Read an Excerpt
The squealing of tires skidding roughly to a stop shattered the quiet of the deserted downtown street. The front doors of a sleek black sedan flew open. Two men emerged quickly, striding with purpose toward a delicate red flower that stuck up from a steam grate, waiting, as if it had expected their arrival.
Both men were dressed identically in tailored black suits, crisp white shirts, black ties, black shoes, and black sunglasses.
"No fancy stuff, Tee," said the man who had been driving clearly he was the one in charge. "No heroics. I need you to be cool. We do it by the book this time. Okay?"
"So what you're saying, Jay, is " Tee replied, but was abruptly cut off.
"Just say 'okay'," Jay said firmly.
"Okay," Tee responded, nodding his head nervously.
"Good," said Jay, walking toward the flower with Tee matching his pace, step for step. "Let's do this, then."
Tee reached the flower first. Looking down, he spoke directly to the red petals, which had closed as tightly as a fist, its slender stalk leaning away from the man who towered over it.
"Hey," Tee called, tapping the stalk with the thick rubber sole of his large black shoe. "Just what exactly do you think you're doing?"
The flower stalk straightened up, rigidly on alert for what might come next.
"Hey, Jeff. How's it going?" Jay asked the flower, his voice calm and friendly. "Why are you here?"
The flower remained perfectly still.
"C'mon, Jeff. You know our arrangement," Jay continued. "You don't travel outside the E, F, and RR subway lines, and in return, you eat all the nonorganic garbageyou want. Remember? Okay?"
Another moment of silence passed, then Tee squatted down, shouting. "The man's talking to you!"
"Tee," Jay said, trying to calm his partner who was beginning to lose his patience.
Tee grabbed the delicate stem forcefully. "The man wants to know what you are doing here, worm boy!" he yelled.
The ground trembled as if some enormous force was struggling to break free.
The shaking and rumbling grew louder and more intense, until...
With a sound like an exploding bomb, a monstrous worm-shaped creature emerged from beneath the street, shards of asphalt and rock spewing in all directions. The giant worm rose, roaring in rage, its unearthly bellow echoing through the city's concrete canyons.
High above the pavement, Tee desperately grasped the tiny flower stalk that sprouted from the top of the worm-monster's head. The furious creature, known as Jeff, shook its head violently, trying to shake off Tee.
Jay watched Jeff tossing Tee back and forth like a rag doll. "Excuse my partner, Jeff," Jay shouted up to the enormous head high above. "He's new, and . . ."
Jeff reared back, bending his huge body almost in half. Then he lurched his head forward like a catapult and sent Tee flying high into the night sky.
"...kind of stupid," finished Jay.
Jay watched as his screaming, flailing partner vanished from sight. Jeff slowly lowered his head until the two tiny slits that served as his eyes were even with Jay's face.
"You've gotten big," Jay said casually. "What have you been eating down there?"
Half a block away the sidewalk split in two as Jeff's thick, spiky tail burst through the pavement. All of his long, slinky bulk was now above ground not exactly the best place for a three-hundred-foot-long, seven-ton worm, Jay thought.
Before Jay could react, Jeff whipped his spike-covered tail around with astonishing speed, slamming into Jay, sending him sailing across the street. Jay crashed into a fruit stand.
Wiping seeds, juice, and rinds from his clothes and face, Jay scrambled to his feet in time to see Jeff slink back down into the hole he had made when he emerged from underground.
"Jeff!" Jay screamed, racing toward the hole. Leaping feet-first into the huge gash in the street, his right hand pointed back toward the car and he pressed the remote button on his key holder.
The car doors locked automatically and the alarm activated just as Jay disappeared into the jagged hole.
Men in Black II: The Movie Novel. Copyright © by Michael Teitelbaum. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.