"Don't stop me now!" I sang along to my lorry's CD player as I made my way down the winding countryside roads. Queen music has always been among my favourites; no matter how old it is, I love it.
It was one of those days, you know the ones I mean: the ones that start with what seems to be suspicious normality, so that when you look back, you think; I really should have seen this coming. Apart from the fuss and kerfuffle of moving yards, it was an average day.
I checked my sat nav. Only a few miles to go, then I would be at my new, larger, better appointed eventing yard. I had sold my old place in favour of a new farm with 275 acres of pasture, a cross country course, a totally up-to-date horse walker, two surfaced arenas – one outdoor and one indoor – and a lunging arena. I was going ahead with my best six horses, their tack, feed, various grooming kits, Parelli stuff and my competition wear. I was driving the largest lorry, affectionately dubbed the 'party mobile' - it had the Wii, plus games, a karaoke machine, a TV and DVDs, two big, loud speakers and a very good fridge and larder, both full of yummy (vegetarian) nibbles. My parties are legendary on the eventing circuit.
"Turn right," ordered my oh-so-annoying sat nav. I would have ripped it out and smashed it up if it weren't so reliable and essential to getting anywhere. As I started signalling, (as if anyone would be here) I noticed a patch of shimmering air dead ahead. I discounted it as a mirage of the unusually bright, sunny summer's day (this is England, after all) and drove on through it.
As I passed through, I was fiddling with the CD player, swapping the CD over, so I failed to observe the change between a picturesque, if difficult, stretch of countryside road and a gloomy coniferous forest. When I looked up, I finally saw what was happening and gently applied the brakes, checking GGTV to make sure that my horses were all right. I resolved to go out and check what, exactly, was going on. Oh, and where I was would be a good idea too.
I descended from the cab, having turned off the engine, and inspected my surroundings. Glancing up, I saw that it was a bright sunny day, but that the sun was having a hard time filtering through the needles of the towering trees around me. I pulled out the steps and unlocked the jockey door to check on my lovely warmbloods. As I entered the lorry, I saw a blur of movement out of the corner of my eye, but brushed it off – my mind was probably playing tricks on me. I entered the horse area and, seeing they were unsettled, began murmuring nonsense to calm them down.
I exited, locking the door and replacing the steps.
"Slytha," a voice shouted. I collapsed, the world going dark.