"The name's Sherlock, and it's not Sherlock Holmes. It's Sherlock Winston, gents."
That was the first thing I told my fifth grade class in a fake thick English accent.
Born and bred in the country of the US of A (for the first fifteen years of my life, that is), with potluck parents who emigrated from Europe, I was a rascal. Named after the famous detective that only literature classics knew by heart, I lived up to the name by becoming the same devilish rogue Holmes was. Despite my very female parts, I carried my trusty magnifying glass with me everywhere…even if it was made out of some cheap plastic my granddad bestowed upon me.
My granddad and me had loads of fun before his passing. He always delivered missions with his trusty one-eyed pigeon, Cyclops, whenever he needed an errand done. But it wasn't easy, because the ole' devil would encrypt secret messages and foreign words into the message, which needed to be completed within a specific time frame.
That old toot!
But I had no regrets! Even when my grandmother and mother spat in my direction for becoming more of a tomboy than a girly girl, I loved getting down and dirty when it came to challenges.
It did not amuse my parents.
At the age of fourteen my granddad passed away in his bed when grandma attempted to liven up their lives, much to my disgust. I heard dad telling mom how the blood circulating in his body wasn't carrying enough oxygen for the old man.
It was the saddest day of my life.
And the adventures of Sherlock Winston were put to a rest.
My mother attacked me on my fifteenth birthday with frills, skirts, and the repulsing color of pink. She dolled me up as she had done with my older sister when that whore entered high school. I was a tomboy, dammit. I wanted to run in the wilderness and explore the mighty depths of the adventures Mother Nature gave us with her lustrous leaves and barren wastelands. It called for me, made my blood sing whenever I watched the discovery channel. But my mother had Chanel (the older sister who slept with a quarter of the swim team) teach me the ways of a woman, and was quick to reprimand me whenever I was an inch away of soiling my clothes.
I bore the asphyxiation of makeup and tween magazines with a fortitude my granddad would've be proud of for the first three months. But that came to a speeding stop when an attractive asshole on the basketball team decided to cope a feel.
The police managed to convince the parents to release the charges (which they were obviously going to lose) and filed away the hospital report of Jacob's testicular retrieval and rhinoplasty.
Because of the number I had done to that scum-sucking dog, my parents decided that we should move away from the Yank's land and head over to Europe.
And that's where I'm currently residing: in fuckin' Ireland.
I didn't bother furthering my education after my twelfth year.
My mother was infuriated at the thought of her daughter not going forth with college, while her twinkle-eyed princess whore of a daughter graduated from Princeton with a law degree within four short years. I mean, it's not like I'm going to end up pregnant with a random man's seed in my belly while I hit the bars. It's nothing like that! But my sister twisted the mind of my mother, manipulated her, and supposedly relied her concerns of my wellbeing for the future.
And what happens? That slut got my mother to put me in some high-end office as a receptionist for a millionaire. A millionaire who was the CEO of his own technological company (second to Microsoft), which had stocks flying off the charts and people desperate for a simple interview for his name and details of the charities he placed around the world. It was despicable, because I had turned in a resume and did all I can to make myself sound as a trashy woman with an IQ of twenty.
And I was accepted.
Because that bitch of a sister pulled strings and relished in my agony of being snapped up in a business appropriate dress wear along with black four-inch heels when I would very much rather prefer hiking boots, ripped up dirty jeans, and a checkered plaid. But it wasn't happening, and soon enough I was moved into the city by the demand of my parents. I damned my sister to hell and even conjured the most believable of witchcraft and voodoo against her, but nothing worked!
I don't know how she did it, but I was working as a receptionist/secretary for the head honcho because of her revolting act of sleeping her way up top.
I obviously hated my sister, as you can tell.
Chanel was a true bitch.
Did you know she almost had my named changed with the blessings of my parents a year ago?
"Sherlock is a man's name, mother. It would simply be best for us to change Sherlock's name to something more feminine. After all, who wants a wife with not only a man's name, but a man's face?"
I didn't have time to gorge her eyes out. My mother hesitated at first because my granddad had been the one to name me, but soon agreed when she became concerned for my future nonexistent husband. Of course, I fought against my mother and sister, hissing and spitting like the true hellcat I was until the topic was dropped. There was no way I was going to change my name.
If that happened, that would be the end of granddad and his adventures.
And nothing could steal me from that, nothing.
So, that was that. Here I am typing away like the devil to convert paper documents to electronic word documents that needed to be saved on a USB for the mailman who was to deliver it to an important client of Mr. O'Malley.
Personally, I haven't seen the face of Mr. O'Malley and had no wish to do so. This here, this cubicle here was my personal hell, and I would do anything to keep away from Lucifer who had accepted me so easily simply by accepting my horrendous resume.
"Here's another one for you, Ms. Winston." A pudgy woman placed a one-inch thick folder upon my desk.
I eyed it with distain. "Don't tell me this is needs to be typed up as well."
She nodded. "And delivered by three." Doris turned heel and said over her shoulder, "Keep your eye on the clock, girly!"
A low whine echoed from my throat as I placed my head on the desk. I wanted to bash it repeatedly into the very expensive mahogany of the corner but refrained myself from looking more of a bigger fool to my competitive fellow secretary.
See, I had no idea why, but this asshole assigned two secretaries for himself.
And I bet anything on my yellow-starred underwear that she was sleeping with him. There was nothing more revolting that the smirk she threw towards my direction whenever she exited his office. Shit, I'd never seen the man, and she's already slept with him within a week of her job!
"I bet you and my sister would be grand friends." I said beneath my breath as the snake entered his office.
I sighed and leaned back against my chair. The many folders next to my computer were horribly growing by the minute. It was like a fungus!
As much as I wanted to disappear and quit, I couldn't.
My fingers typed restlessly over the keyboard. I was continuously glancing the data plans, spreadsheets, company revenue, schedules, ideas, and intricate technological designs of future computer models without really reading it. My job was a boring one and I had no desire to sell any information to competing companies; a huge fine, including an irate suing boss wouldn't do me any good.
"Did you finish the first folder?" Anya asked, smiling sickeningly as she exited the CEO's office.
"No," I said.
She gave off a small hmph and went to her desk. "Of course you wouldn't be finished by now. You're too new to this work."
