& It's h u n gry
I see what’s going to happen before it does. I saw the movements in the games. I saw the sketches by Mayday. I know from my own writing. TRIGGER brings up one of its long and awkwardly jointed arms up, the end is nothing but a stump. It reaches up and in an instant it’s pierced through the young man’s chest. The proxies let him go and the body slumps to the floor, in the dim light I watch his figure dissipate as it hits the floor.
And all hell breaks loose again. Everyone is screaming and TRIGGER roars out. It bellows, it rages around going after others, and another pain racks through my body, starting in my gut. I double over and cough and gag and tears sting my eyes. Wren screams a string of profanities and Mayday’s face is buried in the carpet with her hands over her head.
We need to get out of here. We need to run far and fast. As far and as fast as we possibly can. We need to get out of here, I need to get away from that thing. Now. As soon as possible. NOW.
I shrink back and into the curve of Doc, who is trying his best to keep us all together and in the same headspace. But, I’m already out in the parking lot, back in that fucking garbage tin can car. Speeding down the highway, as far from here as possible. Let Netflix and the Internet have at it, I want to wipe my brain clean of this whole thing. Or, at the very fucking least, leave here.
Now. Now now now now N O W.
“How much longer will you hide?!” I flinch at the voice, it’s almost as if she’s in my head over all the chaos. “Isn’t it all you wanted and more?!”
“Alright, fuck this. We are moving, now!” Wren crawls backwards out from under the table, crouching down and holding out a hand to Mayday. She looks at him, then at me. Her make up is running down her face. Her hair is all messed up, she looks absolutely horrified. And I can’t blame her. She crawls out after him and grabs her hand and then turns to look back at me.
Doc loosens his grip on me and helps me move. The pain, among other things, is numbing my legs, and I have to hold onto Doc to crawl across the stage with the rest of my friends. Doc keeps the rear, Wren is in front, and Mayday and I are in the center. We are hidden by the chairs, we are hidden by the chaos. Wren tumbles forward quickly down the stairs, and Mayday crawls down next. I stare down those three steps, those measly steps, and I reach one leg out. I try to make the step and my stomach clenches and I fall forward, hard. The wind is knocked further out of me.
“Dru!” Doc leaps down and tries to help me up.
“What is wrong?!”
“Guys, c’mon!” Wren is kneeling down at the entrance of the fabric tunnel, the one corner everyone hasn’t tried to hide in. His eyes are bright, electric, and wild. “Move! Now!”
I take another step and grit my teeth and try to bear it. a chair flips over and flies in our direction and Mayday screams, I double over. The pain is so severe I start to dry heave.
“What is going on?!” Doc asks as Mayday looks on in horror, she’s poised like she’s ready to run, a wild and feral animal.
My vision goes blurry. I groan out my answer, and I feel a sharp hook in my abdomen, pulling me towards the center of the room. I root my feet in the carpet but stagger forward with the pull. My head swims with the pain. Oh my god. Mayday makes a noise akin to a strangled animal.
Through my blurred vision, I look up at the monster, this thing, and it’s staring right back, all of those eyes.
“Do you feel its hunger, Andrea?” The girl asks. “Were you prepared for it?”
The monster roars again, and Wren grabs Mayday’s arm and takes off down the makeshift hallway. The monster comes right at me, and the pain gets worse. So much worse. I stand there, frozen, and Doc slams into me from the side, and we tumble into the hallway as a tangle. Doc curses under his breath, helping me up and basically drags me down the hall. The monster is behind us, pulling the curtains and PVC pipes down and out. It trips us up, it sends us falling into faster footsteps. I can barely see straight and Doc’s hold gets tighter on me. Ahead of us, Wren Spartan-kicks the emergency exit open, the sirens go off. I slam hard into the door as it tries to swing shut and Doc slides in the hallway.
I hear the door slam, but then it blasts open again. The siren howls all around us as we turn a corner just as I glance back and see it coming out into the hallway. The proxies come out and TRIGGER, towering over them, swings its arm out and they scatter.
I turn back to face the front, my eyes watering. Doc grunts as I stumble over my lead feet and I once we turn the corner, my foot settles hard on the ground. I grab onto Doc and he grabs onto me and we’re speeding down the hallway. Mayday and Wren are far ahead, I don’t see them. They must be far ahead. They have to be. We’re lagging. We’re lagging behind. We make another turn, and skid to a stop because there are black-shirt people rushing down the corner towards us. Doc curses under his breath and I shove him into a door. Expo center to the hotel, the lobby eerily empty. Doc sucks wind through his teeth and doubles over, grabbing onto the desk in the lobby. I stagger forward and catch myself, my mind suddenly clearer. The pain subsides slightly, I turn around and grab his arm.
“Doc, Doc, Trevor,” I whisper. I look down at his shirt, and the light grey is splotched with deep red. I put my hand up to my face, thinking that when I smacked my face onto the floor.
“Trevor, we need to run.” I glanced at the front door, we could leave. We could go right now.
“My brother,” Doc grunts, catching his breath. “Where are Wren and Mabel?”
My eyes leave the front door, and I look around. No one else is here, no one else is here in a hotel lobby. Did they evacuate from the alarm? Were they all in the convention? The biggest absence is that I’m reaching out my hand and there is no one there. No comfort. No light. Two of my closest friends are missing and there is a monster on the loose.
“We were following them.” I try to not panic, my eyes flitting about the space. How long until they come back this way? How much time have we wasted to escape? “They definitely went this way.”
“Did they go outside?” Doc stands up, his hand not leaving the desk. His voice is low and his face is pale, paler than usual. My gaze goes back to the world outside is, the world outside is safe. The world outside isn’t walled in and we can run. We can go.
I see figures roaming out into the parking lot, lingering. Pushing Doc to move, I hurry and hide behind the desk, peering around at them as they remain stationed outside. I clench my fists, a thrum starting in my stomach again. I squat down low and rub my temples. My mind is racing. We are so stuck, we are so screwed. We are doomed.