Luke moaned, squinting his shut eyes to keep the sun out. His head hurt like hell. “Why did you let me drink, Clem?”
“Get up, Luke.” Clementine said tapping her foot at the farm boy who was still in bed.
“You don’t have a headache the size of Montana state.” he said.
Clementine huffed before going through their supplies, pulling out some pills and water bottle. She gave them to Luke who finally sat up to take them, hoping to get rid of his headache.
The little girl sat on the edge of the bed only for him to lay back down with his head on her lap. “Remind me to never drink again.” Luke said.
Clem smirked before rubbing his forehead, causing Luke to slowly smile. “That does feel nice, actually.”
“You were so drunk last night.” she said as she traced circles on his head.
“What did I do?”
“For starters, you had me take off your machete holder, because you couldn’t and you called it a weapon thing.”
“Then you told me not to blow out the candle because you said it was pretty.”
“Really?” Luke tried to sit up, but his head pulsed in pain forcing him back down to Clem’s lap so she could rub his headache away.
“Then you had a make out session with my cheek.”
“You kissed my cheek over and over again.”
“And you let me?”
“Yeah, I mean, I kind of liked it.”
Luke opened one eye to look up at her.
“What? You’re the one getting a head rub by an eleven year old.”
Luke closed his eye. “Touche, kid.” he said. “I didn’t do anything else to you, did I?”
“No, you got nothing more than my cheek.”
“Is that all I did?”
“Nope.” Clem said with a smile. “You begged for me to show you my eyes.”
“Sounds about right.”
“Drunk and sober, you love my eyes for some reason.”
“I love everything about you, Clem. Your eyes are my favorite.”
“I’m not telling you.”
“Fine.” Clem lifted up his head so she could stand up.
“No you don’t, kid.” Luke grabbed Clementine’s wrist before she could walked away and pulled her back, wrapping his arms around her torso, pulling her down on top of him.
“Damn it, Luke!” she muttered, shifting in his hold. Both his arms were pinning her own arms to her body as she layed on top of his chest.
“Stay with me, Clem.”
“Are you still drunk?”
“Then let me go.”
“I’m not letting you go until my headache is gone.” Luke rolled over to his side, Clem still against his chest. “And that could take a while.”
Clementine sighed. She was stuck. What else was Clem to do other than to try to get some more sleep. So she closed her eyes, feeling one of Luke’s arms release it’s hold on her soon after. She felt his hand go under her hat and run his fingers through her hair, causing her to smile and quickly send her to sleep.
Luke pulled her body closer to his before he kissed her cheek. Clementine slightly shifted in her sleep at the touch, making Luke smile a little bit. She looked so peaceful when she slept.
The farm boy closed his eyes, his headache was long gone, he just wanted a reason for Clem to stay with him. He wanted to hold her and never let her go. After he almost lost her yesterday, Luke just wanted to protect her from everything.
He knew he couldn’t. Lurkers are everywhere and unexpected. Most of the people they’ve ran into have hurt her in some way. And he has absolute no control over Carver torturing her in her sleep. What if the sick fuck is in her head right now? Messing with her, doing hell knows what since the asshole drags her there every time.
Luke held the little girl closer. He can see past her wall, he knows when she’s upset, he’s the only one she let in. Now that she did, he had to keep her safe. If he can’t, he’ll lose the one thing he loves.
“Clem. Clem, wake up.” Luke whispered as he shook the little girl.
Clementine didn’t budge. Kid must be tired. Because of this, Luke picked her up and carried her out of the bedroom along with their supplies. He sat her down on the couch blocking the door and the supplies on the ground so he could move the old thing. Luke was surprised the little girl hasn’t woken up yet. Maybe she’s faking it? This would be a good excuse to tickle her.
Luke got a devilish smile on his face as he looked down at the sleeping kid. The smile faded as a noise from outside. He glanced at the sleeping kid before making his way to the front door. After he unlocked it, Luke opened it and walked outside, pulling his machete out and shutting the door behind him.
There were only a few walkers roaming around freely in the neighborhood and one guy inspecting the engine of the truck. Luke had the keys.
“Hey.” he called to the guy as he made his way over to him.
The guy turned to Luke before walking towards him. “Hey.”
The two men met halfway in the yard. “Is this your truck?” the guy asked.
“It would be if it was working.” Luke lied.
“It doesn’t work?” the guy asked.
“Nope, I wish it did.” Luke responded.
“So it’s just you?” the guy asked.
“Yeah, it is.” Luke told him. He wasn't going to risk losing his little girl again.
“Are you sure the truck doesn’t work?” the guy asked before pulling out a gun. “Drop the machete.”
Luke did as told before putting his hands on his head.
“That truck wasn’t here yesterday, where are the keys?” the guy said.
“The truck doesn’t work.” Luke said sternly.
“One last time. Where are the keys?”
Luke took a breath before he spoke. “In the truck bed, there’s a mattress. The keys are under there.” he lied. The only thing under the mattress was a gun for protection in case of walkers for when he and Clementine slept outside.
The guy turned around, letting his guard down. Luke grabbed him when he turned away from him, taking the gun out of his hands and pointed it at him. The disarmed man put his hands on his head, smirking only seconds after.
The farm boy was confused at this until he felt something being pressed to the back of his head. Two more guys came around front, both with guns pointed at him. One of them had a bandana around his neck and the other had a beanie on his head. Luke put his hands in the air, he was surrounded. The guy holding a gun to his head behind him, took the weapon out of his hands and tossed it back to the first guy.
“Normally, we’d kill you, but one of our guys died last week. He was good-looking for women to trust, we need another guy like that. You seem like the perfect fit.” the guy explained. “Join us, and we won’t kill you.”
“And if I say no.” Luke said.
The guy behind him kicked the back of his knee, sending him down, then received a punch to the face by the one in the beanie.
“What do you say fellas? We beat the shit out of him?” the first guy asked his buddies. There was only devious smiles before they started hitting him.
That was the original intention, and Luke knew it. They were going to beat him up and kill him. As long as they didn’t get their hands on Clementine, he was going to be fine. Despite the beating he was getting.
The truck keys fell out of his pocket during the fight. The first guy picked them up and held them in front of Luke’s face. “Your lying skills could use some work, but you still have the option to join us, since you provided a truck. All we do is steal from guys, beat them up, and kill them.”
“And the girls?” Luke spoke.
“We like to have our fun with them.” he said.
The thought of them getting a hold of Clementine was one Luke never wanted to think about.
“I’m not a sick fuck.” Luke responded.
“I take that as a no then.” the guy said. “You boys know what to do.” he said before walking towards the truck.
