TimeTravel – The final poem, a collaboration between Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess and Talesfromthemindofkristian.

Clock, Clock Face, Wave, Present, Year, Century

I have written a few collaborative poems with Beckie, of Beckie’s Mental Mess, where we each add to lines and pass it back and forth between us, they are great fun.  This one is probably the longest we have done.

Here is the finished poem:


I walked through the home my grandmother once owned,

in the middle of the attic remained a dusty,  antiquated trunk.

it contained a painting of her, looking like a queen enthroned,

and other seeming treasures, though some eyes would see only junk. 

The painting revealed that she was not fully grown,

because of the oversized top-hat, the essence of futuristic steampunk. 
And in the trunk, I saw a strange but old device rather like a phone,

with brass cogs and wheels and silver dials covered in oily gunk.

I studied the device with a fine-toothed comb 

after, I carefully scrubbed all the components of that oily funk.

Then the gadget started whirring, letting out a plaintive moan,

I pressed a button on it, frantically, then it pulled me far from home.

A wormhole of flashing lights and scenes went by through this cyclone,

my finger pressed on the red button and was dumped at some ancient catacomb. 

I saw some figures dressed in togas and realised I was under the hills of Rome, 

A centurion shouted at me, but I never had learned Latin, I pressed the button and Zoom. 

Boom! Back in the attic alongside the trunk in my grandmother’s home.

An envelope sat atop the Steampunk top hat, lights fluttered against the chrome.

I pulled out the letter from the envelope and in my granny’s hand it read, 

“Darling, I know you’ll read this, by the way, I’m from the future” Granny Said. 

“I know this might come to you as a shock, but Darling Dearest, I’m not dead.”

“… you’ll require the hat and remote for your journey.” I reread.

I followed granny’s careful instructions, and Gosh, she’d written quite a few,

then donned the hat, pressed the button and whizzed back to the battle of Waterloo. 

Plop! smack dab in the middle of the blood and gore, pressed the button, and bid adieu,

back through the cyclone, time speeding by, landed in Vietnam amongst the tall bamboo.

I gave a friendly wave to Jane Fonda teaching aerobics to a local retinue, 

Then pressed once more, the button and again back through time, I flew.

I landed in Midtown, 1931, the Empire State Building, floors reaching 102.

Why did I know this? I’m afraid of heights… Pressed another button, and “Woo-Hoo!”

And back I went, to the dawn of time, when everything was green and new,

I narrowly escaped from a Tyrannosaurus rex, when a meteor storm blew. 

Phew! I pressed that button in a knick of time! through the cyclone again, I flew.

Landed amongst an 18th-century French cotillion, women dressed in cobalt blue.

And soldiers marched along with pipes and drums, playing a tune I knew,

I sang along, with the throng, to the Marseillaise as the band came through. 

As I listened and sang along, a young lad came into the venue,

he handed me an envelope addressed to me, I was taken aback and a bit confused. 

Another letter from Granny saying “In order to find me, you need a more forward view,

stop searching for me in the distant past” the old dear sounded so amused!

The band finished marching by, and I wondered what to do,

‘am I able to program the gadget or hat?’ I was so enthused. 

I twisted the dial on the hat and cranked the handle a time or two,

then rushed ahead a thousand years, feeling befuddled and rather bruised.

When I landed in unknown territory, I was lightheaded and so confused,

was I still here on earth, or now cruising throughout the Cosmo’s?

This desolate planet did not seem like Earth at all, was it Venus, Mars or Uranus?

I thought “There’s life Jim, but not as we know it”, a quote that’s often misused. 

Where ever I may have landed, the planets and stars were all quite luminous.
Was I even in the same galaxy? I was truly bemused.

I was screaming loudly inside my head, but still, I didn’t make a fuss

Then gliding across that desolate space, a hovercar towards me, slowly cruised.

As the hovercar weaved through space, I felt my demeanor adjust,

I was a bit apprehensive, as the hovercar began to land and the air around it defused.

I felt my heart race and knew something would happen, it must,

As the car doors opened upwards, a glowing white mist effused. 

