Too Cool for You


Nicole watched, with a sinking feeling of worry, as some people now moved to cell block A, the block where they would be quarantined. Everybody had been advised to keep their distance from the ones that had been inside cell block D, especially from the ones that had been living in there. The ones like Nicole. She had been living in that cell block since the day that she’d arrived and, although she didn’t feel sick, anxiety had already crept up on her. As if it wasn’t enough to have the dead walking, now there was the possibility of dying of some flu just because they didn’t have the proper medicine or hospitals anymore.

“Could you help me?” Maggie asked as she passed by her, catching Nicole by surprise.

“Of course.” It was Nicole’s immediate answer, for once forgetting to ask for what or why did she needed her help. She followed the shorter haired girl to the walkway between the two fences, eyes moving to where Rick and Daryl were starting to dig graves for the people that had died.

Maggie handed her a thick piece of wood, with the blade of a kitchen knife attached to it, and grabbed a spear for herself. Overnight the dead had started piling up and with a large number of people now dead or in quarantine, there wasn’t much people to take care of them.

Nicole could hear the muffled voices of Rick and Daryl over the moans, as she tried to hit the dead with fatal blows, her curiosity taking over her after a few seconds. She turned around to look at the two men. She knew what they were talking about just by observing Rick’s posture, it was something that had been on everybody’s mind as they did not like to see their leader falling into the background just because he was afraid of making mistakes.

Not for the first time since her arrival, Nicole found herself wishing she had paid more attention to what her best friend had told her about the tv series she liked so much. It felt so real now, to her they were real people and she was starting to care for them. She only wished she had a way to help them.

“Rick! Daryl!” Maggie screamed, Nicole’s eyes snapping to where she pointed back towards the fence.

“Shit,” Rick spat, Daryl throwing his shovel away to reach back for his crossbow. He hastily took in the way the dead had begun to pile up un-relentlessly against the chain link.

Maggie was trying to yell something over the moans as they rounded the gate into the run, each scooping up one of the tools that hung from the fence.

In a rush of adrenaline, Nicole jumped back to the work of thrusting the bladed end of her weapon through the fence and into the skull of a walker as Rick and Daryl arrived, Glenn and Sasha not far behind them. They worked at stabbing those closest to them first; limp, rotting bodies piling up against the base of the fence as they worked.

The fence before them started to drop closer to the ground, the supports threatening to give out as the dead moved into the spot of those that had fallen, using the bodies as leverage. The rattle of the fence and moans of the dead drowned out everything else around them, the prison could have blown up behind them and they probably wouldn’t have noticed.

“Are you seeing this?” Sasha’s voice fought to be heard over the commotion before them, as Daryl pulled his spear like weapon from the eye socket of a walker. He paused for a moment, drifting towards where she was standing to take in the dead rats that littered the fence line. “Is someone feeding these things?”

His gaze was pulled back to the fence as it continued to dip under the weight of the dead, a single walker having made the climb, threatening to climb the top of the metal frame and fall into their laps. “Heads up!”

The fence continued to bow, desperate yells struggling to be heard over the moans as the others rushed forward to press their weight against the fence.

“Everybody back! Come on, back now!” Daryl yelled, taking a few steps back. They watched as the walkers became more excited with the close proximity of food, their mouths too close and the fence getting lower.

“If the fence keeps bending in like that, those walkers are coming over it,” Sasha huffed, everyone unintentionally looking at Rick for guidance.

The other man’s gaze was towards the field, dropping to the ground and back to the field as he rubbed at his face, eyes finding their final resting place on Daryl’s. “Get the truck. I know what to do.”

Nodding, Daryl rushed up towards the top gate alone. With the main truck currently still sitting, still packed at the entrance, he opted to grab the smaller one they used for around the prison jobs. He slipped into the drivers seat, breathing shallow, and hoped that the last person who used it had thought to fuel it up, relief filling his body as the engine rumbled to life.

Rick was waiting by his wooden shelter in the middle of the field, leaned over the fence into the pig enclosure as Daryl edged the small, open-roofed vehicle and trailer through the opening that the truck allowed, moving down the dirt road to pull up along the side of the farm. We need to do something about those hogs, Hershel had warned him that morning. And this was something, Rick noted as he loaded the piglets into the back, wordlessly.

Maggie was already pushing the gate open as they moved down towards the exit, Nicole and the others still trying to kill as many walkers as they could. Calling back over his shoulder at Rick, Daryl worked to turn the truck back around, putting on the brakes to turn and watch the other man. The walkers seemed to take notice, peeling away from the fence towards them as Rick stalled.

“Let’s go.” Daryl tried to prompt him, somewhat nervous at the close proximity of the walkers. Rick turned to look at him and then back at the dead before scooping up the first of the piglets, squeals filling the air around them as the pig struggled against the man’s blade for a moment before being left to the walkers.

Moving forward on his signal, Daryl put a decent amount of space in between them and the feeding walkers before Rick called out for him to stop once more, grabbing at the second piglet. He turned back to study the herd as they drifted away from the fence, giving the others a chance to prop it back up with wooden beams.

The third and final piglet sent blood spraying up at Rick’s own face, the man flinching away from it before releasing the animal. Daryl watched as he sunk into a seat position, lifting his hand to wave him forward after a moment. Throwing a glance back at the herd, he then pushed the car into forward, moving towards the bottom gate just as quickly as they had moved through it. Dead reached out eagerly as they moved, the big, metal gate pushing some of them against the spikes as someone pulled it open it up for them. There were no words from either of the men as Daryl pulled up next to the now empty wooden enclosure to let Rick out.

Watching as he turned to grab at one of the fence panels, Daryl swallowed the worry that begged him to say something. If he wanted to talk, he would talk, so instead Daryl turned back to the dirt road before him, moving the truck back up to where he had found it. He knew that the graves were waiting for him, bodies still left lying in the mid-day sun.

Nicole didn’t know what to do, watching Carl reach his father with worry as others walked away to resume their tasks. She wanted to help but she didn’t know how to.

With her hand shielding her eyes from the intense sun, she scanned the prison yard, finding Daryl by himself digging more graves. She covered the distance between herself and the makeshift and always expanding graveyard with long steps, the feet that only now were getting used to wear combat boots making enough noise for him to realize her presence.

Nicole didn’t say a word, grabbing at the free shovel that rested next to an already dug grave. She could feel his eyes on her for a second, before the sound of dirt being removed from the ground reached her ears again.
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Sorry for the delay, everybody. I know nothing special happened in this chapter, but I hope you've enjoyed it nonetheless. A big thanks to all of you who read this story!