The Walking Dead: A Day At The Fair
Soooo, yeah. Hi. Man I wish I have that writing skills. Everyone is getting too good about that. That scenario is from LordMayo in Deviantart http://lordmayo.deviantart.com/ I just came across when I decided to look for the fan arts. Is it long? Hell yeah! But I enjoyed it when I read. I hope you will too.
The merciless sun beat down upon the current occupants of the Traveler Motel. Although it was hot outside, it was even more unbearable inside the motel rooms. The sun drained the energy from Mark, Kenny, and Lee to hunt for food, proved Larry to be even more grumpy, exhausted Duck and Clementine from kicking the half-inflated soccer ball amongst each other, forced Carley and Ben to desperately suck moister from the air, and caused Lilly to lose her focus up on guard watch; not even the Walkers seemed to like the heat as they scarcely approached the Travelers Motel.
“Gah! I think I'm going to kill someone if I can't get anymore god damn water! I'm the only one doing any work around here!” Larry complained as he continued to enforce the fortification of the motel. The fact of the matter was that everyone was one edge due to facing dehydration, but it was Larry who acknowledged his thirst most often.
“Dad, I don't think killing someone would help the situation.” Lily's voice was bitter, as always. Lily's glare shifted to Lee. “But it would help if Lee would go out and find us some water!”
Lee looked up to Lily. She had been angry with him ever since this morning after he, Kenny, and Mark returned to the motel empty handed after their hunt. This was the third time this week the three could not find a single beast to hunt, and the rations were dwindling smaller and smaller with each passing day. Lee was ever so careful to not alarm any fleeting potential menu items, however, not a single deer, goose, or even squirrel could be found.
Lee was not to blame for the shortening foodstuffs. Still, the robust man could not help but feel slightly guilty. After all, the entire camp was in need of food, including his little Clementine. Lee would have done anything to bring the youth to more comfortable circumstances, yet such a goal was nearly impossible to obtain as the entire world Lee once knew collapsed right from under his very own feet while the seemingly zombie apocalypse ascended.
Clementine slowly approached Lee in the middle of his thoughts. The small hands of the little girl gently tugged on the end of Lee's shirt to receive his attention. “I'm really thirsty Lee.”
“I know.” Lee snapped back into reality. Kneeling down on one knee to get to Clementine's level, Lee placed a reassuring hand upon the youth's shoulder. “I'm going to find you some water. Just sit tight until I get back, alright?” Lee once again rose to his tired legs, ambling to the makeshift dumpster-gate. Like a magnate to iron, Clementine followed Lee to the dumpster.
“Lee? Can I go with you?” Clementine's eyes brightened up eagerly. She clearly was bored of playing with Duck as well as staying cooped up in the Traveler Motel for another hot day.
Lee was not fond of the idea of Clementine following him for one reason: the possible danger she may attract. Lee did not mind fighting out in the wilderness by himself, for he was not jeopardizing any life but his own; he did not want to bring the girl to any avoidable risks. Despite Lee's desire to search for water alone, the pleading eyes of Clementine eventually won him over.
“Oh alright, just stay close to me, Clem.” Lee sighed as he began to shove the dumpster to the side. Clementine silently cheered to herself as she skipped outside of the fortification. From the distance, Carley stood up.
“I'm not going to just sit here and let you two have all of the fun!” The adroit news reporter trekked to Lee and Clementine. “Besides, I want to make sure Clementine is safe.”
Lee huffed sarcastically. “What? You think you can keep a better eye on Clementine then I can?” Lee joked as Carley rolled her eyes playfully.
“Okay, you got me; I'm not really worried about Clementine as much as I'm worried about you getting yourself into trouble, Lee!” Carley walked passed Lee and stood by Clementine.
“I'll help you keep an eye on him, Carley!” Clementine giggled, looking up at the bright young woman.
“Alright, fine. If that's how it has to be.” Lee rose his hands up in defeat, giving up the pretend argument. “I guess I'll just have to be extra safe with you two on my back.”
“Darn right you will.” Carley chuckled as she and Clementine preceded with Lee into the nearby forest.