I was frozen, thinking some alien being would emerge from the cosmic dust,

all was silent, then I focussed… A little old woman laughing, she seemed rather amused.

It was Granny, not dead at all, looking larger than life and robust, 

I gave her a big hug and she stared into my eyes,  “What took you so damn long?” she accused. 

With tears in my eyes, I tried to explain, “Granny, I missed you so much!”

I handed her the hat and remote, and exclaimed, “They both made me so confused.”

“Well, Never mind, my dear, you’re here and that’s all very nice, and such,

But did you bring me what I asked you for?” Said Granny, I started to feel rather used. 

I stood there in disbelief, then inquired, “Grandma, I left to find you in such a rush,

I don’t recall reading what you needed or wanted,”  For, this was not an excuse.

Granny gave a stern frown “Look, you can spare me all that emotional slush!

I’m a Granny on a mission, I should have known you’d be no use!”

I couldn’t believe this attitude I was receiving, it must have shown on my face, now flushed.

“Grandma! that’s about enough! I didn’t come here for this abrupt abuse!”

I have to admit I was feeling rather hurt, totally shaken, emotionally crushed.

Said Granny “Look, I’m sorry dear, but we’ve got a job to do, there’s absolutely no time to lose!”

I had never seen my grandmother act this way, as she spewed and gushed,

Wise-ass, me, questioned rather quickly, “Do you want to find Grandpa?” I mused.

Grandma shed a doleful tear “No, I’m afraid he’s gone where time cannot touch,

“I have to go and bring back the seeds of trees, they died long ago” she reproved.

I felt terrible to bring up such a solemn time, that I totally misjudged,

“Seeds of trees?”, I soon rebutted, “Are you saying, I’m to go back to the present, and retrieve them for you?”

“No,” Granny said “I’ll come too, my mission was to create a biodome, after all, we totally fudged,

protecting the planet. I need to bring back trees  and some bees beginning nature anew.”

Granny picked up the top hat and remote and began to point towards the hovercar with a nudge,

“We require a hover truck, to transfer the trees an bees and a larger crew.”

I was taken aback by my bossy Grandmother, I could see why my Mother bore a grudge

I couldn’t help commenting “No Granny dear, you forget that from little seeds big trees grew”

“Fine! We’ll pick up the seeds, I’ll be dead before I see the trees!” Granny stomped away feeling begrudged.

We settled into the hovercar and granny set gadgets to go back in time, and Zoom! off we flew.

Back to a time when the world was one great forest and people lived in huts of muddy sludge. 

but while we were there we made a few friends and taught them about farming too. 

Granny was so impressed by everyone working together, she finally released her grudge,

“Oh, my goodness, I had almost forgotten how beautiful it was.” As granny pointed at the tall bamboo.

we spent several pleasant weeks gathering cuttings and seeds until we had enough, 

a big guy named Ugg took a fancy to me, when we left, I bid him a fair fond adieu. 

As we travelled through time, Granny and I, we reminisced over the handsome natives in the buff,

Granny was quite calm and relaxed, we had the seedlings, and she was no longer acting the shrew.

We gathered a gang of Grannie’s mates, built a biodome and filled it with our stuff

Then we went forward again by fifty years and marvelled at the glorious view.

The biodome was incredible, clouds formed above resembling that of marshmallow fluff,

and a trickling brook flowing through oaks, maples, ferns, and a few spruce. 

Granny smiled and said, “My mission’s complete, thanks for helping, I know it’s been rough,

“Now the future’s safe, I suppose you’ll want to return to your own time and vamoose”

I thought about leaving, but I knew there was future work to be completed, and it would be tough…

“Granny, I think I’ll stay and help with growing space produce.”

“But I hope you don’t mind if I go back and find and bring back someone hairy and gruff, 

For I miss that man, Ugg, and his wonderful Hug, I’m not usually easy to seduce.”


