Let the Camino begin!

Welcome to Kfs Stories blog. This offering of a Story Starter is inspired by my anticipated return to the great Camino pilgrimage track which snakes its way across the north of Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The Story Starter is designed to offer an idea to inspire the writing of a love story. Take and use this Starter as you will. If the muse in you is moved I would love to hear how your story of Claire and Jean-Luc unfolds. If you like the Story Starter I’d also love to hear your comments.

St Jean Pied de Porte!

At last Jean-Luc had arrived at the village of St Jean Pied de Port at the base of the Pyrenees on the French side of the border. Jean-Luc whose family home was in Zurich, Switzerland, was on vacation from University where he had been studying architecture for the past three years. During this time he had also taken a couple of subjects in history and spirituality. It was because of these subjects that he was now in St Jean Pied de Port. He had read about the great pilgrimage tracks of Europe, and particularly he had been drawn to the Frances Way known as the Camino. Many pilgrims walked this track every year. Often they started their walk at St Jean Pied de Porte, crossed the Pyrenees into Spain and walked seven hundred and sixty kilometres to Santiago de Compostela, the reputed burial place of St James.

Jean-Luc made his way to the Pilgrim’s Information Centre. He was really excited. His dream was about to begin to come true – to walk this pilgrimage on his own. He hoped to deepen his spiritual life as he journeyed. As he stepped into the Information Centre he met a young woman coming out. They smiled and both said, “Bonsoir.”

One of the attendants in the Information Centre welcomed Jean-Luc and presented him with his official ‘credencial’ – his passport – for his pilgrimage. Jean-Luc was delighted he now had the first stamp in his passport. The pilgrimage had begun! He also asked to be referred to a pilgrimage hostel for the night.

Later, as he settled into the hostel, he found himself again face-to-face with the young woman who had said “Bonsoir” to him. He said to her , “I’m Jean-Luc. I think we almost  met at the Pilgrim’s Centre.” She smiled at him, and offered her hand, “Hi, I’m Claire.” 

Throughout the evening they shared in the community meal at the hostel, and everyone chatted about where they came from, and why they were walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. Claire and Jean-Luc seemed drawn to each other. They were about the same age, both students, and both desirous of walking the Camino for spiritual refreshment and insights. They continued to talk long after the other pilgrims had gone to bed. There was a bubble of excitement in their interaction.

Finally as they prepared to go to their beds, Jean-Luc tentatively said, “Would you like to walk with me tomorrow?”

Website: kfsstories.wordpress.com

Love in the midst of present day conflict!

Welcome to Kfs Stories website blog. This week’s Story Starter is set in the present day conflict in the Ukraine. Can love grow and blossom in the midst of such life threatening circumstances? Can it give strength and courage to those caught in this unreasonable conflict? I offer this Story Starter to you to take and use as you will. May it inspire for you a story of growing love, support and compassion between Lidiia and Andriy. Give your imagination full rein to create what could be. I’d love to hear the story that this Story Starter inspires for you.

“Lidiia could hardly move – let alone think! She was literally paralysed with fear. Her hands were shaking; her breaths coming in short gasps. She was hyperventilating. Here was Lidiia trapped by the Russians in the great steel plant in Mariupol.

When the fighting had started, she and her class of five year-olds that she taught had taken refuge in the basement of the steel plant. She tried to remain calm for the sake of the children who huddled close around her, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain her composure.

She held her arms and encircled them like a mother hen spreading her wings. This seemed to settle them and to comfort her in this helpless situation. 

Lidiia began to reflect upon her young life. So much had been happening, and things had been going so well – until this attack on Mariupol. She had come from Kyiv to teach in Mariupol after having completed her training as a teacher. She had become engaged to a wonderful young man – a soldier – by the name of Andriy, who had been courting her while she was at college. They were busy planning a life together and had talked often of their dreams for a home and a family. They had realised that it might be some time before they could marry, but they were dreaming of being married in two years time.

Now this! Lidiia felt as if her world was collapsing around her. Would she get out of here alive? Would these children for whom she was responsible get out together. She was determined to protect them.

Once again she tried ringing Andriy on her mobile. It seemed to ring for an age. Finally she heard, “Hello, Andriy speaking.” For a moment she could not speak as the tears coursed down her cheeks. Again she heard Andriy’s voice, “Hello, is anyone there?” Then she spoke in a broken low voice, “Andriy! … It’s Lidiia.” He responded, “My … love!” Then her words came quickly, “Thank goodness you answered. I needed to talk with you. I’m trapped with my class in the steel mill. It’s being constantly bombarded by the attacking forces. I don’t know what to do.”

