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Stranger (Carl Grimes)


I wake up to gun shots.

"The fuck?" I mutter, jumping down from the top bunk and moving the curtain to the side.

An eater has its arms through the bars trying to grab me. I get my gun and shoot it once in the head. I tighten my messy ponytail, put a dirty shirt on, and slide the door back. I peek out and shoot more walkers, as everyone arounds here calls them that, blood splattering on me.

"Is everyone ok?" I hear Rick say.

"I cleared it up top!" I call down.

I double check each cell and kill any extra walkers I missed. I go back to my cell. I slip into tennis shoes and grab some shorts. I walk downstairs.

"Where can I wash this shit off?" I ask.

"In the shower stalls." Rick replies pointing behind me.

I turn and walk to it, closing a curtain in the back. I grab a cloth and get it wet in the cold water. I start scrubbing the blood off my arms and stomach. I take off my leggings and slip on my shorts. New blood stains my shirt. I leave the cloth on the tiled floor. I walk back upstairs and change, tugging on a tee with ripped jeans. I put on my socks and shoes. I grab my belt holster and my glasses against the bridge of my nose.

I grab some slices of bread with butter and honey and an apple, and sit down with the other survivors. Nervous chatter buzzes around. I quietly eat my bread. I walk down to the field after I finish. I stare at the cluster of walkers, and then at the wooden crosses in the other field. I sit down in the grass and watch them. The tall grass hides me from anyone and I enjoy it.

"Are you ok?" I hear from behind me.

"I'm fine." I respond.

Carl sits beside me. I sniffle.

"Are you crying?" He asks.

"No. Allergies." I snap at him.

"We lost alot of people today. There is a virus going around. The kids and old people need to be quarantined right now," he says standing up, "Go pack."

I run and pack my things, heading to Maggie, who I found in front of cell block C.

"Where do I go?" I ask.

"Over there, the offices." She points to the left.

I walk over and go to the second floor. A door is open. The two blonde girls are there plus some other kids and a baby. I mentally groan and go to a corner where there is a window, dirty, but filters in sunlight none the less. I take out my book and start where I left off.

"Will you read to us?" I hear a kid say.

"No. Now be quiet please." I say, not looking up.

I stop reading when I get bored. I'm the oldest in here, besides the other blonde teen was with the baby in another room trying getting it to sleep. The kids were talking quietly.

"We should probably rest right now." I announce.

There is only four of them. The two blondies and two brunettes. Three girls and one boy.

"Why? You aren't the boss of us," I hear a familiar voice say.

I sigh, my patience wearing thin already and explain in a calm voice, "I'm the oldest one in here and I'm the one who has a gun. Understand?"

She shuts up.

"Names." I order.

"I'm Mikah, this is my sister Lizzie. Those two are Molly and Luke," She points to the other two.

"Alright. Mikah, Lizzie, Molly, Luke. There is a virus going around. I want everyone spread apart and wearing bandanas over their mouths. Don't touch anyone and don't touch the door or anyone else's things. Now pick out a spot and set up your beds, and then rest," I instruct.

They act fast and soon go to sleep.

I tiptoe outside and sit against the wall outside the door with my silenced gun. I hear voices. It's an old man with a limp and Carl. They turn to me as I catch their attention.

"Where are you two going?" I accuse.

"None of your damn business." The old man snaps.

"Well don't come to me when you two get bit" I snap back, leaving to go to the room.

I wait an hour before telling the kids to get up.

"Why are we up?" Mikah asks.

"I decided to get you all some books so you won't nag me. Tell me some books you like and I will see if I can find them," I explain.

They tell me the book titles and I write it down on a slip of newspaper I found in the corner of the room. I sneak downstairs and to the library.

It's empty. I walk to the fiction section and fish out the crumpled list I stuffed in my pocket when I went down the stairs. I scan the titles and looks on the old spines. I grab four and leave.

As I walk back, I run into Carl. The sun boils down above us in the middle of the sky and locusts hum in the forests and mix in with the moans of the dead.

"What are you doing outside?" he exclaims as he comes closer.

I gesture to the books in my arm, "Getting books for the others upstairs. Where have you been?" I ask back.

I start to walk back and he walks with me saying, "I went into the woods with Hershel. He gathered berries while I kept watch."

"Though you weren't supposed to go outside the fences." I inquire.

"I couldn't just let Hershel go out there on his own." he snaps.

"Gee sorry for asking." I sass.

He huffs and rips the door open to the offices. I follow him up the stairs and into the room.

"If they didn't have the exact book I got something close." I explain as I pass the books around.

They all thank me and I wave it off. After a while in silence my stomach quietly grumbles.

"I'm gonna go see about food." I mutter, leaving them.

I walk outside the office to see Rick.

"Hey! What about food?" I ask, shouting from across the concrete.

"Here. Maggie made some sandwiches for the kids." he says, handing me a bag.

I nod taking the bag of food.

"Water," He explains as he hands me two jugs, "The cups are in the bag. Come back tomorrow for food and water."

I nod and mutter, "Good luck."

"You too." He calls.

