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The Woods

Date

"I am ready"

The journey back towards the cabin the crew had been holed up in only days before had been nearly silent. Quiet aside from the sound of metal against skull, crack, which was always followed by another sound, squish. While the cabin provided containment from the elements and the walkers outside, it also made Rick feel claustrophobic. Which is why he sits outside the cabin, staring at the stars in the sky.

While the fire and gushots had attracted walkers to Woodbury, and had made the journey here particularly trying, the area around the cabin is relatively empty.

Sitting on the grass, in front of the door, like some kind of strange watchman, Rick's gaze turns out rather than up. His hand drops from his lap to the pipe next to him, fingers grasping it for a moment. In a way it serves as his anchor: heavy, solid, and altogether, protective.

His lips part, and he releases a quiet breath through them.

Fingers release the pipe and trail up to his hair, pushing the mess of wiry brown locks out of his eyes. He swallows hard around the lump in his throat, a lump that has been there since he received news of their failed rescue, and clears his throat.

Quickly, as if a machine rather than a man, Rick's hand drops to the pipe again. His fingers tighten around it and he leaps to his feet. His other hand grasps it as well, clutching the piece of metal like a baseball bat as he treads to a rather large tree. The rails against the wide trunk hardly cause the plant to sway, but Rick hits it again and again, allowing his anger space. Tears form in his eyes, burning against his fight to keep them inside. If he cries now, he will never stop. Because at the heart of it, at the heart of everything, he knows he's one of them. He is a dead man walking. Living in this world is living on death row— cognizant of what's next and how it will influence everything.

A single sob escapes his lips, and only serves to make him angrier. He needs to be stronger. He needs to be better.

He curses lowly as his battle against the trunk continues, like some lumberjack working with a blunt instrument. After his breath runs ragged, he drops the pipe, and allows a single hand to rest against his enemy tree. His fight, in some ways, is against life itself. How can it continue?

The other hand is inspected. The palm is bloodied and calloused. He turns it over and observes dried, caked on blood on his knuckles. His eyebrows draw together as his gaze turns up to the tree once more. It's marred in blood. Maybe his blood? But then, he has no memory of that. He has no memory of hitting anything. Or anyone, for that matter.

With a frown, he drops both hands and takes a step back from the tree. Taking a step away, he gives it a solid kick.

His eyes narrow as the music once again chimes in the distance.

I am ready.
I am ready.
I am ready.

He frowns. Someone else is here. Someone else must be here. A glance is given to the cabin. If Andrea stays quiet, she won't attract anything, not tonight. But if the Governor is out there, then it doesn't matter how quiet they are. His head perks, and he reaches for the pipe ont he ground once more. Not that it'll help against the Governor. Yet he doesn't need them to know his position.

He inhales a sharp breath and treads into the woods.

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