Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hollow World Book 3 Chapter 6


A shout went up amongst his soldiers as a pair of cannonballs whistled toward their target.  The first one smashed through the lit Wal-Mart sign that stood in the parking lot, splitting it in two and sending it tumbling to the ground.  The shout was replaced by a cheer, only to be strengthened as the second cannon ball hit the side of the building.  The building remained unbroken despite the direct hit and the cannon teams began the arduous task of reloading.  

“Davey,” Graham said, looking at the man before him.  “This is your battle.  These people have the supplies we need, you need.  Go forth and take it all.”

Davey Boy smiled.  “This is more my style.”  He turned to the Gargoyles, his regiment, now closer to eighty strong.  “Take no prisoners.”  His soldiers nodded as one and took off running.

“Charge!” Graham yelled, and the Others at his command began the run down the hill towards the wooden gates that had been erected around the parking lot.  The cannons both fired again, the first shattering the wooden gate, its original target, into nothing more than splinters.  The other cannon hit the same spot along the wall, punching a hole through it.

Men and women began to exit the modified store, with, Graham imagined, a look of panic upon their face.  “You wanted war?” He shouted.  “Here is your war!”

Someone below yelled, whether it was on his side or his enemies, Graham did not know, nor did he care, but the war cry was taken up and soon the small valley the store occupied was filled with the shouts, as Others, led by Davey and the Gargoyles, poured through the splintered gates, meeting the few guards stationed there and over running them.  

A shot was fired from somewhere to his left, and Graham turned, viewing the entire battlefield from his perch atop the hill.  A small contingent of horsemen had arrived, brandishing rifles, from the North, ten men in total, and had begun shooting into his advancing army.  He sent a call to his soldiers, diverting thirty from the main group.  “I want the horses alive,” he told them.  He lost four of those men before they had made it halfway to the horses, and another five before they were engaged.  One of the men was pulled off of his beast almost immediately.  The horse of another panicked and threw its rider.  Three of the remaining eight managed to break free from the dwindling group of Others.  He watched as another of the riders fell, but he lost three more men in the process.  Then he gave up two for the fourth horseman.  The fifth man went down without a casualty, but the sixth one took two down with him, or her, judging from the long blonde hair he could see in the distance.  The remaining one managed to get another shot off, blowing the head off of an Other, but it cost him his life.  The remaining thirteen of his soldiers ran off after the fleeing three.   Disgusted at his soldiers ineptitude, he turned back to the main battle as the cannons fired a third time.  One shell careened through the sliding glass doors in front of the building, on the Pharmacy side if the old signage was to be believed.  The other shot slammed into a man that had stepped through the hole the cannons had previously made.  He could hear the cannoneers cheer as he sought the Gargoyles.  

Davey swung his chain, the metal ball at the end slamming into the side of the woman with the large cleaver in front of him.  She cried out as she fell, but she was replaced with another woman, this one with a chain of her own.  “Now,” Davey called out as he and the rest of the front line dropped to the ground, allowing the second row of men and woman to fire pistols, one in each hand, into the crowd before them.  Davey was on his feet an instant later and roared a challenge that was picked up by the rest of his Gargoyles.  He charged forward, stepping on the woman he had smashed earlier, and the woman with the chain that was lying with the gunshot wounds in her chest.  He smashed into the next row of defenders with his head down, and allowed his momentum to knock the man in front of him back into the next man.  At some point, whether from friend or foe he was unsure, he suffered a deep gash to his right bicep, but, adrenaline pumping he kept going until there was no one left standing at the door to the structure.  He called his Gargoyles to him and tried to count heads.  He knew some faces were missing, but the Others began pushing into the store and the blood thirst again continued, drawing his men along with them.

Graham shifted his focus to one of the thirteen pursuing the three horsemen and was dismayed that his quarry was no where to be seen.  “Bring me the horses, now.”  He said to them, and they broke of their chase and managed to round up six of the seven horses and brought them back to his hilltop.  He was informed that the seventh had broken a leg, and he sent four men to kill it and harvest the meat as the rest of his army finished the battle below.

Soon, only the occasional gun shot was heard and the Gargoyles could be seen walking amongst the dead and leaning down occasionally.  Graham sent the Others into the store again and had them bring out everything not nailed down and drag it up the hill.  

The looting went well into the night, and by the time the sun had broken the horizon, Davey approached him, a number of new gold chains hanging from around his neck and a new blade swinging from a sheath on his hip.  “We’ve got everything.  Do we burn it?”

Graham smiled. Despite the man’s flaws, he liked Davey.  “Of course.”


No comments:

Post a Comment