Survivor's diary

Chapter 43

Maggie

"Order! Order!" Theo tries to get a hold of the chaos by slamming his hammer several times onto the table. Vicky giggles behind her hand and hums the well-known melody. Daryl shakes his head with an annoyed, and slightly amused, look on his face. Carol has a lot of papers in her hands, all fully written with notes and things. It looks like she's holding on to it, as if it will save her life.

"Well, at least they've calmed down a bit…" Glenn mumbles softly. I nod slowly, keeping an close eye on Vicky. The rope around her pulses seems to get even looser. She's trying to get rid of them.

"We'll have ten minutes recess" the judge states, and he slams his hammer down again. Vicky jumps up from her chair.

"Great, I really need some fresh air. Let's go, Tyreese!"

Tyreese stands up in a bit of a clumsy way and quickly grabs the rope with both hands, because Vicky is already making her way towards the exit.

"Poor guy" Glenn says, with a little concern in his voice. He watches as Vicky drags Tyreese along with her. Glenn narrows his eyes. I take his hand.

"I'm going out to, wanna come with?"

Glenn nods, but keeps looking at the door Tyreese closes behind himself.

Just like Vicky, I drag Glenn with me to the courtyard. Most of the people who were just in the courtroom too are here as well. There are several small groups of people who talk softly with each other.

I look around and spot an empty table Glenn and I could sit at. As we make our way over there, I accidently overhear some words of one of the conversations; "…gonna do with her? I'm not cool with her staying here, especially not with all the kids around!"

"I heard she murdered another group of survivors, all by herself!"

"No way! That skinny girl?"

"I'm serious. He was serious when he told me…"

I don't know the persons having this conversation, but I don't really care. I don't feel like hearing the rest of it.

When we've finally settled down, Glenn finally looks at me. And he looks very concerned. "Did you just…"

"Yes, I heard them."

Glenn turns his body towards me, facing me straight. "I don't understand what is going on here. Carol…she's trying to really get rid of Vicky. I don't get it. And Daryl is being the nice guy, all of the sudden…"

"We used to think like Carol. When we first met her…She's right about some things, you know."

"I guess." Glenn goes with his hand through his hair. It's getting longer and longer. I should find a pair of scissors to cut it, because I can see it's starting to hang over his eyes.

I see Daryl coming towards us, with a cigarette between his lips. I wave the smoke out of my face when he stands still next to me.

"Sorry" he mumbles, and walks to the other side of the bench. He blows some of the smoke out and tips the end of the cigarette off with his finger. "It's crazy, huh?"

Glenn nods. He doesn't seem to bother the smoke. I wonder if he's ever smoked himself. I know I did once. And I didn't like it very much.

"And we're not even through with it yet. Sooner or later I gotta do my testimony."

Daryl chuckles. "Well, you gotta do a hell of a good speech if you wanna convince these morons of Vicky's 'good nature'." Daryl points towards the small groups talking with each other.

I see that he's playing with the cigarette in his other hand. He's holding it with different fingers and changes his grip every few seconds. It almost looks like he's nervous or something.

Even though that's not shown in his facial expressions. He's trying to hide it, but he's also worried.

I hear some footsteps and turn my head. Daniel is now heading over to us too. He's looking around anxiously, as if he's looking for something.

"Hey, has any of you seen Calvin…I mean Vinnie, around? I can't find him anywhere."

Daryl throws away his cigarette. "The little guy? Isn't he in the cellblock?"

Vinnie always is in one of the cellblocks. Sometimes he goes walking with my father or with Beth, but he's mostly in the cellblock. He's always there when I enter.

Daniel shakes his head. "I thought he was, but he's not there. I thought that he might be here somewhere, off on his own or something…"

"Perhaps he's found some friends" I say, trying to sound optimistic. That's strange. He's not in the cellblock…I try not to show my concern.

I don't want to think it, but I still do; what if Vicky….She has kidnapped a person before. And Calvin is a fragile little boy who could easily get knocked out by someone as aggressive as Vicky… and she was trying to get the ropes off her pulses. She managed to loosen them. What if she got away…

"Yeah" Glenn agrees, with an uncertain smile on his face. "There have been a lot of children around here lately. Remember this school we broke into? We found a few families in there, with small children around Vinnie's age. They'll probably be off somewhere together."

Daniel looks around again, and then slowly shrugs. "Yeah. Maybe. I'll just keep looking till the break's over."

Then he turns around and walks towards the other end of the courtyard. Daryl throws away his cigarette, and stamps on it with his foot. "I think we have a problem."

