It's the End of the World

Chapter Ten.

"Everybody takes a weapon." Rick said as he placed a bunch of weapons on the hood of a car. None firearms, but ones that would easily be able to crack open a skull.

"These aren't the kind of weapons we need." Andrea said, a hand placed firmly on her hip as she spoke to Rick. "What about the guns?" She asked and Shane spoke up from his position behind me, he was resting against the RV beside T-Dog.

"We've been over that. Daryl, Rick and I are carrying. We can't have people popping off rounds every time a tree rustles." Shane stated. "Say somebody fires at the wrong moment, a herd happens to be passing by. See, then it's game over for all of us. So you need to get over it." Shane said, placing his bag over his shoulder. Andrea just looked at him, an obvious scowl on her face.

"The idea is to take the creek up 'bout five miles, turn 'round and come back down the other side." I said as I pulled my crossbow higher on my shoulder so it was more comfortable. "Chances are she'll be by the creek. It's her only landmark." I said before walking off to grab all my supplies. I got all of my arrows together and put them in the quiver attached to my crossbow. Soon enough all of us were headed back into the woods, me taking the lead. We headed in the same direction as yesterday, and as we walked we came along a lone tent behind some trees. I crouched low and motioned for everyone behind me to stop. I pointed at the tent and everyone instantly crouched down like I had.

"She could be in there." Shane said and I slowly stood up, making my way cautiously towards the area.

"Could be a whole buncha things in there." I stated as I made my way down the small slope. I motioned for everyone to stop once again as I went to check the tent out. I pulled the side of the tent but there was no movement.

"Carol." Rick motioned for her to join him. "Call out softly. If she's in there, yours is the first voice she should hear." Rick said and Carol nodded softly, her hand over her mouth. I stayed near the tent, my knife raised in the air just in case.

"Sophia, sweetie, are you in there? Sophia, It's mommy." She said and you could hear in her voice that she was trying to hold back tears. "Sophia, we're all here, baby. It's mommy." She said again and Rick started walking towards me. I grabbed hold of the zip and slowly started to open the tent. I pulled the flap back and instantly coughed at the stench, but I soon blocked off my nose and walked in. A dead body was sat in a chair in the middle of the tent. I grimaced lightly and looked around. The man had a gun held in his hand, poor fucker couldn't handle it. I shoved the gun in the waistband of my jeans before making my way back out towards the others.

"It ain't her. Just some guy, did what Jenner said. Opted out. Ain't that what he called it?" I asked as I placed the strap of my crossbow back over my shoulder. All of a sudden a loud bell chime filled the air. Rick pointed in the direction of the noise and we all instantly ran after him.

"What direction?" Shane asked and Rick looked around for a moment before pointing straight ahead.

"I think that way, I'm pretty sure." Rick said and we all took off once more. We came through a break in the trees to see a small white church. We all ran towards the building, our weapons raised. Rick quickly walked up to the doors and I got into position, my shoulder pressed against the wall as I waited for him to open the double doors. He pushed them open and we all rushed in, there was three walkers sitting idly, but they instantly jumped up as fresh meat entered. Shane and Rick entered and went after the closest walkers. I handed my crossbow off and grabbed the hatchet that was held out to me. I moved swiftly around the room, coming up behind the female walker and embedding the weapon in her head. I jumped away as as she fell limp at my feet. I walked up to the front of the chapel.

"Sophia!? Alice!?" I exclaimed loudly, the hatchet now falling to my side as I relaxed myself. "Yo, J.C., you takin' requests?" I asked the statue bitterly before walking back towards the others. The bells started chiming again and I pushed through everyone to get outside. I ran around the corner to see a small speaker on the wall, Glenn was already on the case and quickly shut the thing up.

"A timer. 'S on a timer." I stated before walking away. I had so much hope that we'd find them here, that they'd be safe. I sat down underneath one of the trees in the graveyard, the ground was rough and uncomfortable, but it was better than standing up as that's what I'd been doing for the past few hours. Eventually everyone else joined me as Rick and Shane walked over to us. He coughed to get everyone's attention.

"Y'all gonna follow the creek bed back, okay? Daryl, you're in charge. Me and Rick, we're just gonna hang back, search this area another hour or so just to be thorough." Shane stated and I narrowed my eyes slightly at him.

"You're splittin' us up. You sure?" I asked and Shane nodded.

"Yeah, we'll catch up to you." He stated and Carl suddenly stepped forward.

"I want to stay too. I'm her friend." Carl said. Shane and Rick looked at each other for a moment before looking at Lori.

"Just be careful, okay?" She asked, pulling him into her arms. "When did you start growing up?" She asked as she kissed the top of his head. Rick walked over to them then, his gun outstretched towards his wife. She wouldn't take it so I walked over and handed her the one I'd got when searching the tent.

"Here, got a spare. Take it." I said and she took it with a smile. I nodded once at Rick before walking back towards the treeline, the others following slowly after me. The sun was still high in the sky, but luckily the harsh rays were blocked slightly by woodland.

"So this is it?" Carol asked as she sat down on the trunk of a fallen tree. Everybody stopped and I let out a small sigh as I leaned my arm against the nearest tree.

