Title: Flash Fiction #22
Fandom: The Walking Dead
Word Count: 908
Characters: Daryl Dixon, Merle Dixon
Warnings: Character death
Disclaimer: I don’t own the Dixons or any other characters associated with The Walking Dead – I just like to take them out and play with them from time to time. This is unbeta’d and unedited – all mistakes are my own. And I’m completely braindead right now, so I’m sure there are plenty of them! If you see anything that needs correction, please let me know! Concrit is always welcome!
Daryl shook his head as he walked through the woods to his trap. Damn Merle anyway! Why the hell did Merle get to sit on his ass at the cabin while he had to go stomping through the woods to collect dinner? Older brother, my ass. Fuckin’ sorry excuse.
As he got closer to the area he’d set the trap in, he started to smell something awful, that horrible stench of death and decay. It wasn’t long before he saw why. There was a walker lying half-in the creek that ran nearby. The walker, what used to be a man, had had his head bashed in, probably with the bloody rock lying nearby. Daryl gagged and covered his nose, mutt
ering, “God dammit, Merle! Leave the fuckin’ thing lying in the creek! What the hell?”
Daryl tucked his shirt over his nose and grabbed the walker by the ankles, dragging it off into the woods out of the way. There was an abandoned well back there, had been dry for years. He rolled it into the well and pulled the cover back into place. It was too damn hot to dig a grave but he had to get it away from the creek. “Prob’ly already contaminated the water. Least we still got our feeder creek fer water.”
Daryl went back to his traps, pleased to see that he’d caught a mess of them. “That oughta do up a stew that’ll last us for a few days,” he said to himself as he collected the squirrels, breaking their necks and tying their tails together to carry them back. He’d come back in a few days and reset the traps, he thought.
As soon as Daryl was within eyesight of the cabin, he yelled to get Merle’s attention. “Merle! Get your butt out here! I had to go get ‘em but you gotta help skin and clean ‘em!” Merle came to the door, scowling. “Shut yer trap, boy! You wan’ta bring the geeks callin’?” He shook his head and walked down the stairs to meet his brother. “Not a bad mess a’ squirrels there. That oughta do us fer a few days if we stew ‘em up.”
Daryl took the string and tossed the squirrels to Merle. “Here then. You get started and I’ll be right back,” he said as he started to walk around the back of the cabin. Merle shouted, “Hey! Where the hell do ya think you’re goin’?”
Daryl spun around and glared at Merle. “I have ta take a piss, is that alright with you? Damn!” He stalked off behind the cabin, grumbling to himself.
Merle sat down on one of the logs around the fire pit and pulled his knife. “Little shit, he oughta learn to respect his elders,” Merle grumbled to himself. He sharpened his knife on the flint he kept laying on the table at the pit and cut the cord tying the squirrels together. He snagged one in his hand and began to clean and dress it, muttering the whole time.
Merle was so intent on his work (and his bitching) that he didn’t notice when one of the squirrels started to move. It opened its eyes, showing bloodshot whites. One by one, the other squirrels began to reanimate as well, opening their eyes and making growly chittering sounds. One of the squirrels caught sight of Merle and leapt on him, biting and scratching at his face.
“What the fuck?!” Merle screamed as he batted the squirrel away. The other squirrels began leaping on Merle as well, biting and scratching whatever parts of him they could reach. Daryl, alerted by Merle’s screams, came running around the side of the cabin, his crossbow drawn and loaded. The sight that greeted him blew his mind – he could hardly believe that what he was seeing was real.
“Merle!” he shouted as he ran, dropping his crossbow and scooping up an axe that was leaned against the porch. He tried to knock the squirrels off of Merle but several of them managed to leap on him instead, their tiny claws and teeth digging into his flesh, drawing blood.
Together, Merle and Daryl fought back against the squirrels, hacking at them with whatever weapons they could reach. When it was all over, Merle and Daryl stood looking at each other, gasping for breath. “What. The fuck! Was that?!” Daryl gasped out. Merle dropped down on the ground, checking himself for wounds. “How the hell do I know, man? You’re the one that brought home the dinner that bites back!”
Daryl knelt on the ground next to Merle, wiping blood away from his own wounds. “Hey, you think these little fuckers just infected us?”
Merle looked over at Daryl, shock on his face. “Son of a bitch.” He looked at the wounds on his arms as though they were sprouting heads and beginning to talk. “We can’t take the chance, brother. I’d rather die than be one of them things. We have to kill each other.”
Daryl sighed and closed his eyes, hanging his head. “You’re right. On three then?”
Together, they stood and took up their weapons, taking aim on the only family they had left. Neither one of them was much for sentimentality; neither had time for flowery goodbyes or words of love and loss.
Daryl began, “One.”
Merle nodded and said, “Two.”
Together, they said, “Three,” and fired.
Roughly six hours later, Daryl opened his eyes.