It's the End of the World as He Knows It, by DoofusPrime

Notes: This is basically going to be a not-very-serious parody / alternate take on season 2 as it's aired so far, with Daryl getting a lot of the focus, although not exclusively. This is my first Walking Dead fic, so hopefully you guys enjoy it. I'm rating it T, but this is a comedy fic for a zombie show, so expect some gore and inappropriateness.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. This work was not created for profit. No copyright infringement is intended.


Those Darn Lens Caps

XX

The end of the world: what a concept. In some ways, it wasn't much different than the way things used to be. But in other ways? What a pain in the ass.

Daryl Dixon lay on the hood of an abandoned car, soaking up some sun and picking lazily at his teeth with a toothpick he had found in the car's glove compartment. Stuck between two of his molars was some beef jerky he had found after rummaging around in Dale's camper. He wondered how long beef jerky would last in the apocalypse. He picked up the bag and gave it a look. No expiration date. Maybe Vienna sausages would last longer. Not that Daryl ever ate that kind of stuff - that was rich people food. He barely even knew where Vienna was, much less why they made so many sausages. As far as he was concerned, some roasted squirrel meat on a stick beat any of that fancy stuff. Even the beef jerky.

"Hey, can I have some of that?"

Daryl squinted down at Rick and Lori's kid. Carl, if he was remembering right. The kid was standing next to the car and holding out his hand, expecting some beef jerky, like the stuff grew on trees or something. "Don't think so, kid," he said. "Get outta here."

Carl grumbled and headed off down the highway to look at some more abandoned cars. Daryl watched him as he ran away; that little girl, Sophia, was running around with him too. He let out an irritated grunt. What was up with these people? Letting their kids run around wild on the highway with a bunch of brain munching corpses walking around everywhere? Sure, kids' brains were smaller, so the zombies probably went for them last, but it was the principle of the thing. He propped himself up and looked over his shoulder, glancing at Dale's nearby camper to make sure Dale was still on top keeping lookout. The old man was up there sitting in his folding chair with his binoculars, although for all Daryl knew, he was up there catching some shuteye while zombies were coming down the road to eat them.

And that was what was different about the end of the world: all the people.

The end of the world itself wasn't that surprising, as Daryl, Merle, and their whole family had always been expecting the government to tighten the noose sooner or later. Zombies were more of a surprise, but the basic principle was the same. Daryl had always figured he'd be out on his own in an apocalypse, except for his brother of course. Just the two of them, living off the land and stealing from the occasional store. And that wouldn't be much different than what they had always done ever since they were kids.

But here he was, stuck with a group of jackasses without a clue between them, led by some law man as they tried to make their way to some stupid military base where they'd probably get shot by the army. Didn't these people see any movies? That was what happened in an outbreak, or whatever this was. Even that stupid CDC guy had almost killed them all, and he was supposed to be a fancy pants doctor or something like that. And worst of all, his brother was gone; probably dead. One-handed, at least. Daryl never would have believed it would come to this.

Hard to fire a shotgun with one hand, Daryl thought. Unless you were Arnold whatsisname in that cyborg movie.

"Zombies!"

Daryl heard the shout overhead, lingering in the sweltering air. He leaped up from the car's roof.

"Zombies, straight ahead!"

Dale was gesticulating wildly on the roof of the camper. Daryl swore and waved at him to stop making such a spectacle – what was his problem? That old fool was going to draw those things' attention in no time, acting like that. He saw Rick and Lori pop their heads up from some car they had been ransacking for loot. T-Dog was farther ahead, weaving in and out of cars for cover.

Daryl ran past the camper to take a look where Dale was pointing. There was the rest of the group, right in front of him. Mostly people he didn't recognize, but then sometimes he lost track of the people in their group since he didn't know jack about half of them. But wait a minute, no – Daryl took a closer look and spat a half-eaten chunk of jerky from his mouth. This was bad. Nobody looked that dirty, even after a few days in rural Georgia without a shower.

They were zombies!

"Good lord!" he shouted at Dale. "Why didn't you warn us sooner!"

"I didn't see them!"

"You got binoculars up there, don't you?"

"I must have left the lens caps on!"

