Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 4

Thistledown Girl

Alex Iby, Unsplash

Welcome ladies and gentlemen, and magical creatures of all ages!  I’m happy you’ve come back to Thistledown.

Congratulations to the winners of Sunday’s lightning contest!  Annette Rochelle Aben won the faery mug and Lavinia Ross won the Creative Haven adult coloring book.  Congrats ladies! I hope everyone will take a moment to visit their blogs.

I know that sometimes it can be a challenge for guys to embrace something as “frilly” as this story.  So I’m extra appreciative of the men who chose to “come out and play” by naming characters.

Writing Process

I posted a faery name chart/game (click here to see it) that gave folks the chance to find their faery names. I did one for “frilly” names and one for “scary” faery names.  Maybe I’m old fashioned, but not many of the possible names seemed to be, well… masculine.  So when a guy joined the game, often as not, I made up my own name for him.  One example is Skypainter Morning — that was the name exchange I made when Kirt Tisdale joined.

Thinking of Kirt’s amazing photos and photo-art, an image popped into my mind of a young male fae, winging through the sky, and painting it as he went.  Kirt generously allowed me to use some of his photos for episodes involving the Skypainter character.

Last Time

Last time (Episode 3) Bedlam Thunder had a new vision of the dark faery-verse and we met some of the “scary” faeries.  Although they actually seemed pretty nice.  I’m flying by the seat of my pants, so I’m not sure if the serial will get to this but — I see the “scary faeries” I’ve introduced so far as being a rebellious group with a rather punk-edge. In a world where everything is dull and people don’t tend to wear anything that isn’t black or gray, this group can’t resist a splash of bright color.  How will learning about Bedlam’s “sugary” world effect their already mutinous tendencies?

About This Episode

Like I said, this serial is spontaneously written, but I’m beginning to wonder when we’re actually going to hear about Bedlam’s main vision that got her (and River Mindshadow too) suspended from school and generally into trouble.  However, I think you get the basic idea.

Today I introduce Skypainter Morning and his fae talents.  This time we also learn about a bit of faery magic (or maybe it’s faery tech) belonging to Tinder Willowtree, a character we met in Episode 1

Without further ado, here’s the next installment of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 4

A Finder

The musical sound of happy laughter filled the orchard.  Lanterns were arranged and rearranged and lit by the spark of magical peppers.  Everyone seemed to enjoy experimenting with the various lights Pepper Stargazer brought.  Peaches Dragonfly would surely have the best of all the Midsummer parties.

The people I admired most in Thistledown were willing to hear about my awful vision — the one that had caused so much trouble.  They wanted to hear it straight from me.  However, being as bereft of grace as always, I had hurt myself.  Then everybody thought I had fainted, when I actually had another vision…

I realized everyone going outside to help with the lanterns was just a pretext.  They were giving me time to regain my composure.  How could I deserve such kindness?  Though I felt like a wretched coward, I quietly slipped away while everyone was occupied by a particularly explosive pepper.

Aimless wandering brought me near the reflection pool.  The Opal sibs, Moonglow and Stargazer popped up, saw me, and ran down a wooded path.  Their fun laughter trailed behind them.  I didn’t see anything of interest that the children might have been watching, so I guessed they were playing chase.

Green LIghts Drew Collins_1466939721550-ad3ef4b9eeec

Drew Collins, Unsplash

Then I heard a crash and a splash.  A bright flash caused spots to dance before my eyes.  Momentarily half blind, I stumbled on a stick.  Reflex caused my wings to abruptly unfold when I lost my balance.  I cried out as much from fear of hurting my injured wing as from pain.

“Woah there!  I’m really sorry!  Are you okay?” asked a familiar voice.

Someone ran from the reflection pool to the place where I wobbled.  At least I hadn’t fallen on my wings or on my face.  I would settle for a stumbling wobble.

A hand reached out and steadied me.  I was beginning to see a little more than the spots.

“Hi Bedlam.  Are you okay.  I guess you got caught in the flash.  I didn’t expect anyone to be around.  I should have set up some kind of warning,” Skypainter Morning apologetically told me.

“What are you doing, Sky?” I asked curiously.  “Your legendary talents are usually displayed in the heavens.  That flash was at ground level.”

“Something that’s never been done!” Skypainter exclaimed.  “You know the reflection pool helps us see visions.  So rather than just paint a composition on the clouds, I want to have a real, moving vision reflect onto the sky,” he explained with smiling enthusiasm.

He was right.  I was sure that had never been done.  It hardly seemed possible.  However, if anyone could make such a spectacle, it was Skypainter Morning.

“I know it will work, but I just haven’t found the right catalyst,” he began.  “I’ve tried fae enhanced carrot powder, distilled ginkgo extract, and bilberry wine.  This time it was ground red flash-pepper.  That was a challenge to make, let me tell you.  It kept exploding before I could finish grinding it.  And well… as you see that didn’t work out either.”

Sky had pulled me into his experiments that easily.  I was fascinated.  My mind automatically chased the riddle he presented.

