It's oddly quiet in the prison. It's almost like we're back in time, when there was only a small group of us. It's unimaginable to think that it hasn't been that long ago when we actually were that small a group.
It's so quiet because everyone is scared to make a sound. Scared it might attract the wrong attention. Every time I pass someone's cell, they immediately assume something's wrong. They're scared. All because of a group of walkers that managed to sneak in. At least, that what we've told them. But if they'd seen the ravage of the wall and thought it a little through, they'd also come to the conclusion that someone had let them in.
We had a few wounded. Two persons got bit, and turned soon after. We had to put down four others.
I make my way over to one of watchtowers, where the rest of the group is waiting. Daryl, Carol, Hershel, Tyreese, Maggie, Sasha, Glenn and Daniel. Daniel doesn't look too well. He nearly had a heart attack when that small child came through the door. He thought it was his little brother, but it turned out to be a little girl. The girl only had an older brother, who was one of the bitten. A very sad history. Vinnie was nowhere around the attack. I don't know if it's a good thing or not, because there's another problem; we don't know where Vinnie is at all. He was not with the walkers, but Lizzie and Mica told us he was with them. He'd gone through the pipe too, and all they heard from him was screaming, but that stopped after a while.
We've searched all over, but can't find him anywhere. It's like he just disappeared. Like he turned into dust.
"Any luck?" I ask Daryl, who shakes his head. Daniel bows his head. I can see his eyes are red. I sigh. "Any ideas?"
I look around hopefully, but there's no answer. I try to think myself, when finally, someone coughs. It's Tyreese. I lift an eyebrow questionably.
"It may seem a little obvious, but close to the newly repaired wall, there's this alley. We haven't had the chance to check that out, really, because of all the chaos. It's still too dangerous to search there because the wall has been broken down by whoever let the walkers in."
I nod. I could've figured that out myself. "I see. I say we pull ourselves into some heavy armour and go in. He must be in there."
"Before we do that" Sasha quickly says, "we should try to find out who caused this. It might happen again when we're not looking."
"Isn't it obvious?" Daniel mumbles, raising his head up again. "It's Vicky, of course. Who else would try to destroy us like this?"
"She wouldn't" Carol says with an uncertain voice everyone recognizes. "Besides, Tyreese had her tied up the whole time."
From the corner of my eye, I see Tyreese scratching the back of his neck. "Something wrong?"
"O my god" Sasha gasps at her brother. "What did you do?"
"Nothing!" Tyreese quickly says. "It's just… she went to the bathroom, on her own. I waited outside. Well, at the end of the hall. I held the rope in my hands. There's no wait she'd-"
"Oh, Tyreese!" Sasha cries out. "Have you forgotten what that girl is capable of?"
"No, 'course not! The rope has been around her pulses the whole time."
"But…" Carol interferes. "I did see her loosen it up a bit, during the trial…but she wouldn't. She just couldn't do that. Not after everything that was said yesterday. I refuse to believe that."
"She's right" Daryl says, looking at me. "Saying it in her own words; she'd do it way more spectacular. Something with explosions and such. This seems kinda…I dunno, amateurish, or something. Not her style."
I try not to smirk, because I know he's right. "I don't think it was her. Besides…" I turn to Daniel. "She wouldn't dare to hurt you guys."
Daniel looks angrily at me. "You don't know what you're saying. You don't know anything about Vicky, or what she's capable of."
"We know exactly what kinda person she is, kiddo" Daryl mumbles with a mocking tone. "Trust me; she's only here for the fun. This was way too boring for her."
Daniel makes a disgusted face. "Well, if you know everything so well as you say, then tell me who did it. Who killed my little brother?"
"Now, don't go saying things like that" Hershel warns, placing a hand on Dan's shoulder. "He's not dead. Vicky wouldn't allow that."
Daniel turns to the old farmer, and shakes the hand off. "You should hear yourself. Talking like she's some kind of god."
To my surprise, Hershel smiles. Most of the times, he gets irritated when people judge his believes. "Not a god, but she somehow is the protector of this place. You can't deny that."
Daniel grumbles something, but keeps his mouth shut.
"Where is Vicky now?" I ask the group, no one in particular.
"Last time I saw her, she was in block F, with a lot of corpses" Daryl answers.
"As usual" Daniel mumbles."She had locked herself up in one of the cells, and said she'd come out if something interesting would happen" Daryl continues.
"I see" I nod. "What did you tell her?"
"Good. I think it's better if we keep her out of this for now. I don't want her pointing fingers."
Hershel nods. "We should separate. I'll go check on the wounded. Maggie, could you assist me on that?"
Maggie nods and goes to stand next to her father.
"I want to check out that alley way you spoke about" I say to Tyreese. "Glenn, I want you to come with me. The rest of you; try to figure out who broke down the wall. And evacuate the cellblocks immediately if there's another attack."
I usually don't like getting orders. Rick and I work together. I guess now he's not thinking about his bossy attitude.
But I am following his orders. Sort of.
