The Mythical Inevitability

The Mythical Inevitability

A Story by R J Fuller
"

Nothing in life is free. Not even comprehension that nothing in life is free.

"
The evening had been a long one of celebration, long into the night. Continuous drinking with the emptying of numerous bottles, the opening of countless pull tab cans. 
But natural limitations and passage of time must take its toll, and now those who set about to be the life of the party gathered up their rewards and received all repercussions. 
The need to diminish the amount of drink in the system was taxing. The form made his way through the door, collapsed on his bed and slumbered. The darkness of the room elevated the absence of thoughts in his current state of intoxication. He was totally prevented from moving off that bed. 

Dreams found their way, concealed in shadows, swirling in the blackness of his slumber, but these would no more be images he could remember in any capacity whatsoever. 
And then one figment in the dream began to escalate above the others, and considerably stand out. 

"You must be joking," said the gruff voice. "He won't be coming around anytime soon. Hahaha!" 

He must have intruders. He was being robbed. Waves crashed over any attempt of concern with the roaring snore from his own throat and nose. Then the voice danced upon the roiling waves, the silhouette of a figure with his hands upon his hips, standing defiantly in the distance.

"Out like a light!" 

He felt a touch upon his forehead and one eyelid, and that seemed to give him a direction to go in to upset his violator. He brought his hand up to his face, sensed the figure standing on that distant wave, and clutched the form in his fingers. 

There was tussle in the palm of his hand, like the flapping of a bird's wings. He brought his other hand around to secure the adversary even more secure in his grasp. 

"Help me, lads! He has hold of me! No!" 

Slightly disturbed, but the subconscious overwhelmed him and he began to snore once more, tho this time there seemed to be all sorts of protests and insults hurled his way. Not surprisingly, this made him cup his hands even more over his captive, whatever it may be. 
Dark clouds blew in over violet crescents upon a silent sea, then sound once more gave way, along with a sensation pulling at his hands. He held on to the fluttering form within his grasp even more. 

"It's no use, lads! Save yourselves! Be off with you. I'm doomed." 

With the silence, he was now able to see spaceships flying out of the vastness of space, but they passed him by and he was falling, but not down. He couldn't find down to fall that way. Perhaps he should try to get hold of something. He moved his hand outward and opened his eyes. There stood the silliest looking person he had ever seen, snarling back at him. 

"Tis about time ye came to, Phedontre. Not one to maintain yer drink, are ye, lad?" 

Phedontre raised his head slightly, but not too high and not too fast. 

"Aye, ye got some of the reddest eyes I've ever beheld," the person said in a gruff voice. 

"What . . . . dream? You can't . . . . . "

"Be real? Oh, but I am, Phedontre. I am as real as your hangover, laddie. Hahahaha!"

Phedontre grabbed his forehead and winced. 

"Oh, sorry, Phedontre. I laughed too loud, didn't I, laddie?" 

"What are you?" Phedontre managed to get out. 

"Oh, come now, Phedontre. Even tho you are of a separate culture of sorts, surely you've heard of the Irish little people, commonly known as leprechauns."

"You can't be a leprechaun. I must be dreaming." 

Phedontre dropped his head back, no longer clinging to the tiny figure he just spoke to. His eyes closed, he allowed himself to slumber once more, lost in the fabric of dreams, where he obviously was anyway, if he was seeing so-called leprechauns. 

The illumination in the room had changed. Sunlight was brighter and had now shifted between the blinds, causing different rays of light to strike walls and objects and allow some grainy visibility with some aspect of clearance. 

And there sat the silly little man on the corner of his mattress, his arms crossed . 

"Are ye awake now?" it asked. 

"I must still be asleep," Phedontre said as he fell back once more to look up at the ceiling. 

"Nay, laddie. Ye are as awake as ye were earlier, nearly four hours ago."

"And your still here?" Phedontre turned to the figure and asked. 

"Aye, laddie. Ye caught me. I'm not allowed to depart, even if ye physically release me."

"So you are going to stay with me for how long?" 

The little man walked across the mattress to sit better in Phedontre's view. 

