Erin Go Araghhh…

The residents of Tipperary Hill have a tradition of gathering underneath the green on top traffic light at midnight as St. Patrick’s Day begins. They would make their way to the corner of Tompkins and Burnet Park Drive to paint a shamrock in the intersection. The tradition had been going on for as long as they could remember.

Every year since she was a wee lass, Erin O’Sullivan gathered with her fellow Tipp Hill neighbors for the festivities. Erin and her friends would then make their way down the street to Coleman’s or Nibsy’s to finish off the night. The next morning, at least one of her friends would be found in a snow bank where they had passed out a few hours earlier. They would get up and stumble back to one of the local bars to celebrate their favorite patron saint.

After the invasion, Erin felt the need to continue the festivities. After all, it was a tradition.

Late in the afternoon of March 16th, Erin set her plan in motion. Over the long winter, she gathered the necessities and set them aside. She found a push broom in the parking garage that would serve as her brush. She found two cans of green paint in a storage room in the hotel. The only tricky part was figuring out a way to get to her canvas.

Erin hid the paint cans in a backpack and took her broom towards the front gate of the Zone. It was almost springtime in Central New York. The snow from the long winter had begun to melt and Erin told anyone who asked that she was going out to sweep Syracuse clean. No one asked.

After getting to Route 81, Erin walked south a while before finding a car that she could drive the rest of the way.

Erin arrived at her destination a little before midnight. It was almost St. Patrick’s Day. It was almost time.

The traffic light was no longer working, and no one else had come out to continue the tradition with her, but Erin had to continue. She removed the cans of paint from her pack and pried off the tops. It wasn’t the right shade of green, but it would suffice. She used her broom to spread the paint around the intersection, doing her best to form the shape of a shamrock. The others that had done it before her made it look so easy.

As the clock struck midnight, she had completed her masterpiece. She hadn’t let the zombie apocalypse end the decades of this tradition.

It was then that Erin noticed the crowd that had gathered under the light, just like they had in the past.

In the morning, after passing out in a snow bank, Erin rose and stumbled down Tompkins towards Coleman’s.

After all, it was tradition.

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