Her footsteps echo off the low concrete ceiling and walls, occasionally splashing in the odd puddle here and there. She can't really remember how far she's been running or even where she's going or where she's come from. Occasionally she'll pass a corridor for what she swears must be the third time, but she doesn't dare slow down.
She knows it's right behind her. She gave it the slip when she came down to the basement, but just as she founded the first bend into the labyrinth, she heard it clamber down the stairs after her, its ragged and foul-smelling breath no doubt hanging on the air just as hers was. It was at least 20 degrees colder down here than it was above ground, but she didn't dare let herself think about it. She couldn't afford to think about anything but staying ahead of the thing.
Once or twice she'd sworn she saw movement out of the corner of her eye as she ran past a corridor and she was rather terrified that she'd miscalculated and that somehow she'd let it get too far behind her, and soon she'd find herself running up behind it and then it would be all over. Because she knew the thing was fast, it had already taken down everyone else she'd been with. In the itme it would take her to skid to a halt and turn around to run, it would have closed just about any space between them, and she would have no hope of out-running it. She knew her only chance was to find the stairway she'd come down, but she couldn't remember where it was, and she didn't dare slow down long enough to actively look for it.
There was a pain in her side that she was having trouble ignoring, and one of her calves was starting to cramp up, but she kept running, drawing her breath in more ragged gasps - pulling in seering cold air that burned and froze her lungs all at the same time. The hot pain just under her ribcage on the right side was enough to help her ignore the cold, but not the fact that she'd nearly twisted her ankle rounding that last corner.
She was limping slightly, and it was slowing her down. Her feet splashed unevenly through the shallow puddle on the ground, and she began to search wildly for a way to escape. Part of her said that she should just give up and wait for the thing to catch up with her - told her that it would probably be quick even if it would certainly not be painless.
But she was a survivor, and she wasn't going to give up. She'd watched her friends get torn to pieces by this monster, she wasn't about to let it take her too.
Then suddenly she saw it as she rounded the next bend - that flickering yellow flourescent light at the foot of the stairs. Her heart leapt to her throat and threatened to choke her as she pushed off the wall she'd been half-leaning on for support and lunged towards the door, feeling her feet move awkwardly beneath her.
She thought she could hear a clatter from somewhere off in the tunnels, but as she grabbed hold of the railing and pulled herself awkwardly up the cement steps she didn't care. She didn't care that she kept slipping, all she cared about was the door she could see growing larger and larger, waiting for her. She saw her own harried face staring back at her from the doorknob and gave another surge of motion that carried her up to the narrow landing. Her hand gripped the knob and she gave a triumphant turn.
She stared at the door in shock and tried again, but the result was the same. The door had somehow closed and locked, but... that was impossible, wasn't it? It would have to be locked from the outside - would have to be locked by one of the people she'd seen the creature kill. It meant that someone was still out there on the other side of the door, someone would hear her as she banged on the reinforced safety glass window, so she did, screaming frantically. It didn't matter that the thing would hear her because she could get help, she could get someone to let her out before it got to her.
She saw his face through the glass, looking rather disheveled and out of breath. He'd come into view so suddenly that she gasped and nearly fell backwards off the landing. The two of them had been running together from the thing, and he was nursing a hurt leg at the time. It was his idea to lose the thing in the tunnels, but he argued that he'd never make it and offered to stay behind so she could have a chance.
And she knew.
It had all been a trick - he hadn't sacrificed himself at all, he must have found somewhere to hide while she ran into the tunnels. They both knew the creature could have sniffed them out if they'd hidden in one place for too long, but he only had to hide long enough for her to lure it away into the tunnels, then he could close them both down there.
She was furious, but in that moment, she didn't care. She knew the creature wasn't there yet, she knew there was time for him to open the door and let her out - he didn't have to leave her down there to be ripped to bloody pieces, they could both get out. She banged on the window and tried to tell him but he wouldn't open the door, wouldn't let her out. She couldn't understand why he wouldn't help her - the creature hadn't found her yet, there was no possible risk!
But then his eyes widened and he backed away, terrified, from view. She felt a pit of dread sink into her stomach as she heard the low rumbling of a growl from somewhere behind her. She should have known that banging on the window would have attracted its attention, and judging by the rasping and labored breathing, it was standing about four feet behind her.
She didn't need to turn around to know about the gaping muzzle and its pointed and saliva-coated fangs, nor the hateful look in its yellow eyes. And it didn't take a rocket scientist to tell her that the one bullet she had loaded in her gun wasn't going to be enough to take it down. Part of her wanted to shoot through the glass and hope she caught that lying rat bastard between his retreating shoulderblades, but she knew that this was hardly the time to waste shots.
She had only one bullet and the only question was whether or not she'd be able to get the gun out of her coat pocket and under her chin before the creature lunged.
(And as an amusing PS, it's fitting that my default icon is the Jabberwock for this piece.)