"C'mon, princess, we ain't got all day!" the man with the big tattoos on his arms says, while he kicks me in my back. I fall on my knees, and I hear the others laugh.
"Get up" some other grunts, and lifts me up by my short black hair. I growl of pain, which I earn another wave of humiliation. The man pushes me further, forcing me to walk. My hands are hurting, the ropes around my pulses scrape through my skin, leaving a blood trail behind me.
"He still ain't talkin', is he?" the leader asks, with a slight grin. It means he gets to torture me some more.
"Nah, he's not much of a chatter" the one behind me replies.
"I told you, I don't know anything!" I hopelessly say. "I'm not to any use to you, just let me go!"
"Oh, sure, yah don' know anythang" the guy with the tattoos chuckles. "If that's true, we getta kill yah!"
I quickly shut my mouth. The men laugh at my pale face.
"How much further?" the fourth man asks. He's kinda the serious guy here, the brain, as you could say. He gives me a quick cold look as he notices I'm staring at him. I quickly look away. His eyes are creeping me out.
"About half a mile, or maybe more" the leader says, checking the amount of arrows he has. "Was a good day, wasn't it? We get a big dinner tonight!"
"O, hell yeah!" the man behind me says. He pulls my head back by my hair, and his face is beside mine. I don't know what to do, so I stand still. The man laughs loudly in my ear, and I somehow sense some hunger in his voice. I almost jump in the air as he licks my ear.
"Slow down, Virgil" the brain says, as he pulls the man away from me. "Just wait for tonight!"
Virgil's face gets a dark shadow, but he steps back. I turn to the brain.
"Don't thank me, boy" he says, as he sees the hope in my eyes. "Just keep on walking."
I look at the ground, and all the one second hope I had is gone. I walk further, my head down. They were gonna eat me. They're cannibals. Where did I get myself into? How could I be so stupid? Why did I sign up for this? Why couldn't I just stay in the town?
The others were dead, more than dead. They had turned, to be exactly. Undead, walking around. They didn't even kill them, they just let them walk. I swear, if I manage to escape, I will kill them, and feed them to my friends. Looking around right now, I think my evil plan just remains to be a plan.
I think that, until I see one of the men fall to the ground. We stand still, shocked.
"What the hell?" the leader says. The fifth man that was walking in the front just a second ago, was now laying on the ground with an arrow through his skull. He's pinned to the ground, a pool of blood spreading around him.
The man with the tattoos walks to him and kneels down. "This is one of ours."
He pulls the arrow out of the skull, and looks at it. "This is our signature."
"Who the hell would…." Before the leader can say anything else, something jumps out of the tree. It's a flash of red I see, before it lands on top of the tattooed man. The man growls, and we step back. The leader readies his bow and arrow, but before he can aim, the tattooed man falls to the ground, his eyes scratched out of his skull. He lets out a last grunt, before his skull breaks by the stone of the red flash. It stands up, and I can see a bloody person. She's covered in blood, her skin and clothes, and her fingers too. Her red hair is messy, full of pieces of flesh, blood, mud and leafs. She looks up to us, eyes full of insanity.
The leader is the first one to react. He shoots an arrow, and the girl steps aside, grabbing the arrow out of the air. The leader is stunned for a second, and that's just enough for the girl throw the arrow back, through the man's throat. Blood drops down from the corners of his mouth, before he collapse to the ground.
Virgil steps away from behind me, with a knife. The girl steps aside, grabs his arm, and pulls it with the knife in the hand through his own chest. Virgil's eyes widen in shock, and then they roll away.
The brain stands there, staring. And I'm fucking peeing my pants right now. I can't breathe, blood pumping in my ears, heart beat raising.
The girl looks at both of us, analysing. The brain then steps forward, and puts down his weapons.
"Go ahead, kill me, I don't want to…" then he's dead too. The girl smashed his head into a tree, and the bone of the nose goes right through the brain.
I'm standing there, looking at all the five bodies. I'm hyperventilating, and I feel tears coming into my eyes. I can't remember a time where I was this scared.
The girl slowly turns around, looking like she's going to a Halloween party. She looks like my worst nightmare.
I fall down on my knees, with my head on the ground. "Please, please don't kill me!"
I hear the girl stepping towards me.
"Please, I wasn't with them, I promise! I'm not like them! They captured me, they were trying to eat me! Please, all my friends are dead! I have to tell their families what happened to them! Please, don't kill me!"
The girl stands next to me, I can see her sneakers next to my head. She doesn't say a word, and I know it can be over within a second.
The last thing I see, is a boot coming towards my face, and then there's only black.
