Ok so I just reuploaded this because I'm taking some advice about how the structure of the story would be better if I had the first chapter have everything from 1-3. I realized that this is a fantastic idea so for all those who have read my story up to chapter 3 feel free to go to the next chapter because this is just all of 1 through 3 with no changes at all to the story. Sorry for the confusion if you already read this.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from the Walking Dead series (both TV show and Comics). Just my OC's
Pant. Pant. Pant.
"Why am I running? What is compelling me to keep going?" Natalie thought to herself as she was running through the woods.
Her combat boots were breaking the leaves and twigs that were on the ground, alerting her pursuers where she was. The trees were starting to blur as she ran by them, her eyes were watering, her lungs were threatening to collapse from exhaustion, and she no longer felt her feet moving but they were still running away from what was chasing her. She couldn't look back... what she was running from was far too horrifying for her to look at. However, a part of her also wanted to look back. It was beckoning her to stop running and accept that her life was over; there was no reason for her to run anymore if she was going to die a horrible death anyway. But before she could choose to look back or not, she felt a hand grab at her shoulder and she fell forward with her attacker on top of her.
"Ugh! No!" she screamed as she thrashed her body around trying to escape. But it was futile because she was now caught in a tight lock grip. Her arms are pinned down and she is being straddled around her torso. She calmed her breathing knowing that she wasn't going escape.
"There's no point anymore. I have no reason to avoid it… and I am done fearing death." She thought to herself.
She took three deep breaths before turning her head to look at her attacker. The white T-shirt was torn and soaked in blood. Its grey skin was mangled and smelled rotten, the long dark brown hair was knotted and stained blood and its eyes that were once big and brown like a deer were now a lifeless milky white. How did she know that they were once brown? Because she had those same eyes that she had inherited from her father. If she didn't know any better she would have thought that it was herself as a monster…but instead she was about to die by the hands of her older sister. Reese let out a hungry snarl as she threw her head down to bite into Natalie's neck.
"FALCO OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!" Natalie woke up from her nightmare to the sound of her landlord Larry banging on her door. She rolled off the couch she was sleeping on and landed on the floor with a loud thud.
"Ah shit!" she swore as she lifted herself off the floor and remembered she was in the shitty little apartment that her sister Reese rented.
Reese must have forgotten to pay her rent if and Larry was here to collect it. And judging by his insistence on shouting their last name he didn't care which sister he got it from. Unfortunately for Natalie, Reese has been gone for at least two days because she was hooking up with her new boyfriend and only god knows where they are and when they would be back. This left her to deal with Larry.
"I'm coming! If you break the damn door I'm not paying for it!" she yelled back as she went to open the door.
Natalie had been living with Reese for about three months in Atlanta after graduating from NYU and couldn't find a stable job in photography to continue living in New York on her own. The only gigs she was able to get was selling a few photos to any newspapers that would pay for them and sometimes got paid to do professional photos for families. Her sister Reese didn't favor any better, she was always unpredictable and would find a job only to quit after a month or two of work. If you could name any job that didn't require a college degree Reese probably had it at one point. So down on their luck the sisters had eagerly (well Reese did anyway) agreed to live together and split the rent so that they could save money for the essentials and for Natalie to pay off student debts.
"What?" She asked opening the door to her obnoxious low-life landlord.
"Oh is that all I get? A what? No how can I help your or how has your day been? Ya'know what, doesn't matter your whore of a sister hasn't paid her part of the rent in months and I'm evicting you now!"
"What are you talking about? Reese told me she had the rent under control. And aren't you supposed to leave an eviction notice before throwing us out?"
"Shows how close you two are! I gave her an eviction notice last week and said that she would have the money by today!"
Natalie was trying to hide her shocked expression. She remembered last week Reese came home late at night with a worried look on her face and when she asked her what was wrong she said that it's being taken care of.
"Ugh! How could I have been so stupid?" Natalie thought. "I should have been more assertive with her because after that she met Mason her "soul mate" of the week! Anytime she meets a guy she goes off into her own little perfect world with him and forgets all of her problems."
The worst part about all this was that Natalie just paid some of her loans off and has been waiting for a check from her last job to come in the mail. She was broke and couldn't afford pay him.
