I don't need another friend
When most of them
I can barely keep up with
I'm perfectly able to hold my own hand,
But I still can't kiss my own neck- Wye Oak
Alright, so this story starts at the beginning of Season Two. There'll be flashbacks to the events of Season One and hopefully it'll go onto the brand new Season Three and just to give you all a good image, Crystal Reed is the face claim for Kathryn Grimes.
I sat in the back seat of the RV along with Glenn, Andrea, and Shane. It had been two days since the whole CDC disaster and we were now on the road to Fort-Benning. Dale was driving and T-dog was sitting in the front seat. I was faintly listening to Shane chatter with Andrea about guns and other stuff, when the RV came to a stop.
"Aww, Jeeze" I heard Dale say and I sat up alertly, nudging Glenn til' the young Asian followed suit.
"What's going on?" I asked, and I knew my voice held a little panic. Was it walkers? Had the car my family was traveling in broken down?
"It's alright Katie, it's just a pile-up" T-Dog comforted and I felt my pulse calm a bit. Just a pile up, another area packed with broken down cars. I see Daryl drive up to Dale's window on his motorcycle and they talk about a way through, which ends with the redneck just nodding his head, indicating for us to go forward.
"Umm, maybe we should just go back. There's an interstate bypass" Glenn suggested, he had pulled out a map and was now looking for other escapes.
"No, we can't spare the fuel" Dale argued as he continued to follow my parents' car and Daryl's bike. That didn't last long, clouds of smoke imitated from the hood of the old camper at an alarming pace and we were forced to a stop. It made me nervous, the fact that one of our vehicles was down. But then again everything seemed to make me nervous these days.
"Calm down, girl" Shane's big hand squeezes my shoulder as he passes me; I bet the anxiousness I feel is written all over my face. I just nod stiffly and force a small smile as I grab my bat and exit after him.
"I said it. Didn't I say it? A thousand times" Dale complains as he examines his vehicle and I stand by my mother and lean against one of the probably hundreds of broke down cars.
"Problem, Dale?" Shane inquires and I wonder why he always seems to be so snarky to the oldest member of our group. Obviously there's a problem. The groups looking around, assessing the area.
"Oh, just a small matter of being stuck in the middle of nowhere with no hope…" Dale seems to catch himself there. No hope is not the thing to say right now. "Okay that was dumb" he is always the one to admit his wrongs.
"Can't find a radiator hose here" Shane puts out.
"Whole buncha' stuff we can find here" comes Daryl's southern twang. The hunter is already doing what he does best, scavenging. That seems to get everyone's gears turning on how to use this set back to our advantage.
"Syphon more fuel from these cars for a start" T-Dog offers.
"Maybe some water" Carol's worried for her daughter, little Soph lips are chapped with dehydration just like the rest of ours.
"Food" My father adds, always wanting to look at the better side of things.
"This is a graveyard" my mother's voice is as wary as I feel and I nod in agreement. Who knows how many walkers are around here. Everyone turns to look at her; their faces contemplating on what she had just said.
"I don't know how I feel about this" Is her apprehensive continuation. There's just a moment more of silence, and then everyone realizes that we have to try and gather what we can, we'll be careful about it, but we have to do it.
"Come on ya'll look around. Gather what you can" Shane instructs and we're all in movement. I give my mom one last lingering glance before I'm off, walking to look through cars.
"Katie, stay close" Even though I'm seventeen, she's still as protective over me as she was when I was five. I keep a hand on the aluminum bat; ready to swing if need be as I inspect the cars. There's bodies in some, not walkers, just corpses rotting in the heat of the Georgian summer. It smelled horrible, but I was…I can't say used to it because I'll never really get used to the smell of death…let's just say it was nothing out of the norm. I popped a couple of trunks and found a couple boxes of pop-tarts, a twelve pack of coke that was missing three cans, an unopened jar of peanut butter, a gallon of bleach, and two unopened monster energy drinks. Not too shabby I thought myself with a smile as I stuffed them into my messenger bag, and headed back to the camper.
"Nice find" Daryl commented and I told him thanks as I walked past him. I put my newly found goods in the storage keep and then headed back out. I was just walking by, about to go back exploring when I saw Shane lift up the back of a white storage truck. Water, at least a hundred, probably more gallons of water were revealed to us; the whole back of the truck. I felt like I could cry…that was if my body still had any excess hydration to spare.
