Blood Soaked Arrows
“Damn it Daryl that hurt!”
“Well if ya’d stop squirming around it wouldn’t hurt as much.” He grunted before stabbing the needle back into my skin.
I made a face trying to hold in another curse but in the end I just couldn’t do it. “For gods sake’s stop man-handling me ya’ backwards hick!”
His blue eyes never wavered from his work even though I had just insulted the man. I hadn’t expected that of Daryl, for him to be so calm and focused on stitchin’ me up even if he was a little rough doing it. He was being so…I don’t know, helpful that made me feel bad for being such an awful patient.
I was about to say something to him, apologize for being such a bitch, when he yanked on the end of the stich. “Son of a Bitch!” I cursed and jerked my arm away from him.
Luckily he had finished stitching up the gash on my arm and simply leaned forward to cut off the extra thread. He quickly knotted the end of the thread and just when I thought that all of my suffering was over he slapped the freshly closed wound.
I jerked my body away from him and barked out a whole stream of curses. “Damn it Dixon what the hell! That hurt!”
He tossed the medical crap back in the bag, not even attempting to make it neat, and then picked himself up. He had been kneeling on the ground playing doctor while I rested against the side of the car; neither of us had wanted to use the ‘tank’ because Sophia had somehow managed to fall back asleep in there. Probably exhausted from crying all morning, I assumed.
“Pansy.” He scoffed before leaning down and smacking the loose dirt off of his jeans.
Insulted I yelled back, “Oh yeah? Well how ‘bout you go out somewhere, get severely injured, wonder around all by yourself, and then get stitched up by some beefy man. We’ll see who’s the pansy, after that.”
Daryl abruptly stopped smacking the dirt off of his clothes and slowly met my eyes. I glared back at him, arrogantly believing that he had no clue where I was coming from, and then something shifted inside of him. Those blue eyes of his darken, giving him a more hostile and threatening look.
“Were ya’ thrown off a horse?”
I frowned at him. “No I was in a car accident, remember?”
He knelt down until he was at my eye level. “Did ya’ fall down the side of a hill and get an arrow shot through your side?”
Not understanding what he was rambling about I folded my arms over my chest defensively. “Ya’ know I didn’t.”
“Did ya get shot in the fucking head after going through all of that?” When he yelled that one out he had made a gesture to the side of his own head, which made me notice the stitching along his temple. In one heaving moment I realized that Daryl had been through something similar only by the sound of things it was far more eventful.
“Ya’ got shot in the head?” I leaned forward, lifted up a hand and brushed some of the hair away. Daryl jerked away from my touch but not before I got a real good look at his injury. The stitching had been done by an expert but the wound, my god if the bullet had gone just an inch to the right he would have been killed.
“That ain’t the point.” He huffed, “Ya’ got off easy with these cuts, it could’ve been a lot worse and your taking all of it for granted. It’s stupid bitches like ya’ that really piss me off.”
He got back up and spun around to leave. “Daryl wait!” My body was sore and stiff but I managed to pick myself up off of the ground. Daryl didn’t stop like I had hoped he would he just kept on walking, making me struggle to catch up to him.
“Daryl.” I halfway whine and cried once I was in reaching distance. I grabbed ahold of the end of his shirt and gave it a tug. He jolted to a stop which caused me to slam into his back. With an ‘Oaf’ I stumbled back a few steps and blinked over at him. His shoulders and back were ridged as he slowly turned back around with an even more annoyed expression on.
I swallowed hard at his pissed off stance and almost forgot what it was that I had wanted to say. “Um,” I stammered out waiting for my mind to function properly again. “I just wanted to say that ya’ were right.”
He raised an eyebrow at me before folding his arms across his broad chest. The tan dirty biceps and defined collar bone did not go unnoticed by me and in fact it just made it even more difficult to speak. With an extremely hard swallow I continued on, “You were right. I was being whinny and complaining, thinking that I was the only person in the world who had gone through something so difficult. I’m sorry.”
My gaze had drifted down from his shoulders and arms to the ground. I was now staring at my dirty shoes that were covered in more blood than actual dirt. Feeling like I was a child again apologizing to Dr. Jenner for knocking over the test tubes, I felt even more uncomfortable waiting for Daryl to either scold me or tell me that it was oaky.
