Sunday, September 29, 2013

What Tomorrow Will Bring

Carol woke to the sound of children laughing. For a moment she kept her eyes closed and pretended that laughter was a normal thing. She wanted to believe she hadn’t lived the last year of her life fighting the damn Walkers. She wanted to believe that Sophia was still alive. Ed, she could live with his death, but her daughter… the pain welled up inside her again, seizing her heart while the image of her daughter coming out of the barn played in her head. Then Daryl’s arms around her, holding her back. He had done more for her and Sophia than Ed had ever done.
Ed had molested Sophia. She’d known it all along, but hadn’t wanted to acknowledge it. If she pretended… She heard the children laughing again. Pretending didn’t stop reality. Breathing in a deep sigh, she opened her eyes. Daryl was gone. He’d left a Cherokee Rose on his pillow. She smiled, picking it up.  He never stayed the entire night. Cuddling wasn’t his thing. It wasn’t hers either. Still, it was nice when he came. He touched her in ways Ed never did. He looked at her the way a man should look at a woman.
Blurry eyed she left her cell, tucking the flower behind her ear. Beth was up feeding the baby. Again, her heart ached. Lori had given her life for Judith. It wasn’t fair, they had lost so many and Rick wasn’t holding things together too well. He was no longer the leader, having established a council. She and Daryl were on the council. Nothing got done without a vote. She missed letting Rick decide everything. It made things easier. Like what they had to do today.
“Has she said anything?”
Beth looked up, her eyes wide and innocent. Inside she was as tough as the rest of them. She looked towards the locked cell where the traitor was being held. “Not a word.” Beth smiled then, but it was faint, a little sad. “Daryl said for you to meet him in the yard when you got up.”
Carol nodded and after grabbing a bowl of cereal, she headed out to meet him. Beth had a crush on Daryl. She’d get over it. One of the new kids from Woodbury had been noticing her. Carol recognized the signs. She’d also noticed Carl noticing the new kid, noticing Beth. That little psycho was going to be trouble.
On her way, she began planning out her day. She had to teach the children how to handle a knife. Some of the kids were only four, but the dead didn’t care about age. Then there was the council meeting. What were they going to do with Karen? The bitch had been feeding the Walkers, aiding the Governor from within. She deserved to die. One of the Woodbury people had suggested an arena… chain her up outside with the dead. Rick would be against it. Besides, the chances of her turning too meant one more zombie to deal with. It would be easy though.
Daryl was standing where Axel had fallen. For a moment, a very brief moment, she wondered what things would have been like with him… if the Governor hadn’t shot him in the head. Then she felt the ache on the back of her neck where Daryl had bit her and knew she wouldn’t have been satisfied. Axel was the kind of guy that used a water pistol in a bank robbery and ended up in prison. He was good for comedy relief… still, he’d shown an interest. It made her feel good. She joined Daryl and handed him the bowl of cereal. He wouldn’t have thought to eat. Then she surveyed the fence line.
“We’ve had a pretty good buildup overnight. It’s nothing we can’t handle though.”
“They’re testing the fence. They’ve never done that before.”
Carol watched. It was true, they were looking for a weakness. She felt nervous, but this was a prison. The barrier should hold… except that the Governor had sent a truck through the gate a month ago. “I’ll talk to Glen, see if he can’t get some of the newbies together to secure it better.”
She turned to leave. Daryl touched her arm, stopping her. It was just a moment. They exchanged looks. She saw the pain there. He’d lost as much as she had.  Just as quickly as he touched her, he let go, glancing up at the watch tower. Adam, one of the men from Woodbury was there. He hadn’t noticed their exchange, he was on alert for zombies, not a fragile romance that was just beginning. Carol nodded and turned again, brushing her fingers across his. It was her response to his unspoken sentiment.  He didn’t have to say it… she knew. When you were trying to survive the apocalypse, saying I love you didn’t matter. It was actions, not words that would keep them safe. There’d be time enough later. And if not…  She looked back at Daryl. He was on his knees, playing with the mutt he'd found.  Carol smiled. It seemed so normal... a man and his dog. Maybe there was a future for them. 

She touched her belly. She couldn’t feel the baby yet, but it was only a matter of time. She hadn’t told him yet. She didn’t know when she would. She’d wait and see what tomorrow would bring.


Word Count: 901



  1. I love this Lisa, you've touched the fragility of life, of survival, and the need for bonds...burgeoning ones...

  2. Oh, this is lovely, Lisa! The storyline is so realistic I felt like I was watching the show!! And a baby? That made me smile!! Wonderful!! ;)

  3. Nice job, Lisa! Ah, neck biting...

  4. Ooh, this is just gorgeous! Beautiful story telling bringing normality into a senseless world. xxx

  5. Great piece, flowed so well. And it looks like Jeanie is on the way! ( ; >

  6. Like how you show the characters as human, even living every day facing death. :)

  7. Ooooh, nice ending with the pregnancy. I like it. Great sense of presence in this piece. Nice work, Lisa!