"Oh my god!" I gasp as I walk towards them. We had just gotten so lucky! Maybe we weren't so fucked after all. Maybe things would start looking up.
"We're we short on water?" He teases with a youthful grin as he opens one of the gallons and lets it splash down onto his open mouth and run down his body. Glenn, who's tinkering on a car laughs joyously and does a little happy jump. I stand next to Shane and cup my hands, collecting as much as I could and bringing it to my dry mouth. It's like noting I've ever drank, it's hot from sitting in the sun for so long, but it feels cold as ice as it slips down my sandpaper throat.
"It's like being baptized" Shane gloats happily and I throw a handful of water on Glenn playfully. And then…that moment of pure, fresh water induced euphoria is gone as soon as it came.
My father comes running towards us and his voice is frenzied as he tells us to get under the cars. I feel the butterflies rise in my stomach and my head spins as Shane pushes me down and under the water truck along with him and Glenn. I'm sandwiched in the middle of them, and all I can think about is the others. My mom, my dad, Carl. Are they okay? I feel Shane's arm come around my neck and his sweaty palm covers my mouth as I squeeze my eyes closed. All of my muscles are clenched with fear as I hear the shuffling and moaning of the dead passing. I don't dare open my eyes though; actually it feels like I can't. It feels like they're stuck closed. I literally can't look. I've never wanted to be with my parents as much as I do in this moment. It feels like an eternity as they drag on past us. I'm trying to quiet my shallow breaths but that just makes them seem even louder. I feel Glenn shaking beside me too and I grip his shirt tightly, letting him know he's definitely not the only one scared totally shitless.
When it finally seems like they've passed, I still keep my eyes shut, not yet ready to move yet. The fear fueled adrenalin is still pumping madly through my veins. I feel Glenn start to stir and Shane's hand uncovers my mouth. I'm just about to force myself to look when I hear a child's distressed squeal. My eyes snap open and I feel my body jolt. It's like a glass of ice water had been dumped on me.
"Carl" It I go to get out from under the car, to find my brother and help him but Shane holds me tight and makes me get out along with him and Glenn, not allowing me to run after the source of the squeal on my own. We hurry to meet with the group and I see my mother holding a sobbing Carol by the waist. My eyes dart around fast, counting the members of the group, looking for the other members of my family. I grab Carl by the collar of his shirt and pull him tight into my side; my sibling protection instinct is going wild. I can't find a cropped bob of dirty blond hair or a bright blue eyes and a scruffy chin. My dad and Sophia are gone.
"My baby. There's two walkers after my baby" Carols sobbing harshley and my eyes widen as the grip on Carl tightens.
"You're choking me" He protests a little but I don't care, he's not getting out. I can't force myself to talk, can't form the word that are trying to process in my head.
"Where are they? Where's dad?" The questions finally are forced out. Andrea has come out of the RV, a bloody screwdriver still in her hand. I assume she killed a walker.
"He chased Sophia down there, he went to go get her" my mom answers, by now it's her and Dale holding the short haired woman back from going to chase after her daughter. T-Dog and Daryl have also rejoined us. The dark skinned man is covered in blood and cradling his arm to his chest, and when my mom sees him she lets go of Carol to grab me and Carl and put us behind her back. We're all thinking the same thing. He got bit, he had to be infected
"Oh god" I hear Glenn say as Shane draws his gun, ready to shoot if need be.
"He ain't bit. The dumbass cut himself on a broke car window" Daryl defends the other and Shane asks if he's sure before lowering the fire arm.
"What the hell happened over here?" Daryl asks and we fill him in on what's happened.
"We'll whata' are ya'll waiting for? Let's go get em'" I know it's not that easy.
"No, we can't have everybody running off in those woods, if that horde comes back through we might have to get under the cars again. I'm sure Rick's got her, we just have to wait for them to come back" Shane explains and Daryl looks unimpressed, before he scoffs and walks off. My mom has gone back to Carol, and everyone's trying to settle her down.
After an excruciatingly long fifteen minutes, my father comes back out of the woods…alone. Carol's sobs are hysterical and inconsolable. They take another group out to look for Sophia again, but that just ends with Shane and Glenn returning once again empty handed. I fear the worst, just like everyone else, but keep myself composed. They had to find her.
