The night was cold and the only light she had was the flashlight she was carrying in her hand. She ran hoping none of those bastards catch her and Annie. Annie's grip on her hand was tight so she wouldn't lose her. The nights are what scared her the most. You couldn't see a thing in the trees, which caused her to be on top alert. She dodged the trees and anything that they could get caught on. It was a chilly night, so she wore some jeans, and a hoodie to keep herself warm. She had wrapped Annie in a pants and a sweater. Her boots and Annie's sneakers hitting the ground was the only sound striking fear into her heart as they ran between narrow spot between two trees.

From the corner of her eye, she seen something moving to her left. Quick she turned her direction moving to the right. Her lungs were on fire and her legs were hurting but she didn't stop. No until she found somewhere safe for Annie to stay for the night. She was thankful her dad made her run track in school or they would probably be eaten by now.

The more she ran the less trees that came into view. She broke out of the woods coming into a clearing. The clearing was lighted by the moonlight, so she switched off her flashlight. She didn't stop though only kept running.

Her life was all about running, fighting, surviving, and protecting Annie. She missed the old days when everything was about going off to college and her boyfriend. Now those days felt like they never existed. She was in her first year of college when everything started going to hell. The class was freaking out running at the door. She was the smart one who went to the window jumping out. She was just glad that she was in that class, it was her only class that was on the ground floor. Then she came across Annie alone in the back of some car she had stolen. Ever since Annie has been under her wing.
The clearing finally ended and she was now back in the woods dodging trees again. She heard a groan and a moan as she got deeper in the trees. Walkers. She pulled the knife from her belt handing Annie the flashlight to turn on. As she came towards a twenty foot fence, she saw at least five walkers with their faces against it. She stopped to look at them. They were trying to get something on the other side. As she looked around she noticed she was at a prison, and the walkers wanted whoever was in side. Survivors. She thought to herself as she ran to the fence jumping as high as she could onto it. She pulled Annie up telling her to climb. The fence rattled grabbing the walkers attention they were there. She started climbing as the walkers started towards them. She reached the top trying her best to get around the barbwire at the top. She pulled her back pack off throwing it over the fence. She looked around for any walkers inside before she grabbed Annie by the hand lowering her onto the other side of the fence. Atleast if she died, Annie could use her supplies. The only way she would be able to get over the barbwire fence is if she tried to push herself over. She pushed herself as strong as she could over the top. Her pants got caught on the barbwire causing her to dangle from the fence. The walkers were only inches away from her biting the fence trying to stick there hands through. She still had her knife. Annie ran up to her with panic written all over her face.

"I'm fine, I'm just caught, don't worry I'll pull myself free" She smiled at Annie. Annie nodded backing away from the fence. The fence rattled as the walkers threw themselves at it. Annie jumped back but didn't scream.

"Back off you, son of a bitches" she growled stabbing one through the fence in the head. She pulled herself up trying to pull her pants free. She didn't want to yell for help incase there was any walkers inside the fence. If there were she would be putting Annie and herself in danger. She yanked at her leg trying to free herself. She reached her knife up trying to cut her jeans. Her strength gave out causing her to fall and bounce against the fence. Annie jumped forward but she motioned for her stay back. The moans coming from the walkers became louder. They wanted her so bad, she knew it. They wanted to tear her apart but hell if she left them. She pulled herself up on more time yanking her leg one more time.

Her pants tore and she fell to the front landing on her knife. It dug into her leg causing her clench her teeth. A scream was building up in her throat but she didn't yell. She sat up looking down to see how bad the damage was. The knife was two inches stuck in her leg. Annie ran to her side helping her sit up.

"Fuck" She hissed placing her hand on the handle of her knife. She silently counted to three before pulling it from leg. She put her knife back in her belt before turning to Annie.

