It was a football stadium, it was an airport.
Previously it had been a huge crowd of high-school students watching a clown performance, a clown that squirted industrial solvents from a spray bottle at people for chucks. I had had intentions of asking him how to make a balloon llama from one of those skinny animal balloons, but then it was a football stadium. Planes were taking off. We were outside. It was snowing.
The planes were sliding down massive ski slopes built into one side of the playing field, to achieve proper acceleration in such a short distance. The ground itself was icy and soaked with slush. The bleachers were packed; most of us watching in that kind of breathless quiet that happens at night in a soft snow.
A 747 at the top of the ramp, ready for slide-off, was having engine issues, and a group of technicians in ski getups and goggles went up to suss it out. A fleet of helicopters descended on the situation and snipers unleashed calm, perfect fire upon each of the technicians. I could see their heads exploding under the sodium lights, punctuation marks of red against the snow. A silent, frozen moment passes before we hear the gunshots.
The crowd panics, and I am pulled in its terrified rush to bottleneck the stadium exits. In a moment of clarity, a revolutionary architectural design for safer fire exits unfolds inside my head and immediately dissipates as I am distracted by the girl next to me. She is struggling to pull a mask over her face, one of those cheap two-dimensional plastic Halloween deals. The mask looks like a normal girl's, and there is a snorkel mouthpiece dangling uselessly from it. The moment I see her face, I understand it is a throat-tube to aid her breathing. She is monstrously deformed beneath the slipping mask, and I stop against push of the crowd to help her readjust it.
We make our way into an underground parking garage.
I have forgotten my satchel. (The satchel is life; I don't even go buy cigarettes without it.) "Wait here," I tell her. I run back into the stadium, now dead empty. There are no planes, no terrorists. The snow is now rain. I grab my soaked bag and run back out into the garage to find the girl and help her get home. She is normal, her face human. No sign of a mask. She does not need my help, and leaves.
I give up and decide to go home. I wake up as I am standing in this parking garage, alone, trying to remember what city it is I live in now.