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I'll Keep You Alive If You Show Me The Way

Chapter 4: Run

I opened my eyes to light streaming into the tent. It took me a minute to remember where I was. I sat up and saw new clothes were placed at the bottom of the bed. I grabbed the long sleeved grey t-shirt and pulled it over my head, I stood up, wriggled out of my black jeans and into new blue ones. I pulled on my combat boots and stepped outside the tent. Everyone already seemed to be up and were busy with whatever tasks they had today. I stood awkwardly for a second until I saw Glenn. I strolled over to him slowly with my hands in my back pockets.

"When are we going?" I asked him.

"Now, if you're still up for it."

I nodded in reply and fetched my bow. Glenn and Maggie led the way with Carol and I following and Daryl sauntering along behind at a distance as if to make sure myself or Carol didn't stray.

"What's his problem?" I asked Carol, nodding in Daryl's direction.

"Daryl? He's just protective over the group."

I nodded. Silence followed.

"Listen," she said after a short while. "Sorry for asking about your mom last night."

I shrugged my shoulders.

"It's fine. I get what you were trying to do," I smiled politely.

She returned the smile and crossed her arms over her chest as she continued walking along beside me. I tried to walk slow so she wouldn't fall behind.

"If it makes you feel better, I know what it's like."

I raised an eyebrow at her. "Mm?"

She nodded. "My husband, he uh-"

"Gotcha," I cut in, placing my hand on her shoulder.

She smiled at me gratefully.

"Is he dead?"

"Yeah," she replied.

"Good,"I quietly said.

"And... your mom?" she asked hesitantly. I didn't reply. We fell silent again.

"Harleigh, why did you rescue me yesterday?" she questioned.

I looked at her from the corner of my eye. What's with all the damn questions. She's lucky I liked her, so I didn't mind too much. I shrugged.

"Guess I thought you could be some one's mom... or some one loved you. I don't know."

"I was a mom," she smiled sadly.

I swallowed, damn. I nodded, understanding.

"You two ladies done with ya chit-chattin'?" Daryl said gruffly, brushing past me.

What's up his ass now? I looked to Carol who just shook her head slightly. Our feet hit something that was hard. Dear lord, it was a road. I felt like dropping to my knees and kissing the asphalt beneath my feet. Even better, these people had cars! Sweet technology.

"Daryl, don't take the bike, it's too noisy," Glenn said, Daryl nodded in response and hopped into a seven seater car.

We hurried into the vehicle. I sat on the passenger side. Daryl started the car and began to drive.

"Nearest town is thirty minutes away," Glenn informed us.

I stared out the window. This felt normal, apart from the carcasses littering the sides of the road, but what can ya do? Five minutes of awkward silence went by before Maggie broke it.

"So, Harleigh," she said.

I shut my eyes, more questions. I decided Rick had asked them to make sure I wasn't some psycho-bitch.

"What did you before all this?"

"I uh... I did ballet-"

The car weaved as Daryl choked on the water he was drinking.

"And worked in a cafè," I continued.

"Oh, doesn't that sound like a movie?" Carol sighed, dreamily.

"Dancing-waitress in the zombie apocalypse," Glenn chuckled. I grinned.

"Not what I meant, Glenn."

"BALLET?!" Daryl snorted once he recovered. I crossed my arms and rolled my eyes.

"Yes, Daryl."

"I was expectin' somethin' badass."

"You think I'm badass?"

"No," he said quickly. I smiled.

"Why what did you do?" I asked.


Ah, of course, what else. I couldn't really picture Daryl sitting in an office wearing a tie and carrying a suitcase.

"That's it?"

He nodded.

"What about you guys?"

"I was a delivery boy."

"I was in college, helped out on my dad's farm."

"I just stayed at home, with Sophia."

I didn't really care too much, but since they were making an effort to get to know me, I tried to engage in conversation.

"So, what's the deal with Lori?" I asked. They were silent. I nodded.

"Thought so."

"Thought what?" Maggie asked.

"It's not Rick's."

"We don't know that for sure..." Glenn said, awkwardly.

I shrugged my shoulders. I barely knew the group but I could sense the tension between Lori and Rick. We sat in silence for the rest of the trip finally broken by the creak of the handbrake being pulled back. Daryl unbuckled his seat belt and Glenn handed him his crossbow while Maggie handed me my bow. Daryl loaded his up then looked at me.

"Let's go twinkle toes."

