Slots Madaigan – A Short Story

A tattered, beer dripped tricolour whipped limply from the bedsit window of his privately run Dublin 2 apartment building. There wasn’t a match on and paddy’s was half a year away but Slots Madigan just wanted his world to know he was Irish. There were too many of “them lot” living around him now. Flats full of lads kipping after their night shifts, full families in two beds and orientals using coke a cola to cook up a hall-filling stink. You’d swear you weren’t in Ireland. People like him were now a minority in their own country. That fact, and his sweaty duvet, kept him awake at night. The New EU Order are out to dilute the continent into one mixed up race by opening the floodgates of every country and letting every Tom, Dick and Haji swarm the place. Our national identity is gone. Drowned in international waters in a blue bag poorly embroidered with a circle of useless stars. There’ll be a black lad reading the news soon enough. He didn’t have a problem with that if it was for their news but it was his news. News from his country, about his people, issues that affect him. He’s not involved with what happens in caves in the middle east, he’s got his own problems. Like them squatters in Ireland’s attic.

He’s only concerned about his safety. They could be letting all sorts of villains and scoundrels in. They need to tighten up the whole thing like in that show Nothing to Declare which he watches every day on the chipped screen of his portable. They stop them from coming in for anything. A few bags of nuts and they’re kicked out. Blinking in their passport photo: out. Coke dust on their belt: out. Even if they just look sketchy they don’t even flinch, they just throw them back on the next return flight. And that’s why Australia has the best quality of life on the planet. There they just go to the beach and slam lagers in the beaming sun. Sounds like paradise to him. If he could ever save up the money he was going to move there. No question about it. But he wasn’t going anywhere that class tonight. He wasn’t even going to head to the metro-chain shop cross the street. It was fowl out. The rain was whipping spits of rain against his only window as the dark fell on all the dredge of workers evacuating the city leaving him probably the only true Dub in a half-mile radius. It was like rats in New York. They were multiplying quicker than you could dash their heads off a wall. He pooled together the shrapnel from the back pockets of the trousers that were forming a heap under his wardrobe. Bout forty pence shy of a fiver. There goes his dreams of a four-in-one. Even a three-in-one with delivery seemed unlikely. Slots frowned at his change for only being enough for a curry chips. Nothing in Slots life ever went well. Luck was reserved for others. And that was a fact Slots had long ago accepted. Our day wasn’t going to come.

Mark Baldwin 2011