St. Patrick’s Day. – by Mark McDonough

Most people recognize red as a warning color, but for Michael, it was green.

Green can be symbol of money: the root of all evil. Considering he only had 47 dollars in his checking account, he was in no danger of being corrupted. This was not the green he feared.

It was not the green of envy that he worried about. No one wanted to be him and it wasn’t worth the risk wishing to be someone else. He cut his losses and accepted his own deplorable essence.

The green that scared Michael was that of plastic top hats, long bead necklaces, and cheap cotton shirts embroidered with shamrocks.

He read “Kiss Me I’m Irish” as “Do Not Enter” and “Lucky” as “Hazardous”.

Michael was 25 years old and approaching his tenth year of drunken Saint Patrick’s Day stupor. In that decade he had exactly zero successful celebrations. A vomit inducing spectacle of violence and shame had become his calling card. Would this one be more of the same? Or would he enter in a game of chance with a leprechaun in an attempt to win his gold? Shit, I just spoiled the surprise. My bad, guy.

Part One

Michael’s alarm clock went off at 11:30 AM. This was unusual for Mike, who was much more of a post meridiem type of guy.

His phone presented a scroll of texts from different people all stating a similar message. It was March 17th and it was time to drink.

There was a green shirt and jeans spread out on top of his computer chair. Wearing green irked him, but not as much as the thought of questions that would come with its absence.

Dread overcame him. Efforts to avoid the interminable mess proved futile. He hated this holiday but history told him he would succumb to it in the end.

Michael exited his house, but could not do so without first walking past his parents. They stared at him helplessly and resembled dog owners watching their Pomeranian run in front of fat guy’s Harley Davidson.

“Don’t drink too much!” rang out from behind him as his front door closed shut.

He blacked out on Tuesday of that week unannounced. Did they really expect he was going to exercise caution on the city’s drunkest day?

The Uber that picked him up was more relaxing than usual. There was a cold bottle of water waiting for him in the back seat which he desperately needed. It would be the only healthy thing he put in his body for the next day or so. The driver wore a suit and asked if Michael would prefer the radio or silence. Michael chose silence because he knew he had a long day of ear piercing nonsense ahead of him. His driver obliged fully, which was further proof to Michael that that may very well have be Jason Statham driving that Toyota Camry.


The bar was packed to its hinges and it was not even 1 yet. He was constantly reminded of why he hated that place every time he stepped in it, but also always got hammered and then forgot. A gold fish swimming in alcohol.

Everyone looked happy. Women in their Irish knit sweaters and Uggs, men in their backwards hats and backwards hats. All articles of clothing would most likely end up in a pool of beer and tears, but for now, they looked nice.

“Dirty Old Town” by the Pogues boomed from the Touch Tunes for the third time in the still early afternoon. The crowd chanted the lyrics or just waited til the “Dirty old town, dirty old town” part. The tale of meeting your love in a begotten place was almost too familiar to the singing patrons, but this was not the time to be cognizant of such things.

Michael joined in putting all of this out of his mind. He tried to focus on only one thing: no shots.

It was the one rule he set for himself. Beer was easy, but hard liquor complicated. Complicated for both the body to handle and to avoid. How could one abstain from something so ubiquitous? On this date especially, there were shot glasses littered across the bar, in people’s right and left hands, and even on their forsaken necklaces.

A beautiful brunette with big blue eyes passed him a shot of Jameson and self-control suddenly seemed silly. After three more, it seemed inconceivable.

The line for the bathroom seemingly went on past the horizon but Mike desperately needed to go. If he could not go inside, there was always out.

He faked a phone call and stumbled into the alley outside still holding his phone to his ear. The phone would not distract any conscious person from what he was actually doing, but his mind was convinced otherwise.

He took foolish pleasure in melting the ice and found it misleading that movies always presented snow as pristine. In real life it wasn’t white, but black and adorned with discarded Marlboro Light butts.

When he was almost finished, he looked at the graffiti in front of him. A rainbow was spray painted all the way down the wall. His eyes followed it until they became strained. He did not remember this alley being so long. Once his pants were zipped, he mindlessly began stalking the colors as far as they went. The artwork stopped and Michael simultaneously fell over an obstruction.

His leg ached and he was sure he would have a bruise by morning. His hands pressed against the ground in an effort to push himself up and met something cold and round. Closer examination showed that they were large, golden coins.

Next to the coins was a heavy iron pot glowing brightly. The sight of such a fortune was shocking, but not enough so that it delayed looting.