"Ye know the rules, Phedontre. The same rules that have been in effect for untold generations."

Phedontre looked at the little man and furrowed his brow. 

"Three wishes? Three wishes?"

The little man smiled. 

"Aye, laddie. I must grant ye three wishes of your choosing," the little fellow said. 

Phedontre looked at him with absolute suspicion. He reclined back on his arm and looked off in the distance. 

"Oh, come on, you ridiculous little person, . . . "

"Joe, you may call me. All my friends do."

"Yea, whatever. We both know good and well how these so-called wishes work out. I never get anything I really want or I end up with something even worse."

Joe smiled once more. "Now, laddie. I wouldn't do you that way. My word is as honest as the days are long."

Phedontre sat up on the bed. "Sorry, Mac, . . . . "

"Joe, please. Joe."

"Either way, I know you will offer up nothing but a bunch of crappy wishes, so I ain't playin'." Phedontre stood and walked to the closet to get some different clothes to put on. 

"But, laddie. I can't leave yer presence until ye make yer wishes."

Phedontre changed his shirt. He looked over at Joe. 

"Allright. You want wishes. I'll give you wishes. I wish for a quarter, a dime and a nickel. Nothing else, so then you'll be gone."

"Is that all ye want, laddie?" 

"Yes, that's all I want, laddie," Phedontre said, kicking off his shoes. "There's no point in wanting more. You'll have me robbing a bank or something or turn me into a Caucasian."

"So ye just want the quarter, the dime and the nickel?" 

Phedontre dropped his pants. 

"You got it! Forty cent!" 

"Forty cent?" 

"Yes!"

"So be it, Phedontre."

"Well? Where's my forty cents?" 

"Look upon yourself, laddie," Joe said, reclining on the mattress. 

Phedontre now stood before his open closet, but in much cleaner attire than he had slept in. The dark socks he had been wearing were now bright blue ones. There was even scent about his person; deodorant and after shave. 

"What's this?" he asked Joe. 

'What ye wished for."

"I asked for forty cents!" 

"And ye got it. Ye wished forty cent, and now ye are for decent."

Phedontre looked at his nails. Cleaned. He ran his tongue over his teeth. No morning breath. Even traces of any slight hangover were gone. 

Joe smiled. 

"See, I knew there would be a trick! There always is with you little people and your wishes!" Phedontre said, charging toward the little man still on the bed. 

"Now, laddie. I gave ye what ye wished for."

"For decent. Yea, right. So you granted your wishes, now go away!"

"But, laddie," Joe began, "that was only one wish."

"I wished for three coins!" 

"You wished for decent. Ye still have two wishes."

Phedontre looked at the little man smiling upon the bed. He sat on the bed, opposite side from Joe, and looked at him. 

"Allright, you little, . . . "

"Laddie, please, don't be offensive."

"Allright, Joe! I'll give you another wish. Let's see how you grant my second wish."

Phedontre sat a bit longer, then stood up. 

"I wish bigotry would be gone!" 

Joe smiled. 

"Is that what ye wish for, laddie?"

"Yes, it's what I wish for, laddie."

" Ye wish for bigotry to be gone."

"I wish bigotry would go away, and be here no more."

Joe smiled once more. 

"So be it, then. That is your second wish."

"We'll see," Phedontre said quietly. 

He looked about the room, then moved to the tv and turned it on. He found a news channel and waited. 

". . . . . discord once more with youth protesting the shooting of a black man while pushing his infant daughter in a stroller, . . . . "

"Well, what's that?" Phedontre asked. 

"No, laddie. Look." 

Phedontre turned back to the tv.  The reporter continued on with another story. 

". . . . toppled over into the oncoming traffic, causing a massive pile-up of automobiles, but with no fatalities."

Phedontre watched the screen as the image panned from numerous motor vehicles and dark branches came into view, followed by an upheaval of roots and dirt. Enormous branches filled the screen, with further obvious drone shots delivering the gargantuan oak resting across the previously busy street. Assortments of workers sought to cut away and remove the obstruction in the road. 

