We Were On A Break! Welcome Back Donna Parker

“Don’t panic!” said Douglas Adams, and I’m echoing his words from the Hitchhiker’s Guide. I had to have a break (after a couple of extra-draining workweeks and an altercation with a stomach virus). Thistledown will be back next weekend.

Meanwhile I’m sharing a couple of beauties with you. Later this weekend I have a special announcement from fellow blogger and author, John W. Howell.

Now… OMG, look who’s back! I was so happy to see Donna Parker in the bloggosphere again. Then you should have seen my face when I saw she gave a shout out to “Murder at the Bijou – Three Ingredients 1”
Please click over and visit Yadadarcyyada. Browse around her fabulous, inimitable blog, and say hello.
Hugs on the wing!

yadadarcyyada

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/Something has changed within me
Somehow I’m not the same
I’m tired of playing
someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to press stop
(oops, I hit Publish!)
Time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!
I’m sick of denying gravity, now…
I’m defying gravity!
Even by getting up in the morning…I’m defying gravity!
Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want. I wanna—, I wanna—, I wanna stop hearing ‘want’ instead of ‘need’.
So I have a problem, something I have to face…
To move ahead at a more novel pace.https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/
We need to not believe everything we read and not only read everything we believe. My fondness wish? That we hit pause, stop fighting about who’s right and who’s wrong. Simple, the facts are right; what if we’re…

View original post 1,205 more words

Jazz Age Wednesdays 3 — Recipe Hunter

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On Saturday, I was honored to be the guest of the enchanting Esmé — The Recipe Hunter.  I’m sharing that post today for Jazz Age Wednesdays.  I hope you’ll click over and say hello. Thanks again, Esmé!  That post is below.

Studebaker blue 1920s

***

It was a recipe for fun when I wrote Three Ingredients I — Murder at the Bijou.  Although, I’m afraid I was not all-together in my element at a cooking blog.  I used to think I was a pretty good cook, but that was years ago.  Now I don’t see myself that way. 

However, I thought I could cook up some fun! Recently, I launched my second “three things” pantser novel.  (Learn about them here.)

My readers drove the story by sending three things (or ingredients) that I included in the serial episodes.  Those random “things” drove every aspect of the stories.  Since the second serial was a culinary mystery, the things were ingredients.  People kept asking for the serials to be in book form.  Finally I’ve obliged… at least with the first two.

Since I’m not much of a cook any more, I’m brought the first chapter of Murder at the Bijou to share at Esmé’s blog instead of a cooking post.  As I said, it’s spontaneously told, and set in the Jazz Age.  Here goes!  

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

A culinary mystery with “ingredients” sent from readers everywhere.

Chapter One — Geoduck, Cilantro, Red Wine

Union Station Savannah, GA

Union Station, Savannah, GA (public domain image)

Several cars were already parked in front of Binghamton’s Bijou Theatre for the big local premiere.  I spotted an empty parking space and hit the gas to pull my grandmother’s Model-T up to the curb.  The car was old as could be, but Granny babied it like a child.  It looked brand new, all the way to the brightly painted yellow spokes at the wheels.  As I got out I made sure the sign she tied to the car door was straight.  It read Granny Fanny’s Goodies

My grandmother had become insistent that I mend my flapper ways and at least learn to cook.  Pops wasn’t about to refuse her when she decided I should leave Florida and move up to Savannah, Georgia to live with her.  “Until you become a passable cook,” my father said, and it had sounded like a prison sentence.  However, Savannah was a bigger city than I realized, and “Jazz Age” business was flourishing.  I secretly liked the town, but it wouldn’t do to let Granny or Pops know that just yet.

As I carefully stacked containers of fortune cookies I heard someone with a faintly British accent call my name.  “Over here Pip!” Alastair Wong called and waved cheerfully.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

The Wongs immigrated to the United States from England.  Neither he nor his parents had ever been to China, though they dreamed of visiting and faithfully passed down family recipes, like the one for the enormous clams, the geoducks.  Alastair had helped the filmmaker locate an ancient and huge one that had been used in the making of the movie.  Though I couldn’t imagine how they made it look so gigantic, the things were certainly ugly enough to star in a monster movie.