Andriy paused and thought for a moment before he responded. Then he said, “Oh, my love. Don’t lose heart. All is not lost. Keep strong! I’m coming to get you out!”

Lidiia went to speak again, but the line went dead!”

Website: kfsstories.wordpress.com

Love across the time dimensions

Welcome to Kfs Stories. This week’s Story Starter is playing with a fantasy story around the legendary Lady Godiva and Banbury Cross. These Story Starters are offered to stir the creative juices of writers. If this story gets your imagination running let me know how your story would unfold for Jon and Lady Godiva. What wonderful tale of romance comes into your mind for them? You might like to leave your thoughts in the Comments below and click on Like. Have a great week.

He stood there looking up. He was a tall, ruggedly handsome time-traveller standing with his legs slightly apart, thumbs hooked through his side belt loops, with a smirk upon his face. He stood looking up at the centrepiece of this English village – where the crossroads met. This was Banbury Cross!

As he stood there his mind was transported back to a rhyme he had once heard: ‘Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross, To see a fine lady upon a white horse’.

Jon had travelled across time back to there. He stood in the crowd that gathered. Word had spread causing quite a stir. A lady was headed this way on a white horse. Everyone knew who this would be. The only lady in the surrounding neighbourhood with a spectacular white horse was Lady Godiva. She rarely rode into the village of Banbury but when she did folk would gather to welcome her. She was known for her kindness and her friendliness. She was so unlike other members of the local nobility. They were ostentatious, out-and-out snobs who held deep disdain for the local riff-raff.

Jon stood waiting for Lady Godiva to appear down the road. A cry went up, ‘Here she comes!’ and the crowd called out in welcome. Suddenly, there was no sound. Nothing but a deathly hush. Not a sound came from those gathered along the road. Jon was too far away to see or know why the crowd had been silenced. 

Lady Godiva sat tall on her beautiful white stallion, her long golden hair which she usually wore up, was down today. It swept over her shoulders and hung down to her legs as she sat side-saddle. The sun shone brightly upon her – a picture of shimmering beauty. Was this why the crowd was left speechless? Surely not. They had seen her before in all her beauty. Jon could not understand what was going on.

The horse drew nearer carrying its burden of beauty – and then Jon realised why the crowd was silent. The Lady in question was covered with her long tresses – but she was naked beneath. She had arranged herself discreetly upon her horse, but one could not be mistaken, she was wearing no clothes.

Jon was stirred by this scene but his deeper concern for the Lady Godiva far outweighed any sense of lust. In his mind the Lady Godiva must be in trouble. She would never appear in this state of undress. Something must be wrong. He did not know what but was moved to action. 

He stepped forward and said, ‘My Lady, allow me to give you my cloak.’ The Lady smiled at him, ever gracious even though her tears were flooding down her cheeks, and said, ‘Thank you.’ John took hold of the horse’s bridle and led him and his precious cargo away from the gawking crowd.

Jon shook his head and found himself back in the present standing at the crossroads of Banbury Cross. Could he get back to that same time dimension again…….the Lady had stirred his heart….?

The Siren’s call!

Welcome to Kfs Stories blog. Each week I try to offer the gift of a Story Starter. These are offered as ideas, settings and characters that may act as springboards for a writer’s inspiration. They are usually, in my mind, focused towards writing in the romance novella genre. Take and use them as you will. This week we meet Angelo whose experience borders on the supernatural ……….. I wonder what story you would write? Who is the Siren? How does Angelo’s romance blossom in this setting?

Angelo’s mind began to rewind. The last thing he could remember was walking in the evening along the escarpment of the mountain. The gloom of the evening was descending as the last rays of the autumn sun had disappeared below the horizon to the west. There was still light – just enough to pick his way along the track to the lookout. He remembered standing there peering down into the valley below. The stars were beginning to come out. There was just enough light to see the dark shadows of the trees and the distant mountains and hills. He felt the chill of the evening breeze on his bare arms.

He loved this lookout even though there was presently very little to see. It was one of those places that seemed to bring him to peace. It was here that he slowed down – his racing mind seemed to enter another realm. He breathed in, and out, allowing his breathing to become slower and gentler. He felt the peace sweep over him.