"Look I'm sure Reese will be back from work by tonight and we can sort this all out."
"Not falling for that one! How many bartenders at night clubs start their shifts in the morning and end them in the evening? None!" He had her there. And there was no telling if Reese would be coming home at all today.
"However since you seem desperate… I suppose I could collect in other ways" his hand suddenly snaked its way around Natalie's waist and he pulled her in close. It took her less than a second to head-butt him and slam the door in his face locking him out.
"Fuck you!" She shouted "I'll be out by this afternoon!"
She walked backed to the couch not caring that Larry was shouting every swear word in the dictionary behind their door, she was too busy trying to process what just happened and how she is going to deal with it.
"Hey you've reached Reese, I can't pick up the phone now so leave a message and I will call you back!" I heard her perky voicemail on my cellphone.
Honest to god I do love my sister a lot but she drives me crazy with how oblivious she becomes to the world when she meets a new guy who she hits it off with. It wouldn't bother me if she took it slow and had a somewhat normal relationship but instead she always falls head over heels for the guy in less than a week and gets all serious and affectionate with him. But once things cool off after a month or two (on a rare occasion four months) she breaks up with him for a different guy. And now I don't know what's worse. That she's off who knows where with some guy not knowing that we are homeless or that I'm sitting in a diner outside of the city with all the stuff we own packed in Reese's Toyota trying to call and figure out where the hell she was.
"Hey Reese its Nat again, look I didn't want to do this over a voice mail but I'm running out of options." I take a deep breath. "We just got evicted, I have all of our stuff packed in the car and I really don't know what to do. I need your help and you know how much I hate asking for help so please call back. I don't care whether we have to go to a shelter or crash with Mason or some other friend of yours but I really just need my big sister now. I love you and please call or text me as soon as you can." I hang up the phone with a sigh.
I know better than to expect her to call back anytime soon but I'm not sure how long I can stay in this diner. I feel too stressed out to eat anything and the waitress is probably getting tired of me just asking her to refill my water and wants me to actually order something that isn't free. All I really want now is for my sister to walk through the door, sit down in the booth in front of me and tell me that everything is going to be okay. Not that it will happen since she doesn't know where I am or has ever been to this dinner but I can almost picture her walking up to the door with her dark chocolate hair and light brown tips blowing in the wind wearing her favorite Bruce Springsteen T-shirt, ripped jeans and Chuck Taylors. Sometimes I can't remember if she stole my look or if I copied hers, although I retired my converse for boots, never got a nose or eyebrow piercing like she did and my hair is more of a milk chocolate color with some natural blonde highlights. I was broken out of my daydream by a cup of coffee being put right in front of me.
"Oh wait I didn't order anything." I say looking up expecting to see the only waitress that was working here today but was instead surprised to see an elderly looking man with a beard and a bucket hat.
"It's on me. I'm sorry to interrupt you like this but I couldn't help but notice that you seemed down and I couldn't help but want to offer you something to cheer you up. Now if you don't like coffee I would be more than happy to get you some tea or anything else you may like." He said with a genuine smile on his face. I was shocked that this man was being so kind to a complete stranger, I thought that no longer happened in this day in age.
"It's ok, coffee's fine. Thank you… um I'm Natalie." I awkwardly extended my hand out to shake his. A practice that is starting to become outdated among my generation but I figured that this man deserved more than just a thank you. His eyes seemed to light for a bit before he shook my hand.
"It's nice to meet you Natalie. I'm Dale, any chance you keep an old man some company?" As much as I don't feel like talking it would be rude to say no and he seems nice enough. Plus he did buy me a cup of coffee so the least I can do is make small talk.
"Please have a seat. Also I want to apologize ahead of time for not being the best conversationalist, I have not been having the best day." I admitted to him.
"Don't worry about it, now I can't help but notice that you lack a southern accent. Are you passing through here or visiting someone?" He said trying to change the subject instead of asking me what's wrong, something I appreciated at this moment.
"Haha it's that obvious is it? No I'm actually from New York originally but I just moved here a couple of months ago to live with my sister in Atlanta after graduating from NYU."
"Oh you lived in New York City! I remember visiting there years ago with my wife, it's an interesting place and all but I prefer being in my RV camping than living in a city any day."
