Come in, come in. The mist has settled, you may as well sit, sip a cup of tea, read a few tales.
No introductions are needed, river folk know what needs to be known.
There’s apple spice cake and cheddar if you’re hungry. Milk and sugar for the tea, unless you brought a flask of your own.
Don’t open the window if the crows tap and call, nor heed those gossiping tabbies.
I’ll be working in the far alcove if you have any needs or she knocks upon the door. Don’t want to keep her waiting.
Enjoy her photographs and her 12-line tales, though she’s a bit loose with the truth, too revealing with the magic.
Until you visit again may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.
It was 2 am when Bronwyn sneaked out of the long closed library, walking home to the studio apartment she shared with fellow student, Deidre, a quiet and slow walk, hoping she might meet one of the woods folks as they were called by the locals.
Not wanting to wake her roommate, Bronwyn slowly opened the door, stepping inside without turning on the light before remembering Deidre was away for the weekend.
Flicking the light switch, Bronwyn took a step forward and stumbled, books, clothes and dishes were strewn about the floor.
She dropped her knapsack, every muscle tightening as she looked around the room, moving backwards, bumping into the front door, slamming it shut, rushing back against it.
Cupboard doors lay open, drawers were hanging empty, the beds were piles of sheets, blankets and pillows, from the closet, jeans, skirts, shirts and shoes spilled out like the insides of one of the road killed foxes she mourned earlier in the day as she returned from the forest trails.
Instinctively Bronwyn reached for her cell, began punching in the emergency numbers, stopped when she saw her desk, the chair in place, her notepads piled neatly, her pens arranged in a row side by side, reference books stacked by size, it was an oasis of tidiness, calmness among the chaos of the rest of the apartment.
Instead of calling the police, she called Ryan, waking him up, demanding he come immediately, there was something he needed to see.
While waiting for Ryan, Bronwyn checked the windows, all were closed, all were locked and she looked for any sign of who might have tossed the place, most thoroughly she examined her desk, the organization, what remained upon it, what might be missing.
Three of her favorite writing notebooks, hard covered, heavy smooth pages, had been placed in precise positions, side by side, on the short end of the desk, a pen placed upon each one, dead center, with a space on the desk for a fourth notebook left empty.
Bronwyn glanced towards her backpack where she had dropped it by the door, wondering if this invasion had anything to do with what she had found, what she had taken from the wood that very morning.
She had found it on a moss covered rock, tucked under a leaf, hand tooled designs filling the four quadrants of the front, back and even running along the spine of the leather cover, a filigreed fountain pen lay uncapped beside the notebook, its pages unwritten to her eyes.
As Ryan opened the door, pushing against the backpack, Bronwyn smiled, she had made the right decision, for Ryan believed the tales, and he would help return the notebook before any other mischief invaded her life, before something would be demanded in return, something not as easily returned as a blank notebook.