Reflections of a Dark Night
The first tale in the Storyteller Series


"Why, hello there. It's been awhile since I've seen you in the park. Come out to enjoy this sunny day, too, eh? Who would have thought we'd be granted such a warm October day as this? Even my old bones feel good today."

"Lovely red bow, Katie. Sets that beautiful blonde hair right off. Gives your eyes an extra-special sparkle, too."

"Teddy, is that a new pair of shoes you're sporting? What's that? Your mum let you pick them out all by yourself, did she? Well, your choice couldn't have been a better one."

"Benjamin! Yes I see you hopping around over there, but it's not polite to interrupt, mate. Ah, now. Don't be giving me those sad eyes. That's better. Keep shining that handsome smile. Brings out your dimples. The birds love those. Not those kinds of birds. The ladies, mate, the ladies! Give you a few more years and they'll be flocking after you, all atwitter. Hooo. . . stop screwing up your face like that, Benjamin, you'll hurt yourself. Teddy, you just keep on laughing. Just you wait, the both of you. One day, you'll be happier than pigs in slop when the ladies start chasing after you. Mark my words."

"Oh, you think that's funny do you, Katie? Well, it might be these two having the last laugh one day. Why? Because it might be you doing the chasing."

"Say again, Teddy? Remember, you got to speak up. These old ears of mine aren't what they used to be. Too many loud noises during the war. Have mercy, Benjamin. You're talking like a steam engine on runaway. Slow down, little mate. No, no. I've nowhere special to be today. Why, of course, I have the time to tell you a story. I always have time for you lot. Gather 'round, then. There's plenty of room on this bench for all of you. Katie, mind that board there on the back. That third one from the top. That's the one. It has a liking for pulling out long hair."

"Everyone settled? What would you like to hear about today, then? Tales from my glory days as a lad of the town? My time as one of Picadilly's top magicians? How about . . ."

"Another story about my mates and our adventures, eh? You sure, Teddy? I could tell you all about the time that I . . . Right then. My mates, it is. Just give me a moment to think of one you haven't already heard."

"Katie, dearie, you keep kicking your shoes off like that and you'll catch the sniffles. Hey, there, that reminds me of something. I've just the story. Get comfortable now and . . . hooo, would you lookie there! Whew! Haven't seen one of those for . . . What's that, Benjamin? Oh. Oh, yes. The story."

"Well, it was quite a time we had that night. Mind you, I tried never to go out on missions thinking I wasn't going to come back. But that night, the thought crossed my mind more than once. Almost didn't make it back from that one. My colonel almost didn't either. That's right, Katie. Colonel Robert E. Hogan. A better man never lived, I say."

"Now, this is what happened . . ."

To be continued . . .