Alastair’s family owned the local Chinese restaurant, simply called Wong’s.  His slogan proclaimed “You’re always right with Wong’s.”  I hoped he was right to invest in so much advertising for this movie.  The chefs at the restaurant were so busy making geoduckdishes that he’d asked Granny to handle the fortune cookies.  I chuckled to myself when I thought about the “fortunes” she wrote for them.

I helped Alastair and his mother arrange the fortune cookies and the geoduck items.  It actually looked inviting the way they’d prepared it.  But I still couldn’t make myself take a bite…  Mrs. Wong giggled at the expression on my face.  At least she wasn’t offended.  Soon we had the food ready for the guests of the premiere of “Night of the Killer Clam.”

People gathered around the food tables as soon as we were ready.  As they chose hors d’oeuvres they joked about eating the movie’s monster villain.  Then they started opening their fortune cookies and reading the carefully printed messages inside.

“Neither a whistling woman nor a crowing hen ever come to a very good end.”  (Be yourself.)

“Every dog should have a few fleas.”  (No one is perfect.)

“You’ll be happy as a dead pig in the sunshine.”  (Don’t worry about what’s happening.)

I blushed when Alastair Wong looked askance at me.  All I could do was shrug helplessly.  Granny Fanny insisted on writing what she thought of as proper fortunes, though they weren’t exactly … traditionally Chinese.

Mrs. Wong, Arabella, laughed out loud, startling me.  She usually had a sweet girlish giggle.  Alastair rolled his eyes heavenward.  At least they had a sense of humor about it.

Arabella poured goblets of red wine for us and we toasted the movie and good food.  We would miss most of the film’s premiere, but Mr. Binghamton gave all of us several free passes each, so knew I could come back.

crab monsters 2Posters of swooning a woman in the embrace of a shocked but dashing man decorated the Bijou’s entrance.  A little girl looked quietly at a poster of the monster clam.  Then she suddenly shrieked, pulled away from the woman who held her hand, and ran.  “Flannery!  Come back!  Wait,” the woman called and ran after the child.

The music began inside the theatre and everyone cheered.  I heard muffled dialogue, but I couldn’t make out the words.  I started helping the Mrs. Wong and her son cleanup and gathered Granny’s empty cookie containers.  Then I jumped when I heard loud screaming emanate from the Bijou.

“Wow!  That must be some scary movie!” Alastair commented.  Then a woman and a man ran from the theatre.  The Wongs and I looked at one another, puzzled.

Something was clearly wrong.  As I walked toward the entrance, I saw the door to the ticket booth was open.  I noticed a flashlight and picked it up, as I hurried toward the commotion.  Inside the theatre the screen showed what appeared to be a fifty feet tall clam, with a hundred feet long…  Applesauce, I didn’t know what to call it!  Something like an elephant’s trunk was slowly attacking a building.

I switched on the flashlight.  A small group of people were clustered below the stage.  When I drew near I noticed a trail of green bits on the floor.  Between the people, I saw a pair of wingtips with the soles facing me.  The green bits were all over the bottoms of those shoes — and the feet that wore them weren’t moving.  I pushed my way into the circle.  The man stretched out on the floor didn’t seem to be breathing.  I took a mirror from my purse and held it under his nose.  There was no fog from his breath.  One of the people started calling for a doctor, but I was sure the man was already dead.

Soon a man with a medical bag, along with the theatre owner — Mr. Binghamton, 

and a policeman pushed me out of the way.  I stooped down and touched my fingers to the little green bits the dead man had tracked on his shoes.  I shone the light on it and sniffed.  Cilantro.

***

End Chapter 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgNR-nAlWaw

I hope you enjoyed this peek into the world of my unflappable flapper, Paisley Idelle Peabody (aka Pip).  It was a pleasure for me to meet Esmé.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy a visit to The Recipe Hunter as well.  It’s pos-i-lutely fabulous.

I’ll be looking for you this weekend in Thistledown!  Hugs.

***

If you want to know more about this series, here is a review by Chris the Story Reading Ape of the first book. 

TSRA 3 Things Review

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story 

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Bijou front only 2

 Thanks so much for visiting.  You’re the berries!

 

 

Copyright © 2017

by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

No part of this book/text/blog may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, 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, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam 11

Magical Town Crickadoon

The Magical Town of Crickadoon, Janet Weight Reed

Friday, September 22, 2017

Today I’m excited (oh, let’s be honest — I’m positively giddy) to collaborate with and feature one of my blogging she-roes.  Please welcome artist Janet Weight Reed.  Her love of color and sense of whimsy equals my own.  Janet’s talent and imagination leaves mine sitting in the dust. There are surely faeries in her magical town of Crickadoon.

