Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones


Aspen held her right side tightly, a cut set firmly above her left eyebrow pouring out enough blood to blind her and spill into her mouth when she gasped for air. This wasn’t the absolute best situation. Her left hand was definitely broken; when she wiggled her fingers after the crash, she had thrown up and blacked out.

“Oh sh*t,” whispered Aspen, finding it difficult to keep one foot in front of the other and wobbled along the road at a slow, aimless pace. She had realised the most important issue at hand. Not her increasingly blackening vision, or the way her hands and feet were starting to feel cold. It was the fact that Judas was going to be absolutely pissed when he heard that she had crashed the bike.

She had hit a feral dog that had darted out in front of her suddenly, sending both her and the bike tumbling off a sharp decline and through several trees. Aspen was sure she had fell on her quiver on one of the impacts, sending an arrow solidly into her side. She held it with her broken hand, not daring to look. If she looked, she’d pass out. If she passed out, she’d certainly die.

Judas would be a hell of a lot more mad if Aspen died.

Aspen heard the low, gurgling groan of a monster. Monsters, dead, walkers, whatever they were called in this region, were just about the last thing she wanted to see. She turned, slow and labored, and met the eyes of a decayed corpse about twenty feet away. She may have been a pretty woman before the rot set in. Her hair- what was left of it and wasn’t matted together with dirt- was once a pretty blonde.

Aspen used to think of them as humans. No longer.

Aspen slowly reached into her back pocket, grabbing a well worn knife. Another one of Judas’ things. He gave it to her to make sure someone would look after her. He always had a strange little way of saying he cared. He had shown her, that day, how to gut a deer and carry it out of the woods. She could have sworn that Judas looked at her with pride when he thought she couldn’t see, but who could have known, really. The man was enigmas wrapped in dark torn clothing, but she managed to worm her little fingers in to his freyed armor and hold on for dear life.

The knife slid into the decayed skin easily, like it was made of pudding. The skull, as was expected, needed more force and rattled Aspen’s arm as she shoved it through bone. The squelch of a rotting body hitting asphalt no longer made Aspen gag. She simply knelt down, and aimed the knife just right.

“Don’t wanna catch the guts, see?” Judas had said to her, stringing up the buck on a makeshift hang. “Makes messy work, makes the meat bad. Can’t eat it.”

Aspen swore she could hear him just as clearly as that day. Blood loss was delirium, plus a concussion… She needed to get home fast. Her knife easily gutted the corpse and her free hand dropped the knife, quickly smearing foul smelling entrails all along her body. If it was going to be fast, she needed to get through a few patches of dead.

~

Dean stood on the fence, his eyes sharp and scanning. Sure, it was his turn to watch, but he was also worried as a leader. He had a team out scrounging for supplies with Judas at the helm (the man was a pro at finding scraps) and Aspen had gone out to the nearby hunting grounds to check on tracks. Neither group had been back at the time they should have been, which was not a good sign.

He paced back and forth, his hair freshly cut and his sleeves rolled up. A rifle on his back gleamed in the sun. Dean was the leader, it showed, and no one wanted to tell him he wasn’t. He was good with his people, good at protecting them and listening to their fears.

There was extra movement out there. Dean kept watch of the stragglers that banged up against their walls and the few who wandered around the street, so new movement was a worry. He pulled the banged up binoculars out of a leather pouch and adjusted them, zooming in. He was filled with extreme dispair.

That was Aspen, shambling along. She looked like rot, like she had became one of the many groaning monsters. Judas would wreck the damn town.

Then, slowly, she raised one arm and waved, lolling her head to the side. Blood dripped onto the pavement and splattered a trail. She smiled, lowered her arm, and promptly fell to the ground with a thump loud enough to reach Dean’s ears.

~

Sam was waiting outside the gates, his face grim. His hair was pulled back in a tight bun, his beard in need of a trim. He was waiting to deliver news, and stood up the second he heard the truck. They had gotten a good haul. Good. The food stocks were low, and now the medical supplies would be needed to stocked back up. That didn’t really matter though. What mattered was that he told Judas before he found out through gossip. Dean had specifically put him on damage control, and they had all of their orders planned out. Get out of the way.

