Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 13: Afoul of a Fowl

Mod Squad 1070s tv cover

Friday, October 13, 2017

When I was a kid, each summer all the network TV shows would go on “hiatus.”  We were left with nothing but reruns (and we didn’t have cable or VCRs).  Or even worse, favorite shows were completely omitted for “summer replacement series,” which almost always fell far short of the mark. 

What’s the connection to writing serials?  It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a labor of love.  Authoring serials can also be stressful, love it or not.  After this episode, Thistledown will be on hiatus until December.  If you need your faery fix, I’m going to reblog the prior episodes.nanowrimo-Bernstein

Why?  I’ve decided to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  It’s not easy to write the draft of a novel in just the month of November.  So, other things will have to slide for a while.  I really need the “rah-rah!” that I get from that event.  

My midweek posts for Jazz Age Wednesday will continue.  I have a few of those already prepared. 

Now finally, to Thistledown…


Midsummer Bedlam 13


Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, 1916


Afoul of a Fowl

The familiar, comfortable sounds of the forest surrounded us as River Mindshadow and I walked, led by the periwinkle colored muskox hair.  The long strand stood out straight, a silken divining rod.  Blue-lavender sparks from that hair glittered the air.

I had no idea why the muskox hair behaved as it did.  Uncle had tried to teach me to divine with any number of objects from sticks to pendulums, but I never had a knack for it.  Then Bob the hummingbird brought me the unusually colored hair.  He had been frightened away before I could figure out why he brought it.  However, when the hair started to point with insistent pops of static energy, River and I decided to see where it led.

“Ouch!” I cried as a particularly stinging static charge hit me.

“Do you want me to take it for a while?” River asked, but I could tell she wasn’t especially eager.

“No… I’m afraid it will stop working if I let go,” I answered resignedly.

“Maybe Tinder Willowtree would let us use that finder* thing,” River suggested.

“No, it wouldn’t work,” I replied after a moment’s thought.  “She told me that whoever she’s looking for has to wear a medallion that’s been attuned to the finder — otherwise it’s not much more than an ordinary scrying mirror.

Chicken face Red jairo-alzate-188815

Jairo Alzate, Unsplash

Low bushes rustled and a chicken with bright multicolored feathers strutted out onto our path.  To my astonishment the periwinkle hair dipped down toward the chicken.  With a purple pop, it shocked the bird’s bottom.  Feathers flew and the chicken cackled loudly as it ran back in the direction from which it came.

While we let the muskox hair lead the way, I hadn’t really paid attention to my surroundings.  The muffled sounds of women’s voices reached my ears.  With a look around, I exclaimed.

“Oh!  I think Willow Rainbow* lives just over there,” I commented, pointing after the chicken.  

“Rhymer once told me that her aunt has a ton of spell books,” River suggested with an eager flutter of her wings.  “It would make things a lot easier if we had a spell to help us understand where the hair is trying to lead, or why the hummingbird brought it to you.”

We both turned toward the sound of the chicken cackling when a familiar voice was added to its squawks.

“Whatever is the matter?  You’re making such a clatter!  You’re upset all together.  It looks like you lost some feathers!”

River and I turned toward one another and remarked in unison, “Rhymer Rainbow!”

“That’s my name, don’t wear it out!” Rhymer said playfully as she came onto the path still holding the chicken.  “Bedlam and River, why didn’t you give me a shout?  I’m visiting my aunt, she lives just over there.  Come on ― there are cookies to share.”

Buffaloberry bush

Buffaloberry bush

The chicken clucked, tucked under Rhymer’s arm.  She pushed aside bushes with waxy leaves and clusters of white and bright red buffaloberries.  The berries were bitter, but they still made a nice pie.  Rhymer commented that the chicken had a fondness for buffaloberries and sometimes wandered away looking for them.

On the other side of the shrubs was a yellow farmhouse with a thatched roof.  A small duplicate stood to one side of the house.  It was an elaborate chicken coop.  Rhymer sat the complaining fowl down.  It looked at its behind, which showed a few missing feathers from the zap of the periwinkle muskox hair.  The chicken turned to me with a parting glare, and trotted to the coop.

Rhymer’s aunt, Willow Rainbow, greeted us warmly, “Come inside girls.  It’s lovely to have so much company.  What brings you to my cottage in the woods?”

River told Willow how the long silken hair suddenly became a divining rod, leading us and then abruptly stopping.

