Heather woke early the next morning, stretching, she could feel the cool air on her stomach as the material of her top rose up.
Merle was already sat up in bed, fiddling with the edge of the sheet that was barely covering him.
"It's just a supply run Merle, at a farm supply place...we'll be fine."
He didn't say anything as Heather got ready, lacing her boots up tightly, packing her backpack expertly to ensure she had easy access to everything she needed.
"Matches, Food, Ammo, Knife?"
"Yes, yes, yes and yes Merle...I've got everything I need. I was taught by the best remember?"
He just grunted in reply as Daryl called from the door of the cell.
"Ya ready?" Heather laughed at how much he sounded like Merle.
"I'll be down in a minute." She fussed around a little more, waiting for Daryl to leave, turning on Merle as soon as he had.
"You gonna be good while I'm gone."
"I'm on bed rest remember, not much trouble I can get myself into."
"I wouldn't put it past you...I've bribed Hershel to come in and check on you."
"Ya don't need ta."
"I know, I worry."
"Get goin', Daryl don't like waitin'."
"I always do." She said, bending down, giving Merle one last look before giving him a swift but heartfelt kiss on the forehead before grabbing her pack and leaving the cell.
The group they'd managed to pull together was waiting for Heather in the prison yard. Daryl, Maggie, Glenn and Michonne along with Guy and Eric from Woodbury.
"Ya truck gonna make it?"
"It’s a single cab"
"We're takin' two, just encase."
"Yeah then...got plenty of petrol." Daryl looked at her, confused.
"Gas, it's got a full tank of gas." She said, mimicking an America accent as best she could.
Daryl shook his head, throwing the bag he was holding in the back of her ford.
"Michonne, Maggie, Glenn and Guy, take the Toyota."
"Ya alright if I drive?" He asked, nodding his head towards the truck.
"S'fine...I'm used to Merle takin' the wheel."
"Ya braver than me then." Daryl laughed, telling Eric to get in the truck, Heather found herself sandwiched between the two men, there wasn't much room to move in the truck but it was comfortable enough.
Daryl whistled loudly signalling for the other group to
As they smallest convoy in the world left the prison, Heather looked behind herself, already
anticipating her return.
They followed what Heather could only assume was Maggie's directions for hours, changing their route every time they met a blocked road. Heather watched the world fly by, the landscape even more ravaged than she remembered. There were patches on every field from burnt out cars, every store they passed had their windows smashed and normally had one or two walkers aimlessly standing outside.
The journey itself was quiet, she was smart enough to know that Daryl was a man of very few words. She had met Eric a few times while in Woodbury, he was quiet and still very young.
"So Eric...where are you from?" Heather tried her hardest
"You're one to talk."
Heather just laughed, "How old are you?"
"Still so young."
"You can't talk kid...can you even drink."
Heather gave Daryl her best attempt at an evil glare, failing miserably.
"Drinking age is 18 in England right."
"It is Eric, thank you, and you need to add a good ten years on to that Daryl."
They carried on like that, Heathers spirits lifted as Eric talked about how he was planning on enlisting as the world turned. He knew how to use a gun, was an avid runner and talked fondly of hunting with his Dad. He sounded as equipped as Merle for the apocalypse.
It was hours until Heather could see the car in front of them slowing down next to 3 huge sprawling barns. Each one painted brick red with dark wood roofs. There was a huge sign saying 'Nathan's seed and farm supplies'.
"Right the idea is to scout the place for walkers first, then we can pick up anything we need. We'll go in two groups, Glenn y'alright to head up yours?"
"We'll take this first barn, y'all take the second one? Anything happens, yell. Everyone got a gun?" Everyone did. "Everyone got a silent weapon?" Everyone did. "Lets go."
Heather couldn't help but smile, there were moments Daryl reminded her so much of Merle, his military planning and his no nonsense attitude.
"Ready?" He said, nodding at Heather and Eric as the rest of the group headed towards the other barn. They both nodded, following Daryl into the entrance.
The barn door itself was closed, closed with a padlock over a huge wood panel.
"Stand back." Daryl, from where Heather wasn't sure, procured a crow bar and stared to pry open the lock, it really didn’t take long, with a crack the metal parted from the barn door with little effort.
"Stay behind me."
The barn was massive, every wall was stacked with farm supplies. Chicken feed, manure,
sawdust and anything else of that nature. Heather assumed there was a separate barn for things like tools. She followed Daryl through the barn, the till sat in the middle, surrounding it was several aisle of feed and products. The smell in there wasn't great, but Heather thought it would have been worse, she guessed these kind of things didn't go off as badly as regular food.
