Chapter 1: The Beginning of the End
"Shh…", Daryl hissed, a wide grin plastered to his face as he pressed his bare back further into the tree behind him. The giggling mess in front of him covered her mouth with her forearm, finding it next to impossible to stifle the squeaky giggles that escaped her alcohol-drenched lips.
Meet Shan. That's me. Yep, I was a mess back then. I was the all knowing, all seeing child stuck in an adult's body, and trapped on a farm. The farm life was beautiful. It was full of animals and fresh food, but it was also lonely. There were two things within ten miles of our place: The Dixon household, and the Cotton Exchange. One of which, was my life, the other decided my day to day, and whether we ate spam for a month or not.
Never mind my sob story. I assume you're here for this sex pistol in front of me, aren't you? That's Daryl Dixon. He's the kid from down the road, the farm hand to my daddy's crops, and my toy. The rest…well..You'll see soon enough.
"Yer gonna get us caught, dammit…", he hissed, holding my face, as he brought it back to his for a rough kiss. The darkness of the woods gave me false security sometimes. Even though I knew my father could come out here any time he wanted to, the sneaky nature of our relationship caused those cares to vanish. What had gone down that night…well…that was what mattered.
I let out another giggle, pulling my pants up my slender legs with some hassle. He watched, as if studying the way my muscles moved. I had to admit that I enjoyed the attention, and my ass gave a bit of a wiggle, before the tattered jeans slid over it. I looked back, glancing out from under the curtain of scarlet hair in front of my eyes, and smirked. I could be such a devil sometimes.
I reached down on my way back to him, and grabbed his dirty jeans, tossing them in the air above him. He caught them with one hand, turning them right side out with a bit of effort.
My boots had somehow made their way down the tiny hill behind him, and I walked carefully (trying to avoid sticker-burs) and slipped my feet into them. As I watched him get dressed I decided to enjoy the simple sight in front of me. Daryl Dixon was definitely something to look at. He had the normal farm hand body. His shoulders were strong and chiseled, as were his upper arms, from tossing hay and watermelons. His legs were skinnier, from sitting on a tractor for days at a time. Just the action of putting on a shirt was very mesmerizing to me, as a sheltered daughter, and I let out a quiet giggle, blushing.
It was easy, sometimes; to forget why my father didn't like the way I looked at Daryl. He was a good bit older than I was, and his job status left much to be desired, in my father's eyes. The twelve year age gap just made things more exciting, for me, and age was a number, to both of us, in most cases. Still yet, Daryl remained paranoid, and refused to see me, outside of my tea runs and rendezvous under tree coverage.
"You gon' stand back there like a creep, or help me find my boots?", he asked me, ripping me from my stare. I gave a warm smile, looking around the area mine had been. I tracked down one of them, throwing it at his ass, with perfect precision, "…Bitch!"
"Stop whinin' you titty baby…", I mumbled back, in reply, moving a branch back to reveal his other boot. I lifted the sneaky leather from the ground, and carried it up the small hill to him, bending to help tie his other side, as he slipped his foot in the one I was holding.
I could feel his eyes on the back of my head, obviously enjoying the treatment. I stared straight ahead, keeping my eyes on the tattered leather and laces of his boots. I couldn't help, during the time we spent together to think of all the times, when I was a little girl that my father was called out to the Dixon household for one thing or another, and would come home, telling my mother about how badly those boys had been treated. He loved me a little more, and gave me a little better of a life, every time he went out there. The vanity of it was nice, but knowing Daryl, I couldn't imagine such a perfect soul coming from a house such as the one my father described. Merle, on the other hand, echoed his treatment, and I couldn't help but feel that he was a better person than he led on around my dad.
As I finished his laces and shook the bad thoughts from my head, I rose from my knees to meet his dirty nose with my own, stealing a few kisses, before I heard the familiar sound of my mother screaming for me. I jumped, as he did, and then giggled, placing a few heavy pecks against his lips.
"I have to go inside. Mom thinks the coyotes will eat my face off, apparently. I think she's caught onto the real threat…", I said with a smile. I could barely see his teeth and his piercing blue eyes in the little light that snuck through the clouds. He was smiling, and I was pleased with that, "Don't be late for work tomorrow, alright?"
"I ain't never been b'fore…", he said quietly, grabbing his jacket from it's place on our makeshift coat hanger (a branch stuck in a woodpecker cache). He snuck around the back of the tractor, with me in tow. I couldn't help it. I reached behind his neck, entangling my hand in his muddy hair, and smashed our lips together, to get me through the night. He returned the kiss, placing one against my nose after it had broken, and pushed me toward the yard, as he embarked out onto the gravel road watching to make sure I made it to the house. I reluctantly turned and ran up to my mother's awaiting arm. I could have swore she looked out to the road and waved at Daryl in the dark.
When I awoke the next morning, I heard nothing but chaos. Apparently, the chaos had awoken me. There were screams and sounds of metal clashing against metal downstairs. From what I could hear, there were men in our house, demanding that my mother and father submit, somehow. What?
I swung my legs over the side of the bed, grabbing a flannel shirt from the closet and a pair of jeans. I had learned, from my paranoid father, to always be ready to fight. So, getting dressed was the first thing I thought to do. Now, I am glad I did, or I would be walking the streets half naked. I slipped the clothes on, slipped my feet into my work boots, and peeked out from around my cracked open door, just in time to see something that I'll never forget, and the sight will haunt me for the rest of my short life.
The cops…shot my parents. They just shot them down like animals, execution style. Their hands were tied loosely behind their backs, and my mother was crying, begging them not to. There was no way I could do anything, but scream, which I covered my mouth to prevent, as tears pooled in my eyes. They killed them both, grabbed them, and took them from the house, before others began making their way inside, tearing it apart for a sign of life (or the fortune that didn't exist).
