Maggie and I hope with all our hearts that this letter will reach its destination. We can’t thank you enough for having walls to protect those we love and for the other things you’ve initiated. We dream of one day visiting your Fair & Games but for now the thought that something like that will be held, is enough to make us smile.
Love, Maggie and Glenn
PS The picture below is a “lucky ducky” made by Eve.
Penny, Howard, Raj, Leonard, Sheldon,
Sending you a letter rather than talking over the radio is special. The fact that the letters are carried by dear friends whom we might never see again is bitter-sweet. Together we built Greeneville to what it is today: a thriving community, now housing 27 (soon 22) people. We won’t forget your help in making it so. None of us knows what the future will bring, but let’s pray it brings peace and prosperity for both our settlements.
Warm regards, Rick, Lori and Hope Grimes
(Letters written by Glenn Rhee and Rick Grimes, Greeneville, August 2014. The letters are shown in appendix 2 of The history of Drottningville, by Cynthia Böhr, first edition July 2030 CE)
When Dale slowed the van, Daryl, who was cleaning arrows in the passenger seat, was immediately on the alert. He looked behind him to see that the other three were still asleep. They’d had a rough day behind them and if possible Daryl preferred not to wake them.
Dale pointed out what he’d seen. Daryl got out and battled the wind to sneak up to a car that was covered with zombies. He launched an arrow and two zombies dropped dead.
‘What the hell?’ Daryl muttered to himself. He hadn’t heard or seen anyone approach but he reasoned that the second zombie killer wouldn’t hurt him. Yet. He fired another arrow and hit bull’s eye.
From behind a tree a young man emerged. He held a knife in his hand, threw it and hit a zombie in the back. Most zombies stumbled toward their un-canned attackers. The door of what proved to be a battered Toyota opened and a young woman got out who smashed a zombie’s head with what seemed to be a table leg. The knife-thrower ran out of knifes when half of the zombies were still walking, but he was handed a thick branch by a girl who’d appeared from behind a bush and who then climbed into a tree. The young adults did their share as did Daryl. He killed the last zombie standing.
‘’S all right?’ Daryl inquired when he stepped forward to collect his arrows.
‘Yes. Thank you,’ the knife thrower softly said. ‘I’m Eric.’
‘Nikki,’ the woman said.
The girl had gotten out of the tree the moment the last zombie was shot. ‘I’m Lindsay,’ she introduced herself. ‘Eric and I needed to pee. When we got back those creeps wanted a ride.’
Daryl made a throatily sound.
There was official business taking place in the kitchen: Sheldon, in his function as notary, made Lydia select two names from a bowl.
‘Bonnie, as entered by Steven Close,’ Lydia read aloud after unfolding the first piece of paper. Sheldon asked Caroline to confirm this. The elderly lady smiled and did as she was bid.
‘May I read the second one now?’
‘Please do Lydia.’
‘Oggy, as suggested by Mary-Elizabeth Cooper and entered by her mother Missy.’
‘Yeah!’ Michael cried out for his half-sister’s sake.
‘Such nice names!’ Caroline said as she checked the second slip.
‘I would have preferred Zeus and Apollo, but there we are,’ Sheldon commented. ‘Lydia, Caroline, thank you for your cooperation. I will ask Astrid to pass the names to her aunt.’
‘Is Astrid here?’
‘No, but she will be on Friday.’
‘I hope,’ Michael said, holding up a glass jar he’d cleaned to see if he’d missed a spot, ‘that aunt Penny finds some dog leaches in someone’s house today.’
‘She will not make that her priority I’m sure. Goodbye.’
After the door fell close behind Sheldon, Michael mumbled something about understanding that there were other things to scavenge for. Lydia winked at him and asked Caroline how she felt about moving back to her house. Caroline said that she and her dear James had been happy in their house and that it thrilled her that it would make a home for her grandchildren too.
Michael shared that he’d been invited by Alex to spend a few nights at the Nielsen house once the new wall was done.
‘How nice! Will you have a pyjama party then?’
‘Ow! That’s for girls Mrs N!’
Howard and Neill carried a portable workbench from a shed to the jeep and placed it next to a mountain bike and some rope. They were at the last property in their search area and bound to return home. Their trunk was half-empty, but it had been a good trip: they’d gained various tools.
Once in the car Tom suggested to drive a little further. Penny agreed, knowing the Briton would have a reason. Tom only took them for a small ride.
‘We’ve been there,’ Neill said, indicating a huge windowless hall at some 250 yards off the road. It had been used as a distribution centre in the nineties, after which it had become a ‘green’ indoor game hall. Most of the guards’ protective gear had once been used by paint ball players and most of the solar panels on the houses surrounding the farmhouse had been taken off the hall’s roof.