"Come back save" I say as I hug my sister. I can't help the tears sounding through my voice. Maggie looks at me with a sad smile, and she too can't hide it.
"I will. Take good care of daddy for me, OK?"
"Stop it, it sounds like you're going away forever!" I say, with a slight smile.
"You know I would never leave you and daddy behind."
"I know." She then lets me go, and walks over to Daryl. Daryl only nods to me and daddy. Carl opens the gate for them, and Maggie sits down behind Daryl on the motorcycle, and they leave. Glenn looks at them, and Maggie turns around one more time, before disappearing between the trees. Glenn sighs, and I feel sorry for him. First, he thinks his girlfriend is dead, then she comes back, and leaves again to get baby supplies.
I walk towards him, and lay a hand on his shoulder. He turns around towards me.
"They'll be back" he says, more to himself than to me. "She promised to come back."
I only nod, not knowing what to say. I like to say he's right, but I actually don't know.
"Glenn, Beth, get over here" my dad suddenly says. I walk towards my father, who sits at one of the metal tables, with a bundle of blankets in his arms. The baby in it is crying loudly, moving her arms and legs around.
"What's wrong?" Glenn asks, worried.
"She's hungry, very hungry" my dad answers. He softly swings the little baby in his arms, but she only cries louder.
My father looks up to me, with a cry of help in his eyes. I swallow something through my throat.
"Give her to me" I say, and reach out my arms. My dad thankfully lays the baby in them, and something weird happens. She immediately looks into my eyes, blinks, and stops crying. It's so weird it spooks me, but I keep looking.
"How do you do that?" Carl asks, whispering.
"I don't know" I whisper back. The baby still looks at me, with big colourless eyes. They then slowly close, and she yawns. The child falls to sleep in my arms, and we still stand there, stunned.
"Take her inside, honey" my dad says, smiling. I look at the baby, sleeping peacefully. I walk inside the cellblock, and sit down on one of the beds. Carl follows me, and watches me while I softly swing her around in my arms. We're silent for a while, until Carl asks something.
"Where do you think Vicky was going?"
"I don't know" I say. "But she didn't look so good when she left."
"Yeah, she already looked this way when she found us…" Carl turns his head away from me, and I can see tears blinking in his eyes. I quickly look away. I can't stand crying people, I cry too in seconds.
"Maybe she was getting us some more supplies?" I say, trying to stay with the subject. "Food, medicine, and stuff for her."
With the last thing, I nod to the baby in my arms.
"Yeah, I guess" Carl mumbles, walking away.
The first thing I feel when come back to the surface, is my nose. I feel with my fingers at the sore spot, and feel blood. I then notice my hands are free, which they weren't before.
I open my eyes, and sunlight shines bright into them. I blink, and look down at my hands. I rub with my hands around my pulses, the scratches have stopped bleeding.
I look around, thinking about where I might be. I'm lying with my back against a tree, at the end of the forest. In front of me, is a field of yellow flowers. I can also hear the streaming of a river nearby.
I narrow my eyes, trying to get a better sight of a figure moving through the field. My heart beat raises, as I recognize the girl form earlier. She walks through the flowers, bending down and picking some and makes a bouquet with them. I see she cleaned herself up. The blood is washed of her body, and her hair is still wet, surrounding her pretty face as a flame. Her blue eyes are like two stars lighting up her face. I feel….stunned, by her beauty. I almost forget what she really is, only by looking at her.
She somehow feels it, and turns her head towards me. Now that her eyes are looking at me, I can't turn away. They hold me, keep me right where I am. I stare back, not blinking, not moving. I'm scared again, but also overwhelmed. Her eyes didn't have the strange tone of insanity anymore. They were different. Almost…normal. And I say almost for a reason.
She then bends down, and goes back to picking flowers. I inhale deeply, relieved. And worried. Why didn't she kill me?
The girl appears again, and now she's walking towards me. I quickly get up, sitting on my ass all day isn't really charming.
The girl's not looking at me, and walks passed me, with the flowers in her hand. She's wearing a bloody shirt, but her body is clean. Her skinny arms are like branches in the big sleeves of the shirt.
She kneels down, and lays one of the flowers down. I then notice the piles of earth. I count five. Five graves. From….
"Why did you burry them?" I ask, immediately regretting it. Why did I ask? Why did I ruin it for myself? She might kill me now!
She doesn't reply, doesn't do anything. She just continues to put flowers on the graves, ignoring me.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disturb you, or be nosy." Dude! A voice in my head said. You're not making it any better!
The girl still doesn't react. She stands up, with still a bundle of flowers in her hand. She then finally looks at me. She reaches with her and to the back pocket of her jeans, and I fear she's grabbing her gun. I step back, bumping into the tree again.
