Clem followed behind John and Charley in a way that was now second nature to her. They had been trudging through the vacant land of Savannah for what seemed like days. She wasn't sure exactly how long she had been with them, time always seemed to blur together for her. All she knew was that they didn't seem to be making much process. Charley had reassured Clementine a few times that today would be the day they reached the town. They were running low on food and she hoped he was right. It seemed like he knew was doing. Well at least compared to John.
While John hadn't a clue where they were on the map Charley always did. It made her wonder what Charley had been before all this went down but she never gained enough courage to ask. People liked to leave the past in the past. It was something she understood. Memories were just an agonizing reminder of what should have been. It didn't mean she wanted to forget them but they were painful nevertheless.
She looked up and scanned the area for the umpteenth time that day. Charley had warned her to be aware of her surroundings and she was getting better at it. She would glance up every once in a while and had even caught sight of a couple walkers that Charley and John had missed. It made her feel useful and a smidgen proud. Not that it was going to her head or anything.
"Guys," John said in a warning tone that Clem didn't like.
She peered around John's lanky form. Then she saw what he must have. She gasped. There were other survivors. From the distance they appeared to be a group of five but who knew if there were more. She went on the defensive immediately and gripped her gun. It was her security blanket.
"Fuck Charley what do we do?" John said looking up at him.
"Go around them," Charley replied without much hope in his voice.
"It's to flat they'll see. Hell I'm surprised they don't see us now," John answered.
Charley ran his hand over his face. He sighed. "I don't know."
"Maybe they'll go away," Clem said with childlike hope.
"They've set up camp. They're not going anywhere," John didn't even bother to look down at Clem as he said it.
Clem's face fell and her eyes widened. She wished she was as brave as Lee, but she wasn't. She was nervous and unsure. She glanced back at the camp and noticed that a couple of their members were coming towards them. Her heart picked up its pace. She looked up at Charley and John, but they were too focused on their muted conversation/argument to notice.
She tugged on John's sleeve. He looked down at her and she pointed. His body tensed up as he shoved her behind him. It was a weak attempt to protect her from the approaching threat. Charley stood next to John and she hid behind their forms. Clem gripped her gun tighter and thought about the two remaining rounds it held. She could do this. She would take the person out if it came down to that.
Lee's defeated face popped into her head. "I'll miss you," he had said. She shook her head willing the image to go was bad. His blood had splattered the walls as the bullet made its way through. She had stood there observing his lifeless corpse for a few seconds before leaving. She had repeated over and over in her head that he was gone. It hadn't seemed real. The finality hadn't set in till her conversation with John.
She thought. "I can do this. I promised Lee. I won't let him down."
Her heart skipped a beat as the people stood just a few feet from them. She followed John and Charley's example and raised her gun.
"Lower your weapons," an unfamiliar man's voice drawled.
He looked to be in his mid-30's. He had brown hair that matched his eyes. He was wearing a sturdy pair of tennis shoes with a frayed pair of pants and a t-shirt.
"No," John replied unwaveringly.
"Let's be reasonable about this. You guys were getting pretty close to our camp. We don't want any trouble," another man said.
He looked older, fifties maybe. His hair had streaks of grey mixed in with the black. It was cropped short in a way that made his blue eyes shine. He was wearing blue jeans with loafers and a button down shirt.
"That's understandable. We were just on our way through," Charley answered.
"Well how about we all lower our weapons and we can swap survivor stories back at our camp. It's been a while since we met any decent survivors and I'm sure your little one is hungry," the grey haired man said with a sad smile.
Clem looked up at John and Charley trying to gauge what they were thinking. Their expressions were stoic. They reluctantly lowered their weapons but kept them at the ready. The other two men followed suit as did Clem.
"Dwayne we don't know anything about them. The fact that they have a kid doesn't mean shit. Think about Hannah and Jeanie," the brown haired man stated.
The grey and the brown haired men then exchanged a few more words in hushed tones. Clem only made out a few phrases like 'don't trust them' and 'it's all on you then'.
The grey haired man looked up. "Like I said before you're welcome to visit our camp. You just won't be able to keep your weapons on you. We'll hold them for you till your departure. That is if you decide to join us."
The brown haired man shook his head and muttered under his breath, "Stupid old fool."
Clem looked up at Charley and John as they shared a few words.