With something that supposed to be a heroic scream, Vicky storms at the door of the café. The poor thing flies away at least two feet. Yes, I am talking about the door. Vicky turns around, placing her hands on her hips like she's achieved something.
"Wasn't that hard" she says, and walks inside. I quickly look over my shoulder, but we really killed all the walkers. Vicky wanted to make piles of the bodies, but I thought they were lying on the ground just fine.
When I'm sure there are no more of them, I follow the red haired teen. Vicky is already holding ten plates in her arms, waiting the tables like there are real people in there.
"What are you doin'?" I ask, while searching the kitchen. Vicky walks past me, and grabs a bottle with what looks like alcohol.
"Well, I thought Merle would like to have a funeral. And since most of his friends are dead…well, let's just say they're all together now and like to share a drink."
"What the fuck are you talkin' about?" I mumble, more to myself than to her. It's more like a rhetorical question. But of course, Vicky is not aware of that.
"Just sit down and have a drink. Seriously" she sighs, grabbing a chair and shoving it in front of me. She looks at the bottle in her hand. "You like Scotch?"
I lay my crossbow on one of the tables, and narrow my eyes at her. "What are you doin'? Gettin' me drunk?"
Vicky shrugs. "I'm just offering you a drink. If you want more than one, go ahead. No one's stopping you. If you wanna get drunk, do as you like."
I lift an eyebrow, and take the bottle from her hand. I take a huge sip, and swallow it down. It burns a little, but it feels nice. Long time.
Vicky folds her arms, and leans against the bar. I offer her the bottle.
"Nah, thanks. I'm good. I don't need alcohol to go crazy."
I sit down on one of the chairs, and put the bottle on the table. Vicky looks across the room with a grin on her face, like she's watching a movie or something. She even lifts an eyebrows in disgust, and snorts.
"What's happenin'?" I ask. Vicky doesn't look up, but keeps watching something only she can see.
"You're brother's arm wrestling with some fat guy. And another one, a tall skinny creep, is vomiting in the corner."
I look at where her eyes are pointed at, but see nothing but a bunch of tables and chairs, and plates and bottles.
Out of the sudden, Vicky closes her eyes, and takes a deep breath. When she opens them again, the blurry glance in her eyes is gone. Like she's returned.
"What happened?" I ask. Vicky jumps up, sitting on top of the bar. She lays down, looking up the ceiling.
"O, nothing special. Just your brother fighting with a guy I thought I could trust but he shoot your brother in the chest and watched him bleed out, so I now know I can't trust him and when Merle was dead he left and Merle came back and I started calling his name because I thought he wasn't dead but he wasn't and he heard me and came to me and tried to eat me and kicked him in the balls because I always do that with guys who attack me but Merle didn't go away but I could run away and he came after me and then I hid somewhere and I got rid of him and didn't know where I was and then I found this book and then I know who I was again. The end."
I listen to the stream of words, taking another sip from the scotch. I put my feet on the table, crossing them over one another. "So, you just….boom! Remember everything?"
Vicky lifts one foot in the air, trying to touch the ceiling with her toe. "Yeah, like that."
She searches through the pockets of her jeans, and throws me a small book. It falls in front of my feet.
"Feel free to read it again" she sighs, doing all sorts of weird tricks with her legs in the air, like cycling.
"It ain't got any pictures in it" I say, kicking it back in her direction. Vicky smirks.
I wave to Maggie, who gives me a wink. She then continues to put up some wood against the fences with Beth. I grin in myself, and turn back to the gate. I go back to staring through the small squares, and feel the tension again.
Daryl hasn't come back yet. It's past noon. Hell, it's almost dinner time. Daryl is a guy who loves to eat. Maybe he doesn't come back tonight. Maybe he'll just sleep in the woods, eating a squirrel or something. He'll come back the next day.
A cold wind flies by, and I shiver. The summer is really over now. The leafs are starting to turn red, the days are getting shorter and the nights colder. Sleeping in the woods is not really an option anymore. No one can afford to get sick in these days.
