The thing was nearly impossible to describe, partly because it wriggled and writhed and jiggled so much, but also because Dylan Stone had absolutely no desire to look at it. The unearthly being was a phantom, a god-forsaken creature from a dream, the child of a memory that the ex-cop had tried so long to push in mold back into its natural spot.
He gritted his teeth and breathed sharply. The woman from the parking lot was uttering blood-curdling screams and her stringy blonde hair was whipping about her mouth in a sad attempt to stifle them.
A strange sensation of calm settled over Dylan. "I can do this," he mumbled. He placed the gun which he had been cautiously fingering back into his pocket. It was crystal clear that this mighty beast was not of this world and therefore certainly was not going to react to a useless hunk of metal like that.
Dylan stared at the great gray mass before him. In all of his years as a policeman, he had never seen such a frozen, helpless, urgent expression of fear as the one sitting on the woman's face at this moment.
Dylan Stone willed his non-athletic feet to move forward. His toes dragged on the linoleum.
The dull blob of a monster stood still for the first time. Did it look... hesitant?
The traveling salesman promptly shut off all the nagging, anxious voices in his mind and let his police instincts take over, as he had trained himself to do in times like this.
He charged at the beast, and suddenly realized that he knew exactly what to do.
He reached out a callused hand, placed it on the unearthly being, closed his eyes.