NOW ENTERING WYOMING
“So, were you close to your uncle?” Luke asked.
“I’d guess so, I’d see him a few times a year when I was a kid.” David said.
“You think he’s alive?” Luke asked.
“I don’t know, he started to drink ever since my mom died. You know, being his sister and all.” David responded.
“That must be tough.” Luke said.
“Yeah, it was. So what happened to your parents, kid?” David asked Clementine.
“They died when all of this started.” she responded.
David made Clementine feel uncomfortable ever since Luke invited him to come along. She hated the idea. Maybe it’s because of what happened between her and Melissa.
“Is that when you met Luke?” David asked.
“No, we met a couple years later.” Clementine said, wanting to avoid talking about Lee to him.
“She had a dog bite on her arm. The group I was with when we met thought it was a lurker bite.” Luke explained.
“So they locked me in a shed.” Clementine said.
“You trying to make me look like the bad guy, kid? Should I mention that you broke out, snuck into our cabin, and stole from us.” Luke said.
“I stitched up my own arm and fought off a walker that broke in right when I was done.” Clementine said.
“If I didn’t think you were a badass then, then what you said to us when we let you out definitely convinced me.” Luke told her.
Clementine smiled remembering what she said to them. The whole “Still. Not. Bitten.” thing.
“Seems like you two came a long way since then.” David said.
“Yeah, we did. We’re actually nearing a full year.” Luke told him.
“Impressive.” David said.
Impressive? They almost died how many times? Clementine can’t even believe they made it this far together. She still didn’t trust David. Nothing about him set her off yet, but still there’s something not right. She thought the same way about Melissa after Luke slept with her that one night. Something was off. At first Clementine thought it’s because this was the first time after Arvo they let someone join their group. Then she found out the real reason about a month after they met Melissa.
“Let me go!” Clementine yelled as she struggled in Melissa’s hold.
“How many times do I have to tell you? Shut up!” Melissa said before slapping a hand over the child’s mouth.
Clementine and Melissa were out on a supply run. Melissa and Luke usually go on supply runs, leaving Clementine at the house to defend it. But Luke woke up sick, so he asked Clementine to go with Melissa while he stayed at the house. Melissa dragged Clem to the other side of the city and pulled her into an abandoned building. Pretty much clean of supplies. When they were about to leave, Melissa grabbed her and twisted her arm behind her back before pinning her up against the wall. She took her gun and put it on a bookshelf. Once she was disarmed, Melissa dragged her upstairs and pulled her into a bedroom.
Clementine bit her hand. Biting usually works when she’s being attacked.
“Ow! You little bitch!” Melissa yelled from the bite.
“What do you want with me?” Clementine asked.
“Don’t act all innocent. I know your plan.” Melissa said.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Clementine asked.
“I know you like Luke.”
“I know you saw us kissing. That nightmare thing was cute, I almost believed it myself.”
“This is bullshit! I don’t like Luke!”
“Don’t play that little girl card on me, hun. I see the way you look at him, I know you can’t stand not being Luke’s favorite.”
“Compared to you, I always am.” Clementine was sick of this. Using her mouth was the only way she could fight back.
“Keep telling yourself that. All I’m doing is making sure you don’t come between us again.” Melissa looked to the dresser next to her. “That’ll work.”
Melissa grabbed a rag off the dresser and shoved it in Clementine’s mouth, preventing her from screaming. The little girl tried to protest, despite the cloth in her mouth. She couldn’t believe this. Luke was her best friend, they’ve been through thick and thin together. What way is she looking at him? Clem got over the fact that there was another female in Luke’s life. She didn’t care, she could still run to Luke with any problems she had. Melissa thought otherwise.
The older woman shoved Clementine against the wall. The hit stunned her for bit, she slid down to the floor to untwist her arm, getting the feeling back into it. She pulled the cloth out of her mouth, gagging a bit at the taste. Melissa opened a closet door and started searching inside of it, glaring at the kid every now and then. Making sure she doesn’t escape.
“What exactly do you plan to do?” Clementine asked her.
“Ditch you.” Melissa said.
“Luke will never love you if you do that. He cares about me more than anything.”
“I guess you’ve met your match, kid. Walkers seem like a good ruse.”
Melissa pulled something out of the closet and started unzipping it. It was a suitcase. A big suitcase. Once it was open, Melissa made her way towards Clementine. She grabbed her non-sore arm and dragged the kid to the suitcase, trying to force her in it. Clem fought her best she could, but Melissa managed to fit the child in it, zipping it closed. Clementine punched and kicked from the inside, trying to open it again. She heard some kind of click from the outside.
“Stop fighting, you’re not getting out of there.”
“Melissa, let me out!”
“Well, I can’t now.”
“I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”
“I’ll die in here!”
“That’s not my problem, is it? Don’t worry, I’ll tell Luke about your demise.”
Clementine felt the suitcase get picked up and thrown in most likely the closet. She heard the door close, leaving her in even more darkness. Clem felt around the suitcase for the back of the zipper. She found it, she was only able to pry it open a little bit.
