Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 18 — Top Hat, Doors, and Herons

Saturday, December 30, 2017

As 2017 wings to a close, I wish each and every reader a happy 2018!  I’m honored that you’ve stayed with me for another year.  Happy New Year!  May 2018 be filled with only good things, wonder-filled days, and peaceful nights. 

The vicious WordPress gremlins have caused many of us frustration, wasted time, and cost us viewers. Here’s hoping we don’t have to deal with that in 2018…  I know, it seems less likely than world peace.

Sparkles Winter Trees Kimson Doan Unsplash

Kimson Doan, Unsplash.com

A vision seems to be spreading through Thistledown.  Or perhaps it’s more than a mere precognition.  From far and wide, faeries (from past episodes) continue to return to these pages, pulling the threads together. 

From Episode 17…

The man got off the beastly two-wheeled thing.  With a disarming smile, he winked at Bob.  The hummingbird wasn’t sure what to make of him.  Then he bowed with a flourish.  The leaves decorating his helmet made a sharp swishing sound as they cut through the air…

Bob flew very close to Valley’s head.  He wasn’t sure whether or not Valley was in any danger from the odd strangers, but he felt distrust.  So, he stayed protectively close to Valley…

“That is a very unusual color for obsidian,” Valley remarked to Razorleaf as she led them toward her home.  “Do you mind?” she asked as she put her hand toward the pale grayish yellow gem.  “It seems to glow, ever so slightly.” 

Now, Episode 18…

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 18

A Top Hat, Doors, and Herons

 

Abbey,_Edwin_Austin_Fairies

Edwin Austin Abbey, Fairies

In a flurry of iridescent feathers, Bob the hummingbird flew with all his tiny might.

Fleeting visions were shared by many.  The coincidental, synchronous work of several folks, all managed to link together for one moment in time.  So, a vision was reflected in multiple scrying surfaces across Thistledown ― and some elsewhere.

In her colorless hideaway, Fallow Blackmoon sat with her brow furrowed by concerned curiosity as she gazed into a crystal sphere.

Valley Hummer gasped as she glimpsed seemingly random things in an obsidian shard brought by an enigmatic man from another world.

Field Yewwasp and Catseye Glimmer inspected the health of a pond where the water, the fish, and even the birds were turning dull shades of gray or brown.  They saw the vision in the calm waters of the drab pond.

As Bedlam Thunder and her friends held tightly to a slender strand of magical muskox hair, Bedlam saw those seemingly unconnected things as they seared her mind.

***

Hummingbird Kunstformen der Natur 1904

Furiously fluttering, Bob the hummingbird streaked across an aqua blue sky.  Valley Hummer sent him to check on Bedlam Thunder.  However, the tiny bird was always easily distracted.  As he flew he noticed something odd happening on the ground below.  Bob tarried briefly.  Seeing two of the most respected faeries in Thistledown together, Bob’s curiosity got the better of him.  He quietly observed, perched unseen in the branches of the tallest tree.

With a long beak, a heron with cobalt blue feathers pulled at Catseye Glimmer’s pocket.  Even in Thistledown, herons were not usually so friendly.  However, Catseye had an affinity for the great birds.  His wife often teased him that it was because of the long legs they had in common.  He removed a treat from his pocket and tossed it to the heron.

“Some of his feathers have turned from blue to gray,” Catseye commented about the heron in a concerned voice.

A pair of sandhill cranes came to join the heron.  They also hoped for a handout, but were not so bold.  The birds made for an odd-looking trio.

Field Yewwasp hung his top hat on the branch of a tree, then he removed his well-tailored jacket.  He plunged thick arms into the dull water of the pond.  In a moment he had tickled a fish bringing it to the surface.

“That fish should be blue with a green stripe,” he commented, slowly shaking his head.  “Instead it is brown and gray,” he added as he let the fish go on its way.

The two tall faeries sat down on the bank of the pond.  It seemed that one was as perplexed as the other about the strange changes at the pond.

“I’m reminded of Bedlam Thunder’s vision,” they both commented at the same time, so they laughed, but their chuckles had a nervous edge. 

A_Moonlight_Dicovery_Thomas Maybank 1898-1912

A Moonlight Discovery, Thomas Maybank circa 1900

“It must be true then,” Field chuckled in a deep rumble.  “If we both spoke it at once.”

Then his expression abruptly turned serious.  Next to Field, Bob heard Catseye Glimmer draw a sharp breath.

Random images flitted across the calm water of the dull pond.

“I’m no seer,” the large person known as the furry faery began.  “Although any of the fae might have visions from time to time…  Did you see it?” he asked and Catseye Glimmer grunted an affirmative.

“Everyone knows you are the next thing to a seer, Field.  I don’t know if I saw as much as you, but there was a top hat, doors, and a heron.”

Field nodded.  He stood and retrieved his top hat from the high branch.  He hesitated for a moment but put on the bright red jacket.

“It feels almost like a summons,” Catseye remarked.  “But to where?”

“Ask the heron,” Field told him.  “You know you can commune with them when you really need to.”

