June 17, 2010
Footsteps outside of my tent woke me up, but I didn't stir. As usual, I had to check to see if the footsteps belonged to a beating heart or a still one.
I listened to the footsteps, quickly figuring that they were from a breathing person. A Walker's footsteps are slow and jagged, unlike any human's. Plus, I hadn't heard any moaning.
Grabbing my trusty steel bat, I quietly unzipped my tent and poked my head out to see Lori Grimes tip-toeing back to her tent, which happened to be about two tents away from mine. I rolled my eyes and stepped out of the tent. The sun was just starting to come up, but once I get up, I'm up.
Ever since Rick's death, Lori and Shane had formed some kind of relationship. Rick was Lori's deceased husband and Shane's co-worker 'slash' best friend. Not only had Shane, Rick, and I all grew up together, but the two boys had joined the police force together in an attempt to make good names for themselves after a troublesome high-school career.
The two had been out on patrol together when a runaway shot Rick, putting him into a deep coma. At the start of the zombie outbreak, Shane and I had raced to the hospital to save Rick, but Shane had told me that Rick had passed and that getting his body out of the walker-infested hospital was nothing but a suicide mission.
After growing up with Rick, I've always been jealous of Lori—I'll admit, I did have a little crush on the man. I always used to dream of having a guy like Rick for myself, but I know that finding one in an apocalypse is a crazy thought.
"Back from Shane's tent?" I asked Lori, surprising the widow. Lori jumped, her hand flying to her chest.
"Goodness, Harper, you scared me!" Lori whispered, trying not to wake the rest of the camp up.
I shrugged for an apology, since I didn't really want to apologize. How dare she tease my brother when it was clear that she was still mourning Rick?
"Just curious. But I'm surprised that he let you come back this early in the morning. With nobody else awake, you could have easily been walker bait," I sighed, lightly popping the bat back and forth between hands. Lori looked towards the ground and crossed her arms.
"He was sleeping. I left on my own,". I made a 'tsk' sound and shook my head.
"Your death sentence, not mine. Get some sleep, I guess. It'll be a few hours before everyone wakes up,"
After nodding towards Lori, I headed up towards the ash-covered campfire that was placed directly in the middle of the Quarry that our group lived at.
The Quarry, our forest-based home, was located about a mile or so outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I, Shane, Lori and her son, Carl, had traveled to Atlanta after hearing of a safe haven there, only to witness sections of the town getting blown to pieces. As for the remains of the city, they are overrun with walkers.
Every few days select people from our group make 'runs' or trips into the city for supplies. The group consists of about nineteen to twenty people; the Grimes, Walshes, Dixons, Peletiers, Morales, and so on.
My-self and company ran into sisters Andrea and Amy first, along with their friend Dale Horvath; they had found Dale a while back, apparently. Next was the Peletiers, etc.
Once reaching the middle of the Quarry, I turned left and headed for the group's large RV, which was once driven by Dale.
"It was a bad day to drive this clunker around," Dale would always joke, but in reality, it was a blessing in disguise. Such a big vehicle allowed the group to travel with more things.
I shielded my grey eyes from the blinding sun that had almost reached its peak to see Glenn sitting atop the RV, binoculars in hand. I grabbed onto the RV's rungs and made my way to the top; Glenn turned to face me once I reached him.
"You're up early, Harper," he noticed, placing the binoculars down by his feet. I shrugged, tapping my foot.
"Couldn't sleep," was my excuse. Glenn nodded slowly before yawning.
"Want me to take over? The group is going to be up soon, and you need some sleep before our next trip into the city," I offered, sitting down next to Glenn as I propped my sock-covered feet up onto his lap.
Glenn blushed at the contact, but his face was still grim. Out of everybody here, Glenn knew the layout of the city the best, which made him a shoe-in for supply trips; however, the city still terrified the shit out of him. After all, it IS crawling with Walkers!
Glenn yawned again and stood up, brushing imaginary dirt off of his pants. We both watched my feet clank against the roof of the RV, both of us hoping that the loud sound wouldn't wake Dale.
"Thanks. I'm gonna need the sleep; Merle's coming on this trip," Glenn sighed, shooting me a worried look. My eyebrows shot up; Merle Dixon was going?
"Merle.. Merle Dixon? Is going into the city instead of hunting? What is he on?" I giggled, picking up the binoculars.
"That's exactly it. He's on everything! That's why he wants to go into the city. Says he 'knows people there'," Glenn rolled his eyes, but smiled at the sight of me laughing at his comments.
"Daryl's going to love that," I replied, thinking of the younger country boy.
The Dixon brothers were from the South, both tough and strong. Out of both of them, Merle was the one that everyone really couldn't stand; he's pretty racist and is always hyped up on some kind of drug. The group knew that there was a reason for it, but nobody asked. Daryl was basically his babysitter.
Daryl, on the other hand, was the quieter and reserved younger brother, unless you confronted him. Daryl knew when to be tough; Merle didn't. My eyes drifted over to Daryl's tent which was placed next to his brother's for a few seconds before clapping Glenn on the back.
"Get some sleep, Pizza Boy. We need you to be at your best," I joked. Glenn chuckled as he shook his head.
"Pizza Boy... How would you feel if I called you Waitress Babe?" Glenn retorted. I shrugged, smiling.
"Hey, I made a lot of more money than you did, Glenn!".