Hollow Men - Prelude


 

Hollow Men” is a online novel that I have been working on for sometime. This is the fourth rewrite, although the prelude itself hasn’t been change, hence why it’s public here on Patreon. For the most part, all my stories take place inside a world I am creating, the stories themselves might not seem to be connected, but they are. I’ll leave it to the reader to figure out the connections, telling you would spoil the fun. And another thing, even this prelude to Hollow Men contains easter eggs, feel free to mention which ones you find in the comments on Patreon -  Wolfe

Prelude

The line of cars stretched down the street into the sheets of rain, their headlights casting eerie ghosts. The attendants were trying desperately to enforce the ration on fuel. It didn't help much that some drivers were here a second time already, having received their fair share, they had circled the block to get in line again.

Several of the drivers had resorted to yelling at the attendants, others had begun to swear at cars in front of them. One car had it's windows smashed out for trying to cut in line.

The glass from that car made a crunching sound as Dan walked along the row. His shoes offered no protection from shallow puddles. He was cold and wet, his fedora was more like a sponge in the downpour, his jacket even more so.

He wore tweeds. Tweeds were all the thing. Tweeds were in. You weren't with it if you wore anything else.

It was a surreal moment, the Snowdrop tea he had taken earlier was having an effect on his empty stomach, he could clearly hear the tapping of his cane against the pavement, the rain pelting the roofs of the cars, but not the sounds of protesting. Like a lucid dream, he walked beyond the station.

His thoughts wandered towards the glass building on the horizon. It was the tallest in the city, the windows were tinted to reflex the sun, giving the building the appearance of being built of pure gold. It's inception crest was silver plated, marking the entrance to it's hanging gardens. The sides of the building shouldered by bronze colored statues. The iron building was a testament to the height of the PAX corporation. The lobby had clay tiles pattern around a bust of the founder.

Somewhere inside was his old office, now empty and covered with dust. Everything had been for the corporations, they were our gods which we all served blindly. They provided all our needs, gave us purpose, told us how to live. Their forest of steel and concrete, became a dark place.

Out of the fumes of cars he wandered along the walkway towards the center of the cantilever span between city center and port. His mind could clearly see his wife, and daughter waiting for him to come home, what a strange illusion he thought. "I'm leaving you." was all she wrote. By the time he had returned home from the office, she had managed to empty their place, it was the transformation of a home to a house that had shocked him the most.

I had it all. Even the glass dishes with tiny bubbles and imperfections, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard-working indigenous peoples of wherever.

The thought.

The broad flat heels were worn thin, he lifted his foot to remove a piece of glass from his shoe, allowing it to fall threw a hole. It had cut his heel and had caused him to start limping. He wished hadn't bought mock pelage, they just didn't last. From his vantage point above the river, he could see the city laid out before him, towers of concrete trees lite by man made stars as they fell, a cerebration of first night. Another year started, as equally pointless as the last. The river rushed beneath him, gathered in it's power, millions of drops, taking with it the past. It called to him, to sweep away the storm within him. There was pulling effect, a sense unlike vertigo, he became a spirit being pushed along the current from the sight of it. Slowly he climbed the rail, in a trance by the effect on his mind, his cane fell into the waters, riding out to mark a path before him. Leaning out, spread arms to the rails behind him, he felt the wind on his face. He understood now why his daughter had done it this way. It was the only way to escape this mad world he lived in. She stood there now with him, her soft features untouched by the pain she had lived with, she looked peaceful. "I miss you... " he whispered to the soul and let go.

- Wolfe

danwolfe.me

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