"I guess the plan is to whittle us down to smaller n smaller groups." I stated and Andrea scoffed.

"Carrying knives and pointy sticks." She said before turning and glaring at Lori who held the gun in her hand.

"We should keep movin'." I said and everyone turned to me. They nodded in agreement. I let Lori and Carol walk first before following behind them. All of a sudden, a loud gunshot rang out and everyone stopped dead in their tracks. We all waited for more, but when there was none I shook my head and continued walking.

"Why one - Why just one gunshot?" Someone asked and I rolled my eyes. I kept my eyes forward as I replied.

"Maybe they took down a walker." I stated nonchalantly and Lori scoffed, she came up beside me, her eyes set in a hard glare.

"Please don't patronise me. You know Rick wouldn't risk a gunshot to put down a walker, or Shane. They'd do it quietly." She said and everyone started talking over each other. I took this as an opportunity to shut everyone up.

"There ain't nothing we can do about it, anyway." I exclaimed and everyone went quiet. "Can't run around these woods chasing echoes." I stated.

"So, what do we do?"

"Same as we've been. Beat the bus for the girls, work our way back to the highway. I'm sure they'll hook up with us back at the RV." I said. How was I the only one keeping hope alive these days? I was a miserable son of a bitch most of the time, and here I was trying to make everyone stay positive.

"I'm sorry for what you're going through." Andrea said to Carol then and I groaned. "I know how you feel." She said. Why did no one understand? They weren't dead yet! I was gonna find that stubborn ass girl and bring her and the little girl home.

"I suppose you do - thank you." Carol said with a sigh. "The thought of her, out there by herself.. it's the not knowing that's killing me. I just keep hoping and praying she doesn't wind up like Amy." Carol said before gasping slightly. I let out a quiet chuckle at that. Serves the blonde right for being a nosy bitch. "Oh, God! That's That's the worst thing I've ever said." Carol tried to explain, but Andrea instantly stopped her.

"We're all hoping and praying with you, for what it's worth." Andrea said and I growled slightly as I looked at the two women.

"I'll tell ya what it's worth - Not a god damn thing. It's a waste of time, all this hopin' an' prayin'. We're gonna locate those girls. Their gonna be jus' fine. Am I the only one zen around here?" I asked, my voice carrying loudly around the woods that were silent only moments ago. I sighed and looked around the area, the sun was starting to go down, it would be dark in a couple of hours. "I think we should call it. Let's head back. We'll pick it up again tomorrow." I said before starting to walk back towards camp. We were only a few miles away when all of a sudden Andrea started screaming. I looked around and she was no where to be seen so I instantly ran towards the area I last heard her, the others following not too far behind. I ran as fast as I could, how the hell did she get that far away? Andrea was crawling backwards on the ground, trying to put as much distance between her and the walker as possible. I just pulled up my crossbow to take a shot when a woman on a horse barged past with a baseball bat, knocking the undead bastard to the floor.

"Lori? Lori grimes? Whoa!" She exclaimed as she tried to control the horse that was bucking under her. I pulled out my crossbow, still not trusting this woman even if she did know Lori's name.

"I'm Lori." She said stepping forward.

"Rick sent me-- You've got to come now. There's been an accident-- Carl's been shot. He's still alive but you've gotta come now. Rick needs you-- Just come!" She exclaimed urgently and Lori nodded as she took off her bag and started making her way forwards. I took this as my moment to step in.

"Whoa-whoa-whoa! We don't know this girl." I exclaimed throwing my hand out towards the unknown woman. "You can't get on that horse." I said and the girl rolled her eyes as she pulled Lori up behind her.

"Rick said you had others on the highway, that big traffic snarl?" She asked and Glenn nodded his head. "Backtrack to Fairburn road. Two miles down is our farm. You'll see the mailbox-- Name's Greene-- Hi-yah!" She exclaimed before riding off. Groaning rang out once more as another walker made its way towards us.

"Shut up." I said and fired a bolt straight through its head.

Alice's POV

We'd holed up in a little abandoned shack, a small river flowed just in front, meaning easy access to water as long as we boiled it first. But sadly, I didn't bring much food with me and we'd quickly run out. It had been around two days now since we'd lost the group, and I wouldn't go outside for fear of losing the little girl in my care. We sat around the small campfire I'd built in the middle of the room as night once again arrived. Luckily, there was a rather large hole in the roof where the smoke could escape.

"Alice?" A quiet little voice asked and I looked beside me where Sophia was laid with her head on my lap.

"Yes, sweetie?" I asked and I heard the small girl sniffle.

"Will we ever find my momma again?" She asked and I sighed softly as I stroked her hair away from her face. To be honest, I was so weak from hunger that I was too scared to go outside. I knew I wasn't in the best position to be fending off any walkers, and I'd instantly become a meal.

"Of course we will. I'll do whatever I can to get you back to your momma again." I said as I placed a soft kiss to her forehead. A few moments later I heard her laboured breathing and knew she was asleep. I pulled a blanket from my pack and draped it over her, pulling it up to her shoulders. Tomorrow we would leave to try and find the group once again. I would do whatever it took to get this little girl back home. If it meant dying in the process, so be it.