‘I saw movement. Zombies most likely, ’ Tom replied.
When they had a good view they saw two RVs parked nose to nose just inside the roofed area of the parking lot. The parking’s fence had been locked and the abandoned cars that had been standing criss-cross at their last visit had been moved to the backs of the RVs.
‘About twenty zombies. Several new bodies too,’ Howard reported as he watched the hall through his binoculars. ‘The RVs and the cars might be blocking more.’
Penny gave it a thought. Those who’d locked themselves in might not have the means to get out because of a lack of weapons. They might have supplies to last them for a while. They might have done some scavenging themselves and have stuff to trade. They could be robbers on a break or all they had to offer could be hopelessness or death.
‘There’s a yellow ball rolling from underneath one of the RVs,’ Howard reported.
‘Let’s have a look,’ Penny decided.
Raj and Caleb were in the former garage discussing an issue at hand on the construction site. After Raj had offered a solution, Caleb shook his head.
‘I can’t believe that you guys just know these things. And you’re a star-man at that.’
Raj laughed. ‘Really dude, “star-man” only pisses of Sheldon.’
‘Looking forward to being a dad?’
‘Oh man yeah. Never thought it would happen after the zombies got out of the closet. How ‘bout you and Sarah?’
‘We hope to have children one day. But our relationship hasn’t taken that step yet and besides: she’s only seventeen.’
‘A young adult by our rules. And an adult in the way she acts.’
‘I know. But too young to be a mother.’
‘Well yeah. And you might want to live in the Nielsen house before you start a family. That’s what I’d do. I’m really glad Penny arranged for Ramona to move.’
‘With the block you live in only having one entrance you can make sure your child won’t sneak out.’
Caleb laughed. ‘It will take years before that happens. Will you have an apprentice during the fair?’
‘No. But Livia will have one and Ramona and Howard as well.’
‘When I first got here, I thought you were nerds, still do really, but I’m glad for it now. Should baby Suriano be smart you guys can teach him or her anything.’
‘The child will have Lana’s name? Cool.’
‘Yeah well. With Mary-Elizabeth and Niels having their mothers’ names, Lana got enthusiastic for the idea. And as she pointed out: she has to push the little brat out. Now, I’ll go back, leave you to your work. See you Raj.’
Without looking up Raj said: ‘Forgotten something Caleb?’
‘I haven’t,’ Leonard said. ‘I came to bring you these bolts I made.’
Raj cleaned his hands on an old cloth to pick up the tiny bolts his friends had put on the table. He expected Leonard to leave again, but it turned out he was a chat magnet today.
‘About what Sharon said about what Daniel said about Leo…’
‘Uhm? Oh yeah, that.’
‘Does it worry you?’
‘What if Sheldon’s mum would have made it. Would we have the rule too?’
‘Yes: why should we change a rule because one person might not like it? Mrs Cooper would have said “Holy Mary” or “Sweet Jesus” as often as she could, but she’d be religious in private only.’
‘You seem sure of that.’
‘Everyone adapted to Yule.’
‘Harry Potter might have helped there.’
‘True. But still. You think Daniel now feels uncomfortable with our attitude toward religion?’
‘Don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see. Do you agree Raj that if our mothers would be here, things would be different?’
Raj attached yet another bolt to the little windmill he was making.
‘My mother - . I hope my siblings and parents are alive and well. Priya wouldn’t let them get hurt. But – ‘
Raj eyed the door. Seeing no one was near, he softly continued: ‘In a way I’m glad they are not here. It’s sick, I know that, but my parents are so dominating, my mother especially. I can only picture pre-apocalypse me dealing with her and I don’t know whether I’d come out triumphant now. You know?’
‘Yeah! My mother - You’ve met her. I need not explain. I got reduced to an immature kid whenever she was around. Even… Even if she were to turn up now, I – ‘
‘Don’t you finish that line Leonard Leakey Hofstadter! You’re a married man. You’ll be a father in half a year. You survived an apocalypse. You helped turn this community into a beacon of civilization. You will be able to handle a cold-hearted she-devil.’
Leonard failed horribly at trying not to look pleased. ‘Think so?’
Feeling that his friend could do with a compliment himself Leonard said: ‘You’re right! After all what we went through, being independent grown-ups toward our mothers will be a piece of cake. You will proudly introduce Sarah to your mum and make her accept your non-Indian girlfriend!’
For a minute or so the scientists worked on the wind mill in perfect harmony.
‘You know?’ Raj said. ‘I should have liked to see Leslie respond to your mother.’
Leonard laughed so loud it made his sides hurt.