The guy in the bandana grabbed Luke’s machete before pulling the farm boy up by his hair. Luke watched as he lifted up the weapon, aiming at him. Before the guy could swing it down, the sounds of glass breaking and a gunshot rang throughout the air.
The guy with the bandana dropped the weapon and the chunk of Luke’s hair as he fell to the floor dead, a bullet hole in his head. Luke looked at the house he and Clem stayed in for the night. The blinds in the window by the kitchen were up and the window was broken.
Another bullet pierced the window and the guy with the beanie fell dead to the ground. It went straight through his head. Luke knew who made the two perfect shots.
The guy that held Luke at gunpoint when he was surrounded shot at the window a couple times.
"Dan, save the bullets!" The first guy yelled.
Two more shots came from the house, the two bandits ducked just in time.
"Do you want to die?" Dan yelled back.
The first guy picked up one of the guns dropped by his dead friend. He pulled Luke to a standing position and held the gun to his head in front of his body.
"Alright, come out with your hands up, and your friend here won't die!" He yelled at the house.
Silenced filled the air with a hint suspense. Luke was praying for Clementine not to come out. He didn't want those two to lay a hand on her. She killed two of their men, who knows what they’ll do to her.
Luke helplessly watched the doorknob slowly turn. The door was pulled open and out stepped the little girl he cared about, her hands in the air, a gun in one of them.
“Dan, get her.”
“Got it, Mark.”
Dan put his gun away as he walked over to Clementine, taking the gun out of her hands before grabbing the back of her neck, walking her over to Luke and Mark.
“Now I get it.” Mark said.
“Get what?” Luke asked before getting kicked in the back of the knee again, sending him down before feeling a gun pressed to the back of his head.
“You’re just a guy who’d do anything to protect his pretty, little sister.”
“You know, Mark. If I saw a little girl roaming around the streets, I would do anything to help her.” Dan said.
“I’m sure a lot of people will. Maybe we don’t need this asshole,” Mark jammed the barrel in Luke’s head. “We could just use the little girl as bait.” Mark responded.
“Hey, you’re the asshole here.” Clementine snapped.
“Oh look, she talks, too!” Dan said.
“She’s feisty, that’s how I like them.” Mark admitted. “Pretty good shot, as well.”
“Yeah, but she knocked us down to two.” Dan pointed out, jolting the little girl’s body by her neck.
“Very true… Hey, Dan, do you mind finishing up with our friend here? I’ll take her inside and you know, teach her about the birds and the bees.” Mark asked with an evil smile on his face.
“You fucking-” Luke was cut off by a foot colliding with his stomach.
The farm boy fought with Dan, he was doing his best because Dan was slightly bigger than him and he was distracted by Mark grabbing Clementine and drag the kicking and screaming girl inside. He didn’t want her to get raped again. Once was enough, it was more than enough for the eleven-year-old. She was depending on him to prevent it from happening again.
Dan slammed Luke against the truck. Everything hurt. Luke fought best he could. He was losing until Dan spoke. “Man, I can’t wait to get my hands on that little girl.” That reminded Luke was this man was capable of doing to Clementine and what Mark is about to do to her this moment. This sent rage through Luke’s body, ignoring the pain everywhere.
Luke punched Dan in the face and reached under the mattress in the truck bed and pulled out a gun. He didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. The bullet went through his chest, Luke left him there to turn. The gun was out of bullets anyway.
The farm boy grabbed his machete and ran inside. A cabinet under the sink in the kitchen was open and so was a box of zip ties, a few of the plastic things scattered on the floor.
Rage ran threw Luke's body again before he ran to the source of the scream.
Luke practically broke the bedroom door down getting it open. Clementine was on the bed, her wrists zip tied above her head and another zip tie attaching her wrists to a bar on the bed's back board. Mark barely had her jeans pulled down before Luke grabbed him and threw him to the floor to beat the shit out of him.
Once Mark was unconscious, Luke threw him outside to his friend who recently just turned. The farm boy locked the front door and pushed the couch back in front of it before looking for the scissors.
After Luke found them, he quickly made his way back to the bedroom. He saw Clementine on the bed fighting against the zipties on her wrists a few tears visible on her face. Luke wiped the salty streams off her face before cutting the restraints off her wrists.
Clem wrapped her free arms around Luke’s neck, burying her head in his shoulder. Luke wrapped his arms around her small body, letting her tears soak his shirt.
“Shhh… It’s okay, Clem. You’re safe. They can’t hurt you any more.” Luke whispered as he rubbed her back in an attempt to calm her down.
“I- I thought they-” Hiccups filled the voice of the broken down girl.
Luke’s adrenaline died down and all the pain settled in. It felt worse than when Carver beat the shit out of him. It hurt to hold Clementine, but he didn’t want to stop.
The little girl noticed his hold feel a bit different. “Luke, are you hurt?” she spoke.
“Yeah. Pretty bad, too.” he said. “Did he touch you?”
“He- he rubbed my side and he- he almost…” Clementine recoiled her arms and let a few tears fall. She didn’t want to hurt Luke because he had to hold her. She felt a hand on her face wiping the tears off again.
“I hate it when you cry.” Luke said as he cleared her face of tears, even though it hurt to lift his arm to do so.
“Luke, stop.” she said, jerking her head away. She knew it hurt. “Lay down, I’ll see if we have anymore painkillers.”
Clementine got off the bed and pulled up her pants, buttoning them before looking through their supplies. She found the medicine bottle and brought it back to Luke for him to take.
“They really beat the shit out of you, huh?” she said.
“Yeah, pretty much.” Luke grunted as he lay down on the bed after taking a couple pills.
Clementine sat next to him, rubbing his forehead. “Thank you.”
“I wasn’t going to let that happen again.” Luke said. “Thanks for the head rub.”
“You deserve it.”
“We’ll find that place one day.” Luke said after a pause. “You know, the place we talked about.”
“You really think so?” Clem asked.
“Yeah, weather it be in Washington or not, we’ll find it.”
“A safe place, with no walkers and no bad people. A place for us to eat and sleep. A place to call home.”
“Yeah, that place.”
“What if we never find it, Luke?”
“As long as I’m with you, Clem, I’ll be fine.”
“You always find someway to flatter me.”
“That’s my job, kid.”
Silence filled the room. Luke eventually fell asleep from Clementine’s head rub. The little girl continued to rub his head, she didn’t mind and she was afraid that he’d wake up if she stopped.
She eventually convinced herself to stop since he was asleep for a while, so her hand rested on his head. That’s when she noticed the red mark on her wrist. She pulled her hand from Luke’s sleeping head and rolled up her purple-and-white-striped sleeve to get a better look.
