I stumbled into the dust filled streets close behind Jason. I saw Marlena slowly emerge from a mess of rubble across the street, obviously shaken up and hurt. She had cuts on her face and shoulders.
"Oh my God...Marlena? Are you okay?" I quickened my pace and met her in the middle of the street, gently placing my arm around her shoulders. "Wait, come'ere, come sit down."
I led her carefully to a curb near Hud, Jason and Rob, rubbing her back while our friend Heather came over, asking what happened.
"Go get a water bottle and some napkins from in there," I said, gesturing to the store we took cover in. She hurried off to get them.
"Marlena, does anything else hurt?" I asked, looking for any more injuries.
She didn't answer. She just looked down at her feet, a calm but shocked look on her face. She was bleeding badly above her left eye.
Heather hurried back to us, handing me the water and paper towels, sitting beside me while I wet the paper and began gently cleaning Marlena's cuts up. She hardly moved the whole time.
"Marlena, what happened? Did you see that thing? What was it?" Heather asked. I continued to wipe the blood off her face and wet the towels again.
"Yeah," Marlena said, sounding tired and bored. "I saw it."
"Well tell us what it is!" Jamie urged.
"Heather, not now," I snapped, turning away from Marlena who was slowly regaining her senses. The poor thing would never recover from this ordeal.
"We don't know what we saw; the point is, it's still here. Alright? So we need to get the hell out of Manhattan. Now!" Jason was a few feet away, yelling at the panicked crowd. Marlena was still bleeding, but I had cleaned up her face, shoulders, and knees well enough.
Marlena had her head in her arms when Hud came over.
"What's going on?" I asked, keeping my arm around Marlena.
"I don't know; I think we're gonna get outta here," He said, looking around a bit. "Is she okay to..."
"No, yeah," I said, starting to stand. Marlena lifted her head. Tears were in here eyes. "Marlena, we're getting you out of here, okay?"
"No, no, no, no, no," Marlena pulled away, "It was eating people. It was eating people..."
I looked at Hud. His face was the same as mine: utterly shocked.
We began walking to the Brooklyn Bridge. Buildings were on fire and falling apart before our eyes. Cars were ablaze as well, sending an out of place warm glow upon us.
"Is anyone's phone working? Hud, is your phone working?" Rob asked, turning to face Hud who was trialing behind, catching the chaos on film.
"Wha? No- Shit! I left it at the apartment." Hud said.
"There's no signal on mine," Heather said.
"Hud! Come on!" Jason said, jogging ahead.
We walked a bit further and heard blood curdling screams coming from an ambulance parked on the sidewalk. A woman was lying on a bed pan, clutching her stomach and bleeding from her eyes. Marlena gasped, and I led her away as quickly as possible.
"I need help in here!" yelled a medic. "Hold her down!"
A police officer was leading people toward the bridge. We hurried by, anxious to get out and over with whatever this was.
"Hey," Jason said. "Marlena, are you feeling any better?"
"She's gonna be fine," I said, looking at Marlena. She looked beat. "Right?"
She nodded lazily.
"Marlena," Hud piped up from behind us. "You saw it; what was that thing?"
"Not now, Hud," I said patiently.
"Keep moving in an orderly manner!" said the voice from the helicopter hovering above the bridge. People were steadily flowing across. "Continue moving south! I repeat; do not stop, keep moving south in a quick and orderly fashion! There will be instructions on the Brooklyn Side..."
"You still filming, Hud?" Rob asked.
"Yeah," Hud said, aiming the camera at the flaming mess that was once Manhattan. "People are gonna wanna know how it all went down."
"Yeah, but, you can just tell them how it all went down, Hud," Jason grinned.
"Nah, that wouldn't work." Hud moved the camera to face our backs again.
"Beth?!" I heard Rob say. I turned around and stopped walking with Marlena, who was hurrying forward. I held on to her arm, letting her know to stop.
"Beth! I've been trying to reach you! Are you okay?"
"Wait, Jason, wait!" I called over the sirens, panicked voices, and helicopter propellers. He was already halfway across the bridge. He stopped and turned. "Rob's got Beth on the phone!"
Suddenly, people below us jumped out of their cars, screaming and running back toward Manhattan.
"What do you mean you can't move?!" Rob asked his phone.
"Do you see that?!" People shrieked. "What is that thing?!" They all sprinted away, leaving their cars parked with the doors wide open.
