The Art of Taking a Break: 1

coffee-cookies-glasses-andrea-di, Andrea Di

Welcome, everyone.  I’ve said that I would be taking some time off from Teagan’s Books, so why am I here?  Well,  I am taking a break, but I don’t want anyone to forget that I exist.  

I’ve realized that break taking truly is an art form.  Plus it’s an art that I desperately need to figure-out.  So far I haven’t had much success.  The closest I’ve come is making a mess of “adult coloring books” for about half an hour before I go to bed. Crystal, my feline supervisor, likes the sound of the crayons and markers as they deface the coloring book page. I give her a couple to be “her very own” and she lays with a paw across them.  dream-doodlesFor decades I’ve read that psychologists recommend coloring to de-stress. That’s just hearsay; I’m no expert.  I really do find it is calming though, because it forces my focus onto the intricate images.  My favorite collection is from Creative Haven (click for examples), for their detailed designs.  The more intricate the picture, the more concentration required, and so the more I stress released.  At least that’s how it is for me.  I have the Dream Doodles  book. Here’s an image from Amazon to give you an idea. (No it’s not my handiwork. I can’t stay inside the lines to save my life.)

How do you de-stress?  Be sure to share — just remember this is a G rated blog!

At any rate, now you know that I’m still alive and kicking — and sending you mega hugs.

Disclaimer:  I looked through many videos to find one that didn’t have an ad attached.  So my fingers are crossed that one doesn’t sneak-in… Especially from my all time least favorite politician, who seems to have taken over all the ads on Youtube…

Guitar Mancer — Episode 24: Oklahoma

1929 Packard hearse

1929 Packard

Welcome back to the road trip that is The Guitar Mancer!   Are you wondering what a 1929 Packard could possibly have to do with a story set in 1970?  Read on to learn the answer.

Featured Blogger

Timothy Price, a photography artist in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area has also been doing some posts about Route 66.  So it seemed appropriate to feature him with this installment of The Guitar Mancer. 

Tim calls his blog Off Center & Not Even @ T & L Photos.  Click here for one of his Route 66 posts.  Check out his photo blog to learn more about Tim and the collection of pets who own him and Laurie.  You might also learn about Tim and the challenges he takes on every day.

I’m also honored to say that Tim did a wonderful review of my novel, Atonement, Tennessee.  He even created photo art especially for it.  See his review here. 

About This Episode

In the early days of this blog I was doing the spontaneously written “Three Things” serials, with 1920s settings.  Often photographs of movie stars in that era reminded me of bohemian hippie styles, particularly the women’s hairstyles.  So I had the idea to “cast” the female Route 66 faeries from Roaring Twenties starlets.  You’ll see a couple of them today.

Last time we got a better idea of what means the Mother would use to unblock Luci’s mancer abilities.  It all ties to the Reflected Road, a strange version of Route 66 where absolutely anything might happen. Now we rejoin the story.  In this installment Luci is led onto the Reflected Road by Mist, one of the Route 66 faeries.

Episode 24 — Oklahoma

Route 66 Map

Luci held tightly to Mist’s hand as the Mother Road sprite led her through the silvery fog.  When the fog cleared, Luci beheld a dry, barren landscape. 

The hippie faery guided Luci along wooded trails.  Mist still held her hand, and Luci was unnerved enough that she didn’t try to let go of the physical contact.  She was even grateful for Lychnis occasionally getting too close to her feet and causing her to stumble.  Somehow that made her feel connected with the real world while in a place that was utterly surreal.

When Lychnis looked up at Luci, she was startled by his eyes.  They shone the way they would at night, but with a brighter light, like small twin lamps.

Mary Pickford as Mist

Mary Pickford as Mist

They had not spoken much, Luci and the Route 66 faery.  Mist seemed to intuit Luci’s need for quiet.  She was still processing all the things the Mother had said.  Her instructions and cautions were not something Luci wanted to risk forgetting.  However, what was even more strongly on her mind was the comment the Spirit of Route 66 had made about Luci’s mother.