I swear to god my eyes were going to end up at the back of my head from her stupid remarks. "Of course you can't count the two years we've been working side by side." I replied so sweetly that my mouth was probably overfilled with cavities.
Anya glared at me. "I know you've been working for two years, idiot. Hell, we got hired at the same time! I was talking about the documents you're typing up. You're always wasting your time filing away papers and faxing letters to even work on a computer, you Neanderthal." She flipped her hair over her should before retrieving a small mirror from her drawer. Anya puckered her lips and applied a thick layer of lip-gloss. "You should be fired. You're no use to this company. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, you didn't even attend college."
"Oh, and you're community college associate degree is something special, right?"
Anya snarled. "Bitch!"
"Ah, ah, ah," I chided. "You know what they say about cursing?"
"It'll make the pimples come out." I then leaned over my desk and squinted towards her as if I was scrutinizing her face. "Oh, wait, I think there's something red and blotchy at the corner of your lips."
Her hand whipped up.
"Nope, that's not it. That must be the herpes you contracted last night."
Anya's face flushed with anger. "I do not have herpes."
"That's what you think." I snorted and continued typing while ignoring the angry ranting coming from her desk. Our desks were at the opposite sides of the room with the CEO's office in the middle of one side, and the entrance on the other. This floor was the thirty-seventh one of this whole building and it was mighty high. I force myself to glue my eyes down and ignored the beautiful city life scenery of Dublin in order to keep my sanity.
I continued to type and type away, handing off deliveries and receiving more files until the windows tinted darker to signify the change of time. As much as I hated this place, I wanted to stay.
My cellphone vibrated and I snuck a look to see a message from my mother.
I hop u catch plane hom. Stay safe xoxo
Even though she completely dismantled her text, I understood her crystal clear.
Two weeks ago, I scheduled my vacation hours to be taken for the next three days so I would be able to visit my family in Inistioge in the County of Kilkenny. Because this job was grand and very well paid, I was forced to live in the city of Dublin rather than stay in the homey small town of Inistioge. I lived at the east coast of Ireland while my family huddled south of it just sixty to eighty miles south much to their luck. In a sense, I was happy to finally breath in fresh air rather than this polluted joint.
I leaned back into my chair and sighed as the computer was whining and humming as it shut down. My green eyes glanced at the door of Mr. O'Malley.
"He never goes home early, you sod." Anya sighed, adding additional piles of work onto her desk to stay till midnight. "Don't get any ideas of staying any longer, you hear?"
Obviously, she was threatened a simple look.
"Relax, you bloke." I said casually as she fumed. "I'm leaving now." I grabbed my purse and slung the strap over my shoulder as my feet cried out in agony as I was forced to stand in these wretched heels. Without a goodbye, I walked away and took the elevator down.
As soon as I returned home, I simply grabbed my luggage I had prepared the night before, turned off everything, lock the apartment door, and my way back to the cab I had called as soon as I had left work.
"Whe'rr tew lass?"
I stared out of the window as the buildings flew past. The colors of the nightlife reflected off of my blank face as I thought about my visit home.
I hadn't been home since I left at the age of nineteen due to my over controlling sister and mother. As much as I loved my mother, she had the ability to grate my nerves to the bone. And because of it, I hadn't visited my mother and father over the last four years. They were satisfied with the calls home of the very vague details of my horrendously boring life and never did bother me to come for a visit. Even if I wanted to, I don't think I'd be able to with how busy my work was. There was never really any time for me to mingle with colleagues, and make friends; hell, I didn't even date.
It wasn't just in my thought of mind.
And it somewhat frightened me.
From where I was this outgoing, rowdy girl, I had become an introverted woman. I hadn't realized the death of my granddad was also the death of my adventures.
I had become the infamous businesswoman.
As soon as I was seated in the plane, I closed my eyes and ignored the man who was leering at me. I knew of his intentions and had no wish to reciprocate such unnecessary feelings.
And with that, I dreamt.
In my dream, I was standing in the familiar underbrush of my home back in Nebraska. The cornfield I was currently in belonged to a neighbor of mine when I was a child, an old man who allowed children to play and run along inside as long as they didn't damage his property. It was my haven.
My granddad would join me on my escapades when no one would play, bringing out the plastic magnifying glass he had purchased for me on my seventh birthday and told me to study the tracks. He had an overwhelming mind of imagination. His words were intricate and detailed to a point where as a child I believed I was running from a hoard of rhinos in Africa, swimming with the elephants in India, hunting with the tigers in Asia, and hunting for food in South America. Granddad never failed to play along with me even when others labeled him as a crazy old man.
I looked around the cornfields and it didn't take long for me to find a small girl.
She was a small lanky thing. With black uncontrollable girls bouncing at each step, and wary eyes studying the sight before her, the small girl was unspeakably stealthy. She crouched low, narrowing her eyes and perking her ears to the slightest sound of footfall. Wearing a small pink church dress, the nine-year-old girl swirled around in her Sunday shoes and exclaimed, "Granddad."
When the corns parted, I nearly cried.
"Kit!" Granddad exclaimed, using an affectionate nickname for his hellcat of a granddaughter. "Did you see the jaguars?"
"Yes, granddad!" the girl whispered loudly and placed the length of her index finger upon her pouty pink lips. "But you must be quiet, granddad, or they'll run away!"
I walked closer to them and stood just a foot behind as I watched the two interacting.
"Oh!" The old man silenced his words and gingerly walked towards his Sherlock Holmes till she was satisfied. "Where at they?"
Sherlock, the girl, shushed him once more before gingerly parting the cornstalks in front of her. There in sight were two small stuffed animals. The Persian cats plushies her mother had gotten for her sixth birthday sat there on their bums with their necks hanging low from the lack of cotton in their neck. "Look, granddad! It's the jaguars!"
"What a beaut!" he said, crouching till he was at her level. "What do you say we capture them for supper?"
"Ew, granddad, no!" the girl shrieked. "We can't eat them!"
"Then what do you say we do?"
The girl frowned before looking back at her dolls. "We catch them."
"For their furs."
