When I open my eyes, all I see is darkness. It doesn't matter if my eyes are closed, or opened. Both is dark.
My head hurts. It feels sore, and warm. It's even a little wet, which means I'm probably bleeding. Great. I try to move my arms, but realize after groaning a lot, they are tightened in what feels as a rope. Great.
Where the hell am I? I try to remember the last things before I blacked out. I remember running across the street, with smoke and gunshots everywhere. Someone was holding my hand. Who? I make a list of people who want to hold my hand, which is a short one; my mom and my little brother. But they both weren't there. I know that, because they didn't even know I was being captured by the Governor. They were not there. Who was it?
It wasn't someone of Woodbury. It was someone from the outside.
"Dan, you're an idiot" I whisper to myself. If my hands weren't tightened up, I would've hit myself for being silly. Of course, it was Vicky. The lunatic. The pretty lunatic.
"Vicky?" I whisper. I don't know why I'm whispering, but there's a voice in my head telling me that being tight up in a dark room is a sign for not speaking too loud. "Vicky? You there?"
I hear a yawn, not far away from me.
"I'm right here" she sighs. "Had a little nap. Where are we?"
"Dunno. I wanted to ask you the same."
"Well, I guess I know as much as you. About this, I mean. 'Cause I definitely know more about muffins than you."
"Yeah" I laugh. "I don't know shit about muffins."
I hear her move, struggle with something. "Who tied me up? You?!"
"NO! Of course not! I got ropes on my own pulses too."
She grunts of irritation. "Well, then there's another motherfucker going down tonight."
I suddenly hear a fist slamming on metal, and I feel the thing we're in is moving.
"Wakie-wakie!" a voice shouts. "It's show- time!"
"They got a television here?" Vicky says, not understanding you should be pissing your pants right now, like me. "I hope they broadcast 'Adventure Time'! I love that!"
"I don't think he means a tv-show…" I say, and try to crawl to where I hear her voice. When I feel her legs against mine, I stop. "Vicky? Are you hurt?"
"I'm not sure. Probably" she says, and I feel her breath against my cheek. I'm closer than I thought, and slowly move away. I don't want it to get awkward. I suddenly feel a hand on my chest.
"Don't, you're warm, and I'm cold."
I suddenly realize how weak her voice sounds. I do as she says, and move closer to where I think she's laying.
"Are you hurt?" she asks. I shrug, till I realize how stupid that is when it's dark and you can't see.
"Just a scratch to the head. Nothing to worry about."
"I bet that makes an awesome scar" she says, seriously. "You can be a pirate, with an eye patch. All you need is a parrot."
I chuckle because of the childish tone in her voice. "Yeah, maybe. I'll just buy a ship, and we can go treasure-hunting together. You, me, and the parrot."
"Yeah, we'll find a treasure, go back to the main land, and I'll start a muffin bakery."
"Victoria's Muffin Palace."
I laugh, and lean with my head against the wall of the small room. I reach out with my arm, trying to find her head. She lays a little lower than me, and my tight hands softly touches her hair.
"What are you doing? Looking for fleas?"
My hand goes down, finds her nose and her lips. "No, I'm not hungry."
"You think you can eat fleas? Monkey's do it, but what does it taste like?"
"I hope I never get that desperate" I say, as I pull my hand back. I accidently touch her leg, and feel a warm liquid on my fingers.
"Aw, that's hurt!" she says, and I hear pain in her voice.
"O my god, Vicky…they shot you!"
Without any warning, the door of the dark room opens. Light shines bright in our eyes, and after long in the dark, it hurts a lot. I hold up my hands, trying to protect them.
"Oh, look how romantic! They're spooning!" a familiar voice laughs. I look through my hands, and see the asshole named Merle triumphantly leaning against the opened door.
I crawl against mom's waist. "What's gonna happen, mom? I'm scared."
She softly rubs me over my hair, but doesn't look at me. Her blue eyes stare at the middle of the arena, and they look scared. That makes me scared too. Mom's never scared. Never. Not even when the biters came. She was always sweet to me, and sang to me when I was scared and couldn't sleep. Seeing her scared makes me scared.
People around us are shouting loudly, talking to each other, calling names. Tonight, something really scary happened. There were people in the town, but they were not like us. They were dangerous.
I pull at my mom's shirt, trying to get her attention. "Mom? Mom?!"
"It's OK, Vinnie. Everything's going to be alright." She doesn't look at me, which means she's lying. I don't say anything about it, 'cause I don't want her to get upset even more.
Mom looks away, as if something else is more important. I sit up, and look at what she's looking at. The Governor, the boss of Woodbury, steps into the arena. He has a weir bandage on one of his eyes. Without saying anything, the people get quiet.
