Just as the Leprechaun guards his pot of gold from rainbow-chasers, the Leperchaun flees the people who follow his trail of rotted-off appendages.
Why people would follow a trail of bloody fingers… toes… or worse, I have no idea.
Sometimes, it’s the police, After that John Wayne Bobbit incident, anything’s possible, really.
The dogs sniff out a trail, which leads to the miserable creature, hunched over a pot of glue.
With antibiotics, he can be cured of the horrible affliction. But the disfigurement is permanent.
With prosthetics and a 3D printed half-mask, he’ll still look like a goddamned Irish midget.
It took thirty days to render an immersion matrix for Jack.
Technicians tested it thoroughly for paradoxes and anomalies.
“It’s ready,” they said.
Jack was plugged into the matrix and we calibrated sensors so he wouldn’t realize that he wasn’t in the real world.
Everyone and everything he’d encounter in that matrix would be generated by it. Even Jack would be rendered by that matrix.
“It’s working,” said the technicians. “He doesn’t realize anything.”
For ninety years, we kept Jack running, and he thought he lived a full and happy life.
“We did well,” I said.
And they unplugged me.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but I’ve found that a leather bullwhip is just as effective.
Especially when it’s one of those doctors that tries to avoid patients as much as possible, packing in way too many appointments for the day and having the nurses do all those blood pressure and height and weight things.
“The doctor will be with you in a moment,” is such a lie, as same as “This won’t hurt a bit.” and “You don’t need that bullwhip.”
Oh hell yes I do! I say, and I crack the whip, grinning wide.
I know that Jim Varney died of lung cancer a few years ago. He’s the guy who played Ernest in those movies and commercials. You know, the ones where the hillbilly pokes in the window and shouts HEY VERN!
If you think about it, we’re all Vern. Ernest is shouting all this stupid crap at us, over and over.
But if we were Vern, wouldn’t we lock our doors? Or latch the windows shut?
Sure, Ernest was an idiot, but letting him back in over and over, what does that say about us.
Maybe Vern left out packs of cigarettes?
Fred is a complainer. All he ever does is complain.
“How are you, Fred?” are the four most dangerous words in the English language. And, if Fred spoke any other language, they’d be just as dangerous in that, too. Instead, he complains about people who speak other languages.
“Why must people speak these other languages? Are they hiding something from us?”
Then he changes the subject to something like the weather, his job, his health, or whatever is bothering him.
Then, one day, when asked how he’s doing, he said “Eh, I can’t complain.”
We called the ambulance for him.
Our baby lived seven days.
She never breathed on her own.
Seven days of tubes. And wires. And beeps.
So many beeps. And then.
She never breathed on her own.
When they asked us if we wanted to hold her, we just sat there. We said nothing.
They opened the glass door, pulled out the tubes, pulled off the tape, unhooked the wires, and took her away.
We watched without watching.
The Sisters Of Mercy came, and they asked us if we needed anything. Do we need anything, they asked.
We just sat there. We said nothing.
Just seven days
I never have nice dreams anymore.
Instead, I have the absolute worst nightmares.
I’ve stopped with the waking up screaming. Part because I’m too exhausted to scream.
I used to be inspired by my nightmares. I could use bits and pieces of them to create my stories.
But I don’t have any of those kinds of nightmares anymore.
It’s not what I eat or drink that’s causing it.
It’s just getting worse and worse on its own.
My doctor wants me to start taking pills. What if they make things even worse?
At least it inspired me to write, yes?