Survivor's diary

Chapter 36

Dearest diary of mine,

Not that I have any other of them. Whatever. So, new days, new times. Hopefully good times. Which I don't have many times, because of all these fucking people here. Three weeks, and I already wish I had killed them when they set foot on the courtyard. All these fucking friends, family, relatives, neighbours...they are so fucking annoying. They keep asking me to give messages from to their loved ones and all...

I try to avoid being inside the prison most of the times. It's very quiet in the woods, just walking, with a walker here and there. They are much more fun than the people in the prison these days. Everybody's gotten boring. Especially Daryl. All he does, is sit around with his crossbow, narrowing his eyes and looking around like some kind of spy. Carol's all busy with the new people, especially with the children. She's like their new mother or something. Very stupid. I haven't seen Rick around anymore, he keeps going out, to get supplies and shit. Glenn too, and sometimes Maggie comes along. The only interesting person these days, would be Hershel. He's been working on this creepy cyborg-leg for his stump. It looks awesome. Him and Merle would make an awesome team, if that motherfucker was still alive. Carl has a new friend, whom he keeps talking to about guns and everything. Beth, well...with all Rick, Hershel and Carol busy, she's the only one who really watches over Baby-Grimes. Michonne is gone, unfortunately. She's left a few days ago, to search for Captain Governor. He probably hasn't gotten far, not without his balls I kicked out not long ago.

As I said earlier, Merle is gone. Well, for most people he is, but to me he isn't. He's this stupid kind of person who just doesn't want to move on yet, and keeps hanging around ME! Not to give messages to his brother. No, he's to selfisch for that. No, all he does is annoy me. With everything.

The only times when I'm not bothered by these dead people, is when I'm out of the prison, away from other people. That's the only time I'm really getting rest. Merle appears immediately when I climb onto the roof of the prison, through the window into the cellblock. In the woods, he leaves me alone. So do the others.

I tell them to fuck off, so many times. But of course, they're annoying bastards who don't listen to anyone but their own hearts. They're so stupid. Well, most of them got their brain blown out when they died, so I could understand that they're not thinking clearly anymore. But that's not an excuse for being winy and shit. Seriously, they sound worse than Baby-Grimes crying. Thank god they don't smell.

Can you imagine that everytime a dead person appears, you smell this horrible smell...? They perhaps smell sweet, like roses and other flowers, because they're in some kind of middle-world or whatever. Ugh, makes me sick. I'd rather have walkers bothering me, instead of those pricks. I'm used to the smell of a herd of walkers, that's nothing new. It's everywhere around us. But the dead people...Ugh.

For the record; there's a difference between dead people and walkers. Dead people are the people who should be gone forever, but are pissing their pants instead of moving on and keep watching over their loved ones like it's some stupid reality show. Walkers are people who got bit or just died without having their brains blown out and walk around thinking that everything they see moving is a delicious vanilla muffin they can eat. Just to be clear about that.

So, today. I'm probably doing nothing again. Nothing but walking around. It's still early, still dark. Rick's not going out today. Finally he doesn't. Poor Carl only has his new nerdy friend and his guns to talk too. But he has also me to talk to, but of course, Rick won't let me. And everytime I get close to the boy, I hear someone lay a hand on a gun. Or Daryl suddenly has his crossbow on his lap for no reason. If Rick would just let me talk to his boy, everything will be fine and we can all just move on. And then Daryl can shoot some real animals, instead of rats in the halls.

Yesterday, I talked to Danny. He's a mess. Seriously, he keeps going to his mother's grave every morning, staring at the dirt, sitting on his knees. He spends most of the day there, while Vinnie just helps Carol with everything. But Caroline won't give him anything to do, because she wants to do it herself because then she's assured there won't go anything wrong. Controle-freak.

Danny still hates me, but I'm OK with that. I found something else to do; nothing. Still sucks that he's getting so skinny, and his face so pale. Maybe he should start exercizing, build some muscle. It would suit him.

Beth

I take a deep breath before stepping into the cellblock. Not the usual cellblock, but the one where Vicky lives in. Or, at least, she sleeps in. That's the only thing she does there these days. Nothing but sleeping. She's not even here most of the days.

I have my arms hanging loosely around my waist. It feels weird, not to hold Judy in my arms. My dad said he wanted to take care of her for the day, so I could have some time off. Like watching over a baby is my job. Which it isn't. I like being around Judy. She's such a sweet little baby. I bet she'll grow up to be a beautiful woman one day.

My dad also suggested that I should talk to Vicky. I shrugged my shoulders, not thinking of it as a bad idea, but I didn't really thought of looking her up. I wanted to have some time of my own, but I also remembered myself that Vicky is my friend, and you don't let your friends down. Ever.

