Aggie, The Feline Leprechaun
by Patrick Wilson
It was a comely morning. In a distance, the sound of a redheaded woodpecker tapping a pine tree in search of breakfast echoed throughout Colleen's tranquil room. The cool spring breeze whispered sweet forget-me-nots inside her ears as the sun's warm, frisky rays kissed her forehead.
However, it was the familiar aroma of Corned Beef and Cabbage that finally woke this sleeping beauty. Of course, this was one day Colleen might have wished to sleep through.
"Here girl! Aggie, Aggie -- Aggi--!" She called wiping last night's sleep from her baby blue eyes.
"Where are you, Aggie?"
Colleen wasn't too surprised that her white, short-haired cat didn't greet her first thing this morning. Aggie has always been an adventurous cat. So it's possible the smell of Corned Beef lured her taste buds to the kitchen.
Nonetheless, Colleen decided to look for Aggie underneath her covers, mainly near the foot of her bed. After all, that was where she was last night. And since Aggie has soft, short fur, it's sometimes easy for Colleen to forget that it's a cat, not a fluffy pillow, that warms her feet and legs throughout the night.
As she turned her covers over, her eyes honed in to the place where Aggie laid her fluffy head the night before, near her right foot. Aggie wasn't there! Yet her presence was horribly seen smeared on Colleen's right calf. Her fears grew as she dragged her tiny right foot through a dampish section of her bed; her droopy eyes gazed upon the nickel-sized spots that stained her bottom sheets. The drought of Aggie's aura caused her heart to sag in the pit of her stomach.
"Oh, Aggie, I. . . I," Colleen tearfully stuttered. "I never would've done this to you, I . . . I -- hope you're not dea-- who would've done such a thing to my sweet Aggie."
Colleen hurried out of bed and jumped into her Green Bay Packers' jogging pants and white T-shirt. As she began to exit her room, she noticed the same nickel sized spots that stained her sheets also riddled her carpet. Moreover, she noticed the pattern of the spots resembled a three-leaf clover; in fact, they appeared to be tiny paw prints.
"Awwww! Aggie, you're still alive; I think," she mumbled as she followed the prints into the hallway. "But do cats bleed green?"
Confused by the green spots that soiled her bed sheets and the green paw prints that speckled the carpet, Colleen followed the color until it got lighter, lighter, and finally disappeared in the middle of the hallway. It appeared as if Aggie simply vanished.
To her left was her brother's room, which was closed, and to her right was the bathroom, which was empty. Therefore, Colleen chose to go straight -- to the kitchen -- where the smell of Irish tradition was thickening with each step she took.
"Mommy, haveyouseenAggiethismorning?" Colleen quickly asked like a kid who had too much Lucky Charms early in the morning.
"Well, Happy St. Patty's Day to you too," Mrs. Mackehoe said as she turned down the temperature to the stove. "Now, much slower this time, please."
"Aggie, Aggie Aggie."
"Yes, Yes Yes, what about her, Colleen?"
"Have you seen her today?" Colleen asked, hoping to hear a definite answer.
"Well, sweetie -- come to think about it -- I saw her early, early this morning. She was acting a little strange," her mother calmly said as she added a dash of salt to the bubbling cabbage pot.
"Strange?" Colleen asserted, fearing the worst.
"Don't worry hun; I gave her some warm milk. And your father, ha ha, thought it would be cute to add a little bit of grandma's green dye to it."
At that moment, it seemed that Colleen's weak stomach digested the remains of her sagging heart. Her eyes dripped like one of those leaky faucets at 2 am; her temperature and skin tone must've changed a half of dozen times during that initial minute or so. Mrs. Mackehoe wasn't cognizant of her daughter's temperament, for she had her back turned to Colleen the whole time. It wasn't until Mr. Mackehoe, Colleen's father, came through the side door that both parents realized something was wrong.
"You's . . .," Colleen uttered as she fixed her head to the familiar deep voice coming from the side doorway.
