Just another day, morning.
I'm in a pretty good mood today. The pain in my tummy was gone when I woke up, and now, I'm eating some crackers Carl dropped off. Apparently, they have more food than they can carry, with the cafeteria to scavenge. I'm OK with them, I guess. Daryl's not gonna kill me, and I won't kill him. Or at least, I'll try not to.
I haven't seen any dead people, or undead, this morning. I used a crowbar to lock the door, till I find another way to keep this cellblock save. Or I could not do that. Would be interesting to see who walks in. Maybe the one that tried to kill me.
I still haven't figured out who might've done it. I hope the person dies of guilt. Wait, is that even possible? Dying of guilt? It seems a boring way to die, to me. I mean, all you do is think everything bad that happens is your fault, and cry, and then you fall asleep and never wake up. At least, I think that's what happens to you. Like I said; boring! Being eaten alive is still at the top of my death list. Not that I have an actual that's called like that. Wait, maybe I should make one. Like this;
Most wanted ways to die;
Being eaten by a herd of walkers
Get bit by a walker and die
Fall of a high building
Get my head cut off my neck
Get an arrow to the chest(I prefer right in the heart)
Get my throat cut and choke in my own blood
Slice in my tummy and let all my organs fall out
Being eaten by a vampire
OK, maybe the cut of the head is a little impossible, 'cause there's nothing really sharp enough. The axe is a little too, you probably have to use it twice before the neck bone is broken. Or maybe, that's really cool. Then I can still kinda live that moment.
Today, I'm not gonna die. Probably. Better not. Today, Hershel's going to try out his crutches. I sadly didn't find a camera to film it. Beth invited me to come. She's probably not very happy to see me, 'cause I threw her food against the wall, but she'll get over it. I'm absolutely not apologizing. I don't feel guilty. Or do I?
Fuck, I probably have to say sorry. Maybe I'll die of guilt if I don't…..
"Rick…can I talk to you for a sec?" I ask the man, softly touching his arm. He gives Daryl a nod. Daryl looks at me, with a questioning look. T-dog walks passed him outside, towards the gate. Daryl follows him, after a lift of his eyebrow. Rick turns towards me.
"I…uhm" I rub the back of my neck, trying to find the words. "It's Vicky. I…I don't want her being alone in the E-block anymore."
"What do you mean?" Rick asks, putting his hands on his hips. He's not mad, he's not happy, he's surprised.
"I think she's something good. Someone good. Someone who can….fix us."
Rick narrows his eyes. "Fix us?"
"Rick, be honest to yourself….We barely talk. I know, we're a strong group, we can work together. But that's all we do. Work, survive. We don't have…moments anymore. Yesterday, I finally felt we were a family again. Because of her. She's…special, Rick. She brings us back together."
"Carol, she's not healthy in her head. She's…dangerous." I see he has to try his best to make my words look bad. He knows I'm right. This group….we're an amazing team, but the feeling of family is gone. He feels it to, even though he has become cold through the winter. His relationship with his wife wasn't going so well either. He had felt it to yesterday. She was bringing us back together.
"OK, maybe….we can work something out" he finally admits. I let out my breath, relieved. "But, if it doesn't, she's outta here. For good."
I smile, happiness flowing through me. As a little girl, I jump up and put my arms around Rick's neck. "Thank you, for giving her a chance!"
I feel his body contracting and his back is erect. But, after a few seconds, he relaxes, and softly rubs me over my back. "I hope you're right, Carol. I hope you are."
"I know I am."
"You ready ,daddy?" I say, standing in front of him. Daddy looks nervous, but nods bravely.
"I'm ready, honey. Just…help me up."
I walk to the side, and put my arm under his armpit, and hold his shoulder. Lori takes the other one.
"Count to three" Lori says. "One, two, three…"
"Heloho! Anybody home?" The voice of the crazy girl echoes through the cellblock. I look at Lori, and she looks back at me. We both freak out a little. What is she doing here?
"Don't be afraid of her" my father suddenly says. "Just, put me back, and go ask what she wants."
He seems to be absolutely calm under this. I am absolutely not. But I do as he says, and put him back on the bed. I look at Lori. She walks to the exit of the cell, and looks to the gate.
"Hey Carl, where's everybody?" Vicky asks loudly as Carl opens the gate for her. Carl too doesn't seem to have a problem with her.
"Oh, my mom, Beth and Hershel are still here" he says, letting her through. "The others are outside, moving the cars. We're gonna take Hershel to the courtyard."
"Cool, I'm here to help if you need."
