Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 20 — Hanging by a Hair

Saturday, January 13, 2018

I’m glad to see you were able to come back to Thistledown.  This episode is a brief return to the point of view of Bedlam Thunder. 

Sparkler hands be the spark

Previously in the Etheraris Spiregris

To review episode 14 click here*.

River turned to the next page and the hair sparked, shocking me yet again.

 “Do you think this is the one?” River asked excitedly.  “A Perversion of Phantoms,” she read aloud the title at the top of the timeworn page. 

 At River’s words the long muskox hair fell limp against the page.  My hand dropped, resting against the page as Rhymer and I echoed River in stating the name of the spell.  All three of us happened to be touching the pages of the incantation as we spoke.

 “The name of the spell reminds me of how we were talking about learning whether people had disappeared from Thistledown.  Missing faeries being like phantoms,” River continued.

 The three of us exchanged a look.  It was spontaneous, a coincidence.  We didn’t mean to speak in chorus but as one we gasped.

 “A Perversion of Phantoms!”

 Abruptly the heavy volume snapped shut.  The periwinkle muskox hair was still within, like a bookmark.  The room spun wildly.  It was like looking into a kaleidoscope. 

 Then the world shattered. 

 Quickly I moved my hands away from the book and caught the hands of River and Rhymer. 


Midsummer Bedlam 20

Hanging by a Hair

Face in water blue

Vivid black.

How could black be vivid? I wondered dizzily as I spiraled.

Then I remembered that while black was the absence of all light, it was the presence of all color.  I supposed it could be vivid at that.

Though I could see nothing, the world around me seemed to toss and turn.  Nausea surged.  I tried to put a hand over my mouth, but something restrained me.  Then I remembered Rhymer Rainbow and River Mindshadow… and the Etheraris Spiregris

The magically charged periwinkle colored muskox hair was tangled around my wrist.  I remembered being snared by it just as the ancient tome snapped shut and the world seemed to shatter.  River had been trying to free me from the muskox hair, so she already held onto my arm.  If Rhymer had not reached for my hand at the same moment that I caught hers, I wouldn’t have been quick enough.

At first, I was blind.  It felt like I was falling, yet not moving.  After a while, I could see vague forms from the soft purplish glow of the special muskox hair.  I recognized the shapes as my friends.

Abruptly the sensation of falling became a sharp yank.  The three of us were jerked upward, but then the motion stopped.  I heard a scream.


“I can’t stay put.  Something’s got my foot!” Rhymer cried.

Even as I felt my grip on the rainbow-haired faery’s hand begin to slip, I felt River move so she could reach Rhymer’s other hand.

“By something woolled I’m being pulled!  I’m being wrangled, it’s got my ankle!” Rhymer gasped as her hand was yanked free of mine.

“Rhymer!” I heard River shriek, and knew that she had also lost hold of our friend.

I heard Rhymer’s muffled voice, but her words made no sense to me.  It sounded like she said the wool was sprinkled with lights that twinkled.

“River, you’re much faster than me.  Go get her,” I said.

“We shouldn’t get separated!” River exclaimed in a torn sounding voice.

River let go of my hand and I felt relieved, thinking she would try and help Rhymer.  I was an awkward flyer at best, and with my half-healed wing I would be a hundred times worse.  I couldn’t make the choice for River, but I felt she should go after Rhymer.

However, River merely shifted her hold from my wrist to my ankle.  Her free arm flailed as she felt around the darkness for Rhymer.

“Rhymer, say something!  Where are you?” she yelled.

“I’m still here,” Rhymer said with a grunt.  “But not for long I fear!”

Her voice sounded as if she was being forcibly yanked backward.

“You said ‘woolled’ ― did you mean something wooly has you?” I called.

Rope Bare feet Dark_eva-blue-42498
Eva Blue, Unsplash

“A vast wool rope.  I’m held too fast to cope,” she replied, but sounded farther away.

“River, if you don’t go now, it will be too late,” I sobbed.  “I can’t see her anymore.”

“Oh!” River cried in epiphany.  “I have it.  This way I can still find the way back to you.  Just don’t get untangled.”

Then River took off her belt and looped it around the periwinkle colored muskox hair that was firmly tangled around my wrist.  She held onto the other end of the belt.  Despite the awkward position it caused, she flew quickly in the direction we thought Rhymer had gone, but remained close to the hair that would lead back to me.

For a short time, I could see a vague shape that I knew was River, illuminated by the glow of the magical hair.

“River?” I called.

