Tierney, half leprechaun, half…something else, comes home to find her home’s been invaded by her teeny leprechaun father.
Paddy’s lost his pot’ o’ gold, and even though he abandoned Tierney when she was four, he thinks it’s her duty, as his daughter, to find him a replacement…and Santa is the most likely source.
Either Tierney gets Santa to replace Paddy’s gold, so he can return to Ireland, or he’s moving in with Tierney for good.
This is Northeringale, where miracles happen every year at Christmas. Can Tierney beg a miracle from Santa before Paddy finds out who else is living in Northeringale?
The fireplace blazed with snow cedar and polar white ash logs. The scent had Tierney thinking about home, and the Northeringale Christmas Pageant. The newly married Hank Childress would be overseeing it…once they reactivated the time line. Truth be told, she wished they’d never tried this. Something other than the burning logs filled the air, a sense of foreboding. Something Tierney knew she would regret learning.
Mrs. Claus, who’d told her earlier to call her Mama like everyone else did, kept looking her way when she thought Tierney didn’t know it. The look of sympathy on the elder woman’s face made the white shark toothed butterflies speed up their chomping.
Once upon a time she’d longed to meet Santa, now, although she found him to be a generous elf, she longed to run the other way—fast.
“Child, Chris told me earlier why you’ve come. Did your Da tell you how he lost his pot of gold?” Santa asked.
Tierney shook her head. “No, Sir. He only told me he could not return to Quillkarney and The Wee Ones without a pot of gold,” she said, elaborating on Paddy’s assertions concerning the gold and its connection to leprechaun identity.
“You know the song about me checking my list and knowing who’s naughty and nice?”
Tierney frowned for a second, turning a questioning gaze towards Chris before nodding.
“There’s a reason why I know. Most people think I have this miles long piece of paper with the names of everyone on it, but my list, by comparison, is actually no bigger than a legal sized piece of paper made from a special parchment.”
Santa reached into a magazine bin beside his overstuffed chair and pulled out a paper, not made from wood pulp, more like some thick, almost fur like, parchment. “This is my list,” he continued, “but as you can see,” he added turning it towards her, “there are no names. You’re half witch, so you know about scrying mirrors. My list is similar to that. If I were to ask it to show me you, it would give me a movie like playback of what you’ve done during this last year. That’s what I usually do when I’m checking my list,” he said his sobering eyes, far too serious now to twinkle.
“I called up your Da this afternoon, but asked specifically for the truth about his lost pot of gold. Your Da has been a nettle on my list for a very long time. I know he told you my disappointment in him comes from him reindeer napping and then barbecuing one of my herd. He lied to you,” Santa admitted starkly. “I have so much security surrounding my sleigh, he’d have been zapped into the next dimension if he’d tried stealing one of my steeds, but I allowed him to tell that vile story, and even helped broadcast it. It served my purpose.”
Tierney jerked. It felt like a stomach punch, both inside and out. She shouldn’t be surprised, and if she actually gave it some thought, she’d have to admit nothing Paddy did or lied about could surprise her any more—and yet…
“My disgust and I am sorry, Child, that is the only word to describe what I feel towards your Da, goes back to when he used your Mother and then discarded you. I would happily overlook much for you, but he’s never grown up, and even now expects you, the one he cast out, to pay for his immaturity. I cannot allow it. He made a bet. A mortal woman came to Quillkarney just last month. She looked a great deal like your Mom, so he made a bet assuming she would be as enamored by him as your Ma was way back when,” Santa asserted, his tone filled with revulsion.
“He bet his entire pot of gold, that poor woman would fall for his blarney, but his charm couldn’t win him the day this time around. This, my child, is just the latest of Paddy’s foolhardy and often destructive acts. Quillkarney is happy he’s gone and do not want him back, ever.”