Survivor's diary

Chapter 24

Daniel

"Somewhere, over the rainbow…" I wake up to this soft singing, the clear voice echoing through the E-block. I open my eyes, and look at the top bed of the bunker bed. I remember being tired last night, from all the running, grieve, tension. After the delicious dinner Vicky had made us, we all went to bed. I remember Vicky taking me by the hand, and leading me to another cellblock, talking about palaces and princesses, or something.

I sit up on the bed, and rub in my eyes. The sun shines through the gap that's called a window, but this one has bars in it. It makes long stripes on the floor. It must be in the middle of the day already. What time is it?

I stand up, and hear the soft singing again. "That is, the place that I dream of…"

I walk out of the cell, blinking against the strong light of the sun. I see my little brother, who's sitting on the ground. He's bowed over a piece of paper, drawing over it with a pencil.

I kneel down. "Hey, little man."

"Hey Dan" he says without looking from his artwork.

"What are you drawing?"

"Oh, just a portrait of us" he answers. I look over his shoulder, and see three bundles of colours, all with a circle at the top. One had black hair, one has brown curly hair, and one red. They're standing on green stripes, that present the long grass, and there's a dark building in the back, that's supposed to be the prison.

"It looks awesome!" I say, and I truly mean it. "Have you shown Vicky yet?"

"Nope. She's over there, in the girl's room." He points with his pencil to the right, and then continues his drawing. While patting him on his shoulder, I stand up.

"Imma go see her. If you want to go see Rick and Carl, you have to tell me first."

"OK" Vinnie answers, and I hope he actually heard what I just said. If not, I think he's smart enough to figure the same rules at home also count here.

I walk towards the direction Vinnie pointed at, and there's a small dark corridor. It leads two directions, one is lid at the end, and I hear soft mumbling. Vicky's still into her song. I grin, while walking towards the light.

The door to the toilets is opened. Vicky stands in front of the sink, looking into the mirror hanging above it. She's wearing a big green t-shirt, and blue denim shorts. She has put her skinny legs in purple legwarmers, with under it her brand new sneakers. Her hair is messy as always, but she still has one shorter half, which concerns me. Both her hands are on her forehead, two fingers squeezing something on the skin.

Vicky hasn't noticed me yet, at least, I think. I try to be cool, and lean with my shoulder against the doorpost, with my hands in the pockets of my jeans. When I'm ready, I clear my throat, like I saw in movies before this all happened.

"This isn't a high school-movie, dude" she says, not looking up, not even the slightest reaction to my affords to get her attention. "I heard you before you stepped outta bed. You should really work on your stealth skills, you know. Good morning, by the way."

A little overwhelmed, I stutter. "Yeah, you too. Have a nice day. No, wait, I didn't want to say that. I mean, I hope your day will be good. Or something."

I'm glad Vicky's totally focused on squeezing the pimple between her fingers, instead of my head turning into a tomato.

"I hope your day will be nice too. Mine's not starting too well. I have this huge pimple on my face. It's gonna ruin my life. I should ask Beth if I could borrow some make-up. Wait, I don't think she would lend me some. She hates me. Gah, why do I keep forgetting that?!"

"What?" I say, with a slight smile. "Of course it's not going to ruin your life! A pimple doesn't make you ugly. In fact, I actually think you are beautiful."

Without thinking what I'm actually saying, I suddenly shut my mouth. God, I let my mouth speak for my heart.

Vicky now turns away from the mirror, moving her hands away from her face. You can barely see the pimple, but the red skin makes your eyes want to look at it. She frowns at me for my weird words.

"You do? You think I'm pretty?" She asks it as if I said something really stupid. As if I'm an idiot. I haven't seen this side of her. Even though I feel uncomfortable, I also feel as if this is familiar to me. Because this is how a normal girl from my age should react. Or, what she's supposed to react like.

I slowly nod. "Yeah, you're one of the prettiest girls I've ever met."