Some of her magical hummingbirds have made their way to Thistledown for this episode.  (This post shows a beautiful collection of Janet’s hummingbirds click here.  If you want some of your very own, click here for her Zazzle store.)

Writing Process

Fallow Blackmoon, a faery from the colorless world (or the scary faery-verse), made an entrance that was hard to follow.  My pantser pants were not flying me anywhere — by the seat or otherwise.  Then a hummingbird with fiery orange plumage flew into my imagination, inspiring this spontaneous collaboration with Janet.  I have to thank her right now for being so quick to get images to me, with no planning or notice.

Janet was away on a break when I began this serial, and so didn’t get to name a character.  But that didn’t keep the orange hummer away.  In fact the little bird refused to leave.  So, I made a character name inspired by the artist.

About This Episode

This chapter picks up where Episode 10 left off, with the abrupt departure of Fallow Blackmoon.  I still don’t know where we are flying with this serial, but we are fluttering along with some beautiful images this time.

And now, the eleventh installment of my serial. 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 11

Ashes and Hummingbirds

Sparks from the bonfire sizzled heavenward.  Red, blue, and purple flames crackled in exotic shapes, thanks to the enchantments cast by my grand-uncle and Field Yewwasp.  The faeries who were gathered around the fire seemed to think the machine that roared out of the bonfire was one of the magical effects.  As I stood in bewilderment at the abrupt disappearance of Fallow Blackmoon, loud applause rose from the audience as they looked up at us in the branches of the primeval evergreen.

“For now, we should probably play along,” Field suggested in a rumbling whisper.

The huge furry faery doffed his green top hat and bowed grandly.  I tried to follow his example and nearly fell headfirst down the stairs.  Field caught my elbow to steady me.

Sparks burst high into the sky, drawing everyone’s attention back to the bonfire.  Shimmering flames in yellow, purple, and blue stretched to wing-like shapes.  I saw a woman hovering just above the ground, her orange wings vibrating with intensity.  She held a small wand made of fire opal and waved her arms, conducting the movement of the flames.  The brightly colored flames coalesced and then surged into a starburst of iridescent hummingbirds.  Only Valley Hummer could create such a spectacle.

Amid the oohs and applause, many faeries were inspired to dance.  I saw Moon Shadow put a flute to her lips.  Her long, flowing purple hair swung as she played, and a lively reel began.  A circle formed and wings of every color fluttered, carrying the dancers into the sky.  Moon’s opalescent wings carried her up amid the dancers where she continued to play.  The hummingbirds flew all around the dancers, darting in and out of their circle, moving in time to the music.

***

The next day I was given permission to leave my bed — but not go more than a stone’s throw beyond the branches of the huge evergreen.

So why not let me go down to the bonfire the night before?  It wasn’t as if I was any better or worse a few hours later.

With a dejected sigh I walked down to the blackened remains of the party.  In counterpoint to the ashes, echoes of the merrymaking filled my mind.  As I looked at the burned wood, my thoughts flashed on the recent, truly horrific vision.  Thousands of people were destroyed, wiped from existence.  All that remained were their shadows — shadows that were blasted and burned into the rubble of walls.  I stomped on the frightening thought, hastily pushing down.

I felt a tickle at my head.  A hummingbird with iridescent feathers in the orange hues of a sunset hovered beside me.  It picked a strand of my hair.  When it opened its tiny beak to let go of my hair, I heard the voice of Valley Hummer.

“The other magical hummingbirds went home with me.  However this little one thought he should stay with you, at least for a while,” Valley’s voice told me and then went silent, giving the hummingbird’s natural voice back to him.

Fluttering at eye-level, the hummingbird made twittering chirps at me.  His elongated streamer-tail produced a “whirring sound” during his flight as he made series of darting movements around the circle of stones that had been dragged into place by the blue muskoxen.

I sat down on one of the stones and the humming bird flew to a nearby bush of butterfly weed to drink its nectar.  There were several clumps of long, silken blue hair amid the large flat rocks where the revelers sat the night before.

“One of Blossom’s muskoxen was late to his molt,”I commented to the hummingbird, but he continued drinking nectar.

