He ran as if his life depended on it. In a way, it probably did.
All he could hear was the sound of his own feet pounding madly on concrete, all force and no grace. Air rammed itself into his lungs and then quickly launched back out in a shallow anti-rhythm. There are limits to everything, and he had most certainly surpassed his sometime in the night. He afforded one precious turn of his head, just to see if they were still there.
At first, nothing.
A shiny black form darted from behind a block of rubble, following him in a drunken zig-zag. Then, two more; then, several. In seconds, the landscape was overtaken by a flowing, undulating mass of skittish chatter. A thousand chitinous jaws salivated; a million fragmented eyes glinted back at his frantic gaze; a billion legs scurried and chattered and brought them ever closer to his madly stamping form.
Eventually, they covered everything in sight, a black carpet that engulfed all that the eye could see. He felt as if he were staring at a photonegative of sunrise.
Where he ran, he brought them in his wake.
Where they crawled, nothing followed.
Only silence would survive them. Tornadoes had more mercy.
He pushed himself harder, breathless and grunting, teeth bared with the effort. They flowed behind him, always just a few steps behind; an endless, flesh-eating cape of hungry chatter.
He smiled the twisted grimace of a man who had just stolen a million dollars.
He wondered what it would be like when he finally found her.
He wondered if she would scream.