To mark St Patrick’s Day, and the beautiful rainbow over the New York Stadium in Rotherham yesterday, which may very well have had a pot of gold at the end of it, here’s a short excerpt from The Leprechaun Next Door. It’s the moment when Devon finds out about his new friend Johnny’s true nature:
“No, it’s the best idea.” He produced two shot glasses and put them and the bottle on the table. He sat on the couch next to Devon so that he could unscrew the bottle cap and pour each of them a shot. “Down in one, okay?”
Devon followed Johnny’s lead, swallowing the poteen in one big gulp. It burned a noxious, fiery trail down his throat, and he shuddered.
“Better already, I’ll bet.” Johnny poured another round. This time he raised his glass in a toast. “To making new friends.”
“New friends,” Devon echoed, the second shot going down a little more smoothly than the first.
Johnny turned to look at him. “You’ve told me all about losing your job and your asshole boyfriend, so while we’re trading life stories and secrets, let me share mine with you. But you need to come a little closer first.” He patted the couch beside him. Devon wondered if this was some kind of come-on, but he still shuffled up to sit next to Johnny, so close that their thighs pressed together. The heat of Johnny’s skin was obvious even through the two layers of denim between them. Johnny lowered his voice until it was little more than a whisper. “I’m a leprechaun.”
Devon snorted. “Right. Now I know I’ve had too much to drink.”
“I’m telling you the truth.” Johnny fixed him with his dazzling green gaze, the look in his eyes one of utter sincerity.
“Oh, come on. I’ve seen those guys on the cereal packets, and you look nothing like them.”
“That’s a cruel and unfair stereotype, peddled by a world that hates us and wants to steal our treasure.”
“Yeah, yeah, very funny.” Devon tried to rise from his seat, wobbled, clutched the arm of the chair, and sat down again. Man, that poteen stuff has really gone to my head. Who’d have thought something made from potatoes could be so lethal? “But you can’t be a leprechaun. I mean, they’re, like, this high.” He lifted a hand, indicating a spot about three feet off the ground. “And they’re loud and belligerent. They’re definitely not—” He stopped himself before he said hot.
“If we want to live among humans, we have to blend in. Take on their form.” It sounded so reasonable when Johnny said it. As Devon gazed at him he had to admit if that was the case, Johnny had chosen the cutest form he could have found.