The top of her wrist had a red ring. The reason why the bottom didn’t was because it was pinned against her other wrist, which had the same red ring on top. Clementine rubbed at her sore wrists. She hated zip ties. They always dig into her wrists. Of course because she pulls on them, but it doesn’t lessen her hatred towards them.
Her hands trailed to her neck before rubbing it a bit. When the bruises start showing there, Luke was going to be pissed.
When Mark pulled her inside the house, he picked her up by her throat and threw her to the ground before kicking her in the stomach a couple times to keep her down while he searched the kitchen. After coughing to a minor recovery, Mark came back with a couple zip ties in hand. Clem tried to back away from him only to get grabbed by the front of her shirt and be pulled up.
Clementine fought him best she could and managed to punch him in the face, which he didn’t take too well. Mark grabbed her throat and threw her against the wall. Before she could recover, Mark grabbed her throat again and slammed her against the wall before choking her. She couldn’t touch the ground, Clem just kicked and scratched at the hand squeezing her throat. Tears swelled up in her eyes then she felt them roll to the back of her head due to lack of oxygen.
It was then when Mark let go of her neck, dropping her to the floor. Clementine coughed, trying to get the oxygen back in her system. Her entire body felt numb and the asshole she was with use that to his advantage. He sat on top of her and pulled her hands above her head. Using one of the zip ties to tie them together.
She remembered how tight he made. It hurt.
Mark threw her over his shoulder and carried Clementine to the bedroom. He threw her down on the bed before using another zip tie to attach her bound wrists to one of the bars on the backboard of the bed.
Clem squirmed for any hope that the ties would break, only stopping to a hand rubbing her side.
“I should have thanked your brother for giving us his pretty sister before I let Dan kill him.” he said. “Now let’s see what’s down here.”
“NO!” Clem screamed as the tears fell from her eyes. She thought they killed him.
Mark unbuttoned her jeans and pulled them down only slightly before she heard the door bust open.
The memory of what happened between her and Mark was still fresh in her mind. She thought Luke was dead. Thankfully, he saved her.
Ending the memory, Clementine took a hold of Luke’s hand, being careful not to wake him up.
The whole thing reminded her of Carver. At least the part when she was almost raped. Carver would tie her up like that, and rub her side like Mark did. If he was alive and could, Carver would do it in a heartbeat. She knows he would. Even if Luke beat the shit out of him and threw him out, Carver would have been happy to just be that close to her. God, she fucking hated him.
Clementine looked at the her sore, red wrist on her free hand. A new thought plagued her mind, and she knew that it wasn’t a good one.
The pigtailed girl turned her head to the farm boy who was driving the truck. The two stayed an extra night at the house to rest up after the shit was beaten out of them. Clem had to help Luke get out of bed the next day since it hurt for him to sit up. Then the two packed up everything and left, not wanting to stay in the house any longer.
It’s been a couple days since then, and there hasn’t been much talk between the two.
“You want to hear a joke?” Luke asked, and without an answer he started. “A drunk man walks into a bar, orders a drink, and pukes all over his own shirt. ‘What am I going to do now? My wife is going to kill me.’ he said.” Luke began, slurring his words a bit on the drunk man part. “The bartender says, ‘Relax, give me a five dollar bill.’ The drunk does this and the bartender folds the bill and puts it in the guy’s shirt pocket. ‘There. Tell your wife some drunk puked on your shirt and gave you five dollars to clean it.’ the bartender explained. ‘That’s a great idea!’ said the drunkie. Now when the drunk gets home, his wife asks why his shirt has puke on it. The drunk says that some drunk man puked on him and put five dollars in the shirt pocket to have it cleaned.” Luke continued. “When the wife looks in the shirt pocket, she finds ten dollars and asks him about the extra money. And do you know what the drunk said?” Luke glanced at Clementine who had her head tilted slightly, waiting for the end of the joke. “He said, ‘Oh yeah, he shit my pants, too!’”
No laugh, not even a giggle or chuckle came out of her mouth. Just a little smile for a few seconds before it disappeared.
“You alright, kid?” Luke asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” the little girl responded before turning back to the window.
“Really? I thought that joke would get a little more than a smile out of you.”
“I don’t know, I guess I’m just not in the mood for jokes.”
“You sure you’re okay?”
Clementine didn’t know if her statement was the truth or a lie. The same thought has been on her mind the past few days, which is the reason for her being so quiet and distant lately.
Luke glanced at the little girl every few seconds while driving, taking a full second to look at her neck each time. He saw the bruises, and it made him sick. Luke didn’t ask her about it, he was afraid that she’d start crying, besides he had a good idea on where she got them.
“I think tonight is probably the last night to sleep outside before it gets too cold. What do you think? Clem?” Luke asked. “Clem?” The farm boy stopped the truck and put it in park. This action didn’t do anything to bring Clementine out of her daze.
Luke snapped in front of her face. Causing her to jump back into reality and turn to him.
“Clem, are you sure you’re okay. I’m worried about you, kid.”
“Luke, I’m fine.”
“I know that’s not true.”
“I’m… I just don’t think there’s anything out there. In Washington.”
“Well, we don’t really have anywhere else to go. I bet it’s nice there, though.” Luke said. “Alright, have you ever heard of Yellowstone?”
“No.” Clem responded.
“It’s a national park. Home to bears, deer, buffalo, moose, wolves, and a lot more animals. Tourist attraction mainly because of all of the geysers.”
“Isn’t a geyser a volcano, but with water instead of lava?”
“Yeah, that’s basically it. Anyway, if Washington is a bust, how about we go there? We can build a little hut or something, and we can hunt animals for food. I’m sure we can find a stream or something to get water from. We could live there.”
“How far is Yellowstone?”
“Not that far actually, it’s mostly in Wyoming, but it stretches into Idaho and Montana. What do you think, Yellowstone is plan B?”
“Why is it plan B?”
“Do you think other people had the same idea?”
“Yes. Do you think those people would hunt us?
“And that’s why it’s plan B.” Luke said. “Now, are you absolutely sure you’re okay?
“Yeah.” Clem responded.
“It’s not about the bruises on your neck, is it?”
“No… Is it bad?”
“It could be worse, they’ll go away in a day or two.” he said. “I’m not mad that you didn’t tell me about what he did to you. That’s your business, you didn’t have to tell me if you didn’t want to.”
“I thought he was going to kill me.”
“I’d still be beating the shit out of him if he did.”
“How long will it be before we reach Washington?”
“At the rate we’re going, I’d give it about a week or two. So we’d better get going.” Luke said before turning back to the road and putting the truck back in drive and stepping on the gas.
Once again, silence filled the vehicle. Not much to talk about, hence all the dead walking around and whatnot. So Clementine was left to her thoughts again. The thought currently going through her head is how others see her.