"Erin, I'm back from Mother's house," Her father proudly stated, not aware of the crazy animal that once was his ten-year-old daughter standing in the kitchen with her emotions trapped into a corner.
Once Mr. Mackehoe stepped inside the kitchen holding a green stained plastic bag, Colleen rushed at him as a tigress would if someone or something hurt one of her offspring.
"Honey, I'm sorry! But..."
"Sean. . ."
"Some of mother's Nettle...," Her father tried to explain to his wife before the attack.
"Colleen, Noooooo!" Her mother shouted in a fearful, yet angry voice.
In a flash, poor Colleen's effort to discover Aggie's whereabouts was splattered all over her mother's white tile kitchen floor. The weeping child couldn't apprehend the cold, thick, green substance that smashed in between her tiny toes to be the end of a short-lived friendship.
So with fire in her eyes and tears drooling off her face, Colleen turned to her parents, pointing her claw like index finger, and said, "You -- You, You and Grandma Carolina made Aggie to mush."
"Nonsense, Colleen!" Her father said picking up the half-emptied containers as his wife handed him a fresh roll of paper towels. "It's Soup, Nettle Soup! We'd it last night over at Grandma's house, remember?
"Colleen! Calm down and Go to your room! You'd made enough damage here; one of us will be there shortly after we clean this mess," Her mother yelled.
Dejected -- Colleen proceeded with her mother's orders by stomping the diced onions and potatoes from her green feet. She was about a foot away from the hallway when her father said in a self-controlled voice: "Aggie isn't dead! I saw her early this morning before I left for Grandma's house; she was in the hallway engaged in a turbulent battle between the shadows and the light. It appeared that she wasn't winning."
Further frustrated by her father's comments, she stormed down the hall wondering if Aggie's fate was already doomed.
She agreed with her father: "We did eat at Grandma's house last night," Colleen muttered as she stopped at the place where Aggie's green paw tracks disappeared. "I wonder how many cat lives she has left."
The hallway was quiet and cold, unlike her visit through it earlier this morning when hope was in the air. Now, that hope has seemed to fade away like the green prints below her. Indeed, it looked like a struggle did take place where the victor was set free and the victim is nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, Colleen recognized that her brother's room was emptied and the bathroom was occupied.
"Shhhhhh! Ryan, don't make a mess," a muffled voice said behind the door. "Ros, No! Let's put it in the toilet and flush it:
No one will ever know we did it."
Ros was Colleen's sixteen-year-old brother who was always up to no good; he was a born prankster. And someone who didn't fancy cats. His friend, Ryan, wasn't any different. In fact, most people call him Ros's long, lost brother.
"Wouldn't know what?" Colleen loudly said beating on the bathroom door.
"Nothin' tard! Get lost."
"I won't -- not until you two give me my Aggie back safely," She demanded.
"Aggie -- what?" The two boys said.
"Ros, Ryan I know she's in there. Now, open this door before I scream for help."
"Oh, poor pussyfoot wants her kitty cat back," Ros and Ryan teased back. "Pussyfoot, Pussyfoot, Pussyfoot..."
"Ok, one-two-three: Mommmm, Dadddd."
"Ok, ok, Ryan, let the big sissy in," Ros ordered.
The door was quickly unlocked and opened, but Colleen was quick to discover that Aggie wasn't there, at least anymore.
"What have ya'll done?" She inquired.
"Nothin' baby," Ros said. "Now, leave us alone," Ryan demanded.
"Then why's the toilet water so green, huh?" Colleen's eyes began to fill up with water, again. "Ya'll flushed my Aggie to China."
"What? That's stupid!"
"Her blood is all over your hands."
"Her blood? What -- no, this is food coloring goofy," Ros stated. "Yea, goofy-nut we tried to look for some of the dye your Grandma gave you, but you must've hidden it," Ryan claimed.
"Then where's Aggie?"
