It's the End of the World

Chapter Eleven.

"Shut up. Shot? What do ya mean shot?" Dale asked when we got back to camp and I grunted at his stupid question.

"I dunno, Dale. I wasn't there. All I know is this chick rode out of nowhere like Zorro on a horse and took Lori." Glenn explained to the old man and he came up to me as I climbed over the small fence at the side of the road.

"And you let her?" He asked, bewildered and I growled as I continued walking.

"Climb outta my asshole, old man. Rick sent her. She knew Lori's name and Carl's." I stated as I walked away from the group. He started talking about Andrea then so I zoned out. If she got killed it would have been her own damn fault. I started gearing up to leave as Dale told the others the plan.

"I won't do it. We can't just leave!" Carol stated and I took myself out of the discussion, I stood to the side and observed.

"Carol, the group is split. We're scattered and weak." Dale said but Carol continued fighting.

"What if they come back? What if my daughter gets separated from Alice and comes back on her own and we're not here? It could happen." She said and Andrea piped up from her place beside the upset mother.

"If Sophia found her way back and we were gone, that would be awful." She said with with a small shrug and for once I agreed with her. I nodded my head at the two women.

"Okay, we gotta plan for this. I say tomorrow mornin' is soon enough to pull up stakes. Give us a chance to rig a big sign, leave them some supplies. I'll hold here tonight, stay with the RV." I said, looking towards Carol who smiled softly at me. It wasn't much, but it was enough considering how the last few days had been.

"If the RV is stayin', I am too." Dale stated with a nod. Carol looked at both of us fondly.

"Thank you. Thank you both." She said and I nodded my head slightly.

"Well, If you're all staying then I'm--" Glenn started but was cut off by Dale who held up his hand.

"Not you, Glenn. You're going. Take Carol's Cherokee." Dale said and Glenn scoffed.

"Me? Why is it always me?" Glenn exclaimed.

"You have to find this farm, reconnect with our people and see what's going on. But most important, you have to get t-dog there. This is not an option. That cut has gone from bad to worse. He has a very serious blood infection. Get him to that farm. See if they have any antibiotics. Because if not, t-dog will die, no joke." Dale said and I quickly walked towards my brothers motorcycle. I grabbed Merle's stash of pills along with a rag that had been left there. I threw the rag at Dale.

"Keep your oily rags off ma brother's motorcycle." I said before dropping the bag on the hood of a car as I started rifling through it. "Why'd you wait till now to say anythin'? Got my brother's stash. Crystal, x-- Don't need that. Got some kick ass painkillers." I said, tossing the pill bottle to Glenn. "Doxycycline. Not the generic stuff neither, It's first class. Merle got the clap on occasion." I said with a small shrug before walking away.

Later that night I was laid on the floor of the RV trying my best to get some sleep. But with Andrea constantly loading and unloading her gun and Carol's crying, I finally realised sleep wasn't going to happen for me tonight. I sighed and climbed up from my position. I walked over to Andrea and pulled my crossbow up and over my head.

"Ima need my clip now." I said and she quickly handed it to me. "Ima walk the road. Look for the girl." I said before looking over at Carol who was still crying on the bed. I nodded slightly at her when she looked my way before exiting the RV. I'd walked about five steps before Andrea walked outside.

"I'm coming too." Andrea stated and I sighed softly before looking up at Dale who was on top of the RV.

"I'm goin' for a walk. Shine some light in the forest. If she's out there, give her something to look at." I said and Dale moved closer to the edge of the roof so he could see us better.

"You think that's a good idea right now?" He asked and Andrea instantly shushed him. I shrugged my shoulders slightly before following after her.

We'd been walking for around half an hour when Andrea finally said something. Although it wasn't like talking to Alice, I usually ended up despising Andrea even more with every word that came out of her mouth. "You really think we're gonna find them?" She asked and I shined the flashlight on her face briefly before scoffing.

"You got that look on your face same as everyone else. The hell's wrong with you people? We just started looking." I stated, shining my flashlight on the ground to try and find anything else that could show they'd been around here.

"Well, do you?" She asked as she looked at me and I shot her a look that easily said I thought she was stupid.

"It ain't the mountains of Tibet, it's Georgia. They could be holed up in a farmhouse somewhere. People get lost and they survive. It happens all the time." I stated.

"She's only twelve." She said and I scoffed.

"Hell, I was younger than her and I got lost. Nine days in the woods eating berries, wiping my ass with poison oak." I said and I remembered the night I told Alice the story. I'd never opened up to anyone before, maybe that's why it was easier to tell Andrea the story now since I'd already told it.

"They found you?" Andrea asked and I scoffed lightly as I shook my head.

