I wanted to update sooner, but I got sick earlier this week. It was nothing too serious, but it kept me away from the computer and writing for awhile. Plus I'm slow with updating in general. I feel much better now, so enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own The Walking Dead.

Diary of the Dead Days

Part 2: Hershel's Farm

Chapter Sixteen
The Decision

Rick and Shane had returned in the afternoon, however they had some extra luggage. Randall, the boy whom they saved from death after his group abandoned him, was still tied up and blindfolded. Apparently he knew more about the farm than we had expected. He had went to school with Maggie and that made him more of a threat of coming back to our location with reinforcements. The two police officers locked him inside the slaughter shed near the barn. Rick secured him to a pole with handcuffs, and Shane sealed the door with a lock. It was impossible for him to escape. When trying to confirm with Maggie if she knew the boy or not she was unsure but there was a possibility since he knew her name without even seeing her.

The following day, Rick had sent Daryl to interrogate our prisoner to gather more information about this other group. I found it irking that Rick chose Daryl to do the dirty work, but I assumed if Shane was sent instead, he'd take it too far. I wasn't exactly sure what was going on behind the walls of the shed, but I had a feeling they weren't having a friendly conversation. We were all gathered around, waiting for any news. The Greene family decided early on that they didn't want no part in the Randall situation, Hershel leaving the decision to Rick. Their relationship had drastically changed since we first arrived at the farm, originally Hershel wouldn't allow such behavior, but ever since Rick risked his life to save Hershel when he disappeared and was consumed with depression, he now trusted Rick completely with making the right choice.

Daryl also bought Ripley along with him, probably to intimidate the poor guy even more. Not only was a scuffed up, violent looking redneck fearful so was a large, growling German Shepherd. Though in reality, Ripley wouldn't hurt him at all. I knew they were both completely safe, and if anything I should be worried for Randall's safety, but I couldn't help but feel anxious as we waited.

Aaron had been waiting with the group as well, he did his best to not voice his opinion and keep quiet. He probably felt like an outsider, but he must be use to it. Even when he was asked about what he thought on the subject, he shrugged his shoulders and simply said it wasn't his decision. I tried my best to stay away from him, but I realized that avoiding him didn't help me figured out if he really changed or not. From a distance, Aaron seemed completely harmless and just another survivor, but I didn't want to let my guard down.

Soon enough, Daryl appeared from the confines of the shed and reported what he found out.

"He was traveling with a heavily armed group of 30. When they come across other survivors, they kill the men and make the women wish they were dead." His tone was flat, though disgust was present on his face.

There was a wave of tension and silence, everyone was taking in the information with fear and uncertainty. We all knew how to deal with walkers, a blow to the head and their done, and even with a group we could handle them with quick thinking and fast, quiet movements. I always imagined that humanity facing a common enemy would brings us together, but I was terribly wrong. The disaster brought the worst out of people. I was lucky though, the survivors I met were kind and trustworthy, but I knew there were bad people out there.

"He's a threat, we have to kill him." Rick stated.

I was glad Carol was watching the kids, distracting them from what was going on. Rose wouldn't have kept her mouth shut, arguing that it was never right to kill a person. The first time I killed a walker, she had stared at me with horror, and I had to constantly remind her that they were dead and trying to hurt us. She eventually grew numb to the walker's death, but if she knew we were planning to kill a living human, she would be upset.

Everyone was silent, not sure where they stood on the situation. None of us knew this boy, he was a stranger and an outsider. If Aaron hadn't been related to me or saved Rose and Sophia, he'd probably be in that slaughter shed with Randall now. I bit my lip, I wasn't sure what everyone else was thinking but I felt torn. I knew it wasn't right to kill him, but what else were we going to do? Let him join our ranks? Would he run away to find his group and come back with revenge? He probably would not since we treated him with such hostility.

It was Dale who spoke up against Rick's decision, furious that we would kill someone for something they might do. Shane shot him a hateful glare, but Dale ignored him. Rick's face flashed with uncertainty, the responsibility of being the leader weighed heavily on his shoulders. However, Rick stood his ground saying Randall was still a threat and needed to be dealt with.