Lee's senses were alert. With Carley and Clementine walking ahead of him, he felt the need to be extra cautious, and not just for Clementine's sake; although he was especially worried for Clementine's well being, he could not help but worry about Carley as well. Lee knew it was silly, for Carley was both strong and intelligent, not to mention how well she worked with her pistol. To be honest, Carley was probably more capable handling any possible threats then Lee was. These facts did not calm Lee's worry. Mistakes always could happen, even to Carley. Carley proved to be a valuable asset to the team, as well as a treasured ally to Lee himself; she was always there to save him whenever he was backed into a corner with a Walker at his throat, she was always there to talk and consult with when Lilly or Larry were on his nerves, and she always backed up his decisions. Lee found Carley to be a rock in his life; she was always there when he needed her. Lee was not sure what he would do if something were to happen to Carley, so for his own good, he would protect her.
“Duck gets kinda annoying sometimes.” Clementine admitted out of the blue. Both Carley and Lee were surprised for a moment.
“Why is that, Clementine?” Lee walked faster to catch up with the youth. Clementine shock her head: her curls bounced back and forth.
“I dunno, he just talks and talks and talks! I mean, he's still my friend, but I just wish he wasn't so... So..!” Clementine's eyes drifted to Lee as she was looking for the right word to describe Duck.
“Sounds to me like you just need a break from him.” Lee gave Clementine a look of endearment.
“Lee might be right. I think this time away from him could help you feel better.” Carley added. Clementine nodded.
“Maybe. I'm just happy to have you two I guess.” Clementine smiled sweetly at both Carley and Lee. The two adults felt their heart's melt; although Clementine was not related to either of them biologically, the young girl influenced their lives as if she was their very own.
The three talked of more pleasurable times as they wondered onward towards Macon in search of some water, food, or tools left behind by previous dwellers of the now zombie-infested town. Although Macon was a central looting spot, the useful items inside were often overlooked; it was quite possible that one would be able to plunder supplies within the city. Lee and Carley had both been dispatched to the Macon ruins on numerous occasions; locating around the town would not be a problem. The real issue would be attracting as little of an amount of Walkers possible during the raid.
Lee observed Clementine and Carley as they were nearing the town entrance; they were smiling. Lee noticed that even he was smiling. It was almost as if their lives were completely normal and zombie-free. Lee secretly cherished these scarce moments of his new life. He was well aware that he would probably never have met his current comrades if it was not for the Walkers roaming the earth, in fact, he would probably be rotting away in a prison if it was not for the zombie apocalypse; at least Lee could thank this dangerous life for bringing him together with people like Clementine, Carley, Kenny, and his family: people he could care about: people he could trust.
The moments of peace were not to last as suddenly Carley stopped. Extending her arm out to stop both Clementine and Lee, her eyes narrowed.
“Shh, something's here.” Carley ducked down, both Lee and Clementine following her lead. The three carefully made their way to a nearby bush to inspect the situation. A gunshot rang through the air, vivid cussing preceded afterwords.
“You can't fool me, you're one of those fucking henchmen down by the dairy! Didn't we have a god damn deal?!” One of the voices shouted.
“Watch your mouth, asshole! I'm NOT one of them, so you can just get the fuck out of my way!” Another voice responded. Clementine slowly rose to peek over the bush, but before she could see anything Lee pulled the girl back down. Lee was protective over Clementine, and certainly did not want her to witness any more violence then she would have to.
More gunshots boomed with some varied battle-cries and shouts; it would not be safe to stay by the bush for long, and it would be suicidal to enter Macon this way. Lee desperately searched for a way to successfully elude the feud and enter a different section of Macon. The voices of the hostile humans were growing louder: they were close. An all out fleet from the cruel men was not an option, the three would have to rely on the shrubs and shadows to make their escape.
Lee motioned for the two girls to get lower and crawl along the brush to the next tree, and so on. The three made their way to some nearby trees. It was seeming like their escape would be a success, until Clementine shrieked out in pain. The sinister laughter of a man loomed over the youth: he had stepped on Clementine's hand!
Without a moment to lose, Carley whipped out her pistol and shot the man between his eyes. His death was instant, but the noise from the gun brought the whereabouts of Lee, Carley, and Clementine out like a spotlight in the darkness.