So, now I'm here. I'm a little spooked by what I found. The cellblock is all dusty. It's the total opposite of her first cellblock. The one she retrieved herself, not the one we cleared out for her. There are no drawings on the walls, no paintings, no scetches. There is nothing laying on the ground, nothing standing. There is a bed in every cell, completely made, as if she's opened a hotel. Without any visitors. It makes me a little sad.

I suddenly remember walking into the prison for the first time, all those months ago. The whole cellblock was clean, bed mades, tables and chairs. She even brought food. I was scared of her, but now I'm not anymore. She won't hurt any of us, no way she will. She will do anything to keep us alive. She's made sure that I know that.

I clear my throat, standing in the middle of the cellblock. It freaks me out that even that little sound echoes through the space.

"Vicky?" I call, and hear some thudding from one of the upper cells. What follows, is a deep sigh.

"I already told you; I'm not a messenger! Fuck off!"

I blink. Have I said anything wrong already?

"Vicky, it's me."

Another annoyed sigh, and then she appears at the top of the stairs. I'm overwhelmed by her state. She has dark circles around her eyes, stains on her far too big clothes and her hair is put in a loosely braid around her shoulder. She rolls with her eyes, before she recognizes me. She frowns.

"Beth…?" she says, as if she has trouble remembering my face.

"Yeah" I say. A smile appears on Vicky's face, and she makes her way down the stairs. The way she does it, makes me fear for her fragile body. She walks way to fast and energetic for the way she looks.

She throws her arms around me and takes me in a hug. "I haven't seen you in quite a while!"

I softly pat her on the back, afraid that I'll hurt her if I do it too hard. She then lets go of me, and smiles again, causing her to look older than she is.

"What are you doing here?" she asks. I shrug.

"My dad's taking Judy for the day, and he…I thought, we might go do something fun." I look over Vicky's shoulder, and frown. "Who were you talking to?"

Vicky waves it off. "Someone you don't wanna get to know." She puts her hands on her skinny hips, the bone almost bursting through her jeans. I can't believe this used to be the ideal picture of a girl; skinny long legs and perfect cheekbones. Nowadays, it just scares me.

"So, whatcha wanna do?" she asks in a light tone. Still thinking about her thin hips, I mumble something.

"We could help the others out with building the cafeteria. Glenn and Daryl are working on it now, because the cellblock is getting too tight for all those people."

"How so?" Vicky asks surprised. "I mean, are they getting fatter or something?"

"No, Rick's been bringing in new people daily" I say. Vicky suddenly gets a flat expression on her face and I frown. I then realize what I said. I try to save myself and everyone, but it's already too late.

Vicky narrows her eyes, and crosses her arms over her chest.

"Is that so?" she says slowly. She then walks past me with a determined pace that scares me a lot. "Then I'll go have a nice chat with officer Grimes."

I freeze. O my god. I am so stupid. How could I forget…

I quickly turn around and run after her. "Vicky, wait. They're probably busy. Just…leave it for now, OK?"

She ignores me, and storms into the dark hall, towards the courtyard. I wish I could just disappear for now, knowing what damage I've done now. Vicky is pissed. She's furious.

She kicks open door, and breathes heavily through her nose, letting everyone know in what state she's in. She looks around the cellblock, heads turning.

Vicky walks towards two blonde little girls, sitting at a table with a man who's probably the father.

"So, you must be one of the newbies" Vicky sneers, leaning with her hands at the table. The father blinks confused at the angry girl in front of him.

I see Vicky making a fist of her hand, and my heart starts beating faster. I sprint towards her and grab her arm while it's in the air.

"Just…leave them, OK?" I try, and Vicky quickly turns her head to me, her eyes burning with anger. "You gotta go to Rick, right? He's the one bringing them in, right?"

Vicky pulls her arm from my grip, and gives the new family one last glance before marching to the courtyard.

"I'm sorry" I whisper to the girls, before running after my friend. I know there's nothing that can stop her now. I feel so stupid.

Vicky is already calling out for Rick. "Oh, Ricky-boy! Come on out!"

Rick appears from behind a pile of long woodblocks, his hand on his gun. "What do you want?"

Vicky slowly walks towards him, her lips pursed innocently. "I need to talk to you."

Daryl suddenly stands next to Rick, his crossbow casually in his hands. It doesn't look like he wants to shoot. Yet. Daryl looks at me, questionably. I look at the ground in shame. I should've been more careful.

Rick stands where he stands, not willing to take a step forward. Vicky doesn't mind, and just keeps walking towards him.

"I heard you were bringing in new people" she says sweet, but with a dangerous under tone.

"Yeah, so?"

Vicky plays with the braid over her shoulder. "Well, I'd like to be informed of that matter a little earlier, instead of three weeks later. I mean, this is, and will always be, my palace."