“Except for the flash-pepper, all those are plants that help with eyesight.  I can understand the symbolic aspect of the magic,” I said and he nodded, looking glad that I had followed his thoughts.  “Have you thought about gems instead of plants?  Gemstones that are used to enhance scrying or visions?  Maybe black onyx?  That’s what my grand-uncle used for scrying.  Or how phantom quarts helps meditation, or rainbow fluorite increases intuition?” I asked.

Insides_of_a_Amethyst_Geode

Abruptly I felt like I had said something stupid.  Sky was so expert in his visual creations.  I couldn’t possibly have anything to offer.

“Maybe it’s not a useful idea.  It would be a lot harder to grind a stone to a powder than grinding a plant or distilling a liquid.”

To my surprise, Skypainter’s eyes lit up at the idea.

“It wouldn’t be that difficult!” Sky called over his shoulder, hurrying in the direction of his home.

***

As I gazed heavenward, I was surprised to see someone flying past.  It looked like my friend, Tinder Willowtree.  I had known her for as long as I could remember, and maybe then some, but it had been awhile since I had seen her.  However, I knew Willowtree was busy with the visit from her grand-niece and nephew — the Opal siblings.  It seemed odd that I had seen the Opal sibs headed in the opposite direction only moments before.

I waved and Willowtree gently settled to earth.  She had a hopeful look in her eyes.

“Have you seen Moonglow and Stargazer?  They should be around here somewhere,” Willowtree asked as she repeatedly looked at a plate-sized piece of black obsidian.

The children seemed to have a combination of exuberance and curiosity.  It had to be difficult to keep up with them.

“I got a glimpse of them a moment ago.  It looked like they were headed for home,” I replied and Willowtree huffed an annoyed sounding breath.  “Don’t worry, they looked fine.  I have a hunch they were spying on Skypainter Morning,” I added and her eyebrows went up, but her mouth slowly turned to a smile.  “He was at the reflection pool, experimenting on his solstice spectacle.  He had a couple of, shall we say flashy setbacks.”

Willowtree chuckled before saying, “Well, they aren’t that late.  I guess I can take it easy on them.  I’m sure watching Skypainter blow up something was irresistible to them.”

It was ironic that Willowtree should be out trying to find the kids.  She had such a talent for bringing people together.  Athletes in need of someone to fill a spot on a team, craftsmen wanting an apprentice, musicians looking for partners, they all came to Willowtree.  In fact, she was responsible for arranging for Holly Songbird and her group Dragon’s Nest to perform at the Midsummer party Peaches Dragonfly was going to hold.

She looked at that unusual piece of black obsidian again.  Abruptly a fond smile came to her lips.  I asked what it was.  The gemstone slice was bright and reflective, but I could tell it wasn’t an ordinary scrying mirror.

Reflections refract erik-eastman-267511

Erik Eastman, Unsplash

“Oh, you’ll love this.  Fleur and I have been working on it,” she said, meaning her husband, Fleur Moonglow.  “Fleur calls it a finder.  Take a look.”

She handed me the obsidian. Where I expected to see my own reflection, I saw multiple pieces, like a broken mirror.  Then the parts started to move and an image melded together.  I watched as the Opal sibs quietly entering the back door of their grand-aunt’s house.

“Wow, that’s amazing!” I exclaimed.  “It lets you see where they are?”

“In a manner of speaking, but it’s a little more complicated than that, and not always exact,” she explained.  “For instance, even though you saw them getting home just now, it didn’t pinpoint where they were here.  I would have flown right past if I hadn’t seen you wave.  It’s still pretty great though,” she added with a grin.

“That’s still hugely impressive,” I told her.  “How does it work?”

“Naturally it needs a little magic.  It also needs whoever I’m looking for to wear a medallion that’s been attuned to the ‘finder’ — otherwise it’s not much more than an ordinary scrying mirror.  And that of course, would need the talents of a seer,” Willowtree told me.

The finder had gone almost dark.  It held a dim view of Fleur standing on their front porch lighting a lantern.  My friend’s face became serious as she looked from the obsidian to me.

“It only shows me Fleur because of our bond.  He’s left the medallions on the children to make sure I could know they’ve gotten home.  But you, Bedlam…  You have the gift.  Even though you don’t think there’s any magic in what you do, you are a seer.  I know you wanted the school to bring out another talent in you.  And maybe you think there’s no longer any hope for that, since you got suspended before even your freshman term was finished.  But that part of your life doesn’t have to be over,” Willowtree told me, but I could tell she hadn’t gotten to her point.

“I know your visions come to you unbidden,” she continued.  “But I believe you will eventually be able to master them.  I’m certain of it,” she stated and smirked at my eye-roll of denial.  “Okay, it might take some time.  Measure that in years, not weeks.  Bedlam you might even be able to do things like this,” she said, holding up the finder.  “But if your gift grows the way I believe it will, you won’t need a finder or any other special magic enhanced device.  I know it, Bedlam.  Whatever else you do or don’t do, you can’t keep believing that your abilities are limited to frightening visions,” she stated emphatically.

