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.

105 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 2

  1. Oh Teagan I didn’t want it to end, so glad Peaches has made another appearance and your description of her cottage makes me so happy, I want to live there with that big kitchen. Also so good to have some characters from episodes past and delighted to meet the new characters. I just don’t know how you do it, such attention to detail honestly, it blows my mind. Such a wonderful cast of faeries each with such distinct personalities and I love clicking and seeing who they are. You truly are a master at this Teagan. Amazing work, can’t wait for next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Teagan I do not know how you do it, I mean, writing all those beautiful imaginative stories you create, and then you go and create such a beautiful book cover.. WOW.. Is there no end to your talents my friend? Amazing, and I will have to wait until Dec to catch up with my favourite story..
    Sorry I too have been a bit busy and not jumping around WP as often as I should.. Have a wonderful weekend Teagan and an exciting Halloween.. Have a Magical time.. 🙂 LOVE and hugs Sue ❤ 🎃🎃🎃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue, you are too kind. 🙂 All through my growing up year I fancied an art career. But my untutored talent was mediocre, besides which my parents weren’t willing or interested in getting me any sort of training. I only pick up a paint brush a couple of times a decade.
      However, since I started self publishing, making my book-covers has become a cherished creative outlet. Choosing an image that “begins telling the story” — or sometimes combining several… Arranging just the right placement of images and text… I love it!
      I owe you a visit or three as well. It’s lovely to see you whenever you get the chance. Happy Halloween hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It is lovely and you are very gifted Teagan.. My Dad was clever at drawing, but never did much of it due to the fact he had to work long hours to keep a large family.. So i took after him.. My Teacher wanted me to go to art college, but I was the eldest and money was needed in the form of a wage. So in those days you left school aged 15 and went straight into a factory.. It was only in my 40’s I explored my creative arty side again.. And have never really stopped.. Enjoy your weekend too.. Big Hugs xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam Catch-Up | Teagan's Books

  4. Just as magical as episode one, Teagan.Love the idea of being able to talk cherries down from trees and for them to roll to the kitchen. And that printed dress that Colleen, I mean Ember, wears that glows at night. You’re painting such a beautiful new world with this story and it wouldn’t be the same without your Teagan style cliffhangers.
    Hugs to you.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Hugh. I sincerely appreciate your feedback. I had fun writing the scene with the cherries. Since John/Pick’s name came from “cherry picker” I had to come up with something. And you see the result of my strangely wired mind. 😉 Wait until you see Robbie — I mean Glitter’s mode of transportation!
      Have a thriving, hug-filled Thursday.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. An intriguing set of faery characters off to an interesting start, Teagan! Beautiful writing, and I am enjoying this story very much! Tim Price makes a good Catseye Glimmer. 🙂

    I wish I could grow peaches here, but the one peach tree I planted did not do well. I can smell fresh peaches and peach pie cooking in this post, and that will have to suffice for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so very happy to hear that, Teri!
      Oh, and don’t tell, but Peaches Dragonfly is working on a special recipe for a future episode. 😀 I crave peach pie and peach anything. Love fresh peaches.
      Thanks for taking time to visit. Mega hugs right back.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christoph. I’m happy you enjoyed it. I hoped it would be less laborious than the “three things” kind of writing I do. So I’m trying to let the talents/magic I imagine around each character drive this story, rather than “things” left by readers. Have a great new week. Mega hugs right back! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am loving the faeries, including being able to cherry pick using magic rather than physical labor 😉 As for being suspended, I have never been but I do welcome the opportunity to go to a school to learn how to acquire talent for magic! Great characters and, once again, I loved clicking the links to discovery the mystery writers 🙂 Speaking of links, you got a shout out here, in case you missed it: https://whenwomeninspire.com/2017/07/14/weekly-inspiration-roundup-volume-1/

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG! That’s purely wonderful of you to include me, Christy. Thank you so very much! I’m so sorry — I try to keep up but…
      I’m having huge fun designing the magic of this faery-verse. I’m happy you liked the cherry picking. I’m not sure which I had more fun with, the cherries or the trumpet vine newspaper. Thanks for taking time to visit here. Mega hugs.