"Don't think like that" Glenn says calmly. "She wouldn't've been able to. Tyreese and some other guys keep watch over her. And she doesn't have the time for a trick like this."

"As much as I want to believe that," I sigh, "I still can't rule out the possibility. She's done things like this before. And do you really think she won't be able to escape a group of guys like we have?"

The door towards the cafeteria opens, and Rick calls out to everyone. "Recess's over. Come on back inside, please."

Glenn stands up and makes his way to the entrance in a quick pace, without looking at me.

"Glenn…" I try, but he's already gone inside.

Daniel

There's a mass of people trying to find their seats again. I spot a red haired girl who sits in the front, with a jacket put on the chair next to her. I make my way over to Katy.

"Did you find him?" she asks as I sit down. I shake my head.

"He's probably found himself some friends to play with" I say, paraphrasing what Maggie said earlier. Like I believe that.

I know I haven't been the greatest big brother in the world. I've barely seen my little brother in the past week. I've been a mess, and I rather not want him to see me like that. But I kept a close eye on him, and checked in on him every day. But now, he's not where he usually is. And it freaks me out.

I don't even know if he knows what's going on in here. If he does, he probably would try to find a way in.

I smile. Vinnie. Always trying to get to know everything that's going on. He always wanted to know everything about everyone. He was always so happy when telling what he'd heard during the day.

That was our life before. When we would tell each other stories during dinner. What he had seen that day, heard, smelled, tasted, felt. Vinnie had the greatest stories.

I just hope he's not getting himself in trouble.

"I'll go look for him afterwards" I say, and Katy nods, even though I'm not really talking to her.

The rest of the viewers have gotten to their seats, and while the last ones are making their way, Vicky enters the cafeteria again. She drags Tyreese with her, like a dog. The judge is not very amused by her big entre.

"Are all the defence parties here? And the prosecutors? Yes? Then we shall continue. Court now in session."

Carol stands up from her seat at the other end of the court hall. "You honour, if I may…could I please continue my speaking?"

"Yes, you may, miss Peletier" the judge answers. Suddenly, Vicky giggles. The judge decides to ignores it, but Carol turns her head.

"You guys are being very serious with this, aren't you?" she asks, while pulling one knee up to her chest. She lets her foot rest on the chair. She's wearing her once white-with-blue sneakers. "Could you guys call me 'majesty', from now on? You're calling that guy 'your honour', and you're suddenly 'Miss Peletier'….so could I be that?"

To my surprise, Katy softly chuckles behind her hand. I lift an eyebrow at her, and she shakes her head.

"I'm sorry" she whispers through her giggling. I notice she has a nice smile, for a change. This must remind her of the old Vicky she grew up with.

"As I have said before: court is now in session" the judge tries again, grinding his teeth. Vicky holds up her thumb.

"Great, guys. Thanks" she says, assuming that her request is being taken seriously. The judge stares at her with cold eyes.

"Thank you, your honour" Carol says. "I request to ask the suspect a few questions."

"Request approved" the judge answers. Vicky giggles again, and applauses.

"This is so much fun! It's just like in the movies!"

"Could the suspect please take stand?" the judge asks, almost with a sigh. Vicky jumps up out of her chair, and almost dances towards the small table next to the judge. Tyreese stumbles after her, still holding the rope, even though I can see from out here that it's barely holding Vicky's hands tied together.

"So, Vicky, I'd like to ask you a few questions about the day you attacked mister Baker" Carol starts off. Vicky applauses again, and lets out an excited cry. But then she frowns and opens her mouth in a kind of a dumb way.

"Why do you wanna ask me about that? I mean, you were there. You saw everything. Wait….that doesn't make sense. If you were there, aren't you supposed to be a witness, instead of the prosecutor? Wow, this is way too confusing…And by the way, you're supposed to call me 'majesty' from now on, remember?"

"Was it your plan to attack mister Baker? Did you make preparations to attack him?" Carol tries, hoping Vicky will listen this time.

I quickly turn my head to look at Katy. She's not smiling any more. She's looking straight at Vicky, biting her finger nails, watching her every move.

Vicky shrugs. "I guess I was. I just came to the conclusion that if words didn't do the trick, my hands could. And, well…it worked. He's not trying to stalk me anymore."

There's some whispering around us, and Katy touches my shoulder. "Did she just say 'stalk'?"

"Silence, please" the judge warns, turning his head to the viewers. It quiets down, so Carol can ask the next question.

"What was your purpose? Was it to kill?"

Vicky frowns. "No, why would I do that? He hasn't done anything to me, except writing stuff down about me." She then turns to the jury, sitting a little further away from her. "That guy's been doing that to all of you, by the way."