"You okay?" She asked looking Annie over for any wounds. Annie gently nodded her big brown eyes full of fear and sorrow. Annie didn't talk that much but when she did it was only to her. "Come on" She moved away from Annie getting to her feet despite the pain in her leg. She grabbed her backpack and Annie's hand walking down the pathway that had fence on both sides. She came to the tower looking around for anyone but found nobody. The court yard was empty so she moved to look around for the gate opening. There was a lock on it from the inside.
Somebody is definitly here She thought to herself. She stuck her arm threw the gate taking the lock off. She only opened it enough so Annie and her could pass through. After they passed through she closed the fence back locking it with the other people's lock. She didn't want any reason for them to be mad at her. All she knew was she needed to find Annie a safe place even if she had to give her life for them to take Annie. They walked through the yard slowly and on look out. There was the sound of a door slamming. She grabbed Annie placing her behind her back for save measures. Pulling the knife from her belt, she waited staring into the darkness on the other side of the fence. From the darkness stepped three figures. They weren't moaning or dragging there legs like walkers. She knew they were the survivors.

"Don't move Annie, stay behind me" She whispered to the small child behind her. She felt the little girl nod against her back.

"Don't move!" One of the figures yelled. She nodded knowing they could see her. The moonlight lit up the yard well enough for her to be seen but they were standing in the darkness where she would only make out their outline. From the look of it they were all men. She didn't like that idea to much but Annie was hungry and she needed to be fed.
She was right they were men. One was african american holding a silver pistol, one was american with a goatee pointing a crossbow at her, and the last one was a american as he had rough on his face. The last one was unlocking the fence letting the guy with the crossbow come in aiming at her. The last two came in not pointing a weapon. Yet she thought to herself.

"How'd you get in?" the one with the crossbow asked.

"Climbed the fence." She answered looking over the men. They were big, they could probably out run her too. The one that unlocked the fence stepped up.

"What you mean you climbed the fence?" he asked looking over her.

"I climbed the fence" she repeated trying not to sound rude. She really needed their help.

"What happened to your leg?" the one with the crossbow asked motioning towards her leg.

"I fell and landed on my knife. I was not scratched nor biten" She explained.

"Toss the knife over"

She looked down at her knife before tossing at the crossbow guy's feet. The african guy bent down picking it and put it in his belt.

"We're harmless" she explained looking at the guy she was sure the leader. The guy with the crossbow looked at her stepping closer pointing his weapon at her head.

"Who's we?" The leader asked through gritted teeth.

At that moment Annie poked her head out from around her. She looked down at her then back at the leader. All their features softened as they looked down at the small brunette child. Annie pulled her head away in embarrassment. She was always the shy one. Even thought they saw they were harmless the weapons weren't lowered. They started talking among themselves. Annie pulled at her shirt. She bent down to Annie's level, the crossbow followed her.
She turned her back to the men looking at Annie. Annie had dirt across her left cheek. Her big doe eyes were looking over at the men.

"What's wrong, Annie?"

She pointed towards the men. "Mean?" It was a question not a statement.

"I don't know, Annie. Would you like me to ask?" Annie nodded. She stood to her feet turning towards the men again. "Um excuse me, guys. I have something to ask you." They all looked at her in confusion. They didn't say anything so she went on. "My little friend over here wants to know if you all are mean?"

The leader cleared his throat before answering. "No"

She nodded at looked down at Annie. "Did you hear him?" Annie nodded before hidng again.

"Hey you" She turned her attention back to the men raising her eyesbrows. "You gotta name?"

"I'm Nicole, the one behind me in Annie, and you are?"

"I'm Rick" Said the leader turning to the crossbow guy "this here is Daryl" and then he pointed at the african american guy "And T-Dawg"

"Nice to meet you all" Nicole said waving her hand and grabbing Annie's hand. "But What are you planning on doing with us, Rick?"