I laughed along with my granddad. The sound of his raspy, wheezing laughter reverberated in my mind before I woke. The dream perhaps was a string of memories for before I knew it, the plane had landed. I blinked rapidly and swiped away the reminiscence of my tears, scowling at my weakness to even cry. Straightening my blouse, I stood and exited the plane along with the other passengers.
As I walked through the small airport, I had already seen my father.
"Sherlock!" he yelled.
I smiled and wrapped my arms around my father. "Hello, dad."
He laughed before extracting himself from my arms. "Well, look at you! You've changed!" His hands, which smelled like fish due to his fisherman status in the town, gently tugged at the curls hanging just below my ears. "Oh, your mother is going to throw a fit." He laughed.
I chuckled and touched my hair, conscious of my haircut. Throughout my entire childhood, my sister and I were forced to keep our hair beneath our shoulders. She detested short haircuts and called out mean derogatory names to the famous celebrities with adorable bob cuts.
It was the first thing I had done as soon as I moved for good. I cut my wavy, curly hair to my mid-neck.
I didn't reply to his comment as he grabbed my luggage and dragged it out of the small town's airport. My father was the exact image of a fisherman. He wore brown construction boots with Levi jeans. His shirt, which my mother had probably picked, was white and untucked. I would assume he had dressed himself because if my mother had dressed him, he would look nothing like this.
Patiently, I listened to my father talk and talk about the town that had changed in as little as four years. The son of a fisherman married a city woman and was living in a small home built just adjacent to my parents. The port by the river was ripped down due to the McLaughlin's boy who drowned there last summer.
It came to a point where I was tiring of my father's stories as I knew he was doing all he can to avoid a certain subject.
"Grammy?" I finally asked.
He fell silent.
"Your mother's brother took your grandmother's body back to Norway. Her funeral was a week ago. Your mother and I attended the funeral and returned as soon as they buried the casket along with your grandfather," he said solemnly. His hands tightened on the steering wheel as he approached the subject of my sensitive mother. "Your mother may seem fine over the phone, but she is suffering."
I stayed quiet and merely nodded.
"How's Dublin?" he asked, changing the dreary subject to a lighter one.
"Good," I simply replied with nothing more to say.
"You, uhhh," he hesitated. "You meet anyone?" My father broaching onto the category of my love life was something too uncomfortable to converse with. If I didn't know any better, I felt like my father wanted me to marry off quickly rather than my mother.
My father sighed. "Your mother is going to have a grand with you."
"I was never her favorite."
"There are no favorites in this family, Sherlock."
I said nothing. The lush hills of green grasped my attention. I stared out the window to enjoy the view of the many different colors of cows lazily munching on the grass of the town. They mooed and brayed at the vehicle moving past them slowly. One or two even attempted to follow the car as it made its way to the sleepy town of Inistioge. Dawn was peeking just over the hills for a small hello to the world as we finally reached our destination.
A rooster crowed at the back of the house by the time I entered my home.
"Sherlock!" My mother cried and was just about to embrace me when her matching green eyes noticed my hair. "Your hair!" she screamed.
I smiled and shrugged. "Hello, mom."
"Why is your hair short?"
"How are you? How's home—"
After the mini-dueling with my mother with dragon flames and sharp javelins, we laid down our weapons and walked to the kitchen. She ushered me to a chair and started cooking with the enthusiasm of a million dollar winner.
"How are you, Sherlock?"
"Good," I said, sipping at the glass of water.
Her green eyes narrowed as she glanced at me. She pursed her lips before sighing and continued to cook. "You never tell me anything really, don't you?" she said, putting on the frilly pink apron hanging off near the sink. "I just realized that, hmmm." My mother flipped over the most gigantic sausage I'd ever laid my eyes upon in the pan as she cracked eggs over another flaming pan. "How's work? And don't say 'good', because I want something detailed. I didn't sacrifice my own daughter for the greater good simply to receive lacking answers, Sherlock."
I swore my eyes were going to go missing. "Everything's fine, mom. I don't say much because there isn't anything that's going on. Believe me, if I had something interesting to say, I would say it without any hesitation."
She made a small sound of agreement. "True. When you were a child, I thought you'd never shush. I swore you were talking a thousand words per minute."
I chuckled at that.
"That was very boyish now that I think about it," my mother said, throwing the sausages and eggs, along with a biscuit and chunk of cheese on the plate before placing it before me with an additional two more. "You were always too much of a boy."
Before I can question the other two plates, another voice spoke.
"You can say that again."
Every single cell in my body froze at the sound of Chanel's voice. I didn't react to her talking at all as I neatly cut my sausages into small pieces.
My perfect sister sat before me and I eyed her with distain. She was everything I wasn't. Where I looked like some low down receptionist (which I was) who belonged to the series of The Office, my sister was a high end, role model of a lawyer. At seven o' clock, she was already freshened up and dolled like the bitch she is. Her blond hair was as straight as a plank, curling inwards at the end whereas mine was short and curly like the devil. Blue eyes were mature and sharp, where mine was green and childish.
She had a tall, slender model-like body, and I had a short, pudgy pin-up one.
Chanel bested me in everything and did everything she can to rub it in my face.
I hated my sister.
"Connor?" My mother asked. "Is he coming down soon?"
"Oh, he won't be up for a while. He looked so tired from the trip here, I left him to sleep in a little longer." Chanel said with a sigh. She eyed the plate of deliciousness with such revulsion I expected the food to wither from her stare. She pushed away the plate and looked at our mother. "Mom, do you have salad?"
"Yes, yes, my dear!" And off my mother went.
"Connor?" I asked.
My sister smirked at me, her red lips heavily contrasted against her pale skin. "My fiancé."
I sat there in shock. "You're engaged?"
"Been engaged for a while now." Chanel laughed. "But that's not interesting. How's the work? You know, that job I hooked you up with at Dublin. God knows you wouldn't be able to do anything if your older sister wasn't there for her baby sister. You couldn't do anything if I wasn't there for you, Sherlock."
"Oh yeah, because you know, I greatly appreciate you sleeping with everyone just to get me a boring job."
"You better. After all, you and I would be nowhere if I hadn't given you your job."
I frowned in confusion. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Chanel merely flashed me the back of her hand so that the engagement ring settled upon her ring finger glittered at me with the help of the morning sun. "It means that I'm engaged to your boss."