"So what? Are we going to kill this boy for something he might do? That's not right." Dale pleaded.

"What are we going to do then?" Shane snarled, though he was silence by a sideways glance from Rick.

"Just give me a chance, let me talk to everyone and we'll figure something out." He continued.

"You have the rest of the day." Rick finally decided.

Dale was already going around talking to people, he first spoke with Andrea. She wasn't sure what she believed, but she was leaning towards agreeing with Shane. However, she agreed with guarding Randall and making sure there was no way he could escape and that no one, mainly Shane, would hurt him. Dale then visited the Greene family, hoping that talking to Hershel would help. I watched him from the driver seat of my van as he entered the house. I wasn't expecting a visit from him, it wasn't like my voice had any authority in the group. Even if I did side with Dale, I wouldn't end up being much help.

I spent my time writing in my diary like usual while Rose was playing tag again with the other kids, and Ripley was napping in the back seat. I mostly wrote about yesterday about how I enjoyed taking the kids with me and training with Daryl. It was a short training session, but I was happy my aim was improving. I added in details about how I was surprised that Daryl was good with the children. He changed quite a bit from when we were back in Atlanta. He was sarcastic and unfriendly, being the outcast with Merle. Now ever since Merle has been gone, he seemed different.

I stopped writing, realizing I filled about a page and a half talking about Daryl. I couldn't help but feel slightly embarrassed so I quickly changed the subject about Beth, but my writing was cut short as I noticed someone approaching my van through the rear view mirror. It felt like my heart skipped a beat. Aaron was walking towards me.

I wasn't sure what to do, I wanted to lock the doors but I knew that was a childish reaction. I don't know why I was so afraid to face him. He wouldn't hurt me in the middle of camp, especially with Shane and Rick both talking around the picnic table and Glenn on guard duty. I breathed deeply before opening my door and stepping out, I looked towards Aaron.

"Lily, I need to talk to you." His voice was friendly, but his towering height made me uncomfortable.

"What?" My tone came harsh than I expected.

"I'm sorry." Aaron said.

What? I was taken aback by his sudden apology, but I couldn't tell if he was sincere or not. His face was hard to read, it was blank and expressionless but there was a hint of sadness. I was unsure how to react to his apology, saying sorry wasn't going to rid those years of torment as a kid. My fist clenched, my nails digging into my palms. I was shaking, not with fear, but anger and it took all I had to calm myself.

"Thanks for saving Rose and Sophia." I said, "I need to give Ripley a bath."

I opened the sliding door and called for Ripley, he was sleeping but immediately woke at hearing my voice. I shut my doors before glancing at Aaron, he looked slightly confused as to why I was leaving suddenly but he didn't say anything. He remained near my van, watching me leave.

Ripley enjoyed the quick wash I gave him, he was starting to reek and needed a good bath. Though while I was busy hosing down my dog, I heard screams from inside the house. Ripley barked out in alarm, scaring me. Beth somehow was left alone and she locked herself in the bathroom, she broke the mirror and tried using the glass to cut her wrists. I couldn't tell if the screams I heard were Beth's or Maggie's, they might have been both. I raced inside to help, following Patrica's orders of getting water and bandages from the kitchen.

Beth didn't cut herself deep enough to do any real damage, but the wounds kept bleeding. The blame was pinned on Andrea, Maggie was fuming at her for leaving her sister alone. Though Andrea didn't think what she did was wrong, she said that Beth needed to make the decision on her own, and since Beth didn't cut deep enough to kill herself, she still wanted to live. Either way, I didn't care and I was glad that Beth wasn't dead. I wanted to keep her company, but Patricia said it was best to give her some space and leave her in the company of her family. I was disappointed, but I agreed with Patricia and left after Beth was patched up.