The two survivors stopped at a rest area for the night and slept in the bed of the truck. It wasn’t until the crack of dawn, with light slowly brightening up the new day, when Clementine woke up. Carver did his dirty work while she slept, which is why she’s up so early. Clem let Luke sleep, it was too early to wake him up. Besides she wanted the peace to think.
So there she was, sitting criss-cross on the old mattress, fiddling with her ice pick in her hand as her mind wandered. Everything started to fall into place with the dark path she was building, not sure if she wanted to walk down it. With everyone she and Luke ran into, with Melissa and Abigail being exceptions, all of the guys saw her as the same thing.
Was this all she was? Just a toy for guys to play with? Clementine turned her head to the sleeping farm boy. Luke would never think of her like that, he’s the one that prevents all of the cruel men from raping her, and ironically he was the one to take her innocence.
Still, pretty much every single guy. Mark and his group, being the most recent. Before that was David. Then there was the time when she and Luke found a guitar in one of the houses they stayed at. And then there were the guys at the clothing store. And Carver, obviously. She was just something to give them pleasure.
Clementine didn’t want that. She may be a kid, but she didn’t want to be treated like that. Luke couldn’t protect her forever, half the time he gets beaten up before coming to her rescue. All of those beatings were originally intentions on killing him. What if there comes a time when he dies trying to save her or even died saving her? She didn’t want that either. Luke can’t die, and especially not over herself.
The little girl set the ice pick down and reached under the mattress. Being careful not to wake up Luke, she pulled out the gun they kept there and held it in her lap. She thought about it.
She wouldn’t have to suffer nightmares. She wouldn’t live in fear of the dead eating her and the living hurting her. She could see her family, her friends, Lee. And Luke would have a better chance at the world without her.
Clementine closed her eyes, thinking over everything. Once she opened them, her mind was set. Clem crawled over to Luke, placing a kiss on his cheek.
“Thank you…” she whispered before hopping out of the truck bed.
One hand rested on the truck, causing the child to look back at Luke. She could still turn back. She could be with the one guy who made her smile. The one who made her feel safe. Clementine remembered how safe she felt every time Luke held her. She hadn’t felt that safe since Lee… He also died because of her, she wasn’t going to let that happen to Luke.
With one single, fast tear down the side of her face, Clementine slowly pulled her hand away from the truck as she walked towards the woods. She didn’t want Luke to see her dead.
Luke felt his mind wake up. The sun just piercing his eyes slightly, forcing him to shut them tighter. Luke knew the feeling all too well. His window back at home was always on the side where the sun rose up, waking him up better than his alarm clock for school. Even with that he’d always roll over to get a little bit more sleep, sometimes even wait for his alarm clock to go off.
Then he remembered that he wasn’t in high school anymore, he was trying to survive the world with an eleven-year-old. Old habits never die, so Luke still rolled over. He expected to see Clementine sleeping peacefully, but he didn’t. She wasn’t there.
At first, Luke figured that she had to go to the bathroom, but her ice pick was resting in her spot. She knows to take it with her. Luke started to panic.
“Clem?” he called. “Clementine!”
No answer. Every possible scenario went through his head. Lurkers, kidnapping, her getting lost, suicide. Luke shook his head to the last one, Clem would never do that. He thought back to yesterday, how she acted. Quiet, hardly smiled, something was eating her, and he let it slide.
She wouldn’t though. Luke looked under the mattress, the gun was gone.
“God, no…” he muttered before pocketing the ice pick and hopping out of the truck. Luke pulled out his machete and ran towards the forest, there wasn’t anywhere else she could go if she wanted to kill herself.
The gunshot definitely would have woken him up and Clem couldn’t have gotten far, so there was a chance she was still alive. He just had to hurry.
Clementine was everything to him. He didn’t know what he’d do if he lost her. It always felt good to make her smile, to hold her, to watch her grow up. At times she was a little sister to him, other times she was his best friend, and a couple times he wished she was older. Either way he loved her.
Luke ran until he saw a silhouette of the little girl he cared about through the trees. He watched as she lifted the gun to her head, it was then he run up behind her and shove the gun away from her head.
The surprise attack caused her to pull the trigger, and the bullet hit the floor, thankfully. Clementine struggled in Luke’s hold. He managed to pull the gun out of her hand, but she still tried to reach for it.
“Clem, stop it!”
As they kept fighting over the gun, growls of the dead came closer and closer. Attracted by the gunshot and the argument. Once the two noticed the few walkers coming closer to them, Luke pocketed the gun and gave Clem her ice pick. “We’ll talk about this in the truck. You stay close.” he said to her before killing a lurker.
The dead kept coming. The forest was infested. Because of this, it was hard to keep an eye on each other. Clementine tried to find Luke, but each time turned out to be a walker. She kept fighting the walkers, and as she did a headache started to from in her head, which she has no idea why. Yes, she wanted to die, but it wasn’t going to be to walkers. She didn’t want Luke to find her body being devoured by walkers.
With a final yank, Clem pulled her ice pick out of the last of the dead and looked around for Luke. Her headache worsened as she tried to catch her breath, her mouth was dry. She rubbed her tongue against the roof of her mouth, thinking about the last time she had something to drink. That was when she almost drowned. It’s been days since she actually had a drink of water.
Clementine took a few steps, worsening her headache and caused the would to blur. It wasn’t long before she heard a growl as her strength drained. She tried to take another step, but that brought her to her knees. She tried to get up, but she was too weak to move.
Her body soon gave out on her, and she collapsed on the grass. All she could do was listen, and all she heard was a growl of a hungry dead person coming closer to her. And that was the last thing she heard before she blacked out.
“Clem!” Luke called as he killed one of the last few walkers. With all of the dead crowding them, he lost track of Clementine. He had the gun, he just had to hope she wasn’t bitten. To be honest, he didn’t know if he could put her down.
“Clementine!” he yelled as he pulled his machete out of the last dead creature. He had to find her. Where else to go, other than to follow the dead bodies and hope to find her.
As he followed the bodies he found a lone lurker making it’s way to something. All Luke saw was a blue and white baseball cap with a D and dried blood on it, and that was all he needed to kill the walker before it killed Clem.
Once it was dead, Luke turned to the unmoving child. “God, please no.”
He put his machete away and knelt down to the little girl. He checked her body for bites, thankfully she was clean. Luke shook her body, seeing that she hasn’t woken up, yet.
“Come on, kid. Don’t do this to me.” he said as he held her head. “Please, Clem. Don’t make me go through with this again.”
