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Of Better Angels

Not Quite Cattle

The Next morning most of us kept quiet, Rick had become more dependent of Daryl all of a sudden. It was like Daryl had replaced Shane in Rick’s life. Rick wasn’t the man he used to be, but that man was still in thre somewhere, behind the fear, confusion, and chaos. Over all I thought Daryl getting closer to Rick would be good for the both of them. Lori and I had been close since we met back in Atlanta. I remember her staying at my side the night I arrived at the survivor’s camp, a blood riddled mess, she was the first one to talk to me. I spent the morning with Carol, she was doing better, about Sophia, but of coarse she’d never be all the way right. She told me I was helpful and she was glad I was there. “at least…my past accounts for something then huh” I said to her, she smiled sadly and nodded. “we’ll get better….you’re not much elder than me you know…40’s not ol’ at all, we’ll find some place, where we can gather a whole bunch of survivors…and you’ll find yourself a nice strapping bow….and start up a family again….” I said to her trailing off. She smiled and laugh “and what about you and daryl” she said like a giggly school girl I glanced at her, looking out the window I could see him talking with Rick “not sure…he’s not really the fatherly type…I don’t think I’ll be much ready for a family again” I stated Carol nodded. “you said you never found Russell’s body?” She questioned, I paused and nodded slowly “no just his torn shirt, blood, his riffle, and his hat” I said reaching for the riffle I always carried on my back., holding it out in front of me. Carol looked at it “was that the riffle?” she asked, I nodded. Suddenly Carol smiled at me “he may still be out there” she said, “he was out there with over 2 dozen walkers….and where ver he went, he left his riffle….if he isn’t ate up he’s one of them now” I said darkly stroking the gun. Carol looked down “well in a way…it works out…What would Daryl do….” She said looking out the window at him and Rick.

The first half of the morning as spent organizing, We had all realized we had gotten to comfortable and had almost completely forgot about the danger of walkers coming to the farm. Dale’s death was a crippling wakeup call for all of us. Daryl and I where set up on major security detail around the farm. Daryl had the best aim, while my aim was good, my eyes were worth more, that and I was the one with the most left over ammunition. We had all worked the day away after Dale’s funeral, with new found drive. Andrea, t-dog, and I moved the Cars closer to the house, for better security and now everyone was being arranged to sleep within the House. I had been gathering supplies from the Barn, fields, and slaughter house, the main house needed to be stocked up with food items and protective gear to last at least a couple of weeks, so that no one would have to risk going out for long periods of time. I wiped the sweat away from my forehead glancing around; so far everyone was working together in harmony, not even Shane was acting out of turn. “Well you managed to set us all straight after all” I muttered referring to Dale. Sighing heavily I threw the heavy bag of supplies over my shoulder and headed back towards the house “To bad it was at such a great cost” I thought. Walking into the House I saw Carol, Daryl, Andrea, and Glenn taking a break. We had all been working since 6am and it was just now around 10:30, time seemed to be moving slowly, either that or we were really working our tails off. I walked past them silently to Carol’s and I’s shared room, grabbing my riffle I loaded it while walking past the other again. Daryl watched me silently as I continued to load the gun. He hadn’t said a word to me since last night. “I’ll be back…we need more meat to stock up on, deer are runnin’ low…so we may have to rely on the unusual….I’m talkin’ foxes, birds, squirrels..rabbits…whatever’s out there” I said blandly “it may take me a few hours, If Rick needs me for anythin’ give him my time frame” I added looking my riffle in place checked my pocket for throwing knives before walking out the door.

Jessie howled as she sniffed out a raccoon, she was able to take it on her own; none of the bullets had to be wasted. I smiled at her and ruffled her fur “good girl Jess” I praised her, and wagged her tail and barked happily as I took the raccoon from her jaws, and slung it into my bag. So far, no deer, but this was my third coon, in addition to that, I got an owl, a fox, a hand full of birds, and two rabbits. Not counting various squirrels, but that fact was we needed a deer, at least one to tie us over, after all the walkers had been attacking the cows as it is, we were sure we could no longer depend on those. Sighing I threw the bag back over my shoulder and took a drink of water from my canteen, I poured some out to the ground so that; Jessie may drink some from the stream. I had one last piece of the terrain I wanted to check before heading back and that was the lake, if I was lucky there’d be at least one duck in its waters.

When I reached the lake Jessie happily threw her into the water, swimming around it was probably the most fun the dogs had in a while other than hunting. I dared not to strip and get in myself as some walkers have been known to be able to lurk within water. Sighing I sat down on the banks and let Jessie swim. I needed a rest and there wasn’t a duck in site, Looking to my side I saw a single Cherokee rose, it was new and just starting to grow, a baby bloom. I smiled “maybe there is still some hope after all” I muttered, I heard twigs snap behind me, without a second thought I jumped to my feet, whirling around I aimed my riffle “well damn, I knew I freaked you out the other night…but don’t shoot me” Daryl said calmly walked past me and taking a seat on the bank. I eyed him for a moment before lowering my gun and sitting back in my place. Daryl looked at me and then down to the gun, my hand was over it almost protectively. “we need to clear a few things up” he said as we both watch Jessie swim, he paused waiting for me to talk, but I said nothing “I don’t want you running around thinking I’m some kind of monster around here…I do everything I do for you and the group…” He said I side glanced at him, “that boy said some guys in his group raped a man’s daughters….and he just watched, not tried to stop him, just watched” Daryl said his voice trailed off, turned to look at him. “Their group out numbers our own…if they had come we all would have died and you, Lori, Carol, Maggie, Beth and Patricia…well you can just guess. God only knows what they would do to Carl, that’s why I helped Rick and Shane the other night” He said turning to look at me, I just nodded, I understood now, it didn’t make what he did right, but I got it. Daryl wasn’t sentimental openly and I wasn’t about to be either “ I understand…I’m not going to say that makes what you and rick did right…the boy was probably just afraid of his own people….it happens in time like these… it happens a lot” I said standing up, Jessie had begain to swim back to the bank. Daryl stood up after me, taking my hand he guided me to him, holding me arms with his hands he looked at me, with determination “ I’ll find a way to make this place stable…and if not this place, we’ll find another” He said his eyes left mine and started to scan the area. “I don’t think we’ll be staying here to long” he said “we’ll starve out if we do” He added. I broke away from him and tossed the bag of my various kills over my shoulder “ that might be sooner than you think” I muttered as we headed back to the house.