I returned to my van, noticing the sun was a couple of hours from setting. It wouldn't be long until we would all meet in the house and finally discuss the Randall situation. I hadn't seen Dale since earlier when he was trying to convince Andrea, I doubt he would waste his time talking to me. Though I felt an urge to write again, trying to plan out my thoughts about Randall in my writing might would help me clear my mind. I was still on the fence about it and I needed to think it through. My lack of interest in this boy's life was starting to scare me, it almost didn't bother whether he lived or died. Though if him living meant putting Rose's life in danger, I wanted him dead.

"Where is it?" I asked myself, rummaging through the front of my van.

I looked on the floorboard, under the seat, and in the dash but I couldn't find my diary anywhere. Suddenly my heart sank, I clearly remembered Aaron standing around my van as I left earlier to bathe Ripley. I immediately looked around camp for him, but I didn't see him. He might have gone off with T-Dog or Jimmy.

I felt my body shake, and I chewed on my lip as I tried to figure out what to do. There was nothing bad in my diary, but that didn't mean I wanted someone else reading it. Especially Aaron.

"Lily?" Hearing my name almost made me jump out of my skin, I looked back and saw Dale.

"Y-Yeah?" It was hard to keep my voice from cracking.

"I'd like to hear your opinion on this matter, you normally don't say much when it comes to the group's decisions." Dale instinctively noticed my panicked and anxious reaction, though he didn't question why I appeared so shocked. I tried to calm myself since freaking out about it wasn't going to help. I'd just have to track Aaron down later if he doesn't come to me first.

"Me? Well, I don't know." I blinked, surprised Dale came to convince me.

"Well, you don't think we should kill him, do you?" Dale continued.

"What if he is like the people in his group, what if he tries to hurt Rose? Or Sophia?" I narrowed my eyes, imagining if something like that were to happen, "What if he goes back to his other group and get revenge on us?"

"That's a lot of what ifs." He frowned, "Maybe if you went down to that shed and looked at that poor boy, you'd change your mind about this. He's bruised and injured and scared to death."

"I-I don't want to see him." Dale was right, if I had actually saw Randall, my feelings on the matter probably would change. I rather not have the person's face being sent to death in my head.

"Please, you know this isn't right. What will Rose think? What will she think of you if you agree to kill a person? Or are you going to keep that a secret from her-"

"Stop it!" I snapped, my fist clenching at my sides. Dale was taken aback, not realizing how far he went with his words. His determined gazed soften with sympathy as he muttered his apologizes to me.

"Lily, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to upset you."

"Okay, I'll go see him. I'll let you know my final opinion when we have the meeting." I said. When I glanced up at Dale, he nodded before leaving saying he was going to try his luck at convincing Shane to change his mind.

"Let's go, Ripley." I muttered, not looking forward to the sight I was about to see.

Andrea was surprised by my arrival, waving at me as I approached the shed. She asked what I was doing here, but I simply explained that I was trying to figure out my answer for tonight. She nodded, leaving me be and looked back towards the field. Andrea was quite aware of her surroundings, but she seemed distracted. Probably thinking about Beth or Shane, I wasn't sure which.

I peered though the crack of the door, seeing a limp and almost lifeless figure slumped in the corner. The darkness of the shed made it impossible to see any distinct features and all I saw was an outline. Feeling brave, I quietly pushed open the door though the rusty hinges made an awful creaking noise. I could hear Andrea shifting behind me, making sure if Randall somehow did manage to get loose, she'd be ready.

The noise awoke the boy, he groaned painfully as he moved and looked up at me. I wasn't sure how to react, but I kept quiet and watched him carefully. The little bit of sunlight left illuminated the room, revealing a brutally beaten in face. His left eye was swollen, nose bleeding, and he'd probably lost a few teeth as well. I physically cringed at his appearance, knowing that Daryl was the cause of this. It honestly scared me how violent Daryl could be.

"I, I didn't do anything." Randall spoke, voice cracking. He leaned forward and I unconsciously took a few steps back, "Please don't let them kill me."

I was at a lost for words, feeling a sudden rush of sympathy and confusion at the same time. He was about my same age, maybe a year or two older, and looked completely harmless.

"My name's Randall." He continued to speak, though he paused to spit the blood out of his mouth.

