The noises were . . . Pretty disturbing. I put my ear to the door and heard a woman squeaking quietly in distress. Her cries were muffled by someone. Discovering the problem would probably get me into A LOT of trouble, but if someone was getting hurt, I had to save them. Except if it was Sophia. In that case, I'd watch as she got killed. But, I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case.
Taking a deep breath, I rested my hand on the rusted door handle. Another suppressed wail could be heard behind the closed door. Biting my bottom lip, I wasn't so sure I actually wanted to find out what was going on out there.
One . . . Two . . . . Wait. Wait. Wait. I'm not ready.
Okay, One . . . .Two . . . . . . . . . . .Three
Before I could think otherwise, I pushed down on the handle and swung open the door. Widening my eyes in horror, I saw Lori and Shane on the ground. Shane looked just as shocked as I was, and he looked at me with a dumbfounded expression; his earlobes could be seen jiggling in the wind. Lori was on the ground under Shane . . . with her pants unzipped. . . . His fat fingers still lay on her hips, ready to pull off her pants. Tears glittered in the moonlight as they fell from Lori's terrified eyes. She was on the verge of hysteria. We all stood amongst the silence; Shane still daring to have his hands remain on her hips.
“You're interuptin' something' here sweetie,” Shane sternly spoke after the long silence. Lori opened her mouth to protest, but he turned to look at her. A growled utter that wasn't audible to my ears came out of his mouth. Her mouth immediately clamped shut, and she said nothing else.
“But, it sounded like you were . . .assaulting her,” I replied looking at the miserable Lori. “Lori, is everything alright?”
Lori hesitated to answer but quickly spoke under Shane's influence, “. . . I'm quite alright. Just . . Just go back inside.”
“No. I heard what was happening. . . I'm going to tell Rick.” Shane instantly sprang off of Lori and grabbed my wrist before I could retreat inside. The grip on my wrist hurt immensely; it was my healing wrist that was hurt from earlier. He got close to my face; our noses were centimeters away.
“You listen here. No one. Not one person is tellin' Rick or anybody. Ever,” he snarled, “Or we can do this the hard way.” He upholstered a black pistol. Turning the gun over in his hands, he made a point for me to examine the gun. “It would be a shame to waste one of these precious, precious bullets on something as sick as you.”
My heart literally stopped pumping; the blood stopped circulating to my body, and my face went a pure pale. It was hard to breathe; each breath felt like fifty shards of glass impaling my lungs. Shane noticed my panic and now grinned.
“Or we can do this in a way that benefits you, me, and Lori. You cannot speak a word bout' this, or you'll end up lying on the ground next to Lori. And, after all of the sweet, sweet pleasure, I'll send a pretty bullet through your head.”
I could fall over and die, right there and then. It would have been so much easier if I had just stayed in the RV. But, no, I had to go saving the day.
My head was dizzy as if we were thousands of feet off the ground, and my wrist throbbed with pain as Shane's grip gradually got tighter, threatening to pull me over to Lori. His stale breathe blew into my mouth, and I tasted pure alcohol. The threats he gave me were most definitely sexual assault.
“ . . . I-I-I-I won't tell anyone. I swear!” I rambled in a frenzy of words. The once creepy, perverted look drooped a bit, obviously disappointed I hadn't caused trouble. This whole time Lori remained on the ground obediently.
“Now, just remember our little talk. If you tell, I'll shove this gun up your ass and shoot you to the moon,” he said raising the gun so the sleek plastic brushed against my skin, leaving me scared stiff. A flurry of electrifying shivers was sent tingling through my body. Uninterested in me now, he turned back to Lori. Seeing my chance, I ran for the door, tears starting to sprout from my eyes like new baby plants peeking their green stems out of the ground for the first time. I desperately opened the door and went inside the RV. Once inside with the door closed, I sunk to my knees with my head in my hands. The others were sleeping soundly, but I still didn't want them to wake up, so I sobbed silently. Small cries escaped my throat, and it didn't help that the sounds started back up outside.