Sam jumped on the side of the truck as it passed by, easily sitting amongst some other survivors as they pulled into the storage area. He had to jog a little to catch Judas before he sulked off to wherever he usually sulks at.

“Judas,” Sam called, waiting until he was looking at Judas’ face. Mean looking. That’s what his dad would have said. But those days were gone. “Judas, it’s Aspen.” He set his jaw tightly. “She’s hurt. Bad.”

~

Cas kept a clean workspace, Gabriel kept a record. No one had died on his table in his entire career and he was sure to keep it that way. The blonde haired doctor calmly pushed drugs into an IV bag, his golden eyes watching as he counted to himself. The home was friendly for a makeshift hospital, looking less clinical than it could look. That was Celeste’s work, for sure.

Gabriel turned when he heard the boots, simply pointing into a side hallway. “Third on the right. Be careful, please. She’s holding it together with sticks and string.” He looked back to his patient. It was common knowledge to get out of the way when loved ones were involved.

~

Her room was yellow. A soft, pastel yellow that made her hair look more red than it actually was. She was in awful shape. Her head was bandaged and her arm set in a splint. Her skin tone was pale and it showed the large blossoming bruises all along her collarbone and neck.

Aspen smiled when she saw him.

“Judy,” she whispered, reaching out with her good arm. Road rash and scrapes all along her arm made her wince, but she needed to feel someone’s hands again. His hands. “Shoulda seen the other guy…” Aspen mumbled, laughing weakly. “I single handedly took out like… six trees. Pretty impressive. Think it’s a world record or something.” Her eyes were slightly out of focus, it was all of the drugs, it was hard to focus through the morphine. “Did you get enough supplies this run? I didn’t get any bucks.”
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1 | Nov 14th 2019 16:29
Aduantas
Aduantas His expression had changed to being it's usual grumpy expression to a face of many emotions. All he heard was Aspen's name and that's all his mind could process.

He didnt politely open the door to the home that belonged to the good doctors they had, he just threw that door open and walked in with heavy and hurried steps. Passing Gabe, but heard when he said what room she was in. He really was an asshole, but Aspen was one of the bright things left in this rotting world that brought him a bit of happiness..and worry.

He did knock on the closed door before just walking inside, shutting the door behind him as he pulled up an old wooden chair by her bed and just listened to her talk. He stayed quiet as she talked, throwing in her usual light hearted humor, but he just rubbed his scruffy jaw and sighed out deeply. "The hell happened out there, Aspen? Don't you ever give me a scare like this again, you understand me?" He spoke calmly, but he was blowing up on the inside.
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Winchesters
Winchesters Aspen always could see right through him. Even before she was so tightly wound with him, she knew what emotion was hidden behind his eyes. Tears pricked at her eyes, but she tried very hard to not cry. "I'm sorry," she whispered, voice cracking. "I was out to check on the deer herds, maybe catch up with you guys on the way back. I brought the bike because I knew you'd be happy to get out of that truck, but a dog ran in the way and I clipped it... I'm so sorry Jude... I didn't mean to wreck it..." A big fat tear rolled down her cheek and she turned her head so he couldn't see. "I'm so sorry, Jude." Her guilt and apology was all over her face.
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Aduantas
Aduantas He knew she was crying just by the sound of her voice cracking, watching as she looked away from and towards the wall. Yeah, he was maybe a bit upset over his bike being crashed, but not as upset that she thought he cared more about the bike being wrecked. "You think I care more about that stupid bike?" He asked after a long moment of silence, reaching his hand over to rest on hers before flat out holding her hand in his. "That bike is replaceable, but you ain't." It was his own soft and subtle way of saying he loved her and he couldn't live without her. Aspen meant everything to him whether he showed it or not. "All that matters now is that you're here safe and Gabe is gonna make sure your all better so the next time /we/ go out, we'll get some bucks together." He sure as hell wasnt going to let her go alone for awhile after this.
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