Seeing as that failed, she started shouting for help while she fought against the closed suitcase. Clementine was going to suffocate if she didn’t get out. She could feel herself sweat as the temperature in the suitcase rose, and the little amount of oxygen getting to her brain.
No. She wouldn’t let herself go out like this. Trapped in a suitcase by a crazy bitch. No way out, no weapons… Wait. Clementine rummaged through her pockets in the cramped space and pulled out the ice pick that Melissa was too stupid to take off of her.
“Thank you, Jane!” she muttered.
She aimed the point at the cover of the suitcase and jabbed the weapon in it. Clementine pulled it back and felt around the area where she stabbed, to reveal a small hole. She smiled in relief. She was going to escape, but she had to work fast.
After several stabs in the cover, Clementine was able to make a hole to slide her arm through. She reached out of the hole, feeling the cool air on her arm as she felt around the outside of the suitcase looking for the zipper. A smile came across her face when she found it, then it faded when she felt a spin dial lock through the zipper holes, keeping them together. Clementine pulled as hard as she could, but it wouldn’t break. She didn’t want to risk losing her ice pick by trying to bash it open, besides it probably wouldn’t work.
“Shit.” she muttered.
Clementine pulled her arm back in the suitcase, she knew what her only option was. She had to make the hole big enough for her whole body to slip through.
She was running out of time. The air was getting stuffy and it was hard to breathe. Clementine angled the ice pick up at the cover again and stabbed. It took a long time to make the hole for her arm, and she knew that if she didn’t hurry, she’d die. Clem didn’t stop when her arm was tired and cramped, she pushed through it.
Lack of fresh oxygen started to get to her brain, causing her to slow down her process. Clem gave the cover a few more stabs before she tried to fit through. The cover was stiff, wanting to remain its shape. She pushed the cover as hard as she could with her hands as she sat up. Clem squeezed her head through the hole as she felt cool air hit her sweaty face.
The eleven-year-old gasped for the fresh air. Closet air was much better than suitcase air. Her tired body managed to pull the rest of herself out. Clementine flopped out on the floor, she was exhausted. She was too tired to move.
Eventually, it took over her body, and Clementine passed out.
Luke just finished a can of beans. He was in the kitchen, Luke started feeling a bit better, so he decided to eat something. The sun just finished setting, usually when he and Melissa go searching for supplies, they come back when the sun begins to set. Luke was getting a bit worried.
He heard the front door in the living room slam open, so he went to go investigate, only to find a panting Melissa.
“Melissa, thank god. I was getting worried.” Luke said as he walked up to her. “Where’s Clementine?” his voice turned to worry once he realized that she wasn’t there.
Melissa looked up at him, trying to tell him with her green eyes.
“Melissa, what happened?” Luke asked. This was all some big prank, Clem was going to come up behind him and scare him, right?
“Walkers came out of nowhere… We tried to shoot our way out, but there was too many of them. Clem and I made a break for it, but she tripped. I tried to go back to help her, but a walker grabbed me. After I shot it, I heard a click come from Clementine’s gun. A walker was coming towards her and her gun was empty. I tried to shoot it, but mine was empty, too. Once I realized it, I heard her scream as the walker fell on top of her, and… Oh god…” Melissa lied.
Luke didn’t want to believe it. He couldn’t. His Clementine... eaten alive… This couldn’t be real. He had to be hallucinating.
“No… She can’t be…” Luke trailed off.
“I’m sorry, Luke.” Melissa said.
Luke walked away from Melissa, running his hands through his hair. Why her, out of everyone, why did it have to be Clementine. She didn’t do anything to deserve it, especially that harsh of a death.
Luke punched the wall. “I should have gone.”
“Luke, baby. You’re sick.” Melissa said as she made her way over to him.
“She’d still be alive.” Luke’s voice quivered as he spoke. He was going to break any minute.
“Don’t think about that right now.” Melissa lightly ran her hand down his chest. “We have the house to ourselves tonight, I can make you feel better.” her fingers tried to push it’s way into his jeans, but Luke pushed her away. He just wanted to think about Clementine.
Melissa feared this would happen. The kid was right about Luke caring for her, but there was no way that he loves Clem more than her.
Luke said he was going upstairs before starting his way. Melissa watched him as he walked straight to Clementine’s old room. She figured that she’d give him a day or two to grieve.
Luke opened the door to the child’s room, expecting to see Clem sleeping on the bottom bunk of the bunk bed. Seeing it empty killed him. Luke sat down on the bed, burying his head in his hands.
Clementine. That sweet, little girl was gone. Luke tried to remember what his last conversation to her was. It was this morning, just a little while after he woke up feeling like shit. Melissa wanted to stay to take care of him, but Luke wanted her and Clementine to go look for more medical supplies. Being sick reminded him that they were running low. Clementine came into the room after not hearing from him in a while. She was sorry that he was sick. He assured her that he’d be fine. Luke remembered the last thing she said to him. “Get some rest, Luke. I want you to be well when I kick your ass at poker.”