Daryl slapped a hand to his forehead and pulled his crossbow over his back, taking aim at the nearest zombie as Dale clambered down the camper before they could surround him. Some of the others in their group appeared from elsewhere on the highway: that Asian kid, whatever his name was, and that blonde girl who tried to blow herself up at the CDC, who had just darted into the camper. More zombies were appearing. A whole herd of them, coming around the sides of the camper and lurching drunkenly through the rows of abandoned cars, like flesh-eating cows in a very slow stampede. Daryl wondered if cows could be zombies. If they were, did they enjoy chewing their cud anymore? It was an interesting question. But no - there was no time for that, he had to-

"Everyone get down!" shouted Rick. "Beneath the cars! There's no way they'll find us!"

Daryl watched in amazement as Rick and the others scrambled down beneath the nearest cars they could find. He turned back to the camper – the zombies had already surrounded it. Shambling figures, streaked in dirt and blood, their mouths opened wide like hungry black holes yearning for flesh. He noticed a couple of them sniffing the air. One of them was trying really hard, as it had no nose to sniff with.

"Hey, idiots," he said. "They can smell us, remember?"

Rick poked his head out from beneath the car for a moment, and then scrambled back out again.

"I forgot about that," he said. "What do we do now?"

"Aaagh!"

Daryl whipped around, crossbow at the ready; it was T-Dog. Daryl flinched at the sight of T-Dog holding his arm as he stood by a wrecked car, trying to staunch a stream of blood that was spattering onto the highway's sun-baked asphalt. "What happened?" asked Rick.

"I was ducking down to hide behind this mangled car door with all the jagged pieces of metal sticking out, and I cut my arm! Never saw that comin' in a million years!"

"We gotta get outta here," said Daryl. "Those meatbags can smell fresh blo-"

"Aaagh!"

Daryl was getting tired of all the screaming, but he didn't have time to tell T-Dog to shut up, seeing as four or five zombies had zeroed in on him faster than the rest. Carol screeched as they swarmed on T-Dog like bees on a flower, at least if they were zombie bees and the flower was, like, some kind of really juicy flesh flower. Daryl shot one of them through the head with a crossbow bolt, but it was no use. T-Dog was done for.

"Everyone run!" he screamed.

"Why!" screamed T-Dog. "Why's it always gotta be the black guy!"

Daryl grimaced as one of the zombies tore a chunk of T-Dog's flesh away, just like it was a piece of wet dough. He felt guilty at the sudden feeling that set his belly rumbling; something about the grisly scene made him hungry. Maybe he hadn't eaten enough beef jerky. But this was no time to be thinking about snacks. T-Dog screamed, buried under a pile of festering flesh.

It was too bad; Daryl and his brother had always been the white power types, and sure, maybe T-Dog was directly responsible for his brother's death, but he didn't actually seem all that bad. And he was the token black person in the group after that one black lady blew herself up in the CDC building; now how was Daryl going to grudgingly increase his racial sensitivities! He didn't even know what the name T-Dog stood for!

"Sophia? Sophia! Nooo!"

Carol screamed from across the highway. Daryl had gotten split off from the rest of the group, lost in thought about poor T-Dog turning into zombie chow. The upside to the guy's death was that the zombies were distracted, but still more of them had lumbered out from around the cars and the camper. He barely had time to dodge a pair of grasping, bony fingers as he dodged in between abandoned cars to cross the road and gain some distance from the undead horde. Rick fired off a shot from his rifle, nearly exploding one zombie's head and showering Daryl with hot brain chunks. He gave Rick a glare when he reached the rest of the group, who were already retreating to God knew where.

Now that he was at the guardrails on the side of the highway, Daryl saw why Carol was screaming. Her daughter, Sophia, was running down the grassy slope that led away from the road, headed towards the forest with a group of zombies in hot pursuit. Man, those things could run fast when they were hungry. And it looked like Daryl's hypothesis was wrong, too – they liked kids' brains just as much as any others. Before anybody could stop her, Carol leaped over the guardrail and ran off after her daughter as the girl disappeared into the woods.

"We gotta get off the road, anyway," said Rick. "Here they come. Let's get a move on."

"Carl!"

The zombies had gotten too close. Lori screamed as one of them grabbed Carl and dragged him from her grasp, biting him viciously on the arm. Carl squealed as the zombie pulled a bloody chunk away, its milk-white eyes rolling with pleasure at the taste of fresh blood. Dale and Glenn both kicked it away with a loud crunch of bone, but it clung tenaciously until Lori managed to pry its hands away from her son. Daryl was amazed at how strong the things were, considering they were basically bags of rotting meat.