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty and Beckie Cutler: September 2019

Time Travel – A Collaborative Piece By Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess and Kristian of Tales From The Mind of Kristian




A new collaboration with Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess – On Travelling

ball shaped blur close up focus
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

I have collaborated with Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess on two poems so far:

  1. In Search of Happiness:



2. The Creation (about the Creative writing process)

A Collaboration By Beckie of “Beckie’s Mental Mess” and Kristian of “Tales From The Mind of Kristian” ~ The Creation ~ The Final Piece


And here is the start of a third:

On Travelling:

I’d like to travel far and wide,

and explore some exotic climbs,

From Beckie:

From the Himalayan mountainside,

a panoramic view,  one can witness at any given time,

My bit:

When watching television, staring google-eyed,

but to actually go there physically would be something quite sublime.

From Beckie

Far off lands and sunny coastlines,

I watch this television, envious of the people enjoying their time.

And from me:

It’s time for me to taste some Italian wines,

get up and journey to far-flung lands, divine

From Beckie:

Indulge in fine cuisine while I dine,

to savor the flavor from ripened grapes, straight from the vine.

My next bit (sorry for the delay):

Travel to London, and sail down the serpentine, 

that’s something that’s always been a dream of mine. 


Beckie’s next bit:

Imagine, the Changing of The Guard, strickly on time

and wouldn’t it be a hoot to have the Queen drive by?

And from me:


And if it’s Christmas season, I could take in a Pantomime,

or buy a ‘Whistle and Toot’ which, by the way, is Old Cockney Rhyme. 


From Beckie:


Off to search the medieval castles of The Isle of Skye,

afterwards, visit Portree’s little boutiques and pubs on the harbourside. 


From me:

Where there’s much more to see than ever meets the eye, 

From glen to glade, where once a Bonnie Prince did hide. 


Beckie’s next bit:

“The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music!”  I belt out a tune to some passerby,

Just one glance and they think of me as a wiseguy.

And from me:

As I whirl around on an Austrian alpine meadow, like Fraulein Maria on a High,

Something, I would love to do, if only I wasn’t quite so shy. 

Beckie’s addition:

Oh, how my mind wanders as the bicycles speed by,

Where should I venture off to next, by train or should I fly?


and mine:

maybe a canal boat trip to see Tulips in Amsterdam, or why

shouldn’t I sail to Venice and give a Gondola ride a try?


Beckie’s bit:

This is a dream vacation that may only happen once in my lifetime,

I  order the tickets in advance, up to the Eiffel Tower, to avoid the long lines.


And from me:

As I wander around Montmartre I hear the bells of the Sacre Couer Chime,

And watch a show at the Moulin Rouge in its dark and intimate confines. 


Beckie’s addition:

What’s next on my list?  I check it thoroughly, off to Palace of Versailles.

Louis XIV’s gilded palace and gardens, that survived the French Revolution of 1789.


And from me:

Then off for a gentle cruise down the Rhine in Germany to see the Lorelei, 

Or off to Turkey’s Istanbul to admire something ancient and Byzantine. 

Beckie’s new addition:

Germany’s ultimate Fairytale Castle, Neuschwanstein,

next, to Sultanahmet Square, to appreciate the architecture in stride.


and my bit:

Or a trip to America’s far south-west, to explore the exotic Argentine, 

dancing the Tango in a sequined vest, the beauty of Buenos Aires cannot be denied. 


From Beckie:

I must remember to pack my SPF 30 Sunscreen 

when sunbathing at Pinamar, I hear that part of the country to be sublime.


And my bit:

Then on to the Amazon jungle, somewhere totally tropical, lush and green, 

I was going to head to Mexico, but then I realised it doesn’t rhyme. 

Beckie’s new bit:

Ooh, Mexican huevos rancheros, enchiladas, with rice and beans,

break out the Tums, I consumed too much all at once this time.


And from me:

Enjoying the cuisine that has been lovingly shared by blogger Irene,

Then, where do I go next? How about a road trip to Anaheim? 


Beckie adds:

Blogger, Angie lives in South California, Ben’s Grandma, the Queen!

Then back on the road and head up the Pacific Coastline.


My bit:

Then on past L.A and San Fran, northwards past Seattle where the air is clean,

I’d like to groove on up to Vancouver, far from the trail of the lonesome pine. 