Luke didn’t know what was wrong with her. She had no bites, it didn’t look like she hit her head anywhere, she looked okay. If she was okay, then why wasn’t she waking up. He hadn’t gotten so worked up about her ever since a few days ago since she fell in pool and almost died. Wait!
The farm boy set her head down and picked up her hand. He pinched her skin and pulled before letting go. Luke saw the small lump of skin on her hand, and that answered his question. She was dehydrated.
“You’re going to be fine, kid. You’re going to be fine.” Luke said as he picked her up. He had to get back to the truck.
Luke retraced his steps out of the forest and to the truck. He unlocked the vehicle and set the little girl down in the passengers seat. Luke reached in their supplies and pulled out a water bottle. He opened it and dumped some on Clem’s face, who coughed in response after inhaling a bit of water.
Luke sighed in relief that she was alive. He lifted the water bottle to her lips and slowly tilted it up. “You’re dehydrated, kid. So, drink up.”
Clementine took the bottle in her hand while Luke searched for another one. He soon heard footsteps on the pavement. Luke looked to see Clementine running towards the woods.
“Damn it, Clem!” he muttered before chasing after her.
The chase wasn’t long, because the little girl tripped over a parking stop. She hit her head on the concrete, knocking her out cold. By the time Luke got to her, he couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Even more now since her fall gave her a gash on the side of her head. It wasn’t like the dog bite, but it was bleeding and most likely needed stitches. Luke couldn’t tell for sure, there was hardly any light out.
The farm boy carried the injured girl back to the truck and laid her down in the back seat. The two have a lot of medical supplies thanks to Abigail, now all he had to do was hope he spent enough time with Carlos and Abigail to know what to do.
Luke was sure he could fix the wound. He just had to clean, stitch, and wrap her head. Luke was glad she was out of it for this. He was worried for her. She tried to kill herself, twice. Luke wouldn’t let her do that, she’s too young. She can survive this world. He didn’t know why she was acting this way. He’d have to wait until she wakes up to ask her, if she doesn’t try to kill herself first.
Gently disinfecting the wound, Luke thought about what he should do. He cared greatly for Clementine, and would kill for her. He’s done it, in fact. Luke took off her hat, he didn’t want it to get in the way while he stitched her head. He could only hope she would stay unconscious for this. As Luke reached for the needle and thread, he saw some of the things he picked up at the last house, because he thought they’d be useful at one point. That’s when an idea popped in his head.
Luke looked at Clementine. It was a bad-good idea. It would make sure she wouldn’t try and kill herself, but she will definitely hate him for doing it. Luke nodded to himself, he didn’t have any other choice. If he wanted to keep her alive, he had to. He was doing this because he cared too much for her.
“Is it clear upstairs?” Luke asked.
“Yeah.” Clementine responded.
“Good, so what’s for dinner?” he asked.
“Why are you asking me? It’s your turn to cook.” she said.
The two found a small cabin by the Mississippi River and decided to stay there for the night. It had a fireplace, so they were going to have a hot meal tonight.
“I cooked last month, remember we had chili.” Luke said.
“Oh, yeah. Damn it.” Clementine said.
Luke chuckled. “So, Clem. What’s for dinner?”
The little girl smirked. “Fish.”
“We don’t have fish.”
Clementine ran upstairs and soon came down with a fishing rod and a tackle box. “There’s a river right outside. If I’m cooking it, you’re catching it.” she said, holding the items out to him.
“Fine,” he said, taking the fishing gear out of her hands. “But you’re starting the fire.”
“I’ll be by the river if you need me.”
The two went off to to their tasks. Clementine grabbed a log off the log rack and set it down in the fireplace. She then found some newspapers on the ground. Some of them were ripped up and others were untouched. She figured that they were used for kindling, so she tore off some strips off and tossed them in as well. It took her a while to find some matches, because they were on top of the mantle out of her reach. Because of that, she had to drag a chair from the kitchen to get it. After she did, she noticed the wooden coffee table in front of the fireplace. The thing she stood on to find the matches in the first place. To that, she facepalmed herself.
After she used a match to start the fire, she sat on the coffee table and used a fire poker to keep the fire going and to herself entertained as she waited for Luke to get back. It was relaxing to watch the flames dance, occasionally adding more newspaper scraps and thin wood pieces to the fire.
“Mind if I join you, kid?” a voice spoke from behind.
Clementine turned her head to see Luke, fishing gear in one hand and a dead fish in another.
“I see you were successful.” she said.
“Yeah, I thought I wasn’t going to make it, I’m sure it’s going to rain tonight.” he said as he set the fishing stuff down by the log rack before making his way over to Clementine. He sat down next to her, handing the child the fish and a knife. “You know the deal, make dinner.”
“Aren’t we supposed to cook it first?” she asked.
“Well, you’re supposed to gut it before you cook it.” Luke told her. “You don’t know how to gut a fish, do you?”
“I didn’t know you’re supposed to gut a fish.” Clementine said.
“I’m going to take that as a no.” Luke scooted closer to the little girl, taking her hands in his. “Alright, hold the fish, stomach up. Take the blade and cut the stomach from tail to where these fins are.” Luke helped her with the cutting, so she knows for next time. “Then scoop out the guts.”
“Gross.” she said.
“I’m not helping you with that.”
“What do I do with the guts?”
“Throw them in the fire.”
After the fish was gutted and cooked over the fire, the two survivors ate their meal. It was good to have a warm dinner instead of beans and granola bars. They were near sick of it, so it was nice to have something different.
“You did good, Clem.” the farm boy said as he finished up his half of the meal.
“Thanks, Luke.” she responded.
“You know, this cabin isn’t that bad actually.” Luke said.
“I like it here.” Clementine said.
“Do you want to stay? I mean we have a river to get water and food from and this cabin is pretty nice.”
“Yeah, I want to stay.”
“Alright then. What’s the bedroom like upstairs?”
“One bed, kind of small.”
“Really? Dibs.” Luke called.
“What? Why do you get the bed?” Clementine complained.
“Because I called dibs.”
“Then where am I supposed to sleep?”
“Hell no! I want the bed!”
“You should have called it, kid.”
“I saw it first, I should get it!”
“Then you’re going to have to race me to get to it.”
“Are you serious, Luke?”
A smirk played across Clementine’s face. “Fine.” she said before making a break for the stairs.
“No, you don’t kid.” Luke said, chasing after the little girl.
Being older, Luke caught up to Clementine on the stairs. He tickled her sides to distract her so he could get in front of her. Luke stood at the top of the stairs, blocking Clem from going past him. The little girl went through his legs and ran to the bedroom, the farm boy not far behind.
Clementine dove for the bed, landing face first on a pillow. She sat up, seeing Luke with his arms crossed.
“What? You walked yourself into this. You should have known I would have beat you.” Clem said.
