Elizabeth gazed into the creek as the wind swirled, tossing her blond tangles in her face. “Still nothing?” she shouted down from the bridge.
Old Man Wiggins waded through the murky water, proceeding cautiously to the deeper end. He poked the surface with the butt of his rifle, and drew closer.
“Anything?” Lizzie struggled to hold back the tears.
Wiggins looked up, and slowly shook his head.
“How convenient. Sunday mass is upon us, and Terrance is nowhere to be found,” she whispered. “Would you mind searching farther downstream?” she asked.
The old man nodded.
“Bless you, Wiggins,” said Lizzie. “And when you find him, let me have a few words before you shoot him.”
As he turned, a giant reptile leapt out of the water, snapping its massive jaws. The old coot fell backwards, firing into the trees. “Crocodile!” Wiggins cried, tossing the gun at it, and darting into the woods. The lizard scooped up the rifle, and swallowed it whole as the geezer fled.
“A crocodile?” said Lizzie. “Crocodiles aren’t indigenous to England. Unless…” The wind whipped her face. “…unless someone was to keep it as a pet.” She made the sign of the cross as the creature descended into the muddy depths.
“What sick mind would keep a crocodile as a pet?” Her words hung in the air.
Terrance jumped as gunfire erupted in the distance. “Good gracious, what was that?” A splash of water trickled down his naked body, the creek coming to his waist. Poking through the foliage above, shafts of light bounced off his chiseled frame. He doused himself in the icy waters, whipping his dark locks back.
A gentle breeze swept through the woods, turning his skin to gooseflesh. As a twig snapped nearby, the rogue turned, trying to pinpoint the source.
“Who’s there?” He stepped out of the water, and peeled his dank clothes from a branch. Terrance did not bother putting them on, holding them at his waist as he searched the trees around him.
“It would be wise to invest some caution in these waters,” came a woman’s voice. “Many foul things bathe themselves here. It is not uncommon to catch smallpox or the bloody flux in such streams.”
Terrance stalked the trees around him, unable to locate her.
“Here,” a voice came from behind.
A tall woman with long, dark hair and a matching robe leaned against a tree, her eyes glued to a book....
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