And from Beckie:

Vancouver’s surrounded by mountains and tranquil scenes,

smack dab in the middle, a diverse city of art, theatre’s, and music divine


My addition:

Then across the mighty Rockies to explore Chicago in limousines, 

then across Lake Michigan and on to Toronto over that great dividing line.


From Beckie:

Ooh! The CN Tower scaling over the city’s soaring skyscrapers, Wow, what a scene!

Head to Niagra Falls to watch evenings light show glisten and shine.

My Addition:

And then a cruise down the Hudson river would be relaxing and serene, 

and then to Manhattan island where the elite go to dine.


From Beckie:

Down to Chinatown, maybe Little Italy for a cannoli filled with delicious cream,

Then to the New Jersey shore and the boardwalk for a good ole’ time.


From me:

Maybe, then a trip to Philadelphia where Liberty was proclaimed supreme, 

then catch a train to Carolina, where nothing can be finer, at least that’s the line. 


Beckie’s latest bit:

To Georgia, drive through the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and sip from a fresh stream,

Off to Florida, the sunshine state, visit Disney World and sing “It’s a Small World” – Which is asinine.


My addition:

And now I’ve travelled far and wide, an around the world trip, extreme.

It’s time to get up from my old rocking chair, it was all a splendid dream.


I suggest that this is the end of the trip. What do you think?

A new collaboration with Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess – and Kristian of Tales From The Mind Of Kristian – On Travelling






Adventurous Soul – A very short poem.

asphalt dark dawn endless
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


To Travel on life’s adventurous road,

with the wind in my sails and feeling freed,

after years of being trapped, my passage, slowed

I’m determined to go forward with all God’s speed.

There’s no greater delight for our struggling soul,

than to finally see the light and achieve a substantial goal.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 05/May/2019



FOWC with Fandango — Speed





What do you See? – Fear of the Unknown.

I sent in a poem for Helene Vaillant’s brilliant picture challenge on Willow Poetry:

What do you See? March 19/2019

What do you See? Roundup March 19/2019


I climbed the ladder to peer beyond,
this grey walled world I long to leave.
The light calls to me, dare I respond?
what seems so bright, may yet deceive.


Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 25/March/2019

Friday Fictioneers – A Cat’s Adventure.



Mr Twinkle reclined, an air of nobility and idle grandeur about him. He stretched and opened his eyes.

It was a bit of a shock to his eyes to see that although he was still on the comfortable seat on the back of the scooter, he was not in the same place at all. The sight of the cobblestones, the warm summery smells, were all very different.

Clearly, he would have to watch where he decided to fall asleep in future.

Jumping off to search for breakfast, he thought ‘Where ever I am, I’m not in Kansas anymore.’

[98 words]


This story was written for Friday Fictioneers: See link below.

8 March 2019


I have also included the following word prompts:


FOWC with Fandango — Watch


The Adventures of Jeremy – Part Three.

This is a continuation of a story I started writing some time ago. If you’d like to read parts one and two, I have linked them below:




backlit dark dawn environment
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Featured Image -- 2421



Jeremy was itching to go outside.

The previous Saturday he’d discovered a new part of the park that he’d never seen before. It was a deep hollow surrounded by yew and holly trees, with a small muddy puddle in the centre. He could imagine that the Lady of the Lake would reside in there, just waiting for him to come along so she could hand him Excalibur.

He wanted to continue exploring, but the weather had decided to thwart him.

The air had turned so thick with fog that you could practically eat it with a spoon.

He had a theory, that the weather knew when you had an important quest planned and deliberately tried to stop you from reaching your goal. Well, he was not prepared to let this little problem get in his way.

Jeremy ran upstairs into his father’s bedroom. His parents were playing with his little sister, Jennifer who was having a tea party for her dolls. She’d invited Jeremy too but he said he had something more important to do.

