Status: Ongoing

Starting Over


The windows of the broken down gas station were completely opaque from all of the dirt and muck that clung to them. Vines grew haphazardly around the whole building making it look just as deserted as it was.

"You sure we're going to find anything in there?" You ask skeptically.

"Not sure. But it doesn't hurt to look, right?" Glenn tries to assure that it wasn't a complete waste of time.

Daryl's the first to actually approach it as he taps the window a few times. While you wait you notice a small trail of what looks like blood. Fairly fresh blood.
You mindlessly follow the trail as curiosity takes its hold. No one seems to notice as you head around the building to the back.

The trail gets messier and darker the farther you go. Ideas of what could be at the end of it begin to strike fear into you.
Your stomach lurches with each step as you hope that it's all just your imagination going into overdrive.

When you finally get to the very back of the building the trail abruptly stops. The only thing that is there is a puddle of more blood and bits of flesh.

You guess walkers fed on something here, but then you suddenly start smelling something all too familiar when you see something dripping. With your handkerchief balled up at your nose you slowly look up at the wall.
What you find there hits you hard in the gut as terror shakes your entire being. Crimson streaks drip down onto the dead grass pooling at the bottom.

A naked girl hangs from her hands nailed to the brick. Her body looks mutilated with bruises and open cuts. The blood still flowing out of her head and other wounds.

Someone had written a message in her blood. It contained an arrow pointing at her with " TOO LOOSE" streaked beside it.

The sight made you want to vomit, but you held it in. Instead you try to call out to the others, to warn them. "Guys."

It barely comes out as a whisper as you tremble. It wasn't until your eyes blur from the effort that you turn away to go to them.
When you return to the front stumbling Daryl was just about to open the door. They both turn to you half expecting a walker.

Glenn is instantly beside you to hold you up when he sees the state you're in. "What happened?"

You weakly point to the back as Daryl approaches. He heads off in the direction before you and Glenn can follow. Glenn stays with you as you both wait for Daryl's return.

After a few minutes he comes back with a somber expression. He seems to avoid eye contact with either of you as he sits on the ground. He finally looks at Glenn, but never you, after rubbing his face with his hands.

They speak to each other without words. You know because you and Daryl used to do it all the time. You two used to be the closest.
When Daryl looks away you audibly hear Glenn gulp as he slowly lets go of you. He walks past Daryl toward the back. You watch him as he disappears around the corner.

You gradually turn to look at Daryl and see that he's staring directly at you, as if he's trying to understand what you're thinking.
No words pass between you. No sounds interrupt the silent conversation inside your heads. Only the steady gaze that connects you.

Just like before everything you understand those deep ice blue eyes. You understand what he's trying to say.

"We need to get out of here."

Glenn seems to understand too as he stands there looking at the ground saying what needed to be said. All three of you move in a single fluid movement.
Daryl rose just as you and Glenn began walking back to the vehicles. The only sounds that were heard were distant walkers and the wind brushing leaves by.

It felt like time slowed as the car lurches forward again and trees pass by limitlessly. The sun beams through spaces briefly blinding you making you squint in order to see.

The beauty of the images passing by seems to distort though as the girl invades your thoughts. "Who's sick enough to do that?"

You hadn't realized you spoke aloud until Glenn sighs and tries to form words. "I.. people do a lot of terrible things, but you can never know exactly why."

"I've never seen something that horrific in the military. was just so real, ya know?" Glenn gave you a sympathetic look when you turn to him.

For what felt like the hundredth time that day, no more words were spoken. You could do nothing but stare out the window as daylight began to wane.

After a while Glenn starts to slow down. You see that Daryl is pulling over and waving to Glenn to do the same. When you hop out of the car Daryl already has the map over the still warm hood.
Glenn was standing to his right as you stood to his left. Daryl didn't seem to mind for once that you were almost touching, which you didn't mind either.

"There's still this cabin that I came across the other day. It's pretty big so I didn' wanna go in by myself. Since this area is outta the question for now, we can look 'round here for supplies."

After some pointing and explaining Daryl looks at Glenn for confirmation. He looks skeptical but gives him a yes.

Then Daryl does the unexpected and turns to you. You're like a deer in headlights until you realize he's asking you as well. "Uh..yeah. Yeah, sure."

"Good. Let's go. It's right up this trail."