Finally! I have been trying for DAYS to get this out but everything kept getting in the way. I'm literally uploading this from a school computer, so it's good to have my things in order xD
Again so sorry this took so long to upload but, I am back now and trying my best to keep updating. And now without further delay here's the next chapter.
P.S. Sorry if this is littered with errors but again I am trying my best and I will go back and fix it if need be
The winter was starting to make hard hits on Joel and Ellie. Trying to find food in the deep snow was almost impossible. Ellie could barely catch anything for it would either run away or her fingers would become so numb that they would start to hurt. Anything she caught usually went to Joel first. She would sometimes go for days without eating before she managed to get enough for the two of them. On top of that, Joel's injury was starting to take a turn for the worst; it was starting to swell and change to a deep purple. Ellie couldn't tell if it was just going to be a nasty bruise of frostbite. Either way, Joel's health started going down; he could barely stomach anything anymore unless Ellie mashed it up until it was just dry slob. They ran out of medicine a week ago, and she knew needed to find some fast. But there were no other houses for miles. Ellie tried her best to keep Joel alive but it was starting to look bleak now.
It was colder today with light snow falling from the grey sky. Ellie left Callus tied up on a nearby tree so she could hunt. So far the only things she's caught were a squirrel and a small rabbit. Ellie cursed in frustration as she missed one of the squirrels in a tree because her aim was thrown off by the cold wind. She brought her hands to her mouth and blew on them, trying to keep them warm. She wondered how Joel was doing. She put extra blankets on top of him to keep him warm, but she knew she should probably head back soon. She slung her pathetic catch over her shoulder and started walking back to Callus. But she suddenly heard a heavy shift crunching of snow. Ellie turned her head quickly and looked around. Was that an animal? She hadn't seen any kind of human life for weeks now. She picked up her bow and started walking straight, looking down at the snow. She saw the tracks formed in the virgin snow and a smile formed on her chapped lips. Finally, something for dinner, she thought to herself as she started following the tracks, suddenly forgetting for how cold she was.
"…Where are you?" she asked quietly to the wind.
It seemed like she had been following the tracks for miles. She started walking slower to quiet her footsteps, thinking that she might be scaring it off. She stayed crouched behind a hill of fresh snow, waiting to hear something. When the first sounds of crunching snow reached her ears, she quickly stood up, bow ready to fire as she pulled it across her cheek. But what she saw wasn't what she expected. He practically blended into the snow if it weren't for his black beady eyes and a few dirt spots. She also noticed some dried blood near his legs. He stared at her with his tongue hanging out looking almost happy. She wouldn't have given it second thought, if it were for caramel collar with gold plating. She lowered her bow and put the arrow back in her quiver. This was probably someone's dog. So much for a nice big dinner Ellie sighed to herself as she slung the bow over her shoulder. She turned to walk back to Callus; back to Joel so she could make him something to eat. But the dog whined and she heard the crunching snow move closer to her. She looked behind her to see the dog following her. It had its ears hanging low and it continued to whine. Ellie squatted down to get a better look it. For one thing, she immediately noticed it was a boy.
"What are you doing out here all by yourself?" she asked him as she reached a hand out to pet him but retracted, afraid it might actually be hostile.
But the dog moved closer to her hand as it closed his eyes moved his head, making her pet him. Ellie smiled and ran her fingers through his surprisingly soft coat. He felt extremely warm minus the cold weather. She scooted closer to him and started to lightly scratch behind his ears.
"What's your name boy?" Ellie asked as she looked down at his collar.
In big block letters on the gold plate, the name "Hewie" spelled across it. Ellie smiled again as she pet his head again. She thought the name was a little funny but somehow it fit him perfectly.
"Hewie huh? Well hi there Hewie, mine's Ellie." She greeted quietly.
Hewie responded to her touch, as if he hadn't felt the touch of a human in years. But he seemed well groomed and healthy, given the circumstances. Ellie would've stayed there petting him if the cold wind hadn't picked up and surged through the openings of her sleeves, or if her stomach didn't growl so loud it could attract a horde of Clickers. Her small smile faded as she took her hands away from Hewie's warm fur and wrapped them around her stomach. She was starving; she hadn't eaten in three days now. But there was always only enough to feed Joel and she wasn't about to let him go hungry, especially in his condition. She heard Hewie whine, sounding almost worried for her. The lack of food was starting to get to her head.
