Beyond The Woods 6

The town of Willingby were alerted of Samuel and to avoid him as possible. The Rangers began searching for him while I became worried for Lucy. Days went by and no sightings of Samuel. I wasn’t surprised. He knew the woods, better than any of us. There were many places to hide even in the wetlands were Muja made his home. We had hoped to capture him before the winter floods arrived, but we hadn’t any luck. Before the deluge started, Ranger Wilson and I visited Lucy. While Ranger Wilson walked around her cabin, I asked her if she had seen Samuel. She must have known something terrible was happening, I could see the worry in her eyes.

“I haven’t seen him,” she told me. “He stopped bringing me honey… What has he done?”

“Were just looking for him,” I didn’t think there was any need to scare her.

“He killed them didn’t he?” she asked.

I couldn’t respond. Though, she must have read my mind. I assured her that we will find him and in the meantime to stay near the cabin and keep the doors and windows locked. I felt uneasy leaving Lucy by herself, alone on the river, beyond the woods.

As expected, the rains were upon us making it difficult to row down the river. Many times I tried to reach Lucy’s cabin, but, the waters were impenetrable. I contacted her a few times through the radio until one day she didn’t respond. I became worried, and though, it was raining incessantly, I rowed my way to her cabin. To my horror, the cabin was being submerged in water. I hurried inside and found it slowly being engulfed. I pushed my way through, calling out for Lucy. I feared I was too late when I saw something floating near the corner. It was Lucy.

When I reached her she was unconscious. I couldn’t tell if she was alive. I picked her up and rushed her to the hospital. When the rains subsided I heard from other Rangers that Lucy’s cabin had been washed away by the river, leaving nothing but a vacant spot. I didn’t know how to tell Lucy, however, she didn’t wake up until the rains had slowed. I wanted to visit her, but I became busy with the aftermath of the floods. I had wondered if anybody had told her of her home, because when I saw her again she was standing in front of the vacant spot where her cabin had sat.

“Lucy,” I approached her from behind. There was a pause before she responded.

“Why didn’t you visit me?” she asked me without turning around.

“I couldn’t,” I said. “I’m sorry about your home.”

“Me too,” she said as she walked away.

Beyond The Woods 5

Lucy hadn’t mind Samuel’s presence, at first. He then one day invited her to his home where she met his family. Unbeknownst to her, Samuel never told her about Mary or the children working around the farm. She was becoming increasing uncomfortable with what she saw at the farm. The children did what Samuel told them to and never once uttered a word during her time there. The children like Mary avoided her presence. After two days, she wanted to go home, but Samuel wouldn’t take her back. She begged and pleaded until he finally agreed.

She never knew Mary was his wife. It wasn’t until she went into town she overheard about her. When she saw him again she demanded to know why he hadn’t told her about Mary. Samuel couldn’t say why. She then told him she never wanted to see him again, but he didn’t keep away. He came by her cabin a few times, leaving her jars of honey at the door. She refused to take them. If she had known about Mary she would have never let Samuel in as she had. She felt contrite about it and begged me to keep it a secret.

“I’m only telling you this because I hope Samuel doesn’t do something foolish and hurt his family,” Lucy said.

“Why would he hurt his family?” I asked curiously.

“Because I went by his farm to tell him to stop leaving me the jars of honey and found it barren of his family. Samuel came out from the farmhouse covered in blood. I assumed he was slaughtering a swine when I recalled he had no swine’s that I saw when I was there… I fear the worst.”

Before I left I asked her if she could tell me the exact location to Samuel’s farm. Strangely enough, she remembered and told where I could find it. The next day, I sent another Ranger to check on his family as me and Ranger Wilson paroled the waters for Muja as he was seen close by Willingby. I expected to hear everything was all right until the Ranger came back with terrible news. He had found Samuel’s wife and his children, butchered in the farmhouse. We then knew we had to find Samuel, considered now a malefactor.