"Wait, you're married to Mr. O'Malley?"
"Correcto!" The power hungry whore said, snapping her fingers. "Imagine that. I get you your job, and I got myself the perfect husband." Chanel sighed dreamily. "It seems as if my hard work paid off."
"Oh, yeah, how many people did you sleep with to meet him?"
"Doesn't matter. All that matter is that I'm married to the CEO of the leading technological industries. And that means big money, big status, and recognition in my hard work and position. Now I can go somewhere in my life and make my name just as big as my husband's."
"Future husband," I corrected.
"Whatever," she rolled her eyes. At that time, my mother returned from gathering vegetables from the garden to prepare for my sister naturally. "Thank you, mom," Chanel smiled sickeningly sweet to my mother and grabbed her silverware. Her blue eyes eyed me as I munched on the sausage and sneered. "You look like you gained weight."
"You, too." I quipped. "Your implants are probably the ones stacking the numbers, though."
"Sherlock!" my mother reprimanded.
Just before my sister could say anything, someone entered the room.
I turned my head to finally look upon the man who had hired me since four years ago.
His brown hair was swept up to the side like a charming prince from a Disney movie. He had a dental ad smile and dimples digging into his cheeks like a cherubic angel. He was decently dressed with black slacks, a blue buttoned up dressing shirt, and black dressing shoes. His dressing shirt was rolled up to his elbows as the day was starting to warm up from the rising sun. His brown eyes twinkled with mirth as he regarded my mother and sister. When he turned to me, he cocked his head to the side. "And you must be Sherlock."
"That is correct, Mr. O'Malley." I stood up, smoothed out my wrinkled clothes and held out a hand. "Sherlock Winston."
"She works under you, honey," Chanel added.
At first, he seemed a bit thrown off. But soon, he gathered some confidence and shook my hand. "That is right. I am Mr. O'Malley, head of the office!"
I eyed him at his awkward word choice as he stepped back and hugged my sister.
"Good morning, babe," he said, aiming to kiss her mouth.
"Lipstick," Chanel said quickly and offered her cheek instead.
He laughed lowly and pecked her cheek.
"Well, sit, sit!" My mother gestured to the chair next to Chanel and forcibly sat him down. She then started talking at 100mph, ignoring my sister and I as we were left to our ugly battle for the best. Just as I was about to remind my sister of the photo of her horrid hairstyle she had gotten for her Sweet Sixteen, my father entered the kitchen.
He sat down and munched on his breakfast while profusely thanking Connor for hiring his younger daughter and marrying the oldest.
"You're an honorable man, Connor." My father commented.
When the scene became too much for me, I excused myself from the table and went upstairs to my old room. I dragged my luggage my father left at the foot of the front door and hauled my aching, exhausted body to the room.
It was just as I left it. I shut the door, threw myself upon the clean sheets and closed my eyes.
There was nothing but peace.
"Dude, are you in a coma or something?"
My eyes literally cried from being forcibly opened from the sweet darkness surrounding me only to land upon the most grotesque human upon earth. Chanel sat perched upon the corner of my bed, staring at my poster of maps and animals taped to walls of my room. She turned to me sitting up on my bed and lobbed something towards me.
Whatever it was, it was a heavy fucker.
"Fuck!" I yelped, bringing in my ankle to my body as it throbbed from the impact. "Stupid whore," I snapped, glaring at her with all my might.
Chanel laughed. "I'm not even sorry at all!"
"Why would you be? You're the devil."
"Oh, stop it, you," she said. Chanel nodded towards the object she threw. "That's our grandmother's jewelry box. She left it to me from what her will had said."
I continued to rub my bruising ankle and peered down at the small wooden box. It wasn't too big, something very simple and plain. I could understand why my sister brought it to me now. "You don't want it."
"Nope. Not really my cup of tea, you know." Chanel said with a wave of her hand. "I'm not crazy about the plain brown of it. It doesn't even have any neat designs or whatsoever. So, I decided to courteously allow my little sister to keep it, you know, cause I'm nice and all."
I said nothing as I picked it up. It was heavy, weighing with whatever was in the box. As soon as I opened it, my sister stood up abruptly and waved her hand.
"I'm off. Mom wants to know if you want dinner. You nearly slept throughout the day, Mr. Holmes," she said evilly before whisking off.
I barely gave Chanel any attention as I peered inside of the box.
There were innumerous sundries of jewelries and bracelets that I knew my sister wouldn't have any interest in immediately. I gently scavenged through them, thinking of my grammy as I went through each piece. I knew my mother was very sensitive with the death of both her parents. It was one of the reasons why Chanel decided to do this in private rather than in front of my mother and ruin her perfect sister status in my parent's eyes.
My fingers tenderly traced the outline of the box and the interior.
A small crack caught my attention.
Turning on the light next to my bedside, I sat up straight in bed and brought the box to my eye level. I squinted them and stared at the small crack, which had something white peeking out of it. "What in the world?"
Gently, I tugged at the white piece until a small thin layer from the wooden box fell open easily.
With that, a piece of paper was revealed.
I stared at it for a moment before grabbing it and opening it from its many folded times. Grammy must've hidden this here. But what could it be?
"Green leaves, fine grass,
Big trees, many pass.
One find, one well,
For a leprechaun is for the sell.
Jīn, Jīn, Jīn.
A myth! A myth! A myth!
But no, 'tis not!
One must find the jīn,
In a witch's pot!
Richer in life,
And richer in heart.
Richer in soul,
Never to part."
My heart stopped as I read through this small message for I knew whom it was from: granddad.
I let out a heartbreaking laugh, almost relieve to find something that belonged to him. It seemed as if even in his death he was still leaving clues out for me to find. But I frowned at it. Why would my grandmother have it? It puzzled me. She despised the games my granddad and I would play and never made it a secret to hide her disgust at our adventures from my ears.
It didn't matter.
I flew to my small desk and cleared the top. I pushed away my historical, classical books and slammed the paper on it. I placed the jewelry box off to the side in case there were more clues to be found from the entrapment. I ripped out a college-ruled paper from my notebook and immediately wrote down my clues: green, trees, pass, well, leprechaun, rainbow, agua, pot, 52°35′08″N 7°25′30″W, and jīn.