After resting a while, Rick sent T-dog to check the Barn, we had moved Randall back in there latter the night before, I went with him carrying a plate that contained lunch. T-dog eyed be “why on earth are you taking care of this kid anyway?” He asked I looked him and then the plate “because he’s just a kid, caught up in all this mess…and on top of it, he’s got 3 southern hicks threatening to kill him” I said laughing slightly T-dog shook his head “you got your nerve, you’re a southern hick too” He said laughing. I leered at him as he opened the door, the plate I was carrying fell to the ground “he’s gone!” T-dog said, I ran into the barn looking around. “Well where’d he go?” I asked “how the hell am I supposed to know?” T-dog said, before we both took off to find Rick. In our frantic search for Rick the others seemed to flock to us, we finally found him talking to Daryl. “Rick Randall’s gone” T-dog said, Ricked looked slightly distressed “he was handcuffed” He said in confusion “ain’t no more” I muttered as T-dog handed Rick the Cuffs. Rick and Daryl exchanged glances, somewhere along the lines of a silent “I knew it” But it just didn’t add up, no one just gets out of handcuffs without a key, unless the boy gnawed his hands clean off. “he couldn’t have jus’ got away like that…somethin’ smells rotten ‘round here..” I said looking around. Rick’s gaze went to the woods, as Shane came bolting out of it, limping slightly, his face bled from the center and he seemed out of breath. “Randall Got away, busted me in the face….took my gun!” Shane breathed. I looked at him in shock as did the others. I raised a brow at him as he side glanced at me. Now I knew something wasn’t right. But before I could question him, Rick had ordered Glenn and Daryl to form a search party. As Daryl went to gather his Crossbow and gun, I pulled at his sleeve, “no wait, it doesn’t add up….randalls not got he kind of power to bust Shane’s face in let alone find an opening to land a hit on him…and what about the cuffs” I asked Daryl looked back at me and kept walking “Shane’s to damn proud to pretend he got busted in the face by some kid, I know you’re trying to play mother but this is children playin’ house no more” Daryl said grabbing his gun and slinging his cross bow over his shoulder. “then let me come with you” I argued, Daryl held me still “no we don’t know what he’s doing out there” “if he is out there” I cut in “Or if he is reached his group…I don’t want you out there like that” He said the tail end gently and I found I couldn’t be made at him. With an unpleased sigh I watched him go off with Rick, Shane and Glenn.

The rest of us gathered in and around the main house, I paced back and forth across the porch, My dogs watching walking to and fro nearly wearing a whole in the wood. Carol and Lori watched me as well, Lori’s eyes as well as my own at been fixed upon the Woods since the guys left in search for Randall. My heart thumped disquietingly in my chest. My nerves were on edge, I gripped my riffle tightly, and my pacing became faster. “Bree….stop, you’ll make yourself dizzy sick” Carol called out to me; I stopped and looked up at her, my eyes turning towards the woods. “It’s the same feeling I had, back then…” I thought looking down at Russell’s riffle. Visions came back into my mind of Russell pushing me and the twins into the shed, the sound of the door latching shut. My eyes shot back open as I could hear footsteps. Looking up I could see Daryl and Glenn returning. Maggie shot out of the house into Glenn’s arms, I searched Daryl’s eyes. “Did you find him?” Carol asked timidly “yeah he was a walker…only thing is…he wasn’t bitten…his neck was broke” Daryl said never tearing his eyes away from mine. I knew why his neck as broke, that part was obvious, the disheartening news was…if he wasn’t bitten, how had he become a walker. As Daryl looked in my eyes I could see, he was asking the same thing. “Great just what we need…another problem” I sighed.

A gunshot rose into the air, our gaze turned towards the fields, there stood rick and Carl, but more importantly, headed for them, and us, was a large herd of walkers. Their numbers where far greater than the herd we had encountered on the highway, far greater. I froze we had to leave, and we had to leave now. “So much for paradise” I said as Daryl and I went for our arsenal. Arriving back on the porch I spotted rick leading Carl to the Barn, tugging on Daryl’s sleeve I pointed to them “what are they doing?” I asked Daryl loaded his gun “trying not to lead them directly here that’s what, buying us some time” He said quickly “dim the lights!” Hershel called into the house, Maggie, Patricia, Beth and Carol ran around and cut out the lights. Looking towards the Barn it had began to go ablaze. “Smart, very smart, always go with the fire” I muttered with a light smirk on my lips. “We can lead them away from the Barn with the cars” Andrea said, for the first time in a long time I had to agree with her “she’s right, I’ll take my truck and the dogs” I offered. “I’ll go” Glen offered and we followed after Andrea to the vehicles. I piled my four dogs in the truck, three in the bed, and one in the inside with me. Staring the truck up and pulled around, taking one last glance back at Daryl whom had mounted his Motorcycle. I winced, I hated that he road that damn thing. I love Motorcycles, but it left him exposed to the walkers. His eyes met mine, and I would tell he wasn’t thrill about the job I offered to do either. Not wanting to waist anymore time I pulled out and headed for the horde of walkers with Andrea and Glenn.


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