Spooky and Pookas
Categorization: M/S RST Spoilers: None. Wherever you want to set it.
Summary: Mulder and Scully investigate unusual phenomena reported to have occured on an Irish plane bound for Boston. Feedback: Graciously accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org Disclaimer: Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and Fox Studios own them. But they can still come out to play in the land of Fanfiction. Hi, characters.
Spooky and Pookas
OFFICE OF THE X-FILES
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
Spring was quickly approaching Washington and it had become the usual routine. As the sun came up earlier and earlier in the morning, Mulder would get up with the birds. He would go out on his run, shower and disappear before she even opened her bleary eyes to stare at the alarm clock. Scully would arrive at the office at the required time, and Mulder would already be there. Every day, or almost every day, the same greetings were exchanged and then the caseload or lack of such was discussed.
“Morning, Scully,” Mulder said without looking up from a file.
“Mulder, lately I think you’ve decided to live at this office.”
“Nah, I have a hot babe back at my place,” he said with a wink. “Look at this new report out of Boston. Some airline attendant claims the passengers felt as though they were being pushed out of the way when they stood or took a seat that no one had reserved. No one was seen doing any pushing. The FAA was sweet enough to give us this file because they have no idea how to investigate it. Someone apparently heard of our little department and our talent of investigating the paranormal.”
“Ah, yes. To be so revered, yet misunderstood. I think perhaps a few passengers had a few too many drinks. Perhaps even the FAA person who sent this little piece of nonsense to you was corked, as well.”
“Well, it was an Aer Lingus plane. But, I don’t really believe the Irish are any more prone to excess drinking than any other people. So, pack your bag. We are going to Boston.
The agents had no problem finding the Aer Lingus service counter. Who could miss the classic symbol of the shamrock, anyway?
“May I help you?” A brunette attendant with long straight hair said brightly.
“Yes. I’m Special Agent Dana Scully and this is my partner, Special Agent Fox Mulder. We understand there was an unusual occurrence on a flight here from Dublin on Tuesday.”
“You’d be wanting to speak with Liz Lamont and Sharon Farrell. They were on board that particular flight. I can ring them at their hotel rooms if you wish.”
“Maybe we should speak to them there,” Mulder suggested.
“Right you are.” The attendant scribbled the hotel name on a piece of paper and Scully took it. “Imagine, that many people thinking something magic was going on in this day and age? Probably some prankster’s shenanigans.”
“Imagine.” Scully echoed. “Have a good day. You were very helpful.”
“Take care now.”
“Thank you.” As they returned to the car, Scully mumbled, “We may as well go see Lord of the Dance, too, while we’re here.”
“Pardon? I didn’t hear you over the planes!” Mulder shouted.
“I said we should speak to them while we have the chance! They might be due for a flight back soon!”
As Mulder and Scully listened to the airline attendants’ stories in the sitting area of their room, they heard a rather unbelievable tale. Granted, they had had some rather strange encounters with odd beings before. They had never thought they would be investigating the stuff of which fairytales are made.
“So, what you mean, essentially, is a mischievous spirit?” Mulder asked Liz Lamont, a tall redhead with naturally curly hair.
“That would be it. I’d almost call it a ‘pooka’.”
“A ‘pooka’,” he repeated.
“A mischievous spirit,” Sharon Farrell said. “And it’s an ancient legend in the old country. Sort of like a very naughty leprechaun only not a leprechaun.”
“A naughty leprechaun,” Scully said in disbelief. “Well, I think I’ve heard enough. Let’s go, Mulder.”
She took him aside and whispered by the door, “Obviously there are two explanations as to what happened on the plane, Mulder: Either there was a prankster on board the plane, or someone, maybe many people, had too much of the bog water on the way over.”
“Scully, this sounds like an opportunity to find out about another culture. Well, I mean, as a profiler, I should be aware of sociological myths and legendary creatures.”
“What do you suggest, Mulder? We interview all the passengers?”
“Well, only the ones who were affected by whatever phenomenon there was at work on that plane.”
“Or, only the ones who had a wee too much of the… ”
“That’s a stereotype, Scully! Shame on you.”
Scully’s eyes rolled. “All right. We’ll get the list of passengers affected and see what we can find out. But I’m telling you, if this is one of your ventures into the ridiculous, you’re doing the entire report. Period.”