Along with my crossbow, I make my way to cellblock F. Someone's gotta keep an eye on her. And deep down I know that's one of the reasons Rick didn't ask me along.
Babysitting is not my style, but negotiation is.
I kick open the door, and whistle.
"I'm up here" Vicky answers, sounding like she's doing something that needs her concentration very much. Probably writing in that stupid little book of hers.
"What are you doing back here, Dary-doo?" she asks, even though she can't see me. I step over one of the corpses on the ground. They're starting to smell, but of course, she doesn't mind.
"Something's happened," I say, making my way over to the staircase. "Thought I'd share the details with yah."
"Oh, awesome!" Her voice sounds higher and with more excitement. "Tell me!"
"Well," I say, holding my crossbow close. "We found out that the walkers that stormed in yesterday didn't just accidently stumbled inside. Someone let them in."
"Wow, tell me something I don't know" she replies sarcastically. "Every idiot could figure that out. Glenn fixed that wall, right? That's where they came through. No way they could just break that down with their dead little limbs…"
I know she's in one of the upper cells, and I can hear her voice coming from close to the stair case.
"So, did you come here to ask if I did it?"
"Not really" I say, lowering my crossbow. "Figured it ain't your style."
Suddenly, her head pops up from one of the openings. She smiles and narrows her eyes. "How smart of you, Dary-doo. 'Course I wouldn't do something as lame as that. Even though the trial was getting kinda boring after a while, but still. It needed some more-"
"Explosions, I know" I say, making my way over to her cell. Vicky sits down on the bed. Her diary-thingy is placed on her pillow, with a pencil next to it.
"So, what's the juicy stuff?"
I lean with my shoulder against the wall. "Well, Daniel's little brother, the kid. He's gone. Can't find him anywhere."
Vicky frowns. "You mean Vinnie? He's probably playing hide and seek. For as far as I know, he's not hiding in here."
"Good to know" I mumble. "The thing is; he's been gone since yesterday. Last time he was seen, was around the area where the walkers came through."
Vicky pulls her knees up. "Perhaps he let them in. If he was around, he could've been…wait, first he would've turned into the Hulk or something , to smash the wall down. You know, HULK SMASH and everything. Maybe he was getting tired of Daniel being depressed all the time. I mean, I got tired of that pretty soon. I get that Vinnie wanted some attention, but pulling something like this seems a little too much, if you ask me."
I try not to roll with my eyes. "Anyway, we're searching for him right now. And just so you know; Daniel is blaming you for this."
Vicky suddenly seems hurt. She blinks confused. "What? Why? I didn't do anything."
I shrug. "Sorry, but he said it. He's convinced you tried to kill everyone yesterday."
Vicky purses her lips. "That's not nice. Well, I didn't do it. If he wants to blame me, he should. I don't care."
I narrow my eyes. "Really?"
Vicky looks at the ceiling. "Well, yeah. I don't care what any of you think of me."
Vicky snorts and crosses her arms. This is the first time I've seen her like this. She seems to be ashamed, somehow.
"Well, if you're done playing the goody-goody, let me know, 'cause I'm gonna need someone to help me take care of some things."
"'Things'? That sounds promising." She then looks at something behind me, and it looks like she's into another world for a few seconds. Her eyes get glassy and she doesn't breathe. It's just a split second, before she comes back. She makes a disgusted face. "Your brother is being a dick."
I look over my shoulder, but see nothing. I do not know where to look, so I just hold up the finger and swing my arm around. "Get outta here, you bastard."
"Still there" Vicky mumbles annoyed. "What where you saying? You need help or something? You're finally admitting that you need help? Because you're a pussy? For the record, I am paraphrasing your dick-brother."
"Someone's gotta fix that wall. And besides; Rick and Glenn are never gonna find that kid by themselves."
Vicky's eyes widen. "You mean….there are more walkers?"
I shrug. "They put up a new fence there, but that's not gonna hold for long."
"And of course, you need the Ultimate Super Beautiful Muffin Queen Warrior Slayer to help you. Why didn't you say so?"
Finding out who caused the attack. Easier said than done.
Sasha suggested not to go ask around. We should keep the information we got just in the group, to avoid great panic. We've now seen what kind of chaos emerges from that. We've lost people.
Someone I haven't spoken to in a while, is Will. He was not present at the trial and when I start asking around, I find out that no one has seen him in the past few days. Did he leave?
When I go to investigate his cell, I find all his belongings there. Everything is the same.
The only thing that bothers me, are the bandages I find under his bed. It looks like he's ripped them off himself. There's still some blood on a few.
"What…" I gasp, holding the bandages in my hands. I quickly pull the curtain over the opening to hide. I need to prevent panic. Walking around the prison with bloody bandages isn't gonna be a help with that.
I push them back under the bunker bed. On the topper bed, he has his clothes, all folded and categorized. Nothing out of the ordinary.
I try to look for his notebook, but then I realize he's probably got that with him. I put everything back on the same spot I found it and quickly step out of the cell. But when I do, I bump into the owner.