I picked up several clumps of the blue hair, untangled it and began braiding.  I had no purpose in mind for it.  It was just something to do with my hands while my brain worked on a thought that resisted bubbling to the surface.  Finally, I realized what had been bothering me ― Fallow Blackmoon.

When my visions took me to that strange colorless world, no one was able to tell that I had left Thistledown.  However, Fallow Balckmoon was obviously present in her physical form.  That had troubled me.  Abruptly I remembered that when I went to the place where I met Rotten Soulfire, Satellite Frostbite, and Desert Firesong, I had physical presence there.  Or at least it had seemed that way.  Rotten had touched the joint where my wings depended from my back.  I remembered her amazed reaction that my wings were real.

“I’m Fallow Blackmoon.  It’s good to meet another seer,” the snakeskin clad faery had said before she vanished.

It must have worked that way for her as well.  I shook her hand.  She was actually there.  Yet she must have also been, probably in some unconscious state, in her own world.  Half an attempt to work out how that could be possible quickly gave me a headache.

Headache or not, my brain wasn’t ready to let go of the ideas.  I played with the long blue braid as I thought.  Then I remembered something else that was said during that strange moment.  Field Yewwasp said something I barely heard.  I was so distracted by Fallow Blackmoon’s sudden disappearance that I had forgotten how odd Field’s words were.

“She looks familiar,” he murmured so quietly that I barely heard.  “Could it be?”

It seemed like many of the residents of Thistledown had a counterpart in the colorless world.  Did the big furry faery know the double of the seer from that other place?

I rubbed my temples, trying to make the headache go away and the memories flow.  Did she look like anyone I knew?  It was hard to remember her face.  There had been so many distractions, the flames, her strange clothes, and the loudly roaring machine she rode.  Try as I might, I couldn’t remember ever seeing anyone like Fallow.

Field’s words rang in my mind, “Could it be?”

***

The End

As you saw, this we were revisited by a number of mystery folk from previous episodes.  They would appreciate it if you click over and say hello. 

Please also visit the new ones.  The new mystery folk revealed in this episode were:

I like to have a couple of chapters written in advance.  However, I’m no longer ahead on writing these episodes.  So, I have no clues to offer about the next installment.  Have a wonder-filled weekend.

Hugs on the wing!

Sunday update… I love your comments! But I might be slow to answer today. Somehow I’ve managed to get a stomach virus that has me on a very short leash to the bathroom…

 

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.

 

 

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Teagan Riordain Geneviene and M.C.V. Egan

Source: Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Teagan Riordain Geneviene and M.C.V. Egan

Huge thanks to Sally G. Cronin for sharing these wonderful reviews of my novella. Also, my appreciation to Bette Stevens and Vashi Quiroz-Vega for reviews that thrilled me!  Have a thriving Thursday everyone!

Comments are closed here, but please visit Sally and say hello. You’ll find all sorts of wonderful posts at her blog.

Now I’m really having a thriving Thursday!

Thrive on my friends!

Thriving Thursdays: What’s More Important than Knowledge?

Thriving Thursdays: What’s More Important than Knowledge?

1956 Imagination SF comic

Hello all.  I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.  Huge thanks to Chris the Story Reading Ape, for hosting me. I welcome you to another Thriving Thursday at the tree-house.  I hope you’ll click over and visit us there.  (I’ve closed comments here.)

So, what’s more important than knowledge?  Maybe you think the answer to that question is “Nothing” – that nothing is more important than knowledge.  You might be right about that… but Einstein would disagree.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited.
Imagination encircles the world…  
~~Albert Einstein

I can’t help thinking that it is simply impossible to thrive without imagination.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

Jazz Age Wednesdays 2

Camel Walk dance poster 1920sWednesday, September 20, 2017

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  I’m still celebrating the release of Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I .

For this weekly feature my intention was to make things easy for myself by re-sharing short stories I had already written.  However, to day I’m posting an all new vignette. It’s another hump day so my “thing” to create this story was, of course, camel

In the time-line of the Pip-verse, this story falls between the two books.  Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, has just arrived in Savannah, Georgia.  She is late meeting her grandmother, but you saw the reason for that last week.   (Just a note — While this vignette happens immediately after “Pip Arrives in Savannah,” the other stories for Jazz Age Wednesdays are not in any particular order.  It is not a serial, so one doesn’t necessarily follow the next…)

Those of you who have followed the old three things serials for some time will recognize a character from Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.