He opened the wardrobe where he knew the items he wanted were kept and within a few moments, he emerged, after making sure that there was a solid wall at the back of the wardrobe. He’d read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis and so always made sure that there was no way into Narnia at the back of any of the wardrobes in the house. He’d checked them all at least three times. Jeremy pulled out the torchlight that his father used when they all went camping, it was on an elastic strap that you could wear around your head to keep your hands free. The other item he’d retrieved was his father’s green velvet dressing gown. If he was going to meet the Lady in the Lake, he had to make sure he looked the part and there was nothing he could think of that would make him look more worthy of receiving Excaliber than this particular garment. His Dad always looked very grand when he wore it.

So while the rest of his family were drinking their imaginary tea, Jeremy wrapped himself up green velvet, tying the arms around his neck, so that it looked like a cape, then he switched on the light on his head and stepped out into the thick fog.

The torchlight was just enough to follow the path, but the shadows of the trees either side of him appeared to loom, menacingly. Jeremy pushed through the yew trees at the far end of the park and was pleased to find his magical glade was still there.

Unfortunately, if the Lady of the Lake was impressed by his green velvet cape, she must have been scared away when Jeremy lost his balance and fell into the muddy puddle.

The murky water only came up to his knees, but it was very cold. Shivering he stood up and slowly made his way back home.

As he reached the cottage, his Mum and Dad were standing at the door.

“There he is! The little Rapscallion! What do you mean sneaking out of the house in this fog? Is that my favourite Dressing Gown?”

Try as his might, his parents just didn’t believe that the Lady in the Lake had pulled him in.

Jeremy’s adventures were severely curtailed for several weeks when his parents grounded him.




FOWC with Fandango — Theory









The Adventures of Jeremy – Continued.

A few days ago I wrote a short story about a boy called Jeremy. I received so many lovely comments about this story that I thought I would write some more about this character.

If you want to read the first Adventure of Jeremy, click here:


Keith Channing on his blog, Keith Kreates, hosts a picture blog, this weeks picture is below:

Children writing

Here is his post:


and here is my tale:


Jeremy wanted to go outside in the garden and continue his quest for the holy grail, but it had begun to rain. Normally, he wouldn’t have worried too much, after all the Knight of the round table had to put up with a lot worse than a bit of rain, but he was supposed to be looking after his little sister, Jennifer, and she didn’t like getting wet. She didn’t really like playing Knights of the round table either, especially after the time he said she was a Damsel in distress and tied her up with a blanket, against a tree. Her cries probably scared away every bird and animal in the whole park. His mother had come running up and that put an end to that adventure pretty quickly!

He suffered a great deal of dispraise from his Mother for that incident. He would never have hurt her, he was just going to tie her up and then rescue her, but she was two years younger than him and didn’t seem to understand about King Arthur or his Knights.

So instead of his preferred adventure, he remained indoors. He picked up the folder that contained all his most precious documents, letters from King Arthur, sealed at the bottom with a piece of red wax, taken, with the tacit agreement of his Mother from the outside of some cheese he’d found in the refrigerator and melted down to provide an authentic looking seal. He’d used one of his dad’s cufflinks to press into it, to make the shape of a shield. He also kept some drawings he’d done of what Camelot looked like. He decided to take out a blank piece of paper and draw a picture of the Lady of the Lake, the mysterious lady who had given King Arthur his famous sword, Excalibur.

After a little while, Jeremy decided that he wanted something else to do.

Leaving Jennifer to play with her toys, Jeremy went in search of his chemistry set.

He had received the Chemistry set for Christmas, it had been something he had really wanted, that was before the desire to become a Knight had taken over. Unfortunately, when he came very close to blowing the house up with it, his parents confiscated his Chemistry set and hid it away somewhere. Now he decided that rather than be a Knight, he would be like Merlin and use his Chemistry set to create a magical elixir instead.

However, before he could complete his quest to find his Chemistry set, it was time for lunch.

Before he was able to enjoy his meal, he had to go into the garden and feed his pet rabbit, Gwenivere. He had found the little rabbit on his last quest and had begged his Mother to be allowed to keep her. She had only relented on the condition that he looked after her. So he took out some carrot tops and lettuce and gave them to Gwenivere, who was pleased to see him. Giving her a gentle stroke behind the ears, something she seemed to really like, he then ran inside to have his lunch.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 19/February/2019


This story contains the following word prompts:


Today’s prompt: chemistry, blanket, mailbox


FOWC with Fandango — Tacit











50 Word Thursday’s #32 – All Things are Possible – A story in 250 Word.

Debbie Whittam sets this challenge every Thursday, to write a poem or story in 50 words, or multiples of 50 up to a maximum of 250 words, inspired by a picture and include some particular lines.

