As we waited by the bus stop on the bridge I slipped free of my mother’s hand. A few small steps away and I was peering down into the still stream below. It was overrun with reeds; frothy scum rode up against both banks, while a cracked pipe oozed its steaming offerings into the murky water.
As I was about to turn away I saw them – bubbles. Then breaking the surface a long, thin, shiny body: green scales glinting in the late afternoon sunlight. The merest slit of an eye pushing up through the scum. It quickly disappeared under the bridge.
I ran over to mother; yanked at her arm – excitedly told her the whole story. She didn’t believe me of course. My Dad just laughed it off; my brothers thought I was an idiot.
It was never mentioned again.
Surfing the web all these years later I came across a story from my old home town newspaper. A tramp had gone missing – last seen down by the stream, near the bridge.
I reached for the phone. Pausing, I put the receiver back in the holder.
They didn’t believe me then. Why would they believe me now?