"My old man was off on a bender with some waitress. Merle was doin' another stint in juvie. Didn't even know I was gone. Made my way back though. Went straight to the kitchen and made myself a sandwich. No worse for wear. Except my ass itched somethin' awful." I stated and all of a sudden Andrea burst out laughing. I raised a brow at her as she covered her mouth.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, that is a terrible story." She said and started laughing again. I chuckled slightly.

"Difference is, Sophia's got people lookin' for her. Alice is out there with her. I call that an advantage." I said and thankfully she didn't say anything else. I let my mind wander for a moment to the two lost girls. Well, one girl, one woman. If I hadn't run to T-dog.. Maybe they'd be with us right now. Maybe it would be Alice beside me instead of Andrea. I stopped dead in my tracks for a moment as I thought about what I was saying. Since when did I care about her so much? When did I start missing her hard ass attitude and sarcastic remarks? I shook my head slightly and carried on walking. We walked a few more minutes before reaching a clearing, a lone walker hanging from a noose.

"What the hell?" I asked as I walked forward and placed the flashlight on the walkers face. I saw a piece of paper attached to the bark by his feet so I stepped forward and read the note out loud. "'Got bit. Fever hit. World gone to shit. Might as well quit.' Dumbass didn't know enough to shoot himself in the head. Turned himself into a big swingin' piece of bait. And a mess-" I started to say but was interrupted by Andrea groaning and gagging. "You alright?" I asked and Andrea crouched slightly with her hands rested on her knees.

"Trying not to puke." She stated and I shrugged as I turned back to the tree that held the dead man.

"Go ahead if you gotta." She shook her head slightly.

"No, I'm fine. Let's just talk about something else for a minute." She said with a sigh. "How'd you learn to shoot?" She asked.

"Gotta eat." I explained simply. I wasn't going to go into major detail with this chick. The walker started chomping down hungrily as he eyed me. "That's one thing these walkers and us have in common. I guess this is the closest he's been to food since he turned. Hangin' up there like a big piƱata. The other geeks came and ate all the flesh off his legs." I said and looked towards Andrea who was now throwing up.

"I thought we were changing the subject?" She said with a moan and I turned away from the hanging man to look at her.

"Call that payback for laughin' 'bout my itchy ass." I stated but it seemed that Andrea wasn't really up for laughing.

"There wasn't a lot that came up." She said and I looked at the hanging man for a few more moments.

"Huh." I said before turning away from the tree. "Let's head back" I said and started making my way back where we came.

"Aren't you gonna.." Andrea said and I looked at her before looking back towards the corpse.

"No. He ain't hurtin' nobody. Ain't gonna waste an arrow either. He made his choice, opted out. Let him hang." I said before turning back around. I looked behind me to see Andrea walking up to the body. I guess she'd gotten over her sickness. She'd been looking at the walker for a while before I started walking towards her. "You wanna live now, or not?" I asked as I came closer. "It's just a question." I said with a shrug. She looked back at the man for a few moments before answering.

"An answer for an arrow, fair?" She said and I nodded my head.

"I don't know if I want to live or if I have to or if it's just habit." She said and I sighed softly.

"Not much of an answer." I said before raising my crossbow and placing the flashlight in front of the sight so I could see easily. I lined up my shot before quickly pulling the trigger. "Waste of an arrow." I said before walking away. We made our way back to camp a lot quicker than thought and when we got there Andrea went over to talk to Dale as I walked back inside the RV to finally try and get some sleep.


The next morning we all woke up extremely early and got a car ready with a large sign and a few supplies for Sophia and Alice just in case they came back this way. As soon as we were happy with our work everyone climbed into the RV as I climbed on Merle's motorcycle. We followed the directions we were given yesterday and we eventually found the farm. We drove up onto the property and had just all got our feet back on solid ground when Lori and Rick walked from the farmhouse with the family trailing not far behind. I was glad to know Carl was safe but I still couldn't stop thinking of the two girls that were still missing. Great, your kids alright but I needed to get back to searching.

Alice's POV

I woke up the next morning to Sophia still sleeping deeply with her head on my knee. I smiled softly at the little girl before pulling myself out from under her and placing my pack under her head so she was comfy. I heard a scurrying above me and and I quickly looked towards it. I smiled widely as I saw a lone squirrel sitting on a broken rafter nearby. I quickly pulled out my bow, trying to be as quiet as possible. I aimed my weapon at the small creature before letting go of the string. The arrow hit it's mark and the animal fell to the floor with a small thud. I retrieved our food and had already skinned and started cooking the animal as Sophia stirred. I smiled at the small girl as she opened her eyes and quickly passed her half of the cooked meat. Her eyes widened as she saw the food and she quickly snatched it out of my hand before munching down on it. I laughed lightly before picking the remaining meat from the bone and stuffing it into my mouth. As soon as we had finished, I threw the bones in the fire before stomping on it slightly to put out the last remaining flames.