After a few seconds of registering what he said, I burst out laughing opening the car door and hopped out. I saw that the others were smiling too but Daryl was now concentrating on the task. I mimicked him and looked around the town's street we had arrived in.

It didn't look too badly hit, but geeks still shuffled the streets with lolling heads. A few noticed our presence and trudged towards us. I ignored them and walked down the middle of the street looking for a suitable shop. I knew Maggie had made a mental list of what everyone wanted, but I could guess really. I heard footsteps behind me and assumed it was one of the others. I glanced over my shoulder to see Daryl following me slowly his eyes trained on me closely. Carol walked at the same pace but not right beside him with her arms folded looking down alleyways connecting to the street.

"Where are the two lovebirds?" I called back to them.

"Pharmacy," I heard Carol smirk.

"Condom shoppin'," Daryl clarified.

"Ah," I nodded.

I slowed my pace and stopped. In front of me stood a tall shopping centre. I turned to Carol and Daryl.

"Whatcha think?" I asked.

I didn't really care what they thought, I was gonna go in anyways.

"No way," Daryl said shaking his head. I raised my eyebrow, crossing my arms.

"It'll be over-run, we had a situation like this before," Carol explained, looking cautiously at Daryl.

My eyes moved to his face again. He grunted in agreement.

"Yeah, but you didn't have me," I said pointing my thumb to my chest, grinning. Daryl rolled his eyes.

"Look, I dunno who y'think ya are but me and Carol ain't gon' risk our lives so y'can show off."

I shrugged and walked towards the building.

"When they pour outta there I ain't savin' your ass!" Daryl called, glued to the spot.

I rolled my eyes and yanked the door open. It was practically empty inside, few geeks, few.

"You were sayin'?" I smirked turning to face them.

Carol jumped in surprise. Grinning she looked at Daryl then jogged up beside me. Daryl shook his head, spat on the ground and trudged up to us moodily. Obviously somebody doesn't like being wrong. We walked to the middle of the shopping centres' atrium. Carol spun slowly around, her eyes scanning the floors above us.

"Where do we start?" she mumbled softly so we wouldn't attract any attention.

Daryl walked over to a board with a map on it. I grinned. My, how the tables had turned. He was completely lost in this kind of world. As Carol followed him I decided to just leave.

I had made it to the first floor when I heard Carol calling my name. She stopped after calling twice, I presumed Daryl shut her up. I first went to a bag shop and picked out five of the best rucksacks. I hit some clothes shops, remembering some maternity wear for Lori. They filled two of the bags already. I decided to go to the pharmacy, just in case Glenn and Maggie were... preoccupied.

I noticed that it hadn't been looted, which was slightly... unnerving. I shrugged it off hoping it was good karma for saving Carol and Carl. I picked out folic acid and other vitamins for Lori and even the others. I went to the baby section, grabbing bathroom stuff along the way, and picked up diapers, bottles and formula. Damn, I wasn't gonna waste this good luck.

I piled all of the crap into the third rucksack and edged my way towards the desk. I had expected the pharmacist to still be here and I was right. I placed the bags on the floor, not taking my eyes off the woman. She looked like she wasn't going to move but I wasn't gonna risk being bitten. I had hit the jackpot while Daryl was probably wandering around lost.

I pulled my bow out from behind my back, loaded an arrow and edged closer to the corpse. She came to life, gurgling and snapping at me. Before she had a chance to pull her broken body off the ground, my arrow had pierced through her skull. I jumped over the counter, stepped towards her and tugged my arrow out, ignoring the sickening rip.

I went into the back room and whistled loudly. When nothing attacked me, I walked in carrying the fourth bag. I hadn't a clue what any of this medication was, but hopefully Hershel did. As I made my way back out the room I noticed a rifle lying under the desk. Fully loaded, I turned safety mode on. I couldn't believe my damn luck! I slung it over my back.

Then I realised the problem. I had four full bags, one empty, a bow, quiver and now a rifle. I tried to figure out what to do. I was being greedy, I wanted all of this stuff, well we needed it. While I was balancing everything on my body I wished I had brought Carol with me. I cursed Glenn and Maggie for wandering off too.

I slung one bag so it rested on my stomach, hung another on my right arm, the two full bags and the empty one on my left with my weapons strapped to my back. I realized that if I was attacked I was surely fucked. I reached around and pulled an arrow from my quiver holding it in my right hand.