Heron n others Winter Tim Price

Timothy Price

“Where are you going?” Catseye asked as Field’s russet colored wings unfurled.

“We were not the only ones called upon.  The doors…  I saw a glimpse of one thing you didn’t mention, a great copper battleaxe.  I’m going to Carver Eastdoor.  I don’t know why this should be shown to us, but whatever it is, he is needed as well.”

Then despite his size, Field Yewwasp darted into the sky, moving faster than any other faery could.

Bob the hummingbird spread his wings to follow Field.  Then he remembered his errand.  Bob abruptly knew a sense of urgency.  He hurried back on course to check on Bedlam and her friends.

The End

***

 This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Enjoy a visit to their fantastic blogs.

Valley Hummer  https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/tag/janet-weight-reed/

Carver Eastdoor  https://nofacilities.com/

Catseye Glimmer  http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog

Field Yewwasp https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/about/

Fallow Blackmoon  https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/

Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam continues in the new year.  I hope you’ll fly over again next time.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing! 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 16 ― Champagne Tidbit from Murder at the Bijou

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Update:  I have no idea how WordPress managed to post a duplicate of this… I regret any confusion this caused — particularly if you receive my posts via e-mail. The battle of the WP gremlins continues.  Now on with the good stuff.

Flapper Happy New Year champagne red

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books.  Many of you celebrated Christmas this week.  Now, here we are at the end of 2017.  Making it through another year is a real sockdollager — no kidding, it’s a big deal.  So, I want to toast all of you sheiks and shebas for visiting me throughout this year.

Writing Process

This blog is my sanctuary, and I mean it to be a safe place for everyone else too.  That’s why I don’t blog about politics, religion, or emotionally charged current events — that includes the recent headlines about sexual harassment.   (I am definitely a blog-tater.)  …Although once in a while I come close.  However, I in no way invite discussion of these things. 

So I’m just sayin’…  You see, someone criticized me because, in one of these 1920s stories, I wrote that Pip’s father told her the board room was no place for a girl.  While some of Pips tales are laced with fantasy, they are in a real world setting.  A fundamental thread is Pip coping with being a young woman in a changing era.  So I make no apologies for writing about the world my heroine had to claw her way through.  Denying that the wrongs of the past existed is an insult to the forerunners who had even more obstacles than the still huge ones women have today.  Okay. I’m stepping down off my Julia Sugarbaker soap box now.  As I said, I do not want comments about these things.  Thanks for letting me vent that.  Now, back to the point.

1920s Cosmo_writing_Find the Woman_Arthur Roche

At New Year’s I always think of champagne.  So this time I’m sharing a chapter from Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.  Okay… so it’s not exactly about champagne, but it does mention it. 

As most of you know, I used “things” or ingredients sent by the readers of this blog to guide every chapter of the novels about Pip and company.  The ingredients for this bit were Salmon, Beef Drippings, and Dandelion & Burdock. 

Even though this episode comes from late in the story, I don’t think there is anything that qualifies as a spoiler here. (If you haven’t read the novel, and you are sensitive to spoilers, maybe you should skip it anyway…)

Now, I’ll just get a wiggle on and ankle back to the 1920s!

Wish you all you wish-moon-New Year

Champagne Tidbit — Murder at the Bijou

Rather than the bun she often wore, Granny Phanny had rolled and tucked her long hair into a style that at first glance looked a lot like a bob.  The wide legged black crepe trousers and white tuxedo jacket fit her perfectly.  She looked every inch the modern woman; and… younger too.  Eunice’s Uniformshad done a great job.  I straightened my own waiters’ uniform and Granny smiled.

The telephone rang and Granny hurried to answer it.  I knew she was still more than a little bit worried about Moses Myrick.  There was a tightness around her eyes that had not been there before the marshal was shot.

“Yes, Doc. Is that you?” I could hear the concern in her voice as she spoke into the receiver.  The ear piece was pressed tightly against her head.  Then she exhaled and her shoulders relaxed.  “You don’t really think so?  Considering the way she’s been acting I’m surprised,” she said but paused to listen.  “Yes Doc.  We’ll keep an eye out,” Granny said and hung up the telephone.

“Doctor Veronica says that parrot flew the coop.  Darnedest thing I’ve ever heard.  That nasty bird nearly took my finger off when I tried to pry her away from Moses.  But Veronica said she let herself out the window a few minutes ago.  The last time she saw Cracker, the parrot was headed in this direction,” Granny said shaking her head in wonder at the bird’s unpredictable behavior.  “I find it hard to believe that she’d suddenly give up her equally sudden devotion to Moses.  Be a dear and keep an eye out for Cracker just the same.”

Baby New Year clock-hands

I murmured my promise.  I found the parrot’s antics unexpected, but when I thought about it, we should probably expect the unexpected from Cracker.  However I didn’t give it that much thought because the aroma of the huge beef roast Granny had been cooking all day wafted to my nostrils.  My stomach gave a loud growl.  Granny chuckled and told me to go get a snack – but to take off the white jacket first.  Just then Hank Hertz walked in eating a yeast roll that was sopping with beef drippings.  It was a good thing he had removed his jacket, else Granny might have skinned him when a big drop of au jus went down his chest. 