I giggled at that because he definitely did not look like a city guy. He smiled at me laughing and I could tell that he was one of those people who cared about others no matter who they were, something that is rare to find in people in my experience.
"So that's your RV out there? It actually looks kind of fun from this city girls point of view. I always wanted to travel across the country and build my portfolio of photos. Sadly I'm a long way from paying off student loans to afford to do such a thing."
"Well I can't help but notice that your car is full of a lot of stuff, I kind of thought that you were doing a road trip because I don't usually see cars that full unless there going someplace." He gestured out the window to where my car was parked.
He did have a point, if that wasn't my car I would have guessed that someone was living out of it. If things don't go well today I might have to spend the night in it. I let out a sigh as I thought of how to explain my situation. Even though he seems like he would be totally nice and understanding about it I'm not really the type of person that opens up easily about their life. I'd always felt the need to put up a wall and keep my shit to myself to make myself be independent.
"Right now I'm in between places. I'm actually waiting for my sister to call me about where are going to meet up for the night." I said that as calmly as I could but from the look in his eyes I could tell that he wasn't buying it. He was just about to say something when my phone went off. Speak of the devil herself Reese was finally calling me back. "I'm sorry that's her now. I have to take this outside." I get up from the table and answer the call as I make my way outside.
"Hey I've been trying to reach you all day where are you?"
"Natalie I am so sorry you had to find out about the apartment this way! I swear to God I was going to take care of it once Mason dropped me off!" she said very quickly. Reese always talked very fast when she was upset, even though that usually made me pity her I wasn't having it today.
"Why didn't you tell me about it? We could have worked something out like we usually do and you still haven't answered me about where you are!"
"I was with Mason near Fort Benning; I'm on my way back to Atlanta. We were hanging out with some of his army buddies and the reason I didn't tell you about the rent problem is because I've felt like a failure of a big sister. The club hasn't been having as much business as usual so I lost a lot of money in tips and I've focused on using our money for the essentials like food and our meds…"
"Speaking of meds…" I interrupted her "have you been taking yours because it feels like you have not been making any sense since you answered your phone and you know that if you can't afford to refill them you could borrow some of mine…"
"Natalie that is not the point! OK I haven't been as good with them as I should have but now I want to focus on the bigger problem at hand! We are going to stay at my coworker Miranda's place, her roommate just moved out so we can stay in her room for a couple of days. I'm going to text you the address and meet you there." She said angrily. She always got defensive about her medication but I don't want to argue anymore now that I know she has a plan. We can sort that out later.
"OK I'm at a diner outside of Atlanta now so I'll head back there… look I'm sorry about asking about your meds but I just really hate this situation and you know that I care about you and your health no matter how much we drive each other crazy."
"It's OK. I understand and that's why I love having you, because a sister is a best friend for life."
She has always said that since I can remember and it is true. Even though we are seven years apart we are still very close and similar, some people used to think we were twins as I got more mature looking. Even though she isn't always the most rational thinker I know she always has my back. Whether it was supporting my dreams of photography to scaring off guys who were not getting the hint that I wasn't interested in them she was always there for me.
"Best friends for life. I love you, see you soon." I said as I hung up the phone. I went inside to say goodbye to Dale and thanked him again for the coffee and cheering me up. I left the diner and got on the road back to Atlanta to head for Miranda's place.
It was getting darker now as I was driving back. I hadn't realized that I had been out for that long but I guess I was too distracted by what has happened today instead of keeping track of time. That reminds me, I haven't heard the news all day. I usually don't like listening to news but I got into the habit of listening to it from my old college roommate who always wanted to stay up to date on what was happening. It turns out I was missing out on a lot of important information.
This is a reminder that the virus that has broken out a couple weeks ago is appearing to be spreading throughout the entire area and more and more people are being affected by it. We have no idea what it is or what is the cause of it but we are advising people to either stay in their homes or head up to Atlanta where they are setting up refugee centers where food and vaccines will be provided.
