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The Thoughts of Megan Harris

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*a woman slowly climbs a watchtower that overlooks an empty field, glancing over her shoulder to see if anyone is watching, then carefully crosses a makeshift bridge that leads to the roof of the nearby building, a grocery store. She pauses a moment, glancing once more towards that front of the store as loud and rowdy voices call back and forth. A frown appears as she listens to the merriment but is soon replaced by a wistful and sad expression. She turns back and looks out over the field, as her shoulders fall with the soft sigh she lets out, she slips the canvas bag from her shoulders and sits down, placing the bag nearby, her back to the sounds of the others. She sits down upon the roof and gazes out at the field, absently reaching for the bag nearby and unties the string holding it closed. Once opened she rummages around for a few moments then removes a small notebook and pen, setting the bag aside once more leaving both objects in her lap as she gazes out and gathers her thoughts. Finally she hunches her shoulders, opens the notebook and puts pen in hand and begins to write.*

Well our trip was cut short. There was a plan to travel to a lot of places, see who we could talk to. I had been looking for the chance to get out and meet other people. When I take a step outside the base I have Holzman immediately demanding where I am going. I don’t understand him. He barks at me about not going anywhere alone, but in turn will speak of going off on his own. He mentions things that confuse me, such as knowing an area almost as if he expected I shouldn’t. How many times does one have to travel a place, and how long must one study a map before it’s considered acceptable to ‘know’ the way.

I am quite capable of going alone if I wanted to, but why should I if there’s someone free to watch my back? I haven’t survived as long as I have without learning how to be invisible, to use caution, be silent, be quick, and never go in blindly. Hell these are all lessons I learned a long time ago when dealing with my parents as they drank themselves to sleep every night.

Then there’s the sense I keep getting that to be in a positive mood is a bad thing. To be carefree, to enjoy the small things, to bask in others company and make them smile is wrong. Everyone, at times, speaks as if their words are the last they’re ever going to say. I remember a movie, Batman: The Dark Knight, I think it was, and a joker....think it was Heath Ledger...but the line sticks in my head…’why so serious…?'.

I know at times I can be quite silly, be a ‘Piece of Work’ as Scott has called me. How do I stop being me? I’m just happy to not be alone anymore. To know I’ve seen another day, maybe get a little closer to finding the one thing I keep going on for. My grandmother said it was out there, but as she firmly reminded me, not the way you see it in movies. She had it with my Grandfather, until he passed. She always said you had to work to keep it alive. To appreciate the little things.

That’s all I do really. Appreciate the little things. Look past the negative and concentrate and find the positive things.

Even that is getting hard for me to do anymore.

I mentioned to Dr. Ian my desire to find others, talk to them, see if I can find someplace better...or simply go back to being on my own. I have to do something because lately I find myself seeking some small corner to sit quietly...to go unnoticed...to be that little girl again who slept in the closet hidden away while my parents raged and argued in their drunken states.

*the writing woman straightens up, rolling her shoulders to ease the tension there and pauses to stare out again at the field, the sounds coming from behind having diminished and quiet now letting the songs of the birds nearby flow around her. She looks back down at what she’s written, then writes something else*

I’m a strong person in truth...but what always puts me on the verge of tears is when I give my best but still feel useless…

*she pauses for a moment then closes the notebook with pen trapped inside and buries it back into her canvas bag, securing the opening then just holds it in her lap. She continues to sit as she wraps her arms around it, hugging it to her as she continues to watch the open field with sad eyes, sitting alone on the roof of the store as the light continues to fade into darkness*

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*she looks down from the high perch of the tallest guard tower down at the people milling around, some pausing to talk, others to eat, each doing something to occupy the time. Her notebook in lap, pen in hand her gaze pauses on each for a moment then down to her page as she begins to write*

I think they’re relaxing a bit? Too many of them still speak as if their words are going to be the last they ever say, but I’m seeing more smiles. I never went into to many details of those here before, so I think I should note them now. I’ll start at the beginning.