Where is Daryl during all of this? Wasn't he supposed to be outside.
I cursed Daryl for not being there to stop the . . . activities that had commenced.
After I calmed down a little, I returned to my spot next to Carl. His new warmth soothed my fears, and it helped me go back to sleep.
· * *
“Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!” Carl shouted into my ear. It sent loud shrills of sound through my eardrums. My puffy crusted eyes slowly flicked open. They were gross from the crying last night.
“Daryl caught some rabbit last night! We're going to have something other than canned beans,” Carl said sticking his tongue out when saying “canned beans.” “Dale always makes them, and I've had so many that if I ate them again, I'd be sick!”
Rubbing my itchy eyes, I realized everyone else was gone, and a delicious aroma hung in the air.
Daryl was out hunting last night! That's why he hadn't been there to stop . . .
I then remembered the events of last night. Now, I can't ever look at Shane the same.
Following a hungry Carl outside, the whole group gathered around a small fire. Dale was sitting in a lawn chair cooking some rabbit. Lori was attached at the hip to Rick, which didn't surprise me. I stared at her for a while until we had about 2 seconds of eye contact. Her eyes shifted away, ashamed and scared. Shane stood far away from Lori, and he rubbed his temples. Correct about the alcohol I had smelt on his breath, Shane appeared to be in a hangover.
The chunk of meat was browned nicely, and everyone seemed to be standing over Dale, pressing him to cook it faster.
“The meat will be done when it's done,” Dale explained in his wise voice. “Plus, I've gotta cook the beans, too.” Every person—except for Chico and I—groaned. Carl looked like he was ready to puke just at the mention of beans. Dale just smiled cheerfully like a grandfather smiling at his new baby grand daughter: pure happiness. It was a rare emotion during these days.
“Andrea, could you go get a pot from the RV, so I can start cooking the beans?” Dale asked. Andrea—actually interested in something other than the ground—stared back at him blankly. Her eyes narrowed, and she stalked off across the camp back to her usual spot and sulked on the ground. A heavy sigh escaped Dale's mouth as the previous contentment he experienced was now completely gone. Dale seemed to care about Andrea way too much than she deserved.
“I'll get it, Dale.” The words tumbled out of my mouth too fast for me to stop them. Everyone looked up at me in surprise. I hadn't said too much at all until now.
True to my word, I went into the RV and got a pot from a cabinet. I came back out and handed it to Dale. He took the pot, opened the can, and poured the baked beans into the pot to cook. With the meat on a skewer in one hand and the can of beans in the other, Dale multitasked cooking. The aroma of the rabbit and beans mixed to make a savory gravy scent that made saliva pool in my mouth. I looked over to the others to see grimaces on their faces; even though it smelt great, baked beans were overdone with them.
Chico had his arm slung over Sophia's shoulder. She didn't seem to notice, but he was trying to make a move on her. After one day with her, he had already ditched me. That's just great.
Carl detected my darting beady eyes that burned holes in Sophia's head. In a cheesy attempt to mimic Chico, Carl put an arm on my shoulder. It was a weird unnatural, stiff embrace that I didn't like. I turned to look at Carl with a raised eyebrow.
“Ummm?” I said still staring at him. With wide eyes, he slowly removed his arm from my shoulder. Chico watched us curiously with a mischievous smile; he seemed to be enjoying this. That pissed me off all the more. His stupid silly grin ticked me off.
“The rabbit's done. Someone come over and take it. We can proportion it equally when the beans are done.” Dale explained, holding out the rabbit. I walked forward to grab it, but Sophia rushed up and swiped it from Dale's hands before I could take it.
What the hell was that? It's not like a competition!
I glared at Sophia as she stalked away back to Chico. I'm guessing she didn't want me to get all the attention. When over with Chico, she ripped off a small piece of the rabbit and ate it.
“Hey! We're supposed to share that!” I bellowed, finally fed up with her. Everyone turned to look at Sophia. She stopped in mid-chew, and her expression switched to an innocent small child. Furrowing her brows, she peered at everyone quizzically.
