The Walking Dead - Too Far Gone - Part 1

Hello, fellow Walking Dead Game fanatics. Over the past few days I have been planning and writing my own story based in the Walking Dead Universe and I would like to share it with you.

The story starts off with Harry, a troubled survivor with a foggy past. He is smart and level headed, which can come in handy in the world run by the undead. He is caring and kind, two traits that are rare to come by over a year into the apocolypse. In a world that has gone to shit, can he make the right choices, and mantain his humanity? After all, you cant always save everyone...

One last note from me: I will be posting 5 chapters at a time, starting here. Comments are welcome, I like constructive ones but none that are too harsh please. If you do not like the story, please do not hate on it, just leave. Thank you, and enjoy.

The Walking Dead - Too Far Gone - Episode 1 A New Beginning

Chapter 1 - The Woods

My breath is short and quick as I keep sprinting. I hear the gunfire behind me, but I dont dare turn and look back. That would be a death sentence. They are running behind me, the loud footsteps crashing on the road. The trees that border the long, grey road are like walls of foliage that could be a safe shelter or deadly home to all sorts of animals that want to kill me. A bullet whizzes past me, so I duck my head.
"You cant run forever, you bastard!" A rough voice shouts to me from behind. More voices murmer in agreement and more bullets fly. The road carries on forever, with no signs of stopping. Do I dare take my chances in the woods? I dont even have time to consider my options as a bullet finds its way into my forearm. Pain blinds me for a second as I stumble forwards. I keep running though, to stop would be a death sentence.
"I got him! I got him!" One goofily laughs.
"Go to hell, you redneck pricks!" I confidently yell back to them. Roars of outrage meet my call. Blood seeping through my shirt, I swing my arm in front of me. This way, I can sort of survey the damage without stopping. The bullet seems to have gone through, which is good. It will be easier to clean and prevent infection now. Still, the amount of blood is worrying. I need to lose these bastards, and I cant on this goddamned road. I dive into the cover of the tall pine trees, opening myself to a new set of dangers.

I crawl into a bush just as the people run into the area.
"Where the fuck did he go?" one says.
"I dont know, keep looking. He cant have gone far," another mutters. Its scary how close some get to my natural shelter. Without making a sound, I slip of my backpack and reach inside for my knife. I pull it out as my fingers grip the hilt. A long blade, maybe 7 inches with a serrated area near the bottom so I can cut through wood and other thick materials. The silver blade catches a ray of sun and bounces it away. I hold it out in front of me, just in case of the people or the Walkers. Walkers are undead corpses that walk around, their goal, to eat. If one bites you, you die. To make matters worse, you turn into one of them afterwards. It doesnt have to be a bite to make you turn, as long as you die without destroying the brain, you turn. So, always aim for the head. Thats a top tip in the Apocolypse. I peek out of the bush at the people, who have drifted a little further away. They are all brandishing fully automatic assault rifles, where they got them is unknown. They are all rednecks, all too trigger happy and all pissed off at me. I have to admit, I got reckless. I had monitored their camp for ages and saw an opening to get some food. Unfortunately for me, it didnt go to plan and before I knew it, I had five, very pissed assholes with guns chasing me. It doesnt look good for me, with my knife only. I have a gun, a small rusty Makarov pistol, but it is out of ammo. I just keep it in my backpack. I peer out the bush again, and see none of the men. Relieved, I step out. I realise how big a mistake I just made when I feel the rough hand grab the scruff of my neck.

"I got him! I got the bastard!" A voice behind me giggles. I feel the barrel of a gun pressed between my shoulderblades as I squirm. Luckily, the others have gone further in and we are unable to see them. I try to stay calm. I tell myself that I am smart, that I can get out of this. The odds are slim, but I should be able to pull something from my sleeve. I have learnt a lot over the last few motnths in regards to survival.
"Turn around!" the man barks at me and I slowly spin to face him. He has lots of scars on his face and arms, and he has a mop of messy red hair. He looks at my arm.
"Boy, I am proud of that shot!" He smiles, revealing blackened teeth.
"It was you?" I ask carefully.
"Yeah. Its a shame it didnt hit you in the head though. Oh well, I can do that now," he giggles again. I look around frantically.
"Hey, look at me!" He pokes me again with the gun. I focus on his ugle face now, but out of the corner of my eye I see something. I dart my eyes quickly to it then back to the man. With its stumbling walk and dull moan, it must be a Walker.