“No, I should have considered that you would cheat.” Luke responded.
“I didn’t cheat, slow-poke.” she teased.
“I’m not slow, you little cheater.” he said.
Clementine grabbed a pillow off the bed and threw it at Luke.
“Thanks, kid. I’ll use it when I sleep on the cold, hard, wooden floor.” Luke said sarcastically as he slowly lay down on the ground by the bed.
Clementine scoffed at him. “You’re so dramatic, Luke.”
There was a small silence before Luke spoke again. “No fucking way!”
“What?” Clementine asked.
Luke reached under the bed and pulled out a guitar case. He opened it and found a guitar. Luke pulled it out and strummed a few strings. “It’s in good shape.”
“You know how to play?” Clementine asked.
“A little bit. My dad taught me a few things. Nick knew how to play, though. I think it was the only way he got girls to talk to him.” Luke admitted.
“Can you teach me?”
“Sure, on one condition.”
“Fine, you get the bed.”
Luke pulled himself up from the floor and sat next to Clementine. Like what he did with the fish, Luke took Clem’s hands in his and the two played around with the guitar.
After about half an hour, Clementine was starting to get the hang of it. It was a little hard to get used to moving her fingers so much.
“You’re getting better.” Luke told her.
“This is so hard.” Clem responded.
“You’ll get the hang of it, kid.” he said.
Clementine turned her head towards Luke to say something, but then she realized how close they were to each other. Their faces only inches from each other. Clementine stared into Luke’s brown eyes, while he stared into her gold ones.
“Your breath smells like fish.” Luke said to her.
Clementine just smiled before blowing on his face. "And you're a total dork."
Luke chuckled and kissed the tip of her nose in return.
The two heard a noise from downstairs. They both looked at the hallway then back at each other before the two stood up, setting the guitar lesson aside. Luke made his way to the out of the bedroom, pulling out his machete. Clementine followed only two steps behind him.
Once they reached downstairs, Clementine felt a hand on her shoulder and a gun to her head. She stopped in her tracks, afraid to make a sound incase the guy behind her kills her if she does.
A man came out of the kitchen, looked at Luke for a bit, then tilted his head to look at Clementine as he smirked. “That’s a cute, little girl, you have with you.”
Luke turned around to see Clem’s predicament, the gun to the child’s head, before turning back to the guy by the kitchen.
“Put the machete down.” the guy said.
Luke looked back at Clem, who looked at him. The guy holding the little girl at gunpoint shoved the weapon further in her head. So much that it hurt, and she let out a hiss in pain. The farm boy quietly sighed and tossed the weapon to the side.
"Mason, Tie them to the stairs." The first guy said.
"Will do, Seth." Mason said.
Mason guested his head to the stair wall, shoving the gun in Clem's head even more. Luke obeyed, not wanting him to hurt the little girl.
After having their backs forced to the stair wall, the guy pulled Luke’s arms behind a stair rod, using a zip tie to tie his wrists together. Then Mason did the same to Clementine, trailing his fingers on her jawline, tilting her head up, once he was done.
The two crooks searched through the rest of the house, looking for more people. Luke and Clementine said nothing to each other, not wanting to draw attention to themselves. While Seth and Mason looked around, Luke noticed the one who tied them to the stairs, Mason, seemed to have a special interest in Clementine. He would always glare at her. When he walked up stairs to investigate, Mason tightened Clem’s zip tie on his way up. She looked at Luke worryingly. He looked back at her with the same expression only with a more protective look in his eye.
“Holy shit! There’s a guitar here.” Mason came downstairs with the instrument in his hand. He stood next to Clementine, his free hand rubbing her shoulder. “I can’t believe after seventeen people, none of them have found it hidden here.”
“What- What happened to them?” Clementine asked.
“Nothing you have to worry your pretty, little head about.” Mason said before stroking Clem’s cheek. Clementine jerked her small head away at the touch.
“Hey! Leave her alone!” Luke yelled.
Mason looked at him for a second then turned to his partner. “Seth, what do you think of the kid?”
“I think nothing. We don’t keep what we catch, we eat them.” Seth said.
“I like this one, though.” Mason said as he leered at the little girl.
“Go to hell.” Clementine snapped.
Mason covered her mouth with his hand. “She’s feisty, Seth. You like feisty girls.”
“I don’t like them when they’re ten.”
“Ow! Fuck!” Mason yelled after Clementine bit his hand. After looking at the bite, Mason punched Clementine in the stomach. She hunched over best she could in pain, since she was tied to the stairs.
“Mason, what the fuck! We’re not supposed to bruise the meat.” Seth yelled at him after watching him hit the kid.
“The little bitch bit me!”
“Well, what did you expect? She’s a little girl, of course she’s going to bite!” Seth yelled. “Kitchen, now. These two aren’t going anywhere.”
After the two cannibales left the room, Luke turned to the little girl. “You okay?”
“Yeah…” Clementine nodded, a slight wince in her voice.
“Now’s a good time as ever to pull this out.” Luke said quietly as he reached in his pocket and pulled out the knife they used on the fish earlier. After flipping out the blade, he started to cut the plastic on his wrist.
Clementine smiled in relief, then her face turned serious. “Luke, what are they going to do to me?”
Luke paused for a moment. It was obvious to him that they might keep her around a bit longer, but the thought of what they’d do to her sent chills down his back. “Don’t worry about that right now, Clem. Just try not to get yourself killed, okay?”
Clementine sighed before tugging at her wrists. “I hate zip ties.”
“I hate that they’re touching you.” Luke responded.
“I’m used to it.” Clem said aloud. “Carver does it all the time.”
“I’m sorry, kid.”
Luke’s zip tie broke from him cutting it. “I’m free.”
“Give me the knife.” Clementine said.
“I can cut you free.” he said.
“No, they’ll come back any minute now. If they see you, you’re dead.” she responded. “Put the knife in my hand, and go back to where you were. Luke, please.”
Luke did as she asked, making sure the knife was secure in her hand before going back to his spot, putting his hands behind the stair rod as if he was still tied.
“If they lay another hand on you, I’ll kill them.” he said.
“Don’t. I’m fine if they touch me. Just wait for an escape.” she said to him.
“I’m not fine with it.” he told her.
“I don’t like being touched any more than you like seeing someone touch me, Luke. But I can deal with it.” Clem said.
Luke shook his head. “You shouldn’t be doing this.”
“Well, I shouldn’t be doing a lot of things.” Clementine responded.
“Clem, I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
“Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing they can they can do, that Carver hasn’t already done to me.”
Luke looked at Clementine in shock at what she just said. She closed her eyes tightly, holding back the tears that sick man had caused for her before opening the golden orbs. She was a little shocked that it slipped out of her mouth. Luke couldn’t imagine what Carver has done to her.