I barely recognized Hank, and it wasn’t because of the partial amnesia I’d experienced since my unknown attacker had left me in a root cellar at the Queen of Clubs Herb Farm out at Wetson’s Mill.  No, Granny had told Hank that if he was going to participate in the night’s “catering event” he’d have to let her treat his hair with henna.  Now his hair was bright red, and he had a little red mustache too.

Granny said she was concerned about Hank’s safety, since too many people knew he was quickly on the scene after the villains had ambushed Marshal Moses Myrick and his men.  I’m sure that was true; Granny wouldn’t put anybody in harm’s way.  But I suspected that she planned to carryout Myrick’s original “sting” plan, with or without the injured marshal’s help.  So that was another reason for disguising Savannah’s youngest police officer.

Hank scratched at the mustache.  I quipped that I’d always wondered if those things itched.  He nodded and spoke quietly.  “I feel ridiculous with this red hair,” he confided.  “But Miss Phanny says it will fade away with washing.”

I thought Granny might have exaggerated about the “fading away” part of the henna, but I didn’t want to make Hank feel any more uncomfortable than he already was.  I gently poked his ribs with my elbow.  “I think it looks rather dashing,” I reassured him and he stood a little straighter.

New Year Man in moon baby

My grandmother took Hank’s elbow and led us both to the kitchen.  She fixed snack plates for the three of us with roast beef, rolls, and candied carrots.  I gave a wistful glance at the za’atar she’d so carefully prepared, but I knew she was worried about having enough, so I didn’t say anything.

She glanced at the clock and took out a fourth plate and sat it on the green and white gingham tablecloth.  Then she turned to one of several tubs of ice that contained cobalt blue bottles with attached cork flip tops, and pulled out a few bottles.

“What is this anyway?” I asked and sniffed the liquid that reminded me of sarsaparilla. 

I had been wondering what was inside the bottles, because I had heard Granny tell her client that he’d have to supply any alcohol, being as it was illegal.  I had not met the rich man who was hosting the reception Granny had agreed to cater.  But I overheard part of their telephone conversation — whether I wanted to or not.  He was one of those people who felt they had to shout into the telephone since he was talking to someone across town.  He sounded nice enough, but there was just something about him that rubbed me the wrong way, despite the fact I had never even seen him.

Hank Hertz took a swig from the blue bottle.  “Umm.  It’s dandelion and burdock,” he said to my unspoken question.  “Dr. Veronica gave me some before.  She said it was kind of medicinal.”

“It’s also mildly alcoholic,” Granny interjected.  “Not enough to cause trouble for me, but that seemed to mollify tonight’s host.  He was… well… irritated that I wouldn’t bring any champagne because of the prohibition.  He was being pretty hard headed about that,” she said with a slightly annoyed twist to her mouth.  Granny didn’t like anybody trying to boss her around.

1920s Illustration of Party

The putter of an engine sent me to the kitchen window.  I pushed back the eyelet curtain and saw Alastair Wong pull his delivery truck up beside the cottage.  Alastair had offered to help. He said he expected a slow night at his restaurant, and besides there was plenty of family to help there.  I saw that he had even temporarily covered his pride and joy slogan, “You’re always right with Wong’s” with a sign proclaiming Granny’s Goodies.  My grandmother quickly fixed the fourth plate with a snack for Alastair.

Moments later Hank and Alastair loaded the heavy galvanized steel tubs, filled with ice and cobalt blue bottles of dandelion and burdockonto the delivery truck.  Then they covered them with a tarp to help keep the ice from melting as fast.

I was surprised to see Cinnamon Bun, the Flemish Giant rabbit, thump up the back porch stairs.  He had been hiding from all the activity.  As usual, Granny went gaga over the oversized bunny and praised him for coming out to be sociable.  Cinnamon liked getting his ears stroked, but he sat up on his haunches as if looking for something in the distance.

A blur of brilliant color streaked down from the sky and Cracker the parrot alighted next to the rabbit.  She nibbled at his fur and cooed, “Good bird… good bird.”

My amazement at the bond between bird and bunny had no end.  My grandmother and I watched the two in fascination.  Then she got back to business.

“Sweet-pea,” she spoke to me.  “Would you get that poached salmon?  Just wrap it up tight.  I won’t plate it until after we get there.”

“Exactly where is this shindig anyway,” I asked.  I knew it was at one of the fanciest homes in Savannah, but I didn’t know much more than that.  I wondered if I had known more before I was attacked and drugged.

1920s Illustration New Years Eve party

“Umm… what was that address?” Granny Phanny said half to herself.  “Oh.  It’s at 420 Kingston Lane.”

Immediately Cracker flew into the air, making circles around Granny and me.  The parrot squawked excitedly, “Fourandtwenty, Fourandtwenty! Dainty dish to set before the king!  Dainty dish!” she repeated as she alighted on my shoulder and pulled my hair with her beak.  “Dainty dish. Fourandtwenty!