The man sees me look at the Walker a second time.
"What the fuck you looking at?" He snarls and looks away for five seconds. Thats all the time I need. I am able to grab my knife from my waist and plunge it straight into my captors throat. His eyes are filled with panic as he falls to the ground and drowns in his own blood. He struggles for a bit, then falls limp. Dead. I spit on him.
"I win," I mutter as I pick up his gun. An AK-47. I wonder where he found that. The Walker gets closer as I loot the dead body. Two cans of beans, a can opener, matches and some ammo for my new weapon. The Walker is now only a few metres away. From here I recognize him as one of the assholes that were following me as I ran. One of the assholes I tried to steal from. I decide not to use my AK as it will make too much noise. Instead, I kick the corpse to the ground and stamp on its head a few times.

One thing I have perfected since the start of the apocolypse is to not focus too much on the Walker I am about to kill. Never write a eulogy, never try and work out what thier past selves were like and never ever hesitate when it comes to putting them down.

The body falls with a dull thud, right next to his friend. In all the excitement, I have forgotten about my bullet wound, which is still bleeding. I think about using some of the materials from the dead bodies clothes a a bandage, but go against it. I dont want an infection. I hear moans, loud and clear. More Walkers have tracked us down. Some of them are heavily decomposed, their skin grey with miscomfort and series of wounds that litter the corpse. Some, however, are freshly turned victims. These ones are fresh and have barely rotted yet. Still, all of them have the same pearly white eyes. There are too many for me to hold off, so I run for it. Tripping over tree roots and shrubs, I run in one direction and never look back.

Chapter 2 - Survival Skills

I keep running until my mind is foggy and unfocused. My arm has bled more, and droplets of the crimson liquid fall to the ground. I look around, my vision blurry. I cannot see any more Walkers, which is good. I keep running though, and when I cant run any more, I slow to a jog, and when I cant jog any longer, I walk. After what feels like forever, I finally stop and rest. I take in my surroundings. All around me is the same tall North Carolina trees that make me feel small. I shiver as a small gust of freezing wind whistles past me. I shouldnt have come into the woods, this is a dangerous place to be in.
"Stay calm, Harry. You havent survived for the past year to be shredded apart by a fucking bear," I whisper to myself. I grip my gun a little more tightly every time I hear a noise. My footsteps scare the daylights out of me. Leaves crunch underfoot and birds shriek up above me. I shake my head as if to get rid of the fear. I shouldnt be scared, I am a survivor. I get my bearings. I am in the woods, alone, barely any food or water, injured. I have had better days. I feel woozy. It could be from blood loss, or lack of sleep or anything. My arm is throbbing, and. I decide to just look at it. I have put it off for long enough, now I have to check it. I swing it in front of me and adjust the sleeve. Its a clean shot, luckily for me. If the bullet was still in it, the risk of infection would be much higher. This doesnt change the fact that my arm is a bloody mess. I wipe some of the blood away with my free hand in order to look at my pale skin. Apart from the wound, my arm looks alright. I was checking for blood poisoning, which I luckily dont have. There are no red streaks on the skin. I sigh in relief. If I can get my hands on some bandages and some pain killers, I can sort this out easily.

I carry on walking through the woods, desperate for a building or at least some shelter to spend the night. The sky is a deep orange, which clashes with the dark green of the leaves. By the placement of the sun, I make it to be late evening. It gets cold out after dark, sometimes the temperature drops to below zero. Tonight is no different to every other autumn night. I keep venturing forwards, praying for some hope. While I walk, I open one of my precious cans. Beans. I would make a fire, but I do not want to risk my matches so I eat them raw. I shovel them down using the bent lid as a spoon. In the distance, I hear dogs howling. The sound chills me to the bone. I watch as the sun falls and the ground swallows it whole, all light extiguishing. I stop and decide that this is as far as I am going to go tonight. I look around for anything to cover me from the unforgiving wind. Of course I find nothing. When one gust leaves me shivering uncontrollably, I give in and use one of my precious matches to create a small fire. The flames start small, but grow when I add a few sticks. I try to sleep, but my arm is still causing me pain. I sit and think for anything that I can find in the woods that will help and settle on something. I search around some tree trunks until I find the sticky substance. Tree sap. With my knife, I dig some out and spread it across my wound. Sap fights infection, so hopefully my arm should stop throbbing as much. Just because it isnt visible like blood poisoning doesnt mean that whatever is causing my arm to hurt isnt lethal. I shudder as the sap is pasted over my wound. Finally, I think I can sleep. I lay my head on a pillow of leaves and wait for sleep to swallow me whole.