I sigh, and stare through the trees by the fence. I follow the border between the water and the forest, all across the horizon, when something catches my eye.
I turn my head back. I thought I saw something red. It was just a split second. Maybe it was a fox. Do foxes eve live in this area?
From the corner of my eye, I see it again. I turn my head quickly, and narrow my eyes. It's not an animal, more like a person. I step closer to the fence.
"No way…" I gasp. Vicky comes running up the lawn, with Daryl following her. Vicky waves excitingly at me and shouts my name really loud. Walkers who are near, turn their heads curiously. Vicky looks at them, and waves at them too.
"Hi! Hi everyone! Missed me?"
She nears the gate, not caring much about the walkers almost getting hold of her. Instead, Daryl has to clean the mess around her by using his crossbow to kill them.
"Hey, Glenn! Open the gates, please! Your majesty has returned!"
I blink with my eyes, and put the key in the lock. Vicky makes a squat on her feet, and jumps in the air. With one foot, she kicks the gate open like a karate chick.
"Glennie!" she shouts, as she puts her arms around my neck. I stumble back, surprised.
She lets go of me, at the same moment Daryl shuts the gate behind him. "Victoria, but Vicky's cool too."
"How….?" I look at Daryl.
"Don't ask me, brother" he says, throwing his crossbow over his shoulder. Vicky is already running towards Maggie and Beth, who are working on the fence a little further away.
"MAGGIE!" she shouts, and nearly hugs her to death.
I turn back to Daryl, who is trying to walk out on me. "What happened? Where's Merle?"
Daryl glances over his shoulder and his face has a grieving expression. "Governor shot 'm. Vicky escaped. I found her like this."
I frown, still confused. I look over my shoulder again. Vicky is now nearly choking Beth in a hug, and shouts all kinds of things about princesses and palaces. Then, her eyes widen and she stars screaming hysterical. She grabs Maggie's hand and points at the finger where she wears the ring I gave her this afternoon.
"I am SO gonna be your bridesmaid!" she screams. Daryl snorts while walking away.
"Already regret bringin' her back."
"You gonna tell Rick?" I ask. Daryl makes a circle of his index finger and thumb.
Vicky makes a little dance all over the courtyard, loudly singing the usual brides march and church songs. She throws a little Whitney Houston in the middle, and goes back to Beethoven and ends with the Lion King.
DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR Frickin' diary-thing!
Hello, I am back! And stronger than ever. Well, maybe not stronger, since Carl shot me, like, a week ago. Maybe longer. Time flies when you don't have a calendar to count the days. Ha. Ha.
Note to future-self; kick that little brat in the balls and poop in his sheriff-hat.
So, anyway, a lot has happened since I last wrote. First; Carl shot me, then I left, fell and hit my head, blacked out a few times and remembered nothing of my life.
I still don't know everything, but it's starting to come back. Being back at the prison will help a lot, I guess. Or should I say 'my palace'?
I wish I could take a picture of the faces of everyone when I came storming in. Glenn was the one opening the gate, and he just thought I was the boring me. But when I hugged him and he almost fell on his butt, he knew I wasn't the boring me.
OMG! I almost forgot! Maggie and Glenn are getting married! OOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! My fingers hurt after writing that down. And my pencil is about to break. But I'm soooooo excited! I really want to be a bridesmaid! And I'd love to see Daryl in a suit, instead of his stinky jacket. And I'll make some chain of cans for behind the Hyundai, so they can go on honeymoon with that car and they have that cliché from the movies where the cans are all dragged over the road and dust is flying up and they're all very happy and the walkers will throw rice and sing and dance.
It's good to be back.
I pat Daryl on the shoulder. "I'm sorry for your loss."
Daryl bows his head and nods. He know I'm not the person to really miss Merle, but Daryl deserves some sorry from a friend.
"So, what are we gonna do?" I ask, meaning the Governor-situation. We all know he can attack any minute. We've been packing our things all day, and making preparations for a fight. We've secured the walls which were broken down, put planks over the catwalks and made sniperspots in the watch towers.