Luke felt a tear rush down his check at what happened next. Clementine placed a gentle kiss on his forehead, like he does to her. Then they all said their goodbyes. That was the last time he saw her.
Damn it. Clementine had to be all cute then. That just broke Luke’s heart even more. He only been told like five minutes ago, but he missed her. He missed her small head on his chest, her tiny arms around his neck, her curly hair for his fingers to run though when she sleeps. Her adorable pigtails, her sassy attitude, her little smirk she does when she has a devilish idea, or when she just been dealt cards to try and throw him off his game. Her soft skin, her cute smile, and most of all, those amazing, golden eyes. Luke was going to miss looking at them.
“Clementine… Wherever you are, I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry.”
Clementine woke up the next morning, remembering what happened yesterday with Melissa. She had to get back to Luke and tell him that she’s okay.
She was full of energy now. She just had to hope Melissa didn’t convince Luke to leave town, or worse.
Clem got up from the ground and picked up her ice pick from the suitcase before making her way to the closet door. She tried to open it, but it wouldn’t. The door wasn’t locked, she could turn the knob. It was that it wouldn’t open, something was pushed up against it.
She gave up trying to open the stupid door. She was trapped. Clem almost died in a suitcase, and she wasn’t going to let herself die in a closet. There had to be a way out.
Even though it was dark, Clem could make out something in the wall. It was this big square that was floor level. She made her way over to it and bent down to see what it was. After feeling around it, she found that the square was sticking out on one side. Clementine pulled on it, revealing a secret passageway in the closet.
Yes! She was going to escape. Clementine didn’t hesitate to crawl through the passage. It lead to a smaller closet, after opening that door she found herself in a smaller bedroom. The sun blinded her for a bit, because she’s been in the dark for so long. She let her eyes adjust before she made her way out of the room and downstairs.
“Okay… Now what?” she said aloud.
Clementine surprisingly found her gun on the bookshelf Melissa put it on. The shelf it was on was almost out of her reach. Clem had to stand on her toes and really stretch for just her fingers to touch her gun. She managed to pull it off the shelf, but she didn’t get a hold of it and the gun hit her in the face.
Clem held her face, she could feel her eyes water. That fucking hurt. After the pain subsided, Clem picked up her gun off the floor, finding it lighter than usual.
“Empty… Figures…” she muttered after checking her ammunition. She at least still had her ice pick. It was morning, if she hurried, she could make it back to the house before nightfall.
Clementine opened the front door to the house and ran out. She tried to remember what way they came from, but was interrupted by some growling. She turned around to see a walker coming towards her. She looked at the weapons in her hands, an empty gun and an icepick. Clementine tucked the gun in her jeans and got in a fighting stance with her icepick. She waited until the walker got close before kicking it in the knee and stabbing it in the back of it’s head. Jane was right, this was extremely effective.
Once she pulled the icepick out, Clem noticed a tireless, beat-up, red car down the street. She searched it yesterday before Melissa kidnapped her. Either way, they both came from that street. Clementine made a break for the way she came from yesterday, before more walkers emerge. She didn’t know what Melissa told Luke. Most likely something to do with walkers. But once Clementine finds them, the first thing she was going to do was… Hug the shit out of Luke, then she’d rat out Melissa. Then they’ll break up, and she and Luke would leave.
Maybe Melissa was onto something when she said Clem was trying to get between her and Luke… No, Melissa was the crazy one. Clementine had no problem with her. Melissa got jealous and nearly got her killed.
Clem kept running, killing any walker that she needed to kill. Retracing her steps to get back to the house wasn’t that hard, but she’d worry occasionally that she went down the wrong path.
Was she scared at what Melissa might do once she sees that the kid is alive? No. She was scared that Melissa convinced Luke into doing something he shouldn’t.
Luke hardly got any sleep last night, he was too busy thinking about Clementine. After waking up in her bed the next morning, he wanted to go find her body, but Melissa said that she probably came back as a walker. She didn’t want Luke to see the kid like that. Plus she couldn’t remember where she and Clementine were when she died.
He wanted to be alone for the morning, Melissa tried to talk him out of it, but it didn’t work. So, Luke was in the truck, sitting in the driver’s side. It was their place. So many memories in that vehicle, Luke figured he’d try to find some sort of closure, but he couldn’t.
Luke always tried to be strong, for his old group and for the little girl. Now that they’re all gone, he had no reason to hold back. He lost them all, without a chance to say goodbye. He would do anything to see them again.
The hairband with the white flower on it was still hanging from the mirror. Clem’s corsage. If Luke knew that Clementine was going to end up dead almost two months after her prom, he would have told her a lot more things when they danced together.
A knock on the truck door window interrupted his thoughts. Luke looked through the glass to see Melissa open the door, letting the cool air in.
“How are you feeling, Luke?” she asked.
“I don’t know…” he responded.
“You should come out of there, you’ve been in here all morning.” Melissa asked.
“I’ve been in here for five minutes.” Luke stated.
“Luke, baby, I’m positive that it’s at least one in the afternoon. You’ve been sitting in here since practically sunrise.”
