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 hamsters 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 hamsters out to cavort with Stellar the cat.  Stellar chased the hamsters 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 hamster 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.

 

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136 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 3

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

  2. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 4 | Teagan's Books

  3. I never have to go back to read a previous episode of this wonderful tale, because it’s always on my mind, Teagan. The fact that you are linking to other bloggers in the story is such a wonderful and kind thing to do. Now we’ve seen that dark vision, it’s not a place I like the sound of (even if the lovely Olga is there).
    Loved Robbie’s transport of the hamsters in their wheels. And, a TV series is a brilliant idea. Sending you lots of wishes that it will come true. Wishes have wings as well, which turn into butterflies when they come true. 😁
    Another brilliant episode.
    Hugs to you.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s lovely to see you Hugh. I just realized that it’s been a very, very long time since I saw a butterfly… o_O
      I’m so happy you are enjoying this tale. (I really did print your comment from the first episode and hang it on my office wall. LOL 😀 )
      Next episode posting around noon (Eastern)… or I think that’s what I scheduled. Accelerated decrepitude kicking in…
      Anyhow, tune it to learn about some new faery tech! Mega hugs right back.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel like I fell down a fairy rabbit hole and wow, I loved it (again, again!!!). That took a lot of skill and #bloglove to lovingly weave all those amazing bloggers and joy into this episode and all the rest. Truly stunning, dear Teagan. Thank you for sharing this latest journey with us and for introducing us to wonderful bloggers.
    I’ve been thinking of you and Crystal, I hope you both are recovering, her physically and you emotionally from your difficulties. My thoughts are always with you both, even though it’s taking me awhile to get here (I’m accept part of the blame and WordPress has the rest).
    Off to share all over the place and visit and share. 🙂
    Mega you know how to make us take flight hugs xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Donna. Trying to take one day at a time with Crystal and the overwhelming uncertainty. She feels good right now, so that’s all that matters. Other personal improvements remain on hold as this limbo continues.
      🙂 I enjoyed the fairy rabbit hole comment. ❤ It makes me happy that you enjoy this story and the "mystery folk" being revealed. New episode coming Friday afternoon, featuring new Faery tech. 😀 Mega hugs on the wing right back!

      Like

    • I’m absolutely tickled you enjoyed this episode, Kirt. I appreciate you taking time to comment with these encouraging words.
      I’m looking forward to introducing everyone to “Skypainter Morning” Friday at noon.
      (And I really do like what you did with the Prescott prints. They don’t look “washed out” in the least.) Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Adele. That really does mean a lot to me. I’m happy you enjoyed the alter ego of “Luminous Twinkle.” 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, they can’t resist a splash of bright color.
      Anyway, wishing you a wonderful new week. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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

  6. Pingback: Thistledown Lightning Contest! | Teagan's Books

  7. I’ve had a whirlwind of a weekend, but I’ve finally had time to come and read this latest installment. I’m DELIGHTED to be a pepper lamp-maker, what fun! I’m sorry about the overdose of peppers that made Bedlam sneeze, lol! The alternate world seems quite goth in my mind. This is all so intriguing Teagan, there seems to be a surprise around every corner, er, paragraph that is! I hope you have had a fantastic weekend my friend. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. To describe a world as sugary is divine! And to have the name “Rotten” is so NOT divine, lol. I wonder about this dark faery-verse and yet I’m a little scared… I’m glad the mystery bloggers have my back.. or do they?! Haha! I love it all, Teagan 🙂 HUGE hugs for you and Crystal ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is Saturday morning and my regular reblogs of other worlds.. the first is Teagan’s Thistledown with more midsummer bedlam with a cast of faeries who moonlight as bloggers. In this week’s episode we get drawn into the dark side of Bedlam’s visions to a place where she finds a strange physical difference in the faeries she encounters. Head over and read the whole episode and please comment on the original post… #recommended

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy you enjoyed it, Christoph. I took the rodent inspiration from Robbie’s post where she made a confection of Glitter Shimmerling. The “dudes” don’t follow here.
      LOL, based on your comment and Olga’s previous ones, I think I had my channeling hat on for the characters she named. 😀 Wishing you all good things. Mega hugs right back. ❤

