Carl Grimes saw the dust trail as the convoy of vehicles drew up the roadway toward the prison. He knew his dad and Daryl had been gone longer than anticipated and he tensed, realizing this might not be them returning but more of the Governor’s troops. Reaching for the AR-15 leaning against the wall of the tower, he sighted down into the dust cloud. The shortage of ammunition and the fire discipline Shane had drummed into him kept him from firing.
Carl’s hand was sweaty on the handguards and he made a conscious effort to relax his grip and calm his breathing. He knew, again from Shane, to do otherwise was a recipe for poor marksmanship. Fighting to maintain focus, he found himself wishing they would just hurry and get close enough to identify. He wasn’t sure he was ready for another fire fight and all it entailed, but he found himself blushing red as his burgeoning erection betrayed how much he had come to enjoy the sounds of weapons fire, the smell of blood and the rush of seeing a Walker’s head vanish in a cloud of gore. Scowling, he returned his gaze to the road and banished all unnecessary considerations to another time.
The thick dust continued to swirl and it was his ears rather than his eyes that confirmed for Carl who led the incoming vehicles. The growling rumble of Daryl’s Triumph hardtail carried on the breeze and Carl wasn’t sure whether he was actually able to pick out the man from the haze or whether he imagined it. As if in response to his frustration, the wind shifted and the convoy was revealed in stark detail. Yeah, that was Daryl. Behind him, following at some fifty meters was the pale green SUV driven by his father. Carl frowned as he saw the modified school bus and the ragtag assortment of vehicles following them in. More of the people in Woodbury had survived than anyone could have expected. Carl didn’t like that…didn’t like that at all.
As usual, he’d been excluded from the deliberations as to what to do. He knew his dad would feel a responsibility to help the survivors in spite of all the suffering the Governor’d been responsible for. Hershel was always a wild card. He’d shown a tendency to follow Rick’s decisions in most things and had done so in this case. Carl couldn’t argue with the old man’s belief they could use the additional manpower and firepower of a larger group. He didn’t put much stock in what Carol or the other womenfolk had to say, except for Michonne. He liked Michonne. She was strong…capable…all of the things the rest of the women just couldn’t seem to get right. And, of course, there’d been Daryl to consider.
Though Carl’s face remained impassive, his eyes smoldered as he considered Daryl. A long time ago, Shane had told Carl Daryl was nothing but redneck biker trash. Carl had put a lot of value in Shane’s opinions but wasn’t sure what to think. Daryl wasn’t exactly the poster child for tolerance but, damn, the man could kill him some Walkers. So, he was useful. When his dad had gone a bit whacko, Daryl had stepped up to keep things organized. Yeah, he’d proven himself, Carl guessed. But…there was the matter of Beth.
He’d really started noticing Beth a lot lately. Oh, he knew she was way too old for him to have a chance and, with the whole world going to shit, girlfriends weren’t a prime concern. But, damn she had a nice butt! And more than one time when she’d been helping Carol do laundry, he’d gotten some nice looks down her shirt. Yeah…she was hot. And she was just about the best chance at a girl he’d have from now on.
He’d seen how she looked at Daryl…that stupid puppy-dog look. He swore she put an extra wiggle in her hips when she walked past the man and “accidentally” brushed against him a lot more often than could be an accident. For his part, he didn’t think Daryl was discouraging Beth nearly enough. I mean, damn, he had Carol to take care of his…needs. Why was he sniffing around Beth? Tmn, he had Carol to...cident. And, for his part, he didn'at a girl hhings had been building to a confrontation for some time now.
If the showdown between Shane and his dad taught him nothing else, it cemented forever in his mind: a man had to be willing to fight and die, if necessary, for his woman. That Shane had wound up dead taught him, when push came to shove, you best not hesitate to put your rival down. His thoughts exploding with clarity, Carl knew what he must do. It was undeniable…inevitable…necessary. R. do. It was undeniable...hesitate to put your rival down. His thoughts bursting with sudden clarity, Carl ssary, foeturning his focus to the scene below, he sighted in with grim determination.
The timing would be a bitch but he knew he could get it right. There was still enough dust and grit blowing, he could legitimately claim it had been an unfortunate accident. Hell, Andrea’d shot him before and everybody’d gotten over that, right? With all of the madness of late, everybody was on edge. Accidents were bound to happen, right? But…could he…should he…do it?
Movement caught his eye and he stared at Shane standing in the corner. He looked like before he’d turned…before Carl’d put a bullet between his eyes. Shane’s expression was hard…resolute. He stared directly at Carl and nodded, in silent consent. For Carl, that was all it took.
He placed the sights exactly as Shane had taught him and let a last breath out before firing. Daryl’s head exploded as the steel-jacketed slug impacted his face. He flopped, bonelessly, to the side, his bike tumbling end over end. Rick, unable to react in time, slammed into the downed motorcycle, plowing it under the Tucson’s wheels. All hell broke loose on the road, as Carl slipped down from the tower and faded into the shadows.
Smiling…trembling…he nodded smugly. Okay, Beth. Let’s see you shake your ass for Daryl now.
This story was written for the Cherokee Rose Blog Hop - a Daryl Dixon Fan Fiction Blog Hop in anticipation of the impending return of The Walking Dead TV series. It is the brain child of Ruth Long (@bullishink) and co-hosted by Lisa McCourt Hollar (@jezri1) and Sarah Aisling (@sarahaisling). The callenge was to presnt a tale of 500-1000 words incorporating two elements: Daryl Dixon and zombies.