773 words

Daryl & Andrea

Trick or Treat

They were out scouting ahead, before the whole lot of them would trudge through a potentially dangerous area. So far, they'd just come across more road and abandoned vehicles. A whole lot of nothing. Andrea looked into the cars and trucks for any useable supplies. She thought about how early civilization consisted of hunter gatherer groups and decided she should have paid closer attention to her anthropology professor.

She spotted Daryl about twenty feet away, staring at a lost doll lying in the highway and she wondered if he was thinking about losing Sophia. Of course he was. "Hey. I have a treat for you."

Daryl just glared. But at least he wasn't focusing on the damn doll anymore.

She rolled her eyes then pointed over at the minivan stuck half in the ditch. "I found some snacks in the trunk. Want a granola bar?"

He grinned and caught it when she tossed it to her. "What kind?"

"Chocolate chip." She tossed the snack over to him and he snatched it out of the air.

It took about half a second for him to rip open the silver wrapping and take a bite. He chewed for a moment then spat it out. "Fuck."

"Is it bad?"

He kept spitting, and Andrea looked down at her own bar suspiciously. It didn't look bad. Didn't smell bad. He even grabbed the bottle of water he had tied to his hip and rinsed his mouth out.

"Rotten?" Andrea asked.

"No. There's peanuts. Shit. You said it was chocolate chip."

"I thought it was. What's the problem?"

"Nothing."

"So, not rotten?"

"No." He tossed the rest of the one he'd taken a bite out of back to her. "Enjoy." He looked back from where'd they'd come.

Andrea looked up at the sun. It wasn't that late and they were only about an hour's walk from camp. "You okay?" He was definitely acting strange. But it was Daryl, so maybe stranger than usual would be more accurate.

"Fuck." He muttered again and sat down.

Andrea stepped up closer. "Oh shit." His lip was swollen, his eyes were puffy. He was breathing funny. "You're allergic? Why didn't you say anything? Do you have an epipen?"

"Do I look like I have an epipen?"

"No. Why don't you?"

"I'm not going to die."

"What if your throat closes?"

He shook his head. "Won't."

"How do you know?"

"Ain't the first time I've eaten peanuts. My allergy is mild compared to lots of other people."

"So what do we do?"

"Got any antihistamines?"

"No."

He leaned back against the wheel, taking controlled breaths. "Nothing. I'll get over it."

Andrea stayed alert watching the road. She was shocked how quickly the reaction hit, and she was terrified it was going to get worse. He wasn't okay to walk back. She scanned the road again. "We need get out of the open. How about that minivan in the ditch? They took out the back seats to make room for their stuff. There will be enough room for us both if I empty out the back."

He looked over to where she pointed and nodded. There didn't seem to be a whole lot of other options. Andrea jogged over and pulled the cooler and some other stuff out of the back, keeping a few bottles of water inside.

Daryl followed after, slowly. He slid into the back. Andrea closed the hatch and sat beside him. "Still okay?"

He nodded.

"I'm sorry."

He shrugged. "Why? Not like you knew."

"You could have said something sooner." Andrea sighed and tried not to look at the hives on his neck and arms. "You sure you're going to be okay?"

He nodded. "Least it was an accident."

"Your friends try to poison you with peanuts often?"

He laughed. "Just Merle. He thought it was fucking hilarious." He cleared his throat. "Rubbed peanut butter on my toothbrush once. My whole face swelled up like a balloon."

"Good times."

Daryl nodded. "He loves doing stupid shit like that. Was like a game to him when I was a kid." He coughed and it took a minute for him to catch his breath after. "Made damn sure I was always checking what I ate first though."

"Is it getting worse?"

He shook his head no. "Would suck to come across some geeks right now."

It would. He lay down as much as he was able and closed his eyes.

Andrea stayed by his side and watched the road from the back window. She was going to get them back to camp and Daryl was going to be fine. She would make sure of it.