I take a deep breath, steadying myself, preparing for what's about to happen. We walk along the side until we reach a window. "I'll boost you up, get a look inside... see what we're dealing with," Carl tells me.
I sigh heavily. My ribs have been hurting a lot lately. I'm kind of afraid they're not healing right. "Okay," I nod.
"I wont let you fall. I promise."
He ducks down. "You want me... to stand... on your shoulders?" I ask, my eyes wide.
He chuckles. "What are you scared?" he challenges. "Just trust me."
I do trust him. I shake my head a little as I put one foot on his right shoulder. To be honest I'm afraid I'll hurt him. "Are you-"
I put my other foot on his left shoulder and I feel his hands grip the bottom of my legs as he stands. I fall forward a little bit but catch myself on the side of the house. I'm just barely able to see in the widow. I look into the cabin that looks to be made of just 1 big room and maybe 1 or 2 tiny rooms that I'm guessing is a bathroom and bedroom... but I don't even know. The roof is a lot higher than they average house too, probably 10 feet at the highest point. The interior is a lot like the outside color. A mixture of all different browns.
Down on the floor I see our group. All tied up and defeated. Each and every one gagged, their hands tied. I don't see Judith anywhere. My eyes scan the room, over and over again, taking in every inch... she isn't there. Don't freak out. Don't freak out. Just... think. Carl needs to focus... and so do you! I shake my head relieving it from the thought. I look back down to the floor and count how many people I see. 10. 11 if you count the guard I killed. 10 of them... and 2 of us. Our odds aren't looking to good.
"What do you see?" he asks.
I look down at him, trying to make my eyes look hopeful. He was right before, it is a suicide mission. I just cant let that take over me... or really... I'm already dead. "There's 10 of them... they have them all in the biggest room, when you first walk in, all the way in the back. I don't know what they plan on doing to them, but they're all tied up..."
He sighs. "Alright. I'm gonna lower you," he warns.
He slowly bends down and I feel myself falling forward, again, and soon I am falling. I gasp as I land softly in his arms. He sets me down, firm on my feet. I don't even say anything. We creep toward the door and Carl takes the lead. I raise an eyebrow. "What are you doing?"
"I'm going first... in case they start shooting. You need to get to our group and untie as many as you can... so we have more people to help."
My eyes bore into his. "Are you kidding me? No," I shake my head. "That is a suicide mission. We need to go in together. You're not gonna be my shield!"
Without a word he whips and around and slings the door open, his pistol in his hand. My heart beats fast as I jump up behind him and the sound of a gunshot goes off. The bullet misses him by inches. Without thinking I throw my knife across the room towards our group. If they can get they'll be able to cut the ropes off themselves. I sling my machine gun off my shoulder and duck to the side shooting at anyone I can. A bullet wizzes past my arm. I shoot the man and take a step back. Taking in my surroundings. It's all out war. I see that Glenn is out and Maggie is working on it.
Everything is just... so crazy. Bullets flying everywhere. I guess in a way it is my fault when I take another step back. I guess I should have paid more attention, but when I feel the barrel of the gun press up against my temple, I know I made a mistake. "Izzy!" Carl yells from across the room. He raises his pistol aiming at the man behind me. I jerk away, trying to get out of his grip, but his hands are rough... too strong for me to fight against. I shut my eyes and hear 2 gunshots. I'm surprised when I don't hear the gun beside me go off. I feel the man's arm fall from around me and I open my eyes.
It is my fault. I didn't pay more attention and now it's my fault. It's my fault that Carl is over there, gripping his side where the other bullet hit him. It's my fault that Carl had to shoot the man that was about to kill me, giving the others a chance to shoot him. It's strange the feeling you get, knowing someone you love is hurt because of you. Wow, is that how he felt? It seems like an eternity before I can think of how to move again. I shoot again and again, I don't even care how much noise it makes, or how many bullets are leaving the gun.
Soon the others take over and I'm able to make my way to Carl. He's lying on the cold, hard floor. His blue jacket is stained with a large red circle of blood on his right side. His face is scowled and his forehead wrinkled as he fights again the pain. He's bleeding bad. A lot more than he can. I can feel my heart start beating again, faster and faster, daring to just break out of my chest. I put a hand over the stain trying to put as much pressure as I can. He groans, loudly.
"C-carl... I... I don't know what to do!" I half scream, tears streaming down my face.
He grabs a hold of my shirt, gripping it as tight as he can as if it makes it hurt less. "Go... find Judith. There's... there's nothing you can do," he shakes his head, the sweat gluing his hair to his face.
"No. No," I shake my head fast, my hands are shaking so much more they have ever before.
Death, is everywhere. It always has been. But I can feel it now.