I see Lori put hand on her chest, by her heart, watching her son make friends with a crazy person.
"Hey Lori!" Vicky shouts, happily. "How are you feeling? Is it kicking already?"
Lori gets pale, swallows something through her throat. "I'm fine. Uhm, well, it sometimes, kicks."
"Wow! Can I feel it?"
Lori smiles, still a little scared, but not as before. "When she does, I'll tell you about it."
"She? Is it a she?" Vicky lets out a girly scream, as if she just met her idol. I roll my eyes, and my father pats me on my knee, grinning. He finds this amusing, I rather annoying. OK, maybe a little funny. Vicky's enthusiasm seems….like that of a child. A happy child. She's lucky I like children.
"Yes, I…I think it's a she."
Vicky stands in front of Lori, and grabs both the woman's hands. "Have you thought of a name yet?"
"No, no, I haven't" Lori says, still with a smile, but a little overwhelmed.
"Please, I have a lot of ideas! Let's make a list, together!"
Carl stands a little further away from them, and smiles bright. My father looks at me, with his eyebrows lifted.
"What?" I whisper. Vicky turns her head towards me, and her smile fades away. O god…. She lets go of Lori, and stands in the doorway of the cell. She doesn't come in, which surprises me. She seems so rude, but….she is good. I know that, I guess I'm just mad at her for throwing my food around.
"Beth, I am really sorry for starting a food fight yesterday. I was angry. And I wanted to throw something. And I never threw food before. And your food just was delicious, and the closest to throw."
"It's OK" I say, before she starts talking more. I feel a little stupid, being mad at her. She seems so…innocent. Even though she cut my dad's leg off. Threw my food. Made Carol cry. But she's the closest to my age. We may become friends. Someday. If she starts acting like someone her age.
"I forgive you."
Vicky jumps in the air, fangirl again. "Thank you thank you thank youuu!"
My dad chuckles. "Can we go out now?"
"Of course! Can I help?" Vicky steps inside the cell, as if she needed to be invited in or something.
"Yeah, I'll get his right, you the left" I say. "Lori, can you get the crutches, please?"
We lift my dad up, and Lori carefully shoves the crutches under his armpits. He stands, tries to find balance.
"I really should've brought my camera" Vicky mumbles, and I can't help but to giggle. It was a joke we once made. My dad lifts his eyebrows at me.
"I'll explain later."
We lead him to the gate of the cellblock, and we need to stop a few times, because he needs to find his balance.
"You know, you now have three legs" Vicky says, outta nowhere. Carl grins. My dad's not fond of it, but concentrating on not falling. "Maybe we can make a wooden protease, then you're like a pirate. And you get an eye patch , and a parrot. You already have a beard. And you need a hat. Maybe you can borrow Carl's. Wait, that's not really a pirate hat."
"Nobody's taking my hat" Carl said, holding open the gate.
"Here comes the hard part" Lori says. "The stairs. You kinda have to…hop off."
"Like a bunny!" Vicky says, trying to be supportive. Lori tries to keep her laugh behind her hand, but it's not really working. Vicky gives her a questioning look.
"Sorry" Lori says.
Carl opens the exit, and the sun shines into our eyes.
"Here we go" my dad mumbles. I softly pat him on his shoulder.
"You can do it" I whisper in his ear.
"Here we go, pirate bunny" Vicky grins. My dad gives her an angry look, but also with an amused twinkle.
"Let's do this, leprechaun walker."
"Alright Hershel!" Glenn shouts. I turn around, and smile. I see the old man, managing himself with the crutches. He's being helped by his daughter, my wife, Carl….and Vicky. I give Carol a look, and she answers it with a smile.
"What the…." Daryl walks towards the fence. I walk after him, and lay a hand on his shoulder. He shakes it off, and turns around, angrily. "What the hell is she doing there?"
"She's helping us. She's staying with us, for now."
"Since when did yah decide that?" He then throws Carol an angry look. "What the hell, Carol?"
"She's a good person, Daryl" she answers. "She deserves better than staying alone in a dangerous cellblock. She's good for us. She's staying."
Daryl takes a step towards her, but I push him back. "She's staying, Daryl, if you like it or not."
"Shut up…" he mumbles, picking up his crossbow. Carol, Maggie, and T-dog walk back to the other side of the fence, back to the vehicles.
Daryl climbs back to the outside of the fence. Glenn goes after him, but I stay for a second. I look through the fence. I look at her, my wife. When she sees I'm looking, she stands still, not knowing what to do. I feel an arrow of guilt flow through me. She's scared of me. She's not supposed to be scared of me. I'm her husband.