While my dad and Daryl kept on the search, Shane had us all occupied. We were clearing off a path on the dead highway, plowing through cars with the little SUV my parents usually drove, so when the others got back we could turn around and head to that by pass Glenn had been talking about. Carol still just watched the forest.
"She's gonna' be okay. Dad's going to find her, they'll probably be back soon…right?" Carl asked, he was watching me plunder through cars; trying to find more food, more anything. He sat on the top of a Ford Exposition and I looked up from the trunk, wanting to look him in the eye.
"Definitely, Carl do you really think dad would just let her go missing? No, he wouldn't, so chill out" I comfort and he nods and slides down, back onto the asphalt. I grab a tube of tooth paste and a pack of ramen noodles and we're off to another car. I look back to see the adults talking, something about walker herd's and packs. What the hell? They travel together now? Great.
"Hey, Katie, look" I see Carl looking into a raggedy looking trucks window and go to join him. Mom told us to stay in her sights…but hey, we were only a little bit farther then she said we could go. And I had a bat. I could smash a walkers head in to protects us.
"What? What'd you find?" He points and I see it. A folded leather pack of weapons, a nice looking hatchet sticking out from the end. We could really use these. The downside however, was that a dead guy with a ginger beard was holding onto it. Me and Carl share a look. I mean he looks pretty dead, but then again so do all walkers. How do I know that when I reach in to grab that bag he won't bite a chunk out of my neck? I tap the windows with my fingertips, trying to see if it reacts.
"I think he's dead" Carl tells me.
"Well thank you for that observation, Captain Obvious" I look at him and roll my eyes.
"No, I mean dead dead. Like he won't try to eat us" Carl clarifies and I take a deep breath and hand him the bat.
"Okay, I'm gonna' open the door and grab the bag. If he moves at all hit him with this" I instruct. Carl nods in understanding and I pull the rusty car handle and climb into the car. I'm still on that adrenalin rush, and my heart beats fast as I tug at the strap of the bag. God, this guy has a helluva grip. I pull a little too hard and the back gives and his spine crunches, making him lean forward. I cry out as I fall backwards onto the asphalt and Carly hits the dead guy in the head with the bat. Our eyes meet for another minute and I can't help the inappropriate laughter that bubbles out of my throat, at that he begins to laugh too. We'd just scared the piss out of our selves.
"Come on, let's go show the others" I suggest and he helps me up off the ground.
"Shane" Carl calls out as we get close to where the rest of the group is.
"Carl? Katie? What happened?" Way to give our mother a heart attack. We walk up to where Shane is working on a mint green small SUV. It's a pretty nice little car.
"We're fine mom!" I reassure her, but she's already run out to meet us. She looks relieved, but also a bit irritated.
"Look what we found!" Carl's way too excited about this. "Check it out, it's an arsenal" He unrolls the leather folder that's full of 'Gerber' weapons with a beaming smile on his face. Shane doesn't even look up from under the hood of the car.
"That's cool, man. Go give it to Dale" He dismisses and my eyebrows pull together. It's not like him to shoo my little brother away.
"Look at this one! Whoa, it's a hatchet!" I can just see him chopping off his fingers as he lifts the tool up to inspect it. I let him though; I haven't seen him this excited in a while. Plus it's keeping his mind off his missing friend.
"Careful, don't play with that stuff" My mom's kind of a kill-joy.
"It's really sharp" He goes on anyway and I know she's about to come take it from him.
"What did I just say?" Yep. He's definitely getting it taken away.
"Can I keep one" Oh, Naive little brother, I think to myself with a snort.
"Are you crazy?" My mother questions. He looks so reluctant to give it to her, but we both know my mom's not one to let her kids run around with weapons.
"Ughh, no way. Shane, tell her to let me keep one" Shane always did convince our parents to do things in our advantage. He was like that cool uncle, the one who would sneak you a beer at barbeques.
"Hey man, go give them all to Dale. Now. Go!" I'm baffled. He's never just out right belittled either one of us like that. Carl looks hurt as he walks over to where the silver bearded man is and I just watch him go then look back at Shane, shaking my head. What the hell. What had crawled up is ass and died?
