I Ain't Gonna Let You Die
Damn It, FOX News...
After Daryl finished telling us about what he had both seen in person and heard on the radio on his way home, Merle and I were left speechless. He told us of people in town running after each other, mauling, biting and going all Hannibal Lector on one another. He said that the radio told him that Georgia was now in a State of Emergency and all citizens were advised to either stay indoors at all times or make their way to the larger cities that they have dubbed as a “safe haven”.
“Maybe the reports on FOX News this last week were righ’ for once…” Merle tried to joke.
I furrowed my brow and sighed loudly as Merle drug a hand down his worn out looking face. We all looked at each other, then to the shit hole of a house we shared, to the beat up pick up truck and back to each other. No one was sure what to say or do.
“So…” I began, kicking a rock near to me, “What’re we gonna do?”
“Pack up as much shit as possible and head over to Atlanta, I’d reckon.” Daryl offered. Merle frowned hard at what he suggested.
“I don’t think so, baby brother. We ain’t no pussy fucks! We ain’t abandoning this house. We can, uh, what is it… Fortify it or summin‘.”
“Merle, what are we supposed to actually do? You honestly think that we can just stay here until this shit blows over? I don’t think so.” I told him, crossing my arms over my chest. “This is some serious George Romero, apocalyptic shit goin’ down.”
“Ah, shuttup, woman. Daryl, you really think--” Merle was cut short by the growling and groaning sounds from before. We all looked around and saw one more of those things coming towards us, stumbling and grabbing forward.
“Sneaky little bastard!” Merle laughed before unsheathing his knife again. Merle walked over to the broken, stumbling body and began toying with it. He would stay close enough for it to almost snatch him then jump just out of reach. He began laughing harder and walked away a bit, lighting up a cigarette.
“This is not a game, Merle!” I shouted.
“Yeah, brother,” Daryl began, “I saw some nasty shit. I think that we should get going. When I left the city, them things was everywhere… Shuffling after people and makin‘ a mess.”
“I don’t think so, boy.” Merle responded, strolling towards us slowly. As Merle took another step forward, one of those things lunged at him quickly and grabbed on to the back of his loose flannel. I heard a tear of fabric and gasped. Merle was about to turn around to take care of the clinger but stopped as he heard a quiet arrow zip passed him and right into the thing’s head. Merle smiled and exhaled the smoke from his lungs seeing Daryl had grabbed his crossbow from the truck bed.
“Atta boy, brother! Hair trigger finger, eh?” He laughed.
“Merle, can we please go and at least check out this so called safe haven?” I looked at him, adjusting my arms to push my boobs out and pouted a bit at him. He grinned slyly and walked over to me, stomping out his cigarette. “Please?”
“Ah, come on now… We should be jus’ fine, woman.” He grinned further and snaked his hand around my waist. “Ya got ol’ Merle and little Daryl to protect ya!”
Just as I was about give him a snarky, sassy response we all looked out towards the wooded area that surrounded our home due to a loud growling sound and saw a lot of those things coming out from the tree coverage.
“The fuck?” Daryl asked to himself.
The herd of those things, slowly but surely, coming closer, more and more of them spilling out of the tree line. I had the chance to count at least thirty five of them.
“We got to go. Now!” I told the two Dixons.
“I’d say so…” Daryl agreed, putting his weapon back into the bed of the truck, tensing up completely.
“Merle, babe, lets go.” I demanded, tugging on his arm. He just shoved my hand away from him.
“Ya really that worried, Bray?” Merle chuckled, turning to look at the woods. His laugh stopped abruptly as he saw a good twenty more stumbling closer, almost reaching the back yard. He nodded and turned back to us.
“Alrigh’… Lets go.” He finally agreed.
Without hesitation, the three of us threw the rest of our needed camping, hunting and fishing gear that was on the ground into the bed of the truck. Merle made sure that his bike was secured nicely to the restraints in the back as well before we all hopped into the cab. I sat in the middle with one Dixon on either side of me. Merle revved the engine then peeled away from our home just as one of those things smacked into the passenger’s side window.
“How the fuck does any of this make sense? Goddamn Sci-Fi bullshit…” I asked more to myself than either of the men beside me.
“I don’t even know, girl.” Daryl mumbled. “Ya shoulda seen it in town… Was some nasty shit.”
“Ya’ll are overreacting.” Merle grumbled. “This’ll blow over.”
“It better. I forgot my hair brush at home.” I complained.
“You’ll be fine, woman.” Merle chuckled, slinging an arm around my shoulders. “So, we goin’ to Atlanta you pussies said?”
“Jus’ drive, Merle.” Daryl said.
After that we all fell into a slightly comfortable silence. It was a three or so hour drive to Atlanta from where we currently were, so I thought that the silence was better than Daryl and Merle’s usual pissing match. I pulled out a cigarette from my shirt pocket and searched for my lighter.
“Damn…” I mumbled, feeling around my top and pants for the stupid little flame.
“Hm?” Merle grumbled.
“Lost my damn lighter when that guy came at me, I think.”
Without saying anything or taking his eyes from the side window, Daryl tossed me his gold Zippo and readjusted himself in his seat.
“Thanks.” I said quickly and lit my cigarette.
We all fell back into a silence until we hit the 25 mi. marker from Atlanta. We started to see cars piled up on the side of the road, accidents after accidents, and a few of those things milling about. It really was an incredible sight to see. Merle stepped on the gas to get away from what we were seeing faster and he quickly weaved in and out between other cars.
“Shit is crazy…” Merle mumbled.
“Damn right.” Daryl agreed and I just nodded in quiet agreement.
“Jus’ keep going.”
After an hour and a half of disturbing sights and weaving between broken down cars, we hit the city limits of Atlanta. None of us showed any form of excitement at what we saw. The highway was completely blocked and the entrance was barred up with a makeshift wall.
“What is this?” I gasped.
“I don’ know…” Merle said, pulling the car to a stop.
“Did they cut the city off?” Daryl inquired.
“Sure looks like it.” Merle responded.
I leaned forward in my seat to get a better look out of the windshield. There were dozens of empty cars that looked like the people inside were trying to get into the city. There was a half wall with barbed wire and other metal or wooden material in the way of the highway entrance into the city. It looked like this in and out, people coming and going had been going on for some time.
Merle had heard about people getting attacked, bit by strangers that looked messed up. He had said that the news blamed the strange reactions on some new brand of street heroin that was “too strong” and caused peoples brains to pretty much melt in their skulls. What shit. Merle didn’t believe it because it was FOX News reporting and well, he had all the reason to think it wasn’t true. I mean, it’s FOX News… From the scenes that we saw making our way to the city entrance and at the entrance itself, this must have been going on for a good week or even more.
“What a fucking farce…” I whispered.
“Son ova…” Daryl growled.
“Damnit.” Merle cursed. “What now? We goin’ home?”
“ No! Those things were all over the yard, Merle. We are not going back there for a long time. I guess, go the woods…” I told him. “We can wait for the SWAT or something?”
“Naw, go to the quarry. We been there lots of times before. It’ll be better.” Daryl spoke up.
“Alrigh’.” Was all Merle bitterly muttered before turning the truck around carefully and going in the direction of the quarry.
“Guess we can get some hunting done after all!” I told the two men, trying to lighten the mood in someway.
They both grunted in unison and I just shook my head, smiling a bit.
And chapter two!
Yes, a slightly slow beginning from chapter one to now...
Chapter three is when things pick up!
Thank you for reading.