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Tethered

Chapter 2

Chapter Two


Heather spent 3 days in the house, surviving on little but had peace of mind. She studied the map book closely. Hoping to find any mention of a town name she recognised. Oxford was on the map, about 5 times and she cursed herself for not paying attention when they were driving there. She had no idea what her next move should be, should she stay still or keep moving. Merle would keep moving, she thought, sure she knew how his mind worked.

The interstate they were on...when Thomas was attacked . The I85. All she had to do was head for the I85 and was sure she'd be able to find Woodbury from there, or at least Greenville.

She packed everything she could into the truck. Taking anything she thought could be even slightly useful. She smashed the table, taking the smaller pieces of wood. Pillows and blankets, even books (she could read them as use them as kindling along the way.)

She left what she assumed was ridiculously early on the 4th morning. Tallahassee was one stretch of road with houses on it, there weren’t many road signs. She drove for an hour before she saw a sign for route 341, heading for it hoping to find her way from there.

Heather travelled for days, seeing little but Walkers, burnt out cars, empty stores, fields and forests. She drove for longer than she'd even be able to in England without reaching sea and still hadn't seen anything for the 185. She managed to steal fuel from a few vehicles, remembering how Merle had used a hose to siphon it out of the tanks she had taken one out of a truck she passed early in her journey. It wasn't enough. She ran out on an empty road. She slammed her fists on the steering wheel over and over. The frustration remained.

Looking to the side of her, Heather saw the supplies she managed to accumulate and the small backpack she was expecting to fit it all in. Fitting as much as she could into the bag, Heather braved the road on foot, hoping to find a car to siphon, or steal. As the sun faded so did her hopes of survival, of ever seeing Merle again.

She kept walking, heading, she thought, in the right direction.

Admitting defeat when she could no longer see her hand in front of her, she headed to the other side of the road, where the woods were, not looking forward to spending her first night sleeping in a tree since she met Merle.

Heather woke up the next morning in pain. She hadn't realised how weak she'd become. How used to a cosy lifestyle in Woodbury. Un-hooking her belt from the branch above her she stretched as much as the tree would allow before dropping her bag carefully to the floor and following it less carefully.

That day was hard, Heather was stiff and walking it off wasn't working. What she guessed was two hours into her journey she came across a truck pulled to the side of the road. Her heart was beating fast. There were two reasons someone would leave a vehicle in this world. It ran out of gas, or Walkers. She approached the vehicle with caution. Hand on the knife in her pocket, the other one already outstretched to open the door. Heather glanced in the truck, glad she had before she opened it.

Lying on the bench seat was a woman, her shock of black hair spread across the drivers side. Unsure of her approach, Heather backed away. She was too late, a hand scratched the window, leaving red marks behind it. Walkers...which could mean fuel. She pulled the knife from her back pocket, her heart beating in anticipation. The Walkers hands were clawing against the window now, eager to get to Heather, who bounced forward, opening the door of the truck as quickly as she could before springing back. The Walker practically fell to the floor, head smashing against the road. Brains spilling everywhere. Lifeless.

She laughed, unable to stop herself. The sight was disgusting, brains covered the inside of the trucks door, blood dripping down the window, but still she laughed, relief of how easy this one encounter had been.

Heather walked to the other side of the truck, still being careful but sure that her involuntary laughter would have alerted any other Walkers to her presence. She was right, she reached the right hand side of the car with ease. Merles words echoed in her mind, if she wanted to hotwire a car it had to be at least 10 years old, anything newer would more than likely be run on computers. She looked it over, and was sure this was at least 15 years old, by the damage on the hood she guessed closer to 20. She shifted to the drivers side of the car, avoiding the blood on the door as much as she could. Ripping the plastic from under the steering wheel she stared at the wires. Pulling out the ignition, she pulled the wires from it, taking care while she stripped them of an inch of their plastic coating. It took another 20 minutes of unsure worrying before she even started the battery, another half an hour and a few close calls before she managed to get the car running. Heather didn’t have electrical tape, or any tape, but the "keep fresh" sticker from the back of a pack of Jerky was good enough. The tank was over half full. Heather thanked Merle in her head and slammed the door and drove.

Heather met people along the way, two men camped out in an RV, in the middle of a field. They were living happily and housed Heather for 4 days before she moved on, making excuses and wishing them luck. They were kind and Heather felt safe with them, but she was anxious to get back on to the road, to find Merle and Woodbury. There was the couple with a child who chased her off of 'their property' at gun point after she attempted to sleep in the Church they were calling home. And the person who ran from her. They were walking along the highway and sprinted into the woods faster than Heather thought she could.

More than the people there were Walkers, everywhere. The weather was getting warmer, and with the warm weather came Walkers. Heathers first few weeks on the road had been easy. She was fighting almost everyday now, if it wasn't one it was five, she was terrified of the day she'd come across a horde and not be able to escape.

Her approach so far had been simple, find a town, find the Library or its nearest equivalent. Not all towns had anything, but when they did they were gold mines. No one had thought to scavenge libraries, they tended to be full of fantastic finds. Food in their break rooms (mostly out of date, but Heather was past caring), and information on local towns. This was how she was finding her way through the labyrinth of roads that was America. Without these Libraries Heather would have no idea where she was, now she knew where Woodbury was, and with a few stops for gas and recuperation, she was on her way. She was now, only hours away from Woodbury, terrified of what she'd come up against if she did get back there.

That's how she came across the Jackson Memorial Library. The building was cute, red brick with white windows, small but sufficient for what she needed. Doing what Merle had taught her she tested the windows first, most of the time they had been left open, this again was the case.
The Library held the usual supplies, a few packs of old crisps and some ramen in the break room, and a few sci-fi novels Heather hadn't read yet. More importantly though, a book about a Prison. Located only 14 miles away. It would mean a detour from Woodbury which was further south, about 22 miles if her calculations were correct.

Deciding to stay the night in the Library, Heathers mind raced with what she had found. Going back to Woodbury could well be a death sentence for her. She had not only killed one of their men, but if they had found Damien it would have looked like two. The Governor had ordered her dead, something she was sure he'd be all too happy to carry out now. A prison could mean a building full of criminals, alive or dead. It could mean survivors, friend or foe, or it could mean home. A safe place for her, for Merle.

Notes

Comments

Your writing is really good, I love the relationship between Merle and Heather can't wait to hear more of the story. Please update!!

Amy cook Amy cook
5/14/16

Finallyyyyyyyyyyy hahah! I loved it!

rachelloyd rachelloyd
4/28/16

@rachelloyd


I'm workin' on it...and I have ANOTHER day off tomorrow so it will probably be up then!

Hopefully things won't be too awkward!

:D:D

xoxo

WasHangerlane WasHangerlane
4/26/16

Yessssss it finally happened and now ol' Merle is all shy hahaha. Please update super soon, I need to see what changes between the two of them! x

rachelloyd rachelloyd
4/26/16

@rachelloyd


Thank you thank you thank you!

It makes me so happy to read all y'all nice comments n stuff, and to see that you're enjoying it, hope you like the new chapter, even if there isn't a lot of Merle

xoxo

WasHangerlane WasHangerlane
4/14/16