"We don't know yet, but we have a group inside if you and Annie would like to come inside" he explained motioning towards the prison. Nicole wasn't completely sure about this but nodded. She grabbed Annie's hand following Rick, Daryl, and T- Dawg into the gate. Daryl and T-Dawg walked behind her and Annie as Rick led the way. Nicole's leg was throbbing but she kept her pain hidden. They walked through some doors but she didn't see one walker that was alive. It was quiet the only sound was their breathing and their footsteps. Rick opened a cell block door motioning for them to walk in. She and Annie walked in looking around for anyone else. They saw a boy about twelve come out a ceil looking at them. Annie hid behind Nicole shyly. Nicole waved at him and he waved back before waving somebody else to come out of the cell. Another person walked out, she was female with blonde hair. She looked about Nicole's age. The girl looked over at Nicole before waving. Nicole waved again bending down to talk to Annie.

"Annie give them a wave" Nicole smiled looking at the girl. Annie looked at the people before turning back to Nicole. She shook her head no looking down at her shoes. Nicole looked at the two kids grabbing Annie's arm. She made Annie wave at them. Nicole watched Annie's cheek turn a dark red in embarrassment.

"Carl, where's your mother?" Rick asked stepping around Annie and Nicole. Nicole looked over at the boy, Carl.

"She's with Hershel" Carl answered looking up at Rick then at her and Annie. "Who are they?"

"That's Nicole and the small girl with her is Annie" Rick explained before walking off into a different cell they came out of. Daryl walked around to Nicole eyeing her up and down. Nicole stood to her feet giving him a questioning look. He shrugged before walking up the stairs followed by T-Dawg leaving her and Annie alone with the two kids.

Carl stepped forward holding out his hand. "I'm Carl, She's Beth" Nicole smiled taking his hand and shaking it. This group was much different from other ones she come across in the past.

"I'm Nicole, She's Annie" Nicole gentle motioned for Annie to come out from behind her but she just hid her face in Nicole's back. Nicole looked down at Annie then back at Carl. "She's alittle shy"

Another woman came out of a cell. She was alittle older and had short grey hair. She looked over at Nicole and Annie. With a soft smile, she walked over to them holding out her hand. Nicole grabbed her hand shaking it."Hi, I'm Carol."

"Nicole" She pointed towards her back. "Annie" Carol poked her head around looking at the small girl clutching at the strangers back. "She's a little shy" Nicole smiled.

"Oh is she your daughter?" Carol asked stepping back to stand by Carl. Nicole couldn't could how many strangers have asked her that. Some people would say she favored Nicole with her dark olive skin and dark brown hair. Annie might as well be her daughter but she didn't feel right claiming somebody's missing child.

"Um no. She's a friend" Nicole giggled looking at Carol. "We kind of save each other every once in a while" Carol smiled at nodded.

"Well welcome, are you hungry?" Carol asked looking at Nicole. Nicole shook her head no.

"But if you don't mind, can i get something for Annie? I know she's hungry." Nicole asked hoping they would say yes.

"Of course, come this way" Carol smiled motioning for her to follow. Nicole started to follow but stopped when Rick came out of the cell calling her name. Nicole looked at him, he motioned for her to follow. She looked at Carol. "Don't worry, I'll take her." Nicole didn't like leaving Annie alone with anyone but for some reason Carol gave her a good feeling she would take care of Annie. Nicole smiled trying to hand Annie over but she wouldn't budge from her hand.

"Annie sweetie, go with Ms. Carol. She's going to get you something to eat" Nicole said softly but Annie shook her head no. Carl came up beside Annie bending down infront of her.

"Hey Annie, do you like stories?" Carl asked giving her a smile. Annie nodded her head. "Okay well how about you come with me and Carol and we'll tell you a great story about a hero while you eat. What do you say?" Annie looked at Nicole making sure it was okay. Nicole nodded telling her to go. Annie turned back to Carl nodding her head. Carl smiled standing back up and reached for Annie's hand. Annie released Nicole's hand grabbing Carl's. Nicole watched as Annie walked with Carl and Carol into a cell. Nicole smiled at it. Annie has never let go of Nicole's hand for anothers. She was glad there was another child here for Annie to get along with. But she knew she wouldn't be staying for long.

After she could no longer see Annie she turned to follow Rick up the stairs. He guided her towards the cell on the end. "You'll be staying in here with watchful eye. Don't do anything stupid like try to attack us or anything" Rick ordered opening the cell.