Holy shit! This must be serious if they are setting up refugee centers in Atlanta; which means that I'm probably heading right into traffic that is going to take hours for me to even get back into the city. Could this day get any worse! (Why the hell would I say that?) Apparently I spoke to soon because all of a sudden my car engine was starting to sputter. Great… now I have to pull over and check under the hood to see what's wrong. Which is exactly what I did; before I got out I pulled open the glove compartment and pulled out a mini flashlight and a wrench to tighten the bolts that usually came loose in the car.
As I got out I couldn't help but think of how much this reminded of a horror movie. A young woman has her car break down in the middle of nowhere and stupidly gets out of her car to see what's wrong only to get attacked by the serial killer who just happened to have escaped from prison that day. The only difference is that I'm not wearing a revealing outfit (instead I'm wearing a tank top, leather jacket with a hoodie under it, skinny jeans and combat boots.) and I've taken multiple self-defense classes and kick boxing lessons for the past few years. If that doesn't work I'll just knee the groin and hit them over the head with the wrench. Wow, the stuff I say to calm myself down can be downright weird.
Back to the car; so I was right about the screws being loose but that isn't the only problem with it. As I continue to look for the problem I see headlights from my peripheral vision telling me a car is coming my way. At first they slow down a bit but then pass me. I thought that was the end of it but they pulled over a couple of feet ahead of me and turned off their car. I guess they saw I was a woman and figured they should help the girl who is bending over her car with a small flashlight hanging out of her mouth looking like she has no clue what she was doing. Please god if you have any love for me at all they won't be creepy perverts who want to get in my pants. Just be good people like that nice man Dale was.
I heard a car door open and the sound of heavy boots land on the asphalt of the street. From the sound of it he was tall, and possibly on the husky side so it's unlikely that my 5 foot 3 inches will overpower him. But hey, I'm already judging him and for all I know he could be a decent guy.
"Do you need any help there sweet cheeks?" I heard a heavy southern accent ask in a way that did not sound genuine at all. Oh fuck sakes! Can I ever get a break today!
I really didn't want to turn around but I knew that I had to face him eventually. So I took my mini flashlight out of my mouth, took a deep breath, put on my best resting bitch face and turned around.
"There's no need. I'm just replacing my spark plugs and I'm good." I half lied.
It turns out that I do need to replace my spark plugs; they were just in a box in the trunk of my car. Unfortunately instead of leaving he continued walking forward. As he came closer I was able to get a better look at him. I try not to be judgmental but I'm pretty sure if you looked up redneck in the dictionary his picture would be right next it. He was about six feet tall, pale, had his head shaved at the sides but what appeared to be graying sandy hair at the top of his head and beady eyes. He was looking at me with amusement in his eyes.
"Now how does a pretty little thing like you know how to put in spark plugs?" he asked.
Behind him the driver door opened and another guy stepped out. "Great" I thought sarcastically, "there's two of them". However the one guy wasn't coming forward. He was just leaning against the truck watching us. Probably didn't want to pull over but captain redneck insisted.
"When you can't afford to buy a decent car and don't want to pay an overcharged mechanic to replace them you learn how to do a few things yourself." He laughed at that.
"Well no matt'a how handy you are with that wrench I don't think we'll be leaving just yet. Gentlemen don't leave pretty girls on the road to fend for themselves right D?" he yelled back to the guy by the truck. He didn't respond, just kept staring with his arms crossed. "Oh don't mind him, he don't talk much. 'Specially around pretty girls. Now how long are ya going to be?"
"I just need to get the spark plugs outta my trunk, wait right there and watch for any oncoming cars will you?" I did not want him anywhere near me. Even though he was only a good amount away from me I still felt he was too close.
"Now it sounds like y'all don't trust me. What have I done to put ya on edge?
"Well it could be I've watched too many horror movies and the girl in my position never turns out okay, I don't even know your name, or it could be the fact that your eyes have had contact with every part of my body except for my eyes so forgive me if I'm a little on edge." I say bravely even though I have no idea where that came from.
I heard what sounded like a combination of a snort and a chuckle and realized that it came from D, the guy by truck. Captain redneck turned his head towards D and gave him what I assumed was a glare because D went quiet after that.
"Well look at that, girl's got spunk. But hey, last time I checked it's not illegal for a man to look at a woman. And the name thing can be settled very easily, I'm Merle, Merle Dixon, and that over there is my baby brother Daryl but I usually call him lil D or Darylina." So they were brothers huh. Well I haven't been able to get a good read on Daryl since he's hiding in the shadow of his truck but so far he doesn't seem at all like his brother.
