They dashed to their left as the ferry slammed into the shore. Concrete erupted skyward as the damaged bow of the Molière cut into the dock. The noise sounded like an explosion as debris rained down onto the two dock hands. The boat continued to plow through the dock, its engines still powered up full blast.
Fire trucks overturned, men pinned underneath, concrete folding over onto them like a cement wake. Men screamed as they were overtaken by the runaway ferry. Finally, the boat ground to a halt, engines still churning as they tried to push the boat onto ground. The plume of dust and debris from the impact hung suspended in the air and mingled with the falling snow.
Manny picked himself up off of the ground. He bent down to help Billy up, but then stopped. Billy laid motionless in the snow, a three foot length of rebar protruding from his chest. A red pool of blood spread from his body, turning the snow crimson.
Aw kid, Manny thought as he stood there staring down at the lifeless greenhorn; forgetting the catastrophe in front of him.
Emergency crews that weren't pulverized by the beached ferry began to approach the vessel. Just then, Manny heard a strange noise coming from the ship. The engines finally gave out, overheated from the effort of moving a boat through solid ground. The dock fell silent as the boat bellowed again. A low growl, this time much louder. Manny looked at the shipwreck and could see movement on the bridge.
"There are survivors on board!" he yelled. "Let's get some ladders up on that deck lads and get medical personnel on that boat now!"
The workers moved as one towards the wreck. As Manny approached, he saw more movement on the lower observation deck of the ferry. Passengers began lining up along the railing. They stood motionless, staring down at the workers below. A man climbed up onto the railing of the upper deck, and perched there like a gargoyle above the growing mass of passengers below him.
This is wrong, Manny thought. They should all be panicking or crying or injured. None of these people should be this calm.
Something about the way the passengers looked struck him as odd. He remembered that he still had Billy's binoculars and he pulled them out and looked up at the crowd above. What he saw made his heart skip. Rows of faces stared out over the railing, but they weren't the faces of scared passengers who just survived a horrific crash. These faces were pale; so pale that they almost blended into the thick flakes of snow that continued to fall. Mouths turned up into a crazy snarl, showing dark red stained teeth. The eyes burned into him with blood-red gazes, the whites of every eye replaced with a crimson color. As he looked on, he noticed that they were all covered in blood. Lots and lots of blood.
"Get away from the boat!" he yelled as he threw the binoculars aside. "Get the hell away now! There's something wrong with those people!"
But it was too late. The perched man on the top deck let out a blood curdling screech. The passengers began to hurl themselves over the railing, falling to the crumbled rubble below. They poured over the side like water, with complete disregard for their bodies. The first ones to land crumpled under the weight of those falling on top of them. Those who didn't break a leg jumping off, immediately got up and ran towards the confused rescue workers.
Screams ensued as passengers attacked the stunned firemen and paramedics. One woman latched onto a man and began to tear his ear off with her teeth, chomping at his flesh. A fat old man in a wool overcoat tackled another worker, pinning him to the ground. He buried his fist into the poor man's chest, pulling out what appeared to be a lung and then shoving the organ into his gaping jaws.
Everywhere he looked blood flowed and spurted from the doomed dock crews. A severed head flew through the air like a beach ball, landing a mere five feet from Manny. All he could do was stare at it, as its eyes continued to blink and look around, the mouth opening and closing as if to say 'help.' Manny doubled over and retched, expelling his dinner onto the ground en-mass. When he looked up, he saw an old woman in her eighties standing there staring at him.
She smiled a big, red, toothy smile at him and then opened her jaws. Her tongue slithered out like a snake. It had to have been twice the size of a normal tongue. It swayed back and forth in front of the woman, the tip split down the middle, exposing what appeared to be a single, long, sharp tooth.
“Oh bugger," he muttered as she lunged at him, striking him in the neck with that wicked tongue.
Marc Chevalier let out another loud screech as he jumped down from his perch atop the ferry and joined the others in the feast below.
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