As I exited the pharmacy I noticed a candy shop, I stared longingly but shook my head. Gotta get outta here. I made my way down to the ground floor as quietly as I could manage. Which wasn't very easy with all the medication rattling about. Slowly, I had made my way out of the building and back to the car. More walkers were around than when we had first gone in. They snarled and began snatching at me although there was distance between us. The car came into view and I sighed happily seeing Glenn was there putting petrol into the tank.

He was so focused on the car that he had not yet noticed a geek getting frighteningly close to him. I dropped the bags as quick as I could. Panic and adrenaline taking over, I rushed towards Glenn with my arrow raised like a dagger. He heard me and smiling he turned to wave at me. His smile fell when he saw me lunge towards him. He raised his hands in an attempt to defend himself as I pushed him out of the way and stabbed the carcass between the eyes. The arrow crunched through it's skull, snapping in half. I shoved the creature away from me and it hit the ground with a thud. Panting I looked to Glenn who looked slightly shocked.

"Watch your ass!" I barked. He nodded wide-eyed.

"Thanks," he said, breathlessly. "Thought you were gonna kill me for a second"

I laughed at him and walked back to the bags.

"Shit, how did you get all that? Daryl or Carol help?" he asked running over to help me.

"Nope," I said, popping the 'p'. "Pretty sure country boy's wandering around lost."

Glenn chuckled. "Want Maggie and me to follow you in?"

I looked around at the walkers while chucking the bags into the trunk.

"Nah, watch the car. Back us up too, might get sticky... Also do you mind moving the car closer to the centre when you're ready?" I said quickly, swapping weapons with him.
He nodded as he took the new rifle and handed me a machete.

"Did you find anything?" I asked, casually. He kicked the ground.

"Uh, just petrol," he answered as Maggie walked over.

She smiled at me. I returned it politely. Her eyes fell on the body beside us.

"What the hell happened?"

"Harleigh saved my ass," I heard Glenn reply as I headed back to the centre.

I already knew where I was going so I got there quickly. The grocery store was large enough. I shone the torch around the shelves. It was half empty but I didn't mind, I had good luck so far. I made my way to the tinned food section, already knowing it would be bare. I still checked and managed to get four cans.

As I reached for the fifth, a large hand grasped my shoulder. I gasped, held out my machete and twirled around in one fluent movement. I came face to face with none other than my favorite redneck. He glared at me, our faces only a few inches away from each other. I let out a sigh of relief. He glanced down at the blade that I held firmly to his lower abdomen. I relaxed and lowered it down to my side. Anger filled my veins.

"What the fuck, Daryl?!" I glared at him.

"Where did y'run off to?" he questioned.

"Shops! Isn't that the point of the run?" I shook my head at him pushing him away.

"Couldn't wait for me? Carol?"

"Ye were too busy looking at a damn map," I muttered, walking away.

"THEN TELL US BEFORE YA RUN OFF!" he bellowed after me.

I stared at him, slightly shaken from his angry tone.

"What the fuck," I mumbled, recovering from shock.

"I can take care of myself," I said, raising my voice. "I think I proved that by saving your's and Carol's asses at least!"

"Rick trusts me t'keep this group safe," he said firmly.

"I haven't been around for a week," I spat at him. "I'm not part of your dumbass group. Tomorrow morning, I'm leaving."

"Fine, to hell whicha," he spat, swinging his arm as if ushering me away.

"If you care so much about your group, Daryl," I said mockingly, walking away. "Then where the fuck is Carol?"

I glanced over my shoulder to see him run a hand through his hair.

"DAMMIT!" he shouted.

"Hey, you stupid bastard. How about shutting up?"

I could see how pissed he was. I'm pretty sure he was shaking
"Walkers?" I reminded him grabbing dog food off a nearly bare shelf.

As soon as I uttered the word I seemed to have summoned them.

"Mother of fuck!" I yelled as a geek swung his arm around the corner in an attempt to grab me.

I didn't hesitate leaning around the corner and plunging the knife through it's head. Blood leaked out of it's newest wound and dripped down my arm. I tried my best not to gag, damn I should be used to gore by now. As it's body dropped to the floor I saw behind it. A freaking herd was stumbling through neighboring aisles towards us, tripping over one another in an attempt to get to us first. Quickly, I stuck my machete into a holster, took my bow into my hands and swung the bag onto my back. I turned to see Daryl shooting at walkers at the other side of our aisle.

