Rachel raised her head just enough to peek through the bookstore window. It wasn't hard to spot the hulking figures across the street, pacing the sidewalk with their beady eyes darting all over the crowd of tourists with cameras and office people on lunch break. Even in their human form, those two were tall enough that the cars speeding past on the road didn't even break Rachel's view of them.

One looked directly towards the window, and Rachel ducked down again, hoping it had missed her amongst the colorful display of middle-grade books she and her sister were hiding in. Sarah was crying quietly, huddled next to her on the floor.

"We can't stay here," Rachel hissed.

"M-Maybe they'll g-go away." Sarah wiped her nose on her yellow sleeve. "There's s-so many people."

"These guys don't care about collateral damage." Rachel peeked out the window again. "If they see us, they'll whip out their claws, no matter who gets in the way."

Sarah whimpered at the thought. Rachel patted her sister's shoulder in a weak attempt at reassurance, wondering what her moms would do if they were here. But they weren't here. It was all on twelve-year-old Rachel to keep herself and seven-year-old Sarah safe.

She looked up through the window, and something caught her eye.

If their pursuers didn't care about collateral damage, then why should she?

Rachel gripped Sarah's shoulder. "Listen to me. Head for the back alley. There's a door by the restroom, you know where that is?"

"What are you going to do?"

"I'm gonna buy us some time. I'll meet you there. Ready? One-two-three-go!"

Counting it off like a game of tag was enough to get Sarah to obey, though she clearly wasn't happy about it. Rachel told herself she'd apologize later and darted for the stairs. They'd been to this bookstore a hundred times, and she knew it as well as her own backyard. It had two floors, and the upper floor was more like a playroom than a store. And it had a window that could open.

Fortunately, there were no grown-ups around to tell her no. Rachel pushed one of the big comfy chairs over to the window and scrambled up to undo the latch. The window only opened enough for her to fit her head and shoulders through, but that was all she needed. Just below the window was the bookstore sign, brightly colored letters on a large sheet of metal sticking out over the sidewalk, like a heavy flag on a stick. And that stick was held to the storefront by just a couple screws.

Rachel ducked back inside and ran for the toybox, digging furiously. Fortunately, it didn't take long to find what she needed - a plastic toolkit, part of a construction worker playset. She just had to hope it was realistic enough to do the trick.

Back at the window, she pulled the big blue wrench out of the toy toolkit and reached down towards the screws. It took some wiggling to get the toy wrench around the real screw, but she was strong - strong enough that she had a moment of worry that she'd break the wrench. But then the screw began to turn.

Rachel worked furiously at the sign, her eyes flickering down and across the street at the big man-like creatures searching for her. She hoped Sarah was waiting for her. She hoped that her plan would actually work.

One screw came loose, falling to the sidewalk below with a distant metal ping. The sign creaked and swayed, but no one below seemed to notice. Rachel got to work on the other screw.

Across the street, one pair of solid-black eyes found her. The figure let out an echoing shout to draw its partner's attention and took a step towards the street, its fingers lengthening into knifelike claws.

The second screw came free, and so did the sign. Rachel dropped the wrench and shoved the sign away from the window - and the big piece of metal came crashing down to the street, smashing the front window of a car. The car swerved into the opposite lane, hitting a car headed in the opposite direction. Suddenly there was a huge pile-up of cars, and the street was chaos, cars honking and people running and screaming and taking out their phones. Rachel saw the two creatures stuck between three stopped cars, looking all around for a way through the mess. They were trapped - for now, at least.

Rachel wiggled her way back into the bookstore and ran to find Sarah.

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