Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hollow World Book 4 Part 20

Clink. Clink. Clink.

Thousands lay dead around him, within the walls, and without, of Boulder City.  He concentrated on the soldiers outside of the battles, dealing with the dead that had been left behind, tired of the distraction of being mistaken for a combatant.  He had multiple new bullet holes in his shirt, his skin having already healed over the bullets, and had been bludgeoned more than once, the weapons, including the aluminum baseball bat, breaking across his back.  He had ignored the attackers, simply walking away from the first, one, two, three, and appearing across the battlefield staring at the man clutching the splintered bat.  

He had long given up trying to get to the corpses in the order they had died, instead marching through the war zone and stooping when he came across one of his charges.  He was now within the borders of the southern wall, an ancient looking native American woman before him.  Tama, her name was, had died clutching her rifle, a smile upon her face.  He hated to open her mouth and destroy her serene look, but he did so, depositing the obol within.  A woman such as her deserved to make it across on his ferry.  He closed her eyes with his free hand and then moved to the next corpse.  And then to the next.  He was just about finished with the defenders when a new death caught his attention and he arose, pulling the obol away from the corpse he was attending to.  She would have to wait.

He grabbed his bag and walked toward the wall, disappearing as he would have made contact with it, reappearing in the center of a large open space, ringed by hundreds of men and women, from both sides of the struggle, and beside a small cluster of men.  He knelt over the fresh corpse, the bullet lodged firmly in it’s heart, the torch still burning on the ground beside him.  His job taken care of, the Pennyman rose and ignored the other torchbearers, instead focusing on one individual.

“Uncle,”  He could not help but taunt.

“Charon, this is not your fight.”  Graham said, never taking his eyes from the crowd before him.  

Charon followed Graham’s gaze and locked eyes with Peter, who nodded in recognition.  “You are right, it is his.”  He said as a shot rang out, dropping another of the torchbearers.  Charon smiled and made a show of placing the obol in this one’s mouth, before rising and asking “Who’s next?”

Graham glowered, “You are you impertinent fool,” and ordered the torchbearers to attack.

Despite managing to set the long jacket that he wore on fire, the Pennyman came away unscathed.  Two more of the torchbearers lay dead and administered to, shots from the crowd seeing to them.  The remaining six sat on the ground, shaking there heads, the souls that had inhabited them banished.  “You have tried my patience one time too many Tartarus.  Face your fate alone.”  Charon took a step back to where the edge of the crowd was, although it shifted from him as he did so, leaving a ten foot gap between him and all but one person.  A dark skinned woman stood next to him watching the confrontation.

Clink. Clink. Clink.

1 comment:

archnemesis_goldenhair said...

I hope the dark skinned woman is Murphy. I don't remember her real name. If this was a book, it'd be easier to flip back and find.

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