Speaker-to-Customers (speakr2customrs) wrote,

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Crocodile Rock

This is in response to a remark by pfeifferpack in the introduction to one of the chapters of her excellent story ‘Loose Ends’. Hope she likes it. It’s a devilish little ficlet; not a drabble, as it is 666 words. There might be some specific term for that length but I don’t know of one. I just felt the length appropriate for the rather, um, bestial nature of this dark (but hopefully humorous) story. There is character death; but I doubt if any of you will mind when you find out the identity of the character in question.

Crocodile Rock

“This is where Miriam disappeared,” Xander said, waving a hand towards the muddy banks of the Shire River, and shivered. “Okay, she’d only known about being a Slayer for a few days, I hadn’t had time to do much in the way of training, but she still should have been more than a match for any local demons. Malawi doesn’t get much action from the heavy hitters; a few vampires and a touch of hyena possession now and then is pretty much all.”

“Maybe a few vamps ganged up on her,” Kennedy deduced. “Whatever it was, I’ll handle it. You get on back to the village, Rooster, and give me space.”

“Don’t you want back-up?”

“Like you could do anything but get in my way,” Kennedy sniffed. “I’d rather have a free fire zone.”

“Suit yourself,” Xander shrugged, and walked off.

Kennedy glanced incuriously at the muddy water, seeing nothing of more interest than a log floating in the current, and redirected her attention to the ground. She scanned for footprints or other clues, not really expecting to see anything; it was, after all, four days since the disappearance of Xander’s latest Slayer. She went down to the water’s edge where the ground was muddiest. There were some marks there but they seemed to be nothing but animal tracks, meaningless to her, and she turned her back to the water and gazed out across the bush. If there was anything out there the elephant grass hid it from her sight. Still, she had her Slayer senses to warn her of the approach of any demons. She took out her knife and examined the blade.

Something hit her across the legs with shattering force. She was thrown to the ground, dazed, knowing that one of her legs was broken, and the knife went flying. Huge jaws clamped down on her and dragged her towards the water. She clawed at the mud but there was nothing there to give her purchase and she slipped backwards into the river. The creature rolled over, sending her high out of the water and then plunging her deep below the surface, and then rolled again. Kennedy fumbled the stake from her belt and struck out but it shattered on the monster’s armored hide. Again it rolled, and this time Kennedy was breathing in as her head sank under the water. Fluid filled her lungs; her struggles weakened, and then ceased altogether.

The twenty-foot crocodile swam out into the river and dived, carrying the limp body of its prey back to its burrow under the river bank. It would eat well tonight.

In the morning Xander returned. The only trace remaining of Kennedy was the gouge marks of her fingers in the river bank. He grinned cheerily and walked back to the village, whistling as he went. He went to a hut, called out in Chichewa “You can come out now, Miriam, the bad woman has gone,” and then walked to his Land Rover and got out his satellite phone.

“Yo, Rooster, how’s it hanging?” Faith answered his call.

“Doing fine, Faith. You managing to keep the Hellmouth under control, or do you want me to come show you how it’s done?”

“I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man,” Faith teased. “The plan work?”

“Like a charm,” Xander confirmed. “It ate her right up. Willow’s free now; the Wicked Witch of the West is dead.”

“One down, one to go,” Faith said exultantly. “Only, B’s problem is a mite tougher. How are we gonna get a crocodile to Rome? Plus there’s that whole Immortal gig he’s got going.”

“Yeah, tough, but Giles has a plan. Seems we just have to trick Morty into going to England, place called Bovington.”

“They’ve got crocodiles in England?”

The Immortal stopped in confusion as the Churchill Crocodile flame-throwing tank lumbered towards him. A hatch opened and Giles popped his head out. “You claim to be immortal,” Giles challenged. “I’d like to test that theory.”

The End

pfeifferpack’s remark was In which Kennedy is eaten by a large reptile (and not in an "ooo ahhh" way either!) .....NO!!!!!!! Just joking, no slayers were harmed in this chapter at all (but I can dream can't I??)

Well, Kathleen, dreams can come true.

Note; the Shire river is pronounced 'Shih-Ree', not like the place Hobbits come from. I've stood on its banks quite often, but always with eyes peeled and ready to run like hell at the slightest ripple. My father has actually seen people taken by crocs right in front of him when he was working on the Shire Barrage.

Tags: fic
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