Luci thought that often it is not the words that are spoken, but how they are said.  The way the Mother described Luci’s mom as having “great aspirations.”  Luci felt it was good to aspire to things, to keep improving one’s self.  But the Mother’s words made it sound like a criticism. 

Growing up, whenever Luci had questioned her dad about her mom, the answering seemed to cause Grover pain.  Luci could recognize the hurt in his eyes even when she was small.  She couldn’t bear to cause her dad pain, so she stopped asking questions or even talking about her mom.

She had always thought the pain Grover felt was from loss and grief.  What if it was something else?  The Spirit of the Mother Road suggested Darla Harper was ambitious.  Luci had met unpleasant women and men in Nashville who had a thirst for power or prestige.  What if her mom had been like that.  There might have been strife between her parents.  She wondered if there was a conflict between them when her mom was lost.

“Mist,” Luci began.  “Did you know my mom?”

“Darla Harper?” Mist asked and Luci nodded.  “I met her, but I would not say that I knew her.  When the Mother allows people onto the Reflected Road, we sprites are paired as escorts to those who have traits of character or personality that are the most similar to our own.  So I had little contact with Darla Harper,” Mist explained.

Mist’s response was intriguing.  Luci wondered how she was like Mist.  The sprite seemed to guess her thoughts.

“You are quiet and analyze things well,” Mist said.  “It makes you seem more timid than you really are.  And you have a kind heart.  Those are traits we share,” Mist told her with a sweet smile.

1920s for Mist

Jobyna Ralston as Midnight

“Who was chosen to escort my mom?” Luci asked returning the smile, and supposed it must have been the playful Sunshine.

Mist looked at her briefly before she spoke.  She didn’t return Luci’s smile, though her lips twitched as if she tried.  “It was Midnight,” she said.  “She would be the one among us sprites to know Darla Harper best.”

That troubled Luci.  It was unusual for Luci Harper to have an instant dislike to anyone.  However, she couldn’t say that she liked Midnight.  She certainly didn’t like the way the faery flirted with Tam. 

Not that I’d care, Luci thought.  She still didn’t exactly admit her crush on the green-eyed mancer, even to herself.

What bothered her about the Route 66 faery flirting with Tam was the glances at herself that she caught from Midnight.  It suggested the sprite was not flirting with Tam because she was attracted to him, but for some unknown reason of her own.

Based on what she had seen of Midnight, it confirmed what the Mother said about her mom having aspirations, as she called it.  Plus Midnight flirted shamelessly with Tam.  She had a suggestive way about her, and her eyes held desire, but not love.  Midnight seemed mildly calculating, not spontaneous.  Were those characteristics she shared with Darla Harper?  Luci found the idea of her mother acting the way Midnight did appalling.

Mist didn’t offer any more information, and Luci fell silent.  They traveled quietly for a while.  Mist began to walk slowly.  She gazed all around at the trees and up at the sky seeming to ponder something. Mist tilted her head as if listing, though Luci didn’t hear anything.

“We’ve arrived,” the Mother Road faery stated.

It didn’t look to Luci like they had gotten anywhere.  However, she noticed that the trail they had been walking came to a dead end.  A broad stand of trees cut off the path. 

Tumbleweed vintage“This is where we were going?” Luci turned in a circle, looking around as she asked in a puzzled tone.

Mist pointed to show Luci a break in the trees.  The sprite led her through the opening.  They stood atop a small hill, looking down at Route 66.

Tumbleweeds seemed to chase each other down the road.  A battered old car rounded the bend and went the same direction as the tumbleweeds. 

Mist let go of Luci’s hand, her eyes following the antique car.  Until that moment, the sprite’s expression had always been serene, almost beatific.  However, at that moment her brow knitted in a worried expression.

“This is going to be hard.  I wonder if the Mother realizes just how hard,” Mist whispered to herself.

“What do you mean?” Luci asked nervously.