When I awake, my nostrils fill with the smell of smoke and ash. My pathetic fire has long burnt out. I judge it to be early morning as the air is still cold and fresh but the sun is up. I check my arm, which is looking better. I silently thank my old friend, Victor. Victor was leader of a small group that I was in a few months ago. He was a scout camp leader before the apocolypse, so he knew a lot of survival skills. He was a God to us during hunting season. We didnt starve because of his snares. He taught me many handy survival skills. Without him, I dont think I would be alive today. Funnily enough, one of his snares caught his leg once. It was such a good knot that he couldnt undo it. He couldnt do anything about the Walker that attacked and bit him. I kick some dirt over the remains of my fire and keep moving. I keep trudging through the woods, thinking that if I can survive through one night, I can survive period. Throughout the day, I dont see a Walker, which I read as a good thing. In fact, I go through the day without a hitch. Until I reach the river.

In my path is a river. It is quite wide and I see no bridge across. A sign next to the water tells me that the current it strong and that I shouldnt try and wade through it. The green water foams as it hits the rocks that stand crooked and forlorn. I dont want to battle the current, even though I am a fairly good swimmer. If I were at my house, I would go up into the attic and bring down my swim team medals from high school to prove my point. But no, I am here, contemplating my options. The rocks are close enough for me to jump across, but do I take the risk? Before I can think about it too much, I leap for the first rock. I slip a little, but maintain my balance. I prepare to jump to the next. The rock slips a little when I land. Halfway there, only one more rock and two more jumps next. I am about to spring to the next when I feel a hand reach around my ankle.

The Walker drags me into the water, frantically trying to get to me. I am thrusted underwater, choking. The Walker reaches for me, its mouth open wide. The current pulls us both away from the rocks. We drift down the river. I try to get to the surface but I am not strong enough. Its good to know that the sign wasnt lying. The Walker grabs me again, this time by the arm. It almost bites me but I kick it away. It spirals away, with its hand still around me. I gasp for air but instead crash into another rock, further down the river. The impact winds me. I am still submerged, thrashing around. I feel another hand clamp around mine. I try to beat it away, thinking it is the Walker again but instead I am pulled above the water. I am able to breathe in again, but after coughing up what must be a litre of water. I am on all fours, desperately trying to fill my lungs when I hear a male voice.
"You crazy bastard!"

