Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 23 — Spores

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown. 

Falling, falling until you finally feel the fathomless descent is normal — at least normal for you.  It’s dark.  A glimmer of light had make you think the dark would be banished.  Yet the blackness remains.  Darker than dark, you neither see nor hear another soul.  Alone.  The fall will surely kill you, but at least you know what kind of death awaits.  Landing… Landing lends new lethal longings and worries. 

The portal, the dark gaping maw, the black abyss — it’s back.  We resume the story from the point of view of Bedlam Thunder as she falls through the seemingly bottomless dark abyss. 

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

The black gaping maw of the portal closed with a pop.  Field Yewwwasp rescued Rhymer Rainbow and then River Mindshadow.  However, Bedlam Thunder was still in that darker than dark place when the portal snapped shut.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 23

Spores

Glowing mushrooms dark tree_jay-ma-304046.jpg

Jay Ma, Unsplash

No sun.

No stars.

No sound.

I felt myself falling and falling.  And falling.  I couldn’t see anything, including the bottom of the abyss.

If there is a bottom, I thought in consternation. 

Neither could I hear anything.  Was sound as absent as light?  Or was it that there simply wasn’t anything else to make a noise.  Was I that forsaken?  A sob escaped my lips.

So, sound still exists.  Then I must be truly, completely alone.

Suddenly, it felt like the bottom fell out of my stomach.  The rate of my descent quickened.  The realization that I might actually splat onto the ground was even more alarming than the idea of falling endlessly.

In the black emptiness a nagging beat entered my mind.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.

Was it just inside my head?  Perhaps my heartbeat took on an erratic pattern as I fought to stave off panic.  I strained my ears, trying to determine whether there was in fact a noise, something with me in the light-less abyss.

Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.  Bum-dum!  Bum-dum dah-dah!

Yes!  It was a beating drum.  Although I couldn’t tell from whence the drumming came.  The noise became a little louder.  Tap tap, like a knock at a door.  Then more insistently, Bum-dum!  Bum-dum dah-dah!

Bongo drummer clem-onojeghuo-122041

Clem Onojeghuo, Unsplash

Finally, I heard a whisper, a voice that seemed far away.  At first, I couldn’t make out the words.  The drumbeat came back with that odd pattern.  Then I could hear the words.

“Bedlam Thunder.  Bedlam!  Bedlam Thunder, can you hear me?”

The barely perceptible voice became louder as it spoke my name.  It began to sound familiar but I couldn’t place it.  It seemed like something I should remember from long ago.  Abruptly I realized I had also heard the voice fairly recently.

“We have something to break your fall,” she said.  “Try to land on your stomach.  I expect your wing is not fully healed, right?  Oh!  And it is very important that you do not breathe when you land!  It could be dangerous if you breathe before the dust settles.”

Those words were not comforting.

It felt as if something abruptly let go of me.  I fell faster than ever.  Frantically I tried to twist and turn so that my belly was facing downward.  I resisted the natural impulse to unfurl my wings.  I was falling so rapidly that it would surely reopen the tear in my gossamer wing.

After falling for so long, it seemed sudden when I landed.  With a soft thud the wind was knocked out of me.  My body automatically gasped, sucking oxygen back into my lungs, despite the warning not to breathe.

Bits of something floating in the air made a cloud around me.

I lifted my head to look at the soft but lumpy bed on which I landed.  Although, it wasn’t actually a bed.

“Mushrooms?  Giant mushrooms?” I murmured aloud in amazement.  “Spores…” I added looking at the cloud of floating bits that exploded from the mushrooms when I landed on them.

Mushrooms many jakob-creutz-427450

Jakob Creutz, Unsplash

A fit of coughing overtook me.  Every time I recovered myself and gulped air I inhaled spores with it.  Which made me cough again.

Finally, the cloud of mushroom bits settled and I could breathe normally.  I scanned my dark surroundings.

Any illumination at all seem bright after being in such darkness.  The presence of a dim light felt so bright that I squinted. 

“Is that daylight?”

I was so surprised to finally see it that I spoke aloud.  I couldn’t exactly call it sunlight, but it did seem to be light.  Perhaps it was a very cloudy, rainy day.  It seemed to be the entrance to a cave… or rather the exit.

Disoriented from the impossibly long fall, I staggered as I got up from the pile of giant mushrooms.  A smaller cloud of spores swirled around my feet.  I felt quite bewildered.  As I struggled forward toward the opening, I became woozy.

The sound of a roar, like a great lion, caused me to stumble to a stop.  A gout of flame flared, blinding me for a moment.  Then I saw it at the cave’s opening ― an enormous chimera.

The beast’s lion head roared again.  Golden eyes stared me in a way that I imagined meant it was hungry.  Scales rustled against the ground as its serpent tail swished.

The chimera moved forward toward the cave’s opening.  I stifled a scream.

Eye white close paul-morris-184484.jpg

Paul Morris, Unsplash

A copper battleaxe the size of a millstone slammed down, blocking the cave exit.  The chimera roared frustration, and tongues of flame licked around the edges of the enormous battleaxe.

The copper ax was engraved with designs and inscriptions.  They seemed to crawl on the surface as I looked at it.  An eye opened in the metal and leered at me.  Then the eye melted, running down the face of the ax like a molten jewel.  The chimera growled and the battleaxe gave a wicked laugh.  They both taunted me.

The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Bedlam truly was alone in the dark… there were no Faery Namers for this episode.  Actually there were a few but the chapter didn’t name the namers.  Can you guess who they are?  There are clues for those who have been paying attention.  Feel free to leave your guess in a comment.

Now what will happen to our hapless faery?  Bedlam finally had a soft landing, but now she’s confronted by a mythic chimera and an evil battleaxe.  Fly back next week to see “what the faery is going on.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2018 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. 