"We stay and fight" Daryl says, crossing his arms. "We'll see if we win or not. Let's just try to get rid of him first, and destroy that stupid town of his."
I think about it for a sec, and then shake my head. "Maybe we shouldn't. Andrea said there are still people in there. People like us. We can't blame them for the Governor."
"So whatcha wanna do? Open our home to them?"
"No, not that" I say, placing one hand on the table. "I don't know what to do. We'll figure it out when it's time. We have another problem."
I eye Daryl, and he scratches his chin. "She's cool. She wants to help."
"You really think she's…cool? With everything that happened?" I ask in disbelieve. Daryl shrugs.
"We can't just kill her. We tried that, didn't work. And besides; it ain't fair."
I rub in my eyes and sigh. "She can't stay here. It's just not possible. She's too unpredictable."
"How 'bout this? We let her stay here till we're done with the Governor-situation, then we'll send her away. Trust me, she'll volunteer to go."
"Oh, totally!" a high voice says. I don't need to turn around to know who's standing in the doorway of the cellblock. Vicky comes walking in, playing with a broken pencil in her hand. "How yah doin' Ricky-boy? Didn't see that one comin', huh? See? Being unpredictable isn't really a bad thing."
I turn around to look at her, and I am just as shocked as the first time I saw her. The crazy glance in her blue eyes has returned, and the always retarded grin again dances around her mouth. Her wide clothes hang like curtains around her body, including the blood stains and some ripped parts. Her hair has mud here and there, and even a branch in the back.
She sits down on top of the table, and Daryl moves away a little. I put a hand on my belt, next to my gun. Just to be sure.
Vicky makes herself comfortable, like she's finally come home after a long journey. She looks at me, and innocently blinks with her eyes.
"So, what did I miss?"
I lift an eyebrow. "Not much, since you were around here most of the time."
Vicky smirks. "Sorta around. See, the thing is; after I blacked out and had that cray-cray amnesia thing, it felt like I was dreaming. To me, now, it feels like some nightmare. I started caring about how people thought about me! Very scary!"
I snort, and shake my head. She really is back. "Maybe some sympathy is good for your character."
Vicky shrugs. "Could say the same 'bout you."
Daryl snorts, and I lift an eyebrow at him. He makes a face that says 'what?'
Vicky rests on elbow on her knee, and sighs. "So, what about the Governor? You still gonna rape him?"
I frown, pretending I didn't hear that. "We will fight him, yes."
"Good. I'm in. I still have some things that I need to work out with him. After that, he's all yours."
With that last part, she winks at me. I try not to roll with my eyes, but I can't help but to look away.
"Look, Vicky, there's something we need to discuss."
"Oh, I know" Vicky nods. "You want me to leave. I have one respond to that; ain't happening, mister. I came here first. I opened my home to you guys, and now you wanna take it from me. How about no fucking way?"
I look at Daryl, who looks calmly back at me. I lick my lips, thinking about what to say, because Daryl sure isn't going to help me.
"You really want to send us back on the road? You really want us to die out there?"
Vicky lets out a laughter, and slaps her knee. "How dramatic. Of course not! Where did you get that idea?"
I frown, confused. Vicky rolls with her eyes.
"You guys want me out of here" she explains. "I never said I wanted you guys gone. I actually started to like having you around. Till your son shot me, of course. But I don't want you gone. If I really wanted you guys to die, I would kill you myself."
I narrow my eyes. Something is not right. "How can you be OK with my son shooting you? You said it yourself; everything was fine till that happened."
Vicky chuckled. "Oh, Rick. When will you stop twisting my words? I didn't say I am OK with it, I said that I don't want you guys dead. Yet."
"Then what is it you want?"
Vicky plays with her eyebrows mysteriously. "I want to talk with Carl. Alone. Just the two of us in an empty room. Just talking."
I lay a hand on my gun. "No way."