Apparently, Mulder and Scully hadn’t realized that Aer Lingus had a policy of limited access to alcoholic beverages on their overseas flights. There also proved to be no record of anyone appearing intoxicated while bothered by the mysterious mischief-maker.
Scully had a list of interviewees as did Mulder, and they conferred that night in their motel room.
“Well, I’ve heard everything from leprechauns, to witches to pookas, Mulder.” Scully threw her notepad onto the bed. “So, I did some research on the Web and came up with many theories on the pooka, all regional, differing forms, in Ireland. Some took on the forms of horses, dogs, cats, goats, sheep, even shape-shifting beings. Three people denied there was a pooka involved, and decided it was turbulence. Two said it was a leprechaun. Three told me they hadn’t a clue what it was. The common thread is that all were ousted from a seat or pushed away from a place in the aisle. How was your luck?”
“About the same. Six people told me there was some invisible force, maybe turbulence, two said it was an invisible pooka, one said it was his dead Aunt Betsy getting even for leaving Ireland, and three said a leprechaun looking for a free ride to Lord of the Dance.”
“Mulder… ” That stern tone.
“Okay. Looking for a free ride to America. The point is, with there being more than one opinion here, how do we decipher the truth?”
“I haven’t a clue, Mulder. There is no scientific evidence of any of these beings ever having existed. And even the Churches deny that there were ever Leprechauns, sprites, fairies or pookas. And pookas? Sounds like a nickname for a lover, or a dog!”
“But not both, right? Scully, maybe we should check around for an expert on these things. There’s a Professor of Irish Studies right here in Boston I want to see tomorrow. Then, I guess, we try to find the… whatever it is.”
“I’ll check out the flight log tomorrow. Maybe the pilots and the instruments will give some indication of conditions on the flight over. We’re talking a five or six hour flight over the Atlantic Ocean, with a stopover at Gander, Newfoundland.”
“Could’ve been Screech,” Mulder smiled.
“Doubtfully. North American policy on drink is much the same.”
Mulder reached the office of Dr. Michael McDonough at 10:00 a.m. the next morning. The professor was setting a text of Ancient Celtic Traditions on a shelf and answered Mulder’s knock with a cheery, “Come in!”
“Professor McDonough, Special Agent Fox Mulder.”
“Yes, we spoke on the phone. And what would you be after in me office?
Has a lady put a spell on you?”
“Well, I’m not about to answer that at this point. I do, however, have a few questions on some of the Irish Mythological creatures… ”
“Oh, fairies, sprites, leprechauns, changelings, and the like. They’re all very grand fantasies of the pre-Christian Ireland. And there are so many nice stories in Irish Literature, and some hair raising ones, as well. Yet, there has never been any proof that these so-called beings ever existed. Every society has had its legends, myths, explanations for things they didn’t understand until now.”
“What about the pooka?”
“Ya can’t be serious!”
“Only asking,” Mulder shrugged.
“I can tell you that there are so many divergent varieties of the pooka, and never has concrete evidence been put forward on these so-called beings. People used to supposedly offer food and crops to pookas in the promise that their crops would not be ruined, by the pooka. And there are people who have said that the pooka favor the first of November for prediction of the future of believers. This is after All Hallow’s Eve. But this is May.”
“An Aer Lingus flight on Tuesday came over with some very odd explanations for… ”
Scully entered the office unbeknownst to Mulder. “Turbulence. Documented by the flight recorder and the pilots, Mulder.”
“Well, Agent Mulder, may I help you any further?” the professor offered.
“Uh, no. I’d better get going. I have a lot of paperwork to do,” he replied quickly. “Thank you so much for your time.”
As they were walking through the corridors of the university, Scully remarked, “I told you so.”
“Yes, and you were right. Not everything has a paranormal explanation.
How about taking in Lord of the Dance?”
“Well, that’s very sweet of you to offer, Mulder. But it won’t get you out of the report.”
“I know. But you do like Michael Flatley.”
“Only because he has the world’s record for number of dance steps per second, which is twenty-nine, and the way he fixes the girl’s flute in the story.”
Author’s note: If you wish to know more about the pooka, visit pages on Irish Mythology, Irish Legends, or type “pooka” on your search page. It’s crazy out there! And yes, I am of Irish heritage.
“I don’t believe in leprechauns, but I know they’re there!” Anonymous