The desperation to solve this puzzle roiled through my veins like boiling water. I could feel my skin tingling from it.
It was almost as if I was being reborn like a phoenix, beautiful, spiritual, and living.
The adventure was coming. I could feel it.
As I had slept through the day of my first stay, throughout the night, I ripped apart the message. Like a literature maniac, I went through books like wildfire. My eyes were interpreting each line into three different ideas. My laptop was on a whir. I was amazed that I had gotten a signal from the neighbors, because in a town like this, the Internet wasn't so much of a commodity. As I translated words, meanings, and lines, it was dawn once again.
And I was not tired.
"What does this mean?" I asked myself, frowning at the message I tore into pieces.
Was Señorita Rainbow a person? Did she have a second part of the message? What was this about a leprechaun?
There was only one way to find out and I had a place.
I went to a search engine and put in the longitude and latitude into their places and waited. I couldn't believe that it was in Ireland. The picture of Ireland zoomed in, all the way till it was in the small town of Inistioge and suddenly veer off to the right.
The excitement of it was nearly killing me. It was not far! Just a bit away to the east! And she was going to go find it as a last parting wish to her grandmother and grandfather.
I threw myself into the shower, sticking my tongue out childishly to my sister who approached the single restroom (in the entire house) with the intention of washing herself before slamming the door shut. I grinned at the early morning screaming coming from her and ignored her. I washed myself, taking my sweet, sweet time with the warm water till it cooled.
As I walked out, my sister was hissing and sneering at me, throwing insults and names to try and bring me down, but I cared not.
I had no care in the world for her because I had an adventure.
I quickly dried myself and threw on some jean shorts that haven't seen the light of day from my old closet. With a small navy shirt that had a small v-cut at the chest, I finished off my entire wardrobe with hiking boots and a red bandana tied at the head to keep away my bangs. Snatching my handy plastic magnifying glass from the drawer of my desk, I shoved it in my pocket along with the message and my scribbles of findings on the other paper.
Holy crud, I'm finally on an adventure!
I sped down the stairway and was about to burst out of the house when the dreadful voice of my sister was heard.
"What…are you wearing?" she asked with such disgust I was surprised there weren't any worms or bugs crawling out of her mouth.
My mother appeared from behind my sister with a smile that could light an orphanage only to be ripped away when she noticed what I was wearing. "What…I thought I got rid of those as soon as you moved out!" she cried, distressed from the semi-tomboyish clothes I wore. As if she knew what had happened, she snarled and turned to the innocent bystander fiddling with his shirt. "You took them out of the garbage?" she shrieked.
Dad mumbled something incoherently and sulked to the kitchen as my mom snapped at him like a vicious dog.
"Go in the kitchen and eat your breakfast!" she yelled at me.
I groaned loudly and lowly, letting everyone hear my frustration (including Connor) and sat myself on the chair. The fork was placed into my hand and I stabbed at the eggs with such fury my dad was giving the plate a sympathizing look.
"Look at you," my mom said. "Just look at you! If I wanted you to dress like a boy, Sherlock, I would've given birth to a boy! Not a beautiful, lovely girl like you!"
"It's not even that bad!" I said sarcastically, pointing at my shirt. "Look! I can show off my bosom as much as I want as well as my legs!"
"That's not ladylike," Chanel commented.
I sneered at her. "Well, at least they're real."
Connor blinked his doe brown eyes in perplexity. "What?"
Chanel's beautiful face twisted into something ugly as she leaned towards me, uncaring that her precious CEO of a fiancé was staring at her with a look of astonishment. "Yeah, says the unsuccessful daughter who can't even find a man, and who can't even find a job without the help of her older sister." Chanel huffed and crossed her arms. "Sometimes I think having a dog will be more useful than having you as a sister."
Yep, those words hurt.
"Why are you being such a bitch?" I ignored my mom's gasp. "Did you forget your vibrator or something?"
Chanel shook her head in absolute repugnance. "Classy, Sherlock, classy."
"Sherlock Anna Marie Winston! You will apologize to your sister this instant!" my mother screeched.
"Why?" I yelled, throwing my fork on the table. "She's being snobby! She's a witch, mom!"
My mother, the woman who looks like a nice pudgy baker, collapsed on the chair next to Chanel and moaned piteously. "Why, why, why? I wanted a nice family gathering and instead I get the whole family fighting against each other. I just wanted to congratulate my oldest daughter's engagement, but no. What have I done to deserve this?"
"You should apologize to mom, Sherlock," Chanel said snidely.
"You should shut your trap, Chanel."
"You should get married, Sherlock," my mom said.
"You should…what?" I said in shock as my mother turned to me with a face even I started to fear. My heart was picking up the pace as her red-painted fingernails tapped against the wooden table with such ease, I felt like it was my death sentence.
My mother ignored my confused expression. "You should get married. Perhaps your husband can fix the ruffian that managed to wiggle out of my womb. I raised young ladies, not troublemaking boys! Look at your sister," my mother gestured towards a preening Chanel. "She's engaged and she's only twenty-six! You're twenty-three and you haven't dated a single man! Sherlock, go get married and you will turn into the lovely young woman I have always wanted you to be. You will want to be a little lady for your husband, Sherlock. It's for the best."
I wanted to hurl my plate against the wall and snarl at my mother's face. I was seething with anger, my inner beast (the animal every human ignores) wanted blood. My fingers twitched with the intent of closing in a fist and punching my sister's beautiful face. My heart beat rapidly, and my mind was going on an overload. But instead of doing any of this, instead of throwing back my chair and breaking the glass windows as much as I would like to, I started tearing up like a child.
Slowly, I pushed away from the table and walked towards the front door. I ignored my mother and father's calls and continued to walk.
And as I walked, I cried.
I was never going to be like my sister. I was never going to live up to my parent's expectations. I was the freckle-faced, dirty, troublemaking child nobody wanted as a daughter. Nobody wanted someone like me. My parents didn't.
I don't know why I even came here in the first place. Why didn't I ignore my parent's phone call? Why the hell did I pick it up?
Jesus Christ, I was such a fool.
