The Squawking Dead: Episode 1 Part 2

May 25, 2021

Katie+Burch+casually+walking+near+a+zombie.

Katie Burch casually walking near a zombie.

Where we left off, Rick had just encountered the first living humans he’d seen since before the hospital. A boy hit him over the head with a shovel, and while his father was talking to him, Rick passed out.

Rick awakens tied to a bed, the boy staring intensely at him while holding a baseball bat. “Got that bandage changed now. It was pretty rank,” the man says to him. He goes on to ask Rick what caused the wound. “Gunshot,” Rick utters. The man seems intent on making sure it was just a gunshot wound, and after some back and forth with Rick, he gets straight to the point and asks “Did. You. Get. Bit?” Rick looks back at him, confused, “Bit?” he asks. “Bit, chewed, maybe scratched, anything like that?” Morgan asks him with desperation in his voice. “No, I got shot. Just shot as far as I know.” Rick replies, looking into the man’s eyes. The man looks back at him for a moment before feeling his forehead, making sure it’s not too hot. “Fever would’ve killed you by now.”

The man reaches in his back pocket, takes out a pocket knife, and holds it up to Rick’s face. “Take a moment, look how sharp it is. You try anything, I will kill you with it and don’t you think I won’t,” he threatens, before reaching over and cutting him loose from the restraints. Rick grips his wrists as the father and son exit the room.

The next scene we see is Rick, wrapped in a blanket, waddling to the dining room. “This place. Fred and Cindy Drake’s?” He asks the man, who says he’s never met them. Rick informs him that he’s been there before, and the man ensures him it was empty when they arrived. As he walks over to the window and is just about to peek through the curtains, the man stops him. “Don’t do that. They’ll see the light,” he says. He continues with his task in the kitchen as he talks. “There’s more of them out there than usual. I never should’ve fired that gun today. Sound draws them. Now they’re all over the street. Stupid- using a gun.” Finally, he sits down at the table with his son, ready to eat.

“You shot that man today,” Rick says in a quiet voice. “It wasn’t a man,” the boy replies. “You shot him in the street out front. A man.” This time Rick’s voice is louder and more urgent. The man looks into his eyes and tells him, “Friend, you need glasses. It was a walker.” As Rick stands there, not knowing how to respond, the man tells him to sit down, and puts some food onto his plate.

He quickly does as he is told and picks up a utensil to begin eating. He stops as the boy says, “Daddy, blessings.” The man looks at Rick before holding his son’s hand. His son gives Rick a look, and he reluctantly grabs the boy’s hand. “Lord we thank thee for this food, thy blessings. And we ask you to watch over us in these crazy days. Amen.” “Amen,” the boy repeats.

As Rick is finally able to start eating, the man turns to him, and seems genuine as he asks, “Hey mister, you even know what’s going on?” Rick stops shoveling food in his mouth to reply, “I woke up today in the hospital. Came home and that’s all I know.” “But you know about the dead people, right?” the man questions. “Yeah, I saw a lot of that- out on the loading dock, piled in trucks.” “No, not the ones they put down, the ones they didn’t- the walkers. Like the one I shot today. ‘Cause he’d have ripped into you, tried to eat you, taken some flesh at least.” The man says all this looking into Rick’s confused eyes. 

“Well, I guess if this is the first time you’re hearing it, I know how it must sound.” The man assures Rick that they’ll be fine, as long as they stay quiet. “Probably wander off by morning,” he says. “But listen,” the man begins. “One thing I do know, don’t you get bit. I saw your bandage and that’s what we were afraid of. Bites kill you. The fever burns you out. But then after a while… you come back.” There’s a moment of silence before the boy speaks up. “Seen it happen,” he says. Rick glances at him and sees a somber look on his face. They all return to eating.

The next time we see Rick, he’s sitting on a mattress laying on the floor of the living room. The man is sitting on another mattress, his son sleeping next to him, and is looking towards Rick. “Carl, he your son?” After getting a confused stare from Rick as a response he adds, “Well you said his name today.” “He’s a little younger than your boy,” Rick tells him. “And he’s with his mother?” the man asks. Rick pauses for a moment before saying, “I hope so.”

“Dad?” The boy laying on the mattress stirs. “Did you ask him?” His dad chuckles and looks at Rick. “Your gunshot. We got a little bet going. My boy says you’re a bank robber.” “Yeah, that’s me. The deadliest dillinger. Kapow.” Rick laughs. The man laughs in response and Rick tells him truthfully that he was the sheriff’s deputy.

Suddenly a car alarm starts blaring, and the boy hastily sits up. “Hey, it’s okay. Daddy’s here. It’s nothing. One of them must’ve bumped a car,” he tells his son reassuringly. Rick asks the man if he’s sure that’s what it was. “It happened once before. It went on for a few minutes.”

“Get the light Duane,” the man says, revealing the boy’s name. They hurriedly turn off all the lanterns, candles and other lights in the home so as to not draw any extra attention to themselves. As the man slowly pulls back the curtains and peers out the window, he invites Rick to look as well. “It’s the blue one on the street. Same one as last time, I think we’re okay,” he states calmly. “That noise, won’t it bring more of them?” Rick asks. “Nothing we can do about it now. Just have to wait ‘em out till morning,” the man answers.

Duane manages to peek out the window, and he spots a familiar walker. “She’s here,” he gasps. “Don’t look. Get away from the windows,” His father tells him. Duane doesn’t respond, and continues intently staring at the walker. “I said go. Go on,” the man ushers him away. He runs and collapses onto the mattress and begins to sob. His dad rushes over and consoles him. “Duane, quiet now. Shh. Shh.”

Rick’s gaze follows a certain walker as she makes her way across the lawn and to the front door. Using the peep hole, he peers out the door and watches her walk right up to it, and seemingly look back at him. She’s dressed in a white nightgown and has matted black hair. Rick’s eyes drop to the door handle as he hears it rattling. While the walker attempts to open the door, which is locked, Rick returns to his mattress and sits down.

“She um… she died in that other room in that bed in there,” the man says, gesturing to the room with his head. “There was nothing I could do about it. That fever man. Her skin gave off heat like a furnace,” He said, cradling his crying son in his arms. He continues talking about her to Rick and we find out she’s Duane’s mother. Rick turns to look at the door again and see’s the handle still turning back and forth.

 

Continued in part 3

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