Vicky puts a hand on her hip, narrowing her eyes. I stare at her, and it's the first time we actually look each other in the eyes.

Then, out of the blue, Vicky jumps into my arms. Even though she's not the biggest girl in the world, I barely manage to keep my balance. Fortunately, Vicky puts her feet back on the ground, but has still her arms around my neck. She looks into my eyes, and her face is very close.

"Thank you, Dan!" she says, with pure happiness. "You're a real good friend!"

I grin goofily, and mumble something like 'Don't mention it'.

Vicky lets go of my, and turns the LED lamp above the mirror off. In the dark, she walks back towards the cellblock, leaving me in the dark.

Barely realising what just happened, I almost forget to run after her. "Hey, where are you going?"

Vicky walks through the cellblock, towards the exit that leads to what she calls 'the hall that smells like Daryl's jacket'. Before she removes the lock she's put there, after some prisoner broke it, she turns towards me.

"Imma go see Rick and the others. I got some things to discuss."

I suddenly notice the gun she put in a side pocket of her shorts. "Why're you carrying a gun? The prison's cleared out, right?"

"Yeah, but we still got people out there. You can't trust anyone."

"Wait, what?" I ask in disbelieve. Vinnie's still drawing, fully concentrated, but I know he's listening too. "Those people are your friends!"

"No. You are my friends, those are my neighbours. They don't trust me, so I don't trust them." Her face then turns from serious to her normal crazy self. "I'll be gone for a while. Don't come look for me, unless the Governor's attacking, I don't wanna miss it again!"

Rick

"We gotta do sometin' 'bout the broken walls at the east-side" I say while looking at the map of the prison. It's one of the last things T-dog has left us, and I'm very grateful for it. Daryl points at a spot where the outside fences are drawn.

"When Merle and I got there, the whole thing was one big gap. Like they blew it up or somethin'. Walkers can go in whenever they want to."

I nod. "We gotta find somethin' to close it, just permanently, so we can look for some stuff like nettings."

"Yeah, and if we could-" The door to the dark tombs opens, and Vicky comes strolling out, her face glancing.

"Goooooooooood Morning everybody!" she says, throwing a package towards Daryl. He catches it with one hand, lifting his eyebrow.

"What's this?"

Vicky crosses her legs, and makes a twist, as if she's dancing. "Your jacket. I guess you missed him. I didn't pee on it, as promised. It smells anyway. You should really wash it sometime."

Daryl snorts. "You got a washing machine?"

Vicky puts her hands in her sides. "Well, you got hands, don't you? Little work doesn't kill yah, does it?"

I grin at the annoyed face of the redneck. "Good morning to you too, Vicky. Are Daniel and Calvin doing alright?"

"Yeah, I think they're doing fine. Dan even called me pretty this morning, but that's not really true, because I have a pimple on my forehead, so I have to ask Beth for make-up. Oh, wait, I can't, 'cause she hates me. Gah, why do I keep forgetting that?!"

"Why would she hate you?" I ask.

"I know why" Daryl mumbles.

"I heard that!" Vicky responds.

"Yah was supposed to."

Vicky sticks her tongue out to him, and Daryl only chuckles, as he walks away.

"I really don't like you!" she still shouts after him, but Daryl pretends as if he doesn't hear it. Vicky turns towards me. "Beth hates me because I nearly killed her."

I frown. Beth had told me the story, but I honestly didn't believe it. I thought we were done with Vicky the psycho. She had been very helpful, but not very obeying. Still, she manages herself, and isn't really a problem to us.

Now, hearing the same story from her, I'm starting to have doubts. "What happened then?"