"I don't suppose you could find me something to eat." She chuckled to herself; as if he was really going to understand her.
But as if on some magic word, Hewie's ears perked up, moving his head left and right, making Ellie give him a strange look as he suddenly backed away from her and darted to the left. She immediately jumped to her feet and took off running after him.
"H-hey where are you going?!" she yelled at him as she tried to catch up.
The air was ice cold as it whipped past her numb cheeks. Where the hell was he going? It was getting difficult to see him as his white coat started to blend in with the snow; at least there were tracks she could follow. When she finally saw his outline staying still, she slowed to a light jog. Hewie stood very still in the tall snow, staring intensely at whatever was up ahead. Ellie's eyes moved up in the direction Hewie was looking. Up ahead was a doe and a rather large one at that. Ellie didn't hesitate to draw her bow with the arrow close to her cheek. She steadied her aim and took a slow deep breath. There was no way in hell she was going to let this once get away. She slowly exhaled and fired, shooting the doe straight in the side of her neck, making her fall limp instantly. Ellie let out a small laugh of victory as she ran toward her newly acquired food. There was enough meat to last them for a few days. Ellie started making room in her backpack in order to fit as much as possible. As she cut the doe and started to put pieces in her backpack with some of the clothes she had packed in there, she looked to the side of her to see Hewie sitting next to her staring with his beady eyes and tongue hanging out happily, as if he knew he did a good job.
"Thanks Hewie; Good boy." Ellie smiled as she pet his head.
The dog closed his eyes, enjoying the small amount of praise and human contact, until Ellie started working on taking more pieces of meat into the backpack. Hewie watched her curiously as she cut up the animal and moved the pieces onto scraps of cloth she had laid out and then move them into her pack as she finished tying them up. When she got all that she could carry, her eyes wondered over to her newly found companion who was staring intently at the meat, yet still waiting patiently. Poor thing, he must be starving. She motioned one of her numb hands over to the doe.
"Go ahead and eat some; I'm not taking anymore."
Hewie sniffed the meat cautiously before he immediately started ripping it apart. Ellie eventually looked away, for the sight was starting to make her feel nauseated. Skinning the animal was one thing. Hell even the disfigured Infected were another thing. But watching something get ripped apart wasn't something Ellie's stomach could handle. She pulled her jacket closer to her small body while watching her breath come out like smoke. She looked up and saw the sun setting. It was starting to get late and she needed to get back to Joel soon. Even the thought of him looking so weak was starting to become heartbreaking; he needed her now more than ever and she'd be damned if she wasn't there. Maybe she could even have Hewie tag along with her. They could go hunting and he could be the one she could talk to, even if all he would do was hang his tongue out or just stare, she didn't care; she was just tired of the silence and shallows breaths.
A twig snapped loudly from the left, making both Ellie and Hewie's heads perk up. Her hands twitched for her bow and an arrow from her small quiver, while Hewie looked away from his meal and stood on all four legs. There wasn't another sound except for the crunching of ice beneath someone's feet. It had to a human. The steps were too calm and definite. No Clicker could walk that straight. Damn, these guys suck at the element of surprise; they would never be able to catch something, Ellie snorted. Better not stick around to see what they wanted or what they might be after.
"Come on, let's get out of here Hewie." She said quietly.
She stood up slowly, bow in hand, and backpack slung securely over both shoulders, and took steps backward before hearing another branch break and sending her bow up, with an arrow ready to strike.
"Who's there?" She called out.
When she heard no response, she rolled her eyes and stretched the bow further. Now they want to try and stay quiet.
"I know you're there you fuckers, now come out!"
She was staring so intensely at the direction the noises were coming from that she didn't notice Hewie move to her side, ears down and bearing his teeth. Two men appeared from behind the thick trees, guns lowered but still ready to fire.
"Come on little girl don't be stupid. Put down your weapon and we can talk about this like mature adults. What do ya say, huh?" one of them spoke with a deep voice.
