I felt like I was trapped in one of those terrifying nightmares—where you know you've got to run, run until your lungs seem ready to burst, but you can't make your body move fast enough. My legs seemed to move like molasses as I shoved my way through the crowds, but the hands on the huge clock tower marched onward, ticking down—down to the end of everything.
But this wasn't a dream. It wasn't even my life I needed to save—someone more important was on the line and, in that moment, strangely my own life didn't seem to matter that much.
Archie had said we might both die here. Maybe things would have been different if Archie was here to help, if it wasn't all up to me, incompetent me. But it was up to me, and as I heard the clock begin to toll on the hour, vibrating under the soles of my sneakers, I knew I was too late.
I suddenly didn't care where I was, that dangerous enemies surrounded me on all sides. In fact, they gave me a little hope. If I was going to fail, maybe I wouldn't have to live with it for long.
The clock tower tolled again, and the brilliant sun beat down on my head.