"Heck, shall I know? That cat doesn't like me at all, you know that. And Ryan is more of a dog person, sorry."
"The dye -- what dye? Oh, yes, the green dye with the spider top. That's on my dresser," Colleen claimed.
"Not anymore it isn't, right Ryan?"
"It was there last night when I went to bed."
"Right! Ros, though I do recall seeing an odd little creature at the end of her bed early this morning, remember Ros?"
"Oh, yes, I've almost forgot."
"What odd little creature?" Colleen questioned with a worrywart look on her face.
"Well, it was small and ugly. . . Don't forget hairy and green lookin', Ryan."
"Maybe it was a Leprechaun?" Ros stated. "Or, better yet, a Leprechaun who eats small and furry things," Ryan jokingly said.
"Where did it go?" Colleen asked in a fearful tone.
"Again, how should we know? We didn't stick 'round; it's possible that thing is still hiding somewhere in your room. Maybe waiting to eat you."
Colleen was once again dumbfounded; she didn't know what or who to believe anymore. The fact that a real life Leprechaun lurks in her room sent her sagging heart into the bottom of her throat. She knew as she turned around and walked out of the bathroom what she'd to do. Aggie's paw prints were her motivation; no matter how scared she was at that moment, no matter the outcome -- she must come face-to-face with the mysterious being that caused harm to her cat.
She gently tip-toed, following what must've been Aggie's final paw prints on earth, back to the entrance of her room. She wondered if Ros and Ryan were right: Maybe the Leprechaun is waiting for her. Maybe it does want to eat her. With her knees knocking and her palms sweating, Colleen decided to hide behind the bedroom wall, so that she could take baby peeks into her room without disturbing the creature.
She took a short peek in and saw nothing out of the ordinary. In addition, she took a medium peek in -- a little longer than the first -- again, she saw nothing. Finally, she decided it was all-or-nothing. She was going to find her Aggie if it was her last breath.
"Here goes nothing, Colleen," she said to herself. "One, Two, Three!"
Colleen leaped inside her room and noticed everything was the same: The room resembled the feeling of the hallway. It was cold and quiet; the green stains were still covering her bedspread. However, she noticed something new.
"They were right; my green dye bottle isn't on my dresser."
As she placed her hands on the dresser where the bottle once stood, she felt a familiar sensation between her fingers. It was cold, thick, and very green and remnants of it ran down the side of her dresser.
"Poor Aggie, then it's true," Colleen gasped as she wiped her hands across the chest of her white T-shirt.
Colleen then heard footsteps coming down the hall. Could it be the Leprechaun had always lived throughout the house? She didn't care anymore; Aggie's green blood had already stained her heart for one day. Aggie was already in a better place and soon she would join her.
As the footsteps came closer and closer to her door, Colleen decided to fall forward in her bed and wait for her fate. At the very moment, Colleen fell forward the footsteps stopped outside her room; and a loud, high-pitched screeching meowwwwwww came out from under the bed.
"Colleen, look at this mess," her mother angrily said. "Well, Colleen it appears you found a four-legged Leprechaun. And who would of thought it, she was right underneath the rainbow," her father said, laughing ever-so lightly.
"No, that Leprechaun creature ate Aggie. She's dead," Colleen claimed with her head pressed into her soaked covers.
"No, sweetheart, I beg to differ with ya. Aggie is very much alive, just a little green around the edges, And wearing a black spider around her neck," her father explained.
"Look for yourself, darling."
Colleen turned on her back to see her parents holding a strange, little green creature. "Aggie, Aggie... Your, Your alive. But how? But where... where were you?"
Looking around her room, Colleen realized something: the tiny prism that hung from her window, not only makes a colorful rainbow that a Leprechaun would love, but it also displays a spectrum of dancing lights at where the spider top dye bottle would have sat on her dresser last night.
Holding her green-colored feline tightly in her arms, she only said what she knew. "Aggie, you tangoed with the Irish and became one of them."
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