She was taken away from her thoughts by Daryl whistling ahead of her, looking up she saw him pointing at a knocked over barrel on the floor. The place, apart from that, looked relatively untouched, there was a fair bit missing, but it was all still pretty neat. Daryl was crouched low ahead of her, taking in all his surroundings, methodically checking every aisle.
By the end of the barn, Heather had already seen a few things that would be helpful back at the Prison. Huge bags full of sun-flower seeds in the bird seed section. Plenty of garden seed and things she was sure would help the create a proper vegetable garden. After checking every corner, storage room and closet they left the same way they came in.
Glenn, Maggie, Michonne and Guy weren’t finished in their barn yet.
"We'll wait here, no point in any unnecessaryscarin' 'em."
Heather stretched, enjoying being out in the fresh air.
"Heather?" She turned around to see Eric, looking down at the ground, fiddling with the hat in
"I just wanted to...apologise? I heard what happened in Woodbury and I just..." His words were lost in his mouth, he shuffled his feet as he still refused to look at her.
"Hey...Eric, it's not your fault. Woodbury...The Governor, it was his fault."
He audibly swallowed, nodding his head as his eyes darted up to hers. Heather tried to smile,
she was sure it was strained but it managed to do the trick as he returned it.
Daryl whistled again, Heather turned to see the rest of the group exiting their barn. Glenn gave them a thumbs up as Daryl walked to join them with Eric and Heather in tow.
They carried onto the next barn together, Heather running forward a little to catch up with Maggie.
"How'd it go?"
"Fine...no walkers, wasn't sure what I was expectin', not like this place was busy before everything."
"Same with ours, nothing."
As they approached the barn Heather could already hear the walkers inside.
"Maggie?" Heather called, stopping the rest of the group in their tracks.
"What did this barn used to have in it?"
Maggie thought hard, trying to remember this place before it all turned. Her face suddenly fell.
"Food. This place was like a Farm-Foods shop." Heather automatically turned to Daryl, who's arms already held his crossbow, aiming it at the doors.
"How long have they been in there do you think?" She asked Daryl
"No, tellin'…" he studied the barn for a long time, his eyes squinting as he inched closer to it
"Anythin' in here that coulda survived all this time?" He asked Maggie "like food?"
"Sure...it's fresh and health foods. Nuts, canned stuff."
They made a plan. The first move was to secure the barn, if they could make sure the walkers were only coming from one exit they could try and pick them off one by one.
That was easy, the only other door to the barn was a fire exit that looked more secure than the front entrance.
Daryl took charge, he surveyed the area, pointing each of the group to stand in a different place surrounding the barn, ensuring that there was full coverage of whatever came out. They did this in complete silence, knowing one wrong move could ruin the carefully orchestrated plan.
Once in position Heather watched Daryl carefully, who lined himself up just left of the doors, nodding at Glenn who had the un-enviable privilege of opening the doors. Glenn held up his hand, signalling to wait. Heather watched him as he raised his axe, smashing the lock with expert precision she heard it crack after 6 blows. The door creaked slowly open as Glenn ran backwards, keeping his eyes on the door the whole time.
They came out slower than Heather expected, she was imagining a huge wave of walkers, descending on them as one huge hoard. Instead they all stumbled out, like teenagers from a night-club, squinting in the sunshine, their feet unsteady, dragging their toes on the ground.
Daryl picked off the first one, his arrow silently sailing through the air, finding its home in a walkers skull.
Heather held her knife by her side, inching forward, closing the gap between her and the now increasing group of walkers. Finally getting close enough she kicked the one nearest to her in the shins, smashing the knife into its skull, remembering everything Merle told her, she didn’t waste time. Yanking the knife out of the skull, spraying herself in blood she turned, covering her back constantly as she continued to methodically take out any walkers surrounding her.
She didn’t concentrate on the others, but it was clear by the almost silent massacre that the group they had assembled was strong, each of them fighting fit as they continued to take down the hoard.
It was about ten minutes later when Heather turned, finding no other walkers to take out. She stood, amid a sea of dead bodies, covered in blood, breathing heavily.
"Everyone good?" Daryl wasted no time, stepping carefully over the bodies, making his way towards the barn. He held his hand behind him, signalling silently for everyone to hold back. Using his free hand he pulled a torch from his jacket, swinging it through the now open door.
Holding the cross bow out signal handed, he shot one more arrow into the barn which was followed by the un-mistakable sound of a body hitting the floor.
I know this chapter is a little longer coming, but then it's a little longer.
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