A few of the jury members look at each other questionably. Katy touches my shoulder again and lifts an eyebrow at me. I nod. "It's true. He's been…. 'analysing' everybody here."

Katy frowns in disgust. "That's….creepy."

"I didn't wanna kill him" Vicky continues, "I just wanted to make something clear. If I wanted him dead, I would've done that in a more spectacular way. Like….shoving down some dynamite in his throat and throw him off the roof or something, so he'd explode in the air and all his limbs would rain down on us…..but I didn't."

"What the…." Katy says, and I try not to puke. Just like that time she had made a pile of walker corpses, and ripped off particular parts to make a huge muffin….

"Ah man," I mumble, placing a hand over my mouth. "I think I'm gonna be sick."

Carol

I hear some talking in the background, and Theo trying to calm everyone down. Vicky looks like she's having the time of her life.

I quickly take a look at one of the papers in my hands. Next question.

"So you are saying that it was your intention to hurt, not kill mister Baker?"

Vicky turns her head to me again. "Yeah, you could say that. I'd rather go with 'sending a message'. It sounds way cooler, like in one of those thrillers where they leave a message on the bathroom mirror with blood…That was not me, by the way."

I try not to smile. She must've pulled one of those tricks again. I knew it. She's still in there. Will was wrong.

"Next, I'd like to ask you a few questions about the kidnapping of Carl Grimes, 8 days ago."

"Wow, you've really kept count of the days, huh? I used to do that too, you know….with a calendar. But then it was the end of the year and I couldn't find a new one…"

"Miss Robson, could you please keep quiet when the-"

"Whoa, wait a minute" Vicky interrupts the judge. "It's 'majesty' for you, dude."

I quickly turn my head to Theo and quietly ask him to go easy on her. He looks angrily at me, knowing this is a huge favour to ask.

"Could you please keep quiet when the other party is speaking?"

Vicky rolls with her eyes. "Whatever. Just remember; 'majesty'."

"About the kidnapping" I continue, taking a deep breath. This is way harder than I thought. She's constantly changing the subject. "I've had the chance to ask the victim a few questions. He told us that you'd taken him to 'a place nearby, but really hard to find', quoting from him. Do you have any idea what this means?"

"Well, yeah," Vicky answers, playing with the rope around her pulses. "I took him to this place only I know, and we talked for a while. You know, about stuff."

"Could you tell me how you kidnapped him?"

"How? Well, I knocked him out cold and looted the keys from his belt. I carried him away in my arms. That's how."

There's a shock going through the court hall. From the corner of my eye, I see Rick. He has his arms crossed and a blank expression on his face. The intel I got comes from him. He's been the only one who spoke with Carl so far. From what I've heard, Carl also believes Vicky is good.

I just hope I can convince everyone else.

"What did you talk about, in that place?"

Vicky looks up from her hands. "Pff, never heard of privacy?"

"You're supposed to answer all the questions asked" the judge says, and Vicky sticks her tongue out to him. This is not going very well.

"Isn't invasion of one's privacy a crime too?" Vicky mumbles softly, while sitting up straight. "What we talked about….well, I told him the things he's supposed to know. The stupid thing is that he had to hear it from me, and not his father, or someone else from his family. OK, that's maybe a little stupid, because Baby Grimes can't really talk yet, and the rest is, for as I know, dead. But those are only the people who are blood bounded to him. Those people are not the only family he has. His family also includes the people who've taken care of him, and who he has been taking care of himself. He looks out for them, and they for him. What they forget, is that Carl is also capable of taking care of himself, and looking out for himself. Yeah, he's just a kid, but that doesn't give any of them the right to not let him know his life might be in danger. And with the danger, I mean me. Because apparently I formed a threat to him, even though I had no intention of hurting him in any way. Yeah, he deserved that smack on his head, because that was for shooting me from behind. Like I said; he can take care of himself."

For the first time since this trial has started, it's death silent in the court hall. Everyone is staring at the red haired girl, who leans back in the chair, looking at the ceiling.

I take a look over my shoulder, and see everyone either looking down, up or out the window, lost in their own thoughts. Vicky got them to think about the matter. That's what she's good at.

After a while, Vicky sighs. "Well, you got another question or what?"

This time, I don't have to look at my paper. I know exactly what I want to ask.

"You've talked about family….Carl's family. What about yours? Who is your family, and who do you look after?"

Vicky looks straight at me and blinks confused. "My family…? What the hell does that have to do with all of this?"

I take a look at the jury, who all are listening very carefully to ever word that is said. Good.

"You seem to understand what family means in times like this. Do you have a group of people who mean the same to you?"