“RUN!” Lee ordered as he dragged Clementine to her feet and pulled out his rifle. Both Lee and Carley kept their weapons out as they ran backwards; the two closed in to cover the gap of Clementine.
“There is just to many of them..!” Carley winced as she rapidly shot at different targets.
“Carley, get out of here!” Lee was also making some progress in sweeping down the hoard.
“And leave you here? Yeah right!” Carley's voice took a serious tone. “Someone needs to lead Clementine to shelter. She's your girl, so get her out of here!” The obstinate woman pointed out.
Lee did not like it, but Carley was right; someone had to go with Clementine, and seeing that Clementine took to more of a liking to Lee, he would be the most suitable choice. Was leaving Carley here really an option though?
Almost as if she read his concern, Carley smiled momentarily at Lee. “I'm a good shot; I'll be fine.” Carley terminated a couple more monstrous humans, then quickly winked at Lee. “Don't wait for me, I'll catch up.”
Lee sighed, his shoulders dropping in defeat. “Godspeed!” Lee prayed silently for Carley's safe return as he took off with Clementine.
Once Lee caught up to Clementine, he took the girl's hand and ran. Carley's sacrifice would not be a waste, he would make sure of it. Lee could feel his heart beat faster and faster; pain from the adrenaline-filled sprint was gradually taking over, but Lee ignored the nuisance. It was a wonder that Clementine was able to keep up with Lee, for she was virtually being dragged at the rate Lee fled.
There was a final gunshot. Silence.
Lee never turned around once. The shooting stopped! Where is Carley? Did she make it out okay? Is she-Lee finally grew power over his own thoughts. No. No, Carley could not die this way. Such an unjustified death was not fit for her; woman as stoic as she just did not die in situations like that... Do they?
“Lee!” Clementine's pants broke into Lee's thoughts. “Lee! I can't keep up..!”
The two made quite a distance from the fight as well as arrive to a safer entrance of Macon. Lee decided that they would no longer need to run: besides, he was both physically and mentally exhausted from the adrenaline rush.
“Are you alright, Clementine?” Lee gave into a walking pace, and then to a complete stop; he had forgotten Clementine had her hand stepped on! The strong man gently took Clementine's injured hand within his own rugged one and observed for any bruises or broken bones. Her hand had taken a darker shade, but not a single bone was broken.
“I think I'm okay. Where is Carley?” Clementine's eyebrows were skewed into a mixture between uncertainty and worry.
“She...” Lee was silent for a moment, hoping for the right answer to come to him. Lee did not know where Carley was; she could easily be dead right now, but then again he never saw her actually die either. He could not lie to the youth standing before him, but he did not want to be completely honest with his assumptions either.
“She is going to try and meet up with us later.” Lee finally stated blandly. “Lets look for that water.” Lee tried to smile, but Clementine saw right through his attempt to reassure herself.
“Should we go back for her?”
“No! It is too dangerous.” Lee snapped. Clementine's face demonstrated shock at Lee's sudden aggression. Lee sighed, he did not mean to act so rough towards the girl, but the last thing he wanted to occupy his mind at the moment was thoughts of Carley being hurt, raped, or even killed. Nevertheless, Lee should take out his bitterness on Clementine: an undeserving victim.
“Clementine, I'm sorry. I'm just worried about Carley.” Lee explained simply. “She might be hurt. We can only pray that she will make it out okay, alright?” Lee's eyes softened up. It felt good to share his pain, even if it was with an eight-year old girl. That was not to say Clementine did not understand anything; Clementine was undeniably mature for her age. Not only did Clementine seem to realize the current dire times, but she acknowledged a clear conscious: a voice of reason. Clementine was able to remember what was right and what was wrong while nearly every adult was blinded by fear, immoral corruption, or just basic survival methods to the cost of the life of another: selfishness.
“I think she is going to be okay.” Clementine offered a smile to Lee. Lee laughed under his breath. Somehow, as she always seemed able to do, Clementine managed to make him feel reassured in his own decisions. Carley would be okay. She would come running over to them in just a couple minutes, and everything would be right in the world again, or at least as right was it could be with the Walkers on the loose.
“Did you guys miss me?” A rather familiar voice chimed almost on cue.