"Kate, honey, go watch your brother for me, kay?" My mom gently instructs and I just fold my arms over my chest and walk after Carl. I wasn't an idiot and I wasn't twelve years old; I knew something was going on with my mom and Shane. Or at least that something had been going on. At first, I had been so upset about it. I felt betrayed, I felt so angry for my father. He was dead and they were going behind his back. But then the dead part had hit me. He was gone, and I couldn't bring myself to confront either of them about it. When my dad had come back with the scavenging group from Atlanta…all of that anger inside of me turned to concern. What would he do if he found out? I tried not to think about it too much, but the fear of my little family being ripped apart still plagued me.
"Yo, homeboy" I called for my little brother, he had handed off our goods to Dale and his face was sour.
"Huh?" I could tell he was trying not to pout, but his voice still had that edge of child-like disappointment.
"Relax, I'll talk mom into letting you have one of the littler knives" I try and throw him a bone. It's been a rough day.
"Really?" He asks and I nod with a shrug. I mean it shouldn't be too hard.
"I don't think your mom will be up for that" Andrea warns as she walks by, carrying a bow of canned foods.
"Yeah you're probably right…but that doesn't mean that one won't go missing to the world. I mean, things get lost all the time" I wink at Carl and his mood seems to be a lifting a bit. Andrea looks at us with a semi dazed smile, like she's in a memory. I bet it's about Amy. I really don't know what I'd do if I lost Carl.
'This is the civil emergency broadcast. We would like to give the following message'
"Come on, we should go see what that is" Andrea goes forward and Carl and I follow. Everyone has gathered back where my mom and Shane are. The mint car that Shane had fixed's radio was going off.
"Is that a local signal?" Glenn buzzes as he approaches.
"That's gotta' be within fifty miles of here" Dale remarks. Fifty miles…could there be a safe haven? A place with military, with other living people.
'Remain calm. Help is on the way.' That line irritates me like no other and my fingers ball up into fists. Help is on the way. Fuck them. Liars.
Shane turns it off. "Ass hole" Guess I'm not the only one who was annoyed. "'Kay let's get back to work."
"Come on guy's. Back to work in the mines" Andrea sounds salty. I know were all pretty tired, this whole day has been exhausting.
"High ho" I finish sarcastically , there's nothing we can do but work and wait. For my dad, for Sophia. It would be dark in a couple of hours, and I had a really bad feeling.
The sky is starting to turn a dark blue and the orange clouds of dusk look strikingly beautiful against it. Daryl and dad still haven't returned, and the group is on edge, even with Shane's constant pestering of getting to work. Carol stands at the place where Sophia had been chased, looking down at the tree line, her face creased.
"Where's my gun? You have no right to take it" Andrea's pissed at Dale. I'd be pissed at the old man too. He babies her, treats her like a child.
"You don't need that just now, do you?" I force myself to keep to my own business. It's her gun. He shouldn't make her decisions for her.
"My father gave it to me, it's mine" My mom knows me far too well and she passes by me.
"None of your business, Kate" it's a whisper as she puts a box next to mine and I just huff. I know it's not, but a part of me just wants to stand up for Andrea so bad.
"I can hold on to it for you" I can't listen anymore cause I'm about to snap at him for her, so I step into the RV and go to check on T-dog. It really was not my place to get into it, so I removed myself from the equation.
"How are you doing, T?" I sit down next to him, unscrew the top and hand him a full water bottle. He looks pale (I never thought I'd say that in my life) and sweat drips down his forehead.
"I'm alright" He grit's out through his teeth as he takes a small sip and hands it back. I wet a wash rag and put it to his forehead.
"If you say so. If you need anything, you know all you've gotta' do is ask" I offer my services.
"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind"
I'm about to start up a conversation when Glenn peeks his head in.
"Katie, your dad's back" I hop up quick and tell the injured man I'll be back. I see my dad and Daryl walking up the hill to the highway. Just them, no Sophia. I bite my lips together. This is not going to be pretty. My mom grabs Carl's hand.
Carol is distraught. She shakes her hands, trying to calm herself down. "You didn't find her"
"Her trail went cold, we'll pick it up again at first light" My dad climbs over the rail. First light…she couldn't survive that long. Walkers were more active at night, and she was just a twelve year old. She wouldn't have any idea what to do.
"You can't leave my daughter out there on her own. She can't spend the night alone in the woods" The bald woman is pleading. I place a hand on her upper arm, trying to console her with touch, cause I really didn't know what to say.
"Hunting in the darks' no good. We'd just be tripping over ourselves. More people'd get lost" Daryl justifies my dad's earlier comment about going out at first light.
