Monsters roamed the streets, radiating death and good cheer. Illuminated skeletons, half-human beasts, painted faces, painted torsos, masks of depravity wickedly leering. Charlie Chaplin strutted by, Miss Lunar Landing.

The cops were out in force: most grinning broadly. 

A death’s-head approached me, hideously deformed. It was saying something, but I had to lean close to hear. The racket was deafening: salsa bands, trumpets, drums. People were dancing, shimmying, twirling.

The monster was speaking. “I need to cross that barricade over there. Do you think it would be all right?”