Willowtree’s forceful words left me speechless.  I couldn’t think of a response.  After extracting a quick promise from me that we would get together soon, Willowtree zipped into the sky. 

Sunrise

Photo by Kirt Tisdale

As I watched her fly away, I suddenly wondered if Skypainter Morning could glean any inspiration from the finder for his moving vision idea.

I looked up at the twinkling sky.  Soon the stars would be in alignment for Midsummer.  An inexplicable chill traveled down my spine.

***

End Episode 4

Do you get the feeling that something unexpected might happen with Skypainter Morning’s moving vision creation?  I think we’ll eventually come back to that.  Be sure to fly back next time because we’ll have a special visit from A Pug in the Kitchen.  Until then, mega hugs!

Percy Tie pug hill

Percy

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise. 

 

 

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Thistledown Lightning Contest!

Thistledown Girl

On a truly fae whim, I’m doing a lightning contest. Woot!  I’m giving away a couple of faery favorite things. 

Lightning Contest!

Until 6 PM Eastern Only!

I’m very sorry, but I have to limit this to readers in the USA only.

How to enter

If you are in the USA, leave a comment on Episode 3. If you’ve already commented, they you are already entered!  

I will assign a number to each person who comments from the USA.  Then I will use a random number generator to match the winning numbers to the commenter.  If you win, I’ll email you asking for your street address so Amazon can ship the prize.  (Unfortunately that only works within the USA.)

First Prize — A faery mug.  Enjoy your favorite beverage while you read Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.  (Or perhaps Colleen Chesebro’s The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy: The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy (Volume 1) which is currently free with Kindle Unlimited.

Fairy Dragon mug

Second Prize — an adult coloring book from Creative Haven.  Yes, that is really one of my favorite things for relaxing. It’s very therapeutic!

Enchanted Fairies coloring book

So click over to Episode 3 and enter now!  Again the cut off is 6 PM Eastern.

Tell your friends, but only if you tell them quick as lightning!

Good luck and mega hugs!

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 3

Thistledown Girl

Alex Iby, Unsplash

Update: The time limit for the lightning contest has now expired. I’ll announce the winners when I post Episode 4. Hugs!

Welcome back one and all!

Writing Process

I really do intend to promote everyone who named a character for this serial.  Yes, that’s a lot of characters… but I will try to do it in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or confuse the story.  I hope to avoid reader-overwhelm and character chaos as much as I can.  

In fact, I’m adding a page with very brief information about each character.  I’m not happy with the page, but you might find it minutely helpful, so I’ll go ahead and post it.  I hope to update the page and improve on it.  However, I gave it too much writing-time this weekend. Apparently the free version of WordPress I use isn’t compatible with table apps…  but here goes nothing.

I’m not delaying the disclosure of Bedlam’s story-opening, big, trouble-causing vision as part of a strategy.  I’m flying by the seat of my pants (too bad I don’t have wings, huh?), and the story just hasn’t worked around that way, despite my initial intentions.

About This Episode

This time we see a snapshot of that other, darker faery-verse.  Bedlam’s visions seem to become more real to her as they progress.  

If you’re playing catch-up, click here for the first episode.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam

Boy field smoke-ball aziz-acharki-290990

Aziz Acharki, Unsplash

Another Vision

The ringing in my ears overwhelmed everything else.  I could hardly breathe.  The room swayed.  The people I respected most in all of Thistledown were gathered in the kitchen of Peaches Dragonfly.

I was shocked by their unexpected presence.  I was awed and horribly embarrassed.  Then foolishly, I let my wing get caught on something — a child’s mistake.  So I was also in both physical and emotional pain.  Embarrassed was a far from adequate description.  I was mortified.  I jumped to my feet quick as lightning.

When I got up so fast, the kitchen seemed to tilt.  Large black spots danced before my eyes.  The ringing in my ears became a roar.  Abruptly everything stopped.

Everything was gone.  Light.  Sound.  Pain.  But not fear.  I strained my eyes to see in the sudden advent of a dank gray world.  In my mind I squirmed.  This colorless place was familiar.  The awful vision that brought about my situation — was I having it again?  I was sure it was the same place.  However, this felt even more real than my vision.

A shaky breath crept into my lungs.  I blinked trying to clear my eyes.  The blurring left my sight, but the world around me was still murky.  Tan would have been a bright color in that place.

Abbey,_Edwin_Austin_Fairies

Edwin Austin Abbey, Fairies, circa 1900

Someone was talking to me.  I knew that voice well, although it had a different edge.  I swayed as I turned toward the voice.

Dah-le!  So you made it back, did you?”

My vision was blurry, but I saw black clothes relieved only by a scarf and boots in bright purple.  My eyes found the hazy face of River Mindshadow.  However, something was not right.  I blinked hard and looked at her again.

“What?  You’re not River!” I exclaimed, feeling more alert.