I heard water sloshing below us, but was too preoccupied getting back to Rob and Hud to notice.
Once we were back together, I noticed that Jason was still in the same place, standing up tall on a light post to get a better view of where we were.
"Jason!" I called. More sloshing water.
"Why did you stop?" He yelled. The helicopter was shining its search light over his area of the bridge. People around him looked up in horror.
"Jason," I called again. "Jason, WATCH OUT!!"
Before it even happened I knew it was all over. The creature's long, thick tail came crashing down onto Jason, taking the bridge down with it. The shaking was too much, and we all were knocked onto the ground. Even though I hit my head badly, I scrambled to stand up.
"Jason!" I screeched in horror. "No! Jason! Jason!!"
Marlena pulled me off of my knees as I was crawling frantically against the crowd, trying to get to Jason. Wherever he was.
"NO!! JASON!!" My cries were hardly audible over the roaring noises coming from the incredibly huge monster making its way underwater and the creaking heard from the collapsing bridge. It was coming down fast, cords snapping and metal bending. Marlena and Rob had both of their arms around mine, pulling me with them as I screamed and struggled toward the mess. I didn't want to go, I wanted to get to Jason. I didn't care that some thing was still on the loose, and I didn't care that the bridge was collapsing on each side of the damaged area.
All I cared about was getting Jason back.
I sprinted away in horror and shock. I didn't care that my heels were too high and too small and my hair was in my eyes and my dress was ripped at the hem. I couldn't take this. Something I never thought would happen just occurred right before my eyes and I didn't know what to do. I was freezing, shaking, and crying all at once.
"Lily! Lily, stop!" Marlena said.
I ran up to the nearest building, crashing into it with my hands in front of me. I knelt down as the tears spilled down my flushed cheeks.
"I don't know what I did to deserve this!" I cried.
"I know, Lily-"
"It was just there, and then he was gone, and-" I gasped, "Oh my God - Jason!!" I broke down and sat on the cold concrete. "Jason," I sobbed uncontrollably.
"Lily, I'm so, so sorry," Marlena knelt down, putting her arms around me. I couldn't control myself any longer. The tears flowed and the sobs escaped all too soon. My stomach wrenched and flipped at the thought of Jason looking up just before it crashed down onto him. He was gone forever. I would never see him again.
Before I knew what was happening, I was with Marlena in the Radio Shack being looted across the street, blocking Marlena's yells out of my ears. I didn't care if I lived at this point. If I died, I would see Jason again. If I lived, I would be miserable. Dying sounded pretty damn good at that point.
Soon enough Rob was yelling back, telling everybody to shut up so he could listen to his message from Beth. All it was was Beth sobbing and saying that she couldn't move, mixed with loud, screeching roars in the distance.
I felt tears coming back at the thought of one of my oldest friends hurt because of the same thing that killed Jason.
We started down an abandoned street toward Midtown, where Beth's apartment was probably already in a pile of rubble.
"Rob, man, you really gotta think this over, dude," Hud said while Rob left a message on Beth's phone saying he was coming for her. "Beth lives in Midtown. Midtown is that way. You know what else is that way? Some horrific shit is in Midtown!"
"Guys," Marlena snapped, "This is insane, we are not going to the middle of the city!"
"No," Rob turned around, "We're not. I'm going, you guys are getting evacuated." I looked at him blankly. How could he be so calm when his brother was dead and the love of his life was close to it?
"Dude, one of us is gonna have to tackle you," Hud said, catching up with Rob, "and it's gonna be very uncomfortable for everybody involved-"
"Guys, look at me - This is not me crazy, okay? I know what I'm doing. Go with the military-"
Everybody turned around to face me.
"I'm...I'm coming with you."
Rob looked back at me. "Lily, it's okay, you don't have to-"
"No, I want to, I'm coming with you." I shook my head and stepped closer to him. If I could save Beth, maybe being alive was worth it.
"Guys, did you not hear her message?" Marlena said. "Even if you get to Beth there's a chance that she's already gonna be-"
"Shut up," Rob snapped.
Nobody said anything. I stepped up next to Rob and headed toward the helicopters and military men shooting at the sky.
"Guys, this is insane!" Marlena and Hud ran behind us.
Some guy ran up to Hud and started rambling in Russian.
"I'm sorry, I can't understand you," Hud said, hurrying past him to catch up with the rest of us.
We walked down the empty alley toward all of the booms, rumbling, and gun fires. I was positive that I was the only one terrified, since Rob marched on with his head high and I couldn't see Marlena or Hud.
