DENIAL

Maybe this isn’t even a legitimate cursed pot of money. Is it definitely an antique cauldron from the old country overflowing with tarnished coins etched in Celtic runes, or just an Ikea saucepan full of cheap chocolate covered in metallic foil?

No, it’s a pretty proper-looking jug of old-timey currency, and you did find it hidden in that hollow, lone tree in the middle of old man McMurtry’s yard. That was surely a fairy tree, and you know leprechauns don’t only hide gold at the ends of rainbows, but also in haystacks, the corners of old barns, or buried under a potato field.

Besides, who would leave a fake pot of leprechaun’s gold in an old tree on this side of Boston? Not old man McMurtry—he died mysteriously last week.

Face it: you take this money, you’re signing up for an avaricious, bloodthirsty elf raining unspeakable violence down on you and your entire family until he’s recovered every last piece of his precious treasure.

ANGER

But—fairy fortunes don’t usually come with a blood curse! You know this: you did a semester study abroad in Cork, and you took Irish folklore! You also drank an unholy amount of cider and lost your virginity to Michael O’Shannon, who later dumped you—thanks for the reminder!

You could use this money to pay off your student loans. You’ve got a baby on the way, and lord knows the wee bairns are enormous resource sucks. You could even go back to work after the baby’s born because you could actually afford daycare. It’s not like you’re getting any help with that from the government—this isn’t Ireland!

It isn’t fair. McMurtry was a crotchety bastard who didn’t deserve the money, but you need this. Wait a second, is that McMurtry’s severed bloody stump of a hand nestled over there among the weeds? Goddammit, it sure smells like it.

BARGAINING

Well, here the little guy is and he does look pissed. And also like a reanimated piece of old shoe leather that jumped a member of the Lollipop Guild for his fancy clothes. Maybe these are just the leprechauns they deport to America.

Ok, how about you just keep half the gold? After all, if he’s gonna leave his riches where any thirty-seven-year-old with a mountain of debt, a rented apartment, and a regular job plus a side hustle just to survive even though she has a damn English degree can find it, that’s his mistake.

What the fuck, he just bit you! Does this mangy, evil Willow-looking motherfucker not see that you’re pregnant?! Jesus Christ! Everything about this guy screams “toxoplasmosis!”

Shit, grab the gold and run home! It’s heavy, but you’ve been doing prenatal pilates!

DEPRESSION

Um, how did he get in your kitchen? Ugh, right, he’s black magic.

Great, now you’re crying. It’s been a hard six months. Your Aloe vera of ten years just died because you were determined to nurture her better, and instead you drowned her. You could really use her now with this open wound on your calf.

You’re not sure you want to marry your boyfriend, even if he is the father of your child. You’re terrified of commitment, even though this baby is a pretty big one—what are you gonna do there, leave him on the window sill until he starts turning yellow, then make up for the neglect by dousing him in breastmilk? That’s not how humans work!

And last week, your neighbor was found face down in a pool of his own bodily fluids, a four-leafed-clover clutched in his one remaining hand. Seriously, what the fuck is going on, man?

ACCEPTANCE

Now he’s crouched down in a squat, his filthy claws out, ready to pounce. Did he just snarl “I want me gold!”? Good lord, just let him have it. It’s for the best.

See, there he goes, scampering away like a wicked, filthy toddler dandy. You’re gonna be ok. Everything’s ok. And who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and Universal Basic Income will actually catch on?

For now, go to the hospital. Tell them you were attacked by a giant cat who must have been after the sparkles on your tights. And while you’re waiting, check Facebook for what your old flame Mikey O is up to.

He might still be single, and he’d love this story.


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