“Hahaha!” she barked a guffaw that was unlike the lilting laughter of River Mindshadow.  “Who?  It’s me, Rotten!  It’ll hurt my feelings if you forgot me so fast.  So, did you come back to tell me more of your saccharine dreams?  I admit they were entertaining.”

“I remember.  You’re called Rotten Soulfire.  You were in my vision,” I recalled, and she gave another harsh laugh.  “You’re like my friend River Mindshadow — but, but not.  You aren’t exactly opposites though…  It’s as though one of you is from sunlight and the other is from shadow,” I said without thinking, and then I worried that she, Rotten, would be offended.

“Does everyone in your dream have a counterpart in reality?  Oh, you look confused.  Should I say in my reality?” Rotten asked in a playful voice, but there was a wicked gleam in her eyes.  “I wonder if we could get the two together.  That sounds like a ton of fun!  I mean, can you imagine the looks on all their faces?  The self-important snots here and the goody two shoes you told me about?”

Rotten leaned closer and looked at me curiously before continuing, “I’ve been looking around since the other time I saw you, Bedlam Thunder.  Far as I can tell, you don’t exist,” she commented in a pointed tone that was speculative but somewhat suspicious.  “So maybe you really are from some goody-goody faery-verse.  But maybe you really belong here instead of in your home.  I mean a moniker like Bedlam Thunder?  That’s not a sweetness and light name like the ones you’ve mentioned.  It seems like you should have been called something sugary like Fleur Rainbow!” she said and collapsed in a gale of laughter.

Her brows knitted and she added, “You don’t look so good.  Hold on, what’s that on you back?  Holy moma!  Wings?” she asked, still laughing.  “You been to a cos party?”

Then Rotten’s face transformed in an expression of confusion and concern.  She hesitantly pushed away the flap at the back of my dress that allowed for wings to unfold.  It was a typical fashion among the faeries of Thistledown.  Faery clothes were often backless, to allow for wings.  However folks in Thistledown were quite modest so flaps or even caplets were attached to cover the back.  Plus flight was mostly a means of traveling.  We didn’t go zooming around willy-nilly instead of simply walking.

1 Butterfly wing

“There’s a little blood here,” Rotten commented, still sounding puzzled.”

Then she touched the joint where my wings depended from my back.  Rotten quickly drew back her hand and gasped.  She looked at me with bulging eyes.

Holy moma—  Oh sweet—  Holy—  They’re real?  They’re real!  Oh my God!”

My grand-uncle once told a story of a place where faeries had no wings.  I thought it was just meant to frighten us.  Could it be that this girl had no wings?  That was hard to imagine.  However, her shirt was tailored to her body.  It couldn’t have been comfortable.  It would have been too confining across the shoulder and wing area.  Were wings something strange and alien to her?

I looked at Rotten in consternation.  I didn’t know what to say.  Finally I told her I had caught my wing and made a small tear.

Ouchers!  That couldn’t have been fun,” she commented, regaining her composure but still sounding tentative.  “Tell ya what.  You ran off pretty quick last time.  Why don’t you stick around?  Come and meet some friends.  We’ll see what trouble we can get into,” she offered to my surprise.

I would have been amazed by what had to be a quick recovery, if indeed Rotten was from a place where folk didn’t have wings.  However, she was clearly unsettled.  I believed she was trying to hide her uncertainty.

“Hey!  Rotten!” came a new voice.  “Oh, there you are.  Dah-le!  Who’s this?” she asked.

As the owner of the voice came into my field of vision, I realized she wasn’t alone.  Another girl, also about my age was with her.  Her long hair was dark, but I noticed several rainbow colored strands discretely tucked behind her ears.

“Come on with me Sat, don’t be shy.  Wow!  You two been having a smack down?  She looks a little rumpled.  Wait a minute.  That looks like a wing,” commented the newcomer, abruptly perplexed.

I noticed that her clothes were mostly dark, similar to Rotten’s apparel.  Her hair was as black as her leather jacket.  I wondered if the dullness of this place influenced everything about the people, even the clothes they wore.  She did, however, have a bright pink top under the jacket.

“Hey Desert.  Love the shirt!  That must have gotten you a shocked look or two.  I’ll bet that’s Satellite with you,” Rotten greeted the girls, and the one with rainbow streaks gave a mischievous grin in return.

“Great timing,” Rotten added with a nod to me.  “This one is called Bedlam Thunder.  You should hear some of the stuff she babbles when she’s knackered.  I ran into her once before,” Rotten told the girl as she poked my side with her elbow.  “Bedlam Thunder, meet Desert Firesong and Satellite Frostbite.” 

Dah-le, Desert.  You didn’t tell me you had polite friends.  I’m not sure that’s socially acceptable,” Satellite joked.

“Woah!  What’s up Bedlam?” Rotten Soulfire cried.  “You having a seizure or something?  Bedlam?  Bedlam!

***

I sneezed so hard it felt like my head would come off.  The voice of Rotten Soulfire still echoed in my mind.  I sneezed again.  And again.  My nose, mouth, and even my ears felt like they were on fire.  I sat up on my elbows, but I think my sneezes had brought me upright.