Phedontre turned and looked at Joe once more. 

Joe smiled as he replied, "the big o' tree is gone."

Phedontre all but fumed. "Big ol' tree? Big ol' tree? There's no point in even bothering with wishes. You grant nothing!"

"But laddie, I have delivered exactly what ye asked for."

"I wished for bigotry to go away, and you take out a rotten oak tree."

"I gave ye yer wish. Ye have one more wish."

"Pointless, meaningless nonsense!" Phedontre fumed. 

"Now, laddie, . . . . "

"One more wish and I'll be rid of you?" Phedontre asked. 

"Aye, laddie."

"So be it! I wish for world peace!" 

Joe stood a bit, looking uncertain. 

"Is that what ye wish for, laddie?"

"Yes!" Phedontre yelled. "I wish for world peace!" 

"Then so be it, laddie! It is yours!" 

Once more for evidence, Phedontre looked to the tv. The story was a feel-good bit about an elderly white couple still married after thirty-nine years. 

"So how do I know when I get my . . . " Phedontre started, turning back to Joe, only to see the figure had departed. 

"Some wish," Phedontre mumbled. 

He turned away from the tv and exited the bedroom. He was hungry and it was well after noon. He made his way to the kitchen and opened the top of the fridge. He'd cook something quick. He snatched the tv dinner from the icy array and closed the fridge, beginning to open the box. 

"Wishes granted," Phedontre mumbled as he ripped at the box and hauled out the miniature tv tray with frozen blocks upon it. 

"Obviously I was still asleep," he decided. "You were never here, Joe!" he yelled defiantly. 

He placed the rectangle block in the microwave with a clunk and closed the door, turning the knob to begin the cooking process. The machine hummed with expectation. 

Phedontre tossed his  head back and looked himself over. He threw his arm in the air and sniffed. Well, at least he was clean after that all-night binge, or he might say, he was decent, since that was how Joe wanted to consider it. 

Once more, he deduced Joe wasn't real. He had been dreaming it all. Rather silly dream at that, he concluded. Coins and a falling tree? 

Phedontre returned to reality with the ding of the microwave behind him. The simpering little dinner was ready. He pressed the button to open the door and slid out the plate.

He made his way to the table, to eat this meal, when each step made him more and more aware of how hot it was. 

Phedontre tried to juggle the plate from one hand to the other, but it just seemed to cause the object to get even more scorching and painful to his touch. He moved a bit hurriedly to the table and with each step, the base of the plate grew more and more intense. 

Phedontre winced in pain upon releasing the plate over the dining table, but didn't quite make it. The plate descended, tipping over, striking the table's edge, pouring out its contents. Still he tried to catch his meal, but various items, both dry and in moisture, were emptied by the upset stage. 

He stood there a moment, holding the upside down container, examining the remnants upon the floor. Gravy, half the mashed potatoes, green peas, sauce, peach cobbler. The cobbler on his hand was somewhat hot, so Phedontre began licking at it to remove it in a hurry. He made his ways to his knees to scoop the inedible pieces back into the plate, to throw it all away. 
He raised his head up to see some liquid and food had made its way across the table. 

And on the table's edge, sat Joe, smiling. 

"Ye wanted world peace, laddie," he said, "so ye got it."

From behind his back, Joe produced a green pea, as big as a basketball in his small hand. Phedontre looked at it and grasped the obviousness of Joe's intention. 

"World peace," Phedontre started, "and you gave me, . . . . . "

"As they spun out of control from yer hands, laddie. I gave ye whirled peas. Yer third and final wish."

Phedontre still held the plate in his hand and inhaled with every intention of slamming it upon the little leprechaun who had given him these wishes, of bringing the plate down upon him on the edge of that table, but as he turned once more to get the position of Joe in his sights to attack with the plate, of course Joe was now gone. 

And in his place, on the edge of the table, sat the solitary green pea.   

   

© 2020 R J Fuller


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Added on August 11, 2020
Last Updated on August 12, 2020
Tags: wishes, leprechaun, word play, social events