The Death of an Innocent.
All Maggie could think about was how cold the night was as her skin tingled with each icy gust of the wind, there was an eerie chill in it that made her heart sink into her gut like something bad was going to happen. She hooked her thumbs into the worn holes in the wrists of her cardigan sleeves and wrapped her arms around her slender waist, her hands idly rubbing against her goose pimpled sides as a last attempt to grasp onto any remnants of warmth.
"Fuck it's cold."
Maggie bitterly complained to herself as yet another shiver caused her to shudder violently. She leant back against the oak tree behind her, her shotgun rested up against the nature-worn bark just as she was. She must have paced around the same ten by ten circle of camp her and Glenn had set up a million and one times but she still couldn't sit still for longer than ten seconds, she couldn't, not with Rick on the warpath and a heavily beaten Glenn sleeping not a snores distance away. She had to keep him safe; he was, after all, all she had left now. This thought alone caused a pained grimace to contort her delicate features into one of fear addled misery, it had been over three years since Hershel had Beth had been murdered and to this day it still made a lump rise in the back of her throat and her eyes brim over with the sadness she had bottled up for so long now. She had never been able to just let it all go, to actually cry like she needed to. She had always had to be strong.
"Snap out of it!"
Maggie snapped at herself internally. Now was not the time to cry into the already damp ground, she needed to stay on her toes and be readyfor the attack that she knew was coming. She could understandwhy Rick and the others had cast her out of the group, she could understand why even Glenn looked at her with a hurt glint in his eye; everybody had loved Judith and it had only been a mere three days since Maggie had taken her shotgun and unloaded a bullet in the three year old infants cranium.
The weather had been just as bleak thatday but maybe not quite as chilly. Judith had been playing in the confines of the garden of what they had thought was a secure area when the walker had torn out her tiny abdomen with its blood stained ivories after forcing itself through the brambled bushes for it's next meal. Carl had left the baby alone for only a minute in the dewy grass to grab the plate of food Carol was holding out to him from the open kitchen window when it had happened, Maggie dismally reminisced, she had been helping Rick clean the guns at the dining room table when she heard the screams and gunshots. It was Ricks harrowing sobs that haunted her, well, that and what had happened next. It was what had had to be done – when people, even family, got bitten you had to aim for the brain and kill them before they bled out and turned. Even in retrospect Maggie knew she would still pull the trigger. Even recollecting the way the toddlers brain matter had splattered the shabby leather of her boots and the way all time seemed to have stopped as what she had done had sunk in to her and the rest of the group. She still new she had to kill Judith. There was no saving her.
Glenn had had to throw himself in front of Maggie to stop Rick slaughtering her right there and then with Michonnes machete. The way his eyes lingered on hers, his sights locked on the dainty brunette like it was instinctual to drive a blade through her heart and leave her to die. It was clear to Maggie that he wanted her dead. It was clear to everybody that Rick wanted to tear her apart limb by limb and strangle her with her lower intestine. It was clear to the whole group, but it most clear to Glenn who turned to Maggie with an anguished grimace.
"Run! You run and don't you stop, okay? I can't lose you!"
Glenn had yelled at Maggie as his hands gave her a violent jolt to knock her out of the shock that possessed her every nerve. She tore her watery sights from her husband and she ran. She ran as fast as humanly possible, even when she could hear Glenns screams carrying like birdsong in a summers breeze through the woods she ran for her life through. Now, she fought the overpowering instinct to turn around and save him. She had too. Maggie knew that if she went back now Glenns beating would have been a futile gesture. A pointless attempt of giving her a head start.
Eventually, he had found his way to a tear-stained ex farm-girl quivering with unsolicited fear and wrapped his muscular arms around her crushing him to her in a vice like grip.
She had stuttered into his already grubby, checked shirt. Glenn could feel the moisture of her tears dampening the flesh of his chest but he didn't care. HisMaggie was safe. She was cradled to him and she would be okay if he had to kill every single person himself. His calloused palms caressed her back as he rubbed soothing circles in an attempt to stop her crying. Even in these circumstances Maggie crying worked as his Kryptonite, it punched him right in the heart each time her exhausted frame shook with sorrow in his hold.
"It's gonna be okay, Maggs. I promise, okay?"
His hands moved to cradle her face in his palms, his thumbs idly brushing her tears away despite the onslaught of the next wave of them trickling over the backs of his hands. His voice cracked with pain addled misery as he carried on trying to put his wife at ease.
"It's gonna be okay."
All they could do now was wait. Either for the attack of their once friends, the cold and lack of food to diminish the last of their hope or the walkers to shred their insides with their moulding, blade-like nails. They were the enemy now. They were next on the list to die. They were the ones fighting for survival in a bitter world riddled with death as blood stained the hands of every living soul left standing on the planet but Glenn was the reason Maggie stood exhausted and shivering against that tree. He was what she was fighting for now.
He was all she had left.