Mattis. He was the first one I met when I arrived here. Well not so much as met as he appeared out of nowhere to save my sorry butt. I’d drawn the attention of a lot of the infected and had been trying to escape them. They had been following to close, though, when I’d tried to give them the slip by going through that door. When I’d tried to close it they were immediately on it, trying to force their way in. I couldn’t close the door. I was beginning to think my luck had run out when another something hit the door beside me and added it’s weight. It had been Mattis. Once the door had been closed he grabbed my arm and led me up the stairs and across some roofs to safety. He didn’t say much, he never does, and frankly I think he was irritated at the whole thing. Not so much at me as maybe the situation or himself? I dunno for sure. It’s been nice to see him talking a bit more. I stuck with him to learn from him and in truth, I felt I owed him.

Then there was Scott, I heard shots and as I was checking it out after I heard someone talking on the radio, needing some help. Scott was inside a house, his ammo low. I cleared out the infected around the place and lent him a hand, he gets along with Mattis really well. I’ve noticed they speak a lot to each other.

There’s also Dr. Ian...I can’t for the life of me remember his last name. He knows his stuff well. He’s very easy to talk to, that beside approach I guess. If a Doc can’t inspire an immediate trust in people I don’t know who could better.

Along came Guy, we ran across him and as I’ve gotten to know him he’s pretty funny, but he’s also very good at what he does. He does seem overly fond of Chips and Teddy bears...and I think he’s from a military background?

There’s Holzman (not sure how to spell his last name, his first name is harder to say so I’m not even sure if I heard it right...Abbon? Amadon?) I don’t ask him because I try to avoid him. I always feel like whatever I do around him is wrong and he keeps trying to point it out to the others.

*she pauses a moment as she looks again at the others milling around below, eyes pausing on those she hasn’t mentioned before turning back to her writing*

I can’t forget Derek. He’s done so much for everyone, puts in maximum effort to help people. Very much a salesman, but not pushy. He’s always full of good ideas and helps coordinate big projects. He wears a maroon beret. It just looks red to me but I defer to him on this one, the shade is very subtle.

Harvey, not sure what to make of him...he’s kind of secretive, but in these days and times who aren’t. Not going to question how he is much, but folks seem to be paying a lot of attention to what he’s doing.

Of course there’s Lucky...always complaining about food, so he was put on cooking duty from time to time. He’s funny and ready to joke at times, don’t know much more about him but he seems OK?

Nile..think that’s how his name is spelled. I feel so bad, I scared the living daylights out of him when we first met him. I was standing on the side of the road and called out a high to him as he was coming down the road. I swear he jumped three feet. I’m glad he’s sticking around, he’s interesting to talk to.

Arthur...don’t know where he is right now...he’s comes and goes...acts weird sometimes, like yelling at another guy to take a pair of shoes he was offering him. Arthur was very insistent the man take them, he wouldn’t refuse the guy turning them down.

Simon, he’s the soft spoken type. Doesn’t raise his voice, heck he doesn’t need to. Seems pretty easy going and laid back, he’s not around much, so not sure what he does or how he got here.

Phoebe, she was introduced to us by Derek, she seems pretty cool. A medic I think she is? It’s nice not being the only female anymore. I hope she plans on staying.

Finally Vandal...he’s new. He was helping Dr. Ian get to where we moved. We couldn’t stay at the gas station anymore, people kept coming by and threatening us. Don’t know why.

*she pauses again in her writing as she looks out around their new home before continuing*

There are others who came from time to time. I hope we can find them again, let them know where we are. We left notes, and if they can figure it out they’ll know how to get a hold of us. I look forward to seeing them again.

*a deep male voice raised and calling her name interrupts her train of thought, she looks down again to see Mattis standing below and again calling, looking for her*

Gotta go, we’re off to get some supplies and fresh water.

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