"Oh, Will" I say surprized. Will widens his eyes and does not step back. Neither does he greet me. He looks over my shoulder to his cell, and back at me.
"Where you just in there?" he asks with a threatening voice. I take a step back, and bump with my back against the wall. Will doesn't look like himself. His clothes are all sweaty and one of his sleeves has a ripped end. His hair is messy and his glasses are hanging at only one ear. There's no bandage nor blood to be seen on his body. But the thing that shocks me the most, is the look in his eyes. Something tells me I've seen it before, but I can't remember where.
It's a glance that makes his eyes look bigger and brighter. And unnatural bright.
"Well?" he asks again. I decide to tell the truth, because there's no point to lying to him.
"Yes, I was. I was worried about you. No one's seen you in days."
A smile cracks on his face. A bright smile that shows all his teeth and almost seems to rip his face apart. "Worried, huh? Carol Peletier, there's nothing to be worried about. Why don't we walk it off, together? Yes, let's have a walk. A nice, long walk on the courtyard."
I hear some whispering and take a look around. There are a lot of women and children who curiously watch us. What do I do? I'm afraid to deny, because I don't know what he's capable of when looking like this. I have no idea what has happened to him. He might tell me if I go with him.
"Yes, let's go for a walk" I say after a while. Normally, Will would take my arm, but now, he just turns his back on me and walks in a quick pace towards the entrance of the block. I quickly follow him, so I won't attract any suspicious.
Will keeps walking, even when we're already outside. He keeps walking, toward the fence. In front of it, he stops. He lifts his head, and again with that wide smile, he looks at the sky.
"Beautiful, isn't it? So blue. So calm. So close. Yet so far away."
I keep my distance, but keep a close eye on him. His voice doesn't sound like him at all. He's a completely different person.
He keeps babbling about how the sky is so blue and I have to wait a while before I can ask a question. "Where have you been?"
Will sighs and looks over his shoulder at me. "Everywhere and nowhere, I think. I've been thinking a lot lately. About what's important in a life like this. I've become quite the philosopher, don't you think?"
"You sure have changed" I answer, and he lets out a disturbing, high giggle.
"And I've also thought about you, Carol Peletier. And Rick. And Daryl. And Vicky. Mostly Vicky. That interesting girl…" He gazes at the sky again. "What is important in this life, Carol Peletier? Can you tell me; is there any value in it? Personally, I thought that 'nothing' suits perfectly. What is the meaning of life? There is no meaning. But once you look closely, you'll see the value in it. No meaning means there's nothing. No meaning. Am I repeating myself, Carol Peletier?"
I'm trembling with fear. His voice is cracking with drought, it changes from high to low, as if he does not have any control over it.
"After I had come to that conclusion," he continues after I forget to answer his question, but he doesn't seem to care, "I understood why Vicky did not want my help. Because my help has no value. She knows that in this world, my existence means nothing. I cannot prevent people from losing themselves to the cruelness of this life. There's nothing I can do, but to submit." His voice breaks and he lets out a sob. He fully turns around and looks at me with tears in his eyes. But the smile is still there. "Everyone must submit."
I don't know where that came from. Perhaps it's the language of my Muffin country. I am the Muffin Queen after all. I rule over Muffinland, where it rains muffins, where people sleep on muffins, where they ride in muffins, where they live in muffins and fly in cupcakes. I got the feeling you could fly better in cupcakes than muffins. I think it's my motherly-instinct I have as a queen. Everyone knows a queen has some kind of motherly-thingie when ruling over her country. So do I.
Only problem is; I'm stuck here because I can't leave because I'll miss out on all the fun. But when that's all over, I will return to my homeland. This prison has served me well as a palace and a home, but Muffinland is still far away.
Now, about the fun; it turns out someone broke down the wall Glenn had repaired (he must've cried when he heard that) and let a bunch of creepers in. Those where the walkers that busted in during the trial. It was very exciting and unexpected, but I would've gone with something bigger. Daryl and I both agreed it needed more explosions.
Dary-doo came to ask for my help, because he needed that wall fixed. Like I can fix a wall. I may have muffinpowers, but that does not include building walls. Well, not stone walls. I could make walls of muffins, of course, but not stone. And besides; anyone could eat through a wall of delicious muffins. The palace wouldn't be safe anymore with one wall made out of muffins.
Anyway, Daryl wanted me to watch his back, because there were some enemies out there. More creepers. And he needed my superpowers to keep him safe. He wouldn't admit it, but he needed me badly. There was one time he almost got caught and he fell on the ground, and I couldn't stop laughing because it was the funniest thing ever. It looked like they were cuddling, but they were actually fighting.
Anyway, we got that wall fixed for now. We improvised a bit with a mix of fences, canvas, stones and cement Daryl got. I wondered where he got it. Maybe he has cement powers, or mud powers. O MY GOD. Maybe he is the Mud King from Mudland! That makes us enemies!
I must find myself a horse very soon, and ride at the break of dawn, back to where I belong. Damn, it almost rhymed. I should ask my royal bard to write me a song about the beauty and the powers of the Muffin Queen. I mean me.