“Lie back down.  You just got up too fast.  You don’t want to faint again do you?” I heard Peaches Dragonfly tell me in a voice that seemed far away.

Everyone thought I had simply stood up to fast.  Didn’t they know that I had been somewhere else?

Maybe my body hadn’t left, I thought.  My grand-uncle had told me about that kind of vision.  The mind went to one place while the body stayed in another.  The passage of time in the two planes could differ.  Was that what happened?

“Thank goodness you got here when you did!  I’m glad Field found you,” a voice said to someone else.

My face was squeezed up for another sneeze, but I forced one eye open.  The speaker was Ember Beamwitch.  The present rushed back into my awareness.  My eyes followed Ember’s gaze.

A woman in a red dress smiled brightly.  I recognized the lamp maker, Pepper Stargazer.  Some of the peppers she grew were so hot they (with a touch of fae encouragement) could burst into flame.  She parlayed that talent into making lamps.

“Morning-fire peppers work better than smelling salts,” Pepper replied.  “Are you alright, Bedlam?  Oh by the way, Peaches, I brought the party lanterns.  Anybody want to help me string them up?  Just let me know where you want the lights,” she added.

Pepper Stargazer led the cousins Peaches and Pick Dragonfly, and Ember out to where she had presumably parked her wagon.  I knew it would be filled with pepper fueled lanterns and other party lights for the solstice celebration Peaches would soon host.  Catseye Glimmer held the door for the others, and then gave us a wave before he followed.  I noticed he was much taller than the others.  Catseye was the only person I knew who didn’t have to crane his neck to look up at the furry faery, Field Yewwasp.

Oh, the furry faery had been in the room, I thought. I didn’t see him leave the kitchen with the others.  In fact, I hadn’t seen him since I recovered from my faint.  I mentioned it to Calico Rainbowforest.

“How anyone so large can move so fast is beyond me,” Calico muttered.  “He zipped out of here the instant you hit the ground.  I’m sure he went to meet Pepper Stargazer on her way here, and asked her to come as fast as she could with her swoon-remedy.  He’d be outside with the others.  I doubt he could resist tinkering with the lanterns.”

I nodded mutely.  Then I started sneezing again.  I should probably have thanked Pepper, but I couldn’t stop sneezing long enough.  I thought I was alone, so I groaned about adding inflamed sinuses to my sore wing and bruised pride.

“Maybe those ‘morning fire peppers’ work a little too well,” Calico commented with a wink.

A sneeze that had been painfully slow to come out finally exploded from my mouth.

I found myself telling Calico about the vision that had just overtaken me, despite my fear that my vision would be made public.  She promised not to write about it in the Thistledown Trumpet unless I was ready.

L0059071 Turn pin spectacles, steel wire, eye preservers, double fold

Turn_pin_spectacles, circa 1800

When I finished describing what I had just seen, she took a deep breath and pushed her spectacles back on her nose.  Though I had only told her about the most recent vision, it was outrageous enough.  I didn’t go into the bigger, truly frightening one.

Calico got up and moved to the big sideboard.  She picked up a cut crystal bottle containing a sparkly amber colored cordial and two glasses.

“Here, Bedlam.  This will do you good under the circumstances,” she murmured handing me a glass of the cordial.  “It sounds like maybe you’re ready to tell the full story, but let’s wait until everyone is together.  There’s no point wasting your strength to tell it twice.  I realize it’s traumatic for you to even think about discussing it,” Calico said knowingly.

Calico was right.  I did feel better after drinking the cordial.  The magic Peaches Dragonfly had with baking seemed to work in everything she made.  We went outside to watch as the lights were hung.

Glitter Shimmerling arrived in a small carriage powered by a score of chipmunks happily running in their exercise wheels.  To the delight of all, she brought a rose covered chocolate cake and offered everyone a slice. 

She let the chipmunks out to cavort with Stellar the cat.  Stellar chased the chipmunks then playfully turned and they chased her.

From the moment the vision overtook me, the one that started all the trouble, I had feared it was prophetic.  I couldn’t be certain, but the one I had just seen with Rotten Soulfire and her friends was the same place.  However, it seemed more real, more current.  I shuddered thinking that such a place could be real, that perhaps my home could become such a place.

Even though I felt uneasy with them, Rotten, Desert, and Satellite didn’t seem “bad.”  However, their home surely was a dark place.  Could there be a place where kindness was seen as stupidity and civility was viewed with contempt?  Would that negativity seep into all the people?

Although I didn’t remember it, Rotten Soulfire told me I had described my world as “sugary.” Wherever her world was, nearly everything I saw was dark, dull, or black.  I wondered what Rotten would make of Glitter’s chipmunk powered carriage or her naturally shimmering lavender hair.

