A lamplight flickered in the upstairs of the butcher shop, casting chasing shadows about with the thump of heavy boots and the patter of tiny feet. Gruff laughter and little squeals filled the sparsely furnished room until the rough man made a dive and thumped down right behind the feet of the little girl, throwing a blanket over her head like a net and dragging her into his arms for growling, playful nips at her shoulders and tickles at her side. As her squeals and kicks died down, he sat up and scooted his back against a wall, tugging the blanket off of her head.
“Alright, lil’ darlin. Storytime an then it’s bed fer ya.”
“Buh, I donn wanna go to bed yet…beside dommy tells bedder tories anyway…” she whined softly.
“Well, ya ain’t got no choice till yer all grown up.” The monster tilted his head back in thought for a moment before that crooked toothed grin spread across his face.
“Hah! I got a good one fer ya. Back in the day, there were folk what were called the sidhe. Damn high nobles that live an rule in the other side. Well, them folk thought the more common fae folk like brownies an hobs an redcaps needed rulin on this side. Cause ya know, we’re stupid an all that shit an we can’t take care a nothin accordin ta them.”
“Dommy day the tame dink about duu daddy!” she smiles brightly, her fangs glowing in the lowlight of the room.
He let out a snort at her smart alek reply.
“So one a them sidhe nobles took his army an rode his horse through the gates an came trompin through Scotland thinkin he could just waltz on through an everyone’d bow an kowtow ta him. Well, he came ta a hill where a redcap sat waitin fer travelers. He thought that redcap was right rude fer not gettin up ta bow an kneel afore his mighty hoity toidyness when he was told. In fact! That redcap just stood up, turned ’round, flipped the back of his kilt up and slapped his buttcheek at the sidhe bastard and went runnin down the back of the hill cacklin. So more’n just offended, that noble told one a his soldiers to go on over that hill and teach that redcap a lesson!”
The little dark haired darling sat and listened with wide eyes, hanging on her fathers every word nervously.
“So over the hill the sidhe soldier went and up arose a clamor an shouts. The noble was right proud, thinkin his man’d done good on his orders when what ya know, but a roundish object came hurlin over the hill back. An’ thump ba dump thump thump! There landed the soldier’s head at hoof of the noble’s horse!
The redcap climbed back up ta the top a the hill, chewin on the arm a the poor soldier what didn’ make it an belched loudly at the sidhe noble up on his horse. Infuriated, the noble sent his five best men chasin that redcap back down over the other side a the hill, the redcap laughin all the way! A clamor louder than afore arose from hill ta hill an that sidhe noble thought fer sure his men had gotten that dirty redcap this time! Ain’t no way one redcap could fend off five of his best men! Then all went quiet… An’ thump ba dump bump thump thump tumble came five heads rollin down the hill ta the foot a the sidhe noble’s army. An not a one a them was the damn redcap’s! “
“Eeeeewwwwwww!!!” she said as her tiny face twisted in disgust as she imagined the heads tumbling about.
The rough man continued with a grin.
“Well, that sidhe noble had about lost his patience an was ready ta blow his top when the redcap flipped up the front a his kilt an made water in the noble’s direction. That teared it! The noble signaled half his army ta head over that hill after the redcap laughin his head off at ’em! This time there rose the sound a war all ’round from hillside ta hillside! When the clambor had all but died, one a them soldiers came crawlin over the hill bleedin out his life over the grass an called out ta his lord. ‘It’s a trap! There’s two of ’em!'”
“Dat dory, didn’t end otay….I want adoter one!!”, little Molly Ann exclaimed.
Rusty gave a snort and picked her up from his lap to settle her in the nesting of blankets of her bed. “Well, that’s just too bad. Ya gotta wait fer tomorrow night fer another one! Now go ta sleep, ya lil’ anklebiter.” He kissed the top of her head and tucked her and turned the lamp’s whick down and blew it out.