The Pooka (story by R.C. Peris)

The night was cold but the fire inside was crackling and warm. It had been a long, arduous day on the farm. We had to mend the fences and haul in the animals. Brady was not upset when he saw the destruction.

“Pookas. If this is all they do then they had a good day,” he said as he hammered a nail.

I was new to the country. “What’s a Pooka?”

“Oh, they’re naughty fairies. They love destruction. They wreck ships, cause famine and sometimes carry mere mortals away to be prisoners in their fairyland.” He looked at the potato fields. “Pookas are chaos. They are dangerous to man.”

I sneered. “They’re just little fairies.”

“Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that. You’re a stranger here. Fairies are very powerful. Fairies are the fine details in life. Man looks at the big picture. Our gaze is wide. But you have to pay attention to the details. Look at this fence. If I missed a single nail, it will fall down again tomorrow.”

I nodded. I was starting to think Brady was fanciful or philosophical. The philosopher farmer.

Later, we were by the fire and he smoked his pipe.

“What do you fear?” he asked.

“Not being known,” I said. “I want everyone to know my name.”

He scoffed. “Vanity.”

We continued drinking our mugs of beer when I heard my name. OLIVER. It was a sweet voice. Lovely. I stood and went to the door.

“I heard my name.”

Brady looked alarmed. “Don’t go out there. You’re looking far and wide with your vanity. Details. Focus on your beer.”

I ignored him and went outside. It was dark. I was then lifted up and carried away. The Pooka put me in chains and now I spend my days in a dungeon, alone, and memorizing the details of my chains. They do not say my name anymore. I will sit here forever, unknown.

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