The farm boy was silent for a moment. “I just wish it was me. I didn’t want you to go alone, and she could take care of herself. I thought she would be safe, but I sent her out… I sent her away, and it got her killed.”
Melissa felt bad that Luke blamed himself for the kid’s death. Even though she did technically kill her, Luke did send Clementine to be alone with her. Melissa always tried to find a way to get rid of Clementine easily without Luke becoming suspicious. He made it ten times easier on her part.
But he looks so depressed now. She needed a new plan. Melissa didn’t want it to come to this, but she had no other choice. She wanted him to end his suffering.
“Luke, something’s been on my mind lately. For the past few of days now, I figured out how to finally be happy. I think it’ll work for you, too.”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you have left to live for? I mean, why wait to die?”
Luke looked at Melissa in surprise at what she said. “No, Melissa. You can't think about things like that. Clem would have wanted me to survive and that’s what I tend on doing.”
“She would have wanted you to be happy. This is the only way you can be.” Melissa said.
“It’s still not right.” Luke responded.
“What is left out there? The girl’s corpse is probably walking around, and I don’t want you to see that. Please, Luke. It’ll be better for us. We can be together, forever. We wouldn’t have to worry.”
Melissa was right. He didn’t want to see Clementine as a walker. If he did, he probably wouldn’t bring himself to kill her. Or he would, and have the image stuck in his head. Maybe this was better.
“We can confess what we want to each other, and then we can… Pull the trigger.” Melissa said.
For some reason, Luke managed to force a nod before climbing out of the truck and shutting the door.
The sun was about to set, and Clementine was only two blocks away from the house. She had no plan, and no idea on what she was going to do. As long as Luke knew she was okay, Clem could sort out her deals with Melissa in a calm manner. And she knew that wasn’t going to happen.
Finally the house was in sight. Clementine took a minute once she got to the front door to catch her breath, because she practically ran the whole way here, then she quietly opened the door.
She didn’t want to make a lot of noise, because she didn’t want to run into Melissa before running into Luke. The house was quiet, which was normal, but there was something different. Whatever it was, she didn’t like it. After inspecting the first floor and the garage, Clementine hoped that they were upstairs.
The eleven-year-old tip-toed her way up the stairs and to Luke and Melissa’s room. As she got closer, she could hear voices. They belonged to the two adults. Clementine couldn’t help, but eavesdrop.
“Is that everything you want to get off your chest?” Melissa’s voice asked.
“Yeah… It is…” Luke’s voice responded.
Clementine finally got to the top and made her way to the closed door of the bedroom.
“You ready?” Melissa asked.
“I guess so.” Luke said.
Clementine opened the door to see Melissa and Luke sitting on the bed with their backs to her. Luke started lifting a gun to his head. “Luke!” the little girl called out.
Luke let the gun fall out of his hand as he turned around. “Clem?” There she was, in the flesh, alive and well.
Luke ran over to her, embracing Clem in a tight hug at her level. Clementine gladly accepted the hug he was giving her. Luke stood up, still holding on to Clem’s little body as her legs dangled in mid air, forcing her to tighten her hold around his neck. Damn he missed her, and she missed him.
“Are you hungry?” he asked as he set her back down. “You know what, I’m just going to get you something to eat.” Luke walked out of the room, happy that he got to hold her again.
Clementine watched him leave, relieved that he was okay. But the way he held her, made her think that he went through absolute hell. All because of Melissa.
The eleven-year-old turned back to the woman, their eyes narrowed at each other, silence cutting through the air better than a knife. Clem pulled her gun out while Melissa grabbed the one on the bed, before aiming at each other. It was a really quick draw.
“You going to shoot me?” Melissa asked.
“No, you’re not worth the bullet.” Clementine responded.
“Really? I thought it was because that gun is empty.” Melissa said.
She was right, her gun was empty. But Clementine didn’t lower it. “You really think I’d come in here unarmed? I found some ammo on the way back here.”
“Like hell you did. So how’d you get out?”
“Why would I tell you?”
“Clem, listen. When I saw Luke after I told him you didn’t make it, I felt guilty. He blamed himself, and I wished that I could have a second chance to change things. We can do that now.” Melissa slowly set the gun in her back pocket before making her way towards Clementine. “See? We can settle this. We can become friends.”
Melissa reached out to the little girl and gently pulled the empty gun out of her hands. Clementine backed away slowly from her, out of the room until her back was up against the wooden railing. Melissa followed her, until she was right in front of the kid.
“Only on one condition.” Clementine spoke. She had to know if Melissa was telling the truth or not. “You stay away from Luke.”
“And you’re still in the way.” Melissa pulled a switchblade out and tried to stab Clementine with it. The kid grabbed her wrist, trying to keep the knife at bay.
The weight of both of them caused the wooden railing to snap. Melissa’s switchblade slipped out of her hand as both she and Clementine fell from the second floor to the first.
Both of the girls took a minute for the impact to sink in before Clem saw the knife. Something snapped in her. The eleven-year-old fought the pain in her back as she quickly sat up, picking up the knife from the floor. Clem lunged at Melissa who got ready to fight back.