"Mom?" I whisper.
"Shh, quiet now" she whispers back, still not looking at me. I look back at the Governor, who starts talking. He's telling about what happened tonight, there was an attack of bad people, who tried to steal Woodbury. I don't really understand that. I mean, you can't steal a town, right? Okay, maybe he didn't really say 'steal', but he said that they want what we have. And that's Woodbury. And that's stealing. I think. I don't understand.
I'm not really paying attention, 'cause I don't really understand what he's saying, but I'm really confused when he suddenly points at Merle. Merle's a little creepy, but I think he's funny too. He has a really creepy knife-arm, and when I asked him about it, he told me he was a pirate. But I don't really think he's a pirate, because he doesn't have a ship. At least, I don't see a ship around here. And he doesn't have a parrot, or a crew of pirates.
And now I'm getting even more confused, 'cause suddenly, there's a figure with a sack over his head. It's a man, with really big arms. I don't know what's going on, and I'm scared when all the people in the audience gasp as the sack is pulled from the head.
The man is not very interesting. He has a cut on his cheek, and his hair is messy, but there's nothing special about him.
I hear the Governor say something as 'a fight of brother to brother', so I guess that means that man is someone's brother. Maybe Merle's.
Now, another figure is being pushed forward, and I'm really scared when I recognize Danny's funny shirt with a singing fish on it. It always made me laugh, but not now. I guess it's because Danny being in the arena isn't a good thing. The arena is a scary place.
The sacks of their heads are being pulled away, and mom suddenly screams. Of course, it's Danny. But I don't think it's the surprise that makes her scream, because Dan's face is full of cuts and bruises. He falls on his knees, head down. I start crying, hiding in mom's arms.
One of the Governor's men pulls at Dan's hair, forcing him to sit up. I hear him grunt of pain, and cry even louder.
"Behold; the traitor!" the Governor shouts. The people in the audience scream and yell all kinds of bad words.
"Danny!" I shout, and I try to stand up. Mom pulls me back.
"Shut your mouth, Calvin!" she says angrily, but she's crying too.
"Danny!" I yell, and I see my big brother look into the audience, and his eyes widen as he sees me.
"Vin? Vinnie? Vinnie!" he shouts. He starts to struggle, and moves his head. But the Governor steps towards him, and slams his fist at Dan's cheek.
I sit back, and cry. Dan collapses to the ground, choking blood. I move my head away, and mom put her hands over my ears. I can still hear Dan shout my name, and ask for mom. I close my eyes. I'm too scared to shout back, and mom doesn't react too. The people around us are screaming and moving their hands radically. I open my eyes, and try to focus on mom's face. She looks with tears in her eyes at what's happening. I don't want to see it, her face tells me enough.
Then, suddenly, the people stop shouting. For a split second, everybody's quiet.
"What's happening, mom?" I whisper. Then, all the people start screaming again. They're standing up from their places and start running around. I realize they are not screaming of joy or anger, but of fear.
"Mom?" I ask louder. She looks at me, and removes her hands from my ears.
"Listen to me, Vinnie" she says, looking me in the eyes. "You're going to close your eyes, and let me carry you away from here, okay? Everything's going to be alright, trust me. I will get you out of here. Just, don't open your eyes."
I suddenly hear loud sounds, and want to move my head, but mom tells me not to. "Close your eyes. It's nothing."
There are more sounds, shots, gunshots. I feel mom's lifting me up, and she starts running.
Again, we are surrounded by smoke and gunshots. With barely any sight, I try to find my friend. I do not dare to shout his name, knowing he's not the only one who will react to it.
I stay low, gun in front of me, ready to shoot anything or anyone coming at me. Till my surprise, a walker grabs my arm. With the other free arm, I grab my knife from my belt, and with one quick move, I stab the undead man through his head. The body falls on the ground, and I quickly run further. As I see the smoke get thinner, I move back.
"Rick!" Maggie shouts. I see her standing behind a container, firing a big machine gun. "Did you release those walkers?"
"No, I did not" I say to her, as I kneel down, checking my ammo.
"That sword woman, she's with Glenn, right?" the farmer's daughter asks. I nod, standing up to join her in the gunfight.
"I don't think she's a good listener." I fire a shot at another walker. "Where did they come from?"
"The most from that direction" Maggie says, pointing with the gun to the left. "I guess there's some sort of warehouse. "
I shine with my flashlight, trying to send out a signal for Daryl. People ran past us, panicking, some bleeding, others bit. This Governor is going to have a hard time when this night is over.
Finally, after a long time, a shadow of a man with a crossbow appears from the smoke.