End Episode 3

***

Hypothetically, I’d like to imagine this serial as a TV show.  The mystery folk (the people who named characters) would be actors playing roles in the show.  The new mystery folk who were revealed in this episode:

  • Kathryn of Another Foodie Blogger and Austin Street Tacos
  • Robbie Cheadle of Robbie’s Inspiration
  • Olga Núñez Miret (but this time the dark faery-verse or “scary faery”)
  • Adele Marie Park (a scary faery) of Firefly 465
  • Vashti Quiroz-Vega (another scary faery) of The Writer Next Door

Be sure to come back next time for another episode of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.  It’s only here at Teagan’s Books.  Mega hugs!

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © July 2, 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Thriving Thursdays: It Could Be Raining

Welcome to another Thriving Thursday, everyone. I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene here with a guest post for the Story Reading Ape.  Since Chris Graham is my host for these monthly posts, I have disabled comments here.  Please click over and say hello to the awesome Ape (click here).

Thriving Thursdays:  It Could Be Raining

It’s hard to thrive when things get tough. During difficult situations, it’s hard to even think of your self in a positive way. 

When you’re trying so hard, and still not seeing that silver lining — and people begin a response with “At least it’s not…(whatever)” it doesn’t make you feel much better, does it?

However, it can help to remember that you aren’t alone.  Know there are people everywhere who are also trying to climb out of a hole of muck, or dig their way out of a pit of despair. They are trying to thrive.  Just like you.  

(My apologies if this video is not available in your area, or if commercials were added.)

So keep on trying.

Lately, I think even trying to try — that qualifies as trying too.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

 

Copyright © 2016 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.

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 2

Welcome back to Thistledown, everyone!  If you are joining this serial for the first time, or if you need to refresh your memory click here for the premier episode.  I also have a category button on the right side-bar of the screen for “Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.”  However, these days I can’t make promises about WordPress behaving as it should. (For several days I found myself unable to comment on any blogs — including my own! WP just told me to email somebody else… Finally and laboriously got it fixed myself.)

Thistledown Girl

Alex Iby, Unsplash

Writing Process

As a writer, I tend to reject rules. (Often things are presented as rules, but feel more like “formulas” than anything else.  I don’t care for formulas either.)  Although, when writing in a genre, (to a degree) I do try to follow some general expectations, for the comfort and understanding of readers.  

So before anyone asks…  When writing fantasy, I’m fond of using archaic forms of words.  Hence my spelling of “faery.”  I followed the lead of Brian Froud.  Many people see him as an expert on fairies/faeries/fae.  If you want to know more about the topic, click here or here.  

I had expected to reveal Bedlam’s vision in this episode.  However, I’m flying by the seat of my pants.  It didn’t work out that way.  That’s all part of pantsering.

About the Episode

The mystery folk from the first episode return for this one.  However, several new characters are introduced.  Be sure to click the links (like this) to reveal the mystery folk behind the character names.

This time we get an idea of what sort of gifts, talents, and magic the faeries of Thistledown might have in their daily lives.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Trumpet Vine, by Manu via Wikimedia Commons free media repository

In the Kitchen

Smoke curled from the twin chimneys of the cottage where  Peaches Dragonfly lived.  I could see it a short distance away.  The warm breeze brought the aroma of tarts Peaches had cooking in the oven.  Even though my mouth watered, I couldn’t get my feet to move.

“Come on!” Peaches encouraged.  “Bedlam Thunder what’s wrong?” she asked, letting go of my arm and giving me a concerned look.

My eyes had found the bright yellow flowers of the trumpet vine.  A horrible idea sprang to my mind when I saw the blossoms.  The vine bore the local news.  I touched a petal, fearing it would shout my name.

Extra!  Extra!  Get the Thistledown Trumpet here!” the flower cried.  “Get the time and place of all the best Midsummer parties!  Take a leaflet,” the blossom added encouragingly.

“Oh good,” murmured Peaches as she reached to pluck a curled leaf.  Unrolling the leaf she read the list of parties before commenting, “Good, they got my information right.  They mentioned that Pick is visiting.  They even included that Holly Songbird will be singing!  I had to ask them to update the announcement for that.  I didn’t think I had given them the information in time.  Perfect!”

I was relieved at not hearing my own name or anything about my awful vision.  However, I still couldn’t manage to raise my eyes to look higher than the ground, or lift my feet to follow Peaches.

Crystal Ball Hand_yeshi-kangrang-258234

Yeshi Kangrang, Unsplash

“People are saying that the things in the vision I had will happen because of me — as if I’m going to make them happen.  That it’s my fault.  Or they just make fun of me.  I haven’t been around much of anybody since River Mindshadow and I were suspended.  That was so humiliating…  I just haven’t wanted to deal with seeing anyone,” I explained, eyes still firmly fixed on my feet.  “And I just can’t face River.  It’s all my fault that she got suspended with me.  I should have done something to stop it.”

It was hard to hold back tears.  I was overwrought, I had been for days.  Stellar the cat twined around my ankles consolingly.  However, it took all my concentration to keep my composure, so I didn’t pet her.  I sniffled and swallowed and sniffled some more before I could finally hold up my head.

