Hollow World Chapter 30

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Clink. Clink. Clink.

The Pennyman approached the still body, the coins beating a rhythm in their bag with each step he took. Kneeling down, he turned the badly blistered face toward him and propped the mouth open. David Roberts died of a gunshot wound on his own lawn, trying to defend his house with a pellet gun. Once the obol was been placed in his mouth, The Pennyman proceeded to the front of the house.

Two bodies lay in the street, their necks ending in sticky puddles. He ignored them. He could do nothing for them. The Pennyman began his walk again, he had others to attend to.

Soon, He found himself back in New York, watching three men fight over a can of soup. A fourth, a dark skinned female, already lay dead, a bloody brick beside her head. Her name had been Kimberly. The other three were John, who currently held the can, Jessica, hefting a baseball bat as she approached John, and Xavier, wielding a chain in one hand and a knife in the other.

The Pennyman knew that Jessica would end up with the can. He watched and he waited. The war was coming. In some places, the war was here. She caught Xavier by surprise when she stopped advancing and pivoted, her bat connecting with his head. John threw the can at her and took off running. She grabbed the can as he approached Kimberly, slipping an obol silently into her mouth. Xavier was next and got the same treatment. Jessica watching him all the while. With his job completed, he started walking again.

And he was facing a wall of cars up on their sides. A large gate stood before him, a trio of bodies before it.

Approaching the bodies, a voice called out “Halt!” Glancing up at the man who stood atop the overturned cars, he smiled a crooked smile before kneeling down at the first of the Others, a young man. His eyes were more hollow now in death, if that was possible. Deftly he opened the corpse’s mouth and slid an obol in. The casualties in the war were beginning to build. The next body, another young man. Another hollow-eyed Other. Another obol. Finally the third body, that of a middle aged woman, the slayer of the other two, got a similar treatment. The Pennyman looked again at the sentry as a breeze picked up and blew his long jacket open.

The sentry told three different stories of what he saw at that moment. None of them were accurate. Nodding, The Pennyman turned and walked away, the Hoover Dam a low rumble in the background. The war was coming here.

Clink. Clink. Clink.

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