I continued to walk and sob at the same time, ignoring the friendly hellos from the neighbors I've known as a child. As I noticed the lush green hills decorated with different cows, I abandoned the roadside and walked amongst the animals. The cows greeted me with their usual monotone voice, bumping into my gently and even attempted to play with me as they bucked and did their happy dance. A bitter smile played upon my lips as I walked by, allowing a hand to smooth their hide before moving on.
I wanted to be alone.
I didn't know what time it was by the time my legs were quaking with exhaustion. I felt beads of sweat dripping down my forehead and down my cheeks as the sun beat into me. I swiped a hand across my forehead and went to a small well that was placed in the middle of the green field.
The air swept across, gently gliding along my sweat-soaked skin as if offering me comfort. It felt wondrous and I leaned my head back to allow my short strands to move along with the wind.
This was one thing I loved about small towns in Ireland. The place was beautiful.
With no poison of the city life, this town was pure and clean. The green grass was so healthy it glowed with vitality in the night. The animals were friendly enough to come to play, and the waters from the lake and rivers were refreshing to the touch.
It was as if nothing could hurt you here. Nothing.
I moved along slowly towards the well and examined the inside of it. There was a rope that led downwards and a small handle to fetch water for the villagers. The well was made out of granite rocks from the olden days. During the Great Irish Famine, it was told that this specific well was used by thousands of people while the other wells had dried up.
"Well!" I exclaimed and scavenged for the poem in my pocket. "One find, one well, for a leprechaun is for the sell!"
…This absolutely made no sense.
I studied the poem once more and frowned. I looked up and turned around a few times to see if there was anything that matched my clues. My ears perked up at the sound of running water. Quickly, I jogged towards the water. The river had nothing for me. I scrutinized the area for more clues, but nothing matched my poem.
The fish in the water fled at the sight of me.
Almost in a sense of defeat, I sighed and glanced up only to see that there was something in the sky.
It had matched my poem, but I had no idea which side to pick first. Knowing well that rainbows didn't stay for long, I started chewing on my lip. "Well, the points do say north and west…and the rainbow is running east and west…so, I'll just go left!" I ran down the length of the river, carefully crossed over it from an overgrown tree root and continued west. I ran as if I were a free horse. My arms were shivering in delight from the extraneous use and my legs were trembling from my long walk and sudden runs. All in all, it felt good.
I supposed it was a mirage, but there was a point where I swore I was almost at the end of the rainbow.
I ran faster, picking up my legs and thrusting myself forward as I was caught in this idea that I would finally solve my granddad's adventure despite it was short lived. There was nothing that could stop me and I hadn't noticed that I was running straight off a cliff.
I screamed like a banshee, swirling my arms around as I tried to stop myself, but it was too late.
Soon, I was flying through the air like a young chickadee and catapulted into a body of water. I literally speared through the water like knife and butter. I had no idea what the hell was going on and flailed in the water to try and recover myself. When something touched my sides and grabbed a hold of me, I screamed, releasing the precious air bubbles till my vision blurred black.
Suddenly, I was above water.
"Oi! Calm down, will ya?"
I gasped, coughing wildly as my lungs screamed for oxygen. Blind with panic, I turned to my savior and grappled for a sense of stability and balance. The man grumbled beneath his breath (and believe me, I heard him) and was moving through the water as I twisted my arms around his neck. I was literally a sea urchin glued on his body as my mind was running through the terror I had gone through not seconds ago.
I was placed on a ledge by the pits of my arms. I continued to cough and gasp for air, as the man smacked my back with his hand to clear my lungs. "I'm…I'm okay," I managed to say and swiped my hand to move my wet bangs attached to my face.
Lo and behold, there standing before me was an angry, naked Irish man.
"Wot tha devil were ya doin'?" His brown eyes glared at me with the intensity of the sun. His well-developed arm pointed over to the 'cliff' (as I had assumed it was) and started cursing. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I heard tha wail of tha banshee!" The red headed man then went on spewing foreign words in which I can safely assume was Gaelic as he cursed my very being.
Shocked and unsure what to do, I merely stared at him.
He slowly became quiet and studied me just as intently as I was studying him. I watched those brown eyes of his, which was so different from Connor's, appraise me as I sat upon a warm rock, while he was still in waist deep in the water. His eyes lingered from my hair, to my face, to the freckles upon my nose before enjoying the view of my generous rounded hips and breasts. I can see it as his eyebrows started to shoot their way up as he studied me.
"Who are you?" I asked bluntly.
The man gave me a droll stare. "I shul'd be askin' yew tha question, muirnín." His thick Irish brogue was a bit difficult to understand.
"I don't have to tell you anything," I spat out defensively at the sexy Irish man.
"Aye, yew don', but tha doesn' explain tha fact that yew w'ere shootin' out of tha sky like a damn bird!" He yelled. "Yew near'ly kill yourself!"
"I was…!" I started to scream, but lowered my voice as humiliation took place. "I was chasing a rainbow," I admitted, wishing that the dirt could slowly eat me up and leave the bones for the dogs to pick on.
"Chasin' a rainbow?" He said, blinking slowly.
"Yes," I mumbled.
"Oh, gods, you're away wiff the faeries. Have yew been smokin'?" he said, commenting about my sanity. "Yew knows tha rainbows ar're a trick of the light, yes?"
I glared at him furiously. "I know! I just…." I didn't finish my sentence as the mortification of what had happened went through my mind. Jesus, what am I, thirteen? How could I have allowed myself to follow a goddamn rainbow? Holy crud, was I that insane to go chase after something that didn't even exist?
I hadn't realized I was getting teary eyed when suddenly a hand cupped my face. I looked up in surprise to see the man murmuring in Gaelic while he wiped away my tears.
"Don' worry. Yew'll get tha rainbow, muirnín," he said comfortingly.
"Don't call me that." I mumbled. "For all I know, you're calling me a dumbass."
He threw back his head and laughed. My eyes widened at the expanse of his throat, watching as his naked throat flexed before me and veins popping up to the surface. I felt myself becoming hypnotized by it, and stopped myself from leaning forward to lick the length of it. A hot blush covered my face at my impure thoughts.
I needed to get laid.
"Come, we find this rainbow."