“What the hell, Clem?” Luke grabbed the kid pulling her away from the older woman. He pulled Clem to her feet as she dropped the switchblade.
“Luke, are you okay?” Melissa asked as she got to her feet. Like she was concerned for Luke’s health.
“I should be asking both of you that.” Luke said.
“Melissa’s crazy! She tried to kill me, twice!” the kid explained.
“That’s not what it looked like to me, Clem.” Luke told her.
“Luke, I think you’re still sick. Clementine’s dead remember, you’re hallucinating.” Melissa said.
“She’s right here!” Luke exclaimed pointing at the little girl.
“I’m sorry, but there’s nothing there.” Melissa said.
“No, Luke! I’m real, I’m here!” Clementine yelled. Melissa was acting like she was a ghost as a ruse to convince Luke that she was dead.
Luke looked down at Clem. He saw her. She was there. But could he really be hallucinating? Did he miss her that much? He just recovered from a sickness, right when Clem was killed. It could be possible that he’s imagining all this, but why did Clementine look so real?
“Luke, you need to get over the fact that she’s not coming back. It’s not good for your health. You need rest.” Melissa said, trying to persuade him into siding with her.
“Luke you’re fine. Melissa kidnapped me, and locked me in a suitcase. I escaped and I ran all the way back here to save you from her. Please, you have to believe me!” Clementine yelled.
The farm boy didn’t know who to believe. Each side seems legit. Clem who claims to be a victim of kidnapping, or Melissa who claims that he’s still sick and it’s causing his brain to make an imaginary Clem.
Melissa moved closer to Luke, grabbing a hold of his face, forcing him to look at her. “Sweetie, I’m real. I’m right in front of you. I know you’re upset about that little girl, but you need to forget about it. When my ex died, I kept seeing him, too. Once I let that go, he was gone.”
Luke took in her words. “You expect me to forget about Clem?”
“Not right now, but eventually.” Melissa said.
There was no way in hell Clementine would let Luke side with Melissa. There had to be some way to convince him. The kid saw his hand, sparking an idea in her head. Clem grabbed his arm before she bit his hand.
“Ow!” Luke pulled away from Melissa and Clementine before looking at his hand. He could see Clem’s teeth marks in his skin. Wait… Clem’s teeth marks? He looked at the little girl, bending down to her level. Luke took a hold of her upper arms. “You’re real, aren’t ya?”
“Yes. Yes!” Clementine exclaimed before hugging him.
Luke accepted the hug. After letting go, he stood up as he glanced at Melissa. She had a gun pointed at Clem. Luke pulled her out of her line of shot, but he ended up in it by the time Melissa shot the bullet.
Luke fell to the floor from the shot. Clementine couldn’t believe it. He got himself killed to save her life. The kid looked at Melissa, her eyes full of hatred, anger, and sadness.
“You killed him!” she said trying so hard to keep her voice steady.
“I meant to shoot you!” Melissa yelled at her. “But at least we’ll still be together.”
With that said, Melissa brought the gun to her head and pulled the trigger. Clementine watched as her lifeless body fall to the floor. The kid closed her eyes tight before covering her face with her hands, holding all of her tears in.
The shit has hit the fan so hard. Clem wished that she went back to bed instead of trying to talk to Luke about her nightmares. Maybe then he’d still be alive. Melissa wouldn’t have gotten jealous. Things could have been different.
Clementine heard a grunt fill the silence in the air. She looked over to Luke hissing in pain, holding his side. His side. Melissa missed. Luke passed out from the pain, causing the little girl to run all over the house looking for the last of their medical supplies. They were out of bandages, so Clementine took Luke and Melissa’s bed sheet and ripped a long strip off.
“What did Christa say?” Clem asked herself, trying to remember what the woman taught her about tending to bullet wounds.
Clementine finally sat on her knees next to Luke’s unconscious body with all the supplies the gathered. She rolled up his shirt, removing his hand from the bullet wound. She found two, the bullet must have gone straight through. Thank god.
She did best she could for the wound, cleaning it, wrapping it up in the strip she got from the sheet. All Clem could do was hope that he was going to be okay.
The bullet was only a centimeter into his side. She figured that he’d be okay, but even she wasn't sure. The thought of him dying to save her was one she never wanted to think about it. It’d be like Lee all over again. She didn’t want that to ever happen again. It was bad enough the first time through.
Clementine grabbed Luke’s hand, pressing it up to her face. She wanted him to tell her that he’d be okay. She wanted to feel his hand caressing her cheek like the night he slept with her because she was scared to sleep alone. She wanted his hand to run through her hair.
A couple tears ran down her face. She needed him. He never underestimates her, he always trusts her, and he cares about her. She’s a kid, it’s hard for people to treat her like everyone else.
Luke’s hand shifted in her hold, wiping the wet streams off her cheeks. “I’m not leaving ya, kid.”
Clementine looked at the older man’s body, smiling seeing that he was awake. Luke tried to sit up, but felt pain from his wound. He hissed in pain before laying back down, using both hands to hold his side. Clem placed a hand on the Luke’s, letting him know that she’s still there.
