A chance encounter on a New York City street leads to a moment of spiraling, surreal anxiety and terror.

Listen to “Altar” as narrated by the author

I was walking down Bushwick Avenue to do my radio show, as I do every Sunday morning.

I noticed an idling rusted out pickup truck, sitting next to a construction site up ahead of me.

As I walked past, I happened to glance to the right and looked through the small, square plexiglass window into the construction site. I saw a kind of ritual sacrifice going on, atop a makeshift altar.

There was a big old tube TV on the altar, and three men were viciously stabbing the TV with huge hunting knives.

At first I thought it was maybe a film or video being made, or some sort of performance art piece. But I immediately recognized that this was not a performance. They were not pretending.

And then they saw me.

I ran.

And they followed.

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Dan Hintz

Dan Hintz

Dan Hintz is a photographer, noise artist, and radio producer based in Brooklyn. He's perhaps best known for his noise and guitar work in the bands Nuclear Death Wish, Hideous Replica, Leavenworth, Alien Farm, and Hungry Ghost. Hintz also has written several books of poetry and hundreds of micro-stories. His writing has previously appeared in The Fabulist, The Wire, Facet, The Vehicle, Karamu, Option, Raygun, Huh, Bikini, San Francisco Medicine, Bullet Train, Please Shut Up Madame, and Muzzle.

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