"Oh, no! My little boy!"

"Carl," said Rick, his voice cracked with worry. "Are you okay?"

"Not really, dad. I just got bit by a zombie."

Daryl shook his head. He didn't want to be judgmental or anything, seeing as their kid was definitely gonna turn into a zombie now, but talk about crappy parenting. What did they think was gonna happen, letting those two kids run around on the highway like it was vacation time? He would have locked both of them into that camper 24 / 7 – and not just because kids were annoying as hell, either.

The zombies were drawing closer, coming through the cars more quickly, their hands outstretched with dark desire, lured by the screams and gunshots. Rick picked up Carl and slung him over his back, which Daryl thought was a little insulting considering it wasn't like the kid had been bitten on his feet or anything. The group vaulted over the guardrail and left the highway, heading towards the forest outskirts where Sophia and her mother had disappeared.

"Carol!" yelled Daryl. "Wait up - we're comin', too!"

A few zombies which had been coming after Carol and Sophia turned back out of the forest at the sound of his voice, gnashing their teeth eagerly at the sight of more prey. Daryl clubbed one of them with the butt of his crossbow, while Dale pulled a screwdriver out of nowhere and stabbed one through the eye. The third one sort of gawked at them until somebody kicked it in the leg and knocked it over. More zombies were stumbling and crawling down the slope from the highway, emerging from the abandoned cars like a disturbed hive of smelly undead ants. Darly had a lot of animal metaphors on the brain, for some reason. Maybe it was the beef jerky.

Their path was clear for a moment, at least. They headed into the woods. Through the trees, Daryl could see Carol as she thrashed through the underbrush ahead of them. "Sophia!" he heard her yell. At this rate, with all the noise they were making, every zombie in Georgia would be on them like white on rice. Rice, Daryl thought. His stomach growled. He wished the apocalypse had more food.

"There's one up ahead!"

The group stopped for a moment. Sure enough, there was a figure up ahead in the underbrush. Andrea appeared from behind them and sidled up beside Rick. "Don't worry, guys," she said. "I got out of the camper alright!"

Daryl hadn't been worrying. He had almost forgotten about her, actually.

"I figured out how to put a pistol together while I was holed up in there," she said. "Thanks to you, Shane. I think I can handle myself with the guns now. Here, let me get that zombie for you, Rick."

She grabbed the rifle from Rick before anyone could object and shouldered it, aiming straight at the figure obscured by the undergrowth just ahead of them. Seeing as Carol was running up ahead in pursuit of her daughter, this looked like a dangerous situation – especially since Andrea was aiming that gun about as well as Daryl aimed a stream of pee after eight cans of beer. Before he could grab the gun away from her, she fired – but just as she did, another shot rang out, like an echo. The group jumped back in shock as Andrea flew backwards and hit the forest floor with a loud thud.

"Oh, man! I'm so sorry!"

The voice rang out from ahead of them. Daryl aimed his crossbow; but it was no zombie. Out from the bushes emerged a heavyset man with his own rifle. "I didn't mean to shoot her!" he said. He stared down in shock at Andrea as she groaned, clutching a spreading red stain on her shirt. "I thought she was a deer! See, right there, behind you guys!"

Daryl turned around to find a deer staring at them, looking about as perplexed as deer can look.

"Jesus H. Christ!" he yelled. "Don't nobody here know how to use a gun?"

"I do!" said Shane.

"Look at that deer, son," said Rick. "Isn't it beautiful?"

Carl shrugged, still slung over his father's shoulder. "It's a deer. Could we keep running? By the way, I can walk just fine. I was only bitten on the-"

"Sssh, quiet, son. You're delirious."

Rick transferred Carl to his wife as the deer watched them quizzically. He and Rick helped Andrea off the ground, but just as the group was about to move again, a group of zombies charged out of the bushes and ambushed the deer, bringing it down to the ground and tearing ravenously as it thrashed in terror. "Run!" shouted Rick.

Fortunately, the dying deer seemed to be distracting the zombies for a moment; the group took off in the direction Carol was heading as the fat new guy with the rifle joined them. "Sorry about shooting you," he told Andrea. "I don't know why that kind of thing keeps happenin' to me."