"Well, I thought I could teach her some things about knifes and other weapons and stuff. I threw her a knife, but she didn't catch it. Instead, she jumped against the fence, and there were walkers grabbing her. I killed them, and pulled her away from them. Then I told her she looked like a worm, and she got upset, and walked away. Then I went after you guys, and then you left me there for dead, and-"

"I know, I know" I say, but am not ready to apologize to her. She got herself in that situation, it wasn't my call to go and save her from her own stupidity. But it is my call to solve this thing between the two girls. "But Vicky, you brought her in danger. You told me yourself that you're not a part of our group. We are neighbours. As a neighbour, I say that you can't bring my people in danger. Beth is a part of my group, my family. I don' want you playing games with her or any of us, where you make out the rules. Understand?"

Vicky shrugs. "Yeah, sure. I'll just stay away from you guys. But if you want to stay here, you'll have to-"

"Dad! Dad!" Carl suddenly runs into the cellblock. Vicky sighs.

"Damnit, Carl! I was just talking!"

Carl ignores her, and runs towards me. I immediately put my hand on my gun, ready for action. "What is it?"

"It's Andrea. She's here!"

I blink my eyes. I wasn't expecting this. I thought about walkers, the Governor, all sorts of things. But not this. If Andrea's here, that can mean a lot of things. What if she brought…hím? "Get Glenn and Carol."

Carl nods, and runs towards the upper cellblocks. I walk towards the other side, where we had made a different part for Merle and Michonne to stay. Separated from each other, of course.

Vicky runs after me. "Who's Andrea? Is she a friend? Is she a girlfriend from someone? Is she good? Is she bad? Is she pretty? What colour is her hair? What does she talk like?"

I stop and turn around. "Just…shut up!"

Vicky waves her hand in front of her nose. "Oh, man, you really need to brush your teeth. Your breath smells worse than Daryl's jacket."

I shake my head, while walking further. "Daryl! Merle! Michonne!"

The two Dixon brothers come walking from the left side, while Michonne's head pops up from the right.

"We got a situation. Gear up!"

"A situation?!" Vicky shouts excited. "Why didn't you say that earlier? I have to go get a rifle too!"

"Wouldn't count on it, sweetheart" Merle says as he sees me shaking my head. "Officer Friendly ain't so friendly after all."

Vicky shrugs. "Well, I still got my own little gun."

Before I can say anything else, she runs towards the exit of the cellblock. I blink with my eyes, progressing what just happened. I then look at Daryl.

"Shit!"

And we both run after her.

Andrea

The field is full of walkers. All citizens, looking at their clothes. They must've cleared out all the whole building. I don't see any of them in prison jumpsuits.

While holding the walker at the walking stick in front of me, I try to look past him, to the prison itself. I see a lot of movement, people running.

There's one I do not recognize. It's a girl, with red hair. She's wearing strange clothes, but what concerns me the most, is the guns she's holding up.

I want to shout, tell her I'm not a walker, but the once who are, are starting to notice me. My camouflage is starting to fade.

I hear a gunshot, and I duck. The walker I held in front of me, is now laying on the ground, with a hole through its head. The walkers around me turn their heads, and growl.

I look at the courtyard where the shot came from, and see the red haired girl waving her arms in the air. She looks very excited to see me. As if we're old friends or something. She points at the gate.

Then, I suddenly see Rick come running outside, armed with a machine gun. Merle is with him too, and I recognize the crossbow man even from this range.

The first walker is getting too close, and I run away from it. I feel the weight of my handgun on my belt, but am too scared to use it. Before I know it, the ammo would be gone, and I stuck in a herd.

"Are you alone?!" Rick shouts, looking around furiously.

"Open the gate!" I yell, almost there.

"Are you alone?!" Rick shouts again.

"Rick!"

The red haired girl is the one who opens the gate for me, after my last desperate cry for help. As soon as I step on the courtyard, Rick pulls me by my shoulder, and puts me on the ground.

"Hands in the air!"

I do as he asks, but confused. He knows me, what is he doing?

"I asked if you are alone!"

"Yeah, I am!" I say back as he searches for any weapons on my body. I quickly look around, and see Glenn, Carol, Carl, Merle, Daryl, Maggie, and…Michonne?