"Come on, today's the day we get you home." I said to the little girl as I held my hand out for her. She smiled widely at me before connecting her hand with mine. We made our way out of the run down shack and I instantly pulled out my knife, as it was the only weapon I could hold whilst still keeping a tight grip on Sophia's hand. Not far from the run down shack, there was a muddy path, a steep drop on one side that lead down to a steady stream so I walked close to the edge as I kept Sophia on my right so she wouldn't fall. I walked on the rocky part of the ground, holding onto the trees as I walked past and hoping like hell I wouldn't trip. But it seemed luck wasn't on my side as I placed my foot on a particularly slippy piece of rock and I cried out slightly, instantly letting go of Sophia's hand as I tumbled down the bank. I screamed as I reached the bottom and looked down at my side gingerly only to see the head of one of my arrows sticking out of my stomach. Sophia came running over to me as I laid in the shallow water and she got down on her little knees to see if I was okay.

"Oh no.. A-Alice, what do I do?" She cried as she held tightly onto my hand. I ground my teeth together from the pain and squeezed her hand gently to let her know I was alright.

"I-it's okay, honey. I-I'm okay." I stuttered as I tried to keep myself from screaming out. I sat up slightly with my back against the bank as I grabbed hold of the arrow head. I looked towards Sophia who was looking extremely pale. "Don't you go anywhere, okay? You stay with me. You always stay with me." I said through clenched teeth and she nodded her head quickly. I took a few deep breaths before crawling onto my hands and knees. I grabbed my side with the arrow gently as I directed us over to the sandy bank where it was dry. I quickly sat down and ripped off the bottom of my flannel shirt. I tied the piece of material around myself and the arrow and cried out when it moved slightly. I made quick work at finding all my belongings from the water before making my way towards the bank that looked the least steep. I gently pushed Sophia ahead of me, so at least if she fell she'd fall into me. She started climbing slowly, looking back every few minutes to see if I was okay. I smiled slightly at her as I too started to climb, I grabbed onto as many roots as I could to keep myself steady, but the arrow on my side soon collided with one of the rocks adorning the ledge and I let out a strangled cry as I felt myself falling backwards once more.

"Alice!" I heard Sophia exclaim before I landed with a hand thud on the sandy bank once more.

"Look at the fuckin' state of you." I heard someone say and I squinted in the harsh morning light as I tried to see who was in front of me.

"Sam?" I asked as I looked at the man in front of me, he looked exactly the same. The short buzz cut, the crooked nose and the menacing smile he always wore was still adorning his face. He'd be quite handsome without it. "B-but, you're dead." I said and he crouched down next to me as he chuckled.

"Awh, disappointed?" He asked with a smirk. "You're a hot mess. You can't even look after yourself, let alone that little girl. She's just going to end up dead like the rest of 'em. You remember your precious Mommy and Daddy right? Where are they now? Huh?" He asked and I could feel my eyes starting to well up with tears.

"You shut your mouth." I said through clenched teeth. And he did nothing but laugh at me.

"You think anyone will care if you died, right here, right now? 'Cause they won't. I bet their not even lookin' for your pathetic ass. Their probably better off without you. No one will ever care for you the way I can." He said and I growled as I reached for the arrow in my side.

"Their lookin' for that little girl. I don't care what happens to myself, as long as I get her back home." I stated as I looked deep into his eyes. "You never cared for me, all you cared about was yourself!" I screamed as I finally let the tears fall. "Your an abusive rapist, and that's all you'll ever be. I will get that girl home, so help me god!" I exclaimed as he stood up. He placed his hands out beside him and chuckled.

"Come on then, get up." He sneered. "Get the fuck up!" He exclaimed before laughing manically. "Or maybe you're just all talk. You can't do shit. You know, they all laugh about you behind your back. One day, their just gonna throw you away like the disgusting piece of shit that you are." He said and I growled lightly as I quickly yanked the arrow from my side. A strangled scream escaped my mouth and I quickly crawled up from the ground. I looked around to see no one around me apart from Sophia who was looking at me with wide eyes. I set off this time with new determination as I led Sophia to the bank once more. I smiled at her softly to show I was okay and she nodded as she once again started to climb. I did so as fast as I could, grabbing onto roots as I had the time before, although now I had a new sense of strength surging through me. I was not weak, I was a capable woman and I would do whatever it took to get this little girl home to her family. Sophia reached the top and looked down at me as I manoeuvred my way around the upturned roots and rocks that poked out of the soil. I eventually made it to the top and I sighed in relief as I hugged the little girl beside me.

"Come on." I said and started down the path once more.