"Daryl!" I called to him.

He shot one more walker and turned to follow me. We raced through the aisles further from the exit, meeting dead ends or groups of walkers. Gurgling roars filled my ears as more and more of them poured into the grocery store. Fear ran through my veins for the first time in years, I almost forgot how Daryl was standing next me, breathing hard. He looked at me coldly, obviously blaming me. He paced back and forth restlessly. Both sides of the aisle were blocked by walkers now. Their yellow teeth seemed to glow in the semi-darkness as they snapped and snarled at us, dragging broken, half eaten limbs behind them as they limped towards us.

Daryl started shooting as many of them as possible. I did so too, but our efforts were futile. The herd was closing in on us and we hadn't even made a dent. Just as Daryl turned to me as if to say goodbye an idea struck me. I backed up against one of the shelves and ran full force at the opposite one. Daryl caught on and helped me shove the tall shelf. It began to tilt and with one big push it toppled over. It hit the one it the next aisle, which knocked over the next one, creating a domino effect. Daryl skewered a walker creeping up behind me. I nodded a thanks at him.

We stepped up onto the wooden shelves and began to run. It wasn't easy. They weren't level and the spaces to put your feet weren't big. They were also littered with wrappers, tins and boxes. I felt like I was in the military running through tires. Daryl was much better at it than I was and was racing ahead of me. I spotted the exit, which pumped me with more adrenaline. I thought I was speeding up but in fact I seemed to have stopped. My face suddenly hurt and confusion had taken over me. I had fallen. My chest and hips hurt from the shelves sticking into me. I pushed myself up and that's when I noticed and clammy bluish hand was clamped around my ankle. As it tugged, the monsters head pulled through a broken gap in the shelves. A stream of curses spewed out of my mouth. I reached for my knife. The walker pulled up closer to my leg I watched in slow motion as it began to chomp on my leg.

I shut my eyes waiting for the pain but nothing happened. Curiosity over-took fear and I opened them again. The geek was face down with and arrow penetrating it's neck. I wrenched my ankle out of it's grasp and looked up to Daryl. He grabbed hold of my hand and pulled me up. He didn't let go as he dragged me towards the exit. He pulled the door shut while I covered him as five walkers approached us. Using a sweeping brush he jammed the double doors shut temporarily. The grocery store walkers slammed their bodies against the doors hungrily. Daryl turned to me wiping his brow. I looked at him awkwardly.

"Thanks," I mumbled.

"Dumb bitch," he spat, brushing past me knocking my shoulder back.

He stormed down the stairs. I followed after him quickly until we reached the atrium. I had forgotten something. I stopped in my tracks. Daryl noticed and turned.

"Come on!" he urged me to follow him. I shook my head.

"Wait in the car!" I answered, turning away.

"Y'gonna be killed, Harleigh!" he shouted after me.

"WAIT IN THE DAMN CAR," I screamed.

He shook his head and left the building. I raced back up the stairs and ran to the candy shop. I emptied as many shelves into the bag and left. I ran past the grocery store just as the doors of it burst open. The brush lay in half on the floor. Walkers tumbled over each other in an attempt to get fresh meat. I picked up my pace, breaking into a sprint. I was almost out when something caught my long black hair.

I was yanked backwards off my feet and landed on my ass. I turned quickly and stabbed up the chin of the walker that had me in his grasp. He slumped to the ground, me with him since his fingers were still curled around strands of my hair. The others were beginning to catch up. If Daryl had left me to rot I needed to get out of here. Fast. I squeezed my eyes shut and pulled my head away, roots ripped out of my scalp. My eyes watered as stood up. I ran out the door. Relief washed over me seeing the car was still there. I ran to the passenger side, flung open the door and swung into the car slamming the door shut behind me. The car revved to life and sped off. Looking back I saw Carol had made it back by herself. I then turned to Daryl. I uncrumpled a large blue packet, opening it.



I'm super sad because I've realized this may never get updated. It's legitimately the best story on this site

wolvesyroses wolvesyroses

Oh I really love this story. I hope it gets updated >< please update!

Gilyflower Gilyflower

This is the most amazing story ever on this site ever please update. Harleigh is amazing and you are a great writer.

reddeadwalker reddeadwalker

Amazing writing, as always.

SierraaDixon SierraaDixon

Holy crap please update!!! This is one of the best I've read in a long time!!!

elissa_mirinda elissa_mirinda