"I knew you would say that" Vicky sighs. "But you know what I also knew? And still know? I can still kick you guys outta here. Unless you let me talk to your son."
I shake my head, and Vicky chuckles again. "What's the matter, Ricky? I thought you didn't bother to sacrifice one person to save others?"
That's it. She really crossed the line there. I pull out my gun, and point it at her forehead. Vicky grins calmly, not afraid of anything.
"Shut. Up" I hiss through my teeth. Instead of doing as I say, Vicky pushes her forehead against the barrel of my gun. I see a little cloudy glance in her eyes, and notice that she's staring at something behind me, but still has the creepy grin around her mouth.
"Oh, man! Lori is freaking out over there!"
"I said shut up!" I say louder. Suddenly, Daryl stands up.
"Drop it, man" he says calmly, holding up his hand. I widen my eyes at him. He's the one person that hated Vicky the moment she said foot in cellblock C. He always voted her dead. And now he's defending her…?
"C'mon, Rick!" Vicky grins, almost encouraging me. "Do it! If you think this will solve all your problems…go ahead, man."
"…Rick?" another voice suddenly says. I turn my head to the doorway of the cellblock. Daniel stands there with a confused expression on his face. He quickly progresses what's going on in here. "Vicky?"
"Danny!" Vicky says excited, still not bothering the gun in her face. She pushes my arm away, and I somehow let it happen.
"We were so worried…" Daniel mutters, stepping towards her. Vicky climbs down the table and walks up to him.
"That was all not needed" she says with a smile. Daniel looks past her at me, with questioning big blue eyes.
"What's happening here?" he asks me, but Vicky answers.
"Oh, nothing special. Just received a little 'welcome home'. That's all."
Daniel lifts his eyebrows, and tip-toes the red haired teen. "And what happened to you?"
"Long story. Short story; I'm back. The end."
I turn the next page, fully written in a trembling handwriting. "And he just…dropped it there?"
Vicky nods with twinkling eyes. "It's crazy, right?"
"Yeah" I say softly, quickly reading a passage from the diary. Vicky has come to see me, and again apologized for what happened before, and complimented me on my hair, and said we needed to go shopping for dresses for the wedding and talked about princesses and leprechauns. Still need to get used to the old Vicky.
Out of nowhere, Vicky lays a hand on my arm. I look up questionably. I'm surprised by the sympathy in her eyes. She looks sad, and I don't know why.
"Beth" she starts. "I know I'm not the best person in the world. And I know you are one of the best people I know. But I'd like for us to be friends. You OK with that?"
I blink with my eyes by the quickly spoken words. I honestly need to think about it for a second. I didn't really had the best experiences with the first version of Vicky. I honestly liked the other one. She was sweet and shy and easy to talk to. This Vicky is energetic, weird, stubborn and a little childish.
She's almost begging me to answer her question. She is hunched forward a little, smiling sweetly. She almost looked like the girl I almost befriended. Maybe that girl is still in there somewhere.
"Sure, we're cool" I say with the sweetest smile I can come up with. Vicky almost jumps through the ceiling, applauding excitingly. She puts her arms around me and holds me tight.
"Yay! We're be the best friends of the universe!"
I smile, and try to free myself from her arms. I do it as gentle and friendly as possible, and thank God, she gets the memo. She stands up, and puts her hands on her hips.
"Good, now that we're friends again; I have to tell you something , and you're not going to like it."
"What is it?" I ask, trying to be interested. Vicky smiles.
"We need to go training. The Governor will likely attack tomorrow, and we need to be ready."
I lift my eyebrows. "What do you mean?"
She grabs my hands and pulls me on my feet. "I mean that I will learn you how to fight like a real girl. There are some nasty guys in that army of theirs, and you need to know how to get rid of them."
I free myself from her hands and step back. "I don't think that's a good idea."
"Of course it is!" Vicky says, already standing in the doorway. "I know you don't have the best memories about us training together, but I'll make it up to you. This time, I'll really learn you something."
I fold my arms. "That's not it. I think that…I don't know. I just don't want to."
