The Dead Walking 4

(This is the 4th book in The Dead Walking series) I hate death. Its not even the fact someone died really its the after math when you look back and think "maybe I could have done something" and it just eats away at you until you cant take it anymore. And it seems no one really understands it, but you so you are left to face it alone. Just like you're left to face everything else alone now because we're all just monsters too.

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21. Memories

           We've been walking for awhile now. I still haven't looked back. I don't think I can. Aria and Brian haven't stopped crying since we left him back there. To be honest I can't even stop the tears from flowing.

         After what seems like a life time, we stop. I am out of breath anyways. I plop down on the ground, unable to find a reason to keep myself standing. Everyone sits down, almost in a circle. And we just sit there, in silence. Carl still has a hold of my hand. I rest my head against his shoulder and close my eyes, regaining myself.

       After a moment I open them and look up at Carl. He stares back at me and after a moment he leans forward and gently presses his lips to mine. I guess I should feel self conscience considering we are surrounded by 4 little kids, but I'm too lost to care. His arm wraps around my waist and he pulls me closer to him. "I love you," he whispers against my lips.

      "I love you too," I whisper back.

      He kisses me for a second longer before pulling away. I smile just a tiny bit and I can feel my cheeks flush with color. He tucks a strand of my, now short blonde, behind my ear before pulling me off the ground. "Are you ready to get going again?" he asks me. I nod. "Then lets get going."

     Everyone recollects their stuff and we continue up the road.

 

                                                *************

 

    We surprisingly walk until the sun is starting to set. We stayed at a steady pace the whole way so it was easier to keep my breathing steady. It will be so nice when I don't have to worry about my breathing and not having to worry about hurting my ribs. It'll be nice to be back at WALMART where we don't have to constantly worry about walkers. I just wish Casey would be with us to enjoy it.

      I stare ahead and in the distance I can just make out a very larger building. It has a gate surrounding it. "Oh... my... God. Carl..." I gasp.

      "What?" he asks worriedly.

      "We're on the right road. Look!" I point ahead to where the building stands.

      I see a smile slowly form on his face. "The Prison," he says breathlessly.

      "What's that?" Melonie asks.

      "A place where we used to stay," I explain. "It used to be a prison."

      "You stayed in a prison?" Brian speaks up.

      "Yeah. It was really safe for awhile," Carl tells him.

      No one else says anything. "So are we going to stay there, then?" I ask him.

      Carl nods. "I don't see where else we could stay. Tomorrow we can stay at the house though," I smile at the thought. I'm ready to see the meadow again.

       It's probably another 15 or 20 minutes before we reach the Prison. The sun is just about gone, leaving the sky all different shades of orange and pink. It's beautiful. The gates are down, but the building will be safe for the night. We walk down the gravel path to where the gates used to open. Only this time we just step over the metal fence. There's a few stray walkers, but not enough for us to have to kill any. We just avoid them.

        We walk straight to the door that leads to what used to be the kids cell block. This will lead us straight to where mine and Carl's cell is. I open the door and peek my head in, checking for any sign of other people or walkers. "It's clear," I tell them.

       We all file in. Me first, Carl second, and the kids follow. I can't help, but giggle as all those memories me and Carl have here practically slap me in the face. "What is it?" Carl asks.

      "Nothing. Just thinking," I smile.

      He raises an eyebrow, but doesn't ask.

      I walk to the cell me and Carl used to share. "You guys can choose any cell you want. Me and Carl will be in here if you need us," I say.

      Everyone goes off to find a cell. 

      I take a seat on my bed and run my fingers across the sleek fabric. I remember what it felt like to sleep here, with Carl beside me. I also remember how I was so willing to leave this place for a store I couldn't care less about know. I was so stupid. How could I ever think that we should leave this place? This is home. This will always be our home... no matter what.

      "Why? Why did I ever want to leave this place?" I whisper.

      "Because you were scared. You thought you wanted to be alone, that you needed to leave. I don't blame you. I mean we got overrun twice while you were here. That's some scary stuff," Carl says.

      I shake my head. "Stop with the bullshit. You knew it was stupid. We should have just done what Rick said and brought supplies back here."

     "Hey," he rests his hand my cheek. "We're here now. It's in the past. We're together. Lets think about some good things."

     I fake a smile. "Like what?"

     "Oh I can think of plenty," he chuckles.

     "The ipod, the pony tail, our soccer game," I smile at the memories, a real smile. "I miss them."

     "Well I plan to have more," he smiles and reaches in his bag. He pulls out the ipod. "Oh my gosh! I didn't know you brought that!" I gasp.

     "Of course. I mean we planned on staying at the house... we needed something to do. We're not there now, but I think now is good a time as any to have some fun."

     "I think it's your turn to pick a song," I tell him.

     He scrolls through the list for a moment before picking a song. He presses play and the song starts. I don't recognize it, but it has a nice beat. I stand up and so does Carl. He grabs my hand and spins me around a little. I giggle as we spin and dance and just... let go. Somewhere near the end of the song Carl pulls me close to him and kisses me. I smile against his lips. I take a step back, my arms locked around his neck. I feel my back press against the wall. His hands rest on my hips. Just as the kiss gets a little deeper I hear a knock at the door.

     I look over Carl's shoulder to see Melonie standing there, awkwardly. I can feel myself blush. I here Carl chuckle. My arms fall away from his neck and he lets me go. "What is it?" I ask.

    "T-there's 2 dead people out there," Melonie says.

    "Oh... crap. I forgot about them. I'll deal with it."

    I walk across the room to the door. "What dead guys?" Carl asks.

    I stop. "When I went looking for Katy and Mark 4 guys brought them back here to take the rest of the guns we have here. I killed them so Katy and Mark could escape," I explain.

    "Oh..."

    I step out into the big open room and cross to the other side where the 2 bodies are laying. I remember how I had to kill them. I cringe at the memory. I sigh before bending down. I grab one leg from each of the bodies and drag them to the door that goes outside. Once I have them outside I drag them a little ways across the pavement. The bodies will attract walkers and I don't want them too close to the building.

     Once I've dragged them a good 20 feet away I let them go and start to walk back. That's when I hear the sound of footsteps. I spin around and whip out my sword, ignoring the pain in my ribs. I can just barely make out a figure in the darkness. It's walking straight toward me. I lift my sword and prepare to swing.

     "W-wait. It's me," I hear a voice in the darkness. No. How? It can't be.

     "Casey..." I gasp.

     "Yeah," he chuckles.

     "Oh my God. How?!"

     "I don't even know. But I need to rest. I'm about to fall over right now, I'm so exhausted," he tells me.

     "Yeah, come on."

     I lead him inside and find Carl and all the kids sitting on the table in the middle of the room. They all stand up, their eyes wide. Aria and Brian rush forward and pull him into a big hug. "Casey!" they coo.

     I smile and I see the light in Carl's eyes, telling me he's happy too. "You weren't bit?" I ask.

     He shakes his head. "Nope. I wouldn't have come back if I was bit."

    I shake my head in astonishment. "Well you can choose whatever cell you want to sleep in. We've all got ours picked," I tell him.

    He nods. "Okay."

    "Will you stay with us? Please," Aria pleads.

    "Of course," he smiles.

    Brian and Aria lead Casey back to their cell and Melonie and Joel go back to theirs, leaving me and Carl sitting out alone.

    "Is it bad I feel like I'm dreaming?" I ask him.

    He shakes his head. "No. I'm just as shocked as you are," he admits.

    "I'm glad though. I'm tired of loosing people."

    "Me too," he stands up and stretches. "I'm ready for bed," he tells me.

    I stand up too and we walk back to our cell.

    

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