"Rob?" Hud said, out of breath. The noises were getting closer, but I moved along with Rob in fear of our separation. "Have you tried maybe calling 911 to see if somebody else can help her?"
"I tried, I can't get through," Rob continued fearlessly toward the fiery blasts and roars.
"Well, I mean, what about the police? The fire department?"
"I couldn't get through!" Rob shrugged impatiently, picking up his pace.
"Okay, because this just seems a little-"
A screeching roar and loud boom cut Hud off as the thing stomped into our line of vision. We all screamed, stopped short, and turned around to see the military shooting in our direction and firing missiles over our heads.
I ran with Rob and Marlena to a doorway, loosing Hud who went the opposite direction to hide between two parked cars.
What seemed like thousands of gunshots blasted from the military's guns, and tanks rolled past, shooting three missiles at the monster not even a block away from us. I could hardly see or hear because of the fire, smoke, and blasting noises mixed with the monster's wailing roars as it was hit with a missile. It crashed into a tall skyscraper with its long arm, sending a horrifying wail through the cold, smokey sky. I tried to get a closer look when Rob ran out of the doorway yelling to Hud.
"The subway!" He said.
"Are you ready?" Marlena asked, out of breath.
"Yeah," I said, apparently missing an important conversation. "Okay, on three - One, two-"
Marlena grabbed my arm, sprinting toward the subway entrance right beneath the monster. I didn't have time to think whether this was a good idea or not, so I grabbed Rob while we ran for our lives, literally. It was the fastest I had ever run for anything.
Missiles and bullets flew over our heads as we approached the ninety story tall thing roaring at us. I tried not to look at it and to focus on getting into the subway, but it was impossible. I couldn't get a good look, but from what I saw, it was on all gangly fours, coming our way.
We all ducked into the subway staircase as the monster landed its foot right next to us, screeching at the artillery fire, sending out a rumbling echo, moving the ground, and probably impairing my hearing and heart strength for the rest of my probably short life. We nearly escaped the explosions at the entrance while it stomped over the subway.
I tripped down the steps in my heels, jumped over the barriers into the station, and ran into a pillar for support. I was out of breath, and shaking. That was the scariest moment of my entire life.
I put my hands on my knees, panting from shock and the run. In my twenty-five years of life I had never been more terrified of anything.
"Oh my God, did you see that?!" Hud panted when he caught up. Nobody replied. We all just replayed it's screeching roar in our head as it crushed the tank two yards beside us. I almost threw up from the memory of how close we were to being crushed.
Rob started to walk toward a map of the subway routes. He scurried back and forth, looking for a way to Beth's.
"Hey, look, we can just cross to the other platform, then go up the stairs and see if the other side of the street-"
"We can just wait for there to be a lull, and-"
"Rob, the air caught on fire! There's not gonna be a lull!" Hud yelled.
"But if we wait-"
"Listen to me man, I am with you one hundred percent, but...You gotta listen to what's going on up there, dude."
"Rob," I said, "Hud's right, we have to wait." I went up and put my hand on his shoulder. "We're gonna get to Beth, but we have to be alive to do it, so we have to wait."
Rob got out from my grip, and paced back and forth on the platform.
"Shit!" He yelled, pushing a newspaper stand into the railway.
I sighed. There was no way we were getting to Beth. We were all gonna die.
I sat by Marlena as the lights above us flickered on and off while the monster moved around. I looked at the ceiling and shook my head. We were completely screwed.
Rob's phone rang. He pulled it out of his back pocket.
"What?" Hud asked. I looked over. Rob looked worried. "Rob, what?"
Rob stood and walked in my direction. He flipped open his phone. "Hey, mom?"
My blood ran cold. I brought my hand to my face. Marlena's head drooped. Hud looked away.
"Yeah, we're okay, we're uh...We're being evacuated right now. The military is here, and we're going to be safe. Don't worry."
I shifted in place, knowing what was coming next.
"Yeah, but mom, mom, listen...Uhm...We, uh, we were on the bridge, trying to get out of the city, and...We were on the bridge, when it hit..."
I felt my eyes burn. More tears were on their way.
"Jason...Jason's dead, mom..." Rob said quietly, his voice shaking.
I sniffled. Marlena put her arm around me. Hud sighed quietly. Rob finally started to cry.
I wanted to go out on the street and rip that thing apart with my bare hands.