"Welcome back" Rick says, as he pulls me on my feet. The red haired girl waves at me.

"Hi!" she yells excited. Glenn walks up to her, and puts a hand on her shoulder. "What?"

"Just…wait till we get inside, OK?" he softly says. The girl shrugs.

"Y'all got a mood today, man! What's wrong with you people?"

Rick shoves me towards an entrance, and we go inside the prison. The inside is grey, and the walls are full of dust and dirty spots. This building probably isn't that old, but it looks like it's been here since WO2.

When I walk down the steps, the first person I see, is Carol. She has tears in her eyes. I walk towards her, and take her in my arms. Everyone else around us walks towards a spot in the room, and sit down or stand somewhere, still holding their weapons. The red haired stranger sits down on the steps, with her knees up to her chest.

"After you saved me, we thought you were dead" Carol says, tears sounding through her voice. I softly rub the back of her head. I look around again, and suddenly, I see Hershel.

"Hershel, o my God!" I say, as I look at the stump where his foot used to be.

"I did that!" the new girl says proudly. I turn around, disgusted. The girl grins. "But a walker bit him first."

I look at Hershel, asking for confirmation. He nods. "She saved my life."

I gasp, and look around the place again. "I can't believe this."

It is at all their faces. The hard conditions where they have been living in for the past months. They all had gone cold during the winter, they all had become fighters. Except for the girl. She looks like she's watching a movie. She waits for every new thing to happen.

"Where's Shane?" I ask, when I don't see him anywhere. The girl sighs.

"Dead" she says without any sorrow. I look at Rick, shocked. He shakes his head slightly. I gasp.

"And Lori?"

"Dead too" the girl answers again. I decide to ignore her, and stare at Rick. He bows his head to look at his feet. I don't get an answer from him.

"She had a girl" Hershel says instead. "Lori didn't survive."

"Neither did T-dog" Maggie says. Suddenly, the girl chuckles.

"Wow, wait, so…T-dog died too, because Lori had a girl?" She slaps herself on her knee, and lets out a laughter. She's the only one, and her voice echoes through the room.

"Shut up!" Daryl hisses to her, and the girl sits up. She sticks her tongue out to him, but stops when she sees Rick looking at her. She zips her mouth, and throws the imaginary key away.

"I'm so sorry," I say to Rick. I turn towards his son. "Carl…"

He looks at me, coldly, and moves away. It hurts, him rejecting me. We didn't have the greatest bond in the past, but I looked over him many times when Lori was doing something. I care about him, and now he's basically slapping me in the face.

I turn towards Rick. "Rick, I…"

He looks away, and sniffs his nose, still the cold aura over him. I shut my mouth, and think. I see a gate behind Rick.

"So…you all live here?"

"In the cellblock" Glenn says, trying to make it sound good.

"There?" I point at the gate. He slightly nods. I step forward.

"Can I go in?"

Rick steps in front of me. "I won't allow that."

I frown. "Rick, I'm not the enemy!"

"We had that feel, on the courtyard. Until your boyfriend drove in and tore down the fence with a truck and shot us up."

"Wait, what?" the girl suddenly says, as if she can read my mind. But she asks this for some other reason. "Master-Douche is your boyfriend? You're doing 'it' with him?! O my god…" She turns towards Rick. "Can I please shoot her?"

I look at Rick, ready to beg him for mercy. But thank god, he shakes his head. "No, Vicky, stay outta this."

The girl, Vicky, sighs annoyed. "Kay, fine. I'll go chill with the walkers. See yah."

She stands up, and leaves the cellblock. I follow her with my eyes, and wait for the exit door to close before I ask questions. "Who is she?"

"A lonely survivor" Merle chuckles.

"That's one way to describe her" Daryl mumbles.

Carol

Judith softly groans. The feeling of strange arms holding her must be weird. Andrea looks at the baby, and then back at me. "And Shane?"

I swallow a lump down my throat. It's hard to tell her how her friends have died. How my friends died. "Rick killed him."

