O. My. God. The best thing in the world just happened to me! Glenn, the Asian guy from Rick's group, ask ME to join them on a run to town! It feels like I've been invited to a party! I know it isn't, but it feels the same!
Glenn and his girlfriend will be waiting for me outside, around noon. I can't wait!
"Remember what I told you," Rick says, looking me in the eyes "if she's trouble, kill her."
I nod, not feeling well about the idea of killing a girl. I put my backpack a little tighter around my shoulders and lean against one of the tables. Rick searches through the stuff we had.
"4 rounds, that's all you get" he says, putting some ammo on the table. "Try to use the crowbars or any other weapons as much as you can."
"Maybe we'll find a gun store somewhere" I say, putting the bullets in the small revolver.
"I doubt that" Rick says, sadly. "Don't go lookin' for it, just the supermarket, or pharmacy. No scouting. We need you guys back soon, it's still not safe here. We got the prisoners in the other block, and walkers in our backyard."
All the courage I had built up earlier, kinda fall apart. Rick makes it seem worse than it is. We got a new home, right? We got neighbours, we got food, shelter. Sure, it's not like the farm. Nothing will be like the farm ever again. Yes, Hershel lost his leg here, but he was still alive, wasn't he? I believe we could build a life here. I think it's a new chance. Rick doesn't see it that way, apparently.
Maggie suddenly kisses me in the neck. Lost in my own thoughts, I didn't hear her coming.
"Hey!" I say, surprised. She sits down on the table, putting her chin on my shoulder. Her green eyes look up, and she makes me laugh. She reminds me of my dog, looking up so hopefully….but I don't say that to her. You can't say to your girl she looks like your dog.
"You ready?" she asks, looking a little nervous and excited at the same time. I feel Rick's eyes looking at me, and it makes me uncomfortable. Like he's gonna judge me for what I'm gonna say next. I swallow some thoughts away.
"Yes" I say, kissing Maggie on her forehead. Suddenly, the door to the halls of the prison flies open. Vicky quickly closes the door behind her, and I hear moans and grumbling from the walkers behind it. I see her clothes are a little bloody, but today, her hair seems better. It's not like a birds nest, with all the dirt and weird colours. She has red hair, put in a ponytail. It shows off her small head and long neck.
She turns around, her eyes full of that crazy thing that made me scared, and a Joker-a-like smile.
"Sorry about that" she says, walking away from the gate. I see Rick's putting one hand on his gun, and I immediately feel a different atmosphere.
"Hi, Vicky" Maggie says, awkwardly. She holds out her hand, and Vicky grabs it with both hands, and shakes it like it's a carton of milk.
"It's SO nice to meet you!" she almost yells. "What was your name again?"
"Maggie, Maggie Greene" Maggie answers, lifting her eyebrows as she pulls back her arm. She rubs over her pulse. Vicky is going to regret this.
"Nice to see you again, Glenn!" Vicky says, turning to me. I wish I could say the same, but I this morning wasn't the best introduction. I walked with Rick to the E-block, and found Vicky hanging upside down at the stairs, singing 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
I just nod at her, and see Rick standing behind her, hiding a smile behind his hand. He was going to regret this too.
"Are we ready to go?" Vicky says, jumping like a Duracell bunny.
"I think we are" Maggie says, with less confidence then before. Rick walks to the exit, and we follow.
"I think it's best if you take the Hyundai" he says, throwing me the keys. "Good luck, come back in one piece."
"We'll try" Maggie says, opening the door of the passenger's seat. Vicky literally dives on the backseats, and closes the door with her feet. I sigh, and get into the driver's seat. I start the engine, and see Rick walking to the gate to open it.
"I'm SO excited!" Vicky says, laying on the backseat. "It's like we're on a trip, or vacation! Maybe not really a vacation, we only go to the supermarket! No, wait! We're shopping! Do you like shopping, Maggie?"
"I used to" Maggie answers, like she's talking to a little kid. The way Vicky behaves, I could understand that.
"You don't do anymore?"
"I haven't got the time for it yet."
"What? You have all the time of the world!" Vicky sits up. I'm just driving through the gate, and suddenly, Vicky inhales deeply. She opens one of the windows, and puts her head out.
"Bye, Rick!" she shouts, waving. Rick stops walking, confused and surprised, before closing the gate again.