“We’ll talk about the Carver thing later, okay? I promise.” he said to her.
Clementine looked at Luke. She gave him a side smile before she spoke. “Okay.” At least he had hopes on getting out of this alive. That’s what she always liked about Luke.
The two cannibals came out of the kitchen. Seth stuck the fire poker into the fire and left it there, while Mason picked up the guitar and started playing it.
“So, you two have any names?” Mason asked.
“Does it matter? You’re going to kill us anyway.” Luke said.
“For you, big boy, yes. For the little one, not likely. She’s too thin.”
“What are you going to do with me then?” Clementine asked.
Mason set the guitar down and walked over to her. He pinched her cheek. “I’m sure we can find a use for you.” he said.
Clementine looked at him dead in the eye, ignoring the pain in her cheek. It took all the strength Luke had to not kill the man for being that close to her.
The creep let go of her cheek. “Yep, we can definitely find a use for you, my dear.” he said, trailing his hand down the side of her body to her hip, rubbing it back and forth.
“I told you to leave her the fuck alone!” Luke yelled.
Mason glared at him for a while until the sounds of groaning broke the silence.
“Mason, quit playing with your girlfriend and go deal with the dead. We don’t want them to eat those two before we do.” Seth yelled at him. “Use the fucking machete, I don’t care. Just get rid of them.”
The guy tilted Clementine’s head up, giving her a slight smile before leaving to do what he was told. Clem took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Relieved that he was gone.
“I shouldn’t have let you done that.” Luke muttered to her.
Clem looked back at him. “They would have killed you.” she muttered back.
Once Mason left the cabin, his friend turned to Clem and Luke. “You’re welcome.” he said before turning the fire poker in the fire. “The asshole always had an interest in children. You’re the first he’s seen in years.”
“Great.” Clementine muttered to herself.
“Just so you know, we’re still going to kill you. You have enough to be an appetizer.” Seth pulled out the fire poker. “And when I said ‘we,’ I meant me. Now then, I have to crisp the meat a little bit.” he said walking to them with the burning, hot fire poker in hand. “Since Mason is gone, I might as well start with his new pet.”
Just before Seth was about to burn Clementine’s shoulder with the metal, Luke grabbed him, causing the stick to fall out of his hand. Clem kicked the fire poker away as the two men fought. She tried to cut her bindings faster so she could help Luke, but her’s was really thick and tight.
The fight between the two men didn’t get extremely brutal, but it was quite a struggle. Clementine didn’t see much of it, she was too busy trying to look at the zip tie she was cutting.
Luke managed to knock Seth unconscious and he fell limp on the guitar, breaking it.
“Are you okay?” Clementine asked.
“Yeah… Yeah, I’m fine.” he responded.
“Luke, duck!” Clem yelled before a bullet whizzed through the air. Luke ducked in time, but the bullet nearly hit her.
“Hands on your head.” Mason said with the gun pointed at Luke.
Luke did as told, this was it for him.
“Face her.” the guy instructed.
Luke turned to look at Clementine, fear written all over her face. Mason walked up behind him and kicked the back of his knee, forcing him to kneel.
“No… Please, no…” Clementine spoke. “You can do what you want with me, just don’t kill him. Please.” By then she was thrashing at her bounds hoping it would break from her cutting it.
“It’ll be okay, my dear. You’re mine now.” he said to her. “Do you have any last words to say to her?” he asked Luke as he pointed the gun to his head.
“Please, don’t do this.” Clementine begged.
“Clem…” Luke said causing the watery-eyed girl to look at him. “I love you.”
“No.” she didn’t want Luke to die. He was everything to her, thus making her fight even harder against the plastic on her wrists.
The zip tie broke from her thrashing and Clementine tightened her grip on the knife as she jumped on Mason, stabbing his shoulder, and again in his neck causing him to drop the gun, but her rage didn’t stop.
As Clementine fought him, Seth woke up and attacked Luke. Mason managed to throw Clementine off of him. Clem landed near the gun, so she grabbed it. She aimed it at Mason, but he was already passed out on the floor, most likely due to blood loss. Seth pulled out his gun and held Luke in a headlock to point the weapon at him. The little girl noticed Luke’s predicament and aimed the gun at Seth’s unconscious friend.
Seth saw her and smirked. “Like you actually know how to use that thing.”
Clementine’s adrenaline was still high from Luke nearly getting killed and possibly killing Mason. It felt like she couldn’t control herself, especially when Seth said that. Clem moved her aim from Mason’s head to Seth’s and fired.
Just like that he was dead. Luke was safe. Right when she thought she could calm down, Mason reanimated right beside her. He attacked her, sending Clem to the floor. She instantly shot him, killing him before he could take advantage of her being so small.
Clementine was left breathing heavily, gun still pointed at the corpse incase it wasn’t dead, even though she shot him in the head. Shock and fear filled the little girl’s mind. Mason toying with her defenceless reminded her so much of Carver and all the things he did to make her uncomfortable while he toyed with her. That sent her into overdrive and she lost it, explaining the numerous stab wounds in Mason.
The little girl turned to Luke and pointed the gun at him with one hand while she used the other to back away from him. Clementine looked like a scared, little kitten. Luke knows from experience.
When he and Nick were in the fourth grade, on their way to the candy store, they saw one of their classmates beating on a little, black kitten in an alley. Luke and Nick scared him off and approached the small cat. The poor creature was terrified. Luke gave Nick his candy money to combine with his so he could by a can of tuna for the cat while Luke kept an eye on it. He pulled a yo-yo out of his backpack and unwound the string before dangling it in front of the kitten. It watched the string for a moment then it started swatting at it. Eventually, the cat let Luke pet it.
Nick came back with the can of tuna and gave it to the kitten. While it ate the canned food, Luke and Nick talked about what they were going to do with it. They both agreed to take it back to Nick’s house since Luke’s mom was allergic to cats. Thanks to Luke, they named the cat Yo-yo. It was a joke at first, but it stuck. After a trip to the vet and a lot of begging, Nick’s mom agreed to keeping Yo-yo. Every time Luke came over, Yo-yo would rub against his legs, wanting to be petted. And of course Luke gave into the kitten. It was hard to imagine that terrified kitten was now a happy cat.
Clementine wasn’t a cat, but the poor girl was terrified like the kitten, so Luke approached her the same way as he did Yo-yo. Slowly.
“Clem, it’s okay.” he said, slowly walking towards her.
The little girl guestered the gun at him as she backed away on the floor.
“They’re dead, kid. They can’t hurt you anymore, and I would never hurt you. Put the gun down.” Luke said.