“You must be mistaken. I didn't eat any,” she said, batting her eyelashes. Everyone returned their attention to the fire. Sophia then took a huge bite out of the rabbit; Chico stared at her stupefied and did nothing. While chewing, she smirked at me. As IF she was going to get away with that!
“Look! She's doing it again!” Everyone again turned to look at her. Sophia quickly swallowed the rabbit chunk and opened her mouth wide to show she was chewing nothing. Nobody noticed the huge portion of meat missing from the, once plump, rabbit on the skewer. Carol shook her head with a look of disappointment directed to me.
“No! Chico, you saw it didn't you?” I pleaded, hoping Chico would pull through. Daryl rolled his eyes.
“She's cryin' wolf,” Daryl retorted. Chico stared at me with an unsure appearance.
“Well, I-“ Chico was then interrupted.
“Shhh. Under the cars!” Dale whispered in a hoarse voice of urgency.
What's going on?
Dale placed the baked beans on the ground and stomped out the fire. He then rolled on his belly to get under the nearest car. Glenn—rolling next to Dale—did the same. Obviously, I was missing something. Everyone got under different cars, each in pairs of two: Carol and Lori, Shane and Rick, Chico and Sophia, Ed—the blob—and Andrea. T-Dog was hiding behind an opened car door, huddling for safety, and Daryl had disappeared from sight. That left Carl and I standing their like two idiots. Lori made desperate gestures to Carl and I, but I couldn't decipher them. Dale then pointed up towards the entrance of the camp.
Hundreds of stumbling zombies streamed in. They were clustered in a giant horde that travelled in a pack. The zombies hadn't noticed Carl and I yet, but it was a matter of seconds before they did. Swiftly, I took Carl's hand and led him to a nearby car. We rolled like logs underneath of it—just in time, too. From underneath the cramped car, I could see pairs of shambling feet, unknowingly walking passed us. As the agonizing seconds ticked by, Carl clutched my arm in fright. I hugged him back, for I was scared, too. The moans were too loud to hear anyone else, but between the legs I caught glimpses of both Carol and Lori crying for their children. I returned my attention to Carl to find him squeezing his eyes shut. Little streams of tears escaped his eyes despite his hardest attempts to stay strong. This made me feel weak in the heart. Seeing Carl upset made me feel as if I would burst. I hugged him tighter in an effort to calm him down.
After long excruciating moments, the zombies started to peter out, but the danger wasn't over yet.
I heard a hushed yell. Risking a small peek, I craned my neck from out under the car. T-Dog was hastily grasping his arm that now had an eight inch gash stretching across it. Crimson blood gushed out despite T-Dog's attempts to stop it. In the small gander I took, I noticed the glass on the car door was broken in sharp shards and one in particular was covered in blood; my guess was he accidentally cut his arm on it. A zombie smelt the new blood and shuffled over to T-Dog, who was completely defenseless. I wanted to help, but there were still a handful of zombies walking about, and T-Dog was relatively far away.
Just when T-Dog was going to be eaten, an arrow gracefully flew into the zombie's head, and it collapsed in front of the terrified T-Dog. Daryl, crouching close to the ground, ran towards him. He pushed T-Dog onto the ground and threw the zombie's body on top of him. T-Dog objected to this, but Daryl ignored him and found another body to put on himself. Daryl lied next to T-Dog and pulled a second zombie body onto himself. This method utterly confused me.
However, several zombies were attracted by Daryl's noises and went to investigate. They stood in front of T-Dog and Daryl, but they did not proceed to bite them. Suspicious, the zombies sniffed the air, trying to find traces of the blood they smelt earlier. To my surprise, the zombies shuffled away, totally leaving T-Dog and Daryl alone. The two zombie bodies they had on top of them masked the human smell and hid them from the other zombies. This truly intrigued me. I would have to ask Daryl about it later.
