Posted on Saturday, 27 January 2001
Lizzy walked. Her feet were aching with so much pain she winced. She had a splitting headache that tore her thoughts apart. She drew sharp breaths every time she turned her back even a little. The pain was enormous. And yet she had to get back to her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner. They would be worried... Lizzy was worried too.
She had been taking her daily walk in the beautiful morning sunshine. It had been so inviting...the sunrays dripping, pouring through the clouds...a cool breeze making the fields bend and dance...dew on the tips of the grass. She just couldn't, couldn't resist.
She had walked far. Too far, if anything. She had remembered herself and had begun to turn back...when she noticed how black the sky had become. The pearly white clouds where now thick and dark with fury. Lizzy feared a storm...but the weather did not heed to her prayers. It sent down silver needles of pouring rain that seemed to cut the flesh. Thunder roared at a close distance. The wind screamed at her. Lizzy was almost frightened. Almost. Still, she ran. She tried to ignore the weather that seemed to try to enter her every thought and fill it with fear. And she ran.
She did not notice that the ground was becoming thick with cold water and mud. Lizzy tripped. Her arms fell out in front of her. She came crashing to the ground. Her head hit something extremely cold and hard. The pain was so immense, Lizzy near fainted. She put a hand to her head and groaned. She pulled back her hand and gasped at the sight of blood. She grew dizzy, and then she fainted...
Darcy rode through the storm. It had been a gorgeous day...and now this! He tried to keep his mind off the storm by thinking other things.
Bingley was considering renting an estate in Hertfordshire...was it called Netherfield? Darcy looked forward to seeing the place, but not the coarse country folk that lived around it. The barbarians!
A crash of thunder and a downpour of rain caused him to spur his horse faster. He needed to get back to Pemberley. His sister would be worried... Darcy was worried too.
He squinted to try and see in front of him. He could barely make out Pemberley. Hope renewed, he galloped onward...but then he saw something in the grass. What was it? Curiousity got the better of him, and he slowed the great animal down and directed it toward the something.
It looked like...a cloak perhaps? But no...it was a person?!? His eyes grew wide as he dismounted the horse and ran toward the figure. He knelt down and looked at him...her?
It was a woman. She was crumpled on the ground, her cloak wound tightly around her body. Her bonnet was clutched in one small hand, and her dark curls were strewn everywhere. He could tell from her clothes that she was not very rich. And yet... She is very handsome... He thought. Then he noticed: Good God, her head is bleeding! He acted on his instincts and picked her up slowly as to not hurt her. He put her on the horse gingerly and then mounted as well. He kicked the horse so hard it sped off towards his home. He clutched the woman to his chest. The rain poured, the thunder growled. Darcy prayed that her breathing would not cease...Do not worry...I will take care of you...
The horse sped through the field toward the great estate.