“We thought perhaps a finding spell might get it going again,” River explained.

“How remarkable!” Willow exclaimed.  “Bedlam, your grand-uncle once asked me if I would be interested in giving you lessons about spells, although I honestly didn’t feel qualified,” Rhymer’s aunt said humbly.  “So, I’m sure some research would be fine with him.  But I’ll have to leave you on your own.  My crochet circle is meeting, or I’d be glad to delve into the books with you.  You girls take some cookies and help yourselves to the books.  Rhymer will you show them to the library?”

Chickens at cottage vintage

Each of us grabbed a double handful of cookies as we were about to leave the kitchen.  Willow turned abruptly and we hesitated.

“Oh, just one thing.  Use any of the books you please,” Willow Rainbow told us.  “But not the Etheraris Spiregris.  It’s far too dangerous.  I really should get rid of it, but it seems so wrong to do away with any book!”

River and I exchanged a significant look.

The End


This time we revealed only one new person among the mystery folk,  Willow Rainbow was named by Christine Robinson. Be sure to click over and say hello.

On Wednesdays I’ll try to give you some NaNoWriMo updates.  I think you’ll like the book-cover I made to inspire myself.  As for Thistledown, see you in December. 

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

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.


99 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 13: Afoul of a Fowl

  1. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam, The Return! | Teagan's Books

  2. Hello, Teagan, Nice to see your face pop up again on my blog. I tried to “like” your post but WordPress is playing silly so-an-so’s and won’t let the “like” button pop. Just wanted to say I enjoyed your writing! Hope you’re keeping well. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mo! It’s great to see you. The WordPress gremlins have been playing all sorts of nasty games with me — making it impossible to keep up with anyone.
      I loved your crystal post today. Heartfelt thanks for taking a moment to comment. Hugs on the wing!


    • LOL. I’m flattered by any comparison to such a master writer. And I’m honored that you spent time catching up with my humble blog.
      I’m enjoying my WriMo planning, for sure. I just hope to turn out a better draft than I’ve done the past few years with it. I hope autumn is treating you well, that the sky has cleared and all are well. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wishing you the best of luck with NaNoWriMo, Teagan. Can’t wait to see that cover that you’ve made to inspire yourself. I’m going to miss my weekly helping of Thistledown, but December is only a mere 6 weeks. By that time, I’ll be opening the first windows on my advent calendar. 😀

    Loved this episode, especially when the poor chicken got a shock. I’m sure feathers grow back. And, what makes me think that there will be some temptation in the next episode? Knowing about the Etheraris Spiregris book would have me fighting off the temptation to take a look. If it was a choice of eating cookies or reading that book, I think you know which route I’d take. 😀

    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. Hugh, I suspect the Etheraris Spiregris will get cookie crumbs in its spine!
      When I saw that picture of an angry looking chicken… How could I resist a little zap? No chickens were harmed in the making of this episode. o_O
      Even though Thistledown is on hiatus, I’ll still be around with Jazz Age Wednesdays (in support of my current release novel).
      Oh, and I’m in love with my new cover…. I posted it on facebook when I made it. I’ll eventually figure out how to work it into a Wednesday post to share…
      Thanks so very much for taking time to read and comment. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Love the fact that Bedlam’s uncle had tried to teach her divining.. I quite like the pendulums myself, though I have tried the hazel rods… They work! 🙂

    Loved catching up and I have had my own crochet hook working too, I do hope the girls did not eat too many cookies..
    And I can bet now the book Etheraris Spiregris. Was mentioned, it would be just too much of a temptation to not just have a peek.. LOL

    Wonderful Teagan.. Thank you for my piece of Magic this afternoon here reading it.. Xxx ❤


    • Dear Sue, you are ever so welcome. It’s a delight any time you can make it here. I’m delighted you enjoyed this episode. Even though Thistledown is on hiatus, I will still be in the blog world with Jazz Age Wednesdays (in support of my current release novel). Today’s post has a rather ghostly story. 😉 I look forward to visiting your beautiful blog soon. Back to work now. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome episode, Teagan. The magical elements keep piling on and I love Rhymer Rainbow – now you have to write poetry on top of everything else. Have a hugely successful NaNoWriMo! You are smart to put other writing aside while you work on a novel. Best of luck! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m going to miss reading these installments, Teagan. But I’m glad to hear you’ll still be writing as you focus instead on NaNoWriMo. And Thistledown isn’t ending, it’s just on a hiatus, which I can deal with 😉 I send you many hugs ❤ May your November be productive and fulfilling from one word to the next!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Author Spotlight – Guest Post: Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 1,” (with links to all episodes) – ✨Colleen Chesebro✨The Faery Whisperer ✨

