"Cheyenne, can I talk to you for a moment?" Dale asked, interrupting my arrow sharpening. "I hate to interrupt..."
I smiled at him kindly. "No, it's fine. Uh, what is it?"
Dale shifted on his feet nervously. "It's about Shane."
I furrowed my eyebrows, wondering what could possibly be wrong with Shane. "What about him?"
"I know he's your uncle and I don't know; maybe I saw this wrong but...when Shane and Rick went out in the woods, I went to go check on them. And when I got there, I saw Shane pointing his riffle in Rick's direction." He sighed. I exhaled deeply and looked up at Dale. I don't think Shane would be capable of killing Rick. Rick is his best friend and Shane would do anything for him - including taking care of Rick's family.
"He looked...distressed and angry."
"I'll keep that mind Dale." I smiled wearily and began to sharpen my wooden arrows again. Dale must have got the message that I wanted to be alone and I soon heard his footsteps crunch under the fallen leaves; which meant he had left. Once he was out of sight, I threw the arrow I was working on on the ground harshly; starting to feel frustrated with Shane's actions. I didn't know what was wrong with him but I had a feeling it had to do with his 'on-going' relationship with Lori when they thought Rick was dead. If Shane continues to act this way, I know it's gonna end badly for him.
"We're not going."
I chuckled without amusement at the sudden, lucky streak we were having - note the sarcasm. "We have family in Birmingham. We wanna be with our people." Miranda stated, hugging her daughter closely. "You go on your own, you won't have anyone to watch your back." Shane warned.
Morales shook his head. "We'll take the chance. I gotta do what's best for my family."
"You sure?" Shane asked, not giving much effort into changing their minds. If they wanted to risk themselves and possibly get themselves killed, then they could go right ahead. But who says our chances are any better?
Morales nodded. "We talked about it. We're sure."
"All right." Rick agreed after a few seconds.
Shane and Rick gave Morales a gun and some spare ammo to which Daryl scoffed. I didn't agree with Daryl but I didn't necessarily disagree with him. I wasn't very close to Morales or his family and they were good people but on the other hand, it was pretty ridiculous how they were just leaving. Most of the group said their goodbye's and they packed into their own car and wouldn't be following us to the CDC.
"It's what he says he wants." Rick grumbled as we talked about Jim's situation.
He wanted to be dropped off here, in the middle of nowhere, to turn and be with his family. He didn't and probably couldn't make it to the CDC. Who even knows if we'll make it to the CDC or if anyone else will actually
"Back in the camp when I said Daryl might be right and you and Cheyenne shut me down, you both misunderstood. I would never go along with callously killing a man. I was just gonna suggest that we ask Jim what he wants." Dale reasoned. "And I think we have an answer."
I looked to Lori and Carol as grim expressions sketched onto their faces. I, for one, felt extremely bad. I'm a very hard person to figure out and my emotions aren't easily seen but from the look on Jeremy and Shane's faces, I could tell they knew I was distraught. Like I've mentioned before, I'm not very close to anyone in the group other than them and Andrea but now Amy's dead and Jim is close to dying. Could I think of a worse situation to be in? You know what, scratch that; I might've just jinxed myself.
Shane shook his head. "We just leave him here? We take off? Man, I'm not sure if I could live with that."
"It's not your call, either one of you." Lori said. "She's right. If Jim feels it's time then...so be it." I agreed.
Jim groaned as they set him on the dirt floor, leaning him against a tall tree.
"Hey, another damn tree." Jim joked light-halfheartedly.
Shane bent down to Jim's level. "Hey Jim, I mean, you know it doesn't need to be this way."
"No. It's good. The breeze feels nice." He grunted, exhaling another breath. Shane nodded and stepped back to give everyone room to say goodbye to Jim. Jacqui went up first, then Rick, Dale and so one. Everyone else had loaded into their cars and all that stood left was me.
"Hey Jim." I smiled wearily. "You sure about this? Why not just end it now?"
