Friday, November 11, 2011

[Excerpt #3] About halfway through Number 181...

Below is another excerpt, this one from about halfway through Number 181. Kidd's been through a lot by this point in the story, so portraying him as confused and dazed isn't difficult. Here, however, it's been taken to an entirely different level thanks to an... event... that he doesn't yet understand.

Screams reached Kidd’s ears, their high-pitched whine slowly dropping to an identifiable roar. The muted rumble sounded distant and unreal. He strained to identify the direction they were coming from as they bounced off each of the surrounding walls. It took several moments before he realized they were his own.
His ears rang, and his throat and eyes burned.
He couldn’t breathe.
His first few attempts to take in a breath forced debris down his throat, but whether the hard, dusty pieces were rock or glass, he couldn’t tell. He rolled over onto his stomach and forced himself to cough violently. Detritus scratched his throat like sandpaper, and his violent throes caused a cascade of dust to pour off his head. The ringing continued incessantly, only to be joined by the far off sound of pops and alarms. Carefully, he brushed the area around his eyes clear, but even that small effort caused grit to slice the skin across his brow and cheek. He finally felt he had removed enough to risk opening his eyes, and he found the floor cracked and covered in destruction. Orange lighting crossed his vision as emergency lighting flashed across the room from the corridor outside the door. The lights above him in the room were out.
Outside the door.
Kidd climbed to his knees. There was no more door. He saw pieces of it scattered around the room, but the doorway had been completely obliterated, the frame gone. Now, a gaping hole was all that remained of that entire side of the room.
Flashes down the corridor accompanied the distant pops, and he suspected he was hearing electrical explosions on the fringes of his mind. He tried to shake some sense back into it, but that brought only more pain, so he collapsed against the back wall of the room and watched shredded bits of papers and dust rain down around him. Some stuck to the dozens of small lacerations he saw on his arms. He figured the rest of him was no better off and looked up in time to see someone sprint past the gaping hole at the other side of the room, their steps muffled.
Kidd stirred. Lights flashed in and out as he brought himself to his feet. Time was passing slowly… or was it quickly? Flecks of debris flitted across his view as he struggled toward the nonexistent wall. Glancing down the hallway, he was blinded by the orange glow of emergency lighting advancing across the sea of glass. The rotating amber glow swept across the wall and floor in a wide arc, and the reflected light scattered down the hallway toward him. Using the wall to stabilize himself, Kidd found out why. Glass from the opposite windows had blown out with such force that it embedded in the dry wall. The light danced. It was horrifically beautiful.

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