“Carley!” Clementine exclaimed as she ran to the woman, hugging Carley's waist tightly. Carley slid her pistol into her back pocket, the extended one of her arms out to intercept the hug.
“Apparently..!” Carley half-laughed, looking back up at Lee, who was slowly advancing towards her.
“Thank god you made it. We heard that last gunshot; I was afraid you... You know!” Lee admitted.
“Well I almost didn't,” Carley affirmed “but I took the opportunity to run shortly after you guys left. You two aren’t hurt, are you?”
“We're fine. Actually, we're a lot better now that you're here!” Lee grinned. He was utterly relieved that Carley was okay. Once again, the peace that consumed Lee's thoughts flowed into his mind. Carley and Clementine were safe now; he was safe from the lurking demons of his doubt.
Lee and Carley looked about Macon. They managed to make it in a town square-like district, which was a location unfamiliar to them both. The main road both had previously traveled had this place blocked off; a barricaded of broken down trucks and debris was never thought to be maneuvered though to make it to this barren place.
“We'd better keep our eyes out.” Lee lead the group onwards through some alleyways. There was not a single hint of any walker about which made him even more suspicious.
What laid before their eyes was something at seemed completely out of place in the world of the Walkers: bight colors, outrageous signs, and colorful structures...
“A Fair!” Clementine squealed out of sheer excitement. There were various rides and empty booths that made up the Fair, and not a Walker in sight!
Lee and Carley looked around the child's dream in confusion... Why would there be a Fair here? This place looked untouched—probably because of the debris barricade around this section of the city made it difficult to travel to this paradise, but the overall set up seemed random... How did the rides maintain the electricity needed to work properly, again..?
Lee knew he should be extra careful; even the safest looking places could always hide a Walker or two. Still, the booths held bottles of water, soda, and cotton candy that were once for sell: the three could raid this place, not to mention the rides seemed fully intact. Maybe it was selfish of him, but he wished to spend some time with Carley and Clementine here at the fair...ONLY with Carley and Clementine..!
“Lee, can we go on the Merry-Go-Round..?” Clementine's eyes beamed with hope. She knew very well that they were on a mission, but the child in her longed to play one these strange contraptions. Lee turned to Clementine.
“Sure, Clementine!” Lee walked the two over to a horse; gently, Lee lifted Clementine onto one of the plastic ponies and buckled in the seat belt. He had never worked such a machine before in his life, but he knew there was some sort of switch in the center that would start the ride due to his own observations as a child. “Are you ready?” Lee turned to the youth. Clementine nodded as she held onto the fake mane as if it held her dear life.
Slowly the Merry-go-round began to spin. Only gradually did it speed up, but within thirty seconds Clementine was full of giggles and cheers. The youth enjoyed the simple ride with great enthusiasm. Clementine turned to see if Lee was having as much fun as she was. To her surprise, a wide smile was plastered upon his face as he stood by her pony.
Carley stood back to watch Lee and Clementine. When she was younger, she never could handle any rides that went slow; Carley was an impatient child. She decided that nothing changed, seeing that the Merry-go-round still looked as dull as ever. Carley was secretly hoping to try the Octopus: a spinning ride that tilted the riders forward, backward, and even upside-down while maneuvering up in the air. The Octopus was her favorite rides as a child, however, the grown woman held back her desires to go on the ride. After all, she would look silly climbing into the machine all alone... Well, maybe she would go if Lee and Clementine wanted to? Carley would not bring it up, but if they happened to want to try it, then she'd certainly be up for joining the two!
After a couple minutes, Lee turned the Merry-go-round off, helped Clementine down, and was lead to another ride by Clementine. This time, it was the Ferris Wheel! Carley manned the controls of the ride while Lee and Clementine hoped in one of the passenger cars. Slowly, the capsule listed into the air.
“This is so much fun, Lee!” Clementine peered over the edge. Carley was starting to look smaller and smaller the higher they went!
“It sure is.” Lee agreed. “Did your parents ever take you to the fair?”
“A couple times, but I only got to look at the art galleries and stuff.” Clementine's voice sounded slightly perturbed by the memory.
“Why wouldn't they let you on the rides?” Lee asked in a very curious voice. Clementine shrugged.