Vicky frowns, and lays her hands down on the table. "I dunno. Nobody here cares about me, except for my niece. Maybe." Vicky glances at her niece, who's sitting in the public seats. "But I guess that the fact that I did not kill all of you yet, means I care."

Rick

I look at Carol, and suddenly understand why she's doing this. She's not trying to get rid of Vicky, she's trying to help her.

Most of the juries are not convinced yet, but they will be once Carol starts asking about how she met us.

I suddenly feel a hand on my shoulder, and turn around. Sasha is standing behind me, with a serious look on her face.

"We got a problem" she whispers, and nods towards one of the exits. I follow her quietly, as Carol asks the next question.

In the small corridor, Sasha stops. "We got walkers, close to block F."

I grind my teeth over one another. "How did they get in?"

Sasha shakes her head. "We don't know yet. I was patrolling the fences when I heard screaming. These two girls came running at me, saying that two of their friends are stuck inside with walkers."

"How many?"

"Don't know yet. I brought the girls to Block B, Hershel is with them right now."

I nod. I knew this would happen sometime.

"What do we do?" Sasha asks. I scratch at the back of my neck and think.

Most of the people are inside the cafeteria to watch the trial, most of the others are in block C or D, or even E.

"First; we gotta evacuate everyone from E to block B, or even A if it doesn't fit. Glenn already took care of that hole in the wall, right? Next, we have to get some men over there to take care of the walkers and get those kids out of there. They'll know what to do." When one of them is bit. It's the unsaid end of the sentence I'd rather not say out loud.

Sasha nods. "Then we figure out how they got in and fix it. Got it."

"Good," I say, "I'll go get some guys ready to go, you take care of the evacuation. Just….don't tell them why. We don't want to cause any panic. That's why we have to let this trial keep going as long as possible."

"Understood." Sasha nods one last time before disappearing. I quickly go back to the cafeteria and tap Daryl on his shoulder.

But before he's turned around, one of the doors flies open, and a figure appears. It's small and skinny, and as soon as it comes into the light, I see that it's covered in blood.

It used to be a child, but now the pink skin has turned into a disturbing grey, and the eyes have a weird glance in their eyes.

The walker growls, and the panic starts.

Dear deer moose diary,

Today was fun. It started off with this really cool think they call 'a trial' which is something that happens when you fuck up. Apparently, I did, and they organized all that for me.

There was this guy who kept slamming this awesome hammer on a table, and I just thought it was the best thing ever. And Carol suddenly was 'Miss Peletier', and I wanted a new name too, so I came up with 'majesty', but they didn't say it one time. Not fair.

Anyway, this trial was getting really weird, because Carol started asking me stuff about family and what all the people in the prison meant to me, and what the prison meant to me, and all the stuff I did in the past…

In some way, all the people present seemed to like it. They were all, like, smiling, or something. I just went along with it and told some stories about how stupid Carl is, and why muffins are the best.

I was just getting to the good part, when this baby walker ran through the door. It was about as tall as Vinnie, and all covered in blood and everything.

Then, suddenly, all these people started screaming and panicking, even though the walker wasn't that big. And not very strong either.

Behind the small walker came an adult male walker, and I thought it would be fun to make a family. The second walker could be the father, and if there happened to be a female too, they could be dead together. Kinda cute, if you ask me.

Turned out there was a group of walkers, and there was a lot of shooting and suddenly Daryl had his crossbow and Michonne appeared with her sword and it was all very cool. I just sat down and watched, because I was really tired of thinking of Carol's difficult questions. They were really hard to answer.

And I also couldn't participate because my hands were still tied, and Tyreese had gone off to help fight the walkers with his hammer. HAMMER TIME, BABY!

I also saw Daniel freak out when the walker came in, and I laughed really hard. It's so funny when Dan screams. He's like a little girl or something. It's the funniest thing ever.

At some point, the fight was getting kind of boring, so I went off on my own. I finally cut the rope, and searched for this stupid diary, because there was a lot I had to write down.

I got this huge surprise, because block F turned out to be filled with walkers. So I did get some for my own. Even though I was tired, I still got to one of the cells. I locked myself up, so the remaining walkers can't get in. I'll finish them tomorrow.

For now, I think I'm gonna get some sleep. The trial's probably not over yet, and I don't know who's gonna be alive by tomorrow. No one probably died, except for that little walker. I'm pretty sure Rick can handle this one. I would've jumped in if he wasn't, because I can't miss out on a fight like that. But it was pretty boring by the time I left, so I guess they'll be ok. And if they're not, that means there are more walkers. Fun, fun, fun!

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