Cinnamon Bun sat up on his haunches inquiringly at the bird’s outburst.  He made a snorting sound that drew my eyes to him.  Then I noticed a small rectangle on the porch next to the rabbit.  I stooped to retrieve it.

Another playing card, I thought.  I knew I needed to turn it over, but I was afraid to look.  Cracker must have brought it with her, and dropped it when she started grooming the bunny.  But where had the parrot gotten the card?  Did she pick it up at the Vale residence?  Or did she find it somewhere along the way?  What if she didn’t bring the card at all?  What if an anonymous person had left it there on the porch as another warning?

I was shivering, though it was not cold.  I felt Granny step closer.  She was looking over my shoulder at the card.  Cautionary words were written across the back of the card in a familiar hand.

“Be ready!”

My hands were shaking so badly that I almost dropped the card.  Reluctantly I turned over the rectangle to reveal the sinister looking Joker on the face of the playing card.  Cracker fluttered off my shoulder and landed on the porch banister. 

Jokerswild!” the parrot shrieked and shook her foot.

I had a hazy memory of Cracker making that motion before.  I remembered thinking it seemed disdainful.  Whoever the Joker was, Cracker did not like him… or maybe her.  I reminded myself to think like a modern woman.  The villain might just as well be a woman as a man.

Turning the card face down once again I repeated the words “Be ready!” and felt the pit of my stomach freeze.

The End

***

 You are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas for dropping by!  Here’s wishing everything is Jake in your 2018.

1920s New Year Card

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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 

 

 

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 © 2014 and 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.

 

The Yuletide Collection of Short Stories

December 25, 2017

Perhaps there are one or three of you who have a little time on your hands…  Okay, that doesn’t seem likely.  Maybe you just need to escape from the holiday bustle and crowds.  With that in mind I’ve listed (with links) some of the holiday-ish short stories and vignettes I’ve posted over the years.  First, greetings of the season to you and yours!

Stories from the Atonement, Tennessee Universe

Three Atonement TN Holiday Things*

Lilith and mirror

Annie’s Inventory Notes — the Sleigh 

1905 Horseman mag Sleigh horses couple

Adelle’s Teapot

1937 Look Shirley Temple Santa tea

Stories from the Pip-verse (Three Things)

I was thinking I had more than one holiday related story of Pip and her friends, but apparently not.  At any rate, here is the most recently shared short story…

Pip’s Lemony Christmas*

Christmas tree hat Modern Pricilla December 1920

Wishing each of you a magical holiday.  Yuletide blessings and hugs!

Teagan

 

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 © 2013 to 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.

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 17 — The Scary Faeries Ride

Light ball ornaments Unsplash

Igor Ovsyannykov, Unsplash.com

Saturday, December 23, 2017 

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Thistledown.   Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and Yuletide blessings.  Though the winter solstice has occurred, time has not flowed at the same rate for the faeries in Thistledown.  I still haven’t managed to get them to their summer solstice!

I received an unexpected holiday treat from Robbie Cheadle!  She wrote a rhyming Christmas story, and gave Glare Phantasm a leading role. She even made one of her adorable, amazing fondant figures of Glare and Bob the hummingbird. 

Glare and hummingbird

When the narrator’s point of view shifted to that of Bob the hummingbird, I guess I should have called these posts Act 2.  I’m sure you are concerned about Bedlam, River, and Rhymer since they are presumably in trouble.  However, Bob the hummingbird has more to tell about meeting the “scary faeries.”

Maybe I should have made two episodes of this post… but the best stopping point would have made the second segment too short.  So pour yourself a cup of tea.  Or maybe you’d like something stronger, like some Thistledown agave. (For that episode click here.)  Either way, settle in for a visit to Thistledown.

Thistledown Girl

From Episode 16…

“Looking around, I would think you’ve invited us to a party,” the strange rider told Valley.  “But it felt like we had no choice but to accept the invitation.  In fact, it seemed a lot like a summons….”

“I’m sorry,” Valley spoke.  “I had no intention for it to be such.  The situation is urgent, and my casting must have gotten away from me.”

“I’m Glare Phantasm.  Do you mind telling us who you are, where we are, and why you’ve pulled us out of our home and brought us… wherever this is?”

Now, Episode 17… 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 17

The Scary Faeries Ride

Stunt_Pyrotechnics_Luc_Viatour

Sunlight caught the reflective edges of the decorations that were tucked behind the band of the green rider’s hat.  That was how Bob thought of him, since the hummingbird didn’t know the man’s name.  As he came closer Bob saw that the decorations were long keen-edged leaves.

His helmet was shaped differently than the others.  It looked like a hardened bowler hat.  The man’s gloves were generously decorated with bright green crystals.  A grayish yellow shard of obsidian depended from a cord around his neck.  He removed one glove and put his hand to the pale colored gem.  Bob was attracted to the stone, but he didn’t dare approach the stranger to investigate it.

“This is the place, Glare.  When I made our necklaces from shards leftover from the great scrying stone’s repair, I believed they would bring us here,” the green rider stated.  “Our arrival here was probably as much the stone’s doing as this woman’s spell,” he added in a tone that was at once ironic and soothing.

