Blogging Dead: Fan Fiction
The Dixon Beginnings (Before the Outbreak)
A small fire fading away, the sound of the wind through the trees passes by a vacated campsite. The brothers Dixon are down by the nearby stream washing up after their day’s hunt of squirrels and rabbits. The blood seeping out from between their fingers, Daryl glances toward Merle right before turned back toward the camp. Merle glances up. “Where are you going, little brother? You in some sort of hurry?” Daryl glances back but remains silent. Merle reaches into his pocket and pulls out a prescription bottle for percocet. Shaking the bottle, he asks, “Don’t you want to relax?”
Daryl looks toward the ground. “Nah, man. I’m good.” He continues back to the camp.
“Your loss, little brother,” says Merle sarcastically.
Leaving his brother by the stream, Daryl kneels over the fire and drops in some more sticks to feed the flames. After poking at the coals for a few moments, he pulls out his knife and begins to clean out his fingernails. A slight rustling of a nearby bush catches his attention. He stands up with the knife at the ready. A second rustle of the bush causes him to take a step back, waiting for something to emerge. Suddenly, Merle pops out from behind and pulls Daryl knife hand behind his back. “Can’t defend yourself if you lose your knife,” Merle proclaims as he slams Daryl’s hand against his thigh, dislodging the knife. “You can’t let your guard down. If you have to defend yourself, you’re going to die with mistakes like that.”
“What am I defending myself from, Merle?” Daryl continues to struggle to reach back and shove Merle off his back. “You’re the only one messing with me.”
“You never know what could happen, little brother. Guys like us are becoming the minority. Only a matter of time before the government gives our opportunities away to all of the illegals overrunning this country.” Merle finally pushes Daryl away and leans down to grab his knife.
“Whatever, man,” Daryl exclaims. “It’s not like we’ve got jobs or nothin’.” Daryl glares back at his brother. Walking over, he grabs the knife back and sheaths it back in his belt.
Merle begins to laugh at his brother. “You are soft and weak. Good think you’ve got me around.” Settling down next to the fire, the drugs finally start to kick in, causing him to lay down and begin to rest his eyes. “Better get your beauty rest. Don’t want you to be cranky for tomorrow’s hunt.
Daryl stays silent and begins to walk back toward Merle. Ready to grab Merle’s shirt, he leans down over him just before realizing Merle has quickly passed out. Daryl shakes his head and finally decides to turn in for the night. Leaving the fire roaring, he crawls into his tent, pulls the knife out of his belt, and slips it under his sleeping back.
“Little brother!” Merle quietly called. “Wake up! There’s a group that just showed up over the ridge. Let’s go scope it out.”
Daryl groans and rolls over. Merle taps him on the head with the the back of his gun. “Let it go, Merle. Just let them pass through.”
“Fine!” Merle barked. “You’ll get nothing from what I find at their camp.” As Merle starts to stand up, Daryl abruptly grabs his arm. Sliding his knife back into his belt, he grabs his binoculars and shoves Merle on the shouldering while standing up. “That’s what I thought, little brother.”
Climbing up the hill toward the ridge, Daryl begins to hear the sound of a radio. Wafting through the air is the smell of burnt marshmallows. Taking pause, he finally identifies the song as Ain’t No Good Life by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
“What do you see?” Merle whispers. “How many of them are there?”
“Hold on,” Daryl snapped back. Pulling the binoculars to his eyes, he sees that the group is a young family. The husband and two sons are sitting by the fire holding marshmallows over their campfire. The youngest kid is holding his stick with two flaming marshmallows that look like they are burnt to a crisp. The father glances over and rushes to pull the stick out of the fire, blowing on the charred remains on the end of the stick. Over by the camper, the wife appears to be sitting in a folding chair, reading a book. She glances up, shakes her head, and returns to the novel.
“Just a family,” Daryl explains. “Let’s head back.”
“What’s the rush?” Merle asks. “Why not see what they do? I’m sure they’ll leave sometime soon.”
“I’m not taking anything from those kids! What’s wrong with you?!?” Daryl slings the binoculars over his shoulder and slides to his feet. “Do what you want, but I’m not messin’ with them.” Daryl bumps his brother as he passes him back down the hill. “I’m goin’ fishing. Join me if you want.”
Merle snickers as Daryl walks away but stays behind to continue to spy on the family.
With three fish on his chain, Daryl reels in his fishing pole and starts to hook up his line. Hearing some chuckling off to his left, he sees that the family has come down to the stream to play in the water. The kids begin to grab at the rocks on the shore and try skipping them in the shallow water. The wife still appears to be reading the same novel but the father looks to just be taking it easy by the edge of the stream. Glancing back up the hill, Daryl wonders if Merle gave up at the family’s camper or has returned to their camp. He retreats back into the woods before being seen by the father.
