A taut bow, with a quick release, the arrow flew to its target, a thud between the eyes. The walker dropped. Emma edged forward, crossbow poised, retracting the arrow with a squelch, wiping it clean and moving on. Hunting for dinner was much harder now she was on the menu. A rustle up ahead stopped her. She waited, only to be met by silence. A feeling she was being stalked shot adrenalin through her body. But her attention was drawn to tracks; a small dear, fresh too. And just up ahead she saw it. The creature was grazing, unaware of the danger. Silently, Emma raised her bow, her breath steady as her fingers pulled back, ready to release. Without warning, the deer fell. Startled, Emma kept her crossbow aimed where the deer once stood as a man approached it.
“Hey!” Emma whispered, “That’s mine!”
“Don’t see how when it’s my arrow.” Emma edged closer. “I don’t feel comfortable with you aiming that thing at me,”
“It’s not aiming at you,” Emma replied coolly, releasing the bow. A walker dropped.
“You can thank me later Daryl,” she replied with a smile, giving him a quick kiss.
Emma had met Daryl whilst out hunting not long after the walkers came or turned; Emma wasn’t sure which. After having to kill her own mother and brother after they were bit, she was on her own, moving around the woods, stopping in barns for shelter, until Daryl. At first they hunted together; finding two bows better than one, sharing the spoils. Then Daryl invited Emma into his sanctuary once she had earned his trust. After that, he invited her into his bed. His brother, Merle, was less than thrilled. But somehow, the three got along; as long as there was enough food.
For so long it had just been Daryl and Merle and Daryl wouldn't have been half the man if it wasn’t for Merle looking out for him, saving him from the abuse of their father. That’s why he hunted; solitude kept him sane, focused his mind, ready for the onslaught when he got home. Little did he know how useful it would be now there were walkers.
Merle eyed the deer hungrily, expertly butchering it quickly, disposing of the waste cleanly so as not to attract walkers. And they feasted.
The full moon looked down as Daryl let the cool air roll over him, sitting on the porch with a beer and a full belly, crossbow at his side. Despite the world turned on its head, he felt life was good and he could make a proper go of it. Not one for sharing, Daryl was ready now to share everything.
“Hey,” Emma said, sitting down next to him. Daryl pulled Emma in close, staring into her soul, running his fingers through her dark strands and showering her with feather like kisses, nuzzling her soft silky neck as she melted into his arms.
“I’ll keep watch tonight,” Merle said gruffly, plonking himself down. “Seriously, go and do what you do,” he grimaced, swigging on a beer.
Daryl curled into Emma and for the first time in a long time, since the walkers, he slept soundly. She gave him comfort and normality in a crazy world.
A crack shattered the silent night and Daryl was up, grabbing his trousers along with his crossbow, “Merle!”
“Walkers, god dam it!” Merle screamed, firing his gun again and again. “They’re everywhere!” The air was thick with the smell of rancid flesh, the sound of rasping and rattling as they dragged their carcasses towards fresh meat. Snarling, showing their teeth from which they ripped flesh from bone, they came. Daryl was quick with his bow, his aim true as one by one walkers fell. Emma joined him as Merle continued with the gun.
“Stay with me Emma, whatever you do, stay with me,” Daryl urged.
“We need to get out of here!” Merle yelled, “There’s too many of ‘em.” Daryl grabbed Emma’s hand and they ran, round the back of the house, Merle following. They could see the jeep, tantalisingly close but two walkers were heading towards them. Merle aimed his gun.
“Will you stop firing that thing!” Daryl shouted, firing his crossbow. A walker fell. But a knife piercing the skull finished him off. “Get to the jeep, I’ll be right there,” Daryl ordered as he reloaded and aimed. The walker fell in a pile of decaying flesh. Another appeared out of nowhere and Daryl swung round, knife impaled into the stomach, putrid guts spewing out over him. Sinking the knife into the skull finished the job. He heard the sound of the jeep choke into life, a scream from Emma and Merle’s gun firing. A walker dropped. Daryl jumped in and Merle sped, ramming into a walker before leaving their home for good. They drove into the night, the house and walkers far behind before Emma asked them to stop. Merle ignored her, wanting as much distance as possible behind them.
“Stop the jeep!” she yelled, “I've been bit!” The car swerved to a halt.
“What . . . . . How . . . . . . Where . . . . . . . Are you sure?” Daryl was a mass of confusion as he followed Emma from the jeep. She turned and faced him, tears running down her pallid cheeks as she showed him her ankle; blood still dripping from the deep gouge. Daryl stared, horror etched all over his face, burning deep into his heart.
“When I was getting into the jeep . . . . . . a walker . . . . . . I didn’t see it,” she sobbed. Daryl rushed to her, wrapping his strong arms around her. “I don’t want to turn Daryl. I saw my family turn, please don’t let me turn.”She kissed him, hard, wanting to devour him and stay like this forever.
“You have to.”
“Lay with me.” They curled up, beneath a tree where a bed of white roses bloomed, lying together, crying silently, until Emma fell into a sleep from which Daryl made sure she would never waken.
And that's my entry. A snippet into the life of Daryl Dixon before he met up with Rick and co. Thanks to Ruth Long over at bullishink and Lisa McCourt Hollar and Sarah Aisling for hosting this awesome event. Now go and find your inner zombie and write a tale of walkers. . . . . .
PS I was sooooo tempted to call Emma Lizzie. . . . . Love Daryl!!!! xxxx