"I would never put Annie in danger. You have my word." Nicole answered walking into the cell. There was a bunkbed, sink, toilet, and mirror. The bed's had blankets and pillows. Truthfully it looked like heaven being away from any walkers. Annie would be safe here. Maybe she could leave her in hands of these people. She was just a threat to them but Annie wasn't. Nicole turned to look at Rick. "Thank you, for not killing her" Rick looked at her in confusion probably because she didn't say them. It didn't matter the only thing Nicole cared about more then anything, even her own life, was Annie's life. They probably wouldn't understand why she would give her life for some kid who wasn't her own but she knew why and that's all that mattered.

"I guess, you're welcome" Rick said stepping into the cell. "I think you need to go to Hershel about that leg though." Nicole looked down at her leg then back to Rick.

"Is he a doctor?" Nicole questioned, She hadn't seen a doctor, a real doctor, since before this started happening.

"Kind of, he can bandage it up or something" he offered his features were hard making Nicole scared of him. He looked empty.

"Can he have a look at Annie? She was coughing yesterday. I don't want her to get sick or something." she explained looking at him. He looked at her in surprise.

"What about your leg?" Rick asked she could hear the confusion in his voice.

"I'll be fine, but if you can will you let him check her out?" she didn't want to push her luck with these people. Maybe she was showing how much Annie was a weakness to her.

"I'll have him look at her tomorrow, but at least let him look at your leg. It looks deep" he eyed her leg. She nodded following him downstairs into a different cell. In the cell was a older man with only one leg. He was sitting on his bed looking down at what looked to be a bible.

"Excuse me Hershel?" Rick said as he stepped into the cell.

"Yes Rick?" The man said looking up from his book. He caught sight of Nicole.

"This is Nicole. She has a nasty gash, fell on a knife. Do you mind taking a look at it?" Hershel nodded waving for the girl to sit next to him. She did and showed him her leg. He grabbed some bandage and asked her to remove her pants. Her shame and embarrassment was long gone. She stood up kicking off her boots. She unbuttoned and unzipped her pants pulling her pants down. She looked over at Rick who was looking at her in shock. Quickly he turned his back to her. Acts as if he's never seen a woman in her underwear before she thought to herself. He was a good looking man, she knew he had probably seen alot of women in there underwear. After placing her pants on the bed, she sat down by Hershel. She was just glad she was wearing her boy short panties. He bandaged her leg telling Rick it wasn't a scratch. After he was finished Nicole put her pants and shoes back on. She thanked Hershel for helping her then followed Rick back to her cell.

"Goodnight" Rick told her at the door before walking off leaving her alone in the cell.
Nicole cleaned up the cell best she could sitting her back pack on the top bunk. Annie would sleep in the same bed as her so the top bunk would be unused. There was a soft knock on the brick wall. She turned to see Carl and Annie. Annie released Carl's hand running to her.

"Did she eat?" Nicole asked Carl.

"Yeah she ate. Didn't say a word but she ate" Carl answered moving into the cell.

"Yeah I'm the only one she talks to. But thank you" Nicole smiled sitting Annie on the bed.

"You're welcome. If you want tomorrow i could introduce to everyone." Carl offered. Nicole looked from Annie to Carl.

"Yeah that be nice" Nicole smiled. She heard somebody call Carl's name.

"I have to go but I'll see you tomorrow" Carl said before leaving her and Annie alone. Nicole bent down taking Annie's shoes off.

"Did you have fun listening to Carl's stories?" She asked as she placed Annie's shoes under the bed.

"Yeah" Annie yawned rubbing her eyes. Nicole smiled moving to take Annie's back pack off her back. She changed Annie into some clean clothes after washing her off with a rag she wetted with her water bottle. She braided Annie's hair before laying her down on the bottom bunk. Nicole kicked off her boots climbing into bed next to Annie. She wrapped her arms around Annie pulling the small girl to her chest. She knew tomorrow would bring her something else to worry about but for right now all that mattered was Annie was safe and feed.

Should I finish it or scrap it?