 

76 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 23 — Spores

  1. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 24 — The Other Seer | Teagan's Books

  2. “Was sound as absent as light? Or was it that there simply wasn’t anything else to make a noise. ” So descriptive spoken by someone who has felt the abyss of silence..

    That falling sensation the pits of one’s stomach..

    And no amount of holding one’s breath after having the wind knocked out of your sails could stop that intake of breath on landing on your stomach.. Now it was a good thing these were not Magic Mushrooms .. Or else that coughing and spluttering would have taken on new dimensions. 🙂

    I smiled hugely while enjoying the drum beat Bum-dum! Bum-dum dah-dah! 🙂 ❤
    Special Hugs dear Teagan.. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Writing Links 2/5/18 – Where Genres Collide

    • Good to see you Chuck. LOL, I’m right when I say that I’m just wired wrong. I seem to be the only one not seeing the Alice connection. Except for vaguely now that it’s been pointed out. No, there will not be a Mad Hatter.
      I try to be original, but seem to fail as I falter down my own black abyss. (Or apparently rabbit hole.) Thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 23 — Spores | Annette Rochelle Aben

  5. I’m falling too…deeper and deeper into this tale, dear Teagan! Bum-dum dah-dah. Bum-dum! Bum-dum dah-dah! 😉
    This was a real treat today, taking breaks from shoveling, I need a fairy/faery tale or two or ten. 🧚🧚🧚
    Can’t wait to see what comes next – hugs on wing indeed, my dear friend. 🙂
    You’ve made my weekend and in the ‘bedlam’ of my 2018 so far, I thank you for adding such joy (and suspense).
    Mega whoozy but happy hugs xoxoxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we’re in similar places to where Bedlam has blundered, my friend.
      Do be careful with the shoveling. it’s backbreaking — not to mention sneaky in overcoming the body/heart. Of course you know that, I just can’t help saying it. Wishing you warm, bright sunshine to help melt that awful stuff.
      Thanks so much for visiting, Donna. It means a lot to me. A sundae of mega hugs right back, with sunshine super hugs on top.

      Like

    • LOL. I do love a good pun, Jacquie! I find them hard to resist too.
      Back in the day (when I first got into fantasy) chimeras used to be a staple of fantasy writers like piers Anthony and Roger Zelazny. Their physical characteristics get portrayed in various ways (not consistent) as well as their size and power. But yes, they are interesting. Happy researching! 😀
      Heartfelt thanks for visiting, my friend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I rdnfmber Carver having the battleaxe at some point. This episode caused some sendiry overload to my imagination circuits. I was trying to keep up but I think I was running out of breath. The descriptions were so vivid, I had an anxious sense the entire time, until the mushrooms broke my fall. Her fall, well you know. Breathing in the spores reminded me of when I used to clean my dust collector in my cabinet shop. It was elevated and the wax no wag to escape the stuff.

    Great episode. Do glad Bedlsm survived the fall. I fear what might be editing for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dan. It’s great to see you. There has been a time (or two) when I’ve accidentally gotten a lungful of dirty air with big particles. But dust from all the wood chips had to be brutal to breathe.
      Carver’s battleaxe keeps creeping back into the story. I’m not sure how it fits though… Many things are as much a mystery to me as to everyone else. 😀 I really appreciate you taking time to visit. Especially on the big game weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m imagining Bedlam might go on a different kind of “trip” by inhaling those mushrooms spores! 😀 You described the falling episode with such detail and clarity, I felt like I was falling right along with her. More intrigue and mayhem coming up soon, how exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL… I flashed on a Salvador Dali painting when I wrote that about the eye.
      It’s good to see you, John. One “namer” would be impossible to guess, as she hasn’t been in the story before, but the drumming made me think of her (even that is part of my miss-wired brain; she’s not exactly a drummer). The other two have been here though. I guess it wasn’t much of a clue after all. But I thought it might be fun to guess. Thanks for taking time to visit. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Bedlam is in for quite an adventure and I can’t wait to see how she gets out of this one. This is deliciously dark Teagan. Love the use of mushrooms in this, very utilitarian providing a soft landing spot. Always great to be transported to Thistledown and the faerie world. I agree with Olga I also thought of Alice in Wonderland when reading this. Love how this episode begins btw, so well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so very much, Suzanne. And thanks for sharing on Facebook.
      Interesting that I never thought of “Alice.” Especially since I enjoy how that story gets reused in fiction. The only thing that flashed through my mind was a Salvadore Dali painting. Thanks so much for visiting. You’ve made my day. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It made me think of Alice in Wonderland, but I feel much more personally invested. I hope the friendly voices she heard will come to the rescue… (mind you, Bedlam is much stronger than she thinks). Thanks, Teagan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your kindness, Olga — I see that you perceived all the “layers” of the story. I hope for as soft of a landing as Bedlam got.
      Your comparison to “Alice” left me breathless. Thank you! Now I’m surprised that I never thought about the Lewis Carroll story when writing this — but I did flash on a Salvador Dali painting. Thank you for visiting and for sharing on Facebook. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

  10. Pingback: Thistledown Midsummer Bedlam 23: Spores – The Militant Negro™

    • Huh… now my own comments are disappearing. Gee thanks WordPress…
      As I was saying…
      So glad you were intrigued, Tim. Your beautiful mushroom photos are up next week.
      I enjoyed your owls post today hugely! What fun!
      http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2018/2/giving-a-hoot
      Maybe you’ll create a Valentines post about the two owls. 😉 (I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to come up with one. I may have just given myself an idea. Ha.)
      Heartfelt thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hadn’t thought about Valentine’s Day. I probably would not have posted anything special, but now I have to think about it. I’ll see what the owls and cats have in store for the 14th.

        Liked by 1 person

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