Vicky plants her hands on her hips. "It's OK if you're scared. You'll get over it after a while. Don't worry."
"I'm not…." I start, but I shut my mouth after that. Maybe I am scared. I look at Vicky, who nods her head.
"You're right…" I say unbelievable. Vicky shrugs.
"I know. C'mon, let's find a training area."
Vicky walks out of the cellblock, and I follow her. When we're almost outside, I realize something. "Don't we need any weapons?"
Vicky stops and turns around like a ballerina on one foot. "We already have our weapons. There's more than just knifes or guns."
That's all she's saying. She turns around again and walks outside, onto the courtyard. After a little hesitation, I follow her. Vicky walks in a determined pace towards the fence, where a couple of walkers are growling. She signs to me to come over there.
"Why did I say yes?" I ask myself softly, as I stand next to her. Vicky stands really close to the walkers, as if they're old friends. I stay a little further away from them, knowing how dangerous they are.
"So, first some things you should know" Vicky starts, sounding like a real teacher. She points sudden parts of the face of one of the walkers with her index finger. "If you don't have any weapons, like us right now, you should always go for the face. The nose and eyes are the weakest spot. I always do the eyes, because the blood splashes outta there so beautifully."
I swallow some vomit back down, trying to get the imagination out of my head. Vicky doesn't notice, and just continues her college.
"You could also get the throat" she says, and at the same time, she does something that nearly gives me a heart attack. She puts her fingers around the neck of one of the walkers, pulling it against the fence. Her nails go deep into the grey flesh, blood dripping over her fingers. I look away in disgust, and Vicky chuckles.
"If you squeezes, nothing really effective happens. You should try to push your thumbs into the airways. You'll make the gateway from the mouth and the lungs close, and they'll choke. You could also put your arm around their neck, like this…"
She lets go of the walker, who doesn't seem to realize he's been used as example. Vicky demonstrates the grip with an imaginary head in the air.
"And you do like this….and then you broke their necks. You could also..."
I don't hear the rest, because I stumble back. I hunch forward, and throw up on the ground.
Vinnie turns his head a little to the side and progresses my words. "But why?"
I stand up from the ground, and walk back to our packed bags. "Because I know we won't win. The Governor will kill everyone, including us. And if the Governor won't kill us, she will."
Vinnie looks at the ground, scraping his fingernail. "Why would she do that?"
"Because she's crazy" I reply, putting another bottle of water in my backpack. "She doesn't care about us. She thinks of us as one of her toys. And when she's had enough of us, she'll get rid of us."
Vinnie sniffs his nose. I look up, and see a tear stream down his cheek. I walk towards him and kneel down. "I'm sorry, man. But we have to go."
"Knock knock" someone suddenly says. I stand up and turn around. Vicky. Crap. She leans against the wall with her arms crossed. She looks at Vinnie, and waves with her fingers at him. "Hi, Calvin."
I step forward, protecting my little brother with my body. "What are you doing here?"
Vicky smiles, and walks towards me. "I wanted to see you."
She lifts her arm, wanting to touch my face. I push it away. Vicky smiles even more. "What's wrong? You're not happy to see me? The old me?"
I narrow my eyes. "Not really."
There's a slight twinkle in her eyes that tells me that she's hurt by my words. It's just a split second, before her smile returns.
"I remember you describing a girl you fell in love with. I think I pretty much match the description."
I blink with my eyes. Is this what this is about?
"Is that why you're here?" I ask. Vicky steps even closer, our faces almost touching.
"Yes. My feelings for you haven't changed."
I swallow a lump down my throat. I feel Vinnie's small hand around my leg, and I can hear his fast breathing.
"OK. Good for you" I say to her face. Vicky's smile fades away, her face getting a confused expression.
"You…don't feel the same about me?"
I smirk. "Not really. Why would you think that?"
Vicky blinks with her eyes, and steps back. Her jaw drops, her mouth having the shape of an O. She then shuts it, and steps towards the exit.