Daryl took a step away from me forcing me to let go of his shirt. Slowly, as if to torture me, he gave me his back and started walking away. There was a heavy pain in my heart as I watched him leave. Nothing had ever made me feel so vulnerable and weak before in my life. I was turning away to go back to my tank to wallow in my self-pity when Daryl yelled,
“Don’t worry ‘bout it.”
I spun around to look back at him and noticed how he had stopped walking. His body was turned slightly to my direction as his blue eyes melted into mine. That pain in my chest turned into something warm and light making a smile break across my face. Daryl stared at me for what seemed like a long time but I didn’t mind, I was just happy that Daryl wasn’t mad at me again.
He grunted something else before turning around to leave. Whatever it was he had said was lost to me and by the quick pace of his walk I was sure that he wasn’t too keen on repeating it. With that warm feeling still coursing through my chest I turned back to my ‘tank’. It was time to get some well needed rest in.
“Evelyn,” A soft foggy voice called to me in the mists of my sleep. I let out a groan before turning my body away from where the noise was coming from. “Evelyn.” They whined again and this time my brain recognized the voice. With a tired yawn I opened my eyes groggily and looked over my shoulder.
Sophia had her face stationed a few inches away from me with her doll pressed against her chest. Her eyes widened with surprise at the fact that I was now looking at her and a quick smile spread across her face.
“You’re finally awake.” She said with a gentle laugh that only a child could have.
I let out another before turning around to give her my full attention. “How long have I been sleeping for?”
She gave me a shrug with her small shoulders and her smile dropped a little. “I don’t know.”
I stretched out on the driver’s seat and winced slightly at the pain that shot through my body. Sleep had dulled the pain making me forget that I was even injured. Now it hit me like a sludge hammer to the knees. “I see.” I winced trying to conceal my pain.
I must have done well because Sophia was still smiling. “So do you think that I’m all better now?”
A smile formed as I stared at the hopeful little child. She was more than ready to go back out in the world and be with her mother, but there were still a few things that I needed to do as precaution. I sat up in my seat and reached over for her. She looked down at my extended hand and frowned before looking back up at me, her eyes filled with worry.
I gave her a reassuring nod before leaning forward and grabbing her hand. “I know ya’ ready to go out and be a kid again but I just need to check a few things first ‘kay?”
She nodded her head and tightened her grip on her doll. “Okay.”
“That’s my girl.” I reached under my seat for a kit that was stocked with needles and some medicines. Of course the medicine wasn’t for me or anything, it was just a kit I had managed to pick up on a trip to a children’s hospital. I opened up the bag and pulled out a pair of scissors.
“What are those for?” She wondered.
I pulled her closer to me and tilted her head to the side. “I think it’s about time we took out your stitches.”
“The one’s from the bite?”
I laughed slightly. “Did ya’ have any others that I didn’t know about?”
She avoided my gaze and held her doll a little tighter. “Is it going to hurt?”
“No sweetie it won’t hurt.” I then started working on the stitches, trying my best not to tug to hard or anything. While I worked on them I started a conversation up with Sophia. To anyone else it would have seemed like a normal conversation but for me it was secretly a final test to make sure that Sophia was all there. I asked her about her childhood and what she did before the world went to hell.
She told me about school and how her mother would make her cookies every Friday to celebrate the weekend. She talked about her mom a lot and even some of her friends but she never once mentioned her father. I knew she had one because she had mentioned him once before but it was obvious that he was no longer alive.
I pulled out the last strand of threading and looked over the wound. It hadn’t really healed all that much since I had just stitched it last night but I wanted to take a look and make sure everything was normal in there. The skin around it was tender and dried blood was crusted alone the edges. It looked like a regular healing wound and I let out a sigh of relief. I reached into my bag and pulled out some surgical glue followed by a bandage.
Once that was all taken care of I touch Sophia’s chin and gently raised it up. “Are ya’ ready to go see your mama?”
Her eyes lit up as tear began to build up. “Can I?”
