Chapter 1 - Kidnapped

Dan and Alison were not in the mood for talking

Art: Paul

Jack crept into the park behind Dan & Alison  Art: Gloria Dexter


One miserable Thursday afternoon, twelve year old Jack Hughes crept into the park behind his brother Dan and girlfriend Alison. He hid in the bushes, hoping to hear what was wrong with Mum and Dad. Although he could not ask Dan any more than he could ask his parents, Dan would tell Alison. He told her everything.

Today, Dan and Alison were not in the mood for talking, which meant he had to suffer watching them smooch. By the time Alison left and Dan set off home, Jack felt no better than a rotten little spy. Glumly following his brother, he kept out of sight, ashamed Dan might discover him sneaking around.


Jack saw an old woman waylaid Dan by the hill in the park. She was dressed like a tramp. He wondered if she was begging. When she started stroking Dan’s face and called him Thomas, Jack could not believe Dan just stood there and let her.

 Horrified when she suddenly kissed his brother full on the lips, Jack burst out of hiding, shouting at her to leave Dan alone. Freezing Jack with a stare, the old woman shimmered as if going out of focus. In her place a beautiful lady stood willowy, pale and radiant as a princess. 


the old woman shimmered Art: Gloria Dexter


With tangled golden curls sparkling in the watery sunset, she playfully wagged a finger. Her voice, low and musical, sounded cosy as a secret shared.

“Frère Jacques, frère Jacques. Not today, but I will come back! I promise when your day comes, together we will have such fun. Until then silence learn, a kiss sweet Jacques ‘til I return.”

Blowing Jack a kiss which stung like a smack in the mouth, the beautiful lady took Dan’s hand and they vanished. There was no lightning flash or thunderclap. They were simply gone - like they were never there at all.

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Jack's dream

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Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer

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