Gina clapped delicately, displaying the maximum amount of enthusiasm her upbringing would allow. Her friend, recognizing this, curtsied awkwardly, displaying the maximum amount of grace her own upbringing would allow.
“Susan,” she said, “that was exemplary!”
“Thanks,” she replied, “but you know they’ll never cast a black Mac-Scottish-Play.” She shrugged. “I’m still going to kill this audition, though. Make them feel bad about it.”
Gina shook her head and gazed out the window of her dorm room. “I, of all people, understand the value of curses, but you’ll find within the statistics no basis for the superstitions attached to…” She blinked. “Susan, I believe I’m looking at a leprechaun.”
Susan frowned. “Nobody told me it was Opposite Day,” she replied.
“I don’t understand.”
“Opposite day is when–“
“I already deduced the concept of Opposite Day,” Gina snapped. “What puzzles me is how you came to this conclusion.”
“Because if you said, ‘Susan, I don’t believe I’m looking at a leprechaun,’ I’d believe you, because not seeing a leprechaun is something that happens in real life.”
“This semester,” Gina reminded her patiently, “you channeled the ghost of your friend, whose body, in turn, was channeling the ghost of his deceased, soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend.”
“Yeah, but that was a ghost. Ghosts make sense.”
Gina held her index finger a half inch from her thumb and whispered, “Dança para mim, chama bebê,” A small flame jumped out of nowhere between them. She said, “Also, I can do this.”
“All right, I’ll give you that one.”
“Has your trust for me ever been misguided?”
“Leprechauns,” Susan moaned. “Fuck me.” She joined her at the window and let out a disappointed grunt. “That ain’t no leprechaun.”
“I already informed you,” Gina repeated, “it’s not Opposite Day.”
“I get that they’re probably not walking around in green suits and top hats and shit,” Susan asked, “but aren’t they supposed to be… smaller?”
Gina returned her attention to the abnormally average man on the other side of the glass. “You’re referring to the term Wee Folk,” she said. “That’s a linguistic misunderstanding, like cockroach or Dutch. In reality, they don’t even resemble humans. What you’re seeing is a combination of our limited perception and some glamour work.”
Susan laughed, “Baby, you’re the best.”
“So what now?” Susan asked.
“I’m going to detain him,” she replied.
“I’m going to ask my closest friend and confidant, whose tuition is paid entirely by an athletic scholarship, to pursue and subdue him.”
“Fuck me,” Susan moaned again. “And what is your friend going to do once she catches…” She giggled. “You seriously want me to run down a fucking leprechaun.”
Gina nodded eagerly.
“Demand his pot of gold,” she replied. “Naturally.”
With a grin, Susan slipped out the door, repeating, “The best.”
Gina stood, smoothed out her dress, and followed. By the time she exited the dormitory and strode across the lawn, Susan already had the man in a chokehold, his arm pinned behind his back.
“What the hell are you doing?” the man shouted.
“According to basic biology,” Gina replied, “your species is instinctually driven to free itself from forced captivity by divulging the location of your treasure.”
“What?” he yelped.
“Pot o’ gold, Lucky,” Susan clarified. “Cough it up.”
“You people are insane!”
She tightened her grip. “Did you just ‘you people’ me?”
Gina cleared her throat. “Enough with the subterfuge. I’m Regina de Costa, daughter of Lucio Marcos de Costa and Helena Torres, both board members of the corporation.”
“Is that supposed to…” The man’s shoulders fell. “I’m in America, aren’t I?”
“Bugger me,” he groaned.
“What corporation?” Susan asked.
The man ignored her. “Now what?”
“Tradition dictates that you lead us to your gold.”
“I don’t have any gold to lead you to,” he told them.
“I thought you were a real, live leprechaun,” Susan said.
“I am,” he replied.
“Bullshit,” she snorted. “Because a real, live leprechaun would have a real, live pot of gold.”
“He’s telling the truth,” Gina admitted. “His kind are physically incapable of lying.”
“You wouldn’t want it anyway,” he said.
Susan replied, “Yes, we would.”
“It’s not like you can just walk into a mall and spend it, and you can’t use it to shop online,” he explained. “And if you want to convert it to cash, you have to find a reputable buyer, and then you run into a lot of questions, not to mention taxes.”
Panic crossed Gina’s face for less than half a second as she said the words, “I don’t understand. Every Folk Zoology 101 textbook spells it out with no ambiguity. If you capture Wee Folk, they must give you gold.”
“Don’t you get it?” he sighed. “Gold to you represents the most valuable currency. Where I come from, the most valuable currency desire.”
“I believe I understand now,” Gina said with a nod. “And so what desire would you fulfill in exchange for your release?”
With his free hand, he pointed to a nearby parking lot.
“Oh,” Gina replied.
Without meaning to, Susan let the leprechaun go, and he took the opportunity to flee.
Neither she, nor Gina, cared. They were too busy being hypnotized by a pair of tight jeans hugging a magnificently sculpted ass, which bent over the grill of a pickup truck. The man who belonged to the jeans pulled his torso out from under the hood, his back muscles testing the limits of his white T-shirt. Sweat from a hot spring day and even hotter engine worked together with the threadbare condition of the cotton to make it nearly transparent. He pulled a handkerchief out of his back pocket–once again drawing attention to the work of art down there–and wiped his hands.
When he turned around, Gina stared, unblinking, at his chest, until curiosity drive her to his face to make sure it was as glorious as the rest of him. She couldn’t tell for sure until he brushed his thick, sandy hair out of his green eyes. He squinted at her and Susan and grinned.
Her fingers tingled, and her mouth went dry.
“Dibs,” said Susan.