Brenda felt herself tense as the building shook lightly, most people continued working while one or two others looked around nervously. The tremors had been happening for the last week and while the news said they were nothing to worry about they still worried Brenda. It wasn’t entirely clear what was causing the tremors, different people seemed to have different answers from aftershocks of the larger earthquake they’d experienced the month before, to changes in the water table and everything in between. Brenda didn’t really care why they were happening, she just hoped they’d stop soon. She had always been afraid of earthquakes, ever since she was a young girl when she’d have nightmares of being buried alive in buildings as the world shook itself apart. After a moment she began to relax again, she glanced at the clock, it was almost time for lunch anyway, there wasn’t much point in getting stuck in again. She grabbed her purse and jacket then left the office.
Brenda felt better outside, she walked the short distance to the park, popping into a cafe briefly to buy a sandwich, and found a bench. Normally she would eat lunch with the girls but she just wasn’t feeling up to it today, she sent a quick text making her excuses then she took out her sandwich. She ate slowly, enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air, the large open space of the park was reassuring, much more so than the closed confines of the office. A flock of birds took off from the nearby pond, bursting into the sky, calling to another another as they went. A second later there was a faint rumble, Brenda tensed, waiting for it to pass, but it didn’t, it just became stronger. Brenda dropped her sandwich and grabbed onto the bench, around her people were falling to the ground. Brenda focused on breathing, it would be over soon, she just had to remain calm, she was safe where she was. It didn’t work, a deeper part of her was screaming to run, to get away, to go go go as fast as she could. There was an almighty roar drowning out everything as the concrete near the pond cracked, then burst upwards. Something was coming out of the ground, its skin was white and streaked with mud, its body was thick and wide, it had a gaping maw that opened and closed blindly, it looked almost like a giant worm if not for the large appendages that stuck out from it on all sides, the appendages moved wildly, they had large pincers on the end that opened and closed seemingly at random. With almost impossible speed the creature emerged from the hole, it stretched on and on as the ground still shook. Brenda got up from the bench and was almost immediately thrown to the ground, she did the only thing she could and started crawling away from the thing. Around her she could hear people screaming over the din, she looked behind herself and saw the creature was moving towards her. She struggled onwards but it was too fast, the creature moved over Brenda, crushing her beneath its mighty body, its mouth was moving around wildly, grabbing at everyone it could. The end of the creature slipped free from the hole and the shaking paused for a moment, then there was another faint rumbling as another of the creatures appeared, snaking its way free.