Let’s say you’re kind of an over-the-hill old guy, something of a grouch potato, who one day reaches down for a fallen remote only to discover he has found a leprechaun instead, and that the old guy, Robert Pendleton, has been pretty much picked to save the wee folk. That’s the setup of a new tale from the prolific Dan O’Brien (thedanobrienproject.blogspot.com), a story aimed at the kid in all of us.
“Conspirators Of The Lost Sock Army And The Loose Change Collection Agency” ($7.95 in paperback, self-published, also in Amazon Kindle format) is profusely illustrated by Steve Ferchaud, who in a succession of wonderful drawings turns a sourpuss Robert into an adventure hero.
The leprechaun is not just any leprechaun. “I be from another world just outside the one you know, a place of magic and wonder.” Robert can hardly keep from laughing because it must be the wildest of dreams. Or maybe not.
“I be much more than a mere common leprechaun, ye oversized oaf. I be Colin McMasters, director of the L.C.C.A. And that be nothin’ to laugh at.” The organization turns out to be the Loose Change Collection Agency, supporting leprechauns all over the world as they raid couch cushions in order “to be fundin’ our pots-o-gold.”
But the leprechaun world has been invaded by the Scourge, a diminutive but fearsome gremlin who has put together an army made up of (as the book’s title says) all those lost socks we can’t seem to find. Robert is stupefied: “You want me to believe that there is a conspiracy involving a gremlin that steals socks from random dryers in order to build an army to destroy all of the leprechauns.” Yep. And don’t forget, adds Colin McMasters, “steal our pots-o-gold.”
Just how Robert enters the leprechaun sprite-world is best left to the story itself, but until the very end Robert is convinced that it’s “just an elaborate dream … it would be best just to enjoy it.” That’s what readers can do as well. The Scourge is pretty mean (and utters one darn cuss word) but it’s clear that the old man has quite the fight left as he socks it to ‘em.