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From: Cindy Burnes
I'm thirty-five, going on forty. In my pants pocket I have a set of car keys, a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, and some change. My shirt is ripped down the front, and I'm bleeding from a shallow gash across my chest. I'm standing in a long dark tunnel; a subway, and am holding a smoking gun in my left hand. Holding so tight it hurts. I can't remember why I'm down here, or for that matter, my name. Turning dazedly, I spot something lying on the tracks. My head hurts, but I stumble towards the shattered form on the rails. Its a young man, must be about twenty. I know his name is Gary…or is it Carl? Off to my right lies another corpse, and I turn away in horror.
My head begins to clear a little, but not enough. Something drips into my eyes, and I wipe it away with a tattered sleeve. It's blood. I tentatively feel my head with my cold fingers and discover a small hole near the base of my receding hairline. It doesn't hurt, so it can't be bad. I have somewhere to be right now, so I better get going. Maybe by the time I get out of this tunnel I'll remember where I should be.
Walking hurts, but it isn't bad. Up ahead I spot a service ladder which must lead up to the streets. The manhole cover is thankfully open. I doubt I would have had enough strength left to lift it open. I stand up in the street and look around. Small little shops pack in around each other on this strip. People walk about, talking and running errands. Some of them stare at me, but hurry on there ways. Some look at me with unabashed horror, but I pay them no attention. An old theater sits on the corner of this small block. I stare at it for a bit, something nagging me at the back of my mind. The opera! I'm supposed to be at the opera tonight! Hoping I'm not late, I check my watch. "Damn", I mutter. The hands on my Rolex seem to have frozen in place.
I turn the corner of Bark Lane and am confronted with a twisted horror. Pale white skin, its mouth wide, red, and wearing a gruesome smile.. It reaches towards me, and I shy back in fear. It laughs silently, sending a shiver up my spine. The Thing waves its hands in a flourish, and whisks a blood red flower from air. It silently giggles again, and begins to walk towards me. "No…Get back…" I say, and it stops and begins move its hands in a strange manner, pushing at the air like it's trapped. I start to turn away, to run, but it breaks free of its invisible restraints and charges me. I pull the gun from my pocket and open fire. My vision blurs as I see the figure drop, and things go black.
New York Times, Tuesday October 1998
In a bizarre act of violence yesterday, a street mime was shot seven times at point blank range in the middle of a busy sidewalk. Joseph Balk died on the scene. The gunmen's identity has yet to be released, but the NYPD has officially offered a statement saying that the suspect was suffering from massive cranial trauma during the time of the shooting. Reports from eyewitnesses stating that the crazed John Doe had quote: "a symmetrical triangle shaped hole in his forehead" have yet to be substantiated.