Mist smoothed her facial expression and smiled sweetly.  “Huh?  Oh, this is just not the kind of challenge I expected, that’s all,” she stammered.  “Don’t worry, you will be fine.  I have faith in you, Carolina Lucille Harper,” Mist said in a reassuring voice, though her eyes showed concern.

“Remember,” the hippie faery said.  “What you experience on the Reflected Road may be from your past, from your ancestors, or from other incarnations of your own.  Sometimes, it isn’t any of those things.  Rather it is just a possibility, something that might have happened, but never did — past, present, or future.  You might see ghosts — a true past, happy or horrible,” Mist said as she looked intently into Luci’s eyes.  “Do you understand?”

Luci felt like Mist was trying to tell her something with her gaze, something she was not permitted to say aloud.  However, Luci couldn’t imagine what the unspoken message was.  “Which of those is this place?” she asked cautiously.

“I may not say,” Mist told her with a slow shake of her head.  “But I have a bad feeling, so please be alert and cautious,” she finished in a whisper.Tam-Bodaway blue

She lifted her voice to a normal volume and continued.  “Be alert, and listen for the mancers’ music.  It might come to you at a time when you are extremely preoccupied, or in the middle of something… well, something dangerous to you or to someone near you.  But unless you want to stay in this place forever, you must heed the mancers’ call.  Do not tarry,” Mist said in such a grave voice that a chill went down Luci’s spine.

A cold wind blew Luci’s hair, but the sun was hot, beating down on the desolate hillside.  Mist took a step away from her, apparently ready to part company with Luci.

“Wait,” Luci said frightened.  “Where do I go from here?”

Mist raised her open palms and shrugged.  “The choices you make while here take part in determining what potentials you experience.  After I leave, from your first step, from your first word, you will set the tone for what comes to you.

Luci looked down the hill.  She saw a battered road sign that said “Oklahoma, US 66.”  Otherwise the emptiness of the dusty road was all she could see in either direction. 

Rt 66 Oklahoma sign bullet holes

Oklahoma,” she muttered in astonishment.  “Have we really traveled that far?  We were in Missouri a little while ago.  If we stepped back onto the real Route 66 right now, I wonder if we would still be in Oklahoma,” she pondered. 

What was it the Mother had said?  Time and distance flowed differently on the Reflected Road?  Luci felt a chill as she remembered the words.

Lychnis sat patiently looking up at her.  She stooped to scratch behind his tufted ears.  The sound of an engine drew her eyes back to the road.  It was another antique car.  Based on the body style, she guessed it was from the 1930’s.

The air at the bottom of the hill seemed clouded with dust, so the visibility wasn’t terribly high.  However, if she stretched her neck, looking in the direction the cars traveled, she could make out a cluster of buildings a considerable walk down the highway.

A series of sharp sounds came to her ears.  They seemed so far away that she wasn’t sure what could have caused them.  While she thought, a third car came into view.  That time it moved toward her location.  It wasn’t moving as fast as the others.  There also appeared to be several dips in the road, and the car repeatedly left her view only to reappear a moment later.  As it drew closer she saw that it was a similar model to the first two vehicles. 

“Wait a minute,” she began to ask Mist, but her eyes were glued to the approaching car.  “Are those antiques?  You said it might be from the past.  Is that where we are?” she said turning to the hippie sprite, but Mist was gone.1929 Packard hearse

Luci felt a moment of abject terror.  She turned in every direction, looking for Mist.  However, it was as if she had never been there at all.  There was neither a footprint nor a broken twig to prove her presence had been real.

Lychnis looked up at her and gave a reassuring purr-rawr..  She couldn’t help smiling at his comical face.  “Well,” she reminded herself aloud.  “I knew we’d be on our own eventually, right?  That was part of the deal.  What do you think, Your Kitten-ness?” she nervously asked the oversized lynx kitten, and he head-butted her shins.  “I guess that means get going then… but which way?” she said aloud, more to herself than to the lynx.

Since the only signs of nearby life were the cluster of distant buildings, Luci decided to head that way.  There might well be something closer, around a bend in the other direction, but she chose what she could see.  As she headed down the hill, dust stirring behind her heels, Lychnis walked at her side.