She looks up, her eyes widened. I know I need to tell her more. "The night we left the farm. The whole Randall-thing was a lie. Shane tried to kill Rick."

"Shane loved Rick" Andrea says in disbelieve. I hear a soft chuckle, and I look around. Vicky's red hair just flashes away in a cellblock. I smile.

"Come on out, Vicky" I say. She waits for a moment, then steps out of the cell.

"I'm sorry" she says. "But it sounds like Rick was in a relationship with that Shane-person."

"Not like that" I say. "It felt to them as if they were brothers."

I see Andrea move a little away from Vicky, feeling uncomfortable. I can understand. Being around Vicky for the first time is very strange. But you'll get used to it.

Vicky puts her hands on her hips. "So, you're banging the Governor?"

Andrea looks at me, and I look at Vicky. "Just, take it easy, OK? Andrea doesn't know him like you do. Right?"

With the last word, I look at my blonde friend. She nods. "Yes, I've learned a lot today. About him."

Vicky leans against the balustrade. "Like what? That he's the ugliest, dumbest, filthiest, stupidest, most hated fucker of the universe?"

"Language, please" I say, still a little uncomfortable with such heavy words. "Hey, I thought you were outside, with the walkers?"

"I was getting tired. Walkers are starting to get boring. And so do you." Vicky grunts. "You people are hopeless. I thought I had cheered you guys up. Than this chick shows up, and everyone's down again!"

"It's not her fault" I respond, and now I turn to Andrea. "It's the Governor's."

Vicky walks towards us, narrowing her eyes at Andrea. "Yeah, in fact, it is. You know, he killed the mother of my best friend. And his buddies are rapists. Wait, did he say anything about a huge muffin on his desk?"

"What?" Andrea gasps in disbelieve. I think this is a little too much for her to bare. I don't even know what Vicky means with the huge muffin. I look at Andrea.

"You've seen in what sort of conditions we're living in. We're fearing for our lives, every minute of the day. You've seen how Rick is, what he's become. You could end this."

"What?" both Vicky and me say. Vicky also grunts.

"I thought I got to kill him!"

I ignore her, but keep having eye contact with Andrea. "You could end this, tonight. Sleep with him. Give him the greatest night of his life. And when he lets his guard down…"

"Carol!" Vicky shouts indignantly. "You cruel woman! My plan was so much better!"

Some weird day, in a weird week, in a weird month, in a normal year.

Well, today was extraordinary. The She-Governor showed up at the prison today. She's one weird lady. I thought she was nice at first, but later, when I learn she's the bitch of the Master-Douche, I didn't like her that much anymore. She's acting all innocent, but I don't know. I just wanted to shoot her after Rick named her boyfriend.

And there seems to be much more going on. It's like I missed a whole season or something. I heard all these stories today, about a romance between Rick and another man, but that man was also in love with Rick's wife, so that man tried to kill Rick by saying he took another guy into the woods…All very confusing.

I thought I had solved everything with the big show I did yesterday. Apparently, I didn't change anything. Rick's still giving me orders like I'm his slave, Carol still acts like a school teacher, and everyone else keeps quiet, as if they're afraid to talk. It's so boring now.

I wish I had stayed with Dan and Cal today. They had been inside all day, they haven't even heard about Andrea. They did hear the gun I fired, and Cal told me Dan almost pissed his pants, and they both hid in a closet.

I really like being with Dan and Cal. They're much more fun. They're not judging me or being stressed and angry all the time. Rick and Daryl and Merle and all the others, they're just ruining everything.

I had told myself that I would do something about them when they are trouble. Well, if Judy has to grow up with these people, she's gonna have the worst childhood ever. That's not fair to her. She can't help it that her family is broken.

Dan, Cal and me are all happy. Maybe it's because we don't have business with the Governor. OK, maybe we have, but we're not being a bitch about it, like Rick. We're just enjoying life. Maybe Judy should come live with us.

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