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To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow



 
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Gideon Abernathy

When Quinn appears, it doesn’t surprise him. Whoever had been watching hadn’t run from the sight before them, nor when Gideon found them out. It only made sense that his wife would walk through that door; no one but Quinn would face a madman head on.

His gaze will follow after her own, landing on the mess he’d made. There is no cleaning this up, no sweeping it under the rug. He’d let his emotions rule, and he’d made a hefty miscalculation (which he refuses to call a mistake). Yet, there is still nothing. Just that strange, somewhat uncomfortable calm.

Dark eyes fall to the outstretched hand, but before he takes it, he looks to her face, and the expression of utter helplessness that is showcased there. Finally, he takes the proffered lighter and shoves it into his pocket with the other.

They’ll kill us, Giddy…

Oh, there is no doubt about that. This is just the situation that John needs to rid him of this nuisance once and for all. But where the hell is he? It’s as if Fate has interfered, doctoring the cards to fall where she wills them, and Gideon could scoff at the luck. Instead, he suddenly springs into action, the front legs of the chair landing back on the floor with an invasive noise.

“You were right,” he offers, turning her gently and urging her toward the door, “I should’ve listened. We’ll do your plan. It’s our only chance.” His tone is odd, almost as though his mouth is detached from his mind.

Once outside, he takes in the vicinity, thankful for the late hour. He’s in no condition to be seen by anyone. But what his eyes do fall on is a small shed by the back door of a house some fifty feet away. “Stay here,” he breathes, leaving her in the shadows as he moves as silently as possible toward their potential saving grace.

The door to the makeshift shed is yanked open, and Gideon can’t help but let a low whistle escape him. Two gas cans, filled to the brim. Weighing the scenarios, he opts for just one; two could slow him down and they are already working in a very small window of time.

With the gas in tow, he returns to John’s abode, signaling for Quinn to retreat to the treeline. “I’ll be right there,” he promises, waving her off before disappearing back into the house. Once inside, he gathers up his tools and slings them over his shoulder. The gas is poured over the body, the chairs, the surrounding floor and as much of the walls as he can get. Retrieving the antique lighter from his pocket, he lets his fingers graze the polished metal. Saved by Dan, once again.

Flicking the flame to life, he tosses it into the dining area, where it easily ignites the entire room. Gideon makes his escape through the back door and to his waiting wife, ushering her through the shadows cast by the trees until they are safely inside their own house. Before shutting the door behind them, he takes in the large plume of black smoke that darkens the night sky.

Let the cards fall where they may.
April 02, 2018 07:17 pm

Quinn Abernathy

Standing in the treeline, Quinn is left to her thoughts. Dark, and full of better judgment. She shouldn't have brought them back here. She never should have insisted that this is their safe place. Everything is different, and wrong. And now, she has murdered people, and become involved in her husband's cruel needs. She is convinced that there is no way to get around this. They will be found out, and they will be dead by morning.

This is it. These are the last hours she has with Gideon, full of trepidation and regret.

And his words, ringing in her ears. It didn't sound like him. He wasn't present. There, but not there. And knowing what he is doing in there now, she cannot help but wonder what would have happened had she not been there. Would he have stayed? Waited for John? Lost track of time? Not cared?

As promised, Gideon returns, leading her through the pitch black woods surrounding the commune and back into their home. He pauses, but only for a moment, before the door shuts behind them. Quinn knows their time is squandering away, and soon there will be people running to their door and toward the black mass on the other side of the compound.

Her sights land on Gideon, and the mess that he is.

"Gideon," her voice is as calm as it can be, given the circumstances. She is trying. "Giddy, come on."

Her hands reach out, finding a place upon his shoulders as she pleads for his attention. This is important, and she does her best to ignore the slick feeling of sweat and warm blood beneath her hands. It is moments later that she hears the chaos pick up outside, and she pales as she glances out the window before looking up at Gideon.

Her hands fall from his shoulders, a single small hand sliding into his own despite the bloodied mess. The girl is leading the way up the stairs to the only place she knows to go. "They can't see us like this."
April 02, 2018 08:43 pm

Gideon Abernathy

Once inside, he feels safe. An odd feeling, all things considered, and not one shared by his wife. Her worry is evident on her face, despite the calculated calm of her tone. A small frown plays at his features, and he looks down at himself. Ah, right, the blood. His hand reaches up in a futile attempt to wipe some off his shirt, but it simply clings to his bloodied palm instead.

