The gunfire was deafening and my head swam from colliding with the floor—I couldn’t quite get a mental lock on anything, my eyes swimmy, my head lolling. My side burned like a fresh tattoo, and blood spread across my hip and crotch where my underwear was drinking it up. My back was killing me where the bullet had burned me earlier.
I slipped and almost fell. Some bestial scream erupted to my right and I jumped. Bang! A dark shape backflipped into a wall.
They ushered me into a doorway where Walter was leading his father down a narrow corridor. People jostled ahead of us in the dark as we ran, cutting the soft and grainy light ahead into a thousand tumbling shapes. Simian ghosts careened around us, pulling at our clothes, trying to pull us apart.
The constant gunfire, again and again, roared down the tunnel in constant lion-roars, again and again, bang bang bang, flat and sharp and cutting into my brain like a scalpel.
Snapshot scenes passed in front of me, illuminated by muzzle-flashes: Walter looking over my shoulder, fear in his eyes. Clayton grimacing in pain. The screaming doll-face of a Wilder, swooping out of the dark. Normand reloading his revolver.
Shadows and men divided themselves and divided again as we ran, chasing someone’s torch. They flickered a square dance across my eyes to a music that threatened to tear me to pieces from the inside out: a symphony of hag-screams, howling maniacs, the percussion of guns.
“Are we okay?” I remember saying. My face was wet. My clothes were wet.
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