Jacob jumped off the coach with a swing of the arms and into the warm Swiss sun. Lewis followed more slowly, putting on a pair of trendy sunglasses in a way that was unusually stylish for him. Edwin, Tommy and James followed before Lana and Shannon emerged from the vehicle. Alex and Max, the only other tourists on the trip, had gone on ahead while the coach driver was last to leave for it was his responsibility to lock everything up. As they made their way towards possibly the nicest service station they’d ever seen, it seemed the paradox was the last thing on everyone’s mind. Conversations turned to topics such as currency, food and whether or not the toilets needed money. As it happened, the toilets did need money; once they were eventually located that is. They all had wash bags with them as this was their first and possibly only opportunity to freshen up for the day ahead. The routines amongst them varied – some brushed their teeth and washed their face with a flannel, others used mouthwash and wiped their face with a cleansing wipe. Once their little individual rituals were over, everyone’s stomach started to possess their mind. Alex and Max were already in the shop, in the process of deciding what the food actually was and whether or not it would make a suitable breakfast.
“Panettone? Isn’t that Italian Christmas cake?” Alex enquired generally. Lewis seemed to be the only one who heard and simply shrugged his shoulders; he couldn’t be bothered to explain the alien thing anymore. Tommy was quick to decide what he wanted and had already paid for his breakfast/snack/lunch.
“Wait for me outside,” Edwin begged.
“Well I’m not walking to Italy, am I?” He replied, shaking his head at the stupidity. James walked out with a baguette and crisps followed by Alex and his pasta pot. Edwin had taken the task of stocking up more seriously than the others needing two plastic bags to carry all his purchases. The meeting point was now outside the automatic doors of an entrance under some kind of wooden roof providing shade. Lewis and Lana paid at parallel tills and headed for the exit disguised as an entrance. As they stepped out into the entrance room they heard a scream from upstairs; a blood curdling scream that would haunt their ears for all eternity. They looked at each other as more screams could be heard from upstairs as well as the odd thump produced by a stall being pushed over. They braced themselves as someone or something came rushing down the stairs; it was the coach driver.
“Get out!” He yelled. With that, a creature, from out of nowhere, leapt onto him with no hesitation and devoured him in an instant. Lana turned her head into Lewis’ shoulder so she wouldn’t have to watch. No mercy was shown. Not ever.
“Get out.” Lewis said to Lana, “GET OUT!” The creature was too busy to notice them as they met the others.
“What the hell is going on?” Tommy enquired, just about witnessing the savage murder through the blacked out windows.
“Everyone, to the coach, now. Do not question me, we are in serious danger. GO!” He shouted, failing to hide how much danger they were really in. James was first to reach the coach and pressed the emergency door switch. Everyone was running nervously as they piled onto the coach one after the other. Lewis was last on and pressed the emergency close switch behind him. The driver had left the key on board and James knew how to drive – they could make a getaway.
“What about the others?” Alex demanded.
“We wait.” Lewis said. “And hope their experience has paid off…”
Shannon, Jacob and Max were still trapped in the shop. There was more than one of the creatures and they were everywhere. Wailing with the most awful scream. It was driving them crazy. The three of them hid behind a counter as one of the creatures entered their shop.
“What do we do?” Jacob asked Shannon, aware of her previous experience.
“I don’t know.” She replied, never more scared.
“I’ve got a plan.” Max announced proudly. Jacob and Shannon looked at him shocked. Despite the fact he had never faced aliens intent on world domination before, he was by far the most calm and had managed to come up with a plan. “I’ll jump up and tell him to come to me. Then, one of you will jump up and distract him from the other side. We confuse it and make our escape.”
“We should wait for the others.” Jacob said. “It’s too risky.”
“If we did that we’d end up putting our lives and theirs at risk.” Max argued. “It’s the only way. Now follow my lead.” Without hesitation Max leapt up from where he was stood. Before Jacob even had a chance to carry out his side of the plan, the creature attacked Max and pushed him to the ground. For the first time since meeting Lewis, Shannon brought her hands to head and burst out crying. Jacob, feeling incredibly guilty about what he was about to do, whispered encouragement into Shannon’s ear and grabbed her arm. They ran. Faster than they’d ever ran before, they ran. Max was practically dead as soon as the creature attacked, there was no way they could save him now. The automatic front door opened for them as they started to leg it across the car park. They could still her the wailing and the poor people inside screaming. Jacob was ahead shouting at Lewis to open the door. Shannon was a little behind, lagging out of fear. Lewis pressed the button for the door to open and shouted encouragement. Everyone on the coach did. Lewis held out his arm to help them up onto the coach. The creatures had spotted them though. A pack of about five or six were now in hot pursuit. Jacob jumped up onto the coach but Shannon was still running.
“COME ON!” Lewis shouted. Shannon kept looking behind her as they slowly caught up with. The wailing, the constant wailing; they wouldn’t shut up. She could physically feel herself losing her mind as the screams penetrated her head. She made onto the coach through Lewis pulling her on board. He shut the door via the emergency switch once more and stared as they surrounded the coach. They stopped their screaming, just for a moment; but everyone on board was trapped…