Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hollow World Book 3 Chapter 32



Peter’s sleep was troubled by the now ever present nightmare.  He was carrying Kyle as he ran toward the open gates of Boulder City, Graham and his army hot on his heels.  He woke with a start, his nearly empty stomach growling at him.

It had been nearly a month since they had found the bikes and they were beginning to run out of supplies.  They had managed to hunt small game, more rabbits and birds, to supplement what little they had left.  He had taken to sharing his already meager portion with Kyle, who’s appetite was just voracious.  Store shelves had become more bare as they got closer to their destination.  Flagstaff had been a huge disappointment.  Every house had been spray painted with a large ‘E,’ presumably to signify that it had already been raided, and true to the symbol, there was no food left on any shelves.  Luckily, they were camped within sight of the streetlights from Boulder City, looking like stars in the distance.  It had taken them nearly all day, but they had made it to the top of the final mountain between them and the city, and now sat atop a large plateau, the nearly full moon above them.

“That’s it huh?”  Amy asked, sitting at the entrance to their tent.

Peter crawled up beside her and shifted to a sitting position.  She leaned her head on his shoulder.  
“Guess so.”

“What do you think it’s like in there?  Do you think they have cars?  I mean, they have electricity.”  

“I don’t know, I don’t see any lights moving, but we may just be too far away.  But I doubt it.”

“Yeah, wishful thinking.”

“But you know what?”  Peter said, trying to bring a smile to her face.  “You were right.  It’s there, they have electricity.  We’ve made it.”  He kissed the top of her head, running his hand through her ponytail.

“You know what I want?”  She said, turning and looking at him.

Peter’s stomach growled loud enough for them both to hear and she laughed.  “Yeah, that too would be nice, but I want a hot shower.”

“Agreed.”  Peter said and smiled.  “You know what, I know it’s not my night, but I’m not going to be able to get back to sleep, I’m going to relieve Brian and take the rest of the watch.”

“You have the nightmare again?”  She asked as he stepped out of the tent.

“Yeah, but I don’t get it though, I mean we didn’t have our bikes in it or anything.”

“That’s because it’s just a dream.”  Amy said, smiling and reaching up to take his hand.  “You can come back to bed you know.”

“And keep you awake?  I’d rather not.”  He turned away, letting her hand go and the tent flap fall closed.

“Hey,” Brian said, the glow from the flames casting dancing shadows upon his face.  “Do you think they can see us, see this fire?”

“Maybe, I mean this seems to be a stopping spot for a lot of people.”

“Yeah, It was nice of them to have left us some wood way up here for the fire.”  He said, pulling another small log from the neatly stacked pile they had found beside the stone ringed fire pit.  

“I agree.  I just wonder who it is that is keeping this place stocked, and why could they have not left us 
some food?”  Peter asked as his stomach growled again.

“So you think we’ll make it tomorrow?”  Brian asked, gazing down at the city lights.

“Yeah, I don’t see why not.”

“I just hope our brakes hold out, it looks pretty steep going down.”

“I hadn’t thought about that, damn.”  Peter said, his mind shifting back to the nightmare.  “Listen,” he added, shaking the thought away, “I’m not going to be able to sleep anymore, how about you go get some rest, I got this.”  He picked up one of the shotguns and set it across his lap as he sat down by the fire.

“Thanks, you sure?”


The sun rose behind them as they broke camp.  Peering through the binoculars, Peter could see the city coming alive as well, as the streets became busy with people going to and fro.  He yawned.  “I still don’t see any cars.”

“Um, Peter?  Zach said from where he had stood, looking back on how far they had come.

“What’s up?”  Peter said as he walked back toward his friend. 

Not wanting to alert the rest of the group, Zach waited until Peter was next to him, pointing out a large group of men and women, that were marching in formation up the mountain.

“How the hell did we miss them?”

“I don’t think we did.”  Zach said, grabbing the binoculars out of Peter’s hands.  “Oh, it gets worse.”

Peter breathed deeply, taking a look through the offered field glasses.  “Damn it, it’s some of Them.  Come on, let’s go now.”

Peter ran back to the rest of the group, Zach close behind.  

“What’s going on,”  Julie asked as the two men tried to rush everyone else.

“We’re about to have some company,”  Peter said as he shoved a tent into one of the infant trailers.  He doused the embers of the campfire with some water from his canteen, shouting “Go,” at everyone as they mounted their bikes.  Rocky barked and ran ahead, hopping into an open spot in one of the trailers as it passed him.

The way was bumpy, and they spent more time riding the cycle’s brakes as they descended the mountainside road.  It was not more than halfway down then their luck began to give out as the chain came off of Sarah’s bike.  Peter and Zach stopped beside her, and glancing toward the top of the mountain, Peter saw the first row of Others emerging from the plateau.  “Here, take mine,” Peter said as he knelt down and tried to replace the chain.  She did not need telling twice, and soon she had caught back up with the rest of the group.  “Get going,” Peter told Zach.

“You sure?”

“Yeah, If I can’t get this in a second, I’m going to run for it.”

“I will hang back here, just in-“

“No, I need you to make sure the rest of them get into the city.”  Peter stood and pulled a pistol from his waistband and grabbing the shotgun that was the lone occupant of Sarah’s bike trailer.  “Now go,”  He said, kicking the bike, and breaking into a run down the mountain.  



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