From “Chapter One”
Now, they were making their way, arm-in-arm, down Broadway, among the throngs bent on celebrating the old pagan Festival of the Dead.
Matthew was on Collette’s right. Behind them, a man, who was dressed as the pirate Blackbeard with a fake parrot sewn on his left
shoulder and who walked with an affected limp, was gaining on them. No one paid much attention to him as he pushed his way through
the crowd, bowing and smiling, the gold foil covering one front tooth shining in the bright light from the overhead street lamps.
As Blackbeard approached the couple from behind, he bumped into Matthew, startling him. “Sorry, Gov’nor.” The pirate tipped his hat,
smiled at Collette, and limped on. When he was about 40 feet in front of them, he abruptly turned around, and started limping towards
them, bowing and smiling. Matthew and Collette immediately recognized him and started to laugh, seeing the fake parrot flopping back
and forth on his shoulder. The pirate tipped his hat to Collette, and was just about to pass them, when he reached into his jacket,
pulled out a pistol with a silencer, and shot Matthew through the heart. The sound of the discharge was barely audible in the
cacophony of deafening noise, but there was no mistaking what had happened.
For an instant, Matthew froze. Then, he crumbled to the pavement. It took Collette a moment to realize what had happened. She took
one look at her husband and began screaming. Dropping to the pavement, she pulled Matthew’s head into her lap, smoothing his hair
with her left hand and swaying back and forth, as if to soothe him. Behind her, several people lay injured. People were screaming,
some out of fear, some for the police, who arrived quickly and cordoned off the area. Within minutes, four ambulances and their
crews were on the scene, tending to the needs of wounded.
But there was nothing they could do for Matthew. And once again, Collette was a widow.