They walked a short way.  She hadn’t seen the vehicle that had been headed her way in a while.  The slow moving car came over a dip in the road.  It swerved wildly.  Luci thought it was a good thing it wasn’t traveling any faster or the driver might have lost control.  However, she realized there wasn’t much for him to run into on that stretch of highway. He’d just run off the road and into the dirt.

She hesitated.  Something was not right about the way that car was moving.  Lychnis sniffed the air in a way that made her think he smelled something he recognized. Lychnis magenta

The car began to move even slower.  Slower.  Luci tilted her head considering it.  She thought it was as if the driver had taken his foot off the gas pedal.  Finally it was close enough for her to see inside.  She gasped when she couldn’t see anyone in the driver’s seat.

Ever so slowly the car veered and ran off the side of the road, coasting to a stop on the shoulder.  Luci was afraid to approach the apparently driverless car.  Curiosity and intuitive concern got the better of her and she ran to the vehicle.

The car was probably white under all the dirt.  The top, fenders and spare tire cover were blue, and it had a chrome front bumper.  Luci guessed it was from the late 1920’s.  When she was close enough she spotted the brand logo for Packard

She kept a good three feet between her and the car.  Seeing an empty car roll down the road unnerved her.  Luci walked cautiously from the passenger side around to the back of the car.  It had a New Mexico license plate.

It was a really long car, with four doors and a compartment behind the backseat.  Looking through the windshield, she still didn’t see anyone inside.  She moved from the front of the car to the driver’s side.  The window was down and she looked inside as she approached.  That’s when she noticed how far back the seat was from the steering wheel.

Movement caught her eye and she jumped.  An involuntary step back caused her to bump into Lychnis.  She regained her balance and looked inside.  Yes, someone was lying across the driver’s seat.  She heard a moan.

Pieces of glass littered the ground beside the car.  She tried to keep Lychnis back, worried that his paws would be cut.  It registered with her that the window had not been rolled down.  No, it was broken out.  There was broken glass inside the car too.

For an instant she thought she saw a snake on the seat by the person’s head, but it turned out to be a long black braid.  As the body shifted up to prop on one elbow she could see that it was a man.  Luci leaned forward and gasped.  He was injured and bleeding heavily.  Worse, he was Bodaway Thunder.


Jay Tavare black suit

Jay Tavare as Bodaway


End Episode 24

I already hear you screaming about that cliffhanger.  So I thought I’d double the comfort food this time.

Recipes:  Tumbleweeds Two

I found tumbleweed recipes!  Here’s one to eat and one to drink.

Four Ingredient Tumbleweeds

Find this easy little treat at Taste of

4 Ingredient Tumbleweeds

Here’s something to wash it down, as long as you’re over 21. It’s from Leaf.

Tumbleweed Cocktail

Tumbleweed Drink

Do you forgive me for the cliffhanger yet?  Stay tuned and stay groovy,  Mega hugs!



Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Extra-Extra! John W. Howell Book Launch

Hello everyone and happy Hump Day!  You know I don’t often do midweek posts — unless there’s a special occasion.  I’m delighted to announce the finale in the John J. Cannon Trilogy, from fellow blogger and author, John W. Howell.

John Cannon is a character who had more than his share of “humps” to get over, so it’s fitting that I’m doing this post on a Wednesday!  Now I’ll hand things over to my inimitable friend, John W. Howell.  Take it away John…!

Introducing the third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy – Our Justice

Our Justice

Click to go to Amazon


The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs has figured out a way to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.

The action begins with John fearing for his life. Clearly, whoever is trying to get him has a mission to accomplish and the elimination of John is at the top of the to-do list. The quest to survive takes John and his love, Stephanie from the beaches of Port Aransas to West Virginia and finally to Matt Jacob’s corporate headquarters at the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. There John finally understands what he needs to do to protect both he and Stephanie from further mayhem.