Pip Sees a Camel

Lucille Ball teen blue

A teen-aged Lucille Ball 

The delivery truck from Wong’s Chinese puttered down Pearl Street in downtown Savannah, Georgia.  I had already thanked Alastair Wong about a million times for giving me a lift to his family restaurant, where I was supposed to meet up with my grandmother.

I knew we were late, but it couldn’t be helped.  I also knew Granny Phanny didn’t like to be kept waiting.  She could get downright ugly about it.

Anyway, I was feeling too antsy to beat my gums in chitchat.  Instead I looked out the window at the unfamiliar street and buildings as Alastair drove past.  Based on the sales signs in business windows, this city was a lot more expensive than my little hometown outside Sarasota Sound, Florida.

Finally, I saw the storefront of the restaurant.  A peep in the window told me the joint was elegant.  I imagined all the patrons in their glad rags, and cringed when I looked down and saw a splash of orange juice on the front of my frock.  Nervously I adjusted my pink cloche hat.

1920 Henricis Chicago IL

Henrici’s, Chicago, IL, circa 1920

“Strange,” Alastair muttered as he parked the truck.  “I don’t see Miss Phanny’s Model-T anywhere.”

Oh no!  Granny’s already left in a huff.  Is she planning to make me just fend for myself?  I don’t know my way around this city.  I didn’t want to be here in the first place! I silently ranted.

Alastair walked over to a desk.  For a moment, I thought he spoke to a doll in an embroidered blue satin dress.  However, it was a very tiny, very ancient woman.  She had to be well under five feet tall, and Lord knew how old.

“Pip, this is my cousin Victoria Wong.”

I bobbed a little courtesy, as I looked at the unusual woman in fascination.

“Arabella and Phanny left in a hurry when that dewdropper who runs the dance studio came in here.  Why two grown women would help a lollygagger like him is beyond me,” the diminutive woman told us, and then gave an indelicate snort to accompany the unexpected slang.  “The lazy man let his latest gimmick get away.  They all went to chase it.”

Alastair and I looked from tiny Victoria to each other in confusion.

“My mother and Miss Phanny with a dewdropper?  Latest gimmick?” he prompted.

“His dance studio,” Victoria said, as if everything should be obvious.  “The dewdropper is advertising classes for the Camel Walk dance.  And that nasty, spitting beast got away.”

“The gimmick or the dance teacher?” Alastair asked.  “What do you mean by gimmick anyhow?  How can a gimmick get away?”

Victoria was very old.  I decided she must be senile.  Whatever the case, she had Alastair and me all balled up.

An odd noise caused me to turn to the broad window that looked out onto the street while Alastair continued to try and get some sense out of his cousin.  The sight before my eyes shocked me so badly that I dropped my pocketbook.

The restaurant goers got up from their tables and went to the window exclaiming and pointing.

“Granny!” I gasped.

Arabella Wong, Alastair’s mother, opened the double doors to the restaurant.  Granny Phanny perched high atop a camel!  My grandmother leaned down and called to me.

1880 Blue_woman_on_a_camel Queensland Australia

Woman on a camel circa 1880, Queensland, Australia

“I’m glad you final decided to grace us with your presence Paisley Idelle Peabody,” she called out in a sarcastic voice.  “Your chariot awaits!”

Victoria giggled and told me, “Sweetie, you look like you could use a jorum of skee!

I gasped, feeling like I must already be zozzled.  Granny couldn’t be serious!  But it wouldn’t be the first time she’d gotten even with somebody for being late.  She didn’t move to get down from the camel.  Surely, she was joking…

The End

***

If you want to know more about this series, here is a review by Vashti Quiroz-Vega of the first book. 

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

 Thanks so much for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees!

 

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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 10

Friday, September 15, 2017

Marketing Graphic for Thisledown

Welcome back to the faery world of Thistledown!

Writing Process

The writing of this episode was frequently interrupted.  That can make it even harder for creativity to flow, to fly by the seat of my pantser pants.  Then I reminded myself that there were still faery characters waiting in the wings, marking time until their parts in the story are found by my flying pants.  Actually, that didn’t make it any easier.  However, I finally finished the chapter.