Chapter 3 - A New Group

I cough a little while more before I can answer, still staring at the ground.
"" Is all I can say before I fall to the ground.
"I am Sam, I would shake your hand but I think it is wise for you to focus on breathing again." I roll over to see my savior. Standing over me is a middle aged man, his jet black hair has streaks of grey in it.
"No, no...I am good," I say, slowly standing. I can see his eyes now, a misty grey.
"Are you gonna introduce yourself?" He places his hands on his hips.
"Thank you...for saving me," I ignore him for now.
"Ah, its nothing. I was watching you prance like a ballerina over those rocks. I have to admit I laughed a little when you fell in. I stopped when you didnt come back up. I saw you in the water fighting the Walker then crash into the rock. I decided I betetr help you, or I will never forgive myself," he says.
"Well...thank you," I pant. He walks past me and stoops down to pick up my pack and gun.
"This is your," he holds it out and I take it. I am soaking wet and chilled to the bone. He must have seen me shiver.
"Hey, take this," he unbuttons his jacket and wraps it around me.
"You...are too..kind," I sniffle.
"Well, thats kind of you to say that. I just want to help ya, I am not willing to let you drown or freeze to death. Those are shitty ways to die."
"Are you sure you dont want the jacket, it is cold."
"Nah, dont worry about it. Now, are you gonna tell me your name or not?"
"Harry...its Harry."
"Well, nice to meet you Harry. Are you alone out here?" He asks and I nod.
"Do you want to come with me? I can tidy you up back at our camp and if you wann leave, you can do."
"Yes, please," I say and he leads me away from the river. We start walking through the woods. I am still dripping wet.
"So, Harry, where you from?" He asks as we walk.
"Georgia, Atlanta."
"Oh? Is it as bad there?" He asks and I only nod. The horrors I saw in the city when it first started were enough to traumatize me. I locked myself away for a long time, and only came out when I heard a knock at the door. Victor got me out of the city, along with a few others.
"Why did you come here, to North Carolina?"
"My old group came this way. I just followed. I didnt know where else to go then. They are dead now," I frown.
"Oh, well I am sorry to hear that."
"Do you have one?"
"A group, do you have a group?" I ask.
"Yes, I do. There are five of us in total. We are holed up in diner just up ahead. It good," he smiles to himself.
"Is it safe there?"
"We have being trying to make it as safe as we can. Maybe you could help out?"
"Its the least I can do."

We break out of the woods onto a road. On the other side of it, stands a diner. It is a large, white building with a red stripe that wraps around it. The windows are heavily boarded up and there is a small barbed wire fence hung across some cars that cover the front side.
"Holy shit," I breathe. Sam smiles.
"Told you it was safe. Nothing will ever bother us here," he exclaims and walks across the road. He takes quite large steps, making it hard to keep up with him. He knocks on the front door.
"Hey, its me!" He says through the door. It swings open. Standing there is a quite large woman. She has brown hair which is packed into a bun that rested on her head. She hugs Sam as he walks through the door. I cower behind him.
"Hello, honey," he says to the woman.
"Sam! Thank God you are OK!" She beams. She sees me behind him.
"Who is this?" Her smile turns to a frown.
"Honey, this is Harry. I saved him."
"You saved him?"
"Yes he did. He is a good man," I perk up and shake the womans hand.
"Hello, dear. I am Hazel. Why are you wet?"
"I fell in the river." She tuts.
"Come in, come in. Lets get you dry," she yanks inside. Inside the diner it is quite neat. The floor is black and white checkered tiles, and boothes line the walls. There is a kitchen tucked in one corner and a door I guess must lead to some toilets. Tables and chairs line the walls, out the way. I whistle.
"Look at this place," I whisper.
"I know, we were like that when we first found it," Hazel says. As I listen, I hear a slight french accent. She rushes off and comes back with a towel. She hands it to me, and I start drying myself.
"This place is well defendable, we have barricaded the windows and doors heavily. We have plenty of food, water and supplies. We are pretty well stocked, and the garden is coming along great," Sam tells me. I am amazed. The kitchen door swings open and a woman walks out, her face in a book.
"Sam, could you help Brian with-" she stops when she sees me.
"Who is this?" She asks. I cant help but admire how pretty she is. The woman has a curtain of silky, dirty blonde hair that cascades down her shoulders. Her eyes are a chocolate brown and lips are full but slightly chapped.
"Becca, this is Harry. He fell in the river and I helped him out," Sam says. Becca stays still, looking at my with wide eyes. I am also frozen.
"Um, hi," she says breathlessly.
"Hey," I wave a little. I blush, aware of how stupid I must look. Damp and speechless.
"Excuse me," she runs back into the kitchen.
"Thats Becca. I dont know why she is so flustered," Hazel frowns. As Sam keeps talking, I carry on thinking about the girl. She looked around my age, but she was smaller. As if to clear my head, I scrub at it with the towel.