"I know." I suddenly said without thinking. I shouldn't have said anything to him, and I wanted to leave. Just as I turned my heel and headed for the door, I heard his voice calling after me.

"Wait!" He cried, "What are they going to do to me?"

I bit down on my lip hard, ignoring him the best as I could as I slipped out of the shed.

"Hey!" Randall pleaded, "Don't leave!"

I shut the wooden door behind me to drown out his voice.

"It's hard thinking about killing him when you're reminded that he's just a scared human." Andrea sighed, echoing my thoughts.

It wasn't long until we would gather to decide Randall fate. The sun disappeared over the horizon and the cool air of the night settled in, the children where upstairs and were told not to come down unless of an emergency. Rose asked me a lot questions and I tried to answer them honestly. I told her we were determining whether Randall should join or us not, she didn't seem just satisfied with that but didn't try to press the subject too further. She probably still didn't trust my words. Carl protested, saying they should be apart of the group decision but he was quickly silenced by his father and Shane.

Everyone sat around the living room, I took a seat next to Lori. I knew her opinion would be whatever her husband's was, so Dale wouldn't have much back up with her. Though I wasn't sure of what everyone else thought. I didn't know if Dale was able to convince them or not.

"Does anyone think that Randall should be spared?" Rick started off after clearing his throat, he scanned the room looking for anyone to speak up first.

"Glenn and I are the only ones who think he should be spared." Dale began as he rose from his seat. He made a point to gaze momentarily at the people who were on the fence about what to do, he stared at me for a short few moments.

"Actually, Dale, I think I agree with Rick." Glenn suddenly spoke up, causing Dale to look down at him in surprise, "I'm sorry, he's not one of us."

"That's why he needs a chance to prove himself!" Dale continued to defend Randall.

"I wouldn't feel safe with him around camp." Carol voiced her opinion, something I wasn't quite expecting.

"There's another way to solve that than killing him!" He looked around the room, hoping someone else would defend Randall, "Aaron?"

My cousin seemed surprised he was called out by Dale, he lingered near Shane and Andrea at the stairwell. However, he didn't do much for Dale's cause, only shrugging his shoulders and saying, "I'll agree with whatever the group decides."

"We can't keep him around camp, he could be dangerous." Glenn said.

"If we do this," Dale argued, "We're saying there's no hope."

"I think Dale's right." It was Andrea who finally spoke up, hearing her voice made me more courageous to say my own feelings. Though I felt my face grow hot with embarrassment as I sorted out my words in my head.

"We could give him a chance, if he does anything suspicious we could then take action." I tried to make my voice louder but it only ended up making me sound slightly awkward, though my thoughts were noted by Dale who nodded in approval. The others remained silent, though I noticed some giving each other glances as if they wonder if they should speak or not. T-Dog stood up, nodding his head towards me.

"I agree with Lily, we could give him a chance but the moment he screws up, he's done." T-Dog then shift he's glance towards Dale, "If anybody dies it's on you."

The group was still split on the decision, though when Dale volunteered to be solely responsible for Randall's actions, Carol and Glenn were reluctant but they eventually agreed to spare the young boy's life. With the sudden change in opinion, those who were remained neutral, they decided to side with letting Randall live.

"It's settled then. We'll give him a chance. Only one chance, if he shows any signs of aggression we'll revoke our decision." Rick announced, I noticed a sudden flash of anger from Shane by his side.

"So you going to let this kid, who we don't know run around camp that tried to kill you?" Shane ended up blurting out, not being able to stop his words in time, "We need to protect Lori's baby!"

A heavily tensed silence filled the room, everyone gazed at Lori with surprise and somewhat terror. Glenn cast his gaze to the ground, like he already knew this news but had been forced to keep secret. Dale was also aware, but for those of us who had no idea it was an utter shock.

"You're pregnant!?" A voice from on top the staircase shouted, the trio of children racing down the steps. They had been listening the whole time. Carl looked at his mother with confusion and he narrowed his eyes saying, "How come you didn't tell me?"

Please leave a review! Thank you for reading~