He doesn’t fight her, but instead lets himself be grounded by her touch. Before he has the chance to speak, the noise outside permeates the walls around them, and while Quinn looks toward the source, he looks to her.

They can’t see us like this.

“Maybe you should go. You can sneak out the back.” Even as he says it, he knows she won’t go for it. That is only made more apparent when she pulls him up the stairs and into the bathroom. Without a second thought, he strips out of his messied clothes as she turns on the hot water. Even as they work to remove as much of the sticky lifesource from his skin as possible, it’s a longshot…
-
John stumbles from the fire, coughing profusely and making as much of a scene as possible. The Flock is poking their heads out of their doors and windows to see what all the commotion is about, but it’s only when they see the large plume of black smoke that they come running. The flames have completely engulfed the small house by this point, and the man just stares up the rising sparks incredulously.

”Gideon!

It comes out as a harsh, drawn-out bellow, cutting through the silence of the night. There is muttering in the crowd, whispers of what could’ve possibly happened, some far-fetched, and some practically hitting the nail on the head. The voices fall silent, however, as John spins around toward them, madness in his gaze. “Why haven’t you gone to get him yet? Isn’t it obvious? Ever since he came here…” But he trailed off, his eyes falling to the wife and child of the man who had just been murdered in his own home.

“Where is my husband? Where is Dan? He said… He said he was going out a couple hours ago… He hasn’t come home.”

“Well, that’s because he’s dead inside my house, Melissa!” There is a cold chuckle in his tone, and his convictions are clear. This is all he needs to get Quinn and Gideon off his back for good. “Killed by your precious Shepherd, the one that you all betrayed me for. I heard everything, I saw everything…”

“But you didn’t stop it?” This time, the question came from Max, just before his mother grabbed him and pulled him back against her somewhat larger frame. John’s electric gaze shot to the child, his mind racing suddenly.

In his silence, the murmuring started up once more, grating against his eardrums maddeningly. “Why don’t we just go find out for ourselves, then, hmm?” His convictions are less grounded now, and it’s evident in the shifting of his tone. There is only way to settle this, and that’s to catch the man red-handed…
-
Gideon’s skin is bright red from the sheer amount of hard scrubbing they’ve put it through. The good news is they’d managed to remove half of the blood; the bad news is they still have half to go.

And that’s when the knock came from downstairs.

Really, more like harsh pounding. In fact, one might argue that someone is trying to break down the door.

The pair freezes, taking stock of their situation. There is still that strange calm that clouds Gideon’s crazed mind, and once more, he springs into action. Taking Quinn up by the shoulders, he forces their gazes to meet, his black hues boring into her soft browns. “You have to stall them, Quinn. I can handle all of this, but you… You have to buy me some time, okay? And whatever happens, trust me.” He presses their lips together with a heated fervor, fully recognizing that this may be the last chance they ever got.

And then he ushered her out the door before shutting it quietly.
April 03, 2018 09:29 am

Quinn Abernathy

She didn’t want to leave the bathroom. Quinn wanted to stay there, with Gideon, rushing to clean up this mess and stealing kisses in between. She is sure they are in trouble, and there is no way to prepare than to take that time. But he is giving her instructions, and what could be a silent goodbye.

It is all on her.

The banging upon the front door shakes her to her core, especially as she realizes that Gideon’s name is accompanying the noise. A quiet whine escapes her, and she realizes she has no idea what to do or say. But Quinn does what she does best.

“I’m coming! Just a minute!”

She runs.

Her footsteps sound heavy upon the stairs as she rushes down, allowing the desperation outside fuel her own panic. It becomes apparent that John is not alone, multiple voices becoming clear to her as she secures her towel firmly around her. Good. This is good, she tells herself.

But it isn’t. These people don’t trust her. They don’t think of her the same way they once did. She is an outsider, filling children’s heads with nonsense and dangerous notions. But Gideon had asked that she distract them, so, with one hand clutching her towel firmly, the other opens the door to John and several others.

Bodily, she creates a barrier, blocking the path inside the home. It is clear that many, if not all, are taken aback by her sudden and inappropriate appearance. But it doesn’t stop the immediate questions.

Where is Gideon?
What is going on?
Is it true?

It makes her head spin, and she can only stare until John’s hands, grubby from fire, grasp her bare shoulders. He is angry. Quinn knows there is good reason, but she keeps her confused look upon her. “What is- What are you doing? Don’t touch me. John, stop!”