The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

Our Justice is available on Amazon and KDP now in e-book format for pre-order at $2.99 with shipments starting on September 23rd. The paper edition will be available on Amazon September 23rd at $14.99. Here is the link for pre-order of the e-book


I see out of the corner of my eye that Ned is on the phone. Hopefully, he’s calling in reinforcements since it looks like the SUV is gaining on us. Just as the rear window of the Focus blows inward, he finishes the call. Hundreds of pieces of glass hit Ned and me. Luckily, it’s shatterproof stuff, so we’re mostly okay cut wise. Ned crouches down and fires three quick shots with his 9MM. In the mirror, the SUV swerves to the left and almost explodes after it rams a parked car. “Stop,” Ned yells.

I slam on the brakes, which nearly tosses Ned through the windshield. “For sh!#’s sake, I don’t have a seatbelt on, junior, so take it easy. Just stop and turn around.”

John Howell

Author BIO

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a daily blog. His first novel, My GRL is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold. His second, His Revenge is available on Amazon and KDP Select.

John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of South Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets.  (That includes Lucy, who was one of the stars in the Get Caught Reading mini-series, The Sign of the Ape, here back in May.)Lucy close up_John

Other Places

Blog Fiction Favorites –


Twitter –

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LinkedIn –

Google +

Goodreads –

Amazon Author’s page –

Martin Sisters Publishing –Http://



Guitar Mancer — Episode 23: Reflection


1965 Cadillac ad

1965 Cadillac ad

In The Guitar Mancer, Tam’s pride and joy is his vintage 1959 red Cadillac.  That has nothing to do with the 1965 model I’m featuring with this installment.  You’ve seen that sometimes the automobile I choose to begin a post is a small hint about the episode.  Now that you know it’s not Tam’s car, what do you think this hint might be?

Featured BloggerDragon Soul set Peach

I’ve used up most of the “things” that were given to me at the kickoff of this serialization of The Guitar Mancer.  So I was trying to figure out how to tie a blogger to this story.  I had a Homer Simpson “Duh!” moment when I looked at the titular word, Reflection.  Of course!  D. Wallace Peach (aka Diana) calls her blog Myths of the Mirror.  Perfect.  The “thing” I’ll use is mirror.

Recently Diana released a quartet of what I call “high fantasy” books.  Click to learn more about her Dragon Soul books.

Diana’s prose is beautiful and her stories are filled with rich descriptions. Don’t take my word for it — browse around her blog and see how talented she is.  

About This Episode

This installment explains more of the mythology I created for Route 66.  Luci learns a little about what is in store for her.

Hmmm… I’m trying to figure out how I can remind you of the previous installment without giving spoilers for someone who has not read these posts in order.  So I’ll just remind you that Luci learned her mother, Darla, was lost (and probably died) in a strange place The Mother called the Reflected Route.  Meanwhile Luci continued to try and persuade the Spirit of Route 66 to remove the block from her mancer powers.  But now I have a sneaking worried feeling about whether or not she should go through with it…

Episode 23 — Reflection

Car mirror highway_Whiting

The Spirit of the Mother Road stared into Luci’s eyes for what seemed like forever.  Luci wanted to look away from her penetrating gaze, but found she could not.

“I take no joy in this,” the Mother finally said and again the Route 66 faeries murmured to one another.

“I will allow the way to the Reflected Road to open,” she intoned formally.

Bodaway Thunder inhaled sharply.  A frightened expression was in Tam’s green eyes as he looked at the shaman.  Goose bumps rose on Luci’s arms.  There was something in the Mother’s voice that she could only describe as permanence.  She was making a proclamation.  Luci felt ice in the pit of her stomach.

“What do you mean, the Reflected Road?” Luci asked.Hope hand mirror2

The Mother gave Luci one of the brightest, most charming smiles Luci had ever seen.  It made her head hurt to try and keep up with the number of different moods of which the Mother was capable, let alone how quickly they changed.