Angelo remembered staying there for a long time looking out into the darkness. He became attune to the sounds around him. He listened to the locusts as they made their evening sounds. He heard the rustle of a night animal in the bushes nearby. He was aware of the swish of the wings of a night bird across the sky. It was as if he were transported into another world – another place!

Then he remembered!

Suddenly, a blazing light had surrounded him. It was so bright that he was blinded. He could not identify the source of the light. There was no sound of an engine – just this dazzling light – and then – and then a soft seductive voice of a woman calling him: “Angelo! An-ge-lo! Come to me!”

The voice continued to call him. He remembered having a sense of being drawn towards the light and the voice. He was not afraid. He stepped forward to the edge of the escarpment. The voice continued to call him – inviting him. He stepped out confidently – out into empty space! As he did so he lifted his arms and began to move them. He remembered that he had not fallen. In fact, he had begun to float in the air. He began to fly as his arms continued to move. He had gone up, up, up to the light. It was bright but it was not burning. Suddenly it was as if he had entered the light!

He had felt arms around him and the voice washed over him softly, “Welcome Angelo. At last we can be together.”

Website: kfsstories.wordpress.com

Flight of fancy!

Welcome to Kfs Stories. This is my regular blog offering Story Starters, maybe as the springboard for romance stories. It is my hope that these Story Starters may act as a catalyst for writers. I would normally introduce the main characters and the setting, as well as some background information. This week’s Story Starter introduces us to Christina and Francois. It does not tell us a lot, but I think there is enough to stimulate any number of romance stories. I would like to hear where your story would take Christina and Francois!

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on board Korean Airlines, Flight 305, flying direct from Brisbane, Australia to Seoul, South Korea. Flight time is 10 hours and fifty-six minutes. Settle back, relax and enjoy the flight. Welcome aboard.”

Christina was sitting at the window seat looking out at the diminishing view of Brisbane as the plane gained height and accelerated. At last she was on her way. Her dream was coming true.

From when she was a young child she had dreamed of going overseas to England. Her forebears had originated there, working in the cotton mills of Lancashire. She was keen to visit the places where they had lived and worked – and maybe even to connect with some of her distant relatives. She had gleaned some information from her Aussie relatives, but she really wanted to go there and see for herself – and maybe even go further back to her Irish forebears.

Christina sat there with a contented smile on her face. Her revery was interrupted by an accented man’s voice: “Something’s making you very happy!”

Christina turned to her neighbour and saw a man whom she thought would be in his mid twenties. He was a pleasant looking man, not extremely handsome, but the warmth of his words, his smile and the twinkle in his eyes allowed her to respond.

“Yes, I am. At last my dream is coming true. I’m on my way to England. I’ve been dreaming about this moment for years – since I was a young child. And now it is really happening.”

The young man responded, “That’s great! I hope you will enjoy your trip overseas. Travel is such a wonderful thing. I have been travelling the world for the last five years with my job with the United Nations. Wherever I go I try to have some time for exploring the local scene rather than just letting my work take over completely.”

He went on: “Let me introduce myself. After all, we are going to be side by side for the next ten hours. Let’s make it enjoyable. I am Francois, and I come originally from the Dordogne, in France.”

Christina was normally quite reticent with strangers, but Francois made her feel unusually at ease with his easy way of communicating – his warmth and his friendliness. Within herself she thought: “I’m going to make the most of this trip, and try to enjoy every moment, and every interaction with other people.””

Christina smiled at Francois, and even formally offered her hand, as she said, “I am Christina. I’m very pleased to meet you.”

Their conversation continued, and before long they found themselves laughing and sharing stories from their lives. 

As their flight neared Seoul, Christina wondered, “I wonder if I will ever see Francois again. I’m certainly enjoying his company.” 

And she began to wonder what tomorrow would bring!

Website: kfsstories.wordpress.com

‘Camino to Love’

Welcome to Kfs Stories. This is my blog presenting a series of ideas for Story Starters. This is Story Starter 8. The idea of Story Starters is that they might be an inspiration for your imagination. They might act as a kick-starter for your new storyline. This week I share the initial chapter of a book I published some time ago under the title ‘Camino to Love ….…let love bloom’ which is available on Amazon. I wonder – if you were writing where your story would take Anna-Maria and Antonio!

