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Of Better Angels

Uses of Adversity

“Daryl?” I asked but he wouldn't look at me, I felt sick, a turning lead from my stomach and into my throat, like the nausea of reflux that was from a night of gorging yourself on 2 day old pizza in the middle of the night. That awful queasiness of a hangover from hard liquor. “Put me down….” I said into his ear in a softer tone, he hesitated for a moment and then slowly let me go. The baby began to cry, Maggie held her close but was still crying slightly herself. Something kicked in, something clicked within me, without realizing it my feet swiftly took me to Maggie. I rested a hand on her shoulder and held out my arms. We carefully exchanged and the Baby now lay cradled in my arms. “Hush now lil’ one” I cooed lowly bouncing and rocking gently. Rick quickly got up from the ground and grabbing his weapon he went back into the building. None of us dare stop him, for we hadn't the slightest clue what he was up to or what was going through his mind. So we just let him go. “Bree” Hershel called, I drew my eyes away from the door Rick went away in and briskly walked to Hershel. He looked over the baby girl. “The good news is, she looks healthy. But she needs formula, and soon or she won't survive.” He said urgently. “Well would there be anythin’ like that here?” I asked quickly glancing down at the now calmed newborn in my arms. “I doubt it, this is no place for baby formula” Hershel said “well what about in town, there’s got to be a daycare” Beth said quickly, I glanced down at the new born, this baby needed a chance, even in a world in such a state of doom, this little girl still needed her chance. Daryl watched us “No. No way. Not her. We ain't losing nobody else. I'm going for a run. ” He called out before running to his motorcycle. “I’ll back you” Maggie called out, going to follow Daryl, Glen followed her steps protesting. I looked back down at the Baby and smiled softly, she looked back up at me blankly. A warm fuzzy feeling bubbled up within me. I eyes wandered away from the baby, Daryl who had been talking to Beth looked up at me. Our eye locked and I know I looked like a fool, with stars in my eyes, even with no smile on my face, I was far beyond just content. I felt like I had a small purpose again, sure the baby wasn’t mine, I wasn’t it mother, but I had a little one that needed protection and care. I knew Daryl could see the quick change in me, as his face became even graver “You two get to the fence. Too many to pile up, we got ourselves a problem. Glen, Maggie, Vamonos” He said mounting his bike.

I watched them ride away and sighed, it’s been strange between Daryl and I ever since, Russell came into the picture. I was getting tired of my own pride, but then again, with all that’s going on, maybe it was better that that closeness we once had was fading. I was ripped away from my thoughts as the Baby began to cry again. I bounced her lightly, Beth walked to my sighed and smiled down at the baby “she really takes to you….” She said pausing “Must be because you were a momma once, I think they can tell” She added. A small frown came to my face as I remembered my twins, as they were before, and then that horrible image of their walker forms that Russell had kept in those cells. I shuddered, and nodded a bit “Y-yeah must be it” I said trying to offer up a small smile, Beth hadn’t been there to see what had happened to my kids. “Come on we all need to go on and get inside.”

“Someone should go look for Rick” Hershel said as we all sat in our cell block. Beth now cradled the baby with Carl sitting at her side. My eyes were fix at the gate the close our cell block and kept us safe. I was just itching to take off into the prison halls, Carol was out there, and my dogs were out there, for all we knew Michonne and Russell were wandering the halls as well, the truth was we did not know for sure. I went into what I had been told was my shared cell with Daryl and looked around for some kind of weapon. The best I could find was a metal poll that had fallen loose form the cell gate. I grabbed it and stalked out of the cell. “Where are you going?” Hershel asked getting up from his stool with some trouble he hadn’t gotten all the way used to those crutches just yet. “To look for Carol and my damn dogs” I snapped turning my back to them and heading for the gate that blocked off our cellblock. As I went to slide it open Beth stepped out of her cell holding the baby. “But you can’t go what if something happens? You’re the only one who know updatedly what to do” Beth called. The Baby began to cry again. My grip on the metal poll loosened and I sighed heavily. “Someone needs to be looking for Carol, and not one of you thought to go find my dogs” I said slowly, the baby cried louder. “She needs food” Hershel muttered. “Well don’t all mother carry breast milk? Can’t Bree just feed her?” Carl asked quickly. I wanted to laugh at this stamen “No Carl, we have to have a baby of our own currently.” I said Hershel thought for a minute as I turned around, he looked up at me raising his eye brows “well, it has happened rarely were surrogate mother did produce milk for a baby that wasn’t hers” He said. I laughed this time dryly “you’re off your rocker old man” I said walking past him. “I’m not jus’ gonna breast feed someone else’s child, hell didn’t breast feed my own two” I said. “Come on she’s everyone here’s baby until Rick’s back to himself, and it’s just once Daryl and Maggie should be back soon” Beth reasoned. I frowned “come on are you really going to let what happened to your kids happen to my sister?” Carl snapped coldly, I glared at the kid. “You little Brat!” I yelled whirling around to him. “Calm down Bree, the boys just traumatized” Hershel said “am not” Carl replied. I rolled my eyes and walked over to Beth, I gently took the baby out of her arms “Fine I’ll try it” I muttered, before walking off to my cell “but I am not gon’ do it for the whole worl’ to see it” I added disappearing into my cell.