“I guess I just never really asked to go on one.” Clementine admitted. The two were quite for a couple moments as Clementine watched the nearing sky. Lee's eyes were focused on a particular young woman who seemed much more tiny then she usually did as the Ferris Wheel carried him higher into the sky. Carley did not notice Lee's stair; her own gaze was fixed on the Octopus, however, after Clementine looked back at Lee, the youth noticed who Lee was watching.
“Lee? Do you... Like Carley?” Clementine's words brought Lee back to Earth.
“You know! Do you... Like like her?” Clementine's childish vocabulary was one Lee still remembered.
“Carley?! Now Clem, what would make you ask that?” Lee hoped Clementine would not catch on his sudden nervousness on the subject. To be honest, yes. Yes, Lee did like like Carley. She was one of his most closest friend here in the world of the Walkers, and she also was one of the only ones who knew about his secret: how he murdered the senator. Maybe it was this secret that brought the two together, but Lee could not deny the fondness he felt between himself and Carley. This was not something Clementine would need to know.
“You two are always together!” Clementine stated in a-matter-of-fact like tone. “Plus, I see the looks you always give her.”
“Just because we're always together means that we have romantic feelings for each other, huh? Well then what about you and Duck?” Lee chuckled. Clementine's face twisted in disgust, which only made Lee laugh more.
“Eww! Duck is gross! Boys are gross!” Clementine shook her head.
“That's right, Clementine. Boys are gross. Just keep that mindset when you get older!” Lee half joked, half meant what he said. Lee may not be her biological father, but he sure was as protective as one would be.
The ride was approaching the ground. Lee was happy that the prior conversation between himself and Clementine was lost before they came to Carley's range of hearing.
“Are you two having fun?” Carley smiled at both Lee and Clementine. Clementine nodded happily.
“Yeah! You should ride with us!” Offered the youth.
“I'm okay, Clem; someone has to work the machines!” Carley waved as Lee and Clementine returned to the sky upon the Ferris Wheel. After some time, Clementine became bored of the ride, and wanted to try something much more daring...
Carley mentally cheered to herself as Clementine wanted to try the Octopus.
“Are you sure you want to try that one, Clem? It's a bit fast.” Lee asked. He, unlike Carley, did not enjoy rides like the Octopus; they always made him feel sick as a child: a feeling he did not specifically care to re-live.
“Yeah! I wanna try it!” Confirmed Clementine. Lee gulped as he grudgingly helped Clementine into the ride seat. Carley intercepted Lee's dislike for the ride to her own benefit.
“You look a little tired, Lee. How about I ride this one with Clem?” Carley crossed her fingers that; hoping Lee would accept her offer.
“Are you sure you want to try it?” Lee's eyes showed relief.
“Sure. You need a break anyways!” Carley climbed into the cart with Clementine before Lee could protest, but to her luck, protesting was the least of his thoughts. Lee operated the ride to spin, tilt, and turn in all different directions. The cheery scream of Clementine could be heard by Lee. Clementine seemed so happy here, which comforted Lee's worry of her displeasure. Of course it would take quite a bit of time until things were back to the way they used to be, but it was moments like these that gave Lee hope.
After Lee decided that Clementine and Carley had enough, he stopped the ride. Lee picked up Clementine and brought the young girl to her feet on the earth. He also helped Carley back down, who was so dizzy she accidentally fell onto him. Lee almost lost balance, but he held his ground to hold Carley for the briefest of moments. Once Carley regained her composure, she quickly jumped back onto her two feet, bashfully turning her head so Lee was not able to read her embarrassed emotions due to being so close to Lee. Clementine happened to see Carley's reaction, but the youth said nothing on the subject. If Lee was her father, then Carley might as well be her mother. It was a mutual, yet unsaid, understanding among the three.
Clementine dragged Lee and Carley onto various other rides for the following hours, but as the sun began to set, time to return to the motor inn neared. Lee, Carley, and Clementine took as much water and foodstuffs they could carry in their backpack and arms before returning 'home'. Never did they mention that they found a Fair while looking for supplies; no one questioned where the three went. That place was another mutual, yet unsaid, understanding among the three; it was to be sanctuary of hope when all seemed lost that only the three of them could appreciate: that maybe the world would be restored one day, and if it never did...that would be okay too.