Sometimes they were called “sorcerers’ rings” or “witches rings” In Germany, they grew very suddenly on Walpurgisnacht, the eve of April 30, when witches met to hold parties because of spring. It was the 30th today. Meaning people at school in the morning, would hit you on the arm and say pinch punch for the first of the month. So she may very well lie about being ill so as not to go tomorrow. Or not tell anyone and just not go. *** The clocks had gone back during the night. Such a strange concept. Grown ups did such odd and insensible things like trying to turn back to a time you've only just had -which even she knew, and she was very far from their age. But as a gesture of goodwill she had changed the hands on the bedside clock accordingly. A small sun awoke her. Rays squeezing between the gaps where the curtains never met because of spare curtain rings stuck in the middle. A wee gap for the weather seasons. Tugging on a warm jumper, cord trousers and wellingtons, she made her way downstairs and turned the key in the kitchen door, leaving it ajar for when she returned. She knew it was later in reality; and whilst the human world had been duped she felt an overwhelming need to follow the correct time by continuing its rhythm and routines as usual. In the park. *** The small gate in the wall was latched and locked. Large key on the metal hook drilled into the brick. It weighed her pocket down, and stretched the fabric, but she always locked the gate behind her in case the ducklings escaped into her garden where she knew a nightly fox prowled.