So I smile. I let her know I care about her. That I love her. That I will do anything to protect her.
She smiles back, and I feel warmth flowing through my body. She has no idea how much this means to me.
Then, our moment is interrupted by the excited shouting of Vicky. "Hey Rick!"
The redhead jumps up, waving her arms in the air. I laugh at her, and wave back. Everyone's all serious, and she's just being the crazy happy Duracell bunny she is.
"Please, make her shut up" Daryl mumbles, coming back from the other side of the fence. I see Vicky freeze for a moment, and she lets down her arms. But she recovers fast, and waves to Daryl, in a shy way.
Daryl only snorts. "She tryin' to play the good girl now?"
"Maybe she is the good girl" Glenn says, coming after Daryl.
"Don' buy it" Daryl says, holding his crossbow over his shoulder. I then see him freeze too. "O shit…"
I turn back to where the others were standing, and see a herd of walkers coming up from behind them.
"Walkers!" I hear my son shout, and then there's a moment where I feel nothing. All I can do is stare. I want to move, run, save them. But I can't. I'm stuck on the ground. My body refuses to move. I stand there, watching them come closer to my family.
"No!" I then shout, and start running as fast as I can. "Lori!"
Small stones from the path fly through the air as my feet slip over the ground. Green of the grass and the trees are flying beside me. The fence is nothing but a grey curtain rushing by. All I can think of, is them. They're on the courtyard. Nowhere to go.
I hear gunshots. "No, no, no! Get outta there! Now!"
Maggie runs up to the courtyard, taking headshots. For every walker that goes down, two more pop up. Carol and T-dog fight their way through the herd.
I get to the gate, which is locked. "The key!"
Glenn throws it to Daryl, who passes it on to me. My hands are shaking as I tried to get the key in. I can't see what's happening, the watchtower is blocking the view. I hear more gunshots, and I finally unlock the gate.
I run further, towards the second gate. The courtyard is still full of walkers, a part of the group nowhere to be seen.
I push the two prisoners aside, ignoring their shocked reactions. I try to find the right key, the keys slipping through my fingers because of the sweat.
Daryl and Glenn are behind me, telling me to hurry up. The lock's not even off the gate, when we run through it. It is then when we hear a terrible scream. T-dog.
"No, no, no!" I shout, as I run further. I hear doors close, people shout, walkers crawl. Beth and Hershel locked themselves up, walkers trying to get to them.
"I…I saw them go in there!" Hershel points to the door of the cellblock. "With Carl and Maggie!"
"T-dog's bit!" Beth shouts. "Vicky dragged him in there, Carol went after them."
These were going to be the last few minutes of my life. I know it.
I lean on Vicky, the red haired girl. Carol is holding my hand, and we hide in the shadow of the dark halls of the prison.
"What are we gonna do?" Carol asks softly, crying.
"We'll stay quiet, wait for them to come out" Vicky says, calmly.
Then, something weird happens. An alarm goes off. An repeating sound echoes through the building. We hear growling and footsteps coming from everywhere now. Carol lets out a scared sob, and I curse real bad. Vicky just sighs. She then starts to hum sing a little song, and then starts singing it.
"Somewhere, over the rainbow…." It's a soft whisper. Without saying something else, she starts walking. She drags me with her, like I'm nothing. She holds Carol too. We both lean on her. We both hold on to her. Through this chaos, she's the one that stays calm.
"…skies are blue…." Shadows are following us. The darkness is coming over us. The only light we have, is in our hearts. And that too is dying. Carol keep looking over her shoulder, I try to keep my feet up. The back of my shoulder is burning.
"There is, a place where I dream off…." We go around the corner, which is empty. We walk further, the repeating zoom of the annoying alarm surrounding us. The wound where the walker bit me, is getting infected. I can feel the virus spreading across my body.
"…once in a lullaby." She grabs my hand. I squeeze it. Carol lays her head on my shoulder, and we stand there, all tree, in the dark.
I can hear all three our hearts. They're not beating so fast anymore. We are not scared. Maybe a little nervous. Walkers are crawling, somewhere near, somewhere far. It doesn't matter anymore. I can't feel my legs anymore. My body is slowly shutting down, till the last cell. I wo't make it, and I know it. I know what I have to do.
"You have to get outta here" I say to Vicky and Carol. Vicky nods, as if she understands.
"No!" Carol says, letting out a sob. "You're gonna be OK!"
"No, he's not, Carol" Vicky says, slowly letting go of me. She releases Carol's hand from mine. Carol tries to push Vicky away, but she's not strong enough.