She then holds a napkin in her hand. She walks towards me, and tries to clean my injured nose with it. I freeze, and where her fingers touch my skin, I get goosebumps. I look at her, her concentrated face while she wipes the blood away. She gives me a quick look, and I see she's uncomfortably with me staring at her. But I can't help it.
I swear I just saw her blush a little. She blinks with her eyes, and then steps back. She holds out her hand with the napkin, and nods to it.
"Is it for me?" I ask. She nods, the first real interaction we have. I take it. "Thanks."
She steps back. It's possible I imagined the slight curl of the corner of her mouth, and even if I did, it still makes my stomach turn around.
The girl turns around, and stars walking away from me. I watch her, still holding the napkin.
"Wait! Where are you going?" I shout after her. She stops and turns around, not saying a word.
"Please, tell me your name!" I beg her. She looks at the ground, then back at me, and shakes her head. She turns around and walks away from me.
"My name's Daniel!" I shout at her hopelessly. She stops.
"Nice to meet you, Daniel" she says, and her voice sounds like music in my ears. She doesn't look at me, but I can imagine the way her lips move when she talks. "My name is Vicky. Goodbye."
Then, she's really gone. It's just a blink of my eyes, and all I'm looking at is the view of a forest. I look at the napkin in my hand.
"Vicky" I whisper. She has a name. I know her name. I look back at where she disappeared with the bundle of flowers in her hand.
I then face palm myself. I can't believe my hear is still beating so fast. I don't even know her. I only know her name.
"He won't talk to me, Hershel" I say, still rubbing the skin of my neck. It almost feels like Rick's hand is still squeezing my throat. "He tried to kill me."
"No, he wasn't" Hershel says, trying to believe his own lie. "He would never do that. We just need to leave him on his own for now. He'll come back to us."
I look away. I don't know what to believe. Rick really seems far away. The look in his eyes when he held me against the wall, it almost looked like….Vicky. And I don't know if anyone really pays attention to Vicky, but if you look like her, you're far gone.
"So, what do we do now?" I ask.
"We wait for Daryl and Maggie to come back" Hershel replies. "We'll debate about what to do next when we're all here."
"But there's probably something we can do now" I say, wiping some sweat of my forehead. "I mean, I can't sit here and wait. Rick's out there, killing whatever he stumbles upon. Vicky left without telling us anything. Carol's still missing, dead or alive. There must be something we can do."
Hershel looks at me, with a look that's aged with wisdom. "I'm sorry, Glenn, but we just have to wait."
"Vicky was with Carol and T-dog" Carl suddenly says, coming out of nowhere. His face is pale, and his eyes are far away.
"What do you mean?" Hershel asks.
"Vicky was with Carol and T-dog. She let them into the halls. T-dog is dead now…."
"What? So you think she killed him?" I ask. Carl shrugs.
"Of course she wouldn't!" Hershel says loudly. "T-dog saved her life, she wouldn't kill him!"
"How can you know that?" Carl asks. "She's crazy! Who knows what she's really thinking about us!"
"Hold on, Vicky wouldn't hurt us" I say, holding up my hand.
"You don't know that!"
"Carl, she came here to help us!" Hershel says. "She helped me outside, and supported me! Trust me, she changed."
"You really think that?" Carl says, tears streaming down his face. I suddenly realize why he's doing this. He was the first person to accept Vicky, he really likes her. He would never say things like this for no reason.
"Carl, c'mon, don't be silly" I softly say, stepping towards him. "You like Vicky. She's your friend. You're only saying this because you need someone to blame."
"No! No, I'm not!" he shouts, angrily wiping the tears of his cheeks. "She's dangerous! She's evil! She's…She's…"
I lay a hand on his shoulder. "You know that's not true. Think about it."
He lets out a sob, and looks angry at me, and himself. He looks away, sniffing his nose.
"I'm gonna take watch outside." He pushes my hand away, and exits s the cellblock.
I let out a sigh of relieve as I see the prison coming up between the trees. I have had this strange nervous feeling in my stomach the moment we left. I keep on thinking about Beth telling me to come back. At that moment, I too was not sure if I would. The things that happened today made me doubt life more and more. It takes strange turns as you close your eyes for a second.
I can already see Glenn, with a shovel on the field. My heart crushes a little, as I see him digging graves with the two remaining prisoners. There are three graves. One for T-dog, one for Carol, and one for Lori.
I look at Daryl, and I see the man is blinking heavily with his eyes. I've never seen him like this before. He always tries to hide his emotions, and most of the time he succeeds. Now, the emotions were running so high even he couldn't stand them.
