She couldn’t believe her eyes. She needed to get closer. All around her, the building crashed down in pieces. Instead of trying to get away from the danger, Cathren worked her way deeper into the belly of the beast. Through the dense smoke and blistering flames, past the swinging hooks and dangling cables. Sidestepping the rubble falling from the sky, into the thick ash flakes fluttering all around her, like the devil’s snowstorm.
Finally, she found herself almost close enough to touch the glass egg-quariums. From this proximity, she could clearly see that, yes, they were, in fact, human heads. And yes, they were alive. And yes, they had no bodies. Nonetheless, they were snarling and snapping at the hazmat workers. The small portions of their spines that were still attached behaved like feet or, more accurately, like flippers.
Cathren shrieked, her stomach tightening as if someone had twisted her guts with a pipe wrench. Even in all the tremendous noise and chaos, the hazmat workers heard her scream. The unexpected, shrill human voice startled them so much they bobbled the head currently in their care.
After they juggled their little prize for a few seconds, the head dropped out of their hands and plopped onto the floor. The thing skidded across the lab and spun to a stop at the feet of a terrified Cathren Whitney.
She screamed again.
The head lay there, looking up at her, snarling, drooling, foaming at the mouth, eyes wild.
Then, it bit her.
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