Halloween Town

Broken broomsticks and abandoned swords littered the entrance to the bustling fast food chain on O’Connell Street. Wizened witches with laddered tights propped up the doors. Trick or treat? It was difficult to tell, they seemed too drunk to know.

“Are you starting on me?” Cleopatra asked the French maid. Her wig fell slightly askew as she attempted to maintain her balance. “No. You’re just skipping the queue”, the maid replied quietly. The Egyptian Queen’s face flushed red. She bared her fangs.

A collective hush fell on the fast food restaurant. The fancily dressed females seemed poised for a face off. The witching hour had long since passed. The scene was set for toil and trouble.

“Now ladies, that’s not how we do things in Limerick city”, teased a man with a plastic bag on his head. “Oh but sure we’re in Dublin now, playing with the big girls so we are”, his masked accomplice chuckled.

Cleopatra stared at the mystery men in a drunken stupor. One set of her false eyelashes fell to the ground. The maid straightened her apron and turned her attention back to the counter. “A burger, please”, she smiled nervously. She seemed eager to escape the inebriated mob.

“I love you Luigi”, a rather curious cat yelled across the queue to a pair of ladies dressed as the Super Mario Brothers. He swayed back and forth on the spot. His artificial tail dangled limply from his jeans. Luigi glared at him. “I’m actually allergic to cats” she smirked.

A litter of drunken Dalmatians made their way up the stairs. Their smudged spots had turned from black to grey. A mixture of body paint and vomit stained their formerly white shoes. Cruella the Ill was trailing behind. “I really need the bathroom”, she slurred almost intelligibly.

Upstairs, a Westlife tribute act at a high table in the corner spoke loudly among themselves. Even Brian McFadden had turned out for the special occasion. The night’s intake of alcohol had taken hold. The five young men were clearly flying without wings.

A row broke out between a group of pirates at the back of the restaurant. Plastic swords were drunkenly drawn. Trays clattered to the ground. It didn’t take a genius to work out where all the rum had gone.

The Westlife wannabes leapt from their seats almost instantaneously. Their dedication to the cause was clear. When the key changed, they got up off the stools. Security guards quickly appeared at the top of the stairs and broke up the minor brawl.

In the corner, Cleopatra had planted herself at the head of the table. She sank her venomous fangs deep into a hamburger. Her eyes rolled back and forth in her head. Her beloved Mark Anthony sat a few inches away, eager to avoid his intoxicated other half. She was making a right asp of herself.

The Village People had gathered by the window. The policewoman’s moustache had smudged and the cowboy’s hat was nowhere to be found. The Native American had survived the night relatively unscathed. The group kept to themselves, acutely aware of the alcohol-fuelled anarchy that surrounded them.

The builder appeared at the top of the stairs and scanned the room for her friends. She was grabbed from behind as she made her way toward the window. Her intoxicated assailant had clearly misheard the lyrics. She was there for a good meal. He wanted a good feel.

As the clock struck three, the drunk and disorderly made their way to the street in search of a taxi home. Trick or treat? They’d be lucky if they could remember the next morning.

(November 2011)

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