Author's note!: So, seeing as how my Boondock Saints fic is *this* close to being done, I thought that I'd start on this little endevor. See, I was watching a serious Walking Dead marathon and this little OC popped into my head, for really no other reason to screw with: Daryl, Merle, and Glenn! So, I'm going to try to keep this up with the show, but hey, you know, creative license ;] So let me know what you think! And if you have any ideas or pointers on Daryl, Merle and Glenn's characters then PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Thanks :]

*California POV*

I hate heights. I really, really hate heights. I whimpered to myself as I readjusted myself on the tree branch I was perched on. I felt like a freaking bird.

A bird, who's legs were falling asleep more and more by the minute. I sighed, and straddled the branch, letting my dead legs swing. To be honest, I had very little memory of ending up in this tree.

I remember gunshots. I remember that being unusual. Unusual, because I was as a physical therapy center.

Guns? Last I checked, it wasn't a horse hospital, it wasn't like if you were deemed 'unfit to race' they put you down.

Then again, I was in Atlanta. Who knows what went down here.

And there was something terrible going on here. I think…

I wiped some sweat off my brow and groaned. How hot did it get here?

Too damn hot, because, whatever the hell those things that attacked were, they were decayed. And nasty. And made my stomach roll. That had been terrifying.

One minute I had a pretty cute doctor checking the movement of my wrist, and the next these half dead, things came pouring through the door, and windows. Followed by a spray of bullets, controlled by shooters who seemed to shoot, then look.

One of them had almost hit me…'Welcome to Georgia' my ass.

I had escaped, but hell, that wasn't that impressive was it? A lot of people escaped shit like that. I had gotten out with three other people, they had decided to stay in the city, but I had opted for the forest. I was from Wyoming, and the country, wild, forest. I knew that shit. But the city, no, not so much. No.

I pulled my backpack towards me, and looked at what I had to work with.

Cell phone, no reception.

iPod, lotta good that was going to do me.

A few different colored tank tops, one flannel shirt, a few pairs of shorts, deodorant, perfume, money, toothbrush and paste, stuffed platypus, and string that I used to make bracelets when I was really bored. I mean hell, I'd just gotten off the plane when I had been shuffled to the PT center.

Oh and two water bottles, and about eight bags of airplane pretzels. Not like I'm a kelpto or anything, I just…take any and all opportunities presented to me.

I pulled out one of the water bottles, and took a small drink. I wasn't sure when I was going to get a chance to fill up again, so I drank only when I was dying. I shoved it back in my bag, and pulled out a pocket knife. The only defense I had.

I sighed, and shoved that back in. I looked at my arms, and saw them have the pink glow of what was going to be a wicked sunburn. I whimpered again, wishing I had thought to grabbed some sunscreen before I had run out of the P.T. center.

Yes Cali, that makes perfect sense. These things you've only imagined in nightmares, bust in, followed by these somewhat lethal marksmen, and the first thing in your head is, 'hey, I'd better grab some sunscreen, don't want to develop skin cancer' I mentally scolded myself, and tried to shimmy out of the sun, while preventing myself from falling to my death out of the tree.

How pathetic would that be? These 'Left 4 Dead' creatures start roaming the earth, and I die from a fall from a tree I didn't remember climbing up in the first place. I was impossible. Truly.

I checked my wrists, which held six or seven string bracelets, praying for a rubber band. I smirked to myself as a I pulled a black one off my wrist, I gathered up my choppy black hair, and wished I had dyed it a different color. Black attracted heat. Wasn't my concern in the dead of winter when I had first dyed it, but now, well, now it was seriously bugging me. I pulled the shoulder length hair into a knot at the base of my neck. Hopefully, that would cool me off.

My stomach grumbled, interrupting the silence of the forest. I groaned and told it to shut up.

On a scale of 1-10, how crazy is talking to your stomach? I idly wondered as I ripped open a package of airplane pretzels. I munched on a few, wondering what my next move would be.

I was going to have to leave the tree sometime…I wondered how I was going to accomplish this little feat, seeing as every time I looked down, I was attacked with vertigo and my body threatened to empty itself of all food substance.

I heard a skittering sound, and saw a cute little squirrel sitting on my branch with me. I smiled at him, and he stared at me quizzically. I slowly moved my hand into my bag of food, and pulled out a single pretzel, and placed it out in front of me. The squirrel looked at me, then slowly walked towards the pretzel, I leaned back and smiled.

Hey I needed a friend. I'd been abandoned by people, maybe I'd have better luck with a squirrel.

The little fuzz ball sat right in front of me, gnawing on the pretzel. I smiled and thought about what to name him. I liked James Dean, so I was thinking Dean. That'd be cute right? We'd be Cali and Dean, and we'd fight through this strange thing together. Best friends till the-

"Holy shit!" I cried, as an arrow stabbed Dean, and he fell out of the tree. I curled my body up against the trunk of the tree, trying not to be noticed by whatever had just killed my new best friend.

"Hooo boy, little brother. Now if tha' wudden't a sweet sho' I dun' know whut is!" a voice cheerfully laughed. I risked the vertigo to look down and could make out a red faced character, with short hair laughing gleefully. He had a shot gun around his shoulder. I bit my lip. I sure as hell didn't want to piss a man with a gun, or his imaginary little brother.