    • That’s kind of you to say, Teri. It will be back.
      I need all the luck I can get with WriMo! But my planning is coming right along. Hopefully that leads to a better draft than I’ve been producing the past few times…
      I’ll still be around for Jazz Age Wednesdays. Thanks for the encouraging words. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Writing Links 10/16/17 – Where Genres Collide

  9. Teagan, I am so impressed that you take on a challenge like this and work full time. I wish you the very best and hope your creative juices keep flowing. I always enjoy reading your stories. Mega hugs and don’t forget to take a little break once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so nice to see you, Peter. WriMo is a cool concept, hundreds of thousands of people trying to reach a personal goal at the same time. Granted it is not for everyone. It depends on what you want to get back from it. That’s different for me, from year to year. Last year I needed the distraction — and it’s a monumental distraction! This year I need the “rah-rah!” the can-do and encouragement that is part of the event.
      I’m delighted that you enjoyed the episode, and that you took a moment to comment. Hugs on the wing!


  10. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 13: Afoul of a Fowl – Cecily's Writings

    • Dear Cecily, huge thanks for reblogging and for the truly wonderful introduction. You are so very kind.
      Purple-haired Willow Stargazer will fly back when Thistledown returns in December.
      Meanwhile you might enjoy Pip’s adventures on Jazz Age Wednesdays. Hugs on the wing.


  11. Always worth saving your blog posts for a cosy moment. Buffallooberries – never knew they existed. Poor chicken. I’m glad it’s back to safety. Me and some friends just managed to stop an industrial 32,000 poultry unit in the first planning stage near us, so their welfare is very important to this vegetarian animal lover.
    Great episode. Have a fantabulous weekend ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh gosh, Christoph. Poultry “farms” can be such horrendous places. Where I grew up they called them chicken houses. The stench carried for miles… I’m glad you were able to stop that gynormous one.
      This chicken only got a little zap for wandering where it was not supposed to go. The only thing hurt was its pride. 😉 You know I’d never hurt a creature in my stories. Hugs on the wing!


  12. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    I was absent without leave yesterday and missed my usual reblog of Teagan Geneviene’s lovely serial set in Thistledown with the fey Bedlam. Bedlam is still testing out her powers but she has been handed a muskox hair that acts as a divining rod and it is leading her to a place where she might find some answers… and cookies. #recommended

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a fantastic intro, Melissa. Wow. Thank you for reblogging.
      And thanks re NaNoWriMo — I need all the luck I can get. I have not been happy with the quality of my “drafts” the past few years. I’m strategizing, hoping to do better this year. I appreciate all your support. Hugs on the wing!


  13. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 13: Afoul of a Fowl | Annette Rochelle Aben

    • I’m tickled that you enjoyed it, Robbie. I don’t know about the Christmas part, since I haven’t managed to get the faeries to mid-summer yet. Maybe a time warp? 😀 Regardless, they’ll fly back here in December.
      Yes, NaNoWriMo is a very intense challenge. They remind us that it’s only a “draft.” I hope to do a better draft than I’ve been doing the past few years. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t need a diviner to see that these girls are heading for trouble. I like that, Teagan, I think you excell at trouble. That may have come out wrong, no offense intended.

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo, I can’t even imagine. I’m tired after four days of writing little bits of nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tee-hee! I’m delighted to excel at trouble!
      Dan, your posts are not bits of nothing. It’s been impossible to keep up with everyone while wordpress has decided to behave so badly. I need to pop over and see what you’ve been up to — and make sure your “having a beer” post didn’t get you into trouble. 😉
      Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

            • Dan, I’m flattered that you want to read it. Atonement is different from the serial stories, but all my stuff has one thing in common — a sense of whimsy.
              I didn’t target a particular audience — I just wrote the story. Since the central characters were all women, I’ve been happily surprised that male readers have enjoyed it. So I hope you will too. No book is for everyone, so I appreciate you wanting to check it out.
              If you skim the myth of Gwydion fab Don you might feel more grounded with the crazy story. It was (very loose) inspiration for some characters. (That was the result of a research tangent I got on for something unrelated…)
              Anyway, have a great evening.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sarah — that’s great news! I’m “Riordain” there if you want a writing buddy.
      I know what you mean. I hope to do a better draft than I’ve been doing the past few years… Ugh, much better.
      I’m bringing back a character from one of my blog serials. It’s a steampunk tale I’m calling “The Skull of the Alchemist.” I’ll try to add a few NaNoWriMo updates to my Jazz Age Wednesday posts as November flies along.
      Thanks for taking time to visit. Hugs on the wing!


