‹ Prequel: The Regulator

Made to Suffer


Alice, Mary, Tallie, and I watched from the shade of the balcony as the men worked on constructing the fence. We were supposed to watch for walkers and alert the men to any danger. I watched as John drove a metal post into the ground, solidifying it with cement, his muscles flexing in the warm sunlight. My wedding band now hung from a chain around my neck, leaving my finger naked. We'd been at the hotel a week and a half and things had been going smooth for once.

"Lift your end, kid!" Dave said angrily to Randal as they struggled to carry one of the bags of concrete.

"I am, man," Randal returned

"Yer not!"

"Quit bitchin'," Randal said, finally. Dave and Tony had both been picking on Randal more and more in the last week and the teen had been growing more tense. Dave dropped his end of the concrete bag and tackled Randal, swinging at him. Tony, seeing his friend in a fight, dropped what he was doing and rushed over to help Dave with Randal.

"Stop it!" I yelled, getting the other men's attention. Brad reached the men on the ground first, he grabbed a hold of Tony who was ready to kick Randal in his ribs. John was next, he pulled Dave off of Randal and pushed him away.

"Get out!" John yelled, "Get your shit and get the fuck out." I crossed my arms and watched the drama unfold.

"When he fuckin' started it?" Tony asked, struggling against Brad's grip.

"You two have been starting with him all fucking week and we're all sick of it. If you can't act like adults and help this group, you can go," John said, anger still filling his voice.

"I'm sorry, man," Dave said, "I'm sorry. It's just we've been cooped up here, shit's getting a little tense, you know?"

"I know that, it is for all of us. You need to control yourself."

While they were talking Randal had gotten up and began limping back towards the hotel, he was bleeding from his nose. I followed him as he passed the gaggle of us standing there.

"Here," I said, "Let me clean you up."

"N-No, you don't have to-"

"Your nose looks broken," I said, "If you don't let me help, you're not going to be able to breathe too well." The teen sighed and plopped down on one of the lobby benches. I told him to wait there as I went and got the first aid kit. I returned to find him where I left him; I set up the medical kit on the bench next to Randal, "This is gonna hurt."

"I figured," He mumbled, "They've been at me all week. You've seen it right?"

"Yeah," I nodded, "I don't like them."

"Raleigh, I gotta tell you something," Randal said as I started prepping myself to start piecing Randal's nose back together, "The last time we went into town-"

" How's it goin' in here?" John asked, entering the lobby.

"Just getting things ready," I said, John nodded and I looked back to Randal, his eyes were wide and the look on his face stopped me from asking what he had been ready to tell me, "Ready Randal?" The boy nodded slightly and clamped his teeth down in pain as I began manipulating his nose. Tears fell from Randal's tightly shut eyes as I finished, "You okay?" I asked quietly, John was still watching.

"I'm good," Randal said nasally as I inserted some gauze into his nose. I started cleaning his face up, removing the blood and dirt.

"Good job, Raleigh," John complimented me, "We have a bunch of geeks out there; Dave and Tony are going to town to lead them away so we can finish up. We're just about done," He explained with a look of satisfaction, "Come on, we'll make some lunch."


As night began to fall, John paced around, worried that Tony and Dave had been hurt or the car had broken down on them.

"Who gives a fuck," Randal mumbled.

"They're part of this group," John said, looking pointedly at the young man, "We don't leave any of our people out there. Brad, Randal, Jeff Come with me. You too, Leigh. We need you incase they're hurt." Despite my dislike for Dave and Tony, I knew I would feel guilt if we just left them out there or worse, if we left them to die.

The ride to town was silent as we rode through the woods until the land was clear - except for the biters - and the buildings of the town came into view.

"Randal and Brad, stick together. Jeff and Leigh, come with me," John said as he put the F-150 in park, leaving the keys in the ignition, in case we needed to make a quick getaway. John handed out guns to the men , keeping one for himself, but leaving me with just my knife. The sound of shuffling feet was all around us as we went through the town, "Stay close, honey," John whispered to me. At that moment I wondered what Randal had been about to say to me, but as we approached the bar my instincts kicked in and I became focused on the situation at hand. We could hear movement in the bar and John spoke up.

"Hello?" John called, "We're looking for our friends. If they're in there, send them out to us." There was silence and more shuffling before John spoke again, "We just want our friends. "

"They drew on us," A man's voice rang through the night.

"Where are they?" John demanded, Brad joined us, "Where's Randal?" John asked in a whisper, Brad pointed to the low roof of a small store, where Randal was perched looking down the sight of his rifle.

"They're in here," The man said, "Like I said, they attacked us first."

"He killed them?" Brad asked, his voice low. John turned the safety off on his gun, Brad and Jeff followed his lead and I took off running before they opened fire, heading towards the building where Randal was. The next few minutes where a blur, I killed two biters before Randal fell from the roof of the store. He began screaming, once I reached him I saw that his leg had been pierced by the iron fence that ran alongside the building.

"Shhh," I hushed him, looking over my shoulder and seeing three men grouping together outside the bar, "I'll be back, Randal. Be. Quiet." The sight of him laying there was gruesome.

"Raleigh, don't leave me. Please, please!" I turned and ran, knowing if the men found me I wouldn't be able to help Randal, but if they found him, I didn't know what they would do. I ran towards where the truck had been left to find it missing. Fear overwhelmed me as I looked around and didn't see John or Brad anywhere. I headed back for Randal, only to find the other men surrounding him as he began to scream. I heard an approaching engine and turned around in time to get side swiped by the big red truck we'd come to town in. I fell, my head spinning as the world went black.


When I woke up, my head was pounding and it was dark, I had something over my head. My hands and feet were tied together and I was sitting on what felt like a dirt floor.

"Raleigh?" Randal's voice came from my left.

"Randal, where are we?" I questioned, my head hurting so bad I felt like the room was spinning.

"The men that killed Tony and Dave brought us here, they - I don't know where we are. They stitched up my leg though, so I don't think they're gonna kill us." Randal's reasoning didn't comfort me one bit.
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