Rick grins without humour. "Really? If this is your so called 'palace', then why are you never here?"

Vicky smirks. "Well, I could ask you the same thing; you call Carl your son, but you're never with him."

Rick's face turns into a creepy mask, the one of the devil you could always buy in the stores at Halloween. "You've got nothing to say around here anymore."

Vicky chuckles. "Since when? Who's decided that? Last time I checked, I let you guys in because I wanted to. I was OK with those Woodbury peeps, because they're all old and will probably die soon. But more of them? Children? Healthy people? I'm not sorry for saying that is just stupid."

Rick now steps towards her, their face close to each other. He's almost spitting the words through his teeth, the rage literally about to break lose. "If you don't want to be a part of this, then leave."

"A part of what?" Vicky says, still calm. "I started this. I gave you guys a home, and you're just taking it like it was yours to find. I've just left you alone with it, as long as it went well. But now…you're making your own house rules in my home."

Rick looks at her, almost in disgust. "You wanna have the lead? Go ahead. But I'll promise you; when you're taking over this community, we might as well burn it down right now. Look at yourself. You can't even eat properly."

Vicky shakes her head. "I'm not here to just take the thrown. I already have it. You can do whatever you want with your place, but you stay away from my cellblock. Just…don't bring in more people, OK? Trust me; one day, there won't be enough room for more people. You won't be able to just go and get supplies, because there are too many mouths to feed. You'll have to start rob other people. You'll end up just like the Governor. You're creating your own Woodbury. You're already having troubles, and you're creating your own. There are too many things that can go wrong."

Vicky is bloody serious right now, and Rick knows it too. Glenn suddenly appears at the catwalk, with a gun in his hands. He looks confused at the scene, especially at me, who's almost crying. I screwed up. Really.

Vicky lifts her arm, and Rick swings his protectively. He expects Vicky to slap him or something. But she doesn't. Instead, she gives him a soft pat on the shoulder.

"Just know that I warned yah" she says, before turning around and walking away. She smiles at me before going back inside, but I'm too afraid to smile back.

When the door has closed behind her, Rick turns to Daryl, and mumbles something at him. I look at them, tears in my eyes. I only made things worse, instead of helping.

"Rick" I say, and he turns his head. "I'm sorry. It just…came out. I couldn't help it."

Rick tries to smile, but it doesn't really work. "It's OK. She would've known anyway. Could…send your father to me?"

I wipe a tear from the corner of my eye, and nod. "Of course. I'll go get him."

Vinnie

I look down at the piece of paper in my hand. With my index finger, I follow the thin lines of the pencil, and frown.

"How do you think she did it?"

Danny turns his head from the book he's reading. Rick brought it for him, and for me. But Danny's more into the story than I am. It's about this little man who goes on an adventure with a wizard and seven dwarfs. Wait, isn't that the Snowwhite-story? I thought it was seven.

I hold up the paper to show him, and he gives it a glance before turning back to his book. "I dunno. Caro said something about ghosts, but I don't believe that."

I look at the paper again, at the sketch of my parents. I've been staring at it for days, trying to make my own version of it. I thought of adding our dog to the drawing, but I'm too afraid of ruining it. It's the only thing that helps me remind their faces.

"You don't think mom's a ghost?" I ask Danny, and he shakes his head, still reading.

"Not really. You have two choices nowadays; turning into a walker, or being eaten by one."

I look up, and shake my head. "That's not true. You can shoot yourself in the head, and you won't turn."

"And what about you after?" Danny says. "There's nothing left of you, but your body."

"But it could be possible that you become a ghost…" I try, but shut my mouth when I start thinking about it. It's actually really difficult. Danny says there are no ghosts, but I think there is something. Vicky didn't know my mom and dad. How could she draw them like this without knowing what they looked like?

"I believe in ghosts" I say after a while, and am satisfied with my conclusion. Danny doesn't react to it, but turns a page.

I sigh, and pick up my last piece of paper. I should ask mister Grimes to bring new ones next time. I still haven't figured out how to draw a duck. It's more difficult than you think.

"Why don't you go out and make some friends?" Danny suddenly says. I look up to see that he's finally closed his book. He has a smile on his face, but his eyes don't say the same. He looks like mom when he does that. It makes me sad. "I saw those two new girls coming in today. They're a little older than you, but I bet they're fun to play with."

I shake my head, and bow over my last piece of paper. "I don't want to play with them. I want to stay with you."

Danny doesn't answer for a while, and I just hope he's just opened his book again and continued reading. It was nice, just doing our own things with nobody else around.

"Why would you stay inside?" he asks after a while, and I then see that he's put his book next to him on the stairs. "It's still sunny outside. As long as you keep a coat on, you can play. Perhaps you could ask Patrick if he still has his football."

