Page 11a


You go to your favorite rooftop restaurant that serves greasy burgers and crispy fries. You look out over the city. It is a crispy day. You are sitting outside.

There is a noise like someone popping the top off of a bottle of champagne, only it is so loud it reverberates in your bones and makes your stomach curl in on itself. You know something is wrong before you look to see your waiter - the kind teenager with warm eyes and spiked hair - lying on the cool pavement. His eyes are no longer warm. His life pools on the ground in a black puddle.

By the time you register what is happening, two more people have fallen, metal lodged in their sides from the masked gunman's weapon. You run to get away, but there is nowhere to go. People hide under tables, the metal legs simply make a prison for them as they try to crawl away from the impossibly fast shots.

You see your friend, Amy. She is twisted so unnaturally, her light hair impossibly dark. It glistens in the early afternoon sun. If you could remove her from the context, she would look beautiful.

You are curled in a corner, against the glass sheet of the railing. You look down, your heart pounds against your ribs. It is almost as loud as the gunfire.

You realize then that there is a balcony only two stories below. Perhaps, you could get help if you could land correctly.