After waiting a little longer, it seemed as if there were no zombies left. But, I certainly wasn't getting up first; someone else can take that risk. And, there was someone else stupid enough to take the risk. This is the good part; it was Sophia.
Sophia, being a stupid ass lunatic, slid out from under the car her and Chico were hiding. I could hear Carol gasping, telling Sophia to return to her spot. Chico's endeavor to stop Sophia was shot down. Sophia ignored Chico's words and ignorantly stepped out into a death trap; everybody but her could see that a terrible accident was imminent.
Rising to her feet, Sophia appeared to be in the clear until a zombie ambled up to her.
She screamed –so loud my eardrums turned to mush—and frantically ran forward. She attracted two more zombies that were now closing in on her. For some reason, not a single person actually did anything! Lori prevented Carol from getting up by covering her mouth and holding her done while the poor women suffered. Ed, the fat whale he was, remained under the car; he couldn't care less whether his daughter was eaten alive, or he was just too lazy to give an effort to get up. Being the closest to her, Chico was frozen in fright; fear took hold of his reins. He was a coward. He tried not to seem like it, but he was.
If no one is going to save this goddamn girl, I better do it. I hate her so much, but I can't let her die; Carol would be a mess.
Taking action, I rolled out from under the car. Carl grasped at me, begging me to come back in distressed wails. I dodged his attempts and sprinted to Sophia; she was about to run in the forest next to the highway. Going in there would be a death sentence. I doubt that girl could navigate herself back.
“Sophia, don't!” I yelled. This got the three zombies' attention. All three of them turned to me.
Deep breaths. Deep breaths. You can handle all three.
One of the zombie's intestines were hanging out of a gash on its stomach, letting organs spill out like jelly out of a donut. This zombie was first up on my kill list. Another zombie's foot was completely gone, just a bloody nub with a brown tinted bone protruding from it. This zombie limped slowly. The last zombie had two broken ankles, and it struggled to walk; its feet bended in abnormal ways, making it almost fall at times. This one was the slowest, taking up the rear. They traveled in an assembly line. Sophia was smart enough to ACTUALLY listen and stop before the highway's exit to the forest.
Unfortunately, both my bag and baseball bat were in the RV, and all I had was my knife. I unsheathed it from my belt, and gave a battle cry, “Come get me!”
They all hobbled a little bit faster: my first zombie—Jelly Donut—was a first in line. They all looked like children; children that were standing in a lunch line, eager to get their share of chicken fingers with a side of mashed potatoes.
Lucky number one: Jelly Donut.
Exhaling heavily, I let Jelly Donut come to me, preparing my attack.
“Time for your lunch. How about a nice box of donuts? How does that sound? Or, maybe a new intestine?” I shouted before proceeding to stab it. I swear I could hear Ed's stomach rumble to the mention of donuts. Everyone else seemed to think I was crazy; they had no idea why I was talking about lunch, donuts, and intestines.
Jelly Donut made an attempt to lunge at my feet, but I swiftly jumped back, letting it fall at my feet. Before Jelly Donut could get up, my dirty boot pinned its back to the ground. Stepping on his back and swinging the knife high in the air, I looked heroic, probably good enough to be on movie cover. I vigorously brought the knife down with such power that the small blade gored right through the skull and brain to peek out on the other side of Jelly Donut's head. The knife was handle deep in the brain.
“Sorry, no donuts left, Jelly Donut.” I'm sure Ed looked down in disappointment.
Pushing my foot that was on Jelly Donut's back, I heaved the blade out of the head. Blood splattered in red arrays across my face. My muscles screamed in complaint, but there was no stopping me.
“Next!” Now my victim—yes, the zombies were now my victims--Pegged Leg was getting closer.
I felt in a crazed rage; I have no idea why, but killing them got me so worked up as if I was on drugs. Most of the people there probably thought I had come from an insane asylum. But, at this point, I didn't care what people thought of me.
“What would you like? A new prosthetic foot? That would be nice considering your nub.” Sophia was now crying, sobbing at her knees. She looked scared. Not scared of the zombies. Scared of me.