We near the gate, and Carl opens it for us. We drive through, and Glenn runs up to meet us.
I immediately put my arms around him. He holds me for a second, and there's a moment I feel really save. Just buried in his shoulder.
Daryl clears his throat. "Anything new?"
Glenn lets go of me. "No. Rick's still in there. I tried to find Carol, but no success."
"And the girl?"
Glenn shakes his head. "No sign."
Daryl looks at the ground, and nods. "Let's get the stuff."
We walk with a bag of supplies to the cellblock, where Beth and Hershel sit at the metal table. Beth holds the baby girl in her arms. It has his eyes open, looking at the new people entering her life.
"So…the Hunters are dead?" Merle asks me. I nod, for the hundredth time. Doctor Stevens puts a bandage on my nose, and I grunt of pain.
"And she let yah live?"
I nod again. "Yes, and she didn't say anything. It was really weird."
"Did yah see where she was goin'?"
"No, sir, she was really fast."
Merle nodded, not believing a single word I'm saying. He turns his head towards Martinez, who stands in the corner. "You believe that shit?"
"Seems a little too weird" Martinez says. "What did she look like again?"
"Black hair, brown eyes, very tall, and a sharp nose" I lie.
"A sharp nose?" Merle says, sounding amused. "That one's new. A sharp nose, as in an ugly one?"
"Yes" I answer. "Look, I already told you everything I know. Can I please go now? I want to see my mom."
"Should we let 'm go?" Merle says, turning to Martinez again.
"I dunno" he answers, grinning. "The story seems a little too good to be true."
"Look, if I remember some other things, I'll let you know" I say, and doctor Stevens is finally done with the bandage. "I'd like to go to bed now."
"Sure, man, go ahead" Merle chuckles, opening the door. "But don't blame me if the Governor knocks at your door at 5 PM."
I finally can leave, and when I stand outside, I let out a sigh of relieve. I can finally see my mother again, after a week of being missing in action. I'm excited to see her again, and I'd love to tell her about Vicky, but I know that if I do, the Governor will find out soon.
The Governor is that kind of guy that talks to everyone, and my mom is the kind of person that likes to tell everybody everything.
I already tried to protect Vicky from the Governor, by telling them she looked the opposite of how she really does. They were now looking for a person that looks the same as the witch from Hansel and Gretel. She was save.
I open the door of our apartment, and immediately my little brother runs to me.
"Danny! You're back!"
"Hey, man, how yah doing?"
I lift my little brother up in the air.
"I'm fine, and mom's too! I protected her, like you said!"
"Good boy." I put Jason down. "Where's mom?"
"She's getting groceries. She'll be happy to see you!"
I sit down, leaning with my back against the wall. It's already night, maybe eleven or twelve o'clock. The others are in bed, tired of today. After all that happened, they still can fall asleep. But I can't. I can't just close my eyes, forgetting Carol was still in there somewhere. She's not dead. I know she's still alive. She has to be. She can't be dead. Not Carol. No way.
It's all because of that stupid girl. She was with Carol today. Now T-dog was dead. What happened to Carol?
I look at the field, where Glenn has dough the graves. The one on the right is hers. Carol's. Now, there's no body underneath the pile of earth. Who knows if we will ever find one.
I turn my head away.
"Goddamnit!" I grunt, angrily wiping the tears from my eyes. "Yah almost look like tha baby in there, you stupid ass!"
I bump my fist into the ground in frustration. Mad don't cry, you idiot. Think about something else.
Rick. Rick was still in there. In one of the halls. He attacked Glenn, tried to choke him. Poor guy doesn't know the difference between a walker and a real person anymore.
I wanted to go look for him when I got back, but I then saw I was needed here. And here I am now, keeping watch. We thought this prison was safe. But all we got into when we entered this place, was more shit than before.
I look at the grave again, and quickly sit up. There is somebody standing there. In front of the pile of earth. To me, it's only a shadow. Time to get a closer look.
I grab my crossbow, and softly make my way to the gate. I try to open with as less sound as possible. I sneak out, and the closer I get to the figure, the sure I am who it is.
"So, look who decided to come home?" I say. She doesn't move, there's no reaction. I take a few more steps towards her. "Yah thought walking off was the best thing to do? Well, then you're a fucking idiot."
Still nothing. I stand next to her, and see her eyes staring at the grave. "Oh, so now you're gonna say nothin'?"
She slowly holds up her arm, and points with her finger on the grave. On it, lays a white flower. It's a rose. A white rose.
I swallow some bad taste through my throat by the sight of the Cherokee rose. I shut my stupid mouth.
Vicky looks at me. "Carol's not dead, you idiot."