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December 12, 2010
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"Death by coffee"? Wow, the newspaper headlines get weirder everyday. I thought as I skimmed through this morning's paper before I headed to work. It was a story about a Mr. Carter who was killed by someone who poisoned his coffee at a local Starbucks. Stupid, I thought as I decided to skip having my morning coffee today. Why did I even read the paper anymore? Everything in it was depressing. I headed out the doors of my apartment, anticipating my first day in my new office as the vice president of Barnesbury Books. No longer would I be the callous of Kelsey's shoe; maybe now I would receive some respect and maybe even be treated as an equal. It was an average fall morning, only a little chillier than usual. I took my everyday route, passing by an awakening city. Stores were preparing for the impending busyness, and the coffee shop was bubbling with the early morning crowd. What would this new day hold?

Standing before Barnesbury Books, I looked up at the tall building thinking how far I had come since my first day there. I remembered being in that exact spot, only then I was fresh out of college with a slim résumé and timidity. Now there I stood, same timidity, but that time I would enter Barnesbury's doors as a professional. That time, I prepared to meet my new position rather than a possible employer.

The next few hours consisted of perks and drawbacks. Co-workers were snippier, stuffier, and snobbier. With the new position, came a new office. The only disappointment, I was not sure which was worse: my office or my co-workers. As excited as I was about my promotion, one look at my new office soon diminished much excitement. The walls were the dullest shade of gray I had ever seen, and there was no way I could fit all of my junk on that tiny box I supposed was my desk. No pictures, no decorations, not even a single plant. One would think that the office of a children's book editor would be fun and creative. Things would have to change. The only perks: my paycheck and the fact that I was paid for reading children's books all day.

Finally after extensive, grueling hours trying to figure out my new job and being yelled at by my boss, I could return to my warm home and relax in a soothing bubble bath while I read through the children's books I had to review. Then I would devour the Häagen-Dazs waiting for me in the fridge for a late night snack. I could already taste its icy perfection. I made my way home through lonely, scarcely lit streets. Deciding to take a short cut home, I turned the corner and entered the dark gates of Central Park.

Trees casted eerie shadows on the path before me. Lonely streetlamps scattered the premises, giving the park the appearance of an interrogation room. Fog misted over the ground in a sinister and foreboding way; no stars were visible in the October sky, only the creepy outstretched hands of trees. The night sky was a mixture of smoke and sapphire. Leaves crackled beneath my feet as I trudged along past empty benches. For a moment, I thought I heard someone running behind me. I turn around. No one was there. I trudged on, eager to meet the warmth of my doorway. Shadows danced in circles around me, and I stood confused, frightened, and angry with them for their cruel antics. My mind fought to discern between real and illusion, between life and the nightmare. Lurking shadows arose, and I cowered.

The next day the newspaper headlines read: "Murder in Central Park."





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