      Like

  10. Truly bedlam in its complexities. So catseye is enough of a gentleman to hold the door for others? That’s awfully nice of him. I’m thinking he might have a Crane’s neck, considering all the tall fowl he hangs out with. That would make it easier to see the fast moving furry faery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Teehee! Now that is a fun idea to expand Catseye’s character. Besides, I love cranes, and you know how I can’t resist working animals into my stories. They manage to get in, even when I don’t mean for them to. Some strange fish coming up in episode 5. 😉 I appreciate you taking time to read and comment, Tim. Lovely poem from you today, along with the gorgeous New Mexico photos. Crystal sends a happy Caturday hug to all the kitties. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Keep in mind the Heron who sits like an undertaker waiting for strange fish, and freaky frogs in the muddy swallows. But then he spreads his massive wings, and with the first few flaps ripples the fabric of time, transforming him into a pterodactyl as he lobs himself into the sky, neck tucked, skewer-like beak pointing the way forward, feet stretched behind, pointing to where’s he’s been.

        All the kitties send their regards to you and Crystal with kitty hugs and kitty kisses.😻 Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You are too kind, Robbie. ^^’ I blush. It makes me happy that you enjoy it. LOL, I was a bit worried about Stellar the cat with 20 some hamsters, but they all seemed to get along fine. 😉 Mega hugs.

      Like

  11. I didn’t want it to end. Teagan no fooling I love this story. You have masterfully introduced the alternate (darker) side into the story, I love all the faery names! Can’t wait until next week, my imagination will run wild thinking about what will happen next. I can tell you are really in your element with this story the words and story just flow so beautifully. Love it❤️❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 3 | Annette Rochelle Aben

  13. Another great episode, Teagan. I love Rotten! And great new characters. There was a moment when it made me think of the purple world in a previous serial (it was one of Rotten’s comments…) I agree with everybody’s comments. I know you are a great planner and very organized but even with that, this is incredible. So exciting! Thanks, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, the colorless world and the purple world — I hadn’t thought about that. It’s sort of an amplified version of how lacking in color I perceive things in DC. I rarely see anyone wear a color…
      This story is at least as unplanned as any of the three things serials. I have some vague idea about the dark faery-verse effecting Bedlam’s world, but I’m not even sure of that. So far, instead of “things” whatever “gift” I come up with for the characters is prompting what I write. I’m a little concerned about how this one will go. But we’ll see! 😀
      Heartfelt thanks for your unfailing encouragement, my friend. And for this great feedback. Happy weekend hugs.

      Like

  14. Hey, I know that feeling where your mind goes somewhere and our body stays in its place. Oh, oh, that can’t be good. If Calico is wearing those blue spectacles, thanks! I had blue tinted eyeglasses once. Have a nice weekend, Teagan. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This is complicated but I’m not lost. It’s scary, in a way. It’s like sitting next to a madman song going on a journey with him. I have to say that “..,Tan would have been a bright color in that place…” really made me smile

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dan. Heartfelt thanks for that feedback. I’m trying to sort of keep the thread of the actual story separate from characters who walk in and out… If that makes sense. Hoping people will subtly pick up on that as more characters (mystery folk) are revealed.
      Ha! Glad you caught that line. Fiction reflects reality. There is an apartment building next to my office building. It had some muted terracotta colored rectangles breaking up the concrete (or whatever covers the building). Then they repainted it, taking away the dull terracotta and replacing it with gray. A coworker and I were laughing about it, saying they must have thought the dull earth-tone was too bright.
      Many thanks for visiting. Huge hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. My goodness, this is so complicated for you…my head is reeling . You are, as we say ‘Up North of England’ – yes, despite living in Wales I do keep the sayings… an old clever clogs, Teagan. This is a brilliant idea.x:)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wow.. so loving this, and the entwining of names.. I did work my own out.. too, one mentioned in the above so initials and birthday matched 🙂 a little pug in the kitchen lol 🙂
    And loved my Scary name.. 🙂
    What a lot of work you put into each post Teagan, and how magical a tale you weave.. Just excellent
    💞💖💕

    Liked by 1 person

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