About This Episode

It’s been fun to imagine slightly off-kilter versions of the characters in this serial, what I called the “scary faeries,” from the colorless world of Bedlam Thunder’s visions.  You’ll meet another of those today.  Without further ado, let’s fly off to Thistledown.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 10

Tall Bonfire neonbrand-266212

Neon Brand, Unsplash

Fire and Furry

Beautiful birdsong made music throughout the branches of the primeval evergreen tree.  My grand-uncle’s house was nestled in the boughs of the great tree.  Trilling, lilting, happy chirps filled my attic bedroom.

I threw a shoe out the window in attempt to silence the blasted cheery sounds.

Uncle had been none too pleased when I went with Rhymer Rainbow all the way to the orchard to visit Peaches Dragonfly.  Not that the orchard was far, it’s more that I wasn’t supposed to go anywhere at all.  I wasn’t even supposed to leave my bed until the healer said it was okay.  No one cared that I had gotten a bluebird message from Peaches and feared something was wrong.  In return for me being a conscientious friend, Uncle forbade me to go to any of the pre-solstice gatherings.  Adding insult to injury, Uncle decided to have a bonfire right there at our home!

Of all the nerve!  My grand-uncle would host a party right under my nose and I wasn’t allowed to attend.

At the sound of another chirp I threw the other shoe, venting my anger at the injustice of it all.

“Hey – watch out!”

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

Whimsical blue spectacles were the first thing I saw when I turned in surprise toward the window.  Calico Ranibowforest hovered at the opening, her blue spectacles uncharacteristically askew.

My cheeks heated in embarrassment.  I invited Calico to come in at the door, and hurried to the corner of my room to open it.

“I came to get details about your uncle’s pre-solstice bonfire party so I could announce it in the Trumpet,” Calico began.  “But I wanted to see how you were doing first.  Based on the shoes you threw out the window, it looks like there’s still plenty of lift in your wings, as they used to say.”

I blushed redder at the reference to my temper, but Calico waived away my apologies.  She uncurled a trumpet vine leaf to show me the draft of the announcement.  As she unrolled it, I thought of the voice that came from the vine, exclaiming “Extra!  Extra!” and then the perky chirp of “Take a leaflet.”

“Just don’t tell the grumpy old geezer that I got out of bed to let you in,” I said, making it something between a complaint and a plea.  “I’m not allowed to go anywhere or do anything.  And now he’s having a party right under my nose and I can’t even go to it!” I added on a wail.

Wire glasses blond flowers ryan-winterbotham-227426

Ryan-Winterbotham, Unsplash

Calico took my elbow and pulled me to the window.  She pointed to the clearing that was well away from the branches of the massive evergreen.

“I think maybe he’s doing it for your sake, Bedlam.  Although I doubt he’d admit it.  I realize your grand-uncle is set in his ways.  But the bonfire is going to be in that clearing — and your window has a perfect view.  I think it’s his way of letting you be at the party without having to go back on his word in grounding you.”

That idea shocked me.  It was hard to imagine Uncle doing anything for my sake.  Any solstice was a big event in Thistledown.  Celebrations could go on for weeks before and after the actual date.  However, Uncle rarely hosted anything.  I was undecided as to whether it would be better or worse if I could watch the party from my window.  Maybe my friends would at least fly up to say hello.  If they weren’t so busy having fun that they forgot about me. 

***

Muskoxen blue

Feeling utterly dejected, I watched the preparations for the pre-solstice bonfire.  Uncle oversaw the dead wood being brought in and arranged.

I spotted Blossom Stargazer gently guiding a team of muskoxen with a staff.  Blossom was Belle Stargazer’s younger sister.  While Belle had a gift for hospitality, Blossom’s talent was training any species of “working” animal.

It was amazing to see the group of huge and strong muskoxen.  They stood at shoulder height.  The animals had coats in various shades of blue.  Their silken hair cascaded almost to the ground.  Curved horns were on either side of a patch of short curly white hair at their foreheads.  I remembered being taught that their wool was highly prized for its softness, length, and insulation value.

As I watched, the muskoxen moved ponderously but steadily.  With whispered encouragement from Blossom, they pulled the heavy stones into place around the perimeter of the bonfire.  The stones would serve as seats for the visitors.

The well-dressed furry faery was unmistakable.  He stood head and shoulders above even the tallest fae in Thistledown.  I watched as Uncle and Field Yewwasp worked an enchantment around the dead wood that would become the bonfire.  The spell would keep the fire from spreading or otherwise doing any harm.

