Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hollow World Chapter 7


As he walked into the master bedroom, Sam caught a glint of light out of the corner and realized it was coming from the closed blinds that overlooked the backyard. Approaching the window, he parted two blinds so he could peer out. Standing outside the window, looking directly at him, were a man and a woman, the man holding a shotgun, and the woman held what could only be described as a cleaver. The cleaver caught the sunlight again, the flash momentarily blinding Sam. The woman smiled, and a second later, so did the man, and they both turned and walked away, stiffly, almost trancelike.

Sam made a beeline into the closet, grabbed the duffel that was on a shelf, and, Rocky still trailing behind him, ran back into the living room where everyone, minus Zachariah, was sitting. “Guys, we have a problem, they were outside.”

“They…?” It took Peter a moment to realize who he meant. “How do you know they were them?”

“They had that look in their eyes,” Sam replied, looking through the pile of weapons that had been placed near the entrance to the living room. He grabbed a Glock they had found a few days ago, and slipped it into the waistband of his jeans, and then grabbed one of the shotguns that was leaning against the wall.

“Wait, let me go with you at least, that way when they shoot you I can drag your ass back in and Amy can patch you up.” With that, Peter got up and grabbed a shotgun of his own, and nodded to Sam. “Let’s do this I guess.”

Brian got up, “I'll go too.”

Peter started to object, but then remembered how dejected Brian had looked after not helping with Zach. “Ok, come on.” He handed a pistol over to Brian, who took it cautiously.

They left the safety of the porch back to back, shotguns ready hip high, the pistol outstretched in Brian’s grip, but upon leaving the last step, they found nothing in the front yard.

“Where were they?”

“Around back, this way.” Sam motioned with his gun, and the three men rounded the corner of the house to find an empty side yard, the gate to the fenced in back yard standing wide open.

Peter stared at the open gate for a moment. “That was closed this morning, right?”

“Yeah, be ready.” Sam took purposeful strides down the side of the house, leading with the shotgun still pressed against his hip, his finger on the trigger. He hesitated a moment at the gate before peeking his head in, and when he was able to pull it back in one piece, he stepped through, swinging the gun around the entire expanse of the empty backyard. Looking around, Sam found the window he had been peering through just a few minutes before, and standing where he had seen the man and the woman, he said, “They were right here.”

Peter had walked off from where Sam was standing, because the gate on the other side of the yard was standing open as well. Peter approached it cautiously, and quickly leapt out through the gate, shotgun pointed away from the house, ready to fire. Brian ran out behind him, hoping not to get shot, but nothing was there.

“Are you certain you saw them?”

“Yeah, man. It was a man with a shotgun of his own, and a woman, she had a fucking cleaver. It was a big thing. I’ll tell you what, that cleaver scared me more than the gun did.”

“Well, come on, let’s get back inside, we can help Amy get that medical kit put together, and maybe Chris can sing us that REM song again.”

Sam smirked, and as he was walking back across the yard, something on the house caught his eye. “Peter. Look at this!”

“Shit!” Peter exclaimed looking at a pair of handprints, a right and a left, in what looked like still dripping blood, on the window that Sam had seen the pair from. “Ok, I believe you. Let’s get inside. Now.”

Brian did not have to be told twice, and ran around the house, skipping every step onto the porch.

Inside, they found everyone gathering supplies into the two wheelbarrows they had. Amy’s medic bag had already been packed and placed aside, ready to be placed on the wheelbarrows the moment they were ready to leave.

Peter looked at Chris, who seemed to be organizing everything. “What’s going on?”

Brian said, “What about the handprints?”

“What handprints?” Amy replied.

Peter told them about the bloody handprints they had found out back.

“Ok, now I really don’t like it.” She responded after Peter had finished.

“I don’t like it either,” Chris said “I think we need to leave now, but Amy wants to make sure that Zach is stable first, so I say we get out of here as soon as he can walk.”

“Where would we go?”

“Amy and I were just talking about that too, we were thinking Boulder City, or somewhere near the Hoover Dam, that way we can get power.”

“Shit, that’s like a three day drive, I have no clue how long it will take us to walk.”

“I know, but Amy thinks that more people will head there, it will be safe.”

“Amy, is this true, why do you think it will be safe?”

“I don’t know why, I just have a feeling that right now, with everyone worried about gas, using the river for power would be a good idea. It’s just a feeling. There has to be more people like us out there. Those…Others, the ones that don’t speak, they can’t be all that is left out there can they?

Julie, who had been silent this entire exchange, and since they had arrived at the house for that matter, chose this time to interject. “I vote for the dam, I have the same feeling. It will be safe.”

“I’ll go,” Brian chimed in.

“OK Amy,” Peter started. “Can Zach make the trip? I don’t want to leave anyone. I am in if he can make it and everyone wants to go.”

A flash of doubt crossed Amy’s face for a second. “Honestly, I don’t know, but at the same time, if we stay here, he might not make it either. If we go, I'll keep an eye out for a hospital that we can raid for supplies, but right now, he is in the best place I can get him.”

“OK then, let's rest on it and see how Zach is in the morning. If he's coherent and stable, we will discuss this again then.”

The rest of the evening passed quietly, both Peter and Amy checked on Zach, who seemed to have come out of the surgery no worse for wear. He was not running a fever, but was not interested in the food they brought him. Sam had managed to boil some potatoes in a pot over the fire, and had also wedged a grate into the fireplace to grill some Spam.

Peter was the last to turn in for the night, after using the water from the pot to douse the fire.

When he awoke to the smell of smoke, he forgot this fact, and thought that the fire in the fireplace had spilled out.



alphabete said...

Okay this is some creepy shit. These people, with their trancelike smiles and meat cleavers, dude that's creepy! I LOVE IT! Boulder City, Hoover Dam, that's almost in my neck of the woods. Now I know where to head to in case of the Apocalypse.

I really like where this is going and there's nothing to nitpick in this case, so I just want to say good work and keep it up because you do a really good tense serial.

Jonathan Martin said...

The idea is that these people have yet to communicate with our band of heroes, even though they do show up periodically. There is more to come with them though.

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