I sit down, still in awe at the diner. Hazel brings me a plate of food. As I eat, she catches my arm wound.
"Oh my gosh! What happened?!" She carefully holds it.
"Just some assholes that shot me, no big deal."
"Honey, you have been shot! Thats a big deal!"
"Its fine, I-"
"No, no. I am a nurse. I can help!" She runs into the kitchen and comes back with a first aid kit. She takes my arm again. Her touch is delicate, like a butterfly kanding on me. She goes to work on my arm.
"So, Harry, where are you from?" She asks, her attention still on my arm.
"Oh Georgia, Sam and I used to go on trips to Savannah. Is it bad there?"
"Its like everywhere else," I lie. The streets of Savannah are packed with Walkers. Even more than Atlanta. I went there in the early months, my parents lived there. I never found them, instead I found hell on earth.
"Oh. Thats a shame. We would go on boat trips there."
"How long have you been married?"
"Almost 25 years, can you believe that? Our anniversary is on November 11th. Only two months away!"
"Wow. So is it only you three here? You, Sam and Becca?"
"Oh no, this place is too big for just us three! There is Gary, who is out back working on his farm and Brian, he is out checking the area like Sam was."
"Checking the area for what?"
"Oh, Sam didnt tell you? There is a horde on its way, and it will supposedly run straight through here. We are preparing for the worst," she says gravely. Hordes are large groups of Walkers that are lethal. I have only encountered two. One was in Atlanta, another in the woods. That was when Victor died.
"Oh shit. What can I do to help?" I ask.
"Ask Sam, he runs this place. I only fix injuries and cook. There, all done," she smiles and I look at my arm. It is bandaged and cleaned.
"You are smart, the sap was a good idea," she pats my arm.
"Thank you, Hazel."
"No problem, Harry."

Chapter 4 - The Group

I walk to the kitchen, where I saw Sam go into when her walked off. The kitchen is small but filled with cooking things. Ovens, dishwashers, sinks. Half of the stuff is useless without electricity. Becca is sitting on a counter, reading the book.
"Oh, hello again," she says when she looks up.
"Hello, Becca," I feel my cheeks getting hotter again.
"Sam said you fell in the river. Did you try to cross from the rocks?"
"Yes. How did you know?"
"I did the exact same thing. Slipped and fell. Sam saved me too."
"Well, I didnt slip. Some poor bastard must have drowned and turned. He pulled me in."
"Well, you arent as clumsy as me then," she laughs. I can feel the awkwardness in the air.
" are you feeling about the horde?" I ask.
"Oh, you know about that? To be honest, I think we can do it. I think we can hold it off. If we stay silent, it should pass. If Gary cant keep his mouth shut, I am a good shot," she touches the pistol she has next to her. I recognize the make.
"I have the same type, a Makarov?" I pull mine out of my pack.
"It is out of ammo though."
"Oh, thats a shame," she says. It looks like she is thinking hard, before she digs into her pack. She pulls out some bullets.
"Here, load it. Just promise to save my ass with them if you need to," she hands them to me.
"Will do, thanks, Becca."
"Dont mention it. Didnt you want to see Sam?"
"Oh shit, yeah!"
"Through that door," she points to the back door and I go through.

I am standing in the fire exit of the diner, which is just a small area behind it. I look in amazement at what I see. Plants, growing plants! Sam and another man are standing there.
"Harry!" Sam exclaims when he sees me.
"Hey, Sam."
"Harry, this is Gary. He is our gardener."
"Hello, Harry," the man says. He is weedy and has thick glasses which magnify his eyes to twice their normal size. His hair is like a nest of black hair. He looks like a typical nerd, but in his eyes I see a fire at proves he is a survivor. I shake his hand.
"What are you growing?" I ask.
"Oh, just strawberries, tomatoes and carrots. These fruits and vegatable provide us with needed nutrients and vitamins. Also, Hazel makes a mean stew with them, you need to try it. Its a shame that we do not have any fresh meat, that is always-"
"Gary," Sam stops him. I see why Becca said what she said about him. He talks in a fast, loud manner.
"Yes, yes. Sorry. I get carried away. Brian says it is from shock, from a traumatizing event that has-"
"Yes. Yes," he pushes his glasses further up his nose.
"Have you seen some bad stuff then?" I ask.
"Well, who hasnt now. A few months ago, I saw a three men tie down a woman and-"
"Gary! Stop!" Sam hits him lightly on the back of the head.
"I am sorry, Sam," he says and focuses on the plants again. Sam leads me away from him. I hear him talking to himself as he works.
"Im sorry about that. Gary is a bit fucked up in the head."
"Dont be, we all are now really."
"True. He saw his mother and sister get ripped apart in front of him. They were with us a while ago."
"Thats enough to make anyone crazy."
"Yeah. After the "incident", Gary was really depressed. He wouldnt eat, wouldnt sleep. I thought he was gonna kill himself. But then Brian suggested the idea of starting a farm, and that lit him up like a bulb. He has done a good job on it."
"Where is this Brian?"
"Oh, he was out doing what I was doing. Watching the horde. Only I didnt find the horde, I found you."
"Thanks again, Sam. For everything. You guys are really kind."
"You are a good person, Harry. We are happy to have you with us."