"Merle, yuh wudden't know a sweet sho' if it rammed isself up yuh ass." a voice answered the red faced man, who was, apparently named Merle.

Way to go Atlanta, way to add another win to your chart.

"Well, unlike yuhself Daryl, I dun like it up th' ass." the red faced man howled. I squinted, and could make out a guy with a cross bow.

Best friend killer.

"Jus' shut th' hell up and fin' the damn squirrel." The best friend killer, or Daryl, answered, looking around the base of the tree. I bit my lip and prayed he didn't look up. That would probably be grounds to shoot me right then and there. He knelt down, obviously having found his prize. Then I heard a snort. "Hey Merle, check this ou'! This fuckin' squirrel has a pretzel in his mouth!"


"A fuckin pretzel!"

"Tha' fuckin' crazy! Where th' fuck he get a pretzel?"

"Th' fuck should I know?" Daryl answered, and he started looking around. I gulped and realized that I was screwed.

Damn airline food.

Finally, after what seemed like and eternity, the best friend killer looked up, and noticed me. He raised up his crossbow, and I flinched.

"There's sumone up ther'!" he said, the red faced guy walked over to where he was, and looked up.

"Well! Looks like ya found yuhself a little bird!" he laughed and clapped his brother on shoulder, his brother only stared at me, the arrow still pointed at me. "Com'n down little bird! We ain't gonn' hurt you none."

I shook my head. Even if I trusted these two guys, I had no idea how to get down.

"Why not?" He asked.

"He's pointing a weapon at me!" I finally answered, my voice was scratchy, having gone unused for a good three days.

"Guddamnit Daryl, put tha' thing down, this is a lady." Merle sniggered. The best friend killer lowered the bow, but kept his gaze trained on me. "Now ya gunn' come down lil' bird?"

"I-I-I couldn't even if I wanted too!" I yelled down, my voice finally regaining its normal sounding frequency. The red faced man laughed.

"An' why's tha'?"

"I don't know how!"

"Ya got uh ther' didn't ya?"

"Yeah…I don't really remember how that happened!" I answered, I figured that if they wanted to kill me, they would've done it already.

Something told me, that whatever happened with those monsters, kind of made trust a given thing.

"How do ya not remember how ya got up there?"

"It's uh, it's kind of a blur. I don't remember how I got up here."

The two brother's talked amongst themselves for a few minutes. I found one of my nails between my teeth and started chomping on my nail.

How, how in God's name did I end up stuck in a tree, being circled by redneck sharks.

Bad luck, that's how.

I realized that the Great Red Necks had stopped circling my tree, in fact, the red one was gone. I looked around and saw the Best Friend Killer's bow on the ground, and him climbing up my tree.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa! What are you doing?" I called down. He looked up at me.

"Comin' to get ya."


"Ya said ya were stuck righ'?"


"Well, me an my brother ain't leavin yuh for walker food." he told me as he continued to climb up the tree. "Besides, Deputy Do-good's been complainin' bout the lack a' people in camp." I reached into my bag and pulled out my pocket knife. If he tried anything, I could stab him, and maybe he'd fall backwards.

Awh, who the fuck was I kidding? I was dead. I wasn't going to be able to kill a man. I cowered against my tree trunk, and chomped harder on my nails. Finally, for better or worse, a hand gripped my branch. The hand was scarred and looked like it had been through a hell of a ringer.

When the man finally pulled himself up on the branch, I held my breath. He was bigger then I thought he was. He sighed and looked down.

"Ya got all the way up here, and yuh don't remember how?"

"I can honestly say I don't. and I don't know why I ran up a tree. I'm scared of heights." the man looked at me like I was retarded. I could only smile. I still held my pocket knife in my hand, and he took notice of it.

"Ya ain't holdin' it right." he told me. I looked at my knife.

"There, there's a way you're supposed to hold it?" he rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, com'n kid, it's time ta go." he said, pointing down. I looked down and the vertigo kicked in and I gripped the bark with my shredded nails.

"Yeah, but uh, if I got down there, wouldn't I be more uh, walker food was it? Wouldn't I be more vulnerable down there?" I spun off at a thousand miles an hour. The guy looked exhausted, he rubbed his hands over his face.

"Look, we're no' as high up as ya think."

"How high up are we?"

"Dunno. Maybe twenty feet?" he answered. I squeaked.

"That's uh, 14 feet, 8 inches higher then I'm okay with." he let out a deep sigh.

"Look, I don't get back to the car, my brother's gunn' leave. So can we please go down the fuckin' tree?" I winced when he swore. He groaned, and took a deep breath.

"Look, I'm just, really really scared." I whispered. He didn't take his gaze of me.

"Was ya name?"

"Oh, it's California." I told him. He raised an eyebrow.


"Yeah, I was named after the state that my mom fell in love in." I explained, for maybe the four hundredth time in my life.

"Well, that's uh, different."

"Yeah, ironic part? My mom met my dad in Wyoming." I smiled. He gave a small laugh.

"California's a mouthful."

"Most people call me Cali."

"I like Nia better." he stated. I just shrugged. Who cares what he called me?. "Alrigh' then Nia, 'M Daryl. Now, how's 'bout you and me climb down this tree?"

So, the review button is right there, and if you could drop a line, then by all means DO IT :D and if you happen to like the Boondock Saints, well hey, give that fic a looksee too :) Thanks!