"Vicky, I think it's better if you stay on your seat" Maggie says, carefully. I almost wanted to tell Vicky to put her safety belt on, but I keep it in. Vicky lays back on the seats, putting all three the safety belts over her.
"I'm really safe right now!" she yells. "But not if walkers get in the car. I don't think I would get the belts of in time. They probably would've chewed me off by then."
Maggie touches my hand. I look up from the road, and see her eyes are widened. I grab her hand in mine, and squeeze a little. She smiles, with more courage.
Suddenly, Vicky's face hangs above our hands. "Holy Moly! You really are a couple!"
I blush a little, and Maggie giggles.
"That is SO cute!" Vicky looks at our hands like it's something really interesting. "How long are you guys together?"
"Almost a year, I think?" Maggie answers.
"You don't know?" Vicky asks, shocked.
"Well, it's hard to count the days" I reply.
"True, true." Vicky looks into the back mirror. "So, how's the sex?"
I accidently kick the brake pedal, and Maggie almost flies through the front window. I'm so surprised, and almost insulted, by the sudden question, I don't know what to do, or say. Maggie looks at me, and her red cheeks tell me she feels the same.
"Wow! What was that?" Vicky asks, already interested in something else. "Did you hid a creeper?"
"You OK?" I ask Maggie. "I'm so sorry, I…"
"It's OK, I'm alright" she ensures me. She points with her eyes at Vicky.
"I know, I know" I say, putting a strain of her behind her ear. "It's just for today, we can do it."
"OMG! You guys are SOOOOOO CUTE!"
I sit on my bed, in my cell. Rick's keeping watch outside, and I got nothing to do. Scouting the area isn't such a good idea, with the prison not being safe and all. Bullshit.
So, now I'm doing what I always do; sharpening my arrows. Kinda sad a man like me doesn't have any other hobbies.
I hear the gate of the cellblock open and close. I don't bother to look who it is, I don't care. All I know, is that walkers can't open doors.
"Daryl?" a voice asks downstairs. It's T-dog. I sigh, and get up.
"Whaddup?" I ask hanging over the balcony. T-dog looks up, and sees me standing.
"Can I talk to you for a minute?" T-dog who wants to talk to me. That's interesting. I don't have anything against the man, but we're not exactly friends.
"What do yah wanna talk about?" I walk towards the staircase, and sit down at the top. T-dog doesn't come up, he just keeps standing in the middle of our cellblock. The others are outside, giving Hershel some fresh air.
"The girl" he says. I roll with my eyes.
"Not you too." Carol hasn't come to me yet, but I know she will. She's giving me those looks all morning.
"Just hear me out, OK?" He says, before I can say anything else. "I know we're not exactly the best palls in the world, but we can live under one roof. And that's why I can tell you this; you are not killin' people under the roof. I'm speaking about the girl."
"I can't promise yah anythang" I say, not interested.
"I know, but you can try" T-dog continues. He stops talking, and thinks. I'm surprised when he bites his lip, like he's having trouble handling himself. Like there's a lot going on in his head.
"OK, let me tell you a story. About a friend of mine. His name was Dale, perhaps you remember him. Old man, with a hat, Hawaii shirts. He rode a RV, and fixed the engine a thousand times. He used to sit on top of the roof, keeping watch with a hunting rifle over his shoulder. He was part of a group, and gave advice to everyone. He was like our own wise man, our therapist, our adviser. One time, I was really sick, and wanted to leave the group, but he talked me out of it. He talked me out of a lot of things. And he helped the others, he was a big part of the family. One day, the group brought in a boy. The boy could be a danger to the group, and almost everybody wanted to kill him. All but Dale. Dale still believed there was another way. Dale still believed in old habits, in humanity. He believed that the world changed, but that didn't mean we had to change with it. He believed so strongly in this idea, and he still believed it when he died. He died for his believe. You, my friend, was the one who helped him out if his suffer. You were the one who did it. You agreed to let the kid live, after Dale died. You believed in his idea. At least, I thought you did. Now, we're in the same trouble again. But you can't tell me you throw Dale's believe away. You can't tell me it's different now. Dale died for his believe, don't let it be for nothing."