Daryl watched uneasily as the new guy barged through the woods beside him, rifle flailing around as he apologized to Andrea. Fortunately, Rick had grabbed his own rifle back from Andrea, but Daryl was starting to get the feeling he was more likely to get shot by somebody before he got bit by a zombie. Not only that, but the group was slowing him down now; Andrea was injured pretty badly, and Rick and Lori seemed to think Carl was incapable of movement anymore. Daryl knew he'd do okay lost in a forest, seeing as him and Merle had sometimes spent days at a time hidden out in the woods whenever they were on the run from some angry, shotgun-toting father of a girl Merle had slept with - but he got the feeling everybody else in their little group would probably die in half a day.

"I can't find her!" said Carol as they finally caught up to her. She was out of breath, pausing for a moment and looking around at the sun-dappled trees. A stream gurgled to their left, winding its way through the greenery. They had gotten some distance from their pursuers, at least. The faint moans of zombies wafted through the air behind them, although they were growing louder again. Sophia was nowhere in sight. "Where did she go?"

"No idea," said Rick. "Maybe she'll circle around back to the camper."

"But there's zombies up there!"

Daryl wondered if there was any point in pointing out that they had no idea where they were going. Away from the zombies, he supposed. That was all that mattered at the moment. They were about to start following the stream when the sound of galloping hooves reached them through the trees. After a moment, a woman on the back of a horse appeared, bearing down on them fast and then reining in the horse just before it crushed Daryl beneath its legs. Daryl stumbled back as the horse reared up with a whinny. "Sorry," said the woman. "Let go of the reins for a minute there. Name's Maggie."

First out of control rifles, now out of control horses. Daryl was starting to think about taking the stream and ditching these people. "Who the hell are you?" he said.

"She's from the farm," said the man with the rifle who had shot Andrea.

"And who are you, anyway?" added Daryl.

"We're from the farm!"

"You guys better follow me," said the girl on the horse. "We got a farm through the woods a little ways off where you guys can hole up for a while."

"What about my daughter?" said Carol.

"We'll have to search for her," said Daryl, "but there ain't no point in it now, with all these zombies swarmin' through the woods. We gotta get 'em off our trail somehow."

"Good idea," said Rick. "Maybe you and Dale can head back to the highway and get to the camper again, try to draw some of them along with you? Then you guys can meet up with us at this farm once Maggie gives us the directions. Once we're out of danger we can go looking for Sophia, but right now we need to get Andrea and Carl to safety."

It took Daryl a moment to realize he had just gotten himself roped into being zombie bait so the rest of the group could head through the woods without being followed all the way to this farm. He grumbled as Dale slapped him on the back and listened to Maggie giving them directions to find the farm from the highway. He supposed he had to do it, anyway – he was the only one who could get anybody back to the highway without getting lost in these woods. Rick and the rest of them probably couldn't find their way out of a paper bag.

"At least I got the camper working," said Dale.

Daryl shrugged indifferently. "Whatever. I still don't know why we're drivin' that thing around. What's it get, like 2 miles per gallon? I mean, okay, I guess gas is pretty cheap now with everybody dead and all, but we gotta fill that thing up at every rest stop even when it is workin' fine. And you ever thought about the ozone layer?"

Not that Daryl really thought much about the ozone layer himself, but he just felt like being argumentative. And besides - maybe these zombies were nature's way of getting rid of its irritating human itch. A few too many puffs of greenhouse gas and Mother Nature decided it was time to take a little zombie medication so things could go back to their pristine beauty. That crazy CDC guy hadn't thought of that, not even with all his fancy-ass science degrees. Daryl felt a surge of satisfaction at his clever theory.

As he and Dale headed back towards the group of zombies who were still munching on the dead deer, Daryl's momentary good mood turned sour. Time to run around like chickens with their heads cut off until they got back to the highway. He wondered why the hell he was still hanging around with these people. It was the end of the world, and all of a sudden he was turning into a social butterfly. And were they really gonna treat Rick like a leader? The guy who got himself stuck in a tank? Nothing good was gonna come out of any of this. He wished his brother was still around; the two of them would do just fine together.

But more than that, he wished he could have gotten this damn piece of jerky out of his teeth before he dropped that toothpick back on the highway.

XX


Notes - That's it for chapter one. Like I said, this is my first Walking Dead fic, so any reviews and feedback would be appreciated. I'm making no promises about people always being in character, mainly because I'll often be parodying and exaggerating them as well as parodying various events of season 2 so far, and probably going in my own direction eventually. We'll see how off-the-wall I get.