Both Peaches and River stood watching me impatiently, fists planted firmly on hips.  I was startled because I hadn’t even heard River come up to us.  Peaches was tapping a foot.  River’s wings were unfurled, so I knew she was about to leave.

“Bedlam, I’ve been given a curfew, a truly unreasonable one too.  So I can’t stay, but I want you to know that none of this is your fault!” River told me in a firm voice.  “Especially me getting suspended, or this curfew.  If you say that again, I’ll be insulted.  My analysis of your vision was mine to state.  I made my own choices.  You didn’t make them for me.”

I drew back.  River’s reaction was not what I expected.  I started babbling an apology, but she cut me off with a smile and a wave of her hand.  Then she nudged me with her elbow.

“It’s alright.  Go on inside and get a slice of tart.  Pick Dragonfly already had two slices,” River said in a kinder voice before she zipped into the sky.

“Ha!  My cousin has been accused of having hollow legs, a slim guy who is always hungry,” Peaches commented fondly as she waved to River.  “He’s actually a good cook.  That more than makes up for it.”

Bird Cherries tree vincent-van-zalinge-38365

 Vincent Van Zalinge, Unsplash

Peaches drew me toward her cottage.  Blackberry vines covered the roof.  It was dotted with berries in various degrees of ripeness, white, red, purple, and black.  The kitchen windowsill was lined with bread and pies set there to cool.  The aroma of desserts in the oven was irresistible.  The pink haired faery did not spare the ovens for her solstice celebrations.

As we neared her home, we had to stop for something most people would find unusual.  A long line of red cherries rolled from the other side of the orchard.  The cherries tumbled along, in single file across our path and through the open front door of her cottage.

Peaches shook her head and made a wry face.  That was how her cousin Pick took care of the cherry picking chore when he visited.  It was part of Pick’s gift, convincing the cherries to leave the tree and come to him.

“If I find a single bruise on those cherries…” Peaches muttered.

Different faeries had different talents or magical abilities, and to varying degrees.  The school was meant to help us, from an early age, to develop our apparent talents, and to uncover hidden gifts.  Some faeries had hardly any magic at all.  Like me.  I didn’t see my visions as any sort of talent, and they certainly weren’t magic.

I had hoped that going to the school would cause me to manifest a better talent.  However, before my freshman term of senior level was finished, my visions got me suspended.  I sighed without meaning to make a sound.  Peaches gave me a sympathetic look before we went inside her home.

Her cottage had a huge kitchen — the largest room in the house.  The way Peaches baked, that was a necessity.

Across the room, the first thing I saw was a uniquely lovely flower arrangement.  It contained the most unexpected combination of things, with all manner of wildflowers, and even stems of cotton bowls.

Cotton plant painting 1901

Cotton plant circa 1901, Wikimedia

However, I stumbled to a halt the moment I stepped through the doorway.  The cherries continued to roll until they went into a basket beside the sink.  Pick Dragonfly carried not just one, but three plates to the sink.  Yet none of those things were what caused me to stop in my tracks.

I faced the long kitchen table, mouth agape.  All of the people I admired most in Thistledown were gathered in my friend’s kitchen.  They weren’t the official council, but they were highly respected people.

The fae at the other end of the table sat head and shoulders above the rest.  He was known far and wide as the furry faery, Field Yewwasp.  The huge table looked ordinary next to him.  I knew the large top hat on the coat rack had to belong to Field.  Wire rimmed spectacles with rose colored lenses sat on his nose.  The red jacket he wore was perfectly tailored for his large frame.  I supposed that if your size and hair automatically drew attention to you, then you would want to be well dressed.

Ember Beamwitch sat at Field’s left.  The flowers in her hair bobbled when she looked up at us.  The fiery colored print of her dress had a soft radiance even in the daylight.  After dark it would give a fanciful glow.  A voluminous sleeve swayed gracefully when she raised her hand to wave at me.  Ember would judge the dance competition that Peaches planned to include in her Midsummer celebration.

One of the spectacles of the Midsummer gathering would be worked by Catseye Glimmer.  From practically nothing, Catseye could create fun and useful things.  I suspected that he would somehow make the dance floor, and that his creation of it would kick-off the party.

At seeing these enormously respected fae, I was a nervous wreck, on top of being an emotional basket case.  My eyes were wide with shock.  I stood speechless even when someone bade me sit down at the table.  That’s when I had one more shock than I could handle.  I dazedly realized the person offering me a seat was Calico Rainbowforest.  She ran the Thistledown Trumpet News!

Oh no, I thought.  This is horrible.  What if she puts my vision in the news?  She’ll probably agree with everyone else.  What if she blames every bad thing on me, like some people are doing?

“Oh dear.  You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Calico spoke in a kind voice.  “Poor Bedlam, I know what you’ve been through.  Did you know that the Readings Master suspended me once too?”

That admission got my surprised attention.  I couldn’t imagine Calico Rainbowforest getting into trouble at school, but she grinned and nodded.

