She lay her lover’s head gingerly down, seeping red into the muddy water. She smeared a red stripe on her white dress as she wiped the knife clean. It was, after all, not so different than slaughtering a hog.
She’d come up from behind with a midnight embrace, the way they’d done in a thousand secret trysts, here by the river. He didn’t know she’d overheard him talking to his father. They’d decided a pregnancy was too much scandal for their family to bear.
But she wouldn’t be another Pretty Polly, and this murder ballad wouldn’t be about her.