“The Reflected Road is just that — a reflection of the Mother Road.  It’s a place of…” the Mother’s voice trailed away as she paused in thought.  “It’s a place of what if!  It’s where you might find any potential that ever might have happened, past, present, or future,” she said, her eyes bright with excitement. 

Then her brilliant smile twisted to a no-nonsense frown and she put her hands on Luci’s shoulders.  “Or true places of the past or future.  Whether you find truth or falsehood is not the point,” she surprised Luci by saying.  “What you experience on the Reflected Road should take you to the heights, or depths,” she added, her voice dropping dramatically, “of who you are, of the choices of which you are capable.  All the answers are within.  Knowing that about yourself should unlock the block I put on your mancer powers.”

“And if it doesn’t?” Luci wanted to know.

The Mother’s eyes widened.  She shrugged her shoulders up to her ears and spread her hands dramatically. “How should I know?” was all she would say.

Ally Sheedy behind glass Psych

Ally Sheedy as The Mother

The hippies began to glow softly while the Mother spoke.  They turned to each other and directed their attention to the one called Mist.  The frizzy halo of her silver hair glittered.  Mist slowly walked to Luci.

“Neither man nor woman may go with her.  She must find her way out on her own,” the Mother warned sharply with a fierce stare at Tam and Bodaway Thunder.

“Surely the totem must accompany her,” Tam said in a reasoning tone.  “After all, it is neither man nor woman.  Besides, it’s only a baby.  In fact it will likely cause her trouble rather than helping,” Tam said, his face painted with pure innocence.

Bodaway shot him a pointed glance that appeared to be meant to remind him that the Mother could see through him easily.

Domhnall Gleeson frown fist

Domhnall Gleeson as Tam

One side of her mouth turned down briefly and the Mother gave him a contemptuous sidelong glare.  “Yes, it’s a baby.  A baby lynx!  As if I don’t know the properties of lynx medicine?” she said turning to face them fully with her fists planted on her hips.

Tam bent his head, suitably chastised — or at least he looked like he was.  Luci figured it was another pretense.

“The lynx is a spirit animal,” interjected Bodaway.  “It has not had time to fully bond to Luci.  Its path may be disrupted, doing irreversible harm to the cub if it is separated from her at this stage,” the shaman pleaded.

The Mother stared at the shaman for so long that Luci wondered how he could hold her gaze without flinching. 

Lychnis took several steps toward the Spirit of the Mother Road and then sat down not far from her feet.  He looked up at the Mother with his big-eared comical face and started to purr.  Tam looked at the lynx kit with a smirk of admiration.

“Oh all right,” the Mother relented in a put upon voice.  “Her totem can go with her.  But no one else!  Not either of you and not the hawk.  Understood?”

“Luci, you must be wholeheartedly committed to this,” the Mother admonished in a tone so formal that Luci imagined the reverberating noise of a large gong — or perhaps there actually had been a gong.

“You cannot stay on the Reflected Road indefinitely,” she cautioned.  “Bodaway Thunder and Tammarand Ben Taliesin will use their mancer powers periodically to call you back to the Mother Road,” she said.  “You will know when it is time to go to your companions for a period of renewal,” she said vaguely.

How will I know?” Luci asked nervously, feeling overwhelmed.

Jean Shrimpton candle

Jean Shrimpton as Luci

The Mother straightened her shoulders, her expression dire again.  “You will either hear their music, or there will be a sign.  It will vary, but you will recognize the summons.  Or at least you will if you’re paying attention,” she added in a derisive voice as one corner of her mouth turned down rather scornfully.  “Also be alert to your totem.  He will react to the signs,” the Mother advised.

Lychnis chose that moment to pounce on a beetle that crawled near him.  The Mother sighed and shook her gray-streaked red curls.

“Maybe you’re right about him not being that much help,” she commented with a quick look at Tam.

She folded her arms across her chest and stared at Luci for a moment, as if making sure her instructions were sinking into the girl’s memory. 

“As I said, you must step off the Reflected Road from time to time.  But just as you may not stay on it too long, neither can you stay away for long, once you start your journey.  Else the way back will close and you will not be able to complete your path,” she warned.

