The creature must have hit something on the wall. Just above its twitching form is a square button. I look along and there is another, closer to Colin. It must activate the door.
“Colin,” I say. “The button.” I point with my good arm and he sees it.
My other arm is numb and I can’t feel my hand at all. I try to shake it but the pain from my upper arm makes me gasp. Colin reaches backwards for the button and pushes it. The door to the outside starts to open. As he is turning the creature reaches up and grabs his arm, sinking its claws into his flesh. It then releases him as Max hits it again with the extinguisher. The doors behind me are open as I stand. Do I run or help?
With one arm useless I’m not sure what I can do but I move to Max, keeping out of Colin’s reach.
Colin looks up. He is trying to stem the bleeding from his forearm.
“Help me,” he says.
At the same time Max gives a cry. The creature has grasped the extinguisher and torn it from Max’s grasp. It is on its feet and it flings the extinguisher away. It moves toward Max with its alien fluid grace.
“No,” I whisper. But it hears me and turns, fixing its pale eyes on me. It changes direction, probably thinking I’d make an easier meal. It’s not wrong either, I am barely able to lift my arm.
Just as it comes towards me something tents the gown at its chest and then burst through. It looks like a spear head. I gaze in horror as the thing looks down and then explodes into ash.
I fall to the floor. I can’t believe what happened. Now that the creature is gone I can see that a nurse is standing with what appears to be a spear in her hands. She looks at me, Max and then Colin. She turns to Max first.
“Are you hurt?”
He just looks from the ash to the nurse and back again. She slams the end of the spear into the ground next to her, making the floor ring with a tinny sound.
“Are you alright,” she repeats into the silence.