I shut the door quietly as my mind began to race. What was I going to do? If I stayed, the men would come and kill me. If I…How was I going to leave?! I was distraught, and I was terrified. I was mostly terrified, and in survival mode. I looked around my room, as I heard the men going into other rooms of the house. They slammed doors, broke picture frames, and I could hear them pumping shotguns as they went through the vault, downstairs. My breath hitched in my throat. They were busy stealing from us. Maybe I had a few minutes. I mean, what could they be here for? Had my father made a bad deal with someone? It wasn't like we were growing drugs, here. We grew cotton. I had to run. It was all I could do. I had to make it to the Dixons. Maybe I had time to pack a few things, and jump. Breaking my arms would be a lot better than being shot in the head, and I knew the woods behind my house better than anyone in this world. I would have one up on these Atlanta City cops, and the woods broke out to the Dixon house. I huffed, in determination, and began pillaging my own room.
I opened the gun cabinet, pulling out a shotgun. I opened the choke, and turned the shotgun barrel down to the floor, giving it a hard shake. The plug fell onto the carpet, silently, as well as the spring. I grabbed the box of shells that sat next to my head, pulling seven shells from it. My hands were shaking so bad that I almost fucked up and dropped whole box of shells onto the wooden section of floor in front of the cabinet, which would have ensured my failure. I held the shotgun up, and placed a shell into the bottom spring, slowly pulling the pump down, cringing at every click. When the shell was in the chamber securely, I loaded the other six shells silently. I threw the shotgun on the bed, and turned back to the cabinet. I grabbed the army duffel that Daryl had left over while my parents were in Tunica, and shakily placed three boxes of shells into it, as well as four boxes of bullets for the Python that I wasn't supposed to have in this cabinet. I reached in and grabbed two more boxes of random bullets, pulling out the Python, and shoved it in the duffel. Finally, I brought out two small handguns that I wasn't even sure of, and stuffed them in, as I heard boots hammering up the stairs.
I don't think I have ever been as terrified as I was at that moment. It was the moment of truth. It was the last moment of my life, before I would surely be killed. I had to force my feet from the ground, to move to the window. I raised it, cringing at the squeal it let loose, and reached a shaky hand to the bed, grabbing the duffel and shotgun in one hand. As I slid out onto the roof, I pulled the shotgun to my chest, and rolled, rolling off the roof and onto a tree limb, which I attempted to hold onto for dear life.
"No…no no no…", I whined to myself, before closing my eyes in surrender, and letting go of the tree. The fall isn't what kills you, it's hitting the bottom, and hit the bottom I did. I landed on my back, flat against the wet ground, inches from the old tractor. As I lay there, my world buzzing around me, I forgot that I was running for my life. I thought about what could be going on. What could be happening in Atlanta that would bring cops in…to kill all the civilians.
Oh god. What if they…
I bolted up straight, looking up at the window, straight into the eyes of my parents killer. I reached around myself, searching for my shotgun. My hands fumbled upon it, just in time to see his face disappear behind a scope. I did the only thing I could, at that moment. I pressed the safety button and fired, the long range causing the beads to spread, and the man to scream out in pain. I had no time to revel in the great shot. I had to go. I had to go now!
I stood, and ejected the empty shell, before placing the safety back on and taking off running again. I ran as hard as my tiny legs would run, over roots and stumps, through the familiar woods, with one thing on my mind. I had to get there, before the men did. I jumped over a last stump, my heart pounding, my lungs hurting. The Dixon house looked untouched, from this distance. Maybe the men hadn't gotten there. Maybe the men had been after her father, specifically. She couldn't rely on that hope. She climbed the fence to the horse pasture and continued running across the yard.
I lost all ability to care about what was around me. I ran to the front of the beaten down house, and up the steps, losing it. I dropped my shotgun heavily to the ground, the metal sounding like a bomb firing off as it smashed against the termite eaten wood. I threw the duffel to the side, and screamed. I screamed for my life, for my parents, and for the fear that I never thought I would feel, in my life.
"DARYL! Please! DARYYYYL!", I screamed, as broken sobs broke from my mouth. He didn't come. No one came. I was on my knees, my face inches from the floor, when I came to the realization that made me sick. My stomach dropped, so hard that I stopped breathing for a few seconds. I didn't even hear my heart beating away in my chest. I only heard the roar of shock, as I stood and pushed open the door. I stumbled my way into the house, and looked around. It had been torn apart, like my house was. There were bloody handprints littering the walls, but I didn't see any sign of death, until I hit the kitchen, and a boot peeked out from around the door frame.
Pulling my fist to my mouth, I let out a loud sob, refusing to see him like that. I didn't want to see the piece of flesh missing from his face, like my parents. I didn't want to know...but I had to. I slapped myself hard, pumping myself up. I had to nut up and being strong. I had to get myself together, and move on. This was happening, and it sucked, but it was real. I slowly turned the corner, peering onto the body, which I quickly recognized as a cop. Sighing in relief, I looked around the room in a frantic search.
"Daryl?!", I called out, but I never received an answer. I was alone. I was truly alone to my own devices, and I didn't even know what was happening. So, I took a deep breath, picked up my inner self, and headed out the door. If I knew Daryl…he was in the woods somewhere, which was exactly where I would go. I had to find him. Until then, I had to learn to care for myself.
This is my story.
This is the story of what happened…when the dead began to walk the earth.
This is the beginning of the end of the world.
We weren't prepared.
We won't make it out alive.
None of us will.
This is my story. My name is Shan. I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. If you're reading this, I'm probably Dead.