Michael filled his pockets rapidly until someone screeched in his ear.

Michael turned nervously wondering if he was about to be introduced to something mythical. Instead all he saw was a short guy with a chin strap. The man wore a backwards baseball hat, stud earrings, and a hockey sweatshirt on top of a basketball jersey. This wasn’t a leprechaun, it was just an asshole. But smaller.

“What are ye’ doing with my gold?!”

“I don’t know man, I’m sorry. I just kind of tripped over it and it was too tempting not to indulge.”

“Have ye’ not seen a movie, son? Ye’ feckin’ never take a leprechaun’s gold!”

“You’re a leprechaun? Why are you… I mean ye’… dressed like that?”

“Don’t get smart with me boy! And because it’s easier to blend in this way of course! Now give me back me gold!”

“Okay, like eight questions though. Wouldn’t today of all days be your one chance to dress like you used to? Why would you just leave a huge pot of money outside? Why would you spray paint a rainbow pointing out where the huge pot of money was? Why wasn’t there an actual rainbow? And I’m pretty sure I don’t have to give you back your gold until we make some type of bargain, right? How many questions was that?”

Michael’s head was spinning and the words flew too freely. He must have blacked out a few minutes ago and this was all part of his hammered imagination.

“Including the question about the amount of questions it was six. I don’t got times for ye’ games lad. Just give me the gold and go back to ye’ life.”

He decided since it was a dream he could be brave. It was not a dream though, and it was the Jameson that made him bold.

“No, I want this gold. It’s mine. Don’t be fucking leaving it places, dude.”

A smile emerged from the little creature’s face.

“Alright, well if there’s no convincing ya’… We’ll play a little game to see who gets to keep it. Deal?”

“Well, no deal yet. I need to hear the rules first. I don’t want you putting the pot in my stomach and killing me like the guy in the Leprechaun movie.”

“Which Leprechaun? There’s seven of them.”

“The first one.”

“I’ve only seen Leprechaun in the Hood.”

“How is that even possible?”

“Oh, Marone! Don’t feckin’ worry about what movies I have and have not seen! Here are the rules to the game. Kiss a woman by midnight tonight and my gold is yers, all of it. Ye’ can’t pay for the kiss and she has to be above a six, and no feckin’ cheating! Ye’ know who’s above and below a six in that little heart of hearts of yers.”

“And what happens if I lose?”

The leprechaun exposed more of his stained teeth as his grin grew eternally wider.

“Ye’ have to live this same day every day for the rest of ye’ life.”

“How does that even benefit you?”

“Stop worrying about me. Is it a deal or not?

A miniature hand with yellow nails was extended out to Michael.

The game did not seem that hard. Michael wasn’t exactly Antonio Banderas, but he could get a woman to at least kiss him. He had around 11 hours to accomplish the task. And all of that gold. Michael would then be able to sleep with women for the rest of his life just based on the fact he was rich. And he was so fucking horny. All the time.

Michael’s hand shot out and eclipsed the tiny gambler’s while shaking it.

Suddenly, Michael was hit in the face forcefully and everything turned black.

Part 2

When Michael’s eyes opened, they met a dark night sky.

His nose hurt, and when he reached up to it, he met dry blood.

“What time was it? Why was he in an alley way? Wait, was there a leprechaun there?”

A note hidden under a single gold coin answered all of his questions:

Yes, you made a bet with a leprechaun. Yes, you have to kiss a woman by midnight. Yes, I punched you in the face to get an advantage. Good luck!


The pain and the message alerted Michael that this wasn’t a dream after all.

This broken nose was hard to work with. If he was given a black eye he could have used it to his advantage. He thought he looked sexy with a black eye. He called it “strung-out chic”. At that moment he noticed something was written on back of the paper as well.

“P.S. I punched you in the nose instead of the eye ‘cause I didn’t want you pulling off that “strung-out chic” sexy bullshit.”

That little guy knew his stuff.

It was 8 PM, which Michael found out from the clock on top of the building across the street. The leprechaun stole both his wallet and phone. Michael had no money and no girls in his phone book that would respond to his text messages or calls anymore, so it originally seemed like the joke was on the leprechaun.

No wallet meant no ID though, which meant he wouldn’t be able to enter bars. The bar he was standing next to threw him out immediately when he re-entered. Even if he could convince them he was of age, it would be difficult to convince them that they should trust a guy with a recently broken nose.

