Hey friends!

Here is yet another result of Alamo Girl and I brainstorming about TWD and whatnot. Be advised that One: This premise has been done before, I do believe. Just wanted to try my hand. And Two: This can be considered a bit AU, as several characters that have passed in the show will be very much alive in this fic. Also, I'm ignoring the airborne theory that's been mostly proven in the series so far.

Hope you guys enjoy this; it may be slow to start at first, but Caryl will come into play soon!

And as always, I don't own TWD or affiliates.

The grass itself moved slowly, the wind easing across the earth as if afraid to make a sound. Clouds blotted the sky, the sun fighting its way through the puffy white as it rose to chase away every shadow that still lingered from the early hours of the morn.

Midday on the outskirts of a tiny Georgia town should have brought a peaceful scene of chirping birds, buzzing bees and the occasional whir of a car engine blasting down the road as the average worker sought a much-needed lunch break.

Nothing moved.

The town laid silent, its homes and few businesses left empty and decrepit, its people missing and its pets turned feral.

Ten miles away, off the highway leading east from the town, a once empty field played host to a slaughter. The sun blared down upon grass stained red and black with dried blood and rotted brain matter, the stench in the air so great that even the stray dogs of the area had avoided it since daybreak.

Decaying bodies scattered the land, pieces of flesh missing from limbs and throats, skulls blasted away and crushed violently. In the distance, still shambling across the empty road, the lucky few escapees sought a living being to target and attack, their need to feed on anything with a pulse driving beyond even the ability left in their decomposing shells.

In the center of the field, surrounded by the destroyed dead, a body shifted.

Face down in the grass, its head jerked to the left suddenly and stiffly, an arm moving up to dig fingers into the bloody dirt. Clothes torn and splotched with circular patterns of deep red, the figure jerked again, arms fighting the ground and legs flailing behind like electrified snakes.

And then, an exhalation.

The man gasped against the dirt and began to heave, sucking in air in deep gulps and grunting as he did so; his nails finally stopped digging and palms flattened against the ground beneath his body and he pushed against it, lifting his chest from the blood-soaked earth.

Knees landed solidly but the body swayed, and for the first time since the sun had peaked above the horizon in Georgia, the man opened his eyes. Icy granite irises set in bloodshot pink orbs moved across the battlefield. His chest continued to heave, eyes wide and then narrowing, hands balled into fists and teeth chewing impulsively against his lip.

A hand instinctively reached up and then back, slowly fingering the scabbing bite wound in his right shoulder.

Daryl Dixon blinked at the sun and cursed.