“It wasn’t that long ago, you know.  I believe you and I are more alike than you’d expect.  That man just seemed to take an instant dislike to me.  Anyway… I would very much like to hear the story in your own words,” she requested and paused as if waiting for my answer.  When I didn’t speak she continued, “Whenever you’re feeling ready to talk about it.  I’d just listen, mind you, nothing more.  Then if everyone here agreed that it was safe to share with Thistledown, only if you approved would I put it in the Trumpet.

At that moment I knew Calico was saying something, because I could see her mouth moving.  However, I was already intimidated by the individuals who sat around Peaches’ table.  Plus I was downright paranoid about the Trumpet.  I was slow to absorb Calico’s words.  It seemed like I heard her voice from far away.

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

Fairy Islands, 1916, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Wikimedia

Faeries have a fight or flight reflex — quite literally.  Mine abruptly kicked-in, and my wings unfolded before I knew what was happening.  My wayward wings knocked a honeydew melon off a sideboard.  The honeydew hit the floor in an explosive crash of seeds, juice, and melon flesh.  It splattered half the people at the table.

I jumped backward in my agitation.  One of my wings caught painfully on the doorjamb.  I gasped and turned, not understanding what was causing the pain.  My wing started to tear as I moved.

In the recesses of my mind I heard more than one person scream “No!”  They could see what I was too distressed to understand — that I was about to do serious harm to myself if I moved.

I was vaguely aware of seeing Catseye Glimmer stand.  He turned to the unique flower arrangement behind his seat.  Quickly he picked a stem with several cotton bowls.  He whispered to the plant and flexed his fingers in an impossible looking motion.  Then he threw it toward me.

The stem sailed past, an inch from touching me.  It transformed to a soft cushion the size of the doorway, gently preventing me from moving or doing serious damage to my wing.

“Goodness, she looks like she’ll swoon!” Ember Beamwitch exclaimed.  “Here Bedlam, sit down.”

As if he had the same thought as Ember, Pick Dragonfly handed me a glass of chilled water.

Ember put the first two fingers of her right hand to the “third eye” area of my forehead.  A soft glow emanated from her hand.  After a second I felt a wonderful cool sensation and I no longer felt faint.

I was suddenly aware of Field Yewwasp bending over me.  Everyone else had been between the furry faery and me.  How could someone so large move so fast that I didn’t even see him?  As I looked at him in confusion, he asked if I was all right.

“You’d best stay earthbound, rather than fly, until that heals,” Field advised.

The big pain in my wing seemed disproportionate to what was actually a small tear.  Calico unexpectedly drew a tiny jar of ointment from her pocket.  She gave me a sardonic smile.

“Bedlam, my flight skills aren’t any better than yours.  I’ve learned to keep first aid with me,” Calico confessed.  “May I?” she asked indicating the ointment.

I nodded, still mute.  The ointment did lessen the pain.  I drank from the water Pick gave me.  Wide-eyed, I gazed in amazement at the kindness of the people around me.  However, a most unpleasant sensation reverberated through my head.  I shook my head to clear the ringing, but it wouldn’t stop.

Fairfacefairy_2

Wikimedia

***

I hope you clicked the links to reveal the mystery folk. Additions to the cast for this episode include characters named by Hollyberye, Colleen Chesebro, Chris Graham, Mary J. Mccoy-Dressel, and Tim Price.

Fly back to Teagan’s Books next time to reveal new mystery folk and see what happens in episode three. 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

Tuesday Book Blog – Three Things Serial Story

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-authorRecently author and translator (and now professor) Olga Núñez Miret reviewed my novella, The Three Things Serial Story at Riffle.  Now she has shared it at her blog.  (I would have simply reblogged, but I’m rushing for work, and didn’t see the reblog feature, though I’m sure it’s there.)Olga Núñez Miret

I love and appreciate everyone’s comments. I know I’ve had several busy blogging days of posts, when I usually post just once a week.  Since I’m thanking Olga with this post, I’ve disabled comments to send you to the original post.

This review left me giddy!  I’m still blushing. Be sure to check Olga’s other reviews at her blog and at Riffle, just two of the sites where she generously shares reviews. AND check out the fabulous books she has written.

3 books OlgaNM

Wishing everyone a terrific Tuesday!

Mega hugs,

Teagan

 

SPOTLIGHT: Teagan’s Books | Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

I always hesitate to do more than one post a week — and here I am with three in three days… But this feature from Vashti was such a wonderful surprise! What a way to lighten my morbid Monday. Thank you so much, Vashti. ❤ 🙂

The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

#CreativityFound is one of my favorite hashtags, but I use it sparingly, and only when the person or subject matter is truly deserving.Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is clearly worthy because she is the epitome of creativity and imagination.

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”

~Native American Proverb

Teagan Riordain Geneviene-author-spotlight-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-vashti quiroz vega-writer-novel

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, is a true storyteller with a vivid imagination. She enjoys interacting with the readers on her blog and her readers take part in the creation of her serial stories. A southerner by birth, she was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. She had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she…

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