This is the story I wrote last week:


Around here, anything’s possible.- Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker

All Things are Possible

‘Just like two peas In a pod’ People said. My Twin and I were Identical before life separated us. I stayed at home and he went to study Architecture in Rome.

I had given up hope of having a different life. Mine was a life of drudgery, I woke up at six, went to the office, came home, ate then went to bed. Then over and over like some kind of Groundhog Day.

Then one day, as I was walking down a dark alley,  A man appeared suddenly. He was wearing a green long-tailed coat and fingerless gloves. He reminded me of a character from a book by Charles Dickens, like Ebenezer Scrooge, except he was grinning at me in a friendly manner and not rubbing his hands together shouting ‘Bah Humbug’.

 “Tell me, my boy,” he said, in a booming voice “What wish would you like me to grant you? Name it, and it’s yours.”

I decided to play along.

“Well, my Brother is in Rome, and I’d love to visit him. I’ve always wanted to see Rome. Can you make that happen?” I asked withholding my scepticism.

Easy as Apple pie my good fellow” The man then snapped his fingers.

We no longer stood in the alleyway, I stared in wonder at a grand white marble building.

The man laughed at my expression and said “You see. Around here, anything’s possible.”

“Where are we then?” I asked.

“In your dreams, of course” He said, and everything went black.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 20/December/2018

A Saturday adventure

There are quite a few nice places to visit within an hours drive from where I live.

This photo is of Flatford Mill. If you have heard of the painter John Constable, this is the site of one of his most famous paintings called ‘The Haywain’.


He painted nearly 200 years ago and very little has changed since then.

In this crazy world where nothing seems to stay the same for longer than 5 minutes, I find it very therapeutic to go to a place where time seems to stand still. The river still runs, the mill still turns and nothing seems to alter.

Another place like that is The Church of St Peter on the Wall at Bradwell-on-Sea.


This building lays claim to being the oldest intact church in England and dates back to 673 AD. The stones it was built with were actually from a ruined Roman fortress called Othona. The roof has been repaired but walking into this bare church you really feel that you are transported back in time.

I am very grateful that we still have these little pockets we can go to in order to escape this hectic world for a little bit.

Happy Saturday everyone.



Manic Mondays 3-way Challenge – Caught in the Boondocks

This story was written in response to Laura M Bailey’s challenge. See Link:


You may also wish to read my previous 3-way challenge story because this one follows it:


I would like to thank Laura for introducing me to a new word – Boondocks – which, in case you think I was being very rude with my title, means a wilderness, ‘out in the sticks’ and what my Aussie friends call ‘the outback’ or ‘ Woop Woop’.



Caught in the Boondocks

This was Jenny’s first visit to the United States and everywhere she went she gawked. Arriving at the Airport on the outskirts of Washington DC, she’d flown over the city, she hadn’t seen much though, there was a fair amount of cloud.

Aunt Emily and Uncle Frank were waiting as Jenny wandered out of the Customs gate. Uncle Frank wore dungarees over a checked shirt. He looked every bit the country bumpkin. Aunt Emily wore a bright yellow dress, that complimented her long brown hair. She rushed up to Jenny and gave her a huge hug. The tears came to her then. She couldn’t hold them back. Aunt Emily’s hugs were so like her mothers.

“It’s good to have you stay with us, dear Jenny. How was your flight from England?” Aunt Emily sounded like her mother too. Of course, she had a bit on an accent, but she’d been living in the states for ten years, since she’d met and married Uncle Frank who’d been serving in the US Air Force stationed in Mildenhall, Suffolk. Jenny had been a flower girl at their wedding but as she’d only been four years old, she had little memory of it.

Aunt Emily had come over for Christmas or Easter a number of times over the years, but she’d only seen Uncle Frank once growing up.