“What will happen to us, and them,” Glare Phantasm started but motioned to Valley Hummer.  “You said it would be like the apocalypse if you meet the doppelganger you mentioned.  Maybe the rest of us have a double in this sugary sweet world or maybe we don’t.  But you’ve seen yours, from a distance at least.  What happens if you come face to face with him?”

The man with sharp leaves decorating his helmet shrugged and smirked.  That earned him a glower from the one called Glare. 

Abbey,_Edwin_Austin_Fairies

Fairies, Edwin Austin Abbey, 1852-1911

(For more about Edwin Austin Abbey, click here.)

Bob thought he understood the reason for her unfortunate name.  However, that was about all he understood about the group of strangers.  He thought they all liked one another, yet conversely, they seemed to invite discord.  Their attitudes and reactions were beyond the hummingbird’s imagination.

When the man acted in such a sarcastic manner one of the other strangers caused her two-wheeled machine to roar loudly and rear onto its back wheel.  When the beastly thing sat back down, the remaining two riders removed their helmets.  The one with the unruly machine had rainbow streaks in her long dark hair.  She tucked it behind her ears in a mannerism Bob thought was a habit.

Looking at them apprehensively, Bob thought they seemed familiar.  However, there was something… something wrong about them.  Like the first two, they were not quite the people he thought they should be.

“Satellite, just ignore him.  Dah-le!  He’s always got to get a rise out of somebody,” the fourth rider said with a toss of her short jet-black hair.

“For all I know nothing at all might happen if we meet our doubles.  Seeing another me was certainly unsettling.  Maybe it was just my own surprised reaction, rather than a true foreshadowing,” he said, with a sidelong smile that seemed to infuriate the purple-haired rider. 

“But I have us covered either way.  When I repaired the great scrying stone, there were some shards leftover that didn’t fit back in.  As you know, the shards are the necklaces I made for all of us.  I did spell work on the shards too.  I think it will balance any ill effects of meeting a doppelganger,” the green rider told the purple haired woman. 

The man’s words seemed to mollify the angry Glare Phantasm. 

“You and your magic spells,” she muttered.

Young man glasses lights_jonathan-crews-194055

Unsplash

The situation didn’t seem quite as tense as it had been.  Bob stuck his tiny head out farther from his perch on Valley’s shoulder, half hidden in her hair.

The man got off the beastly two-wheeled thing.  With a disarming smile, he winked at Bob.  The hummingbird wasn’t sure what to make of him.  Then he bowed with a flourish.  The leaves decorating his helmet made a sharp swishing sound as they cut through the air.

Poison Ivy Razorleaf.  At your service m’lady,” he announced to Valley Hummer.

Satellite Frostbite,” the one with long rainbow streaked hair named herself, tucking a colorful strand back in place.  “This is Desert Firesong,” she added with a motion to the fourth rider.

“I think we have a lot to discuss.  Won’t all of you come into my home?” Valley invited the strange guests.

Bob held tightly to a strand of Valley’s hair, but he did not fly away.

Hummingbird Kunstformen der Natur 1904

Kunstformen der Natur 1904

“That is a very unusual color for obsidian,” Valley remarked to Razorleaf as she led them toward her home.  “Do you mind?” she asked as she put her hand toward the pale grayish yellow gem.  “It seems to glow, ever so slightly.”

The strangers stopped to watch Razorleaf and Valley expectantly.  The tension came back to the air and Bob prudently tucked himself back into Valley’s hair.  He didn’t know why those odd folks would have such a reaction.  Valley stopped, her hand half outstretched.

“Unless, of course, there is some custom among you about touching a gem.  I can understand how one might be concerned about the energy of another contacting such a stone,” Valley said.

“You can touch the stone if I can touch your wings,” Razorleaf replied in a teasing tone and wiggled his eyebrows for good measure.

Bob thought that was a bizarre thing for him to say.  Indeed, those strangers were odd folk.  They all giggled causing Valley to laugh with them.  Bob relaxed at the sound of her chuckle.

“I’m joking,” he said.  “You may examine the shard from my scrying stone.  However, touching wings seems far too personal to me.  I know they are real.  I met a girl who had wings.  She was called Bedlam Thunder,” he said and Valley gasped.  “Ah!  I see you know the young lady.”

“But your friends have not met anyone else from this world?  Just Bedlam, and her wing was injured?” Valley asked in a tone that was not quite a question.

Valley took a step to the side and playfully brushed her orange wings against the one called Desert ― the black-haired stranger who stood closest.  It was the lightest touch.  Desert looked surprised.  Then Valley fluttered high into the air and all the newcomers gasped.  The flock of hummingbirds zipped out of their concealment in the trees and joined Valley in her flight.  The strangers made sounds of awe and delight.

Bob flew very close to Valley’s head.  He wasn’t sure whether or not Valley was in any danger from the odd people, but he felt distrust.  So, he stayed protectively close to Valley.

