Welcome back to Atonement, TN!
I was sincerely honored when Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen asked me to do a guest post for her wonderful blog’s anniversary. We had a great time. Here’s a link to Suzanne’s blog and my guest post (along with a lovely tea recipe and Suzanne’s beautiful photos).
As most of you know, my current novel in progress is actually book-2 in an urban fantasy series that began with “Atonement, Tennessee.” The title is the name of my fictional town where supernaturals secretly live among the residents of this seemingly quaint town. (Book-2 will be called Atonement in Bloom.)
For her blog anniversary post, I told Suzanne about a few different settings in the series that would involve food. She picked a locale that will be new for book-2, Adelle’s Attic Tearoom.
What I’m sharing with you was originally posted at A Pug in the Kitchen earlier this week. It’s a scene with two minor characters in my Atonement, TN universe. This may or may not appear in the novel. For reasons I won’t go into, it would be “mechanically” difficult. However, I might make it part of a short story. At any rate, I think it’s fun to get to know the characters who only play a small role. I hope you enjoy this tidbit.
Adelle’s Teapot — Features from Atonement TN
Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
The inventory notes Annie recorded were part of an ancient list, passed down through the Metatron clan. For the most part, the older the item, the more power it held. The kind of power varied widely.
The Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic could show one’s true self. The mirror could be playful, cryptic, devilishly mischievous, or brutally honest. It almost seemed to have a mind of its own. In age and in power, that mirror ranked about mid-way on the inventory list. Annie shuddered to think of the havoc she had known the mirror to wreak.
She kept many of the items hidden in plain sight in her antique shop. It had been easy enough to steer Ralda Lawton away from a special quilt. Ralda, the new owner of the Sunhold estate, did not need that star design quilt, but someone else would. However, the brass Bed of Dreams was meant for her. The bed wasn’t strong in power, but it was effective.
Annie looked down at the ancient list. Something glowed through several layers of paper. She knew the glow came from the script identifying a very old item. The glowing writing meant an item awakened. Her hands shook as she leafed through the pages to the very beginning of the catalogued inventory.
The teapot. Annie took a shuddering breath. It was simple and unassuming looking, but the teapot was the oldest item listed in Annie’s inventory notes. It was also arguably the most powerful. Because of its unique properties the teapot had always been kept separate from the other items. Adelle, Annie’s sister was the teapot’s custodian. It was safely tucked away in the attic of the Victorian house that was Adelle’s tearoom and home.
A brew had not been made from that teapot in living memory. But what else could awaken the pot but the alchemy of water, heat, and the right combination of herbs, flowers, and leaves?
“No Adelle,” Annie muttered as she put away the ancient ledger.
Annie ran out of her shop, the door banging shut behind her. Her platinum hair shone in the moonlight. She skidded around the corner and ran down the town square. Annie stumbled to a stop. She gazed at the night sky in open mouthed astonishment.
Above Adelle’s tearoom the sky shimmered in a golden aura. When Annie looked farther up into the sky, she saw an even more astonishing sight. The entire town of Atonement rested unaware beneath five columns of light pillars. The columns of light pulsed through the clouds.
“Adelle,” Annie gasped. “What have you done?”
With a hand to her chest, Annie continued toward her sister’s home. She fell going up the front porch stairs. As she righted herself, Annie saw that the front door stood open. Then she realized that every door and window in the Victorian house was wide open.
“My God, Annie! Are you all right?” Adelle exclaimed as she helped her sister to her feet and guided her inside.
Annie allowed her sister to guide her, gasping for breath and shaking with fright, to the kitchen table. There Adelle poured a cup of tea. Annie turned horrified eyes from the teacup to her sister.
“Oh don’t be silly,” Adelle chastised. “It’s not from that teapot.”
Annie took a sip of the tea her sister pressed upon her. She took a bite of cake or scone or some baked treat that would ordinarily have been delicious. However it might as well have been cardboard in her mouth. Without even realizing what she was doing Annie crumbled the rest between her fingers never looking at it. She stared blindly out the kitchen window into the darkness, too stunned to process the thousand thoughts in her mind.
“Why in heaven’s name would you let the teapot awaken?” Annie finally asked.
“It couldn’t be helped. I needed to talk to our grandfather,” Adelle replied.
“That wouldn’t be difficult for you,” Annie said. “Why would you use the teapot for that?”
Her sister’s mouth curved to that self-satisfied, cat-with-a-bowl-of-cream smile that Annie knew all too well.
“Which grandfather,” Annie asked, closing her eyes and bracing herself for the answer she already knew was coming.
Adelle pursed her lips then made a reluctant, sardonic grimace. “The one quite a few times removed. Maybe a few hundred times.”
Annie groaned and dropped her head to the kitchen table, her pale hair falling to cover her face. Forehead against the polished wood, she rocked her head side to side. Finally she looked up at her raven haired sister.
“Tell me this is not happening,” Annie pleaded hoarsely.
“It really couldn’t be helped, Annie. I had to consult Enoch,” Adelle said apologetically.
“What could possibly be that important?” Annie demanded.
The sardonic twist left Adelle’s mouth. She looked into her sister’s eyes, coldly serious.
“Cailleach Bheur,” Adelle said. “Beira the Crone.”
As you can see, my odd little imaginary town has its quirks. I hope you enjoyed this visit to Atonement, Tennessee. Be sure to visit Suzanne too. It’s still her anniversary week.
Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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