After The End
What happened to your face?
As the sun began to set, Rosie parked herself at one of tables set up under the awning of Dale’s RV. She began to dry the plates from dinner that she’d just rinsed in the nearby quarry. She sighed as she thought to herself how ridiculous it was that she was doing the dishes in the apocalypse. She could only imagine the remarks Daryl would make if he saw her. She knew, however, that if she didn’t pitch in with the chores, a whole load of bitchiness would be coming her way. It had happened before.
The sounds of arguing reached her ears, causing her to look up at the source of the noise. Shane and Lori stood near the line of trees that lead into the woods, engaged in a heated discussion. Lori was visibly trying to calm down Shane and keep eyes off of them.
Rosie quickly averted her own, instead focusing on the plates in front of her. The sounds of footsteps approaching again brought her eyes back up, only to see Shane slump down at the table across from her, looking exasperated.
He ran his hands over his face before he looked at the young girl in front of him and let out a tired laugh. “Women, right?” He joked, causing Rosie to chuckle.
“Right,” she grinned, stacking the dry plates up on the side of the table. “You wanna talk ‘bout it?”
Shane smiled at her appreciatively and leaned forward so that his elbows were resting on the table. He was watching her carefully, studying her face. “You’re different to them other women,” he spoke after a moment.
Rosie looked away awkwardly, feeling uncomfortable under his gaze. “Oh yeah?” She laughed and her eyes flitted back to him, only to see the gaze was still just as intense.
“Yeah,” the older man mused and she noticed that his gaze was shifting down to her lips briefly every now and then.
Rosie cleared her throat and stood up, causing Shane to break out of his stare. “Guess I’m just a lot younger than ‘em,” she smiled and Shane only nodded at her as he stood up as well.
“Let me take those,” he held his hands out for the stack of dishes that she was about to pick up, but both persons were distracted by shouts and screams coming from the quarry. Rosie looked up to Shane in horror and followed him as he began to race to the source of the sound.
Something inside of Shane snapped and he leapt towards where Ed stood, having just slapped Carol across the face, causing her to cry out. Shane grabbed the man, throwing him down and then throwing himself on top as he began to hit him over and over.
“Stop! Please!” Carol was sobbing, her whole body shaking as Andrea and Amy held onto her.
Shane continued to punch and Ed’s face was getting bloodier and his body still. Rosie stepped forward with her arms outstretched. “Shane, stop!” It was no use though, it was like the bigger man couldn’t hear or see anything other than the man underneath him.
“Rosie, don’t!” Amy cried as Rosie got closer and closer to the fighting men. “Rosie, you’ll get hurt!”
Rosie ignored her closest friend at the camp, instead launching herself to grab onto Shane’s fist as he drew it back to strike again. She clung to it, trying to force him off the other man but this only angered Shane. He turned back just enough to try and shake off her grasp and when that didn’t work, he used his other hand to shove her backwards, palm landing heavily on her chest. She stumbled back slightly, but when she saw Shane getting ready to deliver another blow to Ed, she strode forward once again to grab the material of his t-shirt.
Shane let out an animalistic growl as he turned around, frustrated at the distractions, and delivered the blow intended for Ed to the much smaller blonde girl. The punch sent her stumbling backwards again, this time falling to the ground and the back of her head collided painfully with a large boulder.
Rosie squeezed her eyes shut, praying for the winded feeling to subside so that she could collect herself. As she started to get her breath back, the pain from her collision with the rock and from the original hit to the face began to consume her. She lifted her upper body up and managed to open her eyes, squinting. It was then that she noticed Jacquie and Amy in front of her, their faces scared and concerned.
“I’m fine, I’m fine,” Rosie grumbled. She lifted her hand to her lip, feeling the tender spot where it had split and then the tender, bruising area around her eye.
“Can leave.” Andrea had cut Shane off from where she stood in front of him, hands on her hips protectively as she shielded the younger girl from the man who had just assaulted her.
Shane ignored her, instead shooting another look at Rosie, his eyes looking incredibly pained.
“It’s okay, I shouldn’t have…” Rosie trailed off as she gestured to where Ed’s body lay still, Carol sobbing over him.
“Let’s get you to your tent,” Amy said but her voice was thick with worry as she scooped up her friend.
After Amy had ushered Rosie into her tent and cleaned up her bloody lip, she had left Rosie to rest. Rosie awoke from a nap that she had never planned on having to see darkness outside, interrupted by the flickering of soft flames. She lifted herself into a sitting position, cringing at the pulsing headache she had earned. She heard the sounds of quiet laughter and chatter and knew that the group must be eating dinner.
With a sigh, the girl pulled herself to her feet, stomach rumbling, and made her way out of the tent and to where the group sat. Amy stood up as Rosie approached, telling Andrea that she was going to the bathroom, and squeezing Rosie’s arm as she passed her. Rosie gave her friend a sweet smile as she took the girl’s seat. She looked up, noticing that Shane was sitting across from her, his eyes still looking pained as he glanced at her nervously. She just threw him a casual smile, not wanting to cause any unnecessary tension to strain the group further.
Her attention was ripped away from Shane at the sound of Amy calling out for toilet paper. Rosie grinned at her friend’s nonchalant attitude as she stood up, knowing where the spare toilet paper was. Her grin dropped when she saw a rotting body appearing from behind the door to the RV, only a few feet from where her friend stood.
“Amy! Watch out!” The sound of Rosie’s panicked voice caused the rest of the group’s eyes to snap up just in time to see the walker sink its teeth into the pale skin of Amy’s arm.
Andrea raced towards her sister with Rosie quick behind her, both shouting Amy’s name as the same walker buried its teeth in the girl’s neck.
From all around them, the stench-filled bodies of the dead were appearing, taking chunks out of the people that Rosie had familiarized herself with since losing her family. She watched, feeling helpless, as her friend screamed, blood shooting from the wound in her neck as she dropped to the floor. The same walker that had bit Amy now turned to Andrea, causing the woman to fall back, terrified, as it advanced on her. Without a second thought, Rosie had grabbed a pickaxe that sat resting against the side of the RV and buried it in the head of the walker. Its body dropped to the ground, lifeless, and Andrea moved towards where her younger sister lay. Rosie glanced at the two and her heart sunk to the bottom of her boots as she saw the panicked look in her closest friend’s eyes. Her face was starting to drain of blood and Andrea’s hands were fluttering around Amy’s body as she wailed about not knowing what to do.
The screams that echoed around them forced Rosie to look away from the devastating sight and to where the attack was still well and truly happening. She dropped the pickaxe and reached for her gun from the waistband of her jeans. Trying to aim as quickly as possible, she shot one walker in the head where it feasted upon Susan, a woman she had met on her first day who had lent her a t-shirt to wear. Rosie dropped another walker that had just taken a chunk out of the arm of Mark, a man who had offered to teach Rosie the basics of fishing in her first week with the group.
As Rosie began to fire bullets into the dead, tears flooded her cheeks and threatened to blur her vision. She swiped at her eyes angrily, lowering her gun momentarily as she breathed a shaky breath. From out of nowhere, a hand gripped onto her shoulder and she screamed as she tried to wriggle out from under it.
“It’s jus’ me, Rosie!”
Rosie stopped screaming as she turned around to see Daryl behind her, looking at her with concern. She took a deep breath and tried to calm herself.
“What happened to your face?” He asked but she didn’t have time to answer as more walkers began to appear.