Lola turned the street corner, her heart racing.
“Yes!” she yelled, dropping to her knees. She wiped her hands on her blue and white Monroe High School cheerleader sweater. “I found it, I finally found it.”
Practice that morning had started as usual, but then she heard the laughing. And the pointing – how could she forget the pointing. It’s hard to keep secrets in high school, especially when your parents get arrested for embezzlement. Nothing better at Monroe than a good story.
That’s why she took off after the stupid rainbow in the first place. She was just trying to get away from the cacophony of squeals, but then she realized there was real money to be had if she could just run fast enough. As the bright colors faded in the sky, Lola realized there was no pot of gold.
She knocked down trash cans, searched behind trees, and looked under shrubs. She only stopped once she saw him. The little man dressed in green with the knife sticking out of his back.
“Murder.” The tiny voice seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere. Lola spun around, but didn’t see anyone.
“Excuse me?” she asked.
“He was murdered.”
“I can see that, but what I can’t see is you.”
“Down here.” Standing directly in front of her was another little man, this time dressed in brown with a diminutive detective’s hat on.
“Don’t hi me missy. You are under arrest.”
All of a sudden, with a wave of his tiny hand, a large brown sack came out of nowhere and covered Lola head to toe. It closed up and lifted her.
“Please, can’t we talk about this? I just got here. I didn’t kill him, I swear.”
“Then who did?” he squealed.
“How should I know? The tooth fairy?”
The bag dropped and opened.
“Do you really think so?” he asked, his tiny face touching hers.
“Uhm…sure, I mean, she’s gotta be running out of money, right?”
Lola could relate.
The small man helped Lola out of the bag. He studied her for a few minutes, nodded in agreement, and shoved his hand into his pocket.
“Here.” He handed her a tiny green bag with a small rainbow on it. She pulled the strings open and shook out the contents into her hand. Five gold pieces glinted in the late afternoon sun.
“Shiny,” she said, “thanks!”
“No problem. They’ll turn into real money as soon as you leave. Not much, but enough to say thank you for helping us and to help you forget what you saw here.”
“We can’t have you talking about this now can we?”
All of sudden Lola realized she didn’t want the money. She put the gold pieces into the bag and handed it to the leprechaun.
“What’s this?” he demanded.
“Once upon a time,” she said with a smile, as she turned to walk away, “a leprechaun was murdered and the tooth fairy was on the loose.”