The street was crowded with a swirling and writhing mass of revelers. Their green outfits and accessories blurred together into a stormy sea that made my eyes swim and my head spin. I tried to look away, I tried to find a hidden corner where I could hide and settle my jangled nerves but there were party shenanigans happening everywhere I looked. They poured out of the alleys. They congealed on terraces and behind the windows that lined the street.
I pushed through the crowd, desperate for an escape, but there were too many people. My pleas for movement, for a small opening to pass through, went unheard in the roaring swell of noise. Green hats. Green beers. Green horns. Green arms. Green noise. My head throbbed. My arms and chest ached where stray elbows continued to press into me as the crowd spun around and around.
My claustrophobia took control and I began to hyperventilate. My legs grew weak. In another minute I would collapse and then be trampled by a thousand feet. Oblivious. Unconcerned. I clutched my head, holding on to something real, something solid, and focused on getting my breathing under control.
Closing my eyes I blocked out the dizzying street party, and pushed the thumping beats of the live band to the back of my mind. There was only me. There was no music. There were no other people. Nothing was green. There were no colors at all. There was just my slow, regular, breathing. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.
I let loose a sigh of relief has my heart rate returned to normal. The pressure behind my temples eased. My legs regained their strength. The ground was solid again. I opened my eyes and looked beyond the throng, over their heads, through the notes dancing in the air, to the brick buildings that lined the street. They too were solid. Everything was going to be okay.
Slowly, I let the music creep into my consciousness again. It started as a tingle, a slight vibration in my ears, and then became a warm hum that further calmed my previously tense muscles, and then the driving bass and earnest lyrics filtered through the rest of me, it was a song I recognized, a song that made me feel like dancing.
Then I noticed the people around me. I could pick out individual faces again. The crowd was no longer a threatening mob, but a fun and delightful gathering of fellow Flogging Molly enthusiasts, singing drunken lullabies. Someone next to me smiled. It was contagious and spread from their lips to mine. My feet moved, my arms waved, my voice joined the cacophony in song.
It was the best party I had ever been to. It was the best St. Patty’s day I’d had in years.
And then, while my eyes swept over the crowd again, I noticed Jennifer Aniston and a leprechaun walk into a bar. I thought it was funny and smiled even more deeply, the day was just getting better and better.
But then my feet stopped. It was funny to have watched that odd pair walk into a bar. It was funny because it was impossible. It was impossible but I had seen it because I was dreaming.
I woke with a start, and checked the alarm clock. 3:33AM. I still had a few minutes before the alarm went off. I still had several hours before I would be leaving work and heading to the concert. I laughed at myself for having a silly dream and then settled back in to catch a few more minutes of sleep, drifting away on thoughts of the possibilities the day held and to try and remember to wear green.
Word Count: 625
As much as I’d love to take full credit for this one, it was inspired by my brother getting to see Flogging Molly on Monday at the 10th annual concert they’ve held in Phoenix on St. Patty’s day, and, by this week’s Papi Prompt!:
What: 500-1000 word flash fiction story
Use the following: Jennifer Aniston and a Leprechaun walk into a bar…
When: Due before next Monday (3/24/2014) to be included in the results.
How: Ping back to the post on The Literary Syndicate linked above, or leave your link in the comments there.
How silly and awesome is that prompt?! What would you have done with it? Can you think of any jokes that start with “Jennifer and a Leprechaun walk into a bar?” I would love to hear it!