Anna-Maria had her head down and was making for the exit from the El Plat international terminal in Barcelona. It had been a long tiring flight from Warsaw. At last she was here in Spain. Even so, all she wanted was to get to her hotel and go to sleep. Head down she barged towards the exit towing her luggage. Next moment she came to an abrupt stop and found herself lying on the tiles of the floor of the airport. She was momentarily stunned.

She became aware of a leather gloved hand reaching down to her and a man’s concerned voice saying, “Perdon, senorita!” She blinked. She was looking into the eyes of a dashing man. She found herself responding  to this very handsome man who was reaching out to her. She shook her head and replied, “Sorry, I don’t speak Spanish.” Back came the reply, “That’s good, nor do I. I only speak English and Italian.”

Anna-Maria remembered thinking to herself, “How lucky.” She is a native of Warsaw. Her parents are academics at the Warsaw University. She had been educated there and had studied a number of languages – English being at the top of the list, but not Spanish. Well no matter at least she had cannoned into someone whom she could understand and he seemed genuinely concerned for her well-being. 

She responded to the hand offered and felt the firm grip of this man who said, “I’m sorry, I did not see you.  Are you hurt? Can I help you?”  Slightly dazed, Anna-Maria shook her head and smiled,  “I think it may have been my fault. I really was not looking where I was going.”  Once again, the young man said, “Are you hurt?” Anna-Maria again shook her head, “No, I am fine, just a little shaken.”

“Come and sit down. Let me get you a coffee.” Anna-Maria walked with him and sat down. He got the coffee, and when he returned he sat and looked at her with concern. She smiled her thanks to him, and he seemed to relax. He again, reached out his hand, and said, “Are you sure you are okay?” When she nodded, he went on. He seemed to need to make conversation to reassure himself that she was okay.  “Let me introduce myself. My name is Antonio. I am from Italy.”

“I have just flown in from Venice. I am a financier in Barcelona on business – but I am also planning some down time while in Spain. I am going to walk part of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela after my business is completed.”

Anna-Maria’s face revealed surprise when Antonio said this. He asked, “Have I said something wrong?”

“No, no. It’s just amazing. Here I have arrived in Barcelona – literally run into you – and you say you are walking the Camino. That’s why I am here too. It has been one of my dreams for so long.”

Antonio was also taken aback by her revelation. Here they were, both having arrived in Barcelona on their way to take a spiritual journey on one of the ancient pilgrimage tracks of Europe. Both intended to walk the track by themselves as a spiritual pilgrimage. They both had a sense of being called to explore their inner lives.

Both Antonio and Anna-Maria were silent with their own thoughts: What was happening? Was this fate, was this God, or were the powers that be bringing them together at the start of their pilgrimage? Was this accidental meeting to be one of those events out of which something surprising might come? 

Antonio laughed aloud, “That is truly amazing. Where are you walking from?”

“From Sarria,” she responded.

“That is even more amazing. So am I. I read somewhere that you need to walk at least one hundred kilometres to be classified as a pilgrim. That’s why I chose to walk from Sarria. It is one hundred and sixteen kilometres from Santiago.” He paused, and then said, “Sorry, it is getting late and you need to get to your hotel. Where are you staying?” 

Anna-Maria indicated that she was staying on de Ramblas in the heart of the city. Antonio then asked, “Would you allow me to invite you to ride with me? I have a chauffeur driven car ordered. I can drop you off at your hotel, and then go on to mine. I’m also staying on de Ramblas.”

Now normally Anna-Maria would have been very reticent in accepting such an invitation from someone whom she had just met, but the events of their meeting and their conversation overshadowed any such reserve on her part. She inclined her head and quietly said, “That is very kind of you. Thank you, I will accept.”

They got up and gathered their luggage and made their way to the exit of the Airport where Antonio’s chauffeur was waiting patiently for him. It took about half an hour for the drive into the city. When the car drew up at the entrance to her hotel, Antonio assisted her with her luggage to the reception where he turned and offered his hand to her again. She expected him to say goodbye. Instead he asked, “Would you have dinner with me tomorrow evening? I could pick you up around 7.00pm.” Anna-Maria was taken aback, but again she responded positively, “That would be lovely. Thank you.”

“Until then, Anna-Maria!” He smiled and turned and left with a wave.

Website: kfsstories.wordpress.com

Can love bloom in the midst of chaos?

