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The Shore

Chapter Text

 

There’s no one who will take me by that shore

But the waves rushing out, the waves rushing out on your shoulders

But if I’m awake this time, this time I’ll know

All over your isle the storm is nearly over

Nearly over

-Basia Bulat

 

...

 

It was a new moon, a piss poor night to be wandering around in the pitch dark of an unfamiliar place.  The stacks of crates created a maze out of the boatyard, a million places for walkers to jump out at you from. 

 

The weight of the pack she was carrying dug into her shoulders.  The groans echoing in the distance against a background of waves crashing into the shore did little to quell her racing heart.

 

Beside her, Michonne was silently calculating the route ahead of them.  She gave Andrea's hand a firm squeeze before releasing it and spinning around.  A second later, the first walker they had seen since arriving fell to the pavement with a low thud.  Andrea winced.  She hadn't even noticed that it had been approaching directly behind them, despite being on high alert.  Sometimes she wondered if her time was quickly approaching.  If it weren't for Michonne. . .

 

Focus.  She chided herself. 

 

Darkness enveloped the narrow tunnels between the huge shipping crates that they traveled down.  Each passing moment a silent pounding grew louder insider her, a rising swell to the looming climax.  She desperately tried not to imagine her possible final moments as they approached the open waters.  She glanced at Michonne again.  At least she wasn't alone.  She had her best friend. 

 

The open space between the shipping crates and the docks was thick with walkers.  Their groaning echoed off the metallic walls and rebounded into the black sea.  Andrea bit her lip as she surveyed their position. 

 

They had traveled for so long to reach this place, avoiding every major city, traveling only at night.  With such little distance left to reach their goal, it seemed absurd that they would be prevented from it.  Yet she knew that traversing those last few meters would be their most difficult so far.  Sudden desperation threatened to overwhelm her. 

 

A hand pulled her body in.  "We got this.  Don't worry," Michonne whispered, her warm breath tickling Andrea's ear.

 

How they made it to the boat, Andrea couldn't say.  Everything was a blur of rotton corpses and blood and salt water.

 

They made it.

 

Now, her hair blew behind her in the wind.  Michonne handed her the binoculars and bid her to look.  The island before them was lush, green and exotic.  The sand of the shore was white against sapphire waves.  Home.  Suddenly, she knew it.  She smiled at Michonne, who grinned back at her.

 

 

They anchor the ship several yards from the beach.

 

Michonne jumps out into the shallow turquoise water; it laps at her thighs.  She turns to Andrea and beckons.  “Come on.”

 

As they grow nearer to the shore, the sound of bird calls can be heard in the distance and the ruffle of leaves in the wind form an orchestra of isolation.  And yet,

 

"We should find shelter."

 

Michonne nodded in reply.

 

As they pushed through the dense vegetation the feeling crawling up her spine intensified.  "Do you feel it?"

 

Michonne paused, looking at her, "Feel what?"

 

"Someone's watching," Andrea's eyes darted around them even as she spoke.  But no ghoul appeared to attack them. 

 

Michonne nodded her head, "Let's keep going.  We'll be ready for them." Loudly.  A warning.

 

It was nightfall when they spied a small cabin ahead, light dancing from the windows.  Unease flowed through her.  Michonne only had to look at Andrea to signal her, quiet. 

 

They crept up to the building, which could now be seen to be no more than a decrepit shack, a strange sound could be heard.  Humming, Andrea thought she even recognized the song.  Caution aside, she peered into the window.  She could see the back of the woman, petite, blonde hair in a ponytail, as she stood over a table, working on something.  Abruptly, the woman turned and looked out the window, directly at Andrea.

 

That face.

Shock and terror gripped her, only for a moment, before screaming, Andrea turned to flee.

That face. -

 

Branches clawed at her as she made her escape.  In the darkness, she didn't see the exposed root.  As she fell she thought she cried out for Michonne.  Her head met the hardened earth with a thud that left her disoriented.  In a haze, she cursed herself for her rash actions and questioned if she had really seen what she thought she had.  Perhaps, she had finally lost her mind afterall.

 

 

...to be continued...