Goliath Heron at Kruger National Park South Africa

A Goliath Heron, Kruger National Park, South Africa

After a moment of play with the flock of hummingbirds, Valley lightly settled to the ground.  Razorleaf pulled the leather cord over his head and handed it and the obsidian shard to Valley.  She looked at the stone for a moment.  Bob could tell that she was intently focused on the reflective surface of the gem.

“A door,” she murmured.  “A top hat…  Doors…  Herons…”

“What’s that you say?” the one called Satellite asked.

“I saw those things when I looked at the obsidian just now,” Valley murmured in a puzzled voice.

“When I was here before, an unusual looking door had just been shattered.  It was like the door was made from candy…  Anyhow, that act seemed to be what allowed Bedlam Thunder, and me, to access this world,” Razorleaf commented watching Valley’s expression closely.

“Please, come on inside,” Valley said and once again started toward her home.  “I need to tell you about somethings that have happened here,” Valley told the strangers in a tone that made Bob worry.

Valley led everyone into her open, airy house.  She paused to pluck some leaves from a vine that twined around the columns at the entrance.  In minute script she wrote notes.  Then she whistled a series of high-pitched tones.  Several hummers darted into the room.  Naturally Bob knew them, Zippy, Ziggy, and Zag.

A moment later, each of the hummingbirds flew away in a different direction, each bearing a tiny note.

“Bob, brave little heart, I know you are worried about Bedlam.  Take this note to the crochet circle,” Valley told the little bird and he flew as fast as his rapidly beating wings would carry him.

“Could I see that obsidian again, please?” Bob heard Valley ask Razorleaf as he winged away.Ruby-topaz_hummingbird_flying in Tobago

The End

***

 This Week’s Faery Namers  

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Enjoy a visit to their fantastic blogs.

Poison Ivy Razorleaf  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Desert Firesong  http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

Satellite Frostbite  https://firefly465.wordpress.com/

Glare Phantasm  https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Valley Hummer  https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/tag/janet-weight-reed/

I hope you will fly back to Thistledown again next time.

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 15 ― Pip’s Lemony Christmas

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Hello, everyone!  It’s Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books.  I know how busy you must be at this time of year, so I’m even happier to see you.

These midweek posts have been a mix of new and re-shared vignettes.  Since several of you sheiks and shebas are new here, I hope no one minds that I’m doing a repeat of my story from a year ago.  As for the “Pip-verse” time-line, this one happens after Pip’s adventures in The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story but before she went to Savanna to live with Granny Phanny.

Pip’s Lemony Christmas

 

Pip Christmas Frame Green

It had been a grand and glorious year.  However, it pos-i-lute-ly had ups and downs.  At that moment I was in one of the downs.  Even the long distance telephone call from my best friend Mona failed (miserably I might add) to cheer me.  She might not be sure where she wanted her future to go, but at least it was going somewhere.  All my friends were moving forward, going somewhere.  Me?  It didn’t look like I would ever get anywhere.

Not only was I going nowhere, I seemed to be going there all by myself.  Worse, it was Christmastime.  Even my Pops suddenly had to go up north on business.  I offered to go and keep him company…  Okay, so I begged.

“Young ladies have no place at business meetings,” he told me in the stern, no nonsense voice that meant I wouldn’t get anywhere with my plea.

Idly, I looked at the lace covered table, lemons artfully arranged as a centerpiece.  I took one of the tangy fruits, tossed it in the air and caught it.  I pondered as I tossed the lemon.

What would any self-respecting flapper do in such a situation?  Refuse to be a sourpuss, that’s what a flapper would do!

I decided as I tossed the lemon.  If all I had for Christmas was lemons, then I’d make lemonade — so to speak, especially after I found the bottle of hooch Pops had squirreled away.  I would have rather had the champagne I knew he hid some place, but that had been ages ago and I couldn’t remember where I saw it.

Gin will do just fine, I told myself.

Suddenly inspired, I gave the yellow fruit a final toss.  I went to the shoebox that held Granny’s recipes.  She had given me instructions for all sorts of citrus treats, and I was a sourpuss with a sweet tooth.

1920s-lemons-king-tut-brand

A little while later I was cleaning up the kitchen as it filled with citrusy baking aromas.  Just as I picked up the remains of my lemons, a loud knock pounded at the front door.  It startled me so badly that I ran to the door with barely a wipe to my juice drenched hands.

“Delivery!” the words came with another thunderous knock.

I threw open the door and the cool December air hit my face.  It was downright brisk, for Florida anyway.  There was a truck in the driveway and a young man with a name embroidered on his jacket — Ronny.  I took the package, barely looking at the guy who handed it to me.  My hands tore at the twine excitedly, even before I went inside.  Meanwhile Ronny the delivery man wrote something on the receipt clamped to his clipboard.

“If you’ll sign here, Miss?” he asked.

There was a card inside the package from my friend Mona.  The front of it said “I’m sorry you’re alone at Christmas.”  Hurriedly I stuck the edge of the note between my teeth and tucked the package under my arm so I could take the clipboard and sign the form.

