Beyond The Woods 7

I heard from others that she rented a room in Willingby while her cabin was being rebuilt exactly the way it looked before in the old spot it stood. I didn’t see much of her during that time, but then again, neither did most residents from the town since she barely left her room. Maybe she feared Samuel who was unfettered, maybe she was heartbroken from losing all her possessions. I heard from Ranger Wilson that Mrs. Darwin, a woman that lived some distance from Lucy’s cabin visited her with food. She was the only person Lucy didn’t refuse to see

Six months later, Lucy’s cabin had been erected, and yet, we were no closer to finding Samuel. I had searched high and low as other Rangers had, but he was elusive. The only place we didn’t dare to enter was the wetlands. It was the home of Muja and we didn’t dare disturb his kingdom.

Though, the waters had recessed, it didn’t stop raining. The river overflowed and the currents were strong, making it hard to row through. I’d visit Lucy whenever I could or when the waters permitted it, and, even then the weather was getting harsher. Eventually, I and the other Rangers became busy on preparing for the next floods. Searching for Samuel would have to wait. We were completely preoccupied with our time that we didn’t notice that a stranger was coming and going beyond the woods. He had arrived the day the storms started.

The rains persisted, causing the clouds to be grey, turning the day into a dark gloom. Thunder rumbled the earth while lightning struck without anticipation. There seemed no end to the unfavorable weather. For days, I wasn’t able to visit Lucy. Sometimes I couldn’t help, but, worry about her, and when I didn’t think about her my thoughts were engrossed on other matters at hand. Lately, residents of Willingby were being threatened by Muja’s presence.

Muja has never been that close to the town before, and it only meant that the wetlands had flooded, forcing Muja out of her home. Ranger Wilson had gotten a call from Mr. Darwin. He had seen the alligator roaming close to his barn for days, terrifying his goats. Then one morning he heard the dreaded sound of wood being thrashed about. Mr. Darwin looked outside the window to see Muja inside his barn, slaughtering his goats. Ranger Wilson told him to wait inside until we reached his home. Mr. Darwin must have been irate to see his goats killed, because when we reached his home Mrs. Darwin informed us that he had taken his musket and followed Muja back to the river. We decided to go after Mr. Darwin as Muja was no match for him.