Halloween (The Walking Dead) - Chapter 7
Nicole didn’t know if she wanted to talk to Hershel or not. A part of her wanted to get to the bottom of the mysterious elements of life that were suddenly swirling around her but the other part wanted to let it all go as Halloween pranks and coincidence. All the more, she wanted to enjoy her evening with Negan without reserve now that she knew for certain he was separated from him wife.
“Hi…” Nicole greeted Hershel as he slowly approached her. She could see he had a slight limp now that it was a one-on-one interaction.
“I’m not trying to bother you, dear, but I have reason to believe you’re in danger. This isn’t some Halloween prank.”
Nicole cut right to the chase. “Michael Myers is dead. He burned to death.”
“They never found his body,” Hershel claimed.
“It’s been forty years… forty years,” she emphasized. “What’s he waiting for?”
“Tonight.” Hershel was adamant in his prompt response.
“Is there a reason he would be in Negan’s back yard? There’s no motive to follow me.”
“There are no motives in the mind of a psychopath.”
Nicole swallowed hard and knew he was probably right. “I just…”
“You and your husband may very well be in immediate danger. For whatever reason he has set his sights on you. Negan is it? He told me about your encounters with the vehicle and the stranger in the mask in the last twenty-four hours. That’s why I stayed to speak with you specifically.”
Nicole couldn’t help but smile in Hershel’s inaccurate reference to her being Negan’s wife. She didn’t correct him. “I think it’s just a big misunderstanding. It’s been so long. Why would he come back now?” The same question came back around.
“For whatever reason he’s been waiting on this night.”
Nicole thought rationally for a moment while quietly acknowledging she could have easily indulged in Hershel’s farfetched theories. “He supposedly died forty years ago. Don’t you think he would have shown up by now?” She stared at him intently waiting for another quick response. When it never came she sighed, “I’ve got to go.”
“What more do I need to say?”
“Look if you want to stay handcuffed to your dead patient that’s fine but you can’t drag me along.” Nicole cruised past him. “I’m sorry.”
“For whatever reason he has targeted you,” Hershel called after her. “Don’t be alone tonight!”
Nicole felt a chill run the length of her back as she rounded off onto a side street lined with shops.
She glanced in the first window and tried to push all of the nonsense from her mind though it was difficult when the shop was filled with creepy masks of all kinds.
Get a grip, she told herself and continued on down the street toward a little sandwich shop.
“So you definitely can’t come out with us?” Enid asked as she, Carl and Ron met behind a store on the main road.
“I’m working on it.” He looked over his shoulder. “I swear part of my punishment is my dad’s making me walk everywhere. It’s at least two miles home.”
“We’ll walk with you,” she offered. “Right Ron?”
He shrugged. “Sure, but what if your dad sees us?”
“He’s busy doing stuff on the town green,” Carl explained.
The three of them began their trek along the sidewalk, almost immediately rounding into a residential neighborhood where both Ron and Enid lived a few houses apart.
“Thanks for not ratting us out,” Enid told him, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear as she looked down.
“I’d never do that.”
“Told ya we should’ve used eggs,” she joked, making him smirk.
“Nah… I’m glad we got Negan at least a little riled up.”
“His reaction was pretty priceless,” Ron agreed.
The three of them shared a laugh and then all took a glance over their shoulder as a station wagon cruised suspiciously low past them.
“Green station wagon,” Carl said aloud to no one in particular.
“Isn’t that Devon Graham?” Enid asked.
“I don’t think so,” Carl answered.
“Hey jerk!” Ron shouted, cupping his hands around his mouth. “Speed kills!”
The car immediately slammed on the brakes, making the three of them stop in their tracks. For several seconds it was a stalemate before the brake lights eased off and the car continued its slow crawl down the cracked pavement.
“You know Ron, one day you’re going to get us all into real trouble,” Enid told him.
He rolled his eyes. “Well I guess I’m off the hook because…” Ron scampered through a pile of raked leaves in the yard next to where they stood. “I’m home. Text me if you can meet up with us, Carl.”
“Alright.” He and Enid gave a wave and then continued on their walk.
“I’ll sneak out if they don’t let me go,” Carl told her after a few seconds of silence.
Enid chuckled. “You live with two cops. Doubtful.”
“I have my ways.” Carl grinned. “But I think I can win over Michonne.”
“I hope so.” She smiled and then reached into her purse to search for her phone.
Carl smiled to himself and looked up ahead. He stopped when he saw a man in a white mask standing facing them on the sidewalk before ducking in a menacingly slow fashion behind a large row of bushes. He grabbed Enid’s arm and stopped suddenly, prompting her to look at him.
“What is it?” She followed his gaze but saw nothing.
“It… someone was behind that bush up there.”
“What? I don’t see anybody.”
“The guy that drove by before… the one Ron yelled at…”
Enid shook her head. “Oh subtle isn’t he?” She hurried up ahead of Carl
“Enid!” He jogged a few feet to catch up with her as she hurried to check behind the bushes.
When the two of them got there they stood alone. There was no one.
“I swear he was right there,” Carl said.
Enid let a slow smile spread across her face. “Are you trying to scare me?”
“No,” he insisted. “No I swear Enid he was there. He was wearing the Michael Myers mask. Nicole said she saw him too this morning.”
“It’s people playing pranks, Carl.” Enid shook her head and then pressed her eyebrows together. “Who’s Nicole?”
He was tempted to try to make her jealous but decided there was no reason to be petty. “Negan’s lady friend.”
Enid laughed. “I don’t get how all these women throw themselves at him. I mean he’s a little charming-“
“Wait you think Negan’s charming?”
“Witty might be a better word… funny.” She changed her wording.
“You’ve gone to the dark side, Enid.” The two of them shared a laugh and then Carl looked around again. “He was right here.”
He snickered. “No… the asshole in the mask.”
Enid put a hand on his shoulder. “Well it’s Halloween. Everyone’s-“
“Entitled to one good scare,” he finished. “Yeah… I’ve had my share.”
She tugged at his shirt. “Come on. I’ll walk you all the way home.”