Only then did I notice what a cutie the guy was.  He tilted his head all the way to his shoulder and read aloud the note while I signed.  As soon as I heard him speak the words, I blushed scarlet.  To make matters worse, he made a sympathetic aww sound that made me feel like a six year-old.

In my flustered flurry of motions, taking the note from my teeth, trying to stick it back in the package, and pushing my hair back… wouldn’t you know I touched a lemon coated finger to my face.  I yelped as the citrus stung my eyes.  It made tears stream down my cheeks.man_ray_tears

The guy sounded guilty when he pleaded to know what the matter was, as if he had caused it.  The only word I could manage to utter was, “Lemons!”

He pulled my hand away from my face and lightly sniffed it.  He gave a little chuckle that made me want to bean him.

“Yep, that’s lemons all right.  For a minute there I was afraid you got bad news,” he commented.  “But I guess being alone on Christmas Eve is bad enough.”

For some reason his comment made me lose my composure.  I burst out in real tears and sobs, no longer caused by the stinging citrus.  I plopped down on the porch and sat there with the package in my lap.  This upset poor Ronny.  He started blabbering apologies, clearly unsure of why he was asking for forgiveness.

“Look sweet cakes, you’re my last delivery.  Let me help you wash your face and get rid of that lemon juice before you put your fingers in your eyes again,” he offered in a contrite voice.

I insisted that it was okay, and with a sniffle, silenced my sobs.  Too embarrassed to look at him I turned my attention back to Mona’s gift.  Her card had fallen, but Ronny picked it up and handed it to me.  I took it from him and with a deep breath I spoke the words that humiliated me a moment before.

“I’m sorry you’re alone at Christmas,” I read the elegant script on the outside, and then opened the card.  “So you’ll just have to make your own party.”

1920s Champagne ad Calixtus

What?  Digging through the packing paper I found two sparkling etched crystal goblets.  I held up one of the glasses to watch the light play on it.  I looked at Ronny, feeling utterly bemused.  He returned my gaze with a twinkle in eyes that I suddenly noticed were a heavenly shade of blue.

Ronny picked up the other empty glass and playfully tapped it against the one I held.  I suddenly remembered where Pops hid the bubbly.

The End

***

 I appreciate your visit.  You are pos-i-lutely the bee’s knees!

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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 

 

 

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 © 2016 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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 16 — Glitter and Glare

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Thistledown.  Back in episode 11, artist Janet Weight Reed, graciously let me use some of her beautiful work.  You see, some of her magical hummingbirds have made their way to Thistledown.  The hummers stuck around. 

We left the story with a shift in the narrator’s point of view.  I should probably call these post-hiatus episodes “Act 2” because of the change in point of view.  Anyhow, Bedlam, River, and Rhymer are still “off screen” so to speak, and presumably in trouble.  We’ll get back to them, but today’s episode continues with Bob the hummingbird telling this faery tale. 

From Episode 15…

“I thought the girls would be in here, studying away,” Willow Rainbow murmured in a concerned tone.

“Based on these half-eaten cookies, I think they must have left abruptly,” Luminous Twinkle added.

Then Bob saw it.  The periwinkle muskox hair dangled like a book mark from an ancient tome.  Bob recognized the volume.  The faeries all saw it too.  They made a collective gasp.

The Etheraris Spiregris!

Now, Episode 16…

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 16

Glitter and Glare

 

Bob the hummingbird wasn’t sure what the crochet circle meant to do to find Bedlam Thunder and her two friends.  The group was crocheting frantically at a long, thick something made from the blue muskox hair yarn.  It didn’t look like good nesting material, so Bob didn’t think much about the product of their effort.

However, the tiny bird felt sure the real situation involved more than the three faery girls.  So, he flew away and returned to the one he knew could best help him.

“Bob, your iridescent orange feathers brighten any room.  I’m happy to see you, but I’m a little surprised,” said Valley Hummer.  “I thought you were staying to look after Bedlam Thunder.  I really do believe she needs your help.”

The hummingbird bobbed erratically until Valley’s unique faery affinity with hummingbirds finally let her understand why he was upset.

“I think I know what the crochet circle has in mind,” Valley murmured.

Bob paused to hover in midair for a moment.  He had already forgotten about the faeries and their yarn.  He had returned to Valley Hummer because he believed she could make everything right.  Hummingbirds being a tad flighty, he had been distracted.  Again.

All the hummingbirds of Thistledown had flocked to Valley Hummer’s home.  They were innately attracted to her energy, and her strong emotion had drawn them from far and wide.  Brilliant plumage streaked and zipped through the air.  The tiny birds flew in agitated chaos.  However, as Valley’s mind settled on her course of action, the flight of the hummingbirds took on an intricate but orderly pattern.

“My heart wants to save those poor girls.  They didn’t mean any harm.  But the crochet circle is working on to help the girls…  And the greater good is Thistledown,” Valley said in a resigned voice.  “So that’s where we must focus, Bob.  This trouble was buried long ago and it reaches farther than anyone ever imagined.”

