I Ain't Gonna Let You Die
Three days had passed at the quarry. The other people that were sharing the free space with us kept their distance but always had their eyes on us and our stuff. The large man, Shane, was always shooting angry glances our way when Merle and Daryl were around, but if those two left me to go hunt game or do whatever they usually did, he would dare to take a few steps closer to our camp to look at me for a few uncomfortable minutes. I would just glare at him and flick my knife around, attempting to look much more threatening versus high off my ass. On the second day, he was walking directly towards me but turned around quickly when Merle had emerged from the woods randomly like he and Daryl did most of the day. He looked at me then to Shane and was about to go after him, hunting knife in hand, but I stopped him, assuring it was nothing. There was something very off about him. Merle guessed former military from his build and fucked up sense of authority, but I just guessed that he was a juice head with a sexual issue. Merle confirmed creepy sexual part when he reported he caught Shane and the female Skeletor bumping uglies in the woods… And I thought I wasn’t very classy. Ha!
Late into the third day of being there, an older looking woman with very short hair came right up to the fire that I had started a bit ago. She was smiling as much as she could muster up in our presence. Daryl and Merle looked up from the small doe that they were gutting and skinning to the woman, looking as surprised as I did.
“H-hello.” She spoke softly. “My name is Carol. I’m from the other group…”
“Hi?” I said, sitting up straight and looking from the dead squirrel I was playing with to the mousey woman.
“The fuck ya want?” Merle growled from the ground. Daryl just stared on at the pretty brave woman that approached us after a few days of no communication.
“Uhm, well, I noticed that you caught another deer…”
“Didn’ catch shit. Killed it.” Merle replied roughly, stubbing out a cigarette and throwing it into the fire.
“Oh, yes. Sorry.” She laughed awkwardly.
“What can we do for you, Carol?” I asked her, feeling bad that she looked so damn timid. It was weird…
“Well, uhm, I was wondering if, and of course you can say no, but…”
“Out wit it, woman.” Daryl finally spoke.
“Would you be willing to possibly share some of the meat? We have not had good meat in a while. Shane has tried to get something but he was never really been successful…”
“That don’t surprise me.” I muttered, “Man’s a fucking ape.”
Carol grinned at that and hesitantly nodded in agreement. I made eye contact with Daryl who nodded and then to Merle who shook his head angrily.
“No way in Hellllll.” He semi-yelled. “Why should I give ya some of this here deer that we spent all morning trackin‘?”
“I-I, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I asked you…” Carol spoke, turning away.
“Aye!” I yelled at her retreating form. “You got anything to trade, maybe?”
“We have a few cans of peaches. Everyone is sick of peaches…” She half smiled. I saw Merle’s eyes go a bit wide.
“How many cans?” He asked, narrowing his eyes again.
“I think four…”
“Well, mouse, you got yo’self a deal! I love me some peaches.”
“Oh, okay! Thank you.” Carol breathed out in a relieved fashion. “I’ll go get your cans.”
With that, she scuttled away quickly back over to her group who had been watching us the entire time. I glared at the ape man watching us, and Merle flicked him off as he stabbed at the deer’s leg. I shook my head, laughing as I lit up another joint. I inhaled deeply and sighed it out, grinning to myself.
“Awe, Merle’s playin’ niiiice.“ I giggled. “Here,” I said, passing the burning roll to Daryl. “Lemme help.”
Just as Daryl was about to pass our joint to Merle he threw it into the small fire. I gasped and Merle cussed loudly. Daryl gestured over to the small amount of people making their way over to us.
“Ya kiddin‘ me?” Merle spoke under his breath, “Aye, aye, aye…” He began, standing up, “What the hell?”
We looked on at several people coming to a stop a few feet away from us. There was an older man with a stupid fishing cap, two blonde women, a tall lanky woman, two kids, a chinaman, some spook, the ape man (toting a gun in hand) and Carol.
“We havin’ a fuckin’ party er summin’?” Merle asked sarcastically.
“Here!” A small girl exclaimed, shoving a few cans in Merle’s direction. He eyed her slightly before wiping his bloody hands on his pants and taking the cans.
“Thanks, little lady. So what can we do for all of you?” He narrowed his eyes even further.
“We can bring you your portion of the deer when it is done cooking.” I spoke up, glaring at Shane.
“Well, I thought it would be nice to introduce one another to everyone. We got off on the wrong foot I think and seeing as we will be neighbors for some time, it may be nice to know that we know everyone and can maybe rely on some help.” Carol retorted shyly. All eyes were now on her, not sure of what to do next. “So, uhm, this is my daughter, Sophia.” The young girl smiled and waved.
“And then there is Lori and her son, Carl.” She gestured to the lanky woman and small boy. “And Dale, Andrea and Amy. Glenn, and T. And I think you already know Shane.” She smiled and everyone either nodded or waved a bit. The three of us just stared at them, not used to people being this friendly.
“So, now we’re neighbors that we got us some food?” Merle laughed. “Thought you didn’ want any o’ us near ya.”
“That was before we needed help.” Shane replied through clenched teeth.
“So, that’s how it works?” I asked sharply, glaring at him harshly. He just stared back at me, a disgusted look on his face. “Well, I’m Bray.”
“Hi, Bray!” The little girl called Sophia said happily.
“Hey, you.” I grinned. “This is Daryl,” I pointed at him, “And this is Merle.”
The two men didn’t say anything, only looked at everyone distastefully and rolled their eyes. There was an extremely awkward silence between all of us. No one moved or tried to say anything. I shifted my weight quietly and picked up the dead squirrel that I was playing with earlier. I saw Merle smirk at my movements.
“So, Shane, big guy like you must be hungry, right?”
“I think that I am alright.”
“Naw, boy!” Merle joined in. “Ya got to want sum good ole, fresh meat. Come on now…”
“If you are willing to spare some with everyone, I don’t see why I would refuse.” He said through still clenched teeth, clearly embarrassed that one of his group members came to ask for help.
“Well, eat up.” I grinned slyly and threw the dead squirrel at him as hard as I could. It landed on his semi-white shirt and slid down in a nasty, gooey line. I laughed loudly with Daryl and Merle high-fived me. Even the two kids laughed with us but Shane took an aggressive step towards me and Merle was instantly at my side, standing tall.
“No sense of humor, chollo?” Merle asked in a raspy tone. Shane glared at Merle, anger bubbling up but before he could say anything Carol interrupted.
“I think that the meat is good. Shall we start to prepare it?”
“Yeah, shall we?” Merle asked to Shane, the two men bumping chests, noses almost touching. He stepped down and walked over to the lanky, skeleton woman.
“Well that was awkward…” I heard the Chinese kid say while he headed back over to his tent area. “Jeez…”
I stood up, taking my place next to Merle and squeezed his hand before nuzzling his cheek.
“My big strong man…” I cooed in his ear.
“Ah, shuttup, woman.” He smirked. “I ain’t gonna let you be threatened.”
“Good.” I kissed his jaw and started to put meat on a plate for the others.
I am really quite excited for the next few chapters!
Things are going to really real soon.
Thank you for reading.