I was hiding in a small house, never going out because of the eaters. I barely moved. I made my bed next to the pantry which was stocked with food. My bag was always ready if I had to leave. My family is dead. I’m alone in this world.
My bag has clothes, water purification tablets, some food, rope, a blanket, small pillow, compass, map, flashlight, silencer, ammo, standard pistol, socks, boots, phone, head phones, phone, book, journal, glasses.
I was reading, as always, the only book I got from home, The Hunger Games series in one book. Suddenly the front door burst open. I gasp and grab my things and hiding in the pantry.
"Check for food." I hear a raspy voice say.
I curse in my head for hiding in a obvious place.
The door opens and I see a man with a crossbow. My eyes glance at his, then to the crossbow. I start to tremble. I raise up my hands in defense.
He puts his crossbow to the side and crouches down to my level.
"I'm not going to hurt you. What’s your name?" He asks gently.
"Charlotte," I say, my voice cracking with nerves.
"I'm Daryl. We have a safe place to be at, but we have to ask you some questions first.” Daryl says.
I nod, "Ask away."
He stands up and offers a hand. I put my backpack on which had everything but my book and gun in it, and take his hand to help me up.
"How many people have you killed?" He asks.
"One. A man.” I answer.
I see in my mind the man that was trying to choke Kit, my step dad, for not sharing his deer with him.
"How many dead people have you killed?" He asks.
I respond, "Three. My family turned and I had to shoot them or I wouldn't be here."
He asks finally, "Why?"
I answer, "To protect the ones I love and to protect myself from others."
He nods, "Come on."
I follow him out. There is a motorcycle and a truck parked outside.
"You can ride with me." He says, walking to the motorcycle.
I nod and follow him. I wrap my arms tightly around him as he rides off fast. There is a car behind us.
We come up to a prison. The gates open, and a woman opens them by a pulley system. Smart. She looks at me while we drive up to the main group of buildings. Daryl parks his bike and I get off on. I straighten up and grab my bag which was in the car. I hear the main gates rust open and a horse comes in with another woman controlling it. Two people emerge from the fields. A man and a boy with a hat on.
"Who are they?" I ask, staring at them.
"The woman on the horse is Michonne, the other woman that was by the gate is Maggie, the man is Rick, and the boy is Carl." He says, pointing to them beside me.
I put my bag on my shoulders as he leads me inside cell block D.
I get one of the top cells. One bunk bed that is bare, a sink that doesn’t work, and a pole that is the 'closet'. He hands me a bed roll. I unwrap it on the top and make my bed. I fold my clothes and put them in a small cardboard box that is my 'dresser'. Another small cardboard box is where I put the others things including what’s left in my backpack. I take my glasses and push them to the bridge of my nose and put my hair in a high ponytail. My wavy hair became frizzy in the heat. I take off my button up shirt to reveal my baggy white tee. I step out of my room and walk down to the dining hall.
I wait in line to get food. As I wait I smell some kind of meat in the air around us. It’s barbecue. I turn it down and take an apple off the smaller table. I turn to the mass of tables. I'm the outsider, the stranger. I pick the corner table in the back that is empty. I rotate the reddish yellowish apple in my hand, a honey crisp, small compared to average size. I set the apple down in front of me and twiddle my thumbs staring at them. I wish I brought my book.
"Hello." I hear.
My eyes snap to brown ones behind glasses. I stare back. He takes a seat across from me.
"You're Charlotte right?" He asks.
He smiles, "Good. Want me to show you around?"
I shrug and stand up, taking the apple.
"This is the dining area. Three meals a day. We all live in cell blocks C and D. The tombs have cells as well. We have a library. The fields are the gardens. We can go down to the gardens now."
I follow him down to the edge. Carl and some other kids are down there.
"They had names when they were alive. They're dead now."
A blond girl says, "No they're not. They're just different."
I scoff loudly and raise my eyebrows at the girl.
"You have something to say?" She snaps at me.
I walk over and stand inches away gripping the collar of her jacket.
In a low voice, I warn at her, "The only thing that will be different is when they tear your skin off and blood gushes out as you scream and cry helplessly as more come to tear you apart with no second thought. Would you name it then?"
She shakes her head no.
"Then don't name." I push her away with such a force that she trips and stumbles.
I glare at her as she runs away.
"Why did you do that?" Another blonde girl asks.
"Why are you asking?" I snap back.
"Because she is my sister." She retorts.
I don't respond.
She turns away and asks the other two, "Are two coming to story time?"
The boy in glasses nods while Carl says, "It's for kids."
She huffs and leaves. Glasses boy leaves after that leaving me with Carl. He looks at me. I walk off to my room and grab my gun.
I stop a girl with brown hair, "Can you show me where the library is?"
She nods, "A bookworm?"
She leads me downstairs in C block.
"This is the tombs. Take a right. It's the second door on the left." She instructs, pointing down the long hallway.
I can see a white spray painted arrow pointing right. Half screwed in lightbulbs hang above me saving electricity for when it gets dark. My gun is in my belt holster. It softly reminds me it's by my side as I walk.
I hear a soft woman’s voice echo into the hallway, "Today we are talking about knives. How to use them, how to be safe with them, and how they could save your life."
As I start to walk towards the voice, I see Carl run out and the voice stop talking. I sneak inside the doorway past the man and go to the fiction aisle. I glance and see a group of kids and an older woman with a shirt grey haircut.
I ignore her. She takes that silence to go on.
"Alright, as I was saying before..."
I tune her out and scan the book spines. Out dated is what I describe them. Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Secret Garden. I take the Secret Garden and head to a small table by the door.
'When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. '
I grin slightly. A misfit as the main character is always a good sign that it is a good book. I tune out the woman’s lecture to the children. I spend the rest of the afternoon in the library reading the book.
"Supper is ready." I hear it but ignore it.
Someone taps my shoulder. I wave them off and flip the page eager to read more.
It's already dark when I go back to bed. I shut my door securely and get a granola bar from my bag. I close the curtain that was there before and change into boxers and a tank top. I set my glasses on the side next to me. I toss a bit, but finally fall into sleep.