A few minutes past the sun was starting to set, I sat uncomfortably as Beth peeked her head into my cell a grin came to her face as she saw a small towel draped carefully over the baby in my arms, “It worked?” Beth said in joy and shock. “I can’t say I am to surprise…I think we can officially say I ‘m a freak of nature…” I muttered, Beth laughed at me a bit as I’m sure I looked beyond squeamish. Beth sat down next to me “My momma breast fed all of us, she said it was weird the first time and then you get used to it. At least now if you ever have a baby of your own again, it won’t be strange, I mean I’m sure this is how you’ll be feeding it, being that formula or milk should be rare then…” Beth said I frowned at her words “I don’t want a kid Beth, It’s too much pain behind it” I said softly. Outside of my cell I could hear Maggie greeting Glen and a triumphant sounding Daryl. “We found the Formula jackpot, where’s the baby at?” He asked, I sighed and got up walking out of my cell “hell they’ve seen worse” I thought making sure the baby wasn’t bothered. As I walked out Daryl looked up “what the hell?” He said setting the crate of Formula on a small steal table. “It needed to eat” I said dryly, Hershel looked back at me and gave a small smile “well at least some luck in on that baby’s side” the old man said “yes, yes, a miracle, amazing, can you please” the word please “so make the formula” I said frowning a bit. They laughed at me slightly and went to go do what I asked.

It was darker now in the cell block, I sat down on the ground looking out of the gate, zoned completely out. I could feel Daryl watching me, I heard him sigh. “Can I” he asked taking the baby away from Carl, I glanced over, Daryl was holding the infant child in his arms, with the bottle of formula. A smile tried to tug at my lips but I would not let it, and my eyes wandered back to the gate. “Nobody seemed to what to tell me what all went on while I was out, they ‘jus didn’t want to explain it all or they were ‘jus not over it all yet themselves. All I knew was Michonne was missing, Andrea was missing, Carol was missing or dead, but it likely was the later, and my dogs were gone. Lord only knows what happened to Russell. It was driving me mad. But I couldn’t go wandering around Unarmed in the prison. “Any names for her yet?” Daryl asked, “Not yet. I was thinking, maybe Sophia? Then there's Carol too. Andrea, Amy. Jacqui, Patricia. Or... Lori, I don't know. ” Carl said, his voice was scary, the kid had lost all emotion and innocence, but then again what was I supposed to expect, he had to put down his own mother. “Little ass kicker” Daryl said, I scoffed in amusement and looked up at him. “you like that little ass kicker” He said to the baby using that baby tone you almost never expect a grown man to use, that tone that shocks the living daylights out of mothers when they hear it come out of their husbands mouths. As cute and priceless as the moment was he was holding the baby wrong, not enough to hurt it but still. I got to my feet dusting off her torn, tattered and blood stained jeans. I walked to Daryl’s side “here” I said softly from behind him I moved his arms to give the baby for head support as she ate. “Mind her head now.” I said stepping back. He did as I told him and glanced at the baby before looking at me with a small smile. “That’s it” I praised watching the Baby, she was so cute, so small, and the most beautiful thing this world probably had left. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Maggie Nudge Glenn, and I heard then snickering. Beth giggled loudly “well aren’t you two the regular parents” she said. I flinched, my eyes became cold, Daryl’s smile faded at my reaction, he knew those words cut my core, but as before Beth didn’t know any better. Without another word I walked off to my shared cell with Daryl. Laying down on the bunk I cover my face with my crossed arms and closed my eyes.

I’ve never felt so out of control before, between not knowing what was going on within my body, seeing Russell again, learning he went insane, seeing my babies as walkers, seeing them shot down, No longer knowing where Daryl and I stand, losing my dogs and above all not know were in the hell Carol was. I was starting to feel like I might snap, Anxiety was rising and it felt hard to breath. You know that feeling when you want to just cry a river and scream like a banshee on crack, regardless of who’s looking. Maybe not, but that’s exactly how I felt. I bit my lip almost to the point of drawing blood trying to hold it all in, my breathing much worse now. “Bree?” I heard Daryl call, He sounded almost afraid to walk into the cell. I had been biting his head off so much, I can’t say I blame him. Yeah I was still fairly mad at him from the arguments weeks ago before the walker fall out and me blacking out. But now I wasn’t so sure I wanted to stay mad, I had all the right reasons for being so, but who has time to hold a grudge anymore. In my thoughts I forgot he was there. “Bree?” he called again. “Yeah” the word slipped from my mouth in a crackled pitch, releasing my teeth from my lip wasn’t the best idea either, as it was as if the flood gates of my emotions were going to pour out of the dam. I felt a rush of air and I was lifted into flood of warmth as Daryl took to the bed side and drew me into his arms. I let him hold me there, I let him crush me into his body as he hide his face in my mass of curly hair, and the Dam finally broke, and he waters rushed out and over like waterfalls.

Daryl’s heart was racing I could feel it, My sobs were silent a sadness like that fear when you are so afraid you scream and the sound is still hiding in your throat unwilling to come out. Daryl pushed Carol’s Scarf into my hands I gripped it tight and held it to my heart. “I’m going to bring her back for you” Daryl said softly barely a whisper “you hear me, I promise, this ain’t gonna be like Sophia” Daryl muttered holding me ever closer “I promise” He added again. I nodded, but I dare say I did not believe him.
Chapter 12

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