Prologue: 1937 (New Amsterdam)

The shots were fired without provocation, leaving three dead almost instantly. The screams from The Museum of Natural History’s guests and employees mingled with the gun’s reports and echoed off of the vaulted marble walls. Bullets flew indiscriminately about the Museum’s main gallery, as men and women dove to the floor or scrambled for cover.

The shooter was a rangy young man, clad in a floor-length leather duster. His face was shadowed by the flat brim of his felt hat. It was further obscured by the red, paisley handkerchief tied around his nose and draped over his mouth. He was menacing in the yellow light of the gallery, with his legs spread wide and hands held in front of him. Machine pistols boomed in each leather-gloved hand. He laughed quietly, like a child who is all too pleased with himself.

A Museum security guard, armed with only a truncheon, moved toward the young man from the left. Without turning his head, the shooter pointed a pistol at the guard and shot him twice. The guard fell to the floor with a cry, and he swung the truncheon impotently as blood soaked through the crisp blue of his uniform shirt. The shooter fired again and the downed guard stopped moving altogether.

The young man stopped firing. Bodies littered the floor. The wounded called out for help, but the unharmed refused to move themselves from their positions of tenuous safety. The gallery’s air was thick with smoke. The rich, iron scent of blood splashed on the floor was cut with the sulfurous tang of gunpowder. A man wept loudly in great, wracking sobs, calling out for God’s mercy.

The shooter’s narrow shoulders rose and fell in a metronomic rhythm. The handkerchief billowed out and sucked in with his deep breaths. He began to speak.  At first, his voice was little more than a mumble, but it rose in volume and intensity until it was a shrill yell. It was the same two words, repeated with manic intensity:

“Osiris Flint!”

“Osiris Flint!”

“Osiris Flint!”

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One Response to “Prologue: 1937 (New Amsterdam)”

  1. Some Dude Out West of Town Says:

    This fellow is going to be trouble for our hero, I can see that coming.

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