The sun is setting when we all hear a knock at the door. Hazel rushes to it from the kitchen and opens it. I do not see the person straight away, Hazels large figure is blocking them.
"Brian!" She squeals and lets him pass. Brian walks in, pale and tall. He has a shaven head and sea green eyes. He towers over everyone else, giving him an aura of smugness.
"Hazel," he nods and walks directly to Sam.
"I saw it. The horde. My guess is it will be here by tommorow night. Its bad, Sam. Really bad," he mutters, his voice gravelly. Sam only nods, he is speechless.
"What? I thought you said it was further away?" I ask and Brian spins around. He lifts his rifle and aims at me.
"Start talking, now. Who the fuck are you?!" He yells. The group start all talking at once. I hear Gary rambling on, Hazel screaming about food and Sam swearing under his breath.
"I am Harry. Sam saved me earlier, I have been here all afternoon," I say calmly, not moving. Brians lip curls and he turns to Sam. He lowers the gun.
"You saved him?! Him?! Why?"
"He was drowning in the river. I wasnt gonna stand there and was him die!" Sam defends himself.
"You should have left him! He gonna cause problems, I know it!"
"Hey, fuck you buddy! I didnt ask to almost die! What is your problem?" I say.
"I just think it is a bit suspicious that you show up a day before a horde shows up, thats all," he yells and walks into the kitchen. The room goes silent except for Gary muttering about Hazels stew.
"Ignore him, he has trust issues," Becca sighs.
"The last person he trusted fucked and murdered his girlfriend, so you cant blame him for that. But you can blame him for acting like a dick."
"He is uptight about the horde. Just give him time, he will come around," Hazel says and goes into the kitchen to finish the stew.
"The perfect ratio for stew is five part water, three part carrot, one part-" Gary mutters.
"Gary, why dont you lie down?" Becca says. Gary nods like a little kid and sits on a mattress in the corner, hugging his knees.
"He is like a little kid," she mutters and comes to sit with Sam and I.
"So, Sam, what should I do tommorow? Check the boards on the windows? Load all our weapons?" She says.
"No, I want you to move the tables out in front of the diner."
"As a barricade," I say and he nods.
"Yes, you got it. Could you give Becca a hand?"
"Of course, anything I can do to help I will."
"Good. I can check around here while Hazel and Gary work on the farm a bit more. Brian can scout the position of the horde again," he thinks aloud.

Chapter 5 - Secrets

Hazel finishes dinner and sets it out on a table for us all. She manages to coax Brian to eat with them and we all sit down to eat. Gary was right, the stew is amazing. Sam presents his ideas for tommorow. Brian and I do not look at each other. I am nestled between Becca and Gary. I can feel Beccas warmth but Gary is stone cold.
"So, what do you think?" Sam asks after he finishes his plan.
"Yes, I am good with that," Becca says and I agree. Brian grunts and Gary starts jabbering on again.
"Then its settled," Sam sighs and starts eating. We eat in silence until Brian starts talking.
"Harry, how did you get here?" He asks me, still not looking at me. I tell him my story from getting shot to being saved by Sam.
"Oh, so you got attacked by those men for no reason then?" He asks. I feel a lump grow in my throat. By now, even Gary is silent.
"Yes," I lie. I like it here, and do not want to get kicked out.
"These people do not sound like bandits, just ordinary survivors. Is that true?"
"I dont know."
"Cut him some slack Brian!" Becca says. I nudge her under the table as a silent thank you. At this point, Gary spills his stew and it causes a load of commotion. Becca whispers in my ear.
"Me and you need to talk, later."
"Outside, after dinner," her breath tickles my ear. We watch as Hazel mops up the stew and Gary starts talking loudly. Sam calms him down while Brian curses.
"Well, I think you are lying," Brian yells over the noise to me.
"Why dont you like me, Brian. You dont even know me!" I protest.
"Exactly. I dont know you."

