All Hallows' Eve

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All Hallows’ Eve

”What fearfu’ pranks ensue!”

John Mayne

In the encyclopaedia ‘of all the useless things which everybody knows deep down inside, but refuses to acknowledge’, is a most peculiar picture.  The picture is beneath the word lonely.  It features a man dressed as Count Dracula, standing beside a tall table, nervously clutching a pint of beer.  The strange thing about this picture is not the man’s attire but the fact that he appears to be the only guest at a party.

The party itself was of a nature which has remained the same for many moons, and yet gone by many different names.  It was a Halloween party.  The reason it was a Halloween party was due to the fact that it was Halloween.  A thousand years prior it would have had a different name.  Yet some things would have remained exactly the same.  In the past the purpose of such festivities was to bid farewell to summer and to prepare for the long, dark winter ahead.  In the modern age it’s apparent that people use this celebration to bid farewell to their sensibilities and dress up like lunatics.

The venue for this particular exercise in futility was a city bar amusingly titled ‘The Underworld’.  It was amusing because it had absolutely no connection to fantastical creatures, or gangsters.  It was in fact named ‘The Underworld’ because you had to walk downstairs from the street to enter.  The clientele that frequented this magnificent beacon of bad taste could only be described as the hipster elite of London.  It would be no exaggeration to say that the patrons of the said bar are so hip that they are hipper than a hippotamus’s hips.

Needless to say, on an average evening ‘The Underworld’ would be full of tight fitting, disgustingly-coloured trousers, bad haircuts, ray bans and cocktails with more paraphernalia than alcohol inside of them.  For the uninitiated, it should be pointed out that it was essentially a bar full of people that looked exactly the same.  Privately, the long-suffering barmaid hoped that her patrons would at least feel obliged to reveal some semblance of their own personal identities, although deep down she wasn’t sure if any of them actually had one.  However so far her hopes had been dashed as her only customer was a slightly depressed vampire.

Clearly, the vampire in question wasn’t really a vampire.  Although sometimes he wished that he were.  Not because of blood lust, or any regular homo-erotic thoughts, rather that sometimes he thought that he’d quite like to be a bat.  Alas, such a thought process only goes to demonstrate exactly what kind of warped mind we are dealing with here.  Anybody with a tiny smidgen of common sense understands that being a bat would be absolutely terrible.  Hanging upside down all day, being blind as a, well, for want of a better word, bat and subsisting off a diet of insects is not a very attractive proposition, to anyone except a twisted lunatic.  Or a man named Quentin.

Quentin the Vampire stared into his pint of beer as if the answer to life’s greatest question lay hidden beneath the surface.  It wasn’t.  And deep down he knew it.  It was in fact a vain attempt to try and ignore the fact that he was twenty-nine years old, at a fancy-dress party, and alone.  It didn’t work.  In truth, the longer he stared at the lukewarm amber liquid, the more desperate he was to leap into it and drown himself in a sea of alcohol.  However he knew that it was nothing more than an impossible dream.  It wasn’t the fact that Quentin acknowledged that there was no way on earth that he could squeeze himself into a pint glass, it was actually due to Quentin’s inner snob.  The shirt he was wearing under his Count Dracula cloak was a Tommy Hilfiger and had cost him an indecent proportion of his monthly income.

“Do you vant to bite my neck?”  The voice behind Quentin startled him so much that he turned around in an instant and splashed his beer onto the floor.  The apparition before him was positively terrifying.  The suit was definitely second hand, and far too big.  “What do you think?” 

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