Clementine blinked a few times, bringing herself back into reality before lowering the gun. Luke walked closer to the little girl and knelt down in front of her, opening his arms for her. He watched her lip quiver before she pushed herself off the floor and into his arms. Luke hugged her extra tight, he thought he was never going to hold her again after she let herself become their plaything. Luke sat down on the floor, his back up against the wall so it’d be easier to hold her.
“Don’t you ever do that again.” he said to her.
In response, Clem gripped his shirt. She thought she lost him. “I’m sorry.” she spoke into his shoulder.
Luke rubbed her back. “I shouldn’t have let him touch you.”
“No,” Clementine pulled her head out of his shoulder to look at him. “For pointing a gun at you. I was in shock after stabbing him… A lot. He- he just reminded me of what Carver did, and he almost killed you, and I just…” Tears streamed down her small face, forcing her head down and closed her eyes.
Luke pulled her back in his arms. “Hey, we’re both alive. That’s all that matters, right?” he asked.
After no response, Luke thought to himself for a moment. He wanted her to stop crying. What was the last thing he did to make her feel better? He remembered, but he didn’t want to. Luke looked down at Clementine, it was for her. And to be fair, she saved his life… Twice.
“The dawn is breaking,
A light shining through,
You’re barely waking,
And I’m tangled up in you,”
Clementine looked up at Luke singing her the song.
“I’m open, you’re closed,
Where I follow, you’ll go,
I worry I won’t see your face,
Light up again,”
The farm boy wiped her tears off her face.
“Even the best fall down sometimes,
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme,
Out of the doubt that fills your mind,
Somehow I find,
You and I collide.”*
“Why did you stop?” Clementine asked.
“I forgot the rest of the song.” Luke said.
Clem smiled for a quick second before it disappeared.
“I’m sorry.” he said.
“For what?” she asked.
“For kind of breaking the guitar.”
Clementine smiled. “It’s okay.”
“I hope you enjoyed that song, because I am never singing for you again.”
“Come on, Luke. Please.”
Clementine shook her head at Luke’s response and rested her head against his chest.
“I know I don’t say this much, but I love you… too.”
Luke smiled down at the little girl, rubbing her back. The action caused Clementine to snuggle closer to him. She knows that Luke would always be gentle with her. He knows how to take care of her. He would never try to hurt her. She’s safe with him. And with that thought, she fell asleep.
NOW ENTERING IDAHO
Pain. Pulsing pain. Clementine felt like her head was going to explode. She quietly moaned in pain. Clem tried to remember what happened, but it was all so fuzzy. All she could really recall is the memory of her and Luke finding a guitar. Despite the run in with the cannibals, it wasn’t a bad memory. Now she knows what Mason’s intention for her was. The minute Luke was dead, she would be his. She’s glad she killed him. Clementine felt her head pulse even more as the sun tried to shine in her eyes, causing her to moan even louder.
“This is going to be good.” she heard Luke mutter.
Clementine moved her head, trying to wake up her brain a little more. She could feel something wrapped around her head. Then she remembered tripping over something, causing her black out. Clem thought about that bit, remembering that it happened at dawn. Dawn. She woke up before dawn.
Clementine gained the strength to open her eyes a little bit before the light blinded her, forcing her to close them again. She remembered grabbing the gun and walking into the forest. How she pointed the gun at her head. How she wanted to die. The reasons were still valid for her.
She tried to open her eyes again, but closed them after being so used to the darkness. Luke stopped her. And then there was the whole walkers thing, and they got seperated, and she passed out due to dehydration. Then she woke up again in the truck, water on her face, and a bottle in her mouth. She took the bottle from Luke who was trying to hydrate her and set it down while he was looking for another water bottle. She took that chance to run towards the forest. That’s when she tripped and hit her head.
Clem tried to move her hands to rub her eyes, but she couldn’t. Every time she tried to move one hand the other unwillingly followed behind her back. The same with her feet, she couldn’t move them away from each other. As she slowly managed to open her eyes, she looked at Luke who was driving. He looked guilty about something. She looked around the vehicle, seeing the scenery go by. Clementine tried to move her arms again, but failed. So she shifted her weight and tried to move her hands to the front of her body to look at them. Clem saw hard plastic wrapped around each of her wrists, but they were linked together.
“What?” she whispered out as her vision cleared to see what the hard plastic was. Zip ties. Clementine looked down at her feet to see linked zip ties around her ankles too.
The little girl struggled in disbelief. She was actually tied up.
“Clem, stop.” Luke said, noticing her struggling.
She turned to him. “Luke?”
“Yeah?” he asked.
“What the fuck?!” she exclaimed as she pulled on her bounds. They weren’t tight, but they kept her restricted.
“Well, what was I supposed to do, Clem? You wanted to kill yourself.” Luke said.
“So you decided to tie me up? And with zip ties, you know I hate zip ties!” Clementine yelled.
“I was afraid you’d try to kill yourself again.”
“You should have let me in the first place!”
“Do you hear yourself right now? What happened to the Clementine who was set on going to Washington?”
“There’s nothing out there, Luke.”
“We’ll find something.”
“Like a horde of walkers or people who want to kill us?”
“I don’t understand why you’re acting this way, you have a better chance at surviving than I do.”
“No, I don’t. You have a better chance without me.”
“What the hell has gotten into you?”
“I’m just done, Luke. And you should have let me die.”
“I wasn't going to shoot you in the head, and I wasn’t going to let you commit suicide.”
“Because I love you too much to let you do that.”
“If you really loved me, Luke, then you would have let me kill myself.”
“Well…” Luke was speechless. It broke his heart that she wanted to die. He couldn’t let her die, she was the only reason he had any hope for the world. And it killed him to say this to her. “I guess I don’t love you, then.”
Clementine opened her mouth to say something, then shut it. She turned back to the front. Silence filled the truck, but was broken by sniffle. Clementine started to cry. She couldn’t wipe her tears because her hands were behind her back.
Luke hated this. He didn’t like playing the bad guy. Luke hoped it was a phase she was going through, but he was worried for her. Clementine was his whole world, and right now she was breaking and he couldn’t hold her this time.
“Clem…” he breathed.
The little girl turned away from so her back was facing him. She brought her legs up to her in the seat as she continued to cry. She wanted death so badly. Luke wouldn’t understand why. He’s not in her position.
The farm boy tried to ignore the sobs of his friend, but he couldn’t. She was too important to him to ignore. A tear slid down his face, which Luke quickly wiped away. All he could do was hope he could help Clementine in some way. If she didn’t hate him before, she did now. And after he basically made her cry, he hated himself, too.
*Howie Day- Collide (Acoustic Version)