Lost Rainbows by Connie Cockrell
Chapter Four – Shamus Meets Becca (Lost Rainbows – Serial)
By Connie Cockrell
Shamus O’Malley is on a quest to recover the Leprechaun Kingdom’s magic rainbows and gold before the rainbows are lost forever. To do so he must travel to the new world where he finds the evil wizard, David Bannon, intent on using the magic from the rainbows and the gold to conquer the Leprechaun Kingdom. He also finds an ally, Becca Bannon, the wizard’s niece. Can Becca and Shamus recover the rainbows and gold and defeat her wizard uncle?
This entry is part 4 of 16 in the series Lost Rainbows
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Shamus Meets Becca
It took an hour. The wall was well maintained. There were no bushes except at the gate and they were too thin to provide cover during the light of day. The wall itself was smooth-faced rock, too smooth for him to climb. The sun was about to rise. He had to hurry.
Hiding in the gate bushes, he pulled off his pack and took out a rope. He made a loop at one end and put his pack back on. Standing in front of the gate, he estimated it to be about twelve feet high. He was taking a chance. He could feel the iron radiating from where he stood. It would burn if he touched it with his bare hands. He tossed the loop up. It just missed catching on two of the iron spikes at the top. Taking the end, he made the loop bigger and tossed again. It missed. Third time’s the charm, he thought and tossed it again. It caught.
Wishing he had packed gloves, he scaled the gate, pulling himself up the rope and walking on the iron grill. There was nothing for it when he got to the top but to grab the gate to haul himself over, trying not to skewer himself on the gilt spear-heads on the top. Sure enough, as soon as he touched the fence, his palms and fingers began to blister. He dropped to the ground, the impact travelling in a wave of pain up through his ankles and knees. He fell over, hands tucked into his armpits, and rolled to the side of the driveway.
He lay his hands on the dew-covered grass to ease the pain as he rested his ankles and knees. Get up, he told himself. You still need to get that rope down. He took another moment and moved his burned hands to a new patch of grass. The cold dew helped.
Birds beginning their morning song in the nearby trees made him aware of the time. He struggled to his feet and carefully reached through the fence to grab his rope. A sharp tug undid the knot and it fell to the outside of the fence. He quickly gathered it in and raced for the nearest group of bushes. He dove in and instantly regretted it. Rosebushes, of course. A branch raked him across the forehead as another dug a furrow into his hand. His woolen pants and jacket held off the rest of the assault. He sucked the cut on the back of his hand as he studied the grounds. His path across the lawn was clear to see in the dew. Perhaps the guard, if there was one, wouldn’t be past until the dew was gone.
The sun was half a hand above the horizon when the gates began to open by themselves. That is a new sort of magic, he thought as a long black automobile drove past. His path through the dew was still visible but no one seemed to notice. The gate closed, again by itself. Shamus pulled a leather bottle of water and a half loaf of bread from his pack. While he watched, he ate and drank. It was getting warm. He wanted to pull off his jacket but needed it on for when he left the safety of the rosebushes.
After the sun had moved another hand above the horizon, Shamus crawled out of the bushes. He crouched there, out of sight of the residence, to take off the jacket and shove it into the pack. He raced to the next group of bushes, and the next, until he was at the back of the house. The sun was now well up. The rear grounds were manicured as well as the front but there was a large pool of water back here, an unnatural blue. It was paved on all sides and tables with chairs and umbrellas over them were scattered about the paving. The house was all gray stone, at least three stories here at the back, with white trim around the windows and doors. Roses in yellow and pink climbed up the wall of the house.
He rose to race to the back door he could see in the center of the house. Shamus hadn’t taken more than ten steps when he was surrounded by three large dogs. Heads chin-high to him, they all growled, showing white fangs. They had black, short fur with brown markings over their eyes and on other points of their bodies, and they looked as though they could eat him for breakfast. His mouth went dry.
“Belle, Henry, Fritz,” he heard a young voice call. “Heel!”
The dogs turned and raced toward the house. They stopped in front of a young human girl, and sat in a row.
“Good dogs!” she told them in a coo, petting them on their heads. “Good job.”
She walked around them and came toward him. The dogs got up and followed her, three abreast, like guards. She stopped four feet in front of him. “Who are you?”
Sweat from his fear and the hot sun ran down his temples and into his short-cropped beard. “Shamus O’Malley, miss, at your service.” He doffed his hat and bowed. The dogs growled at the sudden movement. He saw she was smiling at him when he stood back up.
“What are you doing here, Mr. O’Malley?”
He liked the look of her. She was tall for a human child, taller than he was, five foot three at a guess and perhaps twelve or thirteen years old. Slender, with strawberry red hair and freckles across her nose, he thought she’d grow into quite a beauty. Her clear gray eyes drilled into him. Something about her seemed familiar. “I’m looking for a wizard.”
Her left eyebrow rose. “Interesting answer. Are you a thief?”
He put on his hat and straightened his shoulders. “I am looking for a thief. I followed him here.”
“We hardly need to steal.” She waved a long-boned arm back at the house.
“True, miss. But here is where the wizard came.”
The two of them stood there, staring at each other. She finally said, “My name is Becca. My uncle, David Bannon, is a scientist.”
Shamus had to dig back into his memory to the 1800’s. The humans of the time were all talking about science and scientists. This must be what came of that. “And, miss, what does a scientist do?”
Her eyebrow went up again. “You’re very small for a man. Do you not have scientists where you’re from?”
She asks good questions, he thought. Do I tell her I’m a leprechaun? Bannon is an Irish name, she may have heard stories. “Does your ma tell you stories of the Irish wee folk?”
Her face grew still. “My mother is dead. So is my father. Uncle David takes care of me.”
He felt like a fool. “I beg your pardon, young miss.” He bowed again.
Becca composed herself. “That’s okay. They died five years ago in a car accident. ”
“I apologize again, Miss Becca. But it’s very important that I find the wizard.”
Becca stared at him a long moment. “We have nothing of yours, I’m sure.” She turned to the dogs, threw out her arm to the right and commanded, “Kennel!” The dogs raced off around the end of the house.
Shamus breathed a little sigh of relief.
“Come,” Becca told him. “I’ll show you Uncle David’s lab. You’ll see we don’t have your things.”
To be continued…
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© 2015 Connie Cockrell