"I'm Natalie, Natalie Falco."
"Falco? Don't get a lot of Falco's round our parts. What language is that?"
He's probably trying to find out my ethnicity. I get that a lot because it seems like anytime you don't have a last name like Smith, Johnson or Williams people try to figure out what ethnicity you are like it makes a huge difference. I was raised not to care about that stuff, I treat others the way I would treat myself (Well maybe not Merle, but he's being an ass now).
"It's Italian. Means falcon." Might as well give him a little language lesson while I'm at it.
"Italian huh, was your daddy in the mob? If I don't do what you say am I going to end up in the bottom of the river?" He burst out laughing after that. Oh great I'm stranded on the road with a misogynistic bigot.
While he's busy laughing at his not so funny and kind of offensive joke I took the time to walk around to my trunk still clenching my wrench really tight just in case him or his brother try to jump me. I popped open my trunk and started to look for where I keep the spare spark plugs. The only problem is that I have boxes and bags in here that are filled with clothes, books and personal items, and canned foods so I have to shuffle around some things to find them. While I'm looking I could hear the brothers talking in front of the car. Either they are not as quiet as they think they are or they just don't care if I listen in or not.
"Man girl's got a sweet ass but she's got a mouth on her, and not in the fun way either." That was obviously Merle.
"I told you we should have kept going but you wanted go… what was it you said? Oh yeah get some tail." (those may not have been his exact words, his real words were too disgusting for me to think about) That one must be Daryl since I have yet to hear him talk. Turns out I was totally right about him wanting to leave me here.
"Hey don't you start mouthing off to me too! I may not have beaten her senseless but I can still punch you out. Anyway let's leave; she's obviously not going to be giving it up anytime soon. She's probably a rug muncher now that I think of it." Finally! Even though I'm pretty sure he just called me a prude lesbian he was finally going to leave.
"So now you're just going to leave her to possibly get attacked by those geeks because she isn't throwing herself at you for offering to help her for your own needs?"
That's when their conversation started to become hard to hear. So now I'm confused. Daryl, the one who didn't want to pull over now was questioning whether they should leave me and what was that he said about geeks? I had to be afraid of smart people attacking me? Are they going to stab me to death with freshly sharpened pencils that were stored in their pocket protectors? OK I have to not think like that otherwise I'll be on the ground laughing like a lunatic.
At that moment I heard a noise coming from behind me and then a shadow loomed over me. I thought it was one of the Dixon brothers but the build was smaller and it was snarling. There was a horrible smell in the air, kind of like rotting meat. I turned my head around slowly and was met with milky eyes. A scream was stuck in my throat and it was fighting to get out but when I opened my mouth I couldn't say anything. It then flung itself at me with amazing speed and I would have been done for had I not swung my wrench in self-defense.
It went right through the skull very easily and blood gushed from its head and lands my face and neck. I'm pretty sure that I was going to throw up as it fell to asphalt. My mind was racing from the adrenaline that was starting to flow through me. I had just killed someone. Oh my god I had just killed someone! That just kept repeating over and over in my head. I heard someone shout something far away but I know that it was one of the brothers just a couple of feet away from me. I looked over towards the woods and realized that there were more of them. My vision is threatening to go black when they descended upon us.
Authors Note: HEY! So this is my first ever fanfic and I hope you enjoyed it. I'm starting this story in season one right when the outbreak happens. When it comes to the plot I am mostly going to follow the show but I'm going to add some stuff that is not in the show (Like the time in the camp before Rick got there and hopefully the time in between the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3). I'm going to pair her up with Daryl and their romance is going to be a really slow burn with some sexual tension and teasing because I personally like it when characters develop a friendship or at least learn about each other a bit before starting a romance. I also want to stay faithful to the story when it comes to character development and important plots.
I would also like to say that all comments whether they are positive or negative are appreciated. You can also let me know if you like certain parts or if there are areas I can improve on because I want to learn from this experience to improve my writing abilities (tell me if she's a Mary-Sue, someone is out of character, grammar mistakes).