"Shit" I grunt, as I see Daryl's dragging another member of the Dixon-family behind him. As soon as they've reached us, we start running, back to the barricade. I shot the machinegun, just to be sure.
"They're all at the arena" Merle says, running towards the big barricade. "This way!"
"You're not going anywhere with us!" I say. He pulls a plate away, and turns around.
"Yah really wanna do this now?"
"C'mon, we gotta go!" Daryl says, following his brother. Maggie shrugs at me, with a look that says 'we don't have choice'.
As we stand outside the town, a few walkers reach out for us. Daryl shoots, retrieves his arrow, and starts running again.
While running, he turns around, and looks over our small group. "Where's Vicky?"
No one answers. We all run over the empty road, with a walker here and there. We don't shoot if necessary, we just keep on walking.
"Where is she?" Daryl asks again. I still don't bother to answer, and shake my head at Maggie. She nods, with a pale face, but she shuts her mouth.
"C'mon, did she make it back?"
"I don't think they're in the mood to talk, brother" Merle says, running next to Daryl. "Yah might wanna start talkin' bout lost girls when we're far away."
Daryl looks at his brother, then at me. I look away, and hating the fact that Merle's right. I'm not in the mood to talk about Vicky.
It's already morning, when we finally reach the car. The sword lady is leaning against the green Hyundai, and Glenn's sitting on the ground. They both stand up the minute they see us coming through the woods.
Michonne grabs her sword, and Glenn aims his gun, both looking like my brother's the devil. Rick, good old Rick, tries desperately to calm everybody down, but they're all shouting about one another. I stand in front of my brother, like I'm gone protect him. Yeah, that's sarcastically.
"He tried to kill me!" crazy Michonne shouts, pointing her ugly sword at us.
"Hey, back off!" I shout back.
"Calm down!" Rick shouts. Glenn's talking about it being Merle's fault, Maggie shouts to her boyfriend to shut it, Merle mumbles things about a shitty cop. Yeah, we're a perfect group.
"He helped us get outta there!" I shout at Glenn, trying not to look at his purple eye too much.
"Right after he beat the shit outta you!" Rick shouts at me, pointing his gun at Michonne.
"We both took our lids, man" Merle says, founding everything very funny. I turn my head and mumble clearly ; "Jackass."
"Hey!" He shouts, with a little laugh in his voice.
"Shut up!" Rick shouts at him. Michonne tries to get closer to Merle, but Rick stops her, Maggie points her gun at Michonne, Glenn at me and I need to temper myself not to grab mine.
"Get that thing outta my face!"
I hear Merle behind me chuckle, finding it very amusing. "Look like you gone native, brother."
"Nothin' like you, hanin' out with the psycho back there!" I shout, turning around.
"Yeah, man, he's a real charmer, I'll tell yah that." He then looks at Michonne, and plays with his eyebrows. "He's been puttin' wood in yer girlfriend Andrea big time, baby."
"Andrea's in Woodbury?" Glenn asks, full disbelieve.
"Right next to the Governor" I reply, and suddenly, the gun in my face has been forgotten. Michonne steps forward again, of course, with her sword.
"I told you to DROP THAT!" The sudden raise of Rick's voice makes Michonne widen her eyes. "You know Andrea?!"
"Yup, she does" Merle answers for her. "Her buddy spent all winter, cuddling up in the forest…Yeah, my beauty queen here had two pet-walkers, with no arms, cut off the jaws, kept them on chains…Kinda ironic, now that I think 'bout it…"
Hearing the racism in his voice, I turn around angrily. "Shut up!"
"Ey, man, we snacked them outta the woods, Andre was close to dyin'."
"Is that why she's with him?" Maggie asked, lowering her gun.
"Yeah, two lil' love bugs. So, what yer gonna do now, sheriff?" my brother continued. "Surrounded by a bunch of cowards, thugs an' liars…"
Rick furiously turns around. "Shut up!"
"O, look at this. Pathetic, all those guns, with no bullets in them…"
I step towards him. "Shut. Up!"
He steps away from the tree, and starts shouting at me. But before he can say anything else, Rick hits him with his gun on the back of his head. Merle falls on the ground, unconscious. Rick looks at me, doesn't apologize, and I understand. He doesn't have to.
"Asshole" Rick mumbles, as he steps away from Merle's body on the ground. Suddenly, we hear the sound of leafs cracking and branches being pushed away.
On instinct, we all pull out our weapons, and stand back to back in a circle.
"What was that?" Maggie whispers, aiming her gun at wherever the sound comes from. There are footsteps, and we hear soft breathing.
"Did someone follow you back?" Glenn asks. Rick shakes his head.