The missing phone meant he would have no way of knowing where his friends were at that moment.

The only thing in his possession that he could have used to his advantage was the gold coin.

After an hour of wandering he realized that no pawn shops or banks were opened. He also realized he didn’t know where pawn shops were.

There were three hours left until midnight and his prospects were looking dim.

What women weren’t in bars or home in bed? Homeless women! But they would have been difficult to meet the “6” requirement with.

House parties! Single, attractive women would be at house parties! It was Saint Patrick’s Day after all. Patrick was the patron saint of gettin’ laid.

Michael did not know of any party currently happening, but figured that he might be able to sneak into a stranger’s.

His game plan was fool-proof.

“Steve told me to come.”

Everyone knew a guy named Steve. He would just say it to people then walk in nonchalantly.


It worked. The first fucking try. It was incredible. You all should have been there to see it. You’re stuck with my summary of the story and I don’t even know how to write really. I have no idea how to maintain tenses or where to put commas.

Michael was ecstatic. He felt like James Bond. If James Bond had to trick people to get into parties or to kiss women. He felt like James Belushi.

Inside, everyone was in the middle of a huge dining-room-turned-dance-floor. It was perfect because it was harder to keep track of people when “Rock and Roll: Part 2” by Gary Glitter was playing. He blended right in.

A girl, a hot girl, took his hand and just started dancing with him. Man, hot chicks rock.

Michael grew increasingly excited as the idea of a care-free, luxurious life seemed closer to becoming a reality.

A wrench went flying into the plan when the song switched. “No Letting Go” by Wayne Wonder roared through the room.

Michael did not have a problem with the song itself. The song was fucking great. It was the change of dance moves that the song called for that Michael was worried about.

The woman he was dancing with started grinding on him and, as he feared, she was a good dancer.

If she had been a bad dancer he wouldn’t have minded. His moves could be masked by her own inability. She looked like she was in a Enrique Iglesias video and he knew there was no way he could keep up.

“No fucking way, man.”

He did not mean to blurt that out, but he did. He did not wait to see her response and headed directly to the kitchen in hopes of stealing alcohol to regain some courage.

Michael stole a beer from one of the myriad of Bud Light boxes.

Bud Light: The beer you can steal, cause no one will know!” thought Mike. The slogan was a little long, but it could work.

The clock on the stove read 9:30. That meant time to drink a few beers and then go for the kill.

An hour passed between the dance floor and the kitchen intermittently.

During a trip for another beer, Michael decided he really needed to bunker down.

Lo and behold, directly in front of him was a beautiful blonde girl leaning against the refrigerator.

Forget a six, this girl was a ten.

“How’d you get that nose?”

“A leprechaun punched me.”

“Well, I hope you got some of his gold.”

“When I do, you and I can go on vacation together.”

“Where we going?”

“The Grand Canyon.”

The Grand Canyon? Why the fuck did he say the Grand Canyon?

“And anywhere else you want to go”, added Mike trying to save face.

“You’re funny. Come here.”

The girl grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him in closer. This was it. Millions of dollars. Millions of dollars!

When his lips were about to hit hers and inevitably “This Magic Moment” was about to start playing, at least in his head, everything suddenly went black again when Michael felt a thunderous blow to the side of his face.

He woke up outside on the sidewalk and assumed the leprechaun hit him again. The guy at the top of the stair case screaming “Don’t touch my fucking girlfriend!” said otherwise. He was dressed exactly the same as the leprechaun, faded Kevin Garnett jersey and all, only he was much taller.

Michael was helped to his feet by a stranger and then placed into the back of their car.

He could not make out who it was at first and then came across the cold bottles of water next to him. Statham! That son of a bitch!

“You saved me… but wait.. I have to”, Michael tried to argue but drifted off to sleep.

When he woke up for the fourth time that day, he was in front of his parent’s house and the Statham-esque Uber driver was bringing him to his feet.

“What time is it?” asked Michael frantically.

“11:55” responded the Uber driver after looking at his Rolex.

Michael broke free of his grasp and began running aimlessly down the street flailing in the night’s air, screaming for a woman to kiss him. Old people peered from their windows seeing something resembling Leather Face at the end of Texas Chainsaw Massacre moaning in their street.


Michael’s alarm clock went off at 11:30 AM. This was unusual for Mike, who was much more of a post meridiem type of guy.

His phone presented a scroll of texts from different people all stating a similar message. It was March 17th and it was time to drink.

The End.

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