  15. A forbidden book, Etheraris Spiregris. I can imagine how much time it will take the girls to run to that book. I loved this episode. I had to laugh when the musk ox hair zapped the chicken’s bottom. From a pure physics view, the chicken grounded out the musk ox hair’s electrical power. It has to be reloaded is all. But you’ll figure it out. Have a swell November doing the NaNoWriMo thing. I will be cheering for you. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it, John. Maybe the hair has served its purpose now that they’ve found the book. But physics are different in realms where folks fly and portals to other worlds appear, where vines can hawk the news, and seashells let healers hear heartbeats, and dogs tails wag so fast it lifts their bottoms off the ground. 😀 Else I’d never get this story off the ground. 😉
      Thanks for the cheers — heaven knows I need them! I’ll still be doing my Wednesday posts, and give an occasional update there.
      Have a sensational Saturday. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’d say have a good break, but with Nanowrimo I don’t think you’ll get much of a break, but you will be amazing! Very brave and a great way to get those creative juices flowing. Best of luck, dear Teagan. Massive fairy hugs xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    • Donna you are such a wonderful source of encouragement and support. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving.
      I don’t see it as a break at all (since I’m still doing the Jazz Age Wednesday posts), but Thistledown is on “hiatus”… so maybe a cut back? I don’t know what to call it. Have a wonder-filled hug-filled weekend. Hugs on the wing!


  17. Great Willow character elements, Teagan. Thank you for posting about her on a lucky Friday the 13th. Odd numbers lucky ones for me. Big grin reading about the cottage in the woods, elaborate chicken coop, yellow farmhouse, thatched roof, cookies, spell books library, and the dangerous ES book. Love being the last faery character before your hiatus, leaving people with cookies, spell books and especially the dangerous book. I know where I’d look for the “finding spell” to get the silken hair divining rod going again. Hmm…that fits my real character! Good thoughts for taking on the NaNoWriMo Challenge. Fly high with it, my friend! Huge hugs, Christine (Willow Rainbow).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Christine, I’m so pleased that you enjoyed this episode. I agree that 13 and Friday the 13th are lucky. 😀 Luck that will bring Thistledown back strong in December. Thanks for your encouragement about NaNoWriMo. I have something in mind that should be a lot of fun for me to write. Mega hugs right back. Have a beautiful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Friday the 13th to you too Olga! I’ve always chosen to believe it’s a very lucky day. 😀 I need the “rah-rah!” that I feel with NaNoWriMo — it’s been difficult to keep my spirits out of the pits this year. So I’ve chosen something I believe will be a lot of fun to write. I posted my cover on FaceBook, but I’ll do an update with it here in November too. Thanks for sharing this post — and for reading and commenting. Hugs on the wing!


  18. Challenge met Teagan and I don’t know how you do it, as someone who doesn’t have the gift it always amazes me how the creative mind works and words are formed into amazing stories or snippets, episodes or novels. Enjoyed this immensely, the hair as a divining rod is brilliantly creative and looking forward to more from Willow Rainbow, love the idea of the cottage and matching chicken coup, can’t wait to see this character developed and how Willow continues in the story. The Etheraris Spiregris, hmmm…. sounds ominous and I anticipate this will come into play in future episodes

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tee-hee! I can’t remember the site, but I got “Etheraris Spiregris” from a fantasy word generator, and I couldn’t resist using it.
      Suzanne, you are too kind. With NaNoWriMo, the past few years I have not been happy with my performance at all. Especially since the “9 to 5” drains me of everything. So for this year, I hope to develop a method to keep my word count going (especially since I’m unlikely to be able to write on workdays, the aforementioned drain).
      I appreciate you taking time to visit. Looking forward to some Halloween goodies on your blog (at some point this month)? Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.