Getting back to the camp, it appears that Merle has not returned. Rather than going after him, he pulls out his knife and starts to clean off the fish. Descaling and deboning the fish, he packs the fillets into the cooler and grabs his canteen to rinse off his hands. Merle suddenly crashes through the bushes with his arms loaded with items stolen from the camper.
“You missed a good haul,” Merle boasts. “I could’ve used your help carrying stuff back. I’ll give you a beer but the good stuff is mine.”
“I don’t need your beer, man.” Daryl sneers at his brother and grabs the frying pan to begin to heat it up. “Alright, Merle. Give me a beer.”
“Never mind, brother. Too slow.” Merle cracks open the tab and takes a sip from the can. “If you come back with me, you can get some for yourself. I think they’ll be gone for awhile. There was plenty more booze I left behind.”
Daryl glances over but chooses not to say anything. Instead, he grabs a couple fillets and tosses them in the pan. As the fillets begin to sizzle, the wind gusts briefly. Daryl picks up a strange odor causing him to think that an animal must have died nearby. He shrugs it off and focuses on the finishing his lunch.
Having gone on a hunt after lunch, Daryl returns to the campsite with a couple more rabbits. Choosing to skin them on the way back, he drops off his haul and heads down to the stream to wash up. As he gets to the water, he notices that the family had left, thinking that they must have returned up the hill. Before turning back, he notices something floating floating down toward him. Fishing it out of the water, Daryl realizes that the woman left her book behind. He decides to take it with him and returns back up the hill.
“Where have you been?” Merle questions. “Let’s go back up the hill and see what else we can grab.” Merle slings a backpack over his shoulder and turns up the hill toward the camper.
Daryl pauses but chooses to follow his brother. He initially tosses the book into his tent but turns back to grab it and slide it under his arm. Having fallen a bit behind, he rushes up the hill to try to catch up to his brother.
Upon reaching the top of the hill, he sees Merle rummaging through what appears to be a torn up campsite. Merle appears to be unfazed by the mess. “What did you do, Merle? Where’s the family at?”
“Who cares?” Merle grunted. “Come over here and help me see if there is anything good left.”
“They weren’t down by the river before I came up,” Daryl proclaimed. “They’re going to be back any minute. Let’s get out of here.”
Merle ignores his brother’s concerns and wanders into the camper. Not approving of his brother’s scavenging but feeling unable to convince him otherwise, Daryl follows him into the camper. Daryl spots his brother grabbing medications out of the cabinets in the kitchenette. “Look, Merle! We’re down the hill from these people. Let’s get out of here before we get caught.”
Suddenly, they hear something hit the floor back in the bedroom area. The curtain blocking it off moves slightly, sending a shock through both of the Dixon brothers. Daryl immediately takes off out of the camper with Merle following close behind. Daryl drops the book near the folding chair before heading back down to their camp.
“You know we are going to have to pack up and get out of here,” Daryl yells. He begins to take down the tent and pack it into his bag, but gets thrown off when he hears a woman’s scream back from the area near the camper.
“Hush, Daryl!” Merle quietly barks. “They must have just realized what happened to their camp.”
Daryl continues to try and pack his belongings while Merle just pauses and listens for more commotion from up the hill. “Doesn’t seem like they know where to find us.”
“Man, I mentioned we were down the hill,” Daryl says.
“If they had heard you, they would have already gotten down here,” Merle scoffs. “I bet they have no idea. Just relax and chill out, brother.”
Daryl pauses and settles down near their campfire. Taking a moment to listen, the only sound floating through the air is the rustling of the branches and leaves. A similar smell from earlier seems to be wafting along with the wind as well.
“You smell that?” Daryl asks. “I think something’s wrong. I think I’m going to check it out.” Daryl grabs his knife and his crossbow and starts to make his way up the hill. Merle ignores Daryl’s suspicions and chooses to just grab a beer and kick back.
As Daryl climbs the hill, the smell of death appears more fragrant but he also senses a slight rumbling up ahead. Slowly peaking over the top of the hill, the site appears more disturbed than before. The only movement appears to be the wind against an open camper door, but none of the family appears to be nearby. Daryl slowly creeps down toward the camp to get a closer look. The area near the campfire shows signs of a scuffle, with footprints in multiple directions and some drops of blood leading toward the camper.
“Hey, anyone here?” Daryl shouts. “I heard screaming from nearby and wanted to see if everything’s alright.” Pausing for a moment, he gets no response. The book he dropped by the camper appears to still be there but a not exactly where he left it. Looking up, he sees a bloody handprint on the edge of the doorframe.
“Are you alright?” Daryl shouts again. He still gets no response from inside the camper. Instead, the wind settles and the world around him goes silent. Cautiously, he peaks into the camper to see it as disrupted as around the smoldering fire. Around the counters of the kitchenette are a few more bloody handprints. The silverware is scattered all over the floor. Puzzled by the sight of the camper, Daryl backs out and turns back toward his camp to share his findings with Merle. Just before heading down the hill, a weak moaning sound emerge from the camper.