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.
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
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.
“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.
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.”
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?”
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.
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
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