“It was fine thanks. We had some turbulence over the Atlantic, I didn’t like that much, but apart from feeling a bit fragile underneath, It was OK.” Jenny replied.

They walked her over to their parked station wagon. Uncle Frank jumped up behind the wheel, then Jenny sat in the middle seat with Aunt Emily taking the right-hand passenger seat. As she sat down, Jenny couldn’t help smelling a strong smell of dog. She’d grown up with Cats and was not at all sure she was a dog kind of person. ‘Oh, well’ Jenny thought ‘I knew this would take some adjusting to.’ 

“Can we drive through Washington DC, Uncle? I didn’t get much of a look from the plane.” Jane asked hopefully.

“Why, girl, that’s plum in the other direction. Heck, it’s gonna take nearly two hours to drive home as it is without wasting time sightseeing.” Uncle Frank said rather gruffly.

“Don’t worry dear,” Interjected Aunt Emily “I’ll take you into Washington next weekend, how’s that?”

Jenny nodded solemnly.

“You’d be better off taking her to Richmond instead.” Uncle Frank said. He was a Virginian boy, born and bred and had all the prejudices that came with it, though Jenny would not have understood at all.

As they drove along they passed open farmland and wooded hills. The leaves of the trees were turning golden and red as autumn fast approached. It was a beautiful palette of autumnal colour. Jenny enjoyed the scenery immensely. After a while, they arrived at the town of Woodstock. Jenny had heard of a famous festival that had been called Woodstock but apparently, that had been in New York state somewhere and not here at all. It looked like a pretty little town though.

Driving through, Uncle Frank waved at a few of the people he knew then they pulled off the main road and drove down a rougher track for about twenty minutes before pulling up outside a wooden farmhouse, painted cream with white highlights around the windows and the verandah, or porch. Jenny thought it looked quite charming in the late afternoon sunshine. She heard dogs barking in the distance, clearly, they’d heard the vehicle pull up and wanted to greet their owners.

As Jenny got out of the car, she turned and saw a rough track disappearing off into the trees.

Curiosity got the better of her and she asked: “Where does that path go?”

Uncle Frank replied “Oh, you don’t want to go up that way. That leads to the boondocks.”

Jenny stared “I beg your pardon?” she asked, puzzled.

Aunt Emily laughed and grabbed her hand. “It’s just an expression, dear. It means wild country. Uncle Frank’s right though, you don’t want to go up there.”

Jenny thought she was already in the wild country. She grew up in Suffolk and was used to fields and woods but this looked like the wilderness went on forever. How wild must it be down there then?

Jenny was an adventurous child and she couldn’t wait to explore her new surroundings.

After being introduced to the dogs, who had obediently sat patiently and each gave her their paw to shake, she realised that well-trained dogs were very nice indeed.

She changed her clothes from the more formal clothes her mother had insisted she wore for travelling into something more suitable for country living.

Then she ran out to find adventure. One of the dogs, a beagle type hound called Baxter, followed her, wagging his tail.

After exploring the yard and the outbuilding filled with farm machinery, Jenny found herself at the start of that mysterious path.

Despite the warnings, she started out walking with Baxter in tow.

As she turned a corner and the farm disappeared behind her, she felt a change in the air. It had been a lovely warm afternoon, but suddenly the temperature seemed to drop. The wind blew through the trees depositing several brown leaves across the path. She took one more step forward and she could feel someone watching her from the bushes. It did not feel like a friendly onlooker.

Baxter began barking at something unseen down the path ahead of them. Jenny took another step forward but Baxter refused to follow. He started to howl like only a beagle could do.

Jenny stood paralysed in fear.

Suddenly Uncle Frank was there and grabbed her in his arms.

“Didn’t I tell you not to go down here. You won’t last long around here unless you listen. It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened to you if you’d kept on going. If Baxter hadn’t warned me.”

Jenny burst into tears.

“There, there. You’re safe now, I caught you just in time.”

As Uncle Frank led her back to the farmstead, Jenny turned and saw a pair of red eyes glaring at her from the darkness.

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 17/September/2018

FOWC with Fandango — Fragile