Walkers are nearing us, shadows dancing over the walls. I straighten my back, ready for a last run.
"You know, I'm jealous of you" Vicky says, before I take a step. "You get the most spectacular death ever."
I turn around, and grin. "You think? I'll tell you all about it when I get back."
"Please, do so!" Vicky says. "Spook around all you want."
"I will." I then turn around, and start running. I basically jump into their arms. Then, there's a lot of pain, blood, warmth, cold, a scream, and darkness. Then, it's over.
She drags me through the halls, holding a hand over my mouth. She doesn't say anything, she just runs. She objected every walker attack, every rotten arm reaching out for us, every pair of jaws clapping. I hold my knife in front of my, and stick it in one's head.
All I can do, is let me get taken by her. She leads me through this madness. The chaos of death that's surrounding us.
But I don't know for how long she can keep going. How long before she collapses? I can hear her heart beat fast, her lungs fighting for air, but she keeps her face straight and pushes through.
We then get to a door. A random door, somewhere in the middle of the labyrinth of halls. She opens it, and puts me down.
I'm not crying anymore. I'm just…shocked. Exhausted. I don't know for how long we had been walking. The alarm has finally stopped, though the walkers are still going crazy.
She lays me against the wall, and holds my hands.
"Carol, look at me" she whispers. I lift my chin up, and look her in the eyes. What I see, scares me. I was really used to the crazy rage that was in her eyes. This time, the light was gone. All I saw, was darkness.
"Carol, you're gonna be OK. I'm going to draw those creepy bastards away from here, but you're not alone. Sophia is here. She'll take care of you."
"Sophia?" I softly ask. "Where is she?"
"She's sitting right next to you" Vicky says, standing up. She looks at something in the hall, and goes with her fingers over her belt. "Got one left."
She grabs my hand, and lays something on the palm. She wraps my fingers around it, before standing up.
"I'll see yah later!" she says, with a happy voice. She then closes the door, and I feel the object in my hand. A knife. She gave me her last knife.
I stare at the body. The half eaten body of my friend. I want to turn my head away, but I can't. Why? Why him?
Rick walks passed me. Daryl wants to go too, but he stands still. As if he honours T-dog. He stands still and looks at the body, his head bent down.
He then passes through. I walk after him. I see Daryl bent down next to the body of a walker. There's a knife sticking out of it. Not far from the body, lays a scarf.
"This is Carol's" Daryl says. He pulls the knife out of the body. He looks at it, and I see his face get an defestated look. He picks up the scarf, and hangs it to his belt. He stands up, and sees me looking.
"C'mon, we ain't got all day. She's still out there."
I think he tries not to think about the fact that Carol may have been ended up like T-dog. I understand. I can't think what I would do if Maggie lay there...
We follow Rick, and we walk through the darkened halls. There are not much walkers left, which is weird. The silence is scary. It doesn't seem right.
Rick stands still in front of a door. It's a big, heavy door, and it gets pushed open. The thing that's in there, is not strong enough, and the door keeps falling back. we leave it, not important right now.
We head back to the courtyard, which is still empty. They're not back yet. I don't know what to feel. Maggie is still in there. My heart feels cold. Please, let her be safe. We release Hershel and Beth from their lock up.
Rick starts making plans out loud, pointing in every direction. I know it's hopeless. We lost the prison. It's over.
Rick is the only one who talks, and he stops, as soon as he hears it. Cries. Cries of a baby.
We all turn around, and one of the doors to the cellblock is opened. Vicky steps out, her whole body full of blood. She steps aside to let Maggie through. I let out a sigh of releave, but then I see her face. I see what she's holding in her arms. Behind her, Carl steps out, holding his gun. His face is darkened under his hat, more than normal.
No one has to say something. We already know what happened. The cries of Rick are in the background of our grief. I walk to Maggie. Her face is shocked, filled with sadness. I hold her in my arms, and let her cry on my shoulder.
Rick's laying on the ground. Carl stares at the ground. Vicky is...doing nothing. The crazy happy girl from earlier, is standing there. Just standing there. Her whole body is full of blood, pieces of flesh still on her fingers and in her hair.
Without saying a word, Vicky starts walking. Walking away from us. We all turn around, confused. She walks to the gate, walks through it, over the fields to the second.
Daryl takes a step, like he wants to go after her. But then, the baby lets out a cry. A soft cry, that goes through every heart. Daryl turns around, and silenlty decides to stay.
Vicky goes through the second gate, over the small bridge, into the forest. Then, she's gone.