      Like

  7. O-o-o-h, how mysterioso…as soon as I start reading these the ‘Fairly Odd Parents’ theme starts dancing through my head – cartoon show about Fairy Godparents that my son no longer watches so I gave it up too, uhh, sure…
    This is wonderful, dear Teagan, you always know just how to drop us right into a story and wake us feel like part of it which I thank you for. Off to share.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend. How is Crystal? Is she recovering well? Big hugs to you both and all the best, always. xoxxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Donna, it is always wonderful to see you. I don’t know the “Fairly Odd Parents” show. I’ll have to check Netflix for it.
      I never thought I’d be writing this kind of fairy story! (Yes there are fae in Atonement, but they don’t seem to me like this at all.) But here I am, and having fun doing it. I hope everyone else continues to have fun. Heartfelt thanks for your encouragement and support. ❤
      Oh thank you, Crystal seems to be doing well. Of course she still has Inflammatory Bowel Disease, so how good she seems to feel fluctuates… As for the cancer, as long as she feels good, I'm doing all I can to take one day at a time.
      Part of me will always be "waiting for the other shoe to fall." How can I not, when an entire shopping mall of shoes has fallen throughout my life? But I really am trying — one day at a time. Huge hugs, my friend.

      Like

  8. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Before I head off this morning to get on with some worldly projects it is time to visit another dimension where faeries live. Namely the blog of Teagan Geneviene.. In this episode you will meet more of the residents of this other world and get to know more about their specific talents.. also catch up with Bedlam as she finds herself the focal attention of some of the most esteemed faeries in Thistledown.. see if you can guess which of the faeries belong to their earthbound blogging counterparts..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dyanna — I’m truly happy that you like this serial. I don’t think I’ve quite found my footing in this faery-verse, but I’m having a good time finding it. Many thanks for reblogging. Mega hugs!

      Like

    • It is lovely to see you, Mihran! I was thinking of your music just yesterday. I need to visit your blog for more of your marvelous music. Angels must be envious of your talent. I’m happy you enjoyed this episode. Hugs.

      Like

  9. Teagan, I am so in love with this story. I love them all but this one is so special. The new additions are perfect. The cottage Peaches lives in is my dream home. I can’t wait for more, you have such an amazing and magickal talent my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Author Spotlight – Guest Post: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 1.” – Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

  11. I’m with Tim, I don’t know how you’re keeping track. You know I love the descriptive passages you write. I love the image of the cherries rolling into the kitchen. We just had fresh cherries last week, and I swear I can picture them rolling up the ramp to the porch. I also can perfectly imagine: “The honeydew hit the floor in an explosive crash of seeds, juice, and melon flesh. It splattered half the people at the table.” Oh my what a mess. I’ve been visiting the stars – who’s that John Howell guy? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m delighted that you enjoyed it, Olga. I appreciate this feedback. Next time, we meet River’s counterpart from the “dark” faery-verse. I’m still tweaking that episode, and deciding how I want the personalities to differ. Maybe not as much as I first intended… Maybe more difference in their environment… the nature vs nurture thing. Happy weekend, my friend. Hugs.

      Like

  12. Teagan, you’re in your element with this new series. The characters’ roles are incredibly real with people behind them. Exciting to read fantasy at its best. Looking forward to the next adventure, why “the ringing won’t stop.” Huge hugs, 🌺🌷🌸 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Christine — I’m so glad you picked up on the “ringing” thing. That’s good feedback.
      LOL, let me repeat my disclaimer 😀 It’s fiction. If characters resemble anybody, it’s pure coincidence! (Has to be in case I screw up.) o_O Anyway, I’m tickled that you like the story. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think I can say it and get away with it – here goes…I”m jealous of your writing talent. I hope some day when I grow up I can write with the detail and characterization you do.Thank you for sharing your talent. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think I clicked on all the characters. An interesting lot you’ve ended up with. I hope you can keep track of everyone, because I don’t think I could. My post today seems about perfect for Catseye Glimmer, as it’s a rather shocking kitty post. I’m really intrigued to see where you take all this craziness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. I saw that one, but didn’t have a chance to comment right then. I love Lola-kitty cheek-rubbing the battery. Apparently it’s not much of a shock? I hope.
      Ha! I make a character matrix, a very complex one, for each serial or novel. I can’t get by without doing that.
      Great big hug!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Even with a matrix, I’d probably still get them all messed up. I’m always impressed how novelists can keep all their character’s straight, especially each character’s personality.

        Liked by 1 person

              • Well I just love stylists so I love your stylist’s writing. I like its ease and flow from sentence to sentence. I don’t normally read this kind of writing but i stop by because it’s you and always have a good time. Thanks

                Liked by 1 person

                • You’ve made my Monday, David. Thank you so very much. Even though there are “Fae” in Atonement, Tennessee, to me those are more of a race. I never thought I’d be writing about this type of fairies! Where it will go from here, I have no idea. 😀 I appreciate you taking time to read and comment. Hugs!

                  Like

  15. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 2 | Annette Rochelle Aben

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