Luci nodded gravely at the Mother’s questioning look.  “Each time you step off the Reflected Road and momentarily join your friends, you will have the option to abandon your quest,” she said and Luci’s hope rose.  “But if you quit, you forfeit your mancer power — moreover you forfeit the totem.  Lychnis would be no more!”

“Come on!  Is that really necessary?” Tam objected as Bodaway made shushing motions at him.

A horrified gasp escaped Luci’s lips at the prospect of the big kitten “being no more.”  She knew it was ridiculous for her to be so attached to an animal in such a short time, but knowing didn’t change how she felt.  Maybe, she supposed, that was part of what Bodaway was talking about when he mentioned bonding.

The Mother looked at her gravely.  “You are free to reject this offer.  You have not committed yet.  A trickle of the mancer power for which you have potential may yet emerge.  But it would be nothing compared to the utter torrent of the fullness of your potential power,” the Mother said with a broad gesture and a wild gleam in her eyes.  “And the totem will stay with you as your lifelong companion,” she added, bringing a tear of relief to Luci’s eye.Hawk in flight from below

Lychnis leaned against her shins.  Luci could feel the vibration of his purr.  She bent down and scratched him under his chin.  She looked at Freyja, perched on Bodaway’s shoulder.  The big hawk bobbed her head as if in encouragement, then she gave a soft whistle.

Taking a deep, but this time a steady breath Luci nodded affirmatively.  “What do I have to do?” she asked.

“Simply make it to the end of your path,” the Mother told her, though Luci was sure there would be nothing simple about it.

“Wait a minute,” Luci said as a new thought came to her.  “Am I going to walk all the way across the country?”

“Time and distance progress differently on the Reflected Route,” the Spirit of the Mother Road stated.

The Mother turned to Luci’s companions.  “Gentlemen, it is your charge to divine her progress.  At some times she may travel at a walking pace.  Other times she might make a leap of hundreds of miles.  If this happens, and it probably will,” she stressed the words and gave them a wild-eyed look.  “Then you will have to use your mancer powers to reach her next arrival point in time.  And you must be on time,” the Spirit of Route 66 cautioned in a dire tone.Tam-Bodaway blue

Luci took a shaking breath.  She looked at Tam and Bodaway.  She barely knew either man, but she would have to trust them with her life, and do so repeatedly.  The Mother had stressed that they would have to be on time.  Men were rarely on time in Luci’s experience.  Heck, she thought, nobody was ever on time, male or female.  Luci was always the first one at an appointment.  She sighed without realizing she had done so.

“Oh yes, I almost forgot.  Sometimes it might be hard for her to hear your summons,” the Mother added, putting her fingers to her lips in a childlike gesture.

“What are we supposed to do if she can’t hear us?” Tam demanded.

“Try harder,” the Mother told him drolly.

Luci was surprised to see the Mother sneer at Tam, but then her manner changed in that quicksilver way, and she tossed her riot of red curls in a sassy movement.  Then she lowered her eyelids and cast a coquettish glance at the men.

“And be quick about it.  Remember that footsteps do not travel according to miles there.  It is possible that there may be an instance when you are not able to get to her in time,” she stated in an unconcerned voice, making a small gesture with her hand.

“If that does happen, then what do we do?” Bodaway asked.

The Mother’s mouth twisted and she looked at the men levelly.  “If that happens, there’s probably no point in continuing, but you could move on to the next meeting point and hope,” she replied.

1950 Life atomic explosionHer eyes narrowed suspiciously at their aghast expressions.  “You will not be able to go onto the Reflected Route to get her.  Don’t even think about it!” she warned with a fierce look at Tam.  “If you find a way, if you are that powerful, know that you will destroy her, along with a large portion of your own reality.” 

Tam looked at the ground.  His shoulders sagged.  He acted as if he thought the Mother knew what he was thinking whenever he came up with an idea that would subvert her.

The Mother looked a question at Luci, who responded with a serious nod.