The man is trying to push his way in, and Quinn is struggling to keep her decency and pride at the same time. He is rough, fingers digging into her flesh as he pushes, and she has little choice as she attempts to stand her ground. When pushing doesn’t work, he tries pulling, bellowing even louder for Gideon to come down the stairs.

“Let go of me! John!” Her voice carries, and she tries her best to figure out how to halt this contact and slow the mob. “Please! I’m pregnant!”

She lies.

Quinn lies in such a way that she knows it will spell trouble later, but right this second, it is enough. John is stunned, even if just momentarily, and Quinn takes that opportunity to let her fearful tears fall. “Please, let go. You’re scaring me.”

But the crowd behind him, even if just for a moment, would be quelled. That is all she can ask for.

Yet while John’s grip has loosened, he has not let go.
April 03, 2018 12:41 pm

Gideon Abernathy

The silence that follows Quinn’s proclamation is short-lived, and it only takes a few seconds for John to be shoved to the wayside as the women take control of the situation. They usher her back inside amid coos and soft apologies for startling her at such a late hour and in such a state. One even went about making some herbal tea to help calm her nerves as they sat her at the kitchen table.

“Where the hell is Gideon?” John pushes his way into the old farmhouse, ignoring the glares he receives upon entry.

“I’m right here.”

His voice, gruff and level, comes from the bottom of the stairs and he immediately pushes his way through to his wife. Miraculously, though he is still soaking wet, he’s managed to get all the blood off of him, at least visibly. His legs had been covered by a pair of loose fitting pants, and he could only hope they weren’t bled through in the time it takes for them to smooth things over.

“What the hell are you all doing here?” is hissed at them as he wraps Quinn in a blanket pulled from the back of the couch in passing.

“You need to answer for your crimes,” John shoots back, a sneer pulling at his lips. “You murdered Dan in my home and burned it down to cover your tracks. I heard you. I saw you.”

Gideon is silent for a moment, instead choosing to make a show of comforting his pregnant wife. It’s all a front of course, an act put on to ensure their innocence. Or, at the very least, to cause enough doubt.

“John,” he finally responds, meeting his father’s maddened gaze easily, “I don’t know what you saw, but I’ve been here the whole time.”

“You left! During dinner, you stormed out!”

“...and I came back.”

John falters, hoping someone would pipe up and say they saw him out and about, but no one comes to his aid. Whether it’s a matter of fear, or they really hadn’t seen anything, it matters not. Instead, he grabs at his last bit of hope. “Then why are you two sopping wet? Could it be that you were washing the blood off?”

With a sigh, Gideon dons an annoyed expression, casting a glance around at all the assembled people that waited with baited breath. “If you must know… I was helping Quinn take a shower. See, she’d overexerted herself today and couldn’t raise her arms high enough to comfortably wash her hair or get at her back. Now that you’ve all thoroughly pried into our private lives and effectively gotten my wife all worked up, I must ask you to leave. I can take it from here,” he adds, just as one woman turns with a mug of tea in hand, opening her mouth to protest. “I cannot express enough, our deepest regret to Dan’s murder, and rest assured, I will find whoever did this. But it’s clear that we all need rest, or we’ll come to some startling accusations.” A pointed stare sweeps over all of them, and whether they were ready to let it go or not, they found themselves shuffling toward the door, rumors and whispers already circulating.

John is, of course, the last to go, and it’s when everyone else is gone that he’ll turn back to the couple with a hate-filled gaze. “This will be the end for you both.”

The door slams heavily, and Gideon finally lets out the breath he’d been holding since they started their departure. A dark chuckle follows, and he’s astounded by their luck. While not out of the woods just yet, they also aren’t tied to a scaffolding, awaiting their disembowelment.

He’s learned to count his blessings.
April 03, 2018 01:18 pm
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Actives (22) Fresh Blood (1) View All The Fallen (7) Graveyard
Naoto Nishida, The Orange She Wolf, Flint, Gideon Abernathy, Mallory Quarters, Gabriel Stokes, Dale Horvath, Negan, Merle Dixon, Jessie Anderson, Carl Grimes, Rosita Espinosa, Andrea, Maggie Greene, Paul Rovia, Carol Peletier, Aaron, Glenn Rhee, Shane Walsh, Morgan Jones, Dwight, Daryl Dixon  His Wife  Spencer Monroe
Deanna Monroe
Rick Grimes
Margot Faye
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