"God, your shit at this." I teased as Jeremy had yet again missed the black bulls-eye I had drawn on the tree with a dry marker.
I lent him my Genesis compound to try and practice with but he failed miserably. My bow, which I had named Maya, wasn't a crossbow like Daryl's. I was an original model of a compound but mine just had a bit more gadgets on it.
My father had given it to me when I was 13 - not that that really mattered.
"You should stick to guns."
"Yeah, yeah, just keep laughing. I'm gonna save your ass one day." He flung the bow string back and aimed at the mark with one eye closed. He missed again by a long shot.
"See, your problem is you close one eye. You have to keep both your eyes open." I snatched Maya out of his hands. "Like this." I pulled back the bow string and got the mark on point. He pursed his lips. "I'm impressed."
I was interrupted by screams that sounded like Sophia and Carl. I looked at Jeremy for a moment before we both began racing through the woods. We were the first one's there and I ushered Carl and Sophia towards Lori as we ran to the place they were at before. We came face-to-face with a walker to what looked like was eating the remains of a dead deer. Shane, Rick, and Glenn appeared first - circling around the walker as if in a boxing match. I heard Amy and Andrea gasp from behind us, not liking the scene in front of them. The walker seemed to have noticed us as it stood up from it's crouched position and lunged towards Rick. The walker didn't even have a chance as everyone, including Morales, Jim, and Dale, began beating it with their weapons.
I rolled my eyes and stepped back, realizing I was no longer needed. Jeremy copied my actions, not seeing his need either. They were still beating the thing as if it was still a threat. It was only one walker - they didn't need to beat it senseless. One of my arrows in the head would end it. Dale finally ended it when he decapitated the walker's head with an axe.
"That's the first one we've had up here. They never come up this far up the mountain." Dale pointed out.
Everyone was breathing heavily after what had just happened.
Jim sighed. "They've been running out of food in the city, that's what."
We suddenly heard rustling from behind and everyone turned around, weapon at stance. Shane walked up to the sound and stood the closest, his rifle ready to shoot. But instead of our expected walker appearing, Daryl came out of the bushes. Everyone sighed in relief, knowing we didn't have to deal with another walker. I scoffed at the sight of Daryl, already knowing the trouble he was gonna cause when we would tell him what happened to Merle. "Son of a bitch." He said as he walked his way out of the bushes and tree stumps. "That's my deer. Look at it, all knawed on by this filthy, disease bearing, motherless, proxy, bastard!" He sneered as he kicked the walker's body with every word.
Dale spoke. "Calm down son. That's not helping any."
Daryl stalked angrily towards Dale. "What you know about it ol' man?!"
I stepped in front of Dale, as sort of protecting him. I knew what Daryl was capable of and I knew he wasn't afraid to hit any "old man".
He stopped in front of me, glaring at me for a moment. "You take that stupid hat and go back to 'on Golden Pond'."
He sighed as he turned around, his attention back on the deer. "Been tracking this deer for miles," He began pulling out his arrows from the deer's torso. "Was gonna drag it back to camp. What'd you think? Think we can cut around this chewed up part here?" He asked, pointing towards the area he was talking about.
Shane had a look of disgust on his face. "I would not risk that."
Daryl sighed. "It's a damn shame. Well, I got some squirrel - a dozen or so. That'll have to do."
A sound brought back my attention and I looked at the walker head and saw it's jaw begin to move. "Oh god." Amy groaned as she and Andrea left the scene is disgust. "C'mon people. What the hell?" Daryl reloaded his crossbow and shot the walker head straight in the eye. "It's gotta be the brain. Don't y'all know nothin'?"
He pulled out his arrow out of the walkers head and began walking towards camp, bumping shoulders with me as he passed. I scoffed at his childish actions and began walking towards the camp myself, Jeremy by my side.
"Merle, get your ugly ass out here!" Daryl shouted to his non-existent brother.
I was ready for the hell Daryl was about to give us.
"Got us some squirrel. Let's grill em' up."
I exchanged worried glances with Jeremy before Shane spoke. "Daryl, you need to slow up a bit. I need to talk to you."
He sent me a reassuring smile, which I didn't send back, as he walked towards Daryl. "Bout what?"
Shane ran a hand over his face. "Bout Merle. There was a...problem in Atlanta."
I stood next to Jeremy and Glenn and I saw Andrea, Amy, Jacqui, and Lori leaning against the RV. He looked at all of us, with a doubting look on his face. "He dead?"
Shane shook his head. "Not sure."
"He either is or he ain't!"
I looked over to Rick and gave him a look that he should say something; he nodded in agreement.
Rick walked towards Daryl. "No easy way to say it so I'll just say it."
"Who are you?"
"Rick Grimes," Daryl mocked. "You got something you wanna tell me?"
"Your brother was a danger to us all. So I handcuffed him to on a roof and hooked him on a piece of metal. He's still there."
At that moment, T-Dog appeared, wood logs stacked in his hands. Daryl walked a few steps ahead, wiping the sweat of his forehead.
"Hold on, let me process this. You say you handcuffed my brother to a roof and you left him there!?"
He looked over at me and we made eye contact as he glared at me. "I suppose you had somethin' to do with it!" He threw the line of squirrels he had caught angrily and began stalking towards me before Shane pushed him to the ground. Shane really didn't have to do that; I could've handled him myself any day. Daryl pulled out his knife, his attention on Rick now as he swiped his knife at Rick. Rick backed up and the knife missed him by inches he twisted Daryl arm back and Shane got him into a headlock.
Daryl struggled against Shane's grip. "Best let me go."
"Nah, I think it's better if I don't." Shane's grip seemed to grow tighter the more Daryl struggled.
"Yeah, well you can file a complaint."
Daryl fell to the floor on his knees, still in Shane's headlock.
Rick crouched down to Daryl's level. "I'd like to have a calm, discussion on this topic. You think you can manage that?"
"You think you can manage that?" He repeated after Daryl didn't reply. Shane hesitated but let go of his grip on Daryl's head, shoving it to the ground roughly. "What I did was not on the whim. Your brother does not work and play well with others." Rick explained.
T-Dog chimed in. "It's not Rick's fault. I had the key; I dropped it."
"Couldn't pick it up?"
"I dropped it in the drain." T-Dog admitted.
Daryl scoffed as he lifted himself off the ground. "If that's supposed to make me feel better, it don't."
"Well maybe this will. I chained the door to the roof so the geeks couldn't get at him - with a padlock."
I looked over at Jeremy before looking back at the scene before me. I actually though Daryl would take the news worse and maybe even go on a rampage. This Daryl was actually acting calm due to the situation.
Rick put his hands on his hips."That's gotta count for something."
Daryl stood there for a moment and he sniffed as he rubbed his eye, as if wiping away a tear. "To hell with all of y'all! Just tell me where he is so I can go get him."
"He'll show you. Isn't that right?" Lori said from her spot on the RV.
We all looked to Rick, awaiting his answer. "I'm going back."
Lori got a look on her face as she walked back into the RV. I could tell she didn't want her husband to go back there but knowing Rick for the short amount I have, he probably couldn't and wouldn't change his mind. Daryl stalked off angrily somewhere, the conversation over.