Welcome to Kfs Stories. This is Story Starter 7 in this series of ideas for growing stories. It is inspired by the present tumultuous situation in the Ukraine and by the belief that love can take root, grow, blossom – and prevail – in the face of the most grim situations. Will Grygoriy and the presently unnamed young woman find their way to love and consummation? I offer this Story Starter to you. What will be your story of their love that you bring into being?

Grygoriy was a brilliant young student at Kyiv University. He was tall and handsome with blond hair and clear blue eyes. Despite all his physical attributes he was also very reserved and shy. He sat silently in the back corner of the lecture theatre absorbing the information being imparted by Professor Lexinsky in the Biodiversity subject that he was undertaking this semester. It was the second day of the semester and Professor Lexinsky had just begun. He was in the midst of a sentence when he was suddenly interrupted. Grygoriy looked up from his notes. His attention was captured by a beautiful young woman dressed in a white blouse and soft brown slacks. She had long auburn hair. It was to her face that Grygoriy’s attention was drawn. In his mind it was the most beautiful face he had ever seen. Then she spoke, and Grygoriy would remember clearly the clear lilting tones of those words as he thought about her that evening, “Excuse me, Professor. Is this the Biodiversity class?”

Some days later the city of Kyiv was in turmoil. It was under threat from the advancing Russian army. At night, air-raid sirens were warning the people of this beautiful city to find shelter and safety from a night-time attack. Fear was gripping the populace, but also a growing determination to defend their city.

The students had been warned of the attack and advised to take shelter in the underground bunkers which were scattered around the campus. When Grygoriy heard the sirens he gathered up his overnight bag and made his way to the nearest bunker. Students and staff were crowding into the cavernous vault. He made his way to the back corner and sat down. He did not speak to anyone but settled down for what would be a long night.

At one point he looked up. He had a sense that he was being watched. As he looked across the room he saw her – the girl from his Biodiversity class. Their eyes met – and she smiled and nodded to him.

Strangely his heart leapt. This beautiful girl was acknowledging him. Here they were in the midst of fear and turmoil – and yet were two hearts beginning to reach out to each other? He didn’t even know her name!

Story Starter 7

Website: kfsstories.wordpress.com

Mystery in the East ………

This is number six in the series of Story Starter blogs. The setting for this one is inspired by some of my jottings from when I was in Jerusalem some years ago. These Story Starters are written from the perspective of being springboards for ideas for developing much larger storylines. It gives a setting and introduces the main characters – and adds a little tension which can be taken and explored in whatever way your inspiration takes you. I offer this Story Starter to you. Take and use it as you will.

“Flag-stoned pathways meandering in and out around curved and multi-shaped gardens; stately yellow snapdragons, pink and white tall tall wind-flowers; stately aged palm trees, citrus fruit – lemons and oranges bend their branches; royal red and pure white roses – a place of mystery!

A riot of colour and a profusion of varieties, heights and shades of greenery, from the lowly pansy and canna to bulbs and rosemary – an indescribable spectrum of plants brought together.

This is a garden surrounded by the golden limestone buildings reminiscent of the whole of Jerusalem – glowing and dramatic – the unique colour of the city.

Here Sebastian sat soaking up the ambience of the garden. It is a place of peace and yet the external roar of traffic filters through. The sound of running water cools the garden even in the heights of the heat. Here is a place to get lost in one’s thoughts even when other sounds and conversations are going on around.

And yet a soft gentle ripple of laughter catches his attention. He strains to hear the melodic sounds of a woman. He catches some of the conversation, “I love this wonderful place. It is just so pleasing to the eye. I love meeting the people. They are so warm and friendly. But did you see the beggars in the street? I want to reach out to them and embrace them.”

Sebastian was initially drawn to this conversation by the sound of the woman’s voice, but as the conversation progressed he was drawn more to the depth of compassion that she was expressing.

The conversation was happening close by. He felt like he was eavesdropping – and he was! He had this sudden inner compulsion. He wanted to meet this woman!”

Website: kfsstories.wordpress.com

A gift of love …….

Welcome again to the creative world of the imagination. This is Story Starter 5. These Story Starters are intended to seduce the creative juices to flow. They are intended as kick starters for stories in the romance novella genre. This Story Starter, although physically set in Cawdor Castle, Scotland, is purely fictional, and could be set in any location or time as a writer feels moved. Take and use it as you will. If it helps to move you to write a story then my task is done. Enjoy!

A gift of love ….

“Lady Cynthia, a distant relative of the Campbell clan, had been adopted by the Earl of Cawdor after her parents had died in a disastrous fire. She had only been four when this happened and she grew up as a member of the Earl’s household within the precincts of Cawdor Castle.