The air is crisp and fresh, as you would expect on a cold autumn night. I wait patiently for Becca. She is putting Gary to bed. She tells me she has become his carer of sorts. She says that Gary has bad nightmares and has to be calmed down to go to sleep. He hates sleep. I rub my hands together to fight the cold. I doesnt help much. I hear the door swing open and she walks to me.
"Done with Gary, huh?" I ask.
Dont be mean. He is a good guy, just...broken," she sits on an old wooden bench. I sit across from her.
"What was he thinking about? Did he tell you?"
"He thinks he is useless. He wishes he would just die. Its sad. He isnt useless, he provides us with fresh food. Do you know how hard that is to come by now?"
"Of course I do. I havent even seen a carrot in months." we laugh. All of a sudden, she gets serious and looks me straight in the eye.
"OK. Now, you promise to tell the truth. Do you?" Her brown eyes boring into mine.
"Swear on...swear on someones life."
"Like whose?"
"Your family?"
"My family are all dead," I say bluntly and she shuts up.
"But...but you dont...know that, do you?" Her tone grows more sympathetic now.
"Yeah, I do."
"What...what happened?"
"I dont know. After the Walkers started showing up in Atlanta, I made it to Savannah to check on them. The streets were teeming with Walkers. It took me weeks to even make in down some streets, it was that bad. When I arrived at my parents apartment, I saw them on the floor."
"Oh, Harry," she touches my arm but I continue.
"Dead. Falling apart, all of them. My mother, my father, even my fucking younger sister. She was ten. Too young, too young," I start shaking. My very bones rattle in my body. Becca stands and embraces me. I hold her tight. I worship the entire thing, her warmth, her arms wrapped around my neck. After an eternity, we break apart.

We sit in silence. I have stopped shaking, but images of my parents flood my head. My father and I fishing, my mothers fresh chocolate brownies, my sisters drawings, that my mother would always insist were hung up on the fridge. Then I see them dead, mangled and rotting. A bullet in each of their heads. To get the though out of my head, I change the topic.
"You wanted to know the truth?" My voice is rusty.
"Yes, if you want to share it," Becca says.
"OK, here goes." I tell her about how I had watched the camp for weeks. They had so much food for only a few people. I thought they wouldnt mind me taking some. I then tell her about my failed plan. I was reckless, now I think about it. One of them in my path, a small weedy guy. I knocked him out and was about to grab some stuff when another called out for the guy I had hit. I didnt know what to do, so I put on a voice and prayed it was accurate. It wasnt. He found me out and the rest gathered around me, guns held high. I had the knocked out guys gun, and instead of just talking to them I shot two. I ran for it afterwards. They chased me and shot me, and thats where I was held up at gunpoint by one of them.

"Thats it," I finish. Beccas eyes are wide.
"You are a bandit?"
"No! Of course not. I was a desperate scavenger. I had no food or water, I needed something!"
"So you stole and killed?"
"That wasnt my plan, I didnt want to kill anyone. I went in for the food, and came out worse than what I went in with."
"Are you gonna do that to us?" I see her finger her pistol.
"No! You people are kind. I do not want to hurt you. Becca, Sam saved me. Do you think I will steal or kill the man that saved me? I was desperate, thats all. Please, believe me!" I plead. She is quiet for a whole minute.
"OK, I trust you," she says in a quiet voice.
"You trust me?"
"Yes. You were honest. You were kind to us, too. Your past is your past, it doesnt have to affect the stuff going on now. Plus, I think we could use your help with this horde situation."
"Thank you, Becca."
"I will keep this a secret, too."
"Thank you."
"But one thing."
"Anything, what do you need?"
"I get your first meat rations. We havent had any in weeks."

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