Pegged Leg was way too tall for me to reach its head, and I doubt I could just let it fall at my feet again. Looking at the one remaining foot, I dropped to the ground, crouched in a huddled position. I gave a deafening cry as I swung the knife at the ankle, cutting the foot clean off. Pegged Leg was just above me, and when chopping the foot off, it fell like sturdy oak, crashing on top of me. Pegged Leg's face was inches from mine; its mouth chomped furiously as its arms moved to grab a hold of me. The two footless legs squirmed uselessly.
“Now, you'll need two feet, Pegged Leg!” I roared before plunging the knife into Pegged Leg's bloodshot eyeball. It stopped moving, but I continued to jab it with the blade.
One. Two. Three. Four times in the face, each in different places: left eye, right cheek bone, eight eye, forehead. Blood surged from all four wounds, trickling on my face. I was careful to keep my eyes and mouth closed as it covered my face.
Done with Pegged Leg, I pushed the limp body off, got to my feet, and prepared for the final zombie: Pigeon Toed.
“Don't dawdle!” I raged as the poor excuse for a creature waddled over on its bendable ankles. Then, someone finally wanted me to stop. Glenn got from under the car and tried to grab me. Threatening the loss of my last lunch line customer, I turned with the knife in my hand. Glenn saw my crazed eyes and bloody murderous face, so he backed away. At this point, I was probably capable of killing them all.
I heard Sophia cry for her mother in mangled gasps that piled onto my rage; fed my fire. That stupid screeching human being was so weak.
At last, Pigeon Toed made it close. “Last customer of the day, huh? Let me fix those feet for you.”
Easily, I pushed Pigeon Toed to the ground. I pinned it down with my boot crushing its chest. But, before I could finish the last of Pigeon Toed, Glenn kicked in its head, obliterating my hopes and dreams.
My eyes involuntarily twitched in anger, and Glenn stopped kicking in the head to look at me. The whole group got up from their places, and stood around me. Carol ran to Sophia and embraced her in a hug filled with sweat and tears. Terrified looks plastered the faces of everyone. Then Carl's big, fat eyes looked horrified. Carl was scared of me. Carl was scared of me.
That was the one thing to break me out of my trance. My nose sniffled. My lower lip trembled. My teeth chattered, and shivers tingled as if it were seventy degrees below zero. My eyes watered. My legs were as shaky as Jelly Donut's intestines.
What happened?! Am I going insane?!
“Wh-what did I do?” I stuttered in barely a whisper. I felt exhausted; my body felt like it was about to shut down, and I hoped it did. The salty tears slipped from my eyelashes as I blinked, and I fell to my knees. A harsh sob escaped my lips as I cried. The others formed a circle around me, isolating me so I couldn't escape but at the same time keeping a large amount of space between me and them. Shuddering, I felt alone and vulnerable; everyone thought I was crazy. I wouldn't blame them because I think I'm crazy, too.
Without warning, Chico ran from his spot to me, enfolding me into a tight hug. I had not expected this from him; I thought he was different; I thought he was a jerk. He was crying, too. We sobbed together in a tangle of hiccups and sniffles. Sophia approached us and pulled at his arm in desperation. She was also sobbing, but for the wrong reasons.
“Don't, she's dangerous,” Sophia pleaded, pulling at Chico. Chico clung to me, refusing to let go. Even with his little girlfriend begging him to leave, Chico persisted.
“She's obviously crazy. Get away from her before she kills someone. She almost killed Glenn!” Shane sternly growled, almost yelling.
Something then clicked in my head. Logic formed again, allowing me to speak words. To speak words that I shouldn't have to ever say. To speak words that were forbidden.
Gently pushing Chico off of me, I turned to Shane with a bloody tear stained face.
“You! You raped Lori!” I practically hollered to the whole world while pointing an accusing finger at Shane. The words were out. They seemed to stop time. To freeze Lori into place; she didn't even try to deny it. Everyone looked up at Rick, expecting a giant outburst.