"No, that's not possible. They were all at the arena…"
I look just above my arrow, and see a figure coming towards us. "There."
The others turn around, and follow at where I'm aiming.
"Is it walker?" Rick asks. I narrow my eyes, trying to get a better look.
"Nah, don' think so."
"Is it armed?" Glenn asks.
The figure comes closer and closer, and I can see it's a woman, and she's holding something. Or someone.
I slowly lower my crossbow, not thinking she's dangerous. "It's a chick."
The woman lifts her head, as if she heard my voice. Her eyes widen, and she lets out a cry of fear. She stands still, holding what seems like a child.
Till my surprise, Rick steps forward. He still holds his gun, but doesn't have his finger on the trigger. With slow steps, he approaches the woman.
"Miriam?" he asks the woman softly. The woman gasps, and falls on her knees, still holding the child. Rick runs towards her, kneeling down beside her.
"Miriam? What happened?"
Miriam shakes her head. "I…I…I escaped. From the town. It wasn't safe anymore." She looks up, wiping her hair out of her face. "Rick? How come you're still alive? We thought you were dead. Shane said….and Lori…Carl…"
Rick softly lays a hand on her shoulder. "I escaped too. Carl's OK."
He only says Carl's OK, he says nothing about the other two. As pale as she looks, Miriam gets the memo. She nods, with tears in her eyes.
The child in her arms moves, and lets out a yawn. "Mom? Are we there yet?"
I see Rick grin. He pats the boy on his head. "Good to see you too, Calvin."
I lean against the three. My head's pounding, and the world's a little blurred, but I'll manage. Not far away from me, I can hear Daryl and his little friends from Atlanta or whatever talk. 'Bout me. 'Bout the prison. 'Bout the girl they left behind.
I found it pretty funny to hear they were also friends with the red haired assassin-girl. That's how small the world can be, apparently.
I see my baby brother walk away from his cop-friend, and the love birds are left behind, stunned. I see him walk to one of the cars, and open up the back. I grin. Of course, he's coming with me.
My eyes suddenly catch a familiar face. Miriam? What the hell is she doing here?
I chuckle in myself. The housewife escaped from hell on earth. Stupid thing to do. My friend the Governor will absolutely kill her son now. Well, he was dead anyway. Just as assassin-girl.
Daryl walks towards me, and I put an arm around his shoulder.
"C'mon, bro" he says, with a last glance at his pathetic friends. I grin at the sheriff, and he looks like he can kill me in a second. Sorry for him, but he can't kill me. He already tried once, and failed hopelessly. If someone's gonna kill me, it better be assassin-girl.
We walk further in the forest, and I can still hear the engine of the green Hyundai start. They're really going.
"See? Told yah they're traitors" I say, waving my arm at the direction where the car stands. "They're leavin' without yah. Sounds familiar?"
"Yah can say anythin' yah wan' 'bout them, but they're good people" Daryl says, and the respect in his voice annoys me.
"Jus' a lil' reminder, but can yah see this?" I hold up my arm where there is no hand. "Imagine yer crossbow bein' taken away."
He shakes his head. "Yeh're talkin' outta yer ass."
"No, man, I'm serious. They're som' sick fuckers. They left that girl there too, right? The one yah asked for last night?"
I try to sound as if I don't know who he was talking about, but I know more about that crazy bitch than he thinks. Daryl suddenly fastens his pace, and looks at something else.
He kicks a branch away, avoiding my looks. "Vicky. Yeah. They left her behind too. Didn' even go to look for her."
"See? Told yah."
We walk further, in silence for a while. Daryl walks a little in front of me, still not looking straight at me.
When I look behind me, I notice we're a lot further away from where we left than I thought. I can't see the road anymore.
"She didn't even need to come" Daryl suddenly says. "We told her to stay at the prison. But she didn't, of course. We lost her during the attack. Maybe they caught her too."
After saying that, he stops walking. I almost bump into him. He turns around, as if he just realized something important. He narrows his eyes. "Did you see her? Yah were with that Governor, right?"
I try to chuckle my way out, but he keeps looking at me. My smile fades away, as I try to think of an answer.
"Yeah, I saw her, I think" I say eventually. "They captured her. And…well…The Governor was gonna execute her."
"What?" Daryl says, full disbelieve. "You serious? Yah got to be fucking kiddin' me!"
He turns away from me, and kicks against a fallen tree. "Stupid bitch!"
"Wow, man, calm yer tits" I say, holding up my hands. "C'mon, there's nothing yah can do 'bout it now."
His face is red of anger, and he tries not to lose his temper. I always laughed about him when he looked like this, but now, I don't think I should laugh. 'Cause I was the one who gave the command last night.
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