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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99 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 4

  1. Oh, Teagan, another brilliant episode. Skypainter Morning sounds as if he’s about to open a doorway to a world that will threaten Thistledown and its inhabitants. I do hope he knows what he is doing.
    I could feel that chill run down my spine while reading those final words. Now I’m going to have to cover my eyes before reading episode 5.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, Hugh — if you close your eyes, you’ll miss the new faery creatures that come with #5. 😀 ❤ o_O
      The sky-painting could get Wellsian, but don't spread that around. I'm still flying by the seat of my pants, though so who knows.
      Heartfelt thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Like they say, great minds think alike! 😉 I’m happy you enjoyed this, Christoph.
      Thank you — I will do my best to thrive as I head out the door for Mordor! 😈
      A thriving Thursday to you too, my friend. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

  2. I am so enjoying this tale dear Teagan.. And would you know it I am listening to Celtic music that within the lyrics spoke of scrying lol 🙂 obsidian a powerful stone.. Very protective as well .. I am sure with a little help those visions will be more controlled.. 🙂
    Sending Love your way dear Teagan.. Love and Blessings my friend
    Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to know you’re safely home, Lavinia. I hope you had a great time. No doubt the kitties of Salmon Brook Farm were ecs-cat-tic to see you.
      Congratulations on the little prize. You won it fair and square. Hugs on the wing.

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on thewallgalleryblog and commented:
    I have a strong appreciate for writers and the process they go through to create stories. One of my favorite authors is Teagan Geneviene and so I had to share this post as my weekly post. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I have a featured role in this weeks installment…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Teagan, once again another episode that completely pulls me in! I am in awe with the way you spin your tales and create your characters! It’s always a great read!! I truly appreciate the feature of my photography and the name you gave my character. I remember taking that first leap creating a name and am so happy you changed it!! LOL….I will be reblogging this post as my weekly post….love your writing and can’t wait to see what happens next!! My best to you and sorry to read about Crystal – 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kirt. I’m still trying to take it day by day with Crystal. As long as she feels good and is happy. But it’s heartbreaking to know that won’t last. If it is like the one they removed, it will grow very rapidly.
      Anyhow, heartfelt thanks for your kind and encouraging words. That means a lot to me. I think Skypainter is a fun character, so I hope he flies into several episodes. But I’m pantsering so I honestly have no idea. 😀 Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kirt’s photographs are lovely, and very fitting for his fae name! This is yet another episode that I didn’t want to end yet!! You’ve pulled me in to the story quite masterfully, Teagan. I have great hopes for the Finder to help Bedlam find her true gift. xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Pies And Tarts: Blackberry Peach Pie And A Tomato Tart | apuginthekitchen

  7. You do yourself a disservice calling this story ‘frilly’ Teagan – it’s light-hearted, whimsical, but definitely not frilly. I love the way you bring in the herbs and gemstone magic and the interesting idea of the sky vision – I don’t know where you get all these fabulous ideas!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so kind, Andrea. Thank you for saying that — for all your support. Although I have no plot in mind (pantsering all the way) from the beginning I wanted to work gems and plants into the faery magic. I’m glad I’ve managed to so far.
      Hugs on the wing, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Well this made my morning, sorry I didn’t read it yesterday I had one of those awful days. As I read this story I imagine myself there in this magickal place and each episode draws me further and further in. I hope you publish this because I would love to have it for my library. Each character is developing and becoming more complex I am absolutely riveted and can’t wait for each weeks installment. The magickal faery world is my happy place!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzanne, you’ve made my day. My chief ambition with this blog is to make it a “happy place” a safe haven for all who visit. Your words are more encouraging than you could imagine.
      I’m sorry about the frightful Friday. Happily it’s finally the weekend.
      To be honest, I’m struggling again. It looks like Crystal’s cancer has already come back. She came back so strongly I let myself hope for a few more healthy years…

      Anyway, hoping to finish Episode 5 in a way that does justice to your delicious recipe.
      Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I really like the way this story is playing out. I particularly like this episode. I love reflections and I love it when the reflected image in the water is clearer than the image in the sky. Maybe the sky’s the reflection – interesting thought. I am eager to see where this story goes next.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is Saturday and time for one or two regular reblogs – the first is the world of Thistledown with world of the young Belam Thunder a faery is struggling with unbidden images that can be confusing and sometimes frightening. In this episode however we meet some of her very supportive friends including the creative Skypainter Morning. Skypainter is trying out a new concept for him and despite his long experience he finds a suggestion from Bedlam a revelation.. Head over and read the rest of the episode and see if you can quess the hidden identity of the residents of this other dimension. #recommended

    Liked by 2 people

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

  12. I think I like so much with your stories is that they’re not predictable. Bring on the magic, bring on the characters, bring on the Teagan-ish delights 🙂 Congrats to the winners of the contest too xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is music to my ears, Olga. I’m happy you liked the closing with the chill of foreboding. 😀 Trying to regain the whimsical focus and finish episode 5 with more magic… So far it’s dark. But I have to do Suzanne’s recipe justice.
      I appreciate you taking time to visit. Huge hugs.

      Like

  13. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 4 | Annette Rochelle Aben

    • It’s great to see you, Tim. I’m happy you liked that one. It really triggered my imagination as to the kaleidoscopic way the image might take shape. I hope all is well with you and yours in the Land of Enchantment. Rubs and scratches to all the kitties and parrots!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow…Teagan! Each episode draws me into the story further. I keep thinking this would be a compelling book with illustrations. I’ve always said you have an expansive mind, and it creates incredible stories! This one, a favorite! Being a July Moon child, It’s my kind of in-another-world adventure. Hugs & Happy Friday! 🤗 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

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