I took the fabled path less travelled. This always works out well for the poet. But in the real world, the well trod path leads somewhere people want or need to be. The other path, not so much.
I had my reasons for travelling, and at the moment I made the turn, taking a path where I might not be followed or expected made a lot of sense. If I had just noticed the Fairy Ring it lead me through before it was too late, all this might be different.
Of course, if wishes were fishes, as they say.
Instead, my first clue something was no longer normal was stepping out of a muddy spring day into a crisp, cold winter’s night. The sky was clear, but it was well below freezing and there was a substantial amount of drifted snow. In the distance I could see a well appointed campsite with a large fire and figures dancing to tunes coming from a well cranked gramophone.
I looked behind me, just in time to see the window to that muddy spring day flicker and evaporate like a will-o-wisp.
I was committed to this path now.
I made my way down into the valley, where the snow drifts to either side of the narrow trail were often well over my head. The path crested enough small ridges on the way down to assure me it went somewhere. Whether that was somewhere I wanted to be remained to be seen.
Of course, before my unexpected change of seasons it was all out war from horizon to horizon, and that was no place for me to be.
I decided to simply embrace my fates, and put my best foot forward. With a new sense of resolve and hope for my future, I made my way down to the camp.
It was only much later that the nature of my mistake became clear.