Mist stepped forward onto the pavement of Route 66.  The ageless looking silver haired hippy held out her hand to Luci. 

Luci stood, but suddenly her body felt stiff.  How long had she sat there on the cold ground?  The sun was lower on the horizon than she expected.

Moving toward the edge of the road, Luci’s steps slowed even though she tried to force her feet to move faster.  It was as if the air had thickened and become sucking mud, hindering every step.  Eventually she couldn’t lift her feet from the ground.  Luci looked down at the ground, but saw nothing to keep her stuck there.

The lynx kitten paced nervously back and forth from Luci to the edge of the pavement.  Whatever hindered Luci’s steps had no effect on the spirit animal.  Freyja gave a sharp chilling cry.  It sounded like a warning to Luci.

Fearfully she looked up and beheld Mist standing on the Mother Road.  The air around Mist wavered and flashed like sunlight bouncing off a mirror.  A bank of fog rolled down the road, engulfing it.  The silver frizz of Mist’s hair seemed to merge with the color of the fog.

Fog in trees mountains unsplash_52cd2d19237cd_1

“It’s time,” Mist said encouragingly with a kind smile.  “Take my hand!”

Luci reached forward and grasped Mist’s outstretched hand.  Mist pulled firmly and Luci’s feet came free of the unseen force that held them.  Lychnis gave an approving mer-rawr.

The silver fog crept steadily closer.  The Spirit of Route 66 also stepped onto the Mother Road and she began to glow brightly.  Her eyes, even her skin shined with a light from within.  The strange fog engulfed the three women.  Luci could no longer see Tam and Bodaway even though they were only a few feet away.

The Mother stared into her eyes.  Once again, Luci was unable to look away. 

“This is the Reflected Road.  It’s a mirror of the Mother Road,” she reminded Luci.  “As I told you, on your path you may encounter things that have happened in the past.  Time, even eras do not flow according to any pattern here.  When you come out of this fog, you might emerge at any when,” she said, further confusing Luci.

“You might also see and experience things that never happened at all, but could have happened if different choices had been made,” the Mother told her.

Barbara Feldon three quarter

Barbara Feldon as Darla Harper

The Mother stepped very close to Luci and continued sternly.  “You may find things that terrify you, things that cause you to accidentally run away from your path to escape them.  But you must not stray!” she cautioned with that maniacal gleam in her eyes.  “If you step far from your path you will be lost.  Probably forever,” she said dourly, eliciting another nod from Luci.

“Likewise, you will see beautiful things, lost happiness that tempts you to abandon your quest and stay forever on the Reflected Route in a dream world of false happiness.  If you tarry you will be lost,” she told Luci with an expression of beatific ecstasy that seemed to contradict the warning of her words. 

“If you do find such a ‘what if’ and choose to stay, the decision is irrevocable,” the spirit of the Mother Road pursed her lips and added with a one-shouldered shrug.  “The rest of your existence, life and afterlife, will be spent in the Reflected Route,” she said with intensity that made Luci shiver.

“Is that what happened to my mom?” Luci asked.

The Mother’s hair whipped, because she turned so fast.  She cast cold eyes on Luci.  She did not speak. 


End Episode 23

Past, present, and future… Truth or things that only might have been… What if?  I wonder what Luci has gotten herself into now.  Stay tuned to learn the answer to that question.

Recipe:  Marble Mirror Glaze


I Googled all over the place, looking for a recipe with either “reflection” or “mirror” in the name. I almost gave up, but then I found this gorgeous post from Carolina Westwood at Bake My Cake.  (And yes, when I noticed her name was the same as our heroine’s seldom used first name, how could I resist?)

Her recipe for Marble Mirror Glaze comes complete with videos.  However, I’m issuing a warning.  Carolina’s blog is filled with beautiful deserts.  So don’t blame me if your sweet-tooth takes over.

Be ready next time, when the vintage Caddy rolls up with another episode of The Guitar Mancer.  Just get in the car!

Bunny Get-in-Car




Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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