Valley’s orange wings vibrated with intensity.  She held a small wand made of fire opal and waved her arms.  Shimmering sparks of yellow and purple, shot heavenward.  The flock of hummers altered their movements.  As they flew, the birds seemed to collect the colorful sparks and wove them into a new pattern.  Valley made graceful motions with her wand, conducting the movement of the hummers and sparks. 

The brightly colored sparks coalesced into a vast iridescent sphere.  Valley made tapping motions with the fire opal wand.  Her wings beat to the same rhythm.  As she tapped, the sphere lowered to the ground.

Bob darted back, frightened when the sphere burst into flames.

“I’m not sure who we’re inviting, Bob.  They tried to let everyone at the bonfire think it was part of an illusion, but I recognized that strange woman who sat astride the fierce seeming vehicle that was propelled from the bonfire.  It was not an intended part of the entertainment of that night,” Valley seemed to speak as much to herself as to Bob.  (See that episode here.)

A round hole parted the center of the huge sphere.  A loud thing that roared like a lion burst from the opening.  It was much like the noisy thing that came through the bonfire.  It looked like a doubled version of a unicycle with a seat connecting the two wheels.  The rumbling sound came from the machine.  It sailed past Valley and Bob.  Then it skidded to a stop and turned on its back wheel as if it meant to challenge them.

The rider faced them, but the visor of the helmet concealed the person’s identity.  Bob heard a snort come from the thing.

Fires Bi-Colored jacob-kiesow-349451

Unsplash.com

Then three other similar creatures erupted from the blazing sphere.  The flock of hummingbirds flew higher into the sky, out of reach from the events on the ground, but still close enough to watch what happened.

Bob did not dart away with the other hummingbirds.  However, he flew to Valley’s shoulder and hid in her hair.  He peeped out cautiously.

All the riders wore dark leather, but it was offset by touches of bright pink, purple, or bright green on their boots, gloves, or helmets.  Their clothes were closely tailored.  One stranger appeared to be male while the other three were female.  Finally, the first stranger spoke.

“Ha!  I guess you can’t see me with my helmet and visor, huh?” a female voice chuckled in a self-deprecatory way.

She took off her glittering pink helmet.  With a shake of her head, long shimmering purple hair cascaded down.  Her face held a combination of humor, anger, and fear.  Bob thought that was a very treacherous combination.  It was dangerous in the way that confronting a wounded animal could be risky.  It didn’t matter that the animal was good or bad, its fear could make it dangerous.

Several chipmunks scampered up to the purple-haired stranger.  The little creatures seemed to think they knew her, but then they abruptly fled.  She turned her gaze from the chipmunks up to the festive looking sparks that lingered in the air after the sphere was formed.  Then she drew a breath that seemed to steady her nerves.  She turned a level stare to Valley Hummer.

“Looking around, I would think you’ve invited us to a party,” she told Valley.  “But it felt like we had no choice but to accept the invitation.  In fact, it seemed a lot like a summons.”

“I’m sorry,” Valley spoke.  “I had no intention for it to be such.  The situation is urgent, and my casting must have gotten away from me.”

Dah-le!  Ya think?” the purple haired woman snorted in a sarcastic tone.

A lopsided smile softened her sardonic words. 

“I’m Glare Phantasm.  Do you mind telling us who you are, where we are, and why you’ve pulled us out of our home and brought us… wherever this is?”

The End

***

 This Week’s Faery Namers

I’m sure you already realized that Valley Hummer is named in honor of Janet.  Although you might be wondering who the mysterious “scary faery” might be.  Click the links to reveal the identity of the namer.

Valley Hummer  https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/tag/janet-weight-reed/

Glare Phantasm  https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

 

Special Note

Thanks again to artist Janet Weight Reed for the use of her wonderful art.  The post in the following link shows a beautiful collection of Janet’s hummingbirds click here.  If you want some of your very own, click here for her Zazzle store.

I hope to see you again next time.

Hugs on the wing! 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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.

 

Thriving Thursdays: Danger!

This isn’t really a post.  No, you aren’t imagining being here… Chris Graham hosted me at the Story Reading Ape’s tree-house for this post in July, 2017.  I had also published it on LinkedIn in 2015 — but I forgot to put it in my own “Motivational” category here. 

So that’s all I’m really doing — just adding it to Teagan’s Books.  However, it’s a good chance for me to wish you a thriving Thursday!  Here’s the post, and here’s a link to the Ape’s site.

It’s good to see everyone.  Thanks to the Story Reading Ape for hosting me once again for another Thriving Thursday.  These mini-posts are my humble way of encouraging everyone to thrive.

Thriving Thursdays:  Danger!

Robot Warning

Were you taught to dream?  Or were you told to “just be glad for what you’ve got” as I was? I think both are necessary. To thrive we need both dreams and gratitude.  

An attitude of gratitude is hugely important.  However, that does not exclude goals and dreams.  A comment from a comedian years ago stuck with me. He said “Don’t just dream big. Dream even bigger!”

Back to the title of this post… what is that peril we all face?

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it…
But that it is too low, and we reach it…  –Michaelangelo

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

Copyright © 2015 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 from free sites unless stated otherwise.