"But she's twelve she can't be out there on her own! You didn't find anything?" Hysteria. Carols about go hysterical; and I can't say I blame her.
"I know this is hard but I'm asking you not to panic" That was a lot of my dad to ask at this moment. "We know she was out there"
"We tracked her for a while" Daryl clings his cross bow over his shoulder and tells the mother and I just rub her arm more. I look back at my brother, he looks like he's close to tears.
"We have to make this an organized effort. Daryl knows the woods better than anybody, I've asked him to oversee this" Dad sounds so cop like, I know he's turned on professional auto mode. Mom has joined me in trying to keep Carol from flipping out. Her breathing is hard as she scans both the men who had just come out from the woods.
"Is that, is that blood?" She points to the plaid clad Daryl. I'm really scared she's going to have a panic attack or pass out or something with the shallows, fast breaths she's taking.
"We took down a walker" I personally think dad should have kept that to himself, cause that starts her on another fit, and she moves away from my hand.
"Walker, walker, my god" seems like she's going to have a panic attack instead of passing out. Mom has her whole arm around Carol, seemingly keeping the woman standing straight.
"There was no indication that it when anywhere near Sophia" My dad bends down to her level, trying to look her in the eye but she shaking her head back and forth.
"How can you know that?" Andrea throws coal in the flames and I shoot her a look. Not appropriate right now.
Dad and Daryl glance at each other in slight disgust.
"We cut the sumbitch open, made sure" I can only imagine how rank that had been. Carol can't stand anymore, she collapses' into a heap in the railing, and mom sits right next to her.
"How could you? Just leave her out there to begin with" Carols accusing my dad, her voice venomous. This is not his fault; she could have run after her own daughter. He went after a child that wasn't even his without a second thought. "How could you just leave her?" Carl leans into me and I just nudge him. It's going to be okay. My dad looks so guilty, his crystal eyes are so apologetic. Shane seems to see it to goes to stand behind him, moral support.
"The walkers were on us. I-I had to draw them off. It was her best chance"
"Sounds like he didn't have a choice, Carol" Shane comes to the rescue. No, my dad didn't. He was just trying to help.
"How was she supposed' to find her way back on her own? She's just a child" hot tears are running down the gray haired mothers face, and my dad crouched and holds his forehead in his hand.
"She's just a child" Carol repeats going to get in his face and I can't help it, I pull her back. Gently, but still enough to get her out of my dad's personal space.
"It was my only option, the only choice I could make" He tries to make her understand, his voice breaks in the process.
"I'm sure nobody doubts that" Shane aims that at Carol and she just starts crying again.
"My little girl got left in the woods" she doesn't say anything after that, she just sags into my mom and sobs. I step away from her and let Andrea take my place.
My dad looks around at the group, and I can see he has no words. He thinks this is his fault, this could destroy him. If we didn't find her this would destroy him. He turns his back and begins to walk away through the maze of ghost cars.
I go to chase after him, I need to talk to him, make sure his heads not too far gone.
"Katie!" My mom and Shane both try to halt me but I just walk on. I wait til' I've followed him a little ways away from the group before I try and talk to him. They don't all need to hear out business.
"Dad, daddy, listen to me. This wasn't your fault, you can't blame yourself for this" I want it to register in his head. He hadn't done anything wrong.
"You don't get it. You couldn't" He's right, I probably had no idea how he was feeling. But I had to try and help.
"Your right, but I do know you were the first one after her, without even blinking. Who else did that?" just rotates back to look at me, and I can see he's trying not to lose composure.
"I know, Katie…I just…I need to be alone for a little while. Kay? I just need to think" Thinking will just make this worse my head tells me. He'll just sit here and stew, but he needs his time to sort things out so I nod and go to hug him tightly. He smells like rotting corpse and sweat but I know he'd hug me no matter what if I was in this situation, and I want to be here for him. He squeezes back for a moment before I pull away.
"This is not your fault" is the last thing I say to him before I go to rejoin the others. So much for thinking things might actually get better.
Walking Dead's back wooohoooo. So I love the idea of Rick and Lori having an older daughter, don't you? They're old enough to have one. (Andrew's 39 and Sarah's 35) plus they always talk about getting married very early. What's a bigger inactive to get married at an early are then a baby? Well I hope you all liked this, please leave your thoughts and opinions in reviews.