Heather stared at the man, her mouth agape.
"Ain't ya gonna thank me?"
She could barely choke the words out "Th...thank you." She was still staring at Damien's lifeless body, his truck still running behind him, his fingers inches away from the gun that almost killed her.
"No worries little lady. Sounded like you needed the help."
"Yeah...yeah not gonna argue that."
"What was that 'bout?" The man talking to her was tall, around six foot. He had a leather
Stetson hat on, light wash jeans (somehow un-marked), and a white beard which hid most of
his face. He seemed completely unshaken that he'd just killed someone.
"You don't have ta' tell me...he was gonna shoot ya', I shot him, s'probably all I need to know right?"
Heather nodded, unwilling to live through what had happened in the last 24 hours.
"Well, was nice ta meet you."
"Nothin' against you darlin', can't be too careful these days."
"You're just going to go?"
"No...I saved ya...now I'm gonna go."
Heather couldn't move, everything had gone so fast, she didn't even say anything to the man who was now walking away from her, his boots making no sound at all on the forrest floor.
She was alone now, with Damien's body, blood pooling around him on the ground. Grabbing his gun, she made moves to follow the man into the woods. She stopped, however, watching him slowly disappear through the trees.
Letting the hand with the gun in fall to her side, Heather stood still, trying hard to process what had happened to her in the last 24 hours. She had little idea how long she'd been in the back of the car, or how far she was away from Woodbury now.
Woodbury. Heather had been there for months now, she thought of it as home. Rose, Tilly, Martinez...Merle. How would she get back to him.
It was still running, its noise completely shadowed by the thoughts rushing through her mind. Practically leaping into the still open drivers door. The tank was still half full. Reaching under the seat Heather struggled to find the lever to move the seat forward. Adjusting the mirror, she looked at Damien, lying on the floor, hand still outstretched to where his gun used to be.
Heather drove off, eyes periodically finding his lifeless form in her mirror as she made her way through the trees.
Heather drove for hours before if got dark, her eyes on everywhere but the road ahead. She looked at the fields she past, the road signs, the petrol gauge, the road behind her. There was nothing to look at in front of her, just long winding roads she didn't recognise reminding her of the distance between her and Merle.
In the end her dropping eyelids forced her to stop. Driving the truck a few hundred yards off of the road, she came to a spot where she was sure no one could see her from the road unless they were really looking. Taking time before she settled down Heather checked the truck. She hadn't seen this one used in Woodbury before and couldn't understand why. It was huge, the back seats were just as wide and comfortable as the front. There were boxes stacked in the foot well of the front seat. She'd rifled through the top one while she had been driving, it contained a large men's jacket, probably Damien's, a bottle of water and a map book. Tugging the book from the box, Heather quickly rifled through it, looking for any over used pages, anything circled or folded over. Nothing in the map helped her, she couldn’t find anywhere that looked like Woodbury, she couldn't even find Oxford or Hawkinsville. There were pages missing, Heather assumed what she was looking for was contained on those missing pages.
Throwing the top box in the back, not before grabbing the water bottle, Heather went through the rest of the boxes. One had a tins of sweetcorn and beans, a familiar sight to anyone packing for a long car journey from Woodbury. The other, a rope and tarpaulin. Lifting herself into the back seat, careful not to press the horn, Heather looked through the back window into the bed of the truck. There was nothing there except a shovel. Wondering if it was Damien's plan to bury her after he shot her, or if he just wouldn't bother and the shovel was just a coincidence.
She moved the box she'd thrown from the seat, stretching herself out in an attempt to get comfortable. Pulling the jacket from the box she pulled it around herself, being automatically enveloped in its smell. Ceaser. The jackets smell was so overwhelming. She couldn't even remember him even smelling very strong, but she could smell him now. The scent filling the car, bringing back memories of Woodbury, flashes of them in her kitchen filled her head.
She cried herself to sleep, unsure if sleeping was sensible but knowing it was essential. She had the most fitful night sleep since the shipping container. Waking wasn't much easier,
memories came rushing back of how far away from home she was, how she had come here, how little she really knew about home and who was there.
Heather didn't know where to start, without Merle she reverted back to who she was pre-apocalypse, unsure of herself and woefully unprepared. Shaking herself mentally, she tried to think of how Merle would act, what his first moves would be. She opened one of the cans, Merle always urged her to eat and drink, saying she was no good to him hungry.
Deciding to drive to the nearest landmark, sure she'd be able to find a town from there. After
driving for an hour she stopped at a turn off to the interstate. Searching for the road on the map,
Heather noted that there was towns surrounding her, she would find one no matter what direction she headed. Studying harder she tried to see which town was smaller, Merle always said the smaller the town the fewer the Walkers. Also more of a chance there would still be food and supplies.
Out of the surrounding towns, the smallest one looked to be Tallahassee. A few roads seemed to make up the town which Heather hoped was about a twenty minute drive away. Packing away the map, she snacked on the pack of stale crisps from the box of food that was left in the truck, not knowing what to prepare for in Tallahassee Heather kept Damien's gun on her, tucked safely in Ceaser's jacket pocket.
Heather had miss-judged the drive, it was nearer than she thought. She had driven past a few Walkers on the way, most on the side of the road picking through carcasses that Heather could barely recognise as human. They were getting desperate. This gave Heather hope for anything living or non-living being in Tallahassee. The town was tiny, Heather could hardly believe it was on a map. 15 houses at most made up the town, with one small gas station which Heather assumed was also their local store as well.
It looked empty, windows smashed and shelves emptied. Heathers stomach dropped, she was hoping to stock herself as easily as her and Merle had managed, she was slowly realising that nothing was easy without Merle.
Choosing a house (Heather went for the smallest that was closest to the main road she had driven from), she stopped the truck on the road outside. Quietly getting out, Heather paused before heading towards the house, hoping to hear nothing. The town was quiet, she walked to the front door. Gun in one hand knife resting on top of it in the other, she wasn't taking any chances. The door was closed but unlocked. Heather quietly entered the house, following Merle's orders he was barking in her head. Soft footsteps, check every room, don't look in any cupboards until the whole house is checked.
It was clear. No Walkers, but little else. The cupboards were almost bare. She managed to find a few tins, two of them unmarked. Instead of eating, against her better judgement, Heather curled up on to the sofa, and, again cried herself to sleep. Trying her hardest not to think of all she lost, and what she could soon have to face.
I am having to re-post this as I can't seem to get back onto my old account. I will try and repost all chapters - including new tonight.
So if you've come here from Kindred welcome back and thank you for following. If you're new to this story (and I'm sure there will be some of you as Daryl is listed as a character) welcome! I urge you to read Kindred first...you don't technically need to, however there is a lot of back story to Heather...mainly being Merle-centric.
This story picks up straight from the end of Kindred...
I'll try my best to update every 2 weeks or so, but I'm always breaking that promise.
Let me know what you think/how I should continue I'll always love reviews no matter what :):):)