He asked about what happened after he was shot, so Clementine explained what happened to Melissa and how she healed him up. After the explanation, Clem stayed with Luke, letting him rest up on the floor. She did what he asked, like getting him food and water, mostly because she refused to let him stand up.
Clem dragged Melissa’s body outside while Luke was asleep on the floor. She gave him a pillow and a blanket for him to sleep with. After the body was out, Clementine was tired. Since she didn’t want to leave Luke, she slept on the floor next to him.
Once Luke was healed up enough, the duo grabbed the remaining supplies they had, and piled it into the truck. Before they left, Luke grabbed a blanket for colder nights, and with Clementine’s help, a mattress which they threw in the bed of the truck. Spring has started, and the weather was only going to get warmer.
When they were both ready, they got into the truck and drove away from the house, away from the city. Luke has kept an eye on Clementine since then, he didn’t want her to get out of his sight again.
The weather hasn’t completely warmed up to the point to when they could sleep out in the truck bed, but it was getting there. It was only a few days after they left the house when something happened. It wasn’t major, like they ran into walkers or bandits, but it was pretty bad. Mostly on Clementine's part.
It began right after she and Luke fell asleep in the backseat.
It was dark. There was nothing to be seen around her. Clementine started to panic. Where the hell was she?
"Run, Clementine. Run." A voice echoed through the darkness.
'Run? Why run?' she thought.
Clem heard a gunshot and felt a bullet fly right past her. She took no hesitation and ran as fast as she could away from where the bullet was fired.
More gunshots were fired and more bullets flew by her, until one went through her knee.
Clementine screamed in pain as she fell to the floor. A single white light flickered on, making a circle around her.
In front of her was a crowbar, just a few feet away. She had to move. Clem brought up her good leg and used it to push herself up so she could stand. She was only able to limp a couple of steps before another bullet went through her good knee, sending her back to the floor with another scream.
Holding her tears back, Clementine turned herself over to her back so she could look at her legs. All the blood slowly dripping out. She could still feel the pain of the bullet going straight through. It hurt to move her legs in any way.
Clem heard footsteps make their way towards her small, crippled body. She looked ahead of herself to see Carver emerge from the darkness. Gun in his hand, face unharmed.
"No..." she said as she used her hands to drag herself away from him. "No! No! No!" This isn't right. She should have woken up by now. She always wakes up before he actually hurts her. Her knees were on fire.
Carver grabbed one of her ankles and pulled the little girl back to him. Clem gritted her teeth to keep herself from crying out in pain. He climbed on top of her, straddling her so she couldn't move away.
"GET OFF ME!" Clementine yelled as she fought as best she could despite the circumstances.
Carver flipped her over so she was laying on her stomach. He pulled her arms behind her back, crossing her wrists. She did her best to pull her arms away from him, only for him to smack the back of her head.
"Quit your squirming." he muttered.
Clementine hissed at the hit, tears ready to fall from her face.
There she was, a bullet wound in each knee to preventing her from standing, and Carver straddling her, tying her hands behind her back with thick, prickly rope. What did she do to deserve this?
Carver has tied her up before, usually just to talk to her and she couldn't fight back. He has hogtied her a couple times, saying that he'd leave her alone if she escaped. Clementine tried so desperately to get out of it, she didn't care if he was enjoying her struggle. She just wanted him to leave her alone. Eventually she'd give up and just lie there, then she'd ask him to untie her and to leave her alone. He'd just smirk and leave her there until she woke up.
This time was different. It was tight, pulling it with every loop it made. And for some reason, she let him do it. Maybe it was because she was too busy holding back her tears. Carver hasn't seen her cry, and she wasn't going to let him.
When he was done, he grabbed her upper arms and pulled, painfully arching Clementine's back.
She could feel him lean towards her, his hot breath on her neck. Clem closed her eyes tight, afraid of what he might do to her.
Next thing she knew, he started kissing the back of her neck. She could feel his tongue push up against her skin, causing her eyes to go wide while she gasped.
What the hell was he doing to her? He's never gone beyond rubbing her sides until now.
He stopped kissing her neck to smirk in Clementine's ear. "There are so many things I wish I could do to you, honey."
"Go to hell." Clementine breathed.
"Why don't you give me a little struggle, huh?"
"I'm not your toy, stop treating me like I am." she said.
Carver released his hold on her arms, letting her body hit the floor. She felt him get off of her before he walked away. Clementine wanted to wipe his saliva off her neck so badly, but he had to be an asshole and restrain her. She tried not to fight the bounds on her wrist, she didn't want to give into him. Instead she rolled over on to her back trying to use the floor to wipe it off.
It didn't really work, so she just rested there, her arms uncomfortably pinned between the floor and her back. Why won't she wake up?
She heard something metal ring throughout the strange place she was in before footsteps made their way back towards her.
Carver came back into view with the crowbar in his hands. He made his way towards her legs.
"You know, Clementine." He started, letting the bent part of the crowbar touch her ankle. He started walking along side her body, dragging the crowbar up her leg. "I only asked one thing from you."
