The Zombie Prophecies: First Light

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Daryl

Daryl sat comfortably with Corrigan in their apartment. Romie had boarded up the room in which Corrigan had been sleeping, so he was dozing in a rather stiff chair.

“I can’t believe Max was bitten,” Daryl mumbled, recalling his promise to Jacob. He also remembered his wife and daughter and couldn’t help but feel like a failure.

“He wasn’t bitten,” Corrigan said, groggy and half asleep. “Eden and I checked him. There wasn’t a single bite anywhere.”

“So why did he turn then?”

“Felicia,” Corrigan said. “When she had Max pinned in the grocery store, he said she threw up in his face or what ever.”

“Right.” Daryl nodded. “So what ever it was it must have gotten in Max’s mouth, or nose or ears. Maybe that’s what turned him?”

“But Felicia wasn’t a zombie,” Corrigan reminded him.

“No, but she seemed to have some influence over them.”

“Well, was she bitten before she turned into a monster?” Corrigan asked.

Daryl remembered his little girl sinking her teeth into Felicia’s neck. “Kid, I don’t know. We got separated and the next time I saw her she was a monster!”

“Okay, okay,” Corrigan huffed. “I’ve heard the story--you don’t have to snap at me.”

“I didn’t snap!” Daryl felt his face growing hot.

The door, which had only been precariously placed against the frame with a promise from Romie to fix it in the morning, fell forward onto the floor as Eden burst into the room, Donovan trailing behind her.

“Eden! You’re okay!” Corrigan sprang to his feet.

“Donovan, good to see you up,” Daryl smiled but Donovan just looked worried.

“Jacob, he’s not okay.” Daryl couldn’t help but notice that Eden was pointedly looking away from her brother as she spoke.

“What do you mean he’s not okay?” Daryl asked.

“I’m not sure. I just know that he was in pain, a lot of pain.”

“Is that what you were talking about before you passed out?” Corrigan asked and Eden still didn’t look at him.

“We gotta help him,” she said.

“Okay, we will, but it’s dark out,” Daryl gestured toward the night sky beyond the window. “No to mention we have no idea where Felicia is. She may still be out there waiting to pick us off. We’ll never get far. We have to wait until the morning. Charles said he’ll give us some supplies and send us on our way as soon as the sun comes up.”

“What if it can’t wait?” Eden pleaded.

“Donovan! Eden!” Noah rushed into the apartment, wagging his finger at his patients. “What are you doing up here? You should be resting!”

“I had to come talk to my brother,” Eden said, “It’s important.”

“I’m just moral support,” Donovan said. “Actually, I wouldn’t mind going back to bed.”

“Well whatever it is you have to say, it’ll have to wait until morning.”

“But it can’t wait!” Eden demanded and her voice cracked.

Daryl put his hand on her arm and she shuddered. She turned to look at him and she looked confused, maybe even frightened.

“Can we talk to Charles?” Corrigan said, turning to face Noah. “You’re in with his crew right? You can take us to him. We need to get to my brother.”

Eden tilted her head to look at Corrigan and cracked a slight smile, just enough for him to notice and look away from her.

“I’m not ‘in with his crew’.” Noah made quotation marks in the air with his fingers as he imitated Corrigan. “Besides, he most definitely does not want visitors right now.”

“Our brother is hurt!” Eden fought back tears. “He could be dying, or dead! We need to get back to our farm as soon as possible.”

Noah shook his head. “I don’t think that’ll be happening anytime soon. Anywhere below the third floor is a no clearance zone at night. Nobody can leave, not until the sun is up.”

“And who’s going to stop us?” Corrigan stepped up to Noah. The teen was a few years younger than Noah, about half a foot shorter too, but his voice was pure hot anger. Noah stood his ground and the two stared into each other’s eyes.

“Really guys?” Donovan scoffed from his seat. “As if we don’t have enough to worry about, now we’re fighting each other?”

“We’re going,” Corrigan pushed past Noah and Eden followed behind him.

Daryl hung back, surprised. He’d never seen Corrigan act that way before. The cop looked at Noah, then down at Donovan who rolled his eyes at the whole scene.

“Wait, guys wait!” Daryl chased after the siblings as they went down the hall to Charles’ apartment.

“Open up Charles!” Corrigan pounded on the old man’s door.

“Maybe we should just wait until morning?” Eden said in a shy tone. She seemed unnerved by her young brother’s aggressiveness.

“Wait until morning?” Corrigan turned on his sister, a vein was pumping in his temple. “Eden, we are not going to wait until morning. You were the one demanding we leave now!” He turned to pound on the door again, this time yelling a bit louder.

“Can’t you control the little one?” Donovan asked Eden under his breath.

“I’ve never had to,” Eden said, standing back and observing Corrigan’s behaviour. “He’s never done this before, normally he’s so passive.”

“I can hear you, you know!” Corrigan appeared offended as he stopped hitting the door to look at Donovan and Eden. “I’m right here.”

Eden fidgeted for a second. “I mean... you’re acting differently--”

“Screw you, I’m not passive.” Corrigan sounded bitter, he turned to pound his fist into the door once more but it opened before he made contact. The force of his blow pulled his body forward and he almost fell to the floor.

“No, I’d say you’re not,” Charles said from behind the door, peeking his head around at his guests. “Quite the opposite of passive, from what I can tell. What can I do for you young man?”

“Nothing, it’s okay, really,” Eden laughed uncomfortably. “I mean, we were just going.”

“No we weren’t!” Corrigan yelled. “Not until the old man gives us clearance to use the elevator to get out of this place.”

“Out?” Charles opened his door wider, exposing a long dressing gown. “My dear boy, why ever would you want out of here? I mean, aside from today’s freak accident, this is absolutely the safest place to be right now.”

“We need to get to our brother,” Corrigan stepped close to Charles.

“Oh, a bit of a big man are we?” Charles spoke in a flat, unreadable tone. “Attempting to intimidate an old man while you’re a guest in his home?”

“Corrigan, back off!” Daryl reached out and grabbed Corrigan’s arm, pulling him back. He submitted to Daryl’s strength, allowing the cop to pull him away.

“But he’s hurt,” Corrigan said, deflating. It was as if Daryl’s fingers had pressed so tight around his elbow that he’d burst a hole and all of the hot air was spilling out.

“Who’s hurt?” Charles seemed genuinely concerned.

“Our brother.”

Charles watched Eden intently as she told him about the pain she’d felt.

“Well then,” he said as he stepped aside. Daryl didn’t like the way the old man hungrily eyed Eden. “That’s a different story.”

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