***

Fires Bi-Colored jacob-kiesow-349451

Jacob Kiesow, Unsplash

The bonfire was lit.  Uncle grudgingly permitted me to sit on the steps outside my attic bedroom high in the branches of the towering evergreen.  However, I was emphatically not allowed to go down to the party.  He wouldn’t let me descend even a single level down the stairs. 

The fire crackled and sparked.  I wondered if the ancient tree that held our home felt anxious about the popping flames.  However, just as I had watched Uncle and Field Yewwasp work the protective spell around the dead wood, doubtless the tree was looking on as well.

I sat quietly on my step, watching while everyone else enjoy conversations and communion as they congregated around the big bonfire.  Belle Stargazer circulated amid the crowd with refreshments and snacks she brought.  The little Opal siblings fluttered up to my perch carrying a tray for me.  I tried to smile as I thanked them.  At that moment, I didn’t realize that they would be the only people with whom I had a chance to interact.  As the evening went on, I got the impression that just as I was not allowed to go down to the gathering, no one was permitted to come up to me.

Abruptly the branches of the primeval tree trembled.  My eyes searched the crowd below, to see if anyone else appeared to have felt anything.  However, the gathering carried on as before.  I shivered and the pit of my stomach went cold.  The hairs on my arms rose as my skin prickled.

The bonfire did not diminish, but the redness of the flames dulled and then brightened several times.  No one else seemed to notice.  I felt a vibration that seemed to come from the core of the massive evergreen.

A round hole parted the center of the bonfire.  A loud roaring thing burst from the opening.  It looked like a doubled version of Uncle’s unicycle with a seat connecting the two wheels.  The rumbling sound came from the machine.  A woman sat astride the fierce seeming thing as it was propelled from the bonfire.  It sailed over the people standing at that end of the fire, and then skidded in a circle.

Stunt_Pyrotechnics_Luc_Viatour

As the thing paused, the rider looked up at me.  A bright pink streak was in her hair.  She wore a closely fitted jacket and trousers that had a gray snake skin pattern.  She gave a feral grin when she made eye contact with me.  The machine she rode bounded up the stairs toward me.

I never noticed him move or even saw from whence he came, but just as the two-wheeled thing roared up to me, I caught a glimpse of a well-made green jacket, a top hat with a poppy in the band, and rose-colored spectacles.  That glance showed me the huge furry form of Field Yewwasp was at my back.  His russet-colored wings had not yet settled.

The rider didn’t seem intimidated by the big furry faery.  She looked at me as if she evaluated and calculated everything about me.  I felt Field move a protective step closer.  His huge hand rested lightly on my shoulder.  I knew he was ready to zip me away with his extraordinary speed.

“You are even more powerful than Rotten said,” she commented with a smirk, and then thrust out her hand in greeting.  “I’m Fallow Blackmoon.  It’s good to meet another seer.”

I felt Field Yewwasp shift his stance behind me.  The slight movement made me think he was startled or uneasy.

“She looks familiar,” he murmured so quietly that I barely heard.  “Could it be?

Fallow Blackmoon’s half smile and manner reminded me of the others I had met in that colorless world.  I was sure that was where she was from.  I took Fallow’s outstretched hand, but I was too shocked to speak.

While I had visited that strange place in my visions, no one was able to tell that I had left Thistledown.  However, this woman was obviously present in her physical form.  Field clearly saw her.  Was he the only one besides me who could see her?  I tried to look down at the partygoers but my gaze didn’t make it that far.  My eyes were drawn immediately back to the strange fae.

With a grin and a nod, Fallow Blackmoon abruptly disappeared.

***

The End

I hope you checked out the mystery folks who were revealed in this episode.  Be sure to click over and say hello to them.

  • Fallow Blackmoon the “scary faery” name for the character from Andrea Stephenson — Thistledown faery name Luna Moonglow.
  • Blossom Stargazer, the character name from Eloise De Sousa.

As some of you have seen, beginning Wednesday just past (for a while anyway) I’m going to do Jazz Age Wednesday posts in celebration of  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I and The Three Things Serial Story.  Those of you who like short stories or the Roaring Twenties are welcome to drop in. Those midweek posts will be vignettes from the “Pip-verse” as I call it. Of course this serial will be back again next Friday. 

Thanks so much for visiting Thistledown today.  See you next week. 

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

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

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