I nodded pulling the keys out of my car and yanking the door open. Sophia was quick to jump outside and automatically started running to where the group had set up their tents. I followed after the excited little girl with a sad smile. I had enjoyed her company a little too much and the realization that I was going to be alone again made me depressed.
When I finally reached the camp Carol was already on her knees with her daughter tightly pressed against her. They were both crying and mumbling things to one another, but no one else seemed to understand what they were saying.
Seeing those too like this made me feel both incredible happy and a bit sad. If Dr. Jenner was still alive and we had met again I’m sure our reunion would have been similar. I forced myself to look away and found my eyes wondering over to a certain redneck. Our eyes met instantly and for a moment all we could do was stare at one another.
“Thank you.” I snapped my attention away from Daryl and looked over at Carol. Her eyes were red and full of tears but the smile on her face seemed to drown everything else out. “Thank you for saving my daughter.”
I nodded my head over at her and moved around a little uncomfortably. This was the first time I had ever done anything to warrant any form of gratitude before and I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about it. I was coming up with an excuse to go back to my ‘tank’ when the sound of a car caught my attention.
Luckily I wasn’t the only person who heard it everyone seemed to stop what they were doing and look over at the dirt driveway to see an odd red car coming down it. Suddenly people were pouring out of the house and everyone was rushing over to it. I followed out of curiosity and was surprised to see Rick, Glenn, and Hershel climbing out of it.
Everyone was bombarding them with questions about what had happened and if they were okay. Hershel paid no attention to any of them as he began to shoot out commands. “Patricia I need you to go prep the bed for surgery.”
The older blonde woman didn’t even question him and ran back into the farmhouse. Hershel was rolling up his sleeves when I stopped him. “I thought everyone was fine.”
He looked at me sternly and pointed a figure back to the car; inside was a boy probably no older then twenty-two with a red cloth covering his eyes. He looked paler than a normal person would have and from the looks of it he was passed out. I was about to ask Hershel more on what was going on but he was already going up the steps of the house. Shane and Rick were yelling back and forth at one another about where Rick had been. As it turned out Rick had found Hershel in a bar and while they were trying to convince him to come back to the farm some other group had found them.
The other group I guess had started asking questions about the farm and judging on how Rick was getting even more worked up about it I could tell that the people might not have been so nice. Rick had ended up killing them when they tried pulling their guns on him and then a few other guys showed up, cornering them in the bar. The boy in the back seat’s name was Randall and he had been a part of the other group that had tried to kill Rick. The boy had injured his leg of a fence and now needed surgery.
“So this guy tried to kill ya’ and you brought him back here?” I asked causing Rick to turn around and face me. His eyes were hard from arguing with Shane and when they fell on me they grew even colder.
“This doesn’t concern you.” He snarled.
I felt my own anger start to boil up inside of me. I had been the one to go with his wife when she went off to find him and saved her damn life. Now he thought he could tell me what to do, I don’t think so.
“The hell it doesn’t!” I yelled making my way over to the car. Rick’s gaze snapped over to me and I could see that he was about to blow. Instead of fighting with him however I went over to the car and yanked on the boy. He let out a moan as I shifted some of his weight onto my shoulders.
I glared over at Rick, who was just staring at me with a surprised expression, and snapped. “You’re the dumbass that brought him back now do ya’ want to get him inside for surgery or to die in the back seat of the car from blood lose?”
After that Rick didn’t say much of anything. He got on the other side of Randall and helped me get him inside. Hershel ushered us over to a room and we laid the boy down on a metal table covered with a white sheet. Patricia took over the boy’s blindfold while Hershel rolled up his pant leg.
I was about to move out of their way when a hand reached out for me. A frown formed on my face as I looked down to see that it was Randall who was holding onto me. His eyes were wide with pain but it didn’t seem to faze him anymore. He looked around the room trying to take everything in and get a hint of where he was.
His eyes wondered over to me and he stopped. Something sparked in his eyes as he looked at me and I watched as a sense of recognition settled there. I had never been a person to forget a face and I was certain that I had never met him before, but it was obvious the he knew me.
His grip tightened on my arm as he sat up a little bit, then he opened his mouth and said the one thing I thought I would never hear again. “Viv.”