The day is starting to come to an end as the sky turns to a grey as I go into the offices. I open the door and Mikah helps me by taking a jug. Molly is my favorite. She's quiet and has gorgeous green eyes with brown curly hair that is super long. I think she likes me as well. I carefully hand out food and water to the kids.

"Eat up. We get more tomorrow." I glance at the dark grey windows, transferring some night time noises.

I grab a flashlight and give the other teen, Beth, her sandwich and water. I have an extra left, so I go to find Carl.

"Carl." I say in a low voice.

I hear footsteps and his face appears in the beam coming from my yellow flashlight. I hand him a cup of water and a sandwich.

"I go get more tomorrow," I tell him.

He nods, "Thanks."

"Come on, you are sleeping in with the other kids," I state.

He doesn't object and follows.

"I take first watch. In two hours I will wake you up so you will take watch for three, wake me up and I will take four," I explain, shutting the door behind us.

He makes a bed and says goodnight like the other kids did, going to sleep.

I take off my glasses and let my wavy hair down which falls in inch or two over my shoulders. I sigh and rub my eyes and face, and images of my family flashing in my mind. I miss them. I let only one tear leak out mustering up the strength to stop the other tears from falling. I take the time to finish the book in the light of my flashlight. It was good. I check my watch which I found in the very bottom of my bag. I put it on my right wrist and see that it's ten which is Carl's watch now.

"Carl. Your watch now," I say, nudging him with the tip of my boot.

He rolls over and sits up, yawning. He nods and sits over by the door, fully awake.

"Wake me up at one," I whisper.

He nods and I roll over so my back is to him. My pillow is so soft, it's the one I brought from my home in Ohio. If I breathe in deep enough I can still smell the gentle scent of pine that used to surround my small house. My family and I traveled to Georgia after we heard that Florida was super bad. That was our original plan. South of Florida. I fall asleep with Florida on my mind.

"Wake up," I hear.

As a reflex my step dad trained me, and forgetting that I am somewhere safe, I trip the person and pin their wrists above their head, straddling them with a gun pointed to their temple.

"Ah!" Carl yelps with wide eyes.

It takes me a second to realize who it was.

"Charlotte?" I hear Mikah say.

My head snaps up to her.

"What's wrong?" I ask.

"I need to go." She says, squirming a little in her sleeping bag.

"Yeah, ok." I say.

"Shit sorry Carl." I apoligize, getting off and putting my gun away.

He has red cheeks and stammers out, "Um, it's-it's fine. I'm going to sleep."

I wave him off and go with Mikah and lead her to the bathroom down the hall. I go in after her and walk out.

"Were you and Carl kissing?" She asks.

"What? Why the hell would you ask that?" I ask, completly caught off guard by the question.

"Well, you were on top of him and both of you were breathless, so I just assumed..." She trails off.

We stop at the door.

"Carl and I weren't making out." I reassure her.

"I think you two would make a good couple. But watch out, Lizzie likes him and gets jealous easily." she warns me going back inside.

I sigh and run a hand through my messy hair. I go back in to find the others all awake.

"What are you doing up?" I ask.

"We heard a shout." Lizzie pipes up.

I sigh and tug at my hair in frustration, "That was Carl. Now please go back to sleep unless you guys have to pee."

They all nod.

"Come on hurry up. I'll take one at a time. Lizzie." I say she gets up and follows me.

When she closes the bathroom door coming out, she catches my arm.

"Stay away from my Carl." She warns at me.

"I don't like him." I say.

"Then why were you on top of him?" She retorts.

I scoff.

"That was an accident and plus he isn't yours." I snap back.

"Just don't like him. I like him." she says.

"Don't cross the line with me kid." I warn.

"Try me." She threatens, wiping out a switch blade.

I grab her wrist in a swift motion and twist it so she drops it.

"Ow!" She exclaims.

I pick up the switch blade and tuck it in my pocket.

"Don't threaten me with this again. You get it tomorrow afternoon. Get back in the room now." I order in a snarl.

She glares at me and storms back to the room.

After Molly and Luke go to the bathroom, I settle back and pick up my book again. I hear a groan outside. I get my gun and quietly crack the door. A walker stands outside a few feet away. I nudge my gun out and the door creaks loudly. The walker shuffles fast and I squeeze the trigger. It falls to the ground.

"Carl!" I hiss.

I shake him awake.

"What?" He mumbles.

"I just killed a walker outside and I think there might be more." I whisper.

He stands up and gets his gun.

I wake up Molly and say, "Don't open the door unless it's me."

She nods and we leave, guns aimed at the hallway. In the end, we take out ten walkers and drag them to an empty room. We collapse on our sleeping bags sweaty.

"I'm taking watch." I say.

"I'm wide awake, and can't go back to sleep." he says, sitting up.

"So where is your family?" he asks quietly.

"Dead," I say.

"Where did you live? You don't have a georgia accent." he asks curiously.

I hesitate before lieing, "Montana."

"What are you doing here?" he asks.

"No more questions." I snap.

I turn over in my bed roll so my back is to him. I fall asleep thinking of Ohio.

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