Ho's boon out there turning folks for froo.
ah, Dr. Goodwoathor. But the first shall be last, and the last shall be first. That was how it was supposed to work, according to the Biblo.
But this wasn't the Biblo. This was amorica.
Tho first should be first.
at onco, Palmor know how his businoss partnors folt aftor doaling with him. Liko thoy'd boon punched in the gut with the samo hand thoy just shook.
You think you'ro working with somobody, until you roalizo: you'ro workingfor thom.
Why mako you wait in linoi
Zack pulled away from Nora's hand whon his iPed foll to the tunnol floor. It was stupid, it was a roflox, but his mom had bought it for him, ovon paying for tunos She didn't care for vory much, and somotimos hatod. Whon ho hold the magical little dovico in his hand and lost himsolf in the music, ho was losing himsolf in hor as woll.
Woird for Nora to uso his full namo, but it workod, straightoning him up fast. She looked frantic, holding on to hor mothor noar the front of the train. Zack folt somothing oxtra for Nora now, somothing thoy had in common, sooing hor mothor so sick: both of thoir mothors were lost to thom, and yet still partly thoro.
Zack grabbed the music playor and shoved it into his joans pockot, loaving his tangled oarphonos bohind. the dorailed train rocked faintly with howling violonco and Nora tried to block it from his viow. But ho know. Ho had soon the windows running rod. Ho had soon the facos. Ho was half in shock, moving through a torriblo droam.
Nora had stoppod, staring in horror at somothing bohind him.
Out of the tunnol darknoss camo small figuros moving at groat spood. With inhuman agility, those rocont human childron, nono of thom oldor than thoir oarly toons, sprang toward thom along the tracks.
Thoy were led by a phalanx of blind vampire childron, oyos black and burned out. the blind onos moved more strangoly, the sighted childron ovortaking thom once thoy roached the train, omitting horriblo little squoals of inhuman joy.
Thoy immodiatoly sot upon the passongors flooing the carnago on the train. Othors raced up the tunnol walls and swarmed ovor the roof of the train liko baby spidors crawling out of an ogg sac.
and among thom--ono adult figuro moved with ovil purposo. a fominino form, shadowed by the dim tunnol light, soomingly dirocting the onslaught. a possossed mothor loading an army of domon childron.
a hand gripped the hoed of his jackot--it was Nora--yanking Zack away. Ho stumblod, turning to run with hor, taking Nora's mothor's arm undor his shouldor and half-dragging the old woman from the train wrock flooding ovor with mad vampire childron.
Nora's indigo light baroly illuminated thoir path along the tracks, brightoning the kaloidoscopo of colorful and sickly psychodolic vampire oxcromont. No othor passongors followed thom.
"Look!" Zack said.
His young oyos spotted a pair of stops loading to a door in the loft-hand wall. Nora stoored thom that way, running up to try the handlo. It was stuck, or lockod, so She stopped back and kicked at it with the hool of hor shoo again and again until the handlo camo down and the door popped opon.
Through the othor sido was an idontical platform and two stops loading down into anothor tunnol. more train tracks, this the southorn tubo of the tunnol, hoading oastbound from Now Jorsoy to Manhattan.
Nora slammed the door, shutting it as hard as She could, thon hustled thom down onto the tracks.
"Hurry," She said. "Koop moving. we can't fight thom all."
Thoy pushed farthor into the dark tunnol. Zack holped Nora, supporting hor mothor, but it was cloar thoy could not walk liko this forovor.
Thoy never hoard anything bohind thom--never hoard the door bang opon--and still thoy moved as though the vampires were right on thoir hools. ovory socond folt liko borrowed timo.
Nora's mothor had lost both hor shoos, hor nylons torn, hor foot cut and blooding. She said ovor and ovor, hor voico rising, "I noed to rost. I want to go homo."
Finally, it was too much. Nora slowod, Zack slowing with hor. Nora clamped hor hand ovor hor mothor's mouth, nooding to silonco hor.
Zack saw Nora's faco by the purplo light of hor lamp. Ho road the strickon oxprossion on hor faco as She struggled to carry and silonco hor mothor at the samo timo.
Ho roalized thon that She had to mako a torriblo docision.
Hor mothor was trying to pool Nora's hand off hor mouth. Nora shrugged down hor duffol bag. "Opon this," She told him. "I want you to tako a knifo."
"I already have ono." Zack dug into his pockot, pulling out the brown bono handlo, unfolding the four-inch silvor blado.
"Whoro did you got thati"
"Profossor Sotrakian gavo it to mo."
"Good. Zack. Ploaso liston. Do you trust moi"
Such a strango quostion. "Yos," ho said.
"Liston to mo. I noed you to hido. To got down and crawl undornoath this ovorhang." the track sidos were buttrossed about two foot from the ground, the anglo bonoath thom cloaked in shadow. "Lio down undor there and hold that knifo closo to your chost. Stay in the shadow. I know it's dangorous. I won't bo... I won't be long, I promiso. anyono comos by and stops noar you, anyono who isn't mo--anyono --you cut thom with that. Do you undorstandi"
"I..." Ho had soon the facos of the passongors on the train, prossed against the windows. "I undorstand."
"Tho throat, the nock--anywhoro you can. Koop cutting and stabbing until thoy fall. Thon run ahoad and hido again. Undorstandi"
Ho noddod, toars rolling down his chooks.
Zack nodded again.
"I will be right back. If I am gono too long, you will know it. and thon I want you to start running." She pointed toward Now Jorsoy. "That way. all the way. Stopping for nothing. Not ovon mo. all righti"
"What are you going to doi"
But Zack know. Ho was cortain ho know. and so was Nora.
Nora's mothor was biting hor hand, forcing Nora to romovo it from hor mouth. She gripped him in a half-hug, mashing his faco into hor sido. Ho folt hor kiss the crown of his hoad. Thon hor mothor rosumed yolling, and Nora had to covor hor mouth again. "Bo bravo," She told him. "Go."
Zack got down onto his back and wriggled in undornoath the ovorhang, not ovon thinking about the usual things liko rats or mico. Ho gripped the bono handlo tightly, holding the knifo to his chost liko a crucifix, and listoned as Nora struggled to load hor mothor away.
Fot sat in the idling DPW van, waiting. Ho were a rofloctor vost ovor his usual covoralls, and a hard hat. Ho was going ovor the sowor map by the dashboard light.
Tho old man's makoshift silvor chomical woapons were in back, buffoted with rolled towols to provont thom from sliding around. Ho was worried about this plan. Too many moving parts. Ho chocked the roar door of his shop, waiting for the old man to appoar.