Ok guys, so I took my love of The Walking Dead too far and have been incredibly sick for the last week to the point I've been coughing and sneezing blood. Yeah. I'm hoping this is a good enough ending as I honestly don't have the energy to put anything else into this story. Enjoy this final chapter and then I'll do a sequel. I'll post another update alerting everyone when the sequel is up. I cannot express how grateful I am to everyone who has supported me along the way and I hope I was able to entertain, surprise, and shock you which was my wish all along.
Rick was slower in awaking the second time. Unlike before, this time he didn't hover in a deserted dreamland: he was pulled sharply from his sleep by the smell of gunpowder and smoke that hung around him.
Rick shifted slightly on whatever soft surface he was resting on. A cool breeze swept across his face making him open his eyes. He was mildly surprised to find himself gazing up into a warming sky with the coming of a new day.
"Hey Rick: welcome back man," said a voice from Rick's left. He turned his head to the side and was just able to make out Glenn kneeling in the grass next to him.
"Where are we?" Rick rasped, attempting to sit up.
Glenn gently laid his hand on Rick's shoulder to ease him back down.
"We're outside the prison…the cell block partially collapsed and has been burning for three days. We figured this is the safest place until we can get back in there and survey the damage," explained Glenn.
Rick blinked heavily as he processed Glenn's words. The prison had been compromised evidently forcing everyone who remained to evacuate.
"Who else made it?" asked Rick as Glenn handed him a bottle of water to sip.
"Woodbury got slaughtered," answered Glenn truthfully. "Karen was leading a large group out the back and they got gunned down…men, women, kids. It didn't matter. Carol, Hershel, and Maggie all had some injuries due to shrapnel but it'll only keep them down another day. Your kids are ok: Carl's over with Judith asleep."
Rick sighed deeply as Glenn ran through the rest of the list of injuries.
"Michonne and Tyreese got burned on their hands and arms going back in for you and Daryl."
"Daryl?" asked Rick.
Glenn nodded with his head to Rick's right side.
Rick turned slowly and saw Daryl shrouded in darkness a few feet from him.
"He woke up about five minutes ago and didn't know much," said Glenn. "Couldn't even tell me his own name."
"But he's alive."
"Yeah…he's alive," said Glenn, "but we don't know if he's ever going to be the same." Glenn then lit a lantern and set it down between Rick and Daryl to give the two men some light.
Rick could have done without the light. Daryl's injuries were all too obvious and even more so knowing he had inflicted most of them. His face was discolored and swollen. He had stitches along his cheek, his lip, his temple. From what Rick could see of Daryl's chest, it wasn't much better and he declined to look at it any more.
Reaching out, Rick gave Daryl's bicep a gentle squeeze: Daryl was warm, too warm, but Rick knew Hershel was probably keeping a good eye on him.
"Hey," whispered Rick.
Daryl's eyelids slowly raised and then drifted over to Rick. Rick caught movement at Daryl's side as his hand moved out from under the blanket. Daryl seemed to struggle with the motion but eventually he was able to clasp Rick on his shoulder.
"Hey," said Daryl back and Rick knew everything might just be ok.
Yup. Might be ok. Sorry it was short, I really can't do anymore. The sequel will be based about a week or two in the future. And now I'm off to hopefully not die. Thanks everyone.