Claire rummaged through the rack of coats in the charity shop.Money was tight and her old coat was falling apart.

A royal blue woollen coat caught her eye.It was a fairly modern style and the pearlescent buttons gleamed prettily.

" Mummaaa,Mummaaa!" wailed her two year old from the pram.The tot's windblown hair and snotty nose added to the look of absolute misery on her face.She had been sick all week with a cold and now badly needed a nap.

Claire quickly paid for the coat and wheeled the grizzling toddler home. Katie was soon fast asleep after a snack and a drink.

" Aah,time for a cuppa," thought Claire,but realizing her twins would be home from school in half an hour,she began to get dinner ready instead.

Soon the usual evening chaos started- trying to finish cooking dinner-her toddler clutching at her leg and whining constantly,while her six year old twin boys ran around playing an extremely noisy game.

Oblivious,her husband Jack sat in his armchair reading the newspaper.It was the same every night.

Finally the meal was on the table and relative peace reigned while everyone ate.

Afterwards,there was the usual pandemonium of homework,baths and many glasses of water being needed,before,at last,the children were safely tucked up in their beds.

Jack stood up and absentmindedly scratched his head.

"Sorry love,forgot to mention I told the boys I'd come down to the pub for a few beers tonight. Matt's going on a working holiday overseas and we're having a bit of a sendoff."

And with that,he was gone...

Claire slumped down in her armchair and surveyed the wreckage.Dirty dishes and cutlery littered the table and food splatters decorated the highchair and carpet like some kind of weird kind of modern art.

With a sigh,she rose to begin cleaning up,but as she did,she spotted the coat in the hallway,bundled up in the pram carry basket.

Happy to delay the washing up,she unfolded the garment and while checking the pockets she felt something lumpy.

Withdrawing her hand,she saw that it held a ring.It looked rather old fashioned and was quite ornate.The golden band was richly engraved with a pattern of symbols and several colourful gemstones glittered as she turned the ring around.

The stones sparkled brightly under the downlights as she slipped the ring on her finger. A sudden surge of heat swept her whole body.Her heart was racing and her hands began to shake.

Looking up,she gave a shocked scream.

She was standing in a meadow,beneath a cornflower blue sky.


A sea of wildflowers surrounded her and the only sound was distant birdsong.

Sinking to her knees in the luxuriant green grass,she was surrounded by a cloud of heavenly perfume coming from the scents of a thousand flowers.

A delicious wave of tranquility washed over her. All the stress and tension of the day just melted away.

Rising slowly to her feet,she followed a narrow path which led to a Swiss style cottage. Window boxes overflowing with colourful blooms seemed to welcome her.

The door was open...

Nervously,she peeped in. There was a wooden table and chairs in a cosy kitchen. On the table there was an envelope,propped up on a vase of wildflowers.

There was one word on the envelope.


Intrigued,she tore it open to reveal a single sheet of paper.

In copperplate script,there was one paragraph.

"Welcome to your new home Claire.You may stay as long as you want.The ring will fulfil your every need.If you wish to return to your family,take it off and leave it on the table. But once you have done that,you will never be able to come back here."

Claire dropped onto a chair with a thump.She was shocked and confused.What was she going to do?

Restless,she paced around the kitchen. Opening the cupboards,she found they were all empty.Touching the ring,she wished for some food and immediately the cupboards began to fill with all manner of delicacies.

The kettle on the stove started to boil and a cup and saucer magically appeared on the table on front of her.

Her head was spinning.

Touching the ring once more,she wished for a packet of chocolate biscuits.Sure enough,they materialized next to the cup which had somehow filled itself with tea.

Sipping her drink and munching a biscuit,she looked around . The view from the kitchen window was beautiful beyond belief- towering snow-tipped mountains with a jade green pine forest sprawling at their base.

It was so quiet...delightfully quiet. She felt incredibly tired and found herself dozing off.

The bright morning sunlight woke her the next day.

A tasty breakfast of bacon,eggs,toast,fresh berries and orange juice awaited her on the table. Oh,it was wonderful to be able to eat the meal in peace,without constant demands,bickering and noise from the children.

Savouring every mouthful,she glanced out of the window.

A gentle breeze was ruffling the meadow and the glimmer of a brook captured her attention.When she finished eating,she decided to go for a walk.

She strolled down the hill to the tiny stream and knelt to drink some of the pure,glacial water. She felt the icy liquid slide slowly down her throat. Amazing!

Further down the hill,at the edge of the forest,she saw a movement from the corner of her eye. At the next moment,a magnificent stag stepped out into the open.

Claire kept walking steadily towards him,murmuring softly to the animal. Tentatively,reaching out her hand,she gently stroked his silky soft back. He stood still,unafraid.

After a few minutes,he turned and with a toss of his huge antlers,disappeared back into the forest.

Claire sank down amidst the lush grass.It was so peaceful here.She thought about her family back home and did miss them,but surely they could do without her for a little while longer?

December 06, 2019 07:21

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Scott Taylor
20:42 Jun 16, 2024

I was immersed in your story, and I don't give out that compliment gratuitously. Yes Yes... Make time to write! :)


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Stevie Burges
01:11 May 04, 2024

Jenny Lovely story. I was with her every step of the way. OK so the big question is "Why have you stopped submitting?". Jenny get those fingers typing!


Jenny Cook
00:15 May 05, 2024

Hi Stevie, I have had a lot going on in my life and my writing has been sidelined for awhile... I am hoping to resume very soon. Your comment has encouraged me to get pen and paper out again. Thank you.


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22:52 Feb 24, 2024

Jenny: This story was great. I can tell you haven't written in a while. I would advise you to keep writing. You can submit the stories without paying, you just don't get in the contest. This story has a firm outline and should be developed further. Easily made into chapters. This could be a fantasy on the order of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series! Please consider expanding this and try some of the other Reedsy prompts for practice. You have a talent here! Thank you for taking time to read my entry.


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20:28 Feb 10, 2024

Isn't this every mother's dream? Just for a few hours? I'm positive she will go back soon...but the ending surprised me as it made me wonder! :)


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Mary Bendickson
05:48 Jan 13, 2024

Could she wish for her family to join her but be less demanding and her husband help more. This is a fantasy, yes? Thanks for liking my 'Too-cute Match-Up '.


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Vid Weeks
20:24 Nov 27, 2023

A good read, somehow better for her staying, missing her family and going back would have been too easy


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Karen Corr
14:06 Nov 26, 2023

I enjoyed this lovely story, Jenny . It leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next. 😊


Jenny Cook
23:53 Nov 26, 2023

Hi Karen,I got such a surprise when I discovered my story and your kind comment this morning! I sent this story a long time ago and this is the first time I have had a comment. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and leave a kind comment. You have inspired me to keep submitting more stories.


Karen Corr
11:44 Nov 27, 2023

You should definitely keep submitting. I’ll be waiting to see what you come up with next.😊


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