I put my pencil on the ground. I can't draw something and talk with him too. Now I've forgotten what I wanted to draw in the first place. And I can't think of anything else.

"Will you come too?" I beg, hoping he'll ask Patrick for the ball. Danny smiles, but shakes his head.

"You gotta make your own friends, tiger. I can't keep doing it for you."

I stand up, sighing. "What are you gonna do? Sit here and read?"

He shrugs. "What's wrong with that?"

I look angry at him. "That's not fair. You're sending me away, while you can sit here and do what you want."

Danny suddenly stops smiling, and instead looks tired. This reminds me of dad coming home from work. "Please, Calvin. If you're inside this prison all the time, you'll never make friends. Trust me; you're gonna need them. Maybe they like drawing too."

I cross my arms. "Still not fair."

But I do as he says, not wanting to cause any more trouble. Perhaps he's right. I'm almost nine. I should already have a Best Friend. I should find one, and quick. You can't celebrate your 9th birthday without a Best Friend.

Before I leave, I look over my shoulder at my brother. He's holding his head in his hands, his eyes closed. I feel guilty, I should've let him alone sooner, instead of bragging on over nothing.

I quickly run to the last place I saw those two new girls. I thought they were in the D-block, but I don't know for sure. Maybe they do like drawing. I just hope so.

Rick

"This can't go on like this" Hershel says, and I close my eyes, rubbing over my nose. "You know that."

"Yeah, I know" I say, shaking my head. I feel my fingers trembling, and quickly hide my hand behind my back. Something in Hershel's face tells me that he noticed, but he doesn't mention it.

"Let me talk to her" he suggests on a calmer tone. "Let us deal with her, and you tell Carl about the talk she wants-"

"Wait a minute" I interrupt. "That 'talk' will never happen. I won't let it. Carl is staying away from her."

"You can't stop her" Daryl mumbles. "She won't, not until she got what she wants."

"Are you on her side now?" I ask, but Daryl calmly nods.

"I ain't on nobody's side. I'm just tryin' to keep everyone alive."

"Daryl's right" Maggie says, and Glenn nods with her. "You know what she can do. And you know that she wouldn't hurt any of us."

"Except for Carl" I say back. "She threatened him. She told me she wanted him alone."

"To talk" Daryl says, as if he's finishing my sentence. I look around my group, but it seems like everybody is against me. Daryl keeps saying that he's neutral in this, but I think otherwise.

I then lay eyes on one of our newest members who have a say around the prison; Sasha and Tyreese.

"What do you think?" I ask them. "You've known her for some weeks now. What do you think?"

Sasha gives her brother a concerned look, almost alarming. Tyreese quickly looks down, pretending he didn't see that. He looks me in the eyes with an innocent face.

"I honestly like her. She's funny, and nice to talk to when she's around."

I nod, not believing a word of what he just said. I look at Sasha. "You're sharing this opinion?"

Sasha looks at Tyreese again, folding her arms. "I honestly don't. I'm sorry guys, but we've known her for a little longer than just three weeks."

"You've met her before?" Carol asks, and Sasha nods. But before she can continue her story, Tyreese starts talking.

"We've crossed paths with her, yes. But it was nothing serious. We just had a little…disagreement. Nothing serious."

"What did she do?" I say. Sash gives her brother an angry glance, telling him not to interrupt her again.

"It was a couple months before we found you" she starts. "We were with another group, but got in a conflict with another. It ended in a war, with us being held captive. As prisoners. They didn't want to kill us, but use us as hostages."

"Was Vicky part of that group?" Carol asks curiously.

"No. She wasn't. She….we don't really know where she came from. It was just… it all happened so fast. It was night, and we were tied up by a big tree. There were a couple of the men sitting at the fire, making fun of us. Suddenly, there was this red flash, and one of the three was lying on the ground, his throat ripped apart. The next minute, the other two were being chocked, and another had his belly cut open…We didn't know what was happening, until she had murdered the whole camp. She had cut their throats and ripped out most of the organs. They were all scattered around the camp, hanging in the trees, blood everywhere….it was horrible…"

"She then came towards us" Tyreese continues, laying a hand on his sister shoulder, who's face has gotten very pale. "She had blood all over her. She had only one knife, and she lay it on the ground, about a foot away from us. She wished us good luck freeing ourselves, and left. She saved our lives that night."

"But she didn't…do the brains, right?" Daryl asks, with a finger against his forehead. Sasha shakes her head.

"No, but she drew them away from us by singing a song, while running away."

"See?" Tyreese says, as if he has proven something. "She's not a bad person. She helped us."

"But the way she did…that's not human!" Sasha says, turning to me. "She is a dangerous person. We can't have her around here."

I nod, looking around the group. The faces are all pale, and eyes widened. "I'm glad that you agree."

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