The man turned away from me and walked to the other side of the lake. Without any regards of covering himself, he hauled himself naked out of the water and shook himself like a dog. His sculpted hands brushed off clinging water beads and ran his hands through his hair more than once. While he was attempting to dry himself before putting on his clothes, my eyes were glued to his taut gluteus, admiring and salivating at his muscular thighs and trimmed hips.
My body roared to life at this man's profile. It made me snarl at myself and turn away as I intended to keep away from him. What the hell was wrong with me? It wasn't as if this was my first time looking at a naked man!
I started breathing as if I was in Lamaze class to try and control myself.
I jumped up from the warming rock and turned to the man.
He held out his hand. "Curtis O'Malley."
I frowned. "Really?"
It was his turn to frown. "Is tha you'rre usual response tew intro'ductions?"
Aware that I was becoming incredibly rude with each passing minute, I cleared my throat. "Sherlock Winston."
He smiled and revealed a perfect white set of teeth. "Ahhh, tha detective and his assistant, no?"
I rolled my eyes. "Come on, let's go find this rainbow."
Curtis chuckled and extended a hand. "Let's see this paper, muirnín."
Apparently, I had been fiddling with the paper long enough that it had caught his attention. "Don't call me that. And be careful with it," I growled, handing over the delicate wet paper to the suspicious man. "It's wet, so don't rip it or I'll cut your balls off."
He merely grinned and squinted at the words.
"I think you're my leprechaun," I said out loud.
"So, what, you have to sell me?" He laughed.
I appraised his form with a satisfied nod. "Perhaps I should. You'd earn me a lot of money with the old maids."
Curtis chuckled and shook his head from side to side. "Thass not it, muirnín. Come, let us fin' this well." He handed me the paper, turned away and walked towards the direction I had flown from. "Wha' do ya do, Sherlock?" he asked, attempting to make small talk when the silence between them became too thick.
"I'm a secretary."
Brushing off my one-worded answers, Curtis continued to ask questions. "Oh, fer whot?"
Immediately, he stopped and turned in shock. "Yew wo'rk fer me?" Curtis turned to face me fully with genuine curiosity.
"I work under you?"
He grinned wickedly. "I prefer you work on top of me, muirnín."
"Okay, first of all, no." I shook my head. "No to both, because my sister is engaged to the CEO of O'Malley Industries, so you can't be Mr. O'Malley. And second, I rather work with someone else than on top of you." I hissed.
Unperturbed by my hissy fit, Curtis frowned. "Lass time I check'd I wasn't engaged."
"Last time I did, you were."
"No, muirnín, I'm na'ught married." Curtis insisted as he followed me. "I can prove it tah yew with me ring finger!" And he blatantly wiggled all five fingers of his left hand to show me not a single ring was upon one.
"You're not Mr. O'Malley, Curtis, you can't prove anything." I rolled my eyes.
"No, it's Connor O'Malley, not Curtis O'Malley."
As if stunned, Curtis fell behind. I turned to see him frowning as he took in the new information I gave him and roll it up into something. "Connor O'Malley, yew say?" At my nod, he smiled and laughed. "Connor O'Malley is me cousin! He is also me assistant!"
"What?" I said, stunned.
"Brown hair, brown eyes? Looks like a guppy?"
"Yep, that's me cousin and me assistant. Most likely, he wanted tah impress sum lass. He's engaged, yew say? Oh, hell," Curtis laughed, shaking his head as he helped me climb a steep hill. "I shuld'na be surprised. He's tha devil, him is." I was too shock to say anything as we continued to trek my tracks, something Curtis was very good with. More than once he was pointing at small tracks, forcing me to crouch down, pausing in our trekking, and study the imprint of the footprints and pointed at the animals, which had made them.
He also began to describe every animal in detail, giving off their natural food source and their burrows for the winter and summer. There was nothing that escaped his attention, including the fact that I had tripped and he merely stopped walking and helped me up.
"Why are you here?" I asked, completely befuddled with this man. "Aren't you supposed to be all clean and proper?"
Curtis rolled his eyes. "Juss be'cause I wear a collared shirt, doesn' mean I like it. The money, yes, but to stay therr constricted like a snake in misery, no. Outdoors is nicer, liv'lier."
It completely went against Chanel's and my mother's way of thinking.
And slowly, within the time frame of one hour, I was falling in love with him.
Of course, more than once during this time I condemned myself to hell. There was no way someone could fall in love that quickly. Hell, there was no way I could fall in love that quickly! I've never dated, never felt anything for any man and suddenly I'm blossoming like a flower? Jesus Christ. Perchance it was because I'm vulnerable due to my family attacking me without a single concern. Maybe I was subconsciously already choosing my husband as my 'woman instincts' (something my mother would call it) pinned upon him.
Too tangled up in my thoughts I didn't notice we were in front of the well. Curtis walked around it, molesting the ridges of it with his hand with such gentleness it made me ache.
"Thass strange." He read the paper again and nodded to himself. "Tis correct. The running wo'ter lies west and the're are red cows to the south. Tha well is wh'ere tha gold is. Unless…." Quickly, Curtis studied the well once more and smiled brightly.
"What is it?" I said, coming to his side quickly.
"Look," he said while pointing at the historic well.
There, small but noticeable, was a drawing of a rainbow with a woman wearing a sombrero under the arc. The rainbow didn't hold colors, but it was shown by the low arc of it that it was it. A poorly drawn cow with antlers (most likely drawn by her grandfather) was on the right of the woman while there were squiggly lines to signify water at the left. Right below the woman was a pot and the scribbles of 'S.W.'
Curtis wasted no time as he started to dig with his bare hands.
Quickly, I joined and started digging frantically and with no sense of stopping whatsoever. Much time must've passed because quickly the hole was becoming bigger and there was no sight of anything. "Where is it?" I asked with desperation, using my nails to soften the dirt.
Curtis didn't reply.
Something small caught my eyes. Within less than a second, the glint that caught my eyes soon shone under the sun with the power of a light bulb. I laughed hysterically, not noticing that there were tears pouring out of my eyes as I held up a handful of Chuck E Cheese coins.
Only granddad would do something like this, only him.
The both of us uncovered a small black plastic cauldron of Chuck E Cheese coins and in the mix of them were old, old chocolate coins covered in gold aluminum foil. The hilarity of the situation caught onto me that I didn't notice Curtis staring. I turned to him and giggled while pointing to the pot o' gold. "My granddad passed away when I was young. He would take me on adventures when I was a child. I found that note this morning and had to go on this adventure. I had to."