“I’m still following the muskox hair,” she replied, but she sounded so far away.  “I think I see Rhymer.  Maybe.  I’m not sure.”

I don’t know how to describe it.  Perhaps it had to do with my supposed “gift” as a seer.  Or maybe the air pressure was displaced by something large coming into our presence.  That’s how it felt ― like something else was added to the space where we were.

River screamed.

Then I heard a grunt, as if the air was knocked out her lungs.  I no longer sensed the large presence that came so suddenly.  It left as abruptly as it arrived.

“River?  River!  Rhymer!”

No one answered my calls.

The sensation of falling became more intense.  I felt I was moving faster, hurtling downward through darkness.

The End


 This Week’s Faery Namers

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

Rhymer Rainbow

River Mindshadow

Okay, I hear you yelling about the “cliffhanger” ending.  Is it really a cliffhanger if the character has stopped hanging and started falling?  I see that didn’t settle you down at all.  Fly over next time to find out what happens in The Crochet Circle.  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.

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73 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 20 — Hanging by a Hair

  1. First dear Teagan, I have a whole hour to devote to Thistle down and if I manage working my way through the chapters I have not yet read.. Then I have Pips adventure to catch up with too..

    So loved this episode as your clever narration held us in the vivid imagery of River’s plight.
    And I was reaching my hand out also. And thank goodness for the periwinkle coloured muskox hair.
    Now for the next instalment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My goodness, this is just like one of those dreams I have when I’m falling and then suddenly wake up, Teagan. Twilight zone stuff in the making. This part of the story may have been set in the dark, but your writing and descriptions had my mind full of what exactly what was going on.
    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hugh. Thanks so much for this. I’m glad to know that you could see in the dark, so to speak. 😀 Since i’m falling through the bottomless abyss with Bedlam, I sure wish I could see in the dark! LOL. o_O Hugs on the wing!


    1. You are so kind. I think most of us have had one of those dreams about falling. The next is ready and waiting for you to have a moment to curl up with a cup of tea and enjoy, dear Gerlinde. I so enjoyed your latest post. It was a lovely escape.
      Thanks for taking a moment to visit. Hugs on the wing!


  3. This is an amazing installment dear Teagan…
    I was particularly driven due to the effect of the Falling down descriptions here… I almost felt the effect of gravity pushing me down, in a sort of more conscious way… ((Of course: it is a falling force 😉 ))
    The beginning is very intriguing and the spell, leading to the eventual dissapearance of all the fairies and extraordinary creatures in Thistledown is… surprising, to say the least.
    I liked how you worked on movements, tumbles and falls here… The atmosphere seems to be moving as we read along… Also: how cool that you included Chris and Olga over here… 😉 ❤ love & best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s wonderful to see you Aquileana. I loved your tarot post, a great idea for a series. Long ago I tried to write a book where each character was the physical embodiment of a tarot card… Alas that is one of many manuscripts I’ve lost.
      Thank you for visiting, and particularly for this amazing feedback. So often I simply don’t know if I’ve succeeded in causing my reader to imagine scenes as I see them in my mind. I truly appreciate you.
      Oh, and including other bloggers has always been one of my objectives with the serial stories. I enjoy giving shout-outs. 😀 Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I was planning to apologize for showing up so very late. Now, I’m happy I didn’t read this until today because I don’t have to wait as long as the others for the next episode. You’ve put you characters in some scary situations before, but this fear is palpable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Robbie. What large, suddenly appearing thing could have grabbed them? — and meanwhile, Bedlam falls deeper into the dark abyss. I don’t know if anything can break her fall.
      😀 Next time “The Crochet Circle.”
      Heartfelt thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Holy moly, way to add the suspense!
    Growing up we lived in a haunted house (I kid you not) and I had an experience with that kind of dark and the sense that something else was in the room with me. Scared the bejesus of of me, lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL re the gad zooks! Thanks for making me smile, John. I don’t know if that hair will hold as Bedlam falls through the dark emptiness. And I fall with her. Things have taken a retaliatory bad turn in Mordor… My help was requested for a detail, which was denied, and now I am punished because that someone said I have skills. Would somebody please just throw the damned ring into the pit of doom? And take the Orcs with it.
      Hugs on the wing!


    1. Hi Christoph! This story began with a silly “find your fairy name” chart. I was making fun of it, and didn’t care for any of the names. I called them “frilly faeries”…hence the name Bedlam Thunder. Olga was of similar thinking. So I threw away the name chart for the character in honor of her, and offered a few suggestions.
      Huge hugs right back. Have a wonder-filled weekend. ❤


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