They were both big guys with heavy jackets, jeans, and snow boots strapped tightly onto their huge feet. One had a dark red beanie while the other had a black one, covering his ears. Both of their noses were cherry red from the winter cold while snowflakes kept getting caught on the side of their beanies. They looked like joke; but Ellie knew better than to underestimate her enemies, especially without Joel to tell her so.
"Fuck that you guys drop yours!" Ellie shouted back, keeping her bow steady and switching between the two men as they inched closer.
"Look, we don't like hurting women or children, especially a pretty little thing like you," one of them commented looking over Ellie with a perverted gaze, making her point the arrow in his direction, "So just hand over your shit and you can walk away in one piece."
"Take one more fucking step and this will end up right between your eyes." She warned when she saw the man with the perverted stare raise his foot.
"I wouldn't try anything smart you little bitch." He sneered, "You probably don't even know how to use that fucking thing."
He lunged for her and Ellie shot with no hesitation, hitting him right between the eyes just like she told him. He fell back on the ground with a loud thud as anger rose in his friend as he held up his weapon and started shooting.
"You'll pay for that bitch!" he yelled over the gun fire.
The shots were loud and bounced off the dead trees, resonating in the cold open air. Ellie's ears starting ringing as she turned to run away, her feet barely missing the bullets that would penetrate the snow. She wouldn't have enough time to grab an arrow and counter and she didn't have another weapon aside from her switchblade, which was now the stupidest idea she could've come up with. As she kept on running, the gunfire kept going rapidly behind her, trying to land a good shot when suddenly came a yelp of pain and snarling. Ellie turned her head slightly over her shoulder to see Hewie on top of the man, his teeth sinking into his shoulder. He twisted and turned violently, trying to get the dog off of him, but it only made him hold tighter. Blood splattered across the white snow and Hewie's fur. She smiled in relief; she was really starting to like him and he seemed like a really well trained dog. Whoever his previous owner was did a damn good job. It wasn't long before she heard the sound of four legs rushing to catch up to her. Hewie's face was covered in the strong smell of crimson; well, at least they didn't need to worry about them, but there might have others. They needed a place to hide for now, but where? There wasn't anything around for miles. Hewie then suddenly started to pick up the pace, now running in front of her with a purpose. Can dogs run with a purpose? Either way, it seemed like he knew a place to go and Ellie close behind even though her legs burned and her chest was feeling like it was going to burst. A cabin finally came into view and Ellie finally slowed down to walk while trying to catch her breath. It didn't look like anybody was in there and also looked like it had been abandoned for months now. Hewie also slowed and turned his head to her as if, checking to see if she was alright. She smiled at him as they continued walking towards the cabin. As they walked onto the snow covered porch, Hewie pushed open the door and walked inside as if he owned the place. Ellie dug into the side pocket of her backpack and turned the small flashlight as she poked her head inside. Apart from what was left of the natural light, the inside of the cabin was dark with the winter wind howling through the open holes of the small wooden cabin. Along the floor were some both opened and empty cans of various foods, two handguns with empty ammo boxes torn apart next to them, and there were a few med kits scattered about the empty dusty floor. All of this would probably help Joel out for at least another few weeks. She reached out for one of the kits but quickly retracted when her flashlight shined over a body. It was the body of a young woman, wrapped up in many blankets. Her eyes were closed and her light blonde hair was tied up in a low ponytail, similar to Ellie's. She must be Hewie's owner; better not wake her, Ellie thought to herself.
She put down her backpack and sat down against the wall adjacent to the sleeping woman. Her body felt sore and freezing. She put her hands to her mouth and blew out air in order to slightly warm them up. Not too far away, she could hear Hewie's padded footsteps pace back and forth. Do dogs pace? Ellie turned to watch him and saw him push something towards her with his nose. It was some of the med kits that were scattered on the floor as well as a half bottle of painkillers. She raised a tired eyebrow; this was a damn smart dog. What the hell did he and his owner go through to make him this way? He seemed too smart and very protective. She kept that thought to herself as she reached over and pulled the items closer to her, while looking them over.
