We always knew you were deviant, Andy.”
I parked the car in a secluded lot and the guys lumbered out. Robert had an electronic roller cart, so he didn’t have to push his bag, while Randy and Dan hoisted their clubs on their backs.
“It’s down that path.”
“It says no trespassing,” Randy said.
“I know. Have a beer and you’ll forget about it.”
They exchanged looks. I could tell they didn’t have the stamina to violate signs, but when we got into the woods, everybody calmed down. Robert started telling hunting stories and Dan poured a shot of vodka for everyone. We were in the heart of the woods now, where old growth trees moaned in the wind and the hillside showed us a lake in the valley.
“Hole 1 is up ahead,” I said. A mountain path led to a tee box and an even smaller fairway.
“What’s the matter, Andy? You’re not even married.” Robert was drunk and slurring his words. They were all three sheets to the wind.
I wasn’t drinking; I didn’t need to when playing golf. We were on hole 8, when the sun began to set. It was red and yellow and green, shining through the trees.
“Where’s the next hole?” Robert asked. “I don’t know that I can make it.”
“Across the lake; we’ll need to take the ferry.”
“Ferry? What Ferry?” Dan asked.
“There.” I pointed. It was a little row boat.
“I think you’re on your own, mate. We’re not going to that Island.”
“Suit yourself,” I said. And I got in and turned the crank. A rope under the water pulled me to the opposing shore, and in three minutes I stepped out on dry land. I looked for a tee box and followed the signs.
Being alone for the first time, gave be the gumption to think out loud. “Why isn’t my life working out? It must not be the right time for me.” I sat down on a rock, surrounded by other rocks. It looked like a primitive graveyard, similar to Stonehenge. “Why not have a beer?” It was silent as the dead. A short par 3 and I was in no hurry.
I cracked open a beer, and then I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was short and very quick. I set my beer down to look again. That’s when I heard gulping, smacking of lips, and a burp.
“An Irish black beer,” the little voice said.
“What are you?” I asked.
“I’m what you need. We can help each other.”
“Okay…but what are you?”
“I’m a leprechaun; not just any old leprechaun, but Maximillian Dreyfuss, Esquire. I unofficially own the land because your government doesn’t recognize magic folk.”
“Did you say magic?” I asked.
“But of course. Don’t you know that leprechauns are magical?”
“I guess, but I didn’t think they were real.”
“Now, what can I do for you?”
“I guess I need some magic, or maybe you would call it luck.”
“Granted,” the leprechaun said. “Now, I need you to do something for me.”
“Okay. Name it.”
“Your friends… I need someone to bring me beer, regularly. Can they do it?”
“I’m sure they can.”
“Okay, but if we make this deal and they don’t bring me beer, there will be consequences.” I didn’t like how he said that.
“Consequences? For me or for them?” I asked.
“Okay, no worries then.” I waved goodbye to the little leprechaun and resumed play. When I got back to the mainland, the guys followed me to hole 9. I hit two perfect shots. The second was impossible. “Andy, what happened to you? There’s something different in your face.
“I’ll need you guys to rotate on and off, and deliver beer to this golf course.”
“I made a deal with a leprechaun back there and he gave me some luck.”
“Have you gone mad?” Dan asked.
“I don’t think so, but he said there would be consequences if you don’t bring him beer.”
“Get out,” Robert laughed.
“Okay, I’ll buy the beer each month, but one of you has to deliver it.”
“I think you’ve been drinking a little too much,” Randy said.
“Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
When work started later that fall, all my co-workers had rashes and back aches and were complaining of being old.
“Just drop off some beer at the local golf course and your problems will go away,” I said. Dan and Randy poo pooed me, but I could see the wheels turning in Robert’s head. Three days later and he was as fit as a fiddle and I went on to achieve great things.
If you make a pact with the forces of darkness, be sure to keep it. The leprechauns are devilishly tricky, and respect their magic; disrespect it, and you will wish for an early grave.