He nodded as if he understood before lifting a hand to my cheek. Curtis smoothed a smudge of dirt away and smiled. "Sherlock Winston? You'rre me secretary."
"Yeah," I said, turning my attention to the pot and pushed his hand away. "I thought we already had that established."
Ignoring my sarcasm and avoidance of his touch, he studied my face intently. "I remember…I remember your resume." Curtis fell upon his bum and smiled at me with a smile so bright it could light up a wretched country. "I read you'r resume! Tha was one of tha reasons why I hired yew!"
I frowned. "Wait…I thought it was because you slept with my sister."
His face fell and was replaced with a dark look. "Why do yew make me sound like a dog?"
"Because that's what she told me."
Curtis rolled his eyes and started wiping the dirt off of his clothes. "No, I didna sleep wiff your'r sistah, muirnín. But I remember her and her roa'min' eyes, tha lass. She gave me yourr resume h'erself, but I didna touch her. Tha reason why I hired yew was because yourr resume made me laugh on a day I wanted to murder all me employees."
"I made myself sound like a trailer trash and you still hired me? What if I was a stupid idiot?" I said, throwing my hands up in the air. "Your company would be in ruins if I was in charge of your stuff!"
He looked stump. "Aren't yew?"
"No, Anya is."
His face fell at her name as well. "Oh, tha lass. Anya is a se'ductress, she is."
As much as I didn't want to ask this question I couldn't help but blurt it out. "Did you sleep with her too?"
Curtis sighed and lay upon his back, watching the sky with his arms by his sides. "Oi, I'm not a dog. Me mother raised me bettah then tha, ya hear?"
Without realizing it, I crawled over the dug up hole and laid myself next to him on my stomach while he was on his back. I peered at him with my green eyes while I tentatively laid my head upon his arm. Curtis stared at me in question, keeping still as I twisted on my side.
"Whot are yew doin', muirnín?" he asked, his voice husky and low.
"I don't know." I replied in all honesty.
He stared at me for a while longer before moving. Grabbing a hold of one of my arms, he turned on his side as well and hooked his leg around mine, bringing me in closer to his body. His freed hand gently placed itself upon my head and petted my black wavy hair. It moved from petting my hair, to smoothing my eyebrows, and to tracing the freckles upon my skin. "Why haven' I see yew before?" he asked.
"I haven't seen you before either."
"We muss change tha," he replied before following the slope of my nose with his finger.
I merely hummed in agreement, basking in his attention.
"So, I was engaged?"
"To my sister."
He barked a laugh, touching the bags under my eyes. "Yourr sistah said tha?"
"And your cousin."
Curtis rolled his brown eyes. "Of course, he would."
The thought of my sister soon to be marrying a fraud didn't cross my mind. I relished in Curtis, sighing gently as he continued to explore the regions of my face with the curiosity of a child. While I had no idea why I hadn't seen Curtis before, I didn't question him in fear that he would leave. For some reason, something within me was attached to the man. In my adventure given by my granddad, I had discovered this wondrous man. It was as if he was connected to my journey and would continue giving me more quests to have me survive my saddened life.
He was my adventure.
At this, I laughed lowly, closing my eyes and ducking my face into his neck. I could feel Curtis responding with a hand to the back of my head before rolling onto his back as I sprawled over him.
"How long arr' yah h'ere fer?" he asked.
I felt the vibration of his chest against my cheek as he talked. "Two more days and then I head back to Dublin. Aren't you supposed to be working now?"
"Nope, I'm on vacation, too, muirnín. Ar're yew doin' anything else today?"
"Then we best explore the rest of the land. I have more to teach you about the animals and the trees before we return to the city life," he said with such excitement, I felt it through our clothes. Curtis quickly pecked my lips before jumping to his feet and pulled me up. He dragged me towards the forest despite my wet clothes and our abandoned pot o' gold as he screamed over his shoulder, "And we need to rediscover tha lake without ourr cl'othes!"
"And we need to find what was at the end of the rainbow!" I said after him.
"I was at tha end of tha rainbow!" he yelled. "I am yourr tre'sure, muirnín!"
"Stop calling me a dumbass!" I laughed behind him and followed, thanking my granddad profusely even if this was not in his intentions.
Curtis laughed and didn't bother correcting my lack of understanding as we sped through the trees.
I was given two treasures that very day, that is. Because when we returned late in the night, laughing and kissing on the way, to retrieve my pot, we dug in a bit further deeper for the fun of it and found old jewelry and money my grammy and granddad had stored and hidden here during the Great Famine of Ireland. There was a black and white picture of the two in the mossy, wooden box along with a letter from both of them.
"Let's go, muirnín." Curtis said, helping me up and dragging me to his temporary vacation home.
I didn't bother fighting him as I followed like a puppy in love.
Granddad gave me an odd quest in his death and I had discovered not only my pot o' gold, but my treasure as well.
Whooooo. I've started this a week ago and it has been kicking me in the butt for quite a while. There were parts of the story where I didn't even want to continue but forced myself to do so to try and finish this masterpiece. This idea had been on my mind for a very long time but hadn't evolved into anything other than an idea until two weeks ago when I've decided to start writing my oneshots. Believe me, I have a lot of oneshots buried deep in my computer just waiting to become more than an idea to blossom into a lovely story such as this one.
I've been experiencing and exploring dialogue nowadays and tried it out. It's a bit hard understanding Curtis, but I tried to make an 'Irish brogue' type thing with his voice.
I will update "A Child's Play" and "Like A Crow chasing the Butterfly" next (including my fanfiction page), and maybe update another one shot. Nowadays, I'm hectic with studies, work, and family. Sheesh, my dog even takes my time from writing!
I hope you've enjoyed this as I have enjoyed writing it! (:
Translation from Gaelic to English:
Muirnín – Sweetheart
Críochnaith – Finished
Summary: It's a myth that a leprechaun leaves a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I went to find the damn money and instead found the greatest gift God has ever made: a naked Irish man in a pond. And baby, he was definitely at the end of the rainbow. One-shot.