She was treated as if she were a daughter of her adopted family. They loved her, nurtured her and cared for her as one of their own children. Daily she would wander through the corridors of the Castle. She loved the timber panelled walls, some of which were hung with wonderful tapestries which told stories of her family. Then there were the portraits of her family’s forebears, and, of course, the wonderful furniture in each of the rooms.

One of her great loves was to wander in the garden with its wonderful oak trees and circular gardens planted with roses. In the early spring there were also the masses of yellow, cream and white daffodils which lifted her spirits after being confined indoors during the long cold winters.

The years slipped by and she entered adolescence and matured into a beautiful young lady. She still loved to spend time in the garden where she painted and did her embroidery. One day, when she was about sixteen, her attention was drawn to a new gardener – an athletic young man. She discretely observed him from a distance. He was tall with a shock of beautiful blond curls. He moved easily among the plants doing his work of weeding the gardens. At one point he looked up at her and smiled.

After that he smiled whenever she appeared, and waved to her. Finally, one day, when she appeared and seated herself with her easel, he approached her. He stuttered and said, “Excuse me, miss, do you like roses?” She smiled at him and replied, “Yes, I love them.” Then he handed her a delicate pink rose. She breathed in the perfume of this pink rose that he had given her. “Begging your pardon, miss, I didn’t mean to disturb you, but I thought you might like this rose.” She smiled again, and responded, “Thank you. It’s beautiful. I’ll sketch it.” Then she asked, “What’s your name?” He replied, “Dougall, miss.” Lady Cynthia continued, “Thank you, Dougall, for the rose.”

After that, whenever she appeared in the garden, Dougall would greet her and give her a flower from the garden. She often used to sketch or paint it in watercolours. They would talk and laugh together. They became good friends. They moved beyond the constraints of family and hired help. They shared stories together …….. She looked forward to her time in the garden with Dougall.

On her eighteenth birthday when she appeared, she seated herself under a flowering apple tree. Dougall approached her with a large basket of massed blooms that he had gathered from the garden. He handed them to her and formally said, “Happy birthday, Lady Cynthia. I hope you have a wonderful day.”

Her heart was overflowing with joy as she received the gift of flowers, and within her she suddenly realised there was the beginning of a feeling of love for Dougall. She looked again at the basket of flowers and wondered, “Is this a gift of love……?”

Website: kfsstories.wordpress.com

A writer’s dream

This is the fourth in a series of blogs which I have entitled Story Starters. Over the years I have travelled to many parts of the world so the locales for many of the Story Starters are places that I have visited in my travels. I commence by visualising again these places in my mind and let the storyline emerge. The genre that I am drawn to is that of romance novellas. The following Story Starter is offered as a gift. If it is helpful in releasing your creative imagination then take and use it as you will.

Sitting on the terrace of the coffee shop overlooking Lake Windermere was absolutely breathtaking.

Charlotte had dreamed of coming to the Lakes District since she was a child. During this time she had discovered the writings of Beatrix Potter. She had been enthralled with her children’s books and most particularly the adventures of Peter Rabbit which she had written in the late part of the nineteenth century. These in Charlotte’s mind were enhanced by the wonderful illustrations that Beatrix had created.

Just this afternoon, Charlotte had visited ‘Hill Top Farm’ where Beatrix Potter had lived for a significant period of her life. There Charlotte had been transported into another world as she had moved through the Cottage in awe of the books and furniture on display. She had felt as if she was there with Beatrix in the first half of the twentieth century. Even more so as she examined some of the illustrations on display she seemed to enter the world of the characters themselves. She could imagine being in the world of the mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit.

Now here she was relaxing at the end of a wonderfully exhilarating day. She was in a dream-like state when suddenly her attention was caught by a tall young man who was tying up his boat at the dock. The late sunlight of the day caught his shoulder-length blond locks, and his tall slim well-muscled frame held her attention. No man had ever had this effect upon her before. He looked up to the coffee house terrace and noticed her watching him. He paused for a moment and smiled. His smile did something to her. She felt herself feeling pleasantly warmed by his smile. When he had finished tying up he leaned back over the side of the boat and picked up something. When he turned around he was holding a rabbit in his arms.

Charlotte could distinctly remember thinking, “I’ve got to meet this man. He will understand the world of Beatrix Potter.”

Story Starter 4