After the last words, T-dog turns around, and walks out of the cellblock, outside. The first seconds after, my head is empty. Nothing, truly nothing. I touch the wound on my arm gently, even though it hurts. I'm ashamed of myself. T-dog is right. Dale was his friend, a good man. I didn't know him that well, but I was in grief when he died. I still am. I suddenly see the old man's face, his eyes widened, trying to breath. His belly is torn apart, all the organs pumping with blood. With all the power he has, he lifts his head up, pushing his forehead towards the gun I hold.
"Sorry, brother" I say as I pull the trigger.
"So, we're finally here" I say, as Glenn stops the car in front of what used to be a supermarket. I look at him, and we both think the same; Get out!
I open the door, and immediately, Vicky jumps out of the car too. "Shall I show you guys around?"
I lay my crowbar on the top of the car, and Glenn steps out. I look at him, and he looks at me. "Doesn't seem like a bad idea to me."
Before I can say anything about it, Vicky runs towards a couple of buildings. "That's the supermarket, here's a pharmacy, and next to it you have a music store. At the other side you have a coffee bar, but you won't find any coffee in there."
"I wonder who took it" I say softly to Glenn, who laughs a little. Vicky seemed to have heard it, 'cause she turns around. I remember I should be careful around her, as I see the weird look in her eyes. It's just a quick thing, than it disappears and the excited, childish eyes are back.
"I wonder that too" she says. "There is a group some miles away. They're almost a village. But they don't go to here. I made that very clear."
"Wait, so there's another group?" Glenn asks, and I see his concern.
"Yeah, but they don't come here, trust me." Vicky runs towards another building. "Here's a candy store!"
Glenn turns towards me. "I don't think it's safe around here. If she says there's another group…"
"Glenn, relax." I hold his head in my hands. "Let's just go into the store and get the stuff, we'll be outta here before you know it."
"OK, I said you were cute together, but it's kinda getting annoying now!" Vicky shouts from somewhere else. I try to ignore her, she's so irritating. Yes, she's saved my dad, and I'm very grateful for that. But this is just stupid.
"Are you lovebirds coming or what?" Vicky walks towards the supermarket and stands still in front of the door. I grab Glenn's hand, and together we walk over to it. Vicky rolls with her eyes, and I bite my lip not to say anything about it. Rick has told us to shoot her if she was trouble, but he hasn't mentioned what kind of trouble….
Vicky opens the door. The supermarket is dark, all the stuff lays on the ground, things are broken and above all that, two walkers turn their heads towards us. I step back, trying to grab my crowbar I had put on the front of the car earlier. Vicky grins and jumps in the air.
"Please, can I have them, please, please, please?!" The walkers come closer as she yells. Glenn tries to grab his knife, but it is stuck between his belt. He steps back, trips over his own feet and falls on the ground. The first walker is at the doorstep. The walker wants to reach for Glenn, and I try to run back to him. No, no, no! Don't you dare touch him! Before I can reach him, Vicky whistles at the walker. It turns around, and gets kicked in his stomach. It falls on the ground, and the next walker appears. I kneel down next to Glenn, as Vicky tackles the undead. It falls on top of the first walker, which tries to get up but is pushed down by his undead friend. Vicky laughs at it, as if it's very funny. I help Glenn getting up. Vicky turns towards us, with an insane look in her eyes.
"Give me the crowbar!" she demands. I'm too scared to think, and throw it at her. She picks it out of the air, like it's nothing. She puts her foot on top of both the walkers, pushing them to the ground. She holds the crowbar in the air, and aims for the heads.
"What is she….?" Glenn pushes me behind him, like he wants to protect me from something. Vicky lets down the crowbar, and with one splashing sound, it goes through the brains. Two skulls, two brains. The rotten arms stop moving and fall to the ground. The moaning and grumbles stop. The undead are dead. Vicky catches her breath, and jumps in the air.
"Did you guys see that?" She talks like she just met her idol. "That was awesome! I always wanted to do that!"
She grabs the crowbar and pulls it out of the skulls. "Let's go inside! See if there are more of them!"
She runs inside the supermarket, leaving us in shock behind. I hold Glenn's hand, squeeze it. I'm not annoyed anymore. I'm scared. Really scared.
"What do we do?" I ask Glenn. His eyes follow the red-haired girl. He opens his mouth and closes it again. He looks down at the two walkers, and back at Vicky.
"….she saved us."
"No she didn't!" I almost shout. "We could've handled it on our own!"
"I know, it's just….."
"Guys! I found more of them!" Vicky's voice says from somewhere in the back of the store.