"Don't you think she'll get mad at you for giving these to me?" she asked quietly while moving her head in the direction of the sleeping girl.
She was starting to feel silly for talking to this dog like he could understand the human language; like he was a human himself. Hewie turned his head to look over his owner and his drooped to the sides while he lowered his head and his tail slowly stopped wagging. He walked over to his owner and nudged her with his nose, trying to get her up, but she remained sleeping. He whined quietly as he starting licking her face but still the woman made no movements; she just remained there like a cold porcelain doll. Ellie's brows furrowed as she scooted closer to the woman. Maybe a bright light would do the trick. Ellie turned on her flashlight and shined it around her face. Still nothing; Ellie then kept the light still and focused on her face and immediately her heart dropped. Dark circles were formed perfectly around her eyes, while her pale cheeks looked sunken in, making her look much older then she probably was, and lips were blue and perfectly frozen over. Ellie's shocked eyes followed down over the blankets, hoping that maybe she wouldn't be right for once. But they were still, with no rising or falling from her chest, except for the edges that moved slightly with the wind. She felt one of her cold cover her mouth as she stared down at the now sad Hewie, who had nestled himself down next to his owner, looking as if he was trying to give her warmth. Hewie's owner was dead and probably has been for a while now. Ellie sat back and let out a sigh of disappointment. Poor girl; poor Hewie, who probably either didn't know or didn't want to believe it. She put her flashlight down next to her and noticed a piece of paper lying on the other side of the girl. Ellie reached and grabbed the paper, while putting back a piece of frosted covered hair as she read it.
"If you're reading this, then I guess the winter was just too cold for me, even with the fire. My illness keeps getting worse and worse with every passing day and maybe I can finally be in peace. Also, if you're reading this, then either Hewie had let you in or is gone now… Either way if he is there, he is a good dog and loves to be praised. Please take whatever I have left and try to take Hewie with you. He deserves to live a little bit longer." –Fiona
Try? Ellie looked down at Hewie who honestly didn't look like he was going to leave Fiona's side, even if his life depended on it. She felt a little sad as she sat up and put the medical supplies into her backpack that now smelled of raw meat. She was going to have to find another one soon. She wanted him to come with her. He could help with hunting and scouting out supplies for Joel and she was sure that he wouldn't mind having a dog around. She stood up and slung the backpack over her shoulders, while looking down at him, who seemed to have scooted closer to Fiona.
"So I guess you're staying here then?" she asked him.
Hewie looked up with sad eyes as he whimpered and whined, while looking over his owner. He wasn't going to leave her. He couldn't leave her and Ellie understood that perfectly. She squatted down to give Hewie one last pat on the head. He turned immediately in response to the touch and licked the side of her face, making her chuckle.
"You be a good boy Hewie." She scratched the back of his ears and stood back up as she walked toward the door and walked in the quiet snowfall.
She needed to get back to Joel and fast. She had been gone for too long. She then pushed herself off the wooden porch and took off running back in the direction she had come from. Luckily the tracks were still visible for her to follow back to Callus, who was waiting patiently for her still. She pet him on the face in apology and climbed on top of him as they rode back to their own safe house. She felt herself worry about Hewie and how much longer he would have before he too, passed away. Part of her wanted to force him with her and give him a chance to live and a new family. But she knew she couldn't do that. If Joel were to die in this winter, Ellie would probably stay behind as well. He was all she had left and knew that she would nowhere else to go, and more importantly, she would rather be with Joel's corpse than be alone. When they reached their safe house, Ellie locked up Callus and began working on dinner. Joel was fast asleep and still breathing, which looked more soundly than before. She did everything like normal, taking care of his wound and sitting him up to feed him. She wasn't going to let him die on her. She wasn't going to lose him like she lost everyone else.
"Thank you Hewie…" she whispered to herself as she continued to clean Joel's wound; he was going to be alright… she was going to make sure of it.
This was more of a lengthy one, but I feel like it was needed and deserved for how long I made you guys wait.
"Finding Ellie" will be the next one updated I promise promise promise!
Also, the first to tell me where Hewie and Fiona come from, I shall write something for ya :D Anything you want (within reason of course Dx)
Reviews are always loved!
Until next time!