Clementine bit her lip to keep her from crying as it went over her bullet wound, and even tighter as he slowed his pace the further up her leg he got, practically stopping once it grazed her crotch.
"Do you remember what I asked?" he said before picking up the speed of the crowbar as it glided along her stomach, then the middle of her chest. "I asked you not to tell Luke." Carver finally ran the crowbar up her neck and under her chin, tilting her head back.
"You didn't ask, you threatened me!" she yelled at him.
"And I always keep my promises."
With that said, Carver lifted his leg only to shove his foot in Clem's stomach, forcing the little girl to curl her body up. Carver used that to his advantage and hit her in the head with the crowbar.
Clementine couldn't stop the tears from falling from her eyes while she did her best to curl up into a ball and cough violently.
"Oh, would you look at that? Clementine can cry."
"Stop!" she wheezed. "Please..."
"When your friend, Kenny, was bashing my face in with a crowbar, it only took two hits for me to die." he said as knelt down to her. "He didn't stop. You've seen the result of what he did." Carver grabbed the front of her shirt and pulled, forcing her to sit up. It didn't last long before he hit her in the head again.
That was the second time. Two hits with a crowbar. If he was trying to recreate his death on her, she would have been awake by now. She should have been awake long before.
"I can't kill you in your sleep, honey. But that doesn't mean I can't have fun with you."
Carver tightened his grip on the crowbar and hit Clementine in the chest before kicking her in the stomach.
He kept hitting and kicking her all over her body. Her back, arms, the bullet wounds in her knees, her stomach, chest, and her head.
Clementine didn't know how long this went on, but she eventually started coughing up blood. The pain was everywhere and it wouldn't stop. No matter how hard she pleaded, Carver would hit her harder.
"What did telling Luke do for ya?" Carver's foot collided with her spine. "He can't save you, he can't defend you. He can't stop me from doing this to you. It caused more harm to you than good. It's almost as if you gave me permission to do this to you." He hit her head again.
Clementine heard him walk away from her, was he done? She just wanted to fall unconscious and wake up in Luke's warm arms.
She rolled over to her side, coughing up more blood. Her face was itchy from her dried tear stains and blood from her nose and other cuts Carver gave her. It hurt to move anything.
Clem could feel her eyes getting heavy, maybe she was finally waking up. Just when her eyes were about to shut, she heard footsteps coming towards her and something hook on to the belt loop on the back of her jeans.
Even though it hurt, she looked behind her to see Carver standing over her. He hooked the crowbar through her belt loop.
He started to pull her backwards into the darkness with him.
"No!" she cried. "No! No! Please!"
Clementine tried to unhook the crowbar with her bounded hands even though she knew it was impossible. She couldn't do anything, she just watched the trail of blood that she was leaving.
"LET ME GO! PLEASE, STOP!" she begged.
He just kept pulling her out of the light until she was finally consumed in total darkness.
Clementine woke up screaming before she started crying her scared, little heart out. That nightmare was fucking torture. She felt someone grab her and she immediately fought back, yelling at whoever it was.
"No! Stop! Let me go!"
She felt two hands on her face, forcing her to look at him.
"Clem, look! It's me. It's me..."
"Luke..." she hoarsely whispered before she broke down in more tears.
"Hey, come here." Luke pulled the little girl to him. She curled up in his lap and shivered, before he tightly wrapped his arms around the poor kid.
Clementine gave herself hiccups from crying so much. Not that it stopped her from continuing to cry. Each hiccup caused Luke's heart to break. Seeing Clementine like this actually hurt him.
Luke did his best to calm her down. From rocking her, to rubbing her back, stroking her cheek, even running his fingers through her hair, which usually works.
Clem started coughing, her mouth was dry from screaming and crying. She looked up at the man holding her, noticing the tears on his face. "Luke, are you crying?" her hoarse, hiccuping voice asked.
Now realizing the tears falling from his eyes, he wiped them away. "Yeah, Clem. I am."
"Why?" her voice made him sick to his stomach.
"Because I hate seeing you like this. It reminds me that you're still a little girl in this fucked up world."
Luke reached down to their supplies and pulled out a water bottle, giving it to Clementine. She sat up, gladly accepting it before taking a drink.
When she was done, Luke gently wiped the tears from her small face and kissed her forehead. Her golden eyes still glistening from them watering.
"It was Carver, wasn't it?" he asked her.
Clementine nodded, rubbing the water out of her eyes.
"Do you feel like telling me what happened?" Luke asked her. "I can understand if you don't want to, but I just want to make sure he didn't..." The thought of Carver hurting her like that made him sick.
Clementine took a deep quaking breath before she explained every detail of what Carver did to her. Crippling her, tying her up, him kissing her neck, beating her senseless with a crowbar and his foot, then her begging for mercy as he dragged her away into the darkness.
"That sick, perverted fuck." Luke muttered under his breath. This was the first time Carver has hurt her physically, all because she told him about her nightmares.
