Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hollow World Chapter 23


“We heard a gunshot, are you two ok?” Zach asked as Peter and Sarah rejoined the group. 

Peter looked over the group, which again contained everyone, Brian and Chris having already returned.  “Sarah..” He paused, as everyone had grown accustomed to wait for the injection of with an h, and when it did not come, a look of bewilderment passed over his face long enough for Amy and Zach to notice it, the others were too intent, waiting on Sarah.  “Sarah shot her boyfriend’s brother.”

A small smile graced Sarah’s lips but still she did not say a word.

“That’s not all, her boyfriend was there.  He was one of them.  His eyes,” a shudder shook Peter, “He spoke.”  Peter let the statement sink in, and when the dawning of the revelation was revealed on the face of all, he continued. “Not Don, the one Sarah shot,” he glanced at Sarah again, the pause only fleeting this time. “James, I think she said.” 

Sarah nodded at this, so Peter continued “Don leveled a shotgun at us, and right before he pulled the trigger, James, Sarah’s boyfriend I mean, jerked the gun, causing the shot to miss.  He then turned to Don and told him and I think this is a direct quote, ‘These are two that Graham said not to harm.’”

“They spoke to you?” Amy asked.

“Well, more about us.” Sarah spoke up finally.  “I don’t like this, why does Graham want us alive, and who the fuck is Graham?”

Surprised at the vehemence with which Sarah spoke, it took Peter a moment to respond.  “Well, I am, but I think they were talking about the guy that was in my jersey back at the house.”

“Ooh,” a chill shook Sarah, “You mean the guy that was watching you sleep back in Wichita Falls?”

Zach looked from Peter to Sarah.  “What the hell is she talking about Peter, you saw him again?”

“Calm down Zach, let Peter speak before you go off on him, besides, I get him first.  Go on Peter,” Amy prompted.

“I thought it was a nightmare.  Last night, while I was sleeping, I dreamt that he was standing over me in that little office.  Wait, Sarah, you saw him and you didn’t say anything?”  It was Peter’s turn to get angry.

“I had the same dream, well, he was still watching over you, but yeah.”

“What do you mean the same dream, how did you know that I had that dream?”

“I just did, don’t ask me how.  It’s just like I know that the Hoover Dam is still working.  We’re going the right way.”

Incredulous, Julie walked up and grabbed Sarah by the shoulders, shaking her violently.  “What do you mean, Hoover Dam is still working?  And who else’s dreams are you watching?”  Tears had begun to form in the corners of her eyes.

“Hoover Dam, Boulder City, where we’re going in Nevada, it’s still running, that town doesn’t have cars, but it has power.  We'll find more people there.  But there's a war coming.”

“What war?” Zach had turned his ire from Peter to Sarah.

“I don’t know, the phrase is just stuck in my head.  Graham is somehow involved.”  Sarah had begun to sob, her tears fueled by those flowing freely down Julie’s face.

“Ok, both of you stop.  Chris, did you and Brian found a place where we can stay?” Amy began to direct the conversation.  She was tired of standing out in the open, even if they weren’t supposed to be shot.

“Yeah, this way,” Chris responded.

The group followed almost silently, the squeaking wheels of a shopping cart the only noise to be heard.

Inside the house, a ranch style home with three bedrooms, the group broke up and found places to sleep, curling up on various beds and couches.

Peter sat alone at the kitchen table, a candle in its center providing the only light in the house.

“Can’t sleep?”  Amy walked into the kitchen.

Peter grunted in reply.

“Yeah, me too.  I mean, what is going on?  Now Hoover Dam I get as a good destination.  Assuming someone oils the machinery, that thing should last for quite a while.  But what the hell is she talking about Peter, a war is coming?”

“You two too?” Zach asked, joining them.

“Damn it Zach, what did you do to your arm?” Amy looked at the bandage where a red splotch was forming.

“I walked into the bedrooms doorframe, it was dark back there.”

“Ok, hang on, let me get you some new bandages.  You have to be more careful man.”

“I know.  You think it felt good?”

Chuckling, Amy went to the foyer where the carts carrying all of their possessions resided.  Rocky, who was laying by the front door, stirred, looked up at her and wagged his tail.

“Good boy,” she reached out and pet his head before grabbing the needed supplies.

In the time it took her to get the new bandages and get back to the kitchen, Zach had managed to remove the bloodstained ones, with a little help from Peter.

Examining the wound, Amy declared that it was healing well.  “But, it would probably be closed if you would stop using it and running into things,” she chastised half playfully.

“Yes mom,” Zach teased back.

“Now where were we?  Ah yes the war,” Amy brought the conversation back to the disturbing thought.

“I don’t know guys, I think she's right.  I think something bad is going to happen.”  Zach shook his head.  “Don’t ask, I don’t know what I mean either.  It’s just this feeling in the pit of my stomach.”

“Ok, then what do we do?” Peter asked the question, uncertain of anything for the first time since he had left his apartment what seemed like ages ago.

“I think we continue.  For now, it sounds like we are safe, at least from Graham and those Others,” she shivered at the thought of their hollow stare.  “And where else would we go?”

“What if the east coast wasn’t affected by whatever it was that caused all this?” Peter offered.

“Dude, if I thought there was any place that hadn't been hit by whatever happened out there, I would go there in a heartbeat.  But think about it, have we seen any evidence that this was localized?”  Zachariah responded.

It was Peter’s turn to shake his head, “No.  I know, I just don’t like it.  That guy Graham, he creeps me out. So, Zach, you say we go on too?”

“Yeah, and with the way she was talking, Sarah is all for it, Julie and Kyle will go where they see hope, which right now, is where there is a power source.  Even if it comes to a vote, thats five of us right there.”

“I know, I just wanted to hear it from someone else.  Thanks Zach,” Peter reached up and squeezed Zach’s hand, which was still on his shoulder, before removing it.  He turned and nodded to Amy, “I’m going to try and get some sleep.  Night.”  He turned and left Amy and Zach sitting at the table.

He made it to the sofa, unaware of the pair of eyes that were watching him through the back window.  Lying down, Peter fell into a restless sleep.

If you read something you liked, didn't like, or just have a question about the story in general, I would love to hear from you. even if it is as minor as an misspelled word or a misplaced apostrophe, it made it this far so someone obviously missed it.\

I take feedback seriously, it is the best way for me to improve and the easiest way for you to help me improve.


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