"I just don't want the easy way out. I want to go properly and not suicidal." He chuckled weakly.
I gave him a weak smile. "You and I both know we weren't the best of friends but I just want to thank you for everything you've done for this group from protecting us from walkers to assisting Dale with the RV. I'm not good with situations like these but...I really hope this ends well for you."
I knew physically speaking it wouldn't end well for him but he was going to be with his family again and that's all that really mattered. "You're a good woman Cheyenne, thank you." He said, understanding my reference.
I shot a smile once more before getting to my feet and walking back up the hill to load the RV with Jeremy. The RV started as so did the rest of the cars, heading towards our original destination and leaving behind Jim.
I grimaced as I got out of the RV, the smell of dead bodies polluting the air. The others smelt it as well and we're also grimacing. I felt a presence beside me and slightly smiled, despite our situation, once I knew it was Jeremy. A whole lot had just happened the last day or so and I'm still trying to recover from it - probably just like everyone else. I hadn't talked to Andrea in a while and I was getting worried. On the outside she seemed fine but I know on the inside, she was hurting real bad. I looked at my surroundings and spotted multiple dead walkers and flies swarming them. I tried taking small breathes to avoid breathing in all that stuff. Some of the group began coughing at the strong, horrible scent the dead walkers were radiating. I held up Maya by my chest protectively, prepared to defend the group in a dire situation. Rick instructed to walk and stay quiet since it was almost nightfall and this is the time when the city gets real bad.
We walked through the path of dead walkers and the stench became immediately ten times worse. I put my hand to my nose to try and cover up the smell as best as I could. My leather jacket had 3/4 sleeves so that wouldn't be good use for me. When we got to the entrance, the doors were protectively covered by strong, metal shutters. Shane and Rick began banging on them to try and get the attention of anyone who was inside there.
T-Dog shook his head. "There's nobody here."
"Then why are these shutters down?" Rick asked. "Walkers!" Daryl yelled, bringing everyone to attention. Daryl and I shot a walker each since we were the only ones with the quietest weapons. "You led us into a graveyard!" Daryl shouted at Rick. "He made a call." Jeremy yelled slightly less louder. "It was the wrong damn call!" Daryl shouted loudly again. He began walking towards Rick angrily before Shane pushed him away roughly telling him repeatedly to shut up.
Shane shook his head. "Rick, this is a dead end."
"Where are we gonna go?" Carol exclaimed worriedly. "She's right. We can't be here this close to the city after dark." Lori panicked. I sighed angrily as another one of Rick's plans failed. Everything just seemed to have been going wrong these last couple of days. But what can you expect from a world like this? "Fort Benning - Rick - it's still an option." Shane suggested with a worried look on his face.
Andrea sighed. "On what? No food, no fuel. That's 100 miles."
"125. I checked the map." Glenn added.
Lori rolled her eyes. "Forget Fort Benning. We need answers tonight, now."
"We'll think of something." Rick reassured her but his tone of voice said otherwise. After a few seconds, everyone agreed that it was time to go. We were getting nowhere just standing here and the clocks were ticking. Shane instructed everyone to go back to the cars before Rick spoke. "The camera--it moved."
"You imagined it." Said Dale.
Rick walked closer to the small, built-in white camera perched above the shutters.
"It's an automatic device. It's gears, okay? They're just winding you down. Now c'mon."
Shane began to pull Rick away from the door but he escaped his grip and began pounding on the doors once again.I stood beside Glenn, watching out for anymore walkers to fire on if they got too close. "You're killing us!" I heard Rick yell from behind me.
Everyone was panicking and shouting by now as the commotion level went up. Shane finally pulled Rick away from the doors and Lori had now joined her son's side after trying to get her husband to his senses. But moments later, a bright, white light illuminated from the opening doors; the gas hissing after not being open for so long.
We all stood there in shock; someone had finally decided to open the door for us, literally.