"I know you said he can't hurt me, but it hurt. I felt everything. Every kick, every hit, every shot, every touch." Clementine let the water bottle fall to the floor.
"I bet it did, kid. I'm sorry."
"Why is he doing this to me?"
Luke pulled Clem back in his arms. He didn't know how to answer her question. All he could do was hold her and let her vent. Carver was right, he couldn't save her, defend her, and he couldn't stop him from doing what he wanted to her.
"I don't know, kid. My guess is that he thinks you're easier to pick on. Whether that's what it is or not, he's a dick, and you're better than him." Luke knew that wasn't the reason why Carver was torturing her.
He remembered the day Kenny took the blame for Clementine, how she almost admitted to taking the stupid radio. Luke heard her trying to fess up. If Kenny didn't take the blame for her, Luke knew Carver wouldn't have bashed her face in with the radio.
When Carver was beating the shit out of him, he interrogated him. Wanting to know where the other radio was after finding the one in the pen. He asked if Clementine had it, if she helped him. Of course, he denied to his claims, but Carver didn't believe him. He said that if he found the radio on her, he'd have her sleep in his office for the night. With the curtains drawn.
Luke was pretty sure Carver was mad when Kenny admitted to it instead of Clementine, almost as if he was looking forward to her sleeping in his office. As if he'd let her actually sleep, fucking asshole.
Luke never told the kid about Carver's intentions for her. He knew it would scar her.
That's why Carver was torturing her, to scar the poor kid. To fill in for raping her. Thank god he's dead.
There's no way she would be sleeping after that dream, Luke knew that. He started rubbing her back again, trying to get her to relax more before he put his plan into action. Luke slid his hand under her arm and tickled her. Clementine tried to shrug it off, but she couldn't help it. She started giggling and squirming as Luke continued to tickle her.
After getting her to laugh for a while, Luke stopped tickling her, letting her to catch her breath.
"There's that cute, little smile, I love." he said to her. "You think you can keep it on your face?"
Clementine looked up at him. "You really think my smile's cute?"
"Yes, Clem. I do, and like I said back at the clothing store, I'd kill to see that smile on your face everyday."
The young girl hugged Luke before snuggling her head right under his chin.
"You going to be okay?" Luke asked.
He felt Clementine's head nod against him.
"Alright, now try to get some rest, kid." Luke yawned.
Right when he was about to fall asleep, Luke felt Clementine pull her head up and kiss his cheek.
"Thank you." she whispered before letting her head rest under his chin and wrapping her arms around his torso, snuggling him tighter.
Luke felt his face blush from Clementine's kiss before tightening his hold on the kid.
No more tears, no more crying. Clem was finally sleeping peacefully. He was her responsibility, even though she can take care of herself. One thing is for certain, Luke missed Clementine sleeping on him. It felt like there was an empty spot where her head usually goes. He also missed looking at her adorable face while she slept. It reminded him that not everything in the world today was terrible.
With that thought, Luke found himself drifting off to sleep, hanging on to probably the only good thing left in his world.
“Take a left here.” David instructed.
Luke did as told. According to David, he said that they were real close to the radio station. Even though he hasn’t done anything to set her off, Clementine still had a weird feeling about him.
“Right there, on top of the hill.” David said.
“I see it. You see it, kid?” Luke asked.
“Yep.” Clem responded.
David was telling the truth. The radio station was small, maybe about four or five times bigger than the shed Clementine was thrown into. Maybe even bigger. It was a little ways from the town, which was good for a lookout point. Now all they could hope for is that there was actually supplies in there.
Luke made it to the top of the hill and parked the truck. “So what makes you think that the power still works?” Luke asked as he got out of the truck.
“My uncle loved going green. He ran it on solar panels and stored the power in generators when it was raining or during the night.” David explained.
“Smart.” Luke commented.
“Yep, all we have to do it turn the generator on and hope it still works.” David said. “Luke, you mind doing that? It should be around back. Clem and I will check inside, make sure it’s clear.”
“Alright…” Luke responded. While David started making his way inside the station, Luke pulled Clementine aside. “If he tries anything, don’t hesitate to shoot or scream, okay? But only do it if you need to.”
“Okay.” she nodded before following David inside.
Luke walked around the radio station looking for the generator. When he found it, he turned it on, listening to it buzz. It worked, they had power. He heard a groan from down the hill. Luke turned his attention to it to find a walker crawl its way to him. Thanks to the hill, he was slow and Luke was able to kill him with one swing of a machete.
The walker looked to have been recently killed. It was shot in the chest multiple times to kill it the first time. Remembering what Jane told Clementine about recently killed walkers, Luke searched the body. Other than a crumpled up piece of paper and a pen, the body was clean. Out of curiosity, Luke unraveled the paper. Since there was a pen, maybe the guy wrote something down. Turns out he did, but it sent chills down Luke’s back.
‘DON’T TRUST DAVID!’
Luke looked further down the hill, more bodies. Some of them were walkers trying to make their way up the hill as well. Including the one he killed, there was at least ten bodies.
“Clem!” he realized that she was alone with David. He separated them on purpose.