Aphelion Issue 294, Volume 28
May 2024
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Far Darrig

by Ed Sullivan

The little man pulled the copper kettle in the back door of the alley just as the rosy sunset began to fade. He looked at all that gold and smiled from ear to ear. It wasn't for the normal reasons an enormous amount of gold made most happy. This was the best prank on anyone ever. That stuck-up cobbler would be beside himself. The stout little man had celebrated by recently buying himself a new cardinal-colored suit with matching chapeau. He looked like a million bucks. Ironically that is about how much he had gotten that mortal to take from his cousin. Once the gold was away from its guardian it was simple to trick the human and get away. He heard someone enter the front of the shop so he hid the kettle behind a bushel of tomatoes, a basket of apples, and a peck of chili peppers. The macaw he kept out front of the shop chirped at the new arrival.

"Hello, Lady. Hello, pretty Lady."

He picked up a container of raspberries and went through the velvet curtain separating the back room from the front. A thin, attractive woman with auburn hair had her back to him and was looking at the farthest back shelf. He heard a vehicle backfire and looked quickly outside. A London-style double-decker bus had been refurbished to give tours of Baton Rouge. It was obviously still in need of some repair. A fire truck screamed past the bus with sirens blaring. He turned and then saw her. The queen stared at him. Her eyes should have been green. They looked like open portals of flame. She wore cherry lipstick with matching nail polish. She pursed her lips and ran her tongue over them. She drummed her nails rhythmically on the counter. He had the good sense to look embarrassed. He could feel the blush spreading on his cheeks.

"Your majesty! How delightful to see you again!"

"Really, Eric, I would have thought you would be more inclined to welcome my rival royalty more enthusiastically than I."

"Oh your highness 'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,' I know that to be true."

"Enough of this clowning around or I will cast a spell to make that gin blossomed nose of yours into a rubber clown nose. Do you have something that doesn't belong to you?"

"Your majesty I have no idea what you mean. Please you look far too angry. Have some licorice on the house."

She glowed visibly. The ruby earrings and pendant she wore dropped to the floor as the metal settings melted. He saw the counter begin to smolder and acted without thinking. He took the fire extinguisher from under the counter. He doused her and the entire area in flame retardant foam. The reality of what he had just done hit him a moment later. The practical joker knew the rest of his life story was written in scarlet ink.

"Your majesty my apolog . . . "

There really were no remains to speak of after the fact, just blood, lots of blood. She went into the back and immediately found the gold. There were plenty left like Eric, but Seamus was the last. He needed this pot of treasure to feel whole again. She picked it up in one hand and started to walk out the front door. A display case caught her eye at the last moment. She reached in and took out a whip.

"MMMM! Strawberry!"

It really was yummy. She exited the shop and her servants were waiting for her.

"I have made an example of Eric." She turned toward the shop.

"You see that red door. I want it painted black."

She stepped through the portal to Wisconsin. She had a date with a little green man.


2014 Ed Sullivan

Bio: Ed Sullivan is an enthusiastic newcomer to getting published. He has been writing fiction for twenty five years. He has taken the leap just recently and begun submitting. He raises his daughter, works, writes, and spends time in his own strange thoughts most days.

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