Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 24 — The Other Seer

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Thank you for flying over to the faery land of Thistledown.  

Toadstools group Tim Price
Photo by Tim Price

I mentioned “mushrooms” to a couple of readers when I wrote the previous episode, Spores*.   Photographer, Tim Price kindly offered to let me use some beautiful images he captured of mushrooms.  You’ll see them throughout this chapter.  You can also see even more at his blog, T & L Photos*.

Writing Process

When writing serials, particularly stories that go on for months, I sometimes reach points where I need to tie up loose ends.  I also might need to leave answers for clues I’ve left along the way.  This is such an episode.  So the pace is not as fast, and it’s a little longer than the past few chapters.  I hope you’ll still enjoy the story.  Now to Thistledown.

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

Bedlam Thunder’s seemingly endless descent into the black abyss stopped.  Her fall was broken when she landed on a bed of giant mushrooms.  She couldn’t help inhaling air polluted by a cloud of the mushroom spores.  Then she saw horrible creatures.


Midsummer Bedlam 24

The Other Seer

I floated in blackness.  I knew the vague feeling of having woken to a horrific image, but along with wakefullness it seemed far away. 

A nagging beat entered my mind.  I had heard it somewhere before.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah. Pause.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.

Bongo drummer clem-onojeghuo-122041
Clem Onojeghuo, Unsplash

Softly spoken words came to me.  I had heard them before too.

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

I remembered the voice that spoke those words, now and before.

I tried to answer but the chimera roared, frightening me.  However, it’s roar became a voice.

“The potency of the mushrooms increased with their size,” the creature said.  “She must have inhaled a lot of hallucinogenic spores.”

“Is everyone alright?  Take deep breaths of the fresh air and stay away from the cave opening,” the first voice instructed.

The beat continued.  Gradually, I identified it as a drum.  No, several drums.  Soft murmurs surrounded me, a jumble of words and voices in my mind.  Fragments of sentences eluded my grasp.

Finally, a another string of words coalesced and I understood them.

“I don’t understand,” someone said.  “She has wings.  Why didn’t she just fly back to wherever?”

“She wouldn’t have been able to.  Not even with two good wings.  The abyss has subtle but powerful magic.  Dark magic,” the first voice replied.

My eyes fluttered open.  I drew back in fear when I saw the chimera leaning over me.  Then the features of the creature blurred and became a regular face.  I beheld a circle of relieved looking faces.  They were familiar, yet… wrong.  Beyond the faces I saw a gray-white sky.  A milky sun tried unsuccessfully to burn through the persistent clouds.

So, I’ve gone there again.  The colorless world, I thought.  I wonder if this world has ever seen bright sunlight or a blue sky.

“Didn’t I warn you not to breathe?” the now familiar voice demanded.

She leaned into my line of sight.  A bright pink streak in her straight brown hair stood out against the dullness of the day.  I remembered meeting her at Uncle’s bonfire party.  It was quite an entrance she made.  She seemed familiar to me then, and Field Yewwasp had mumbled as much too, though he never told me who he thought the woman was.  I sat up on my elbows.  Disoriented, I searched my mind for her name.

(You can revisit that chapter in Episode 10, Fire and Furry.)


Fallow Blackmoon?” I asked.

She nodded and the other faces surrounding me smiled.  I noticed that they all held small drums.

“You have a knack for turning up in the most unexpected places,” the man who had leaned over me, at first seeming to be a chimera, commented.

“Catseye,” I addressed the man.  “But no.  You’re Royal Chimera.  The mushrooms!” I cried in sudden realization.  “You must have caused them to be so large.”

“Yes, but how did you know?” Royal wanted to know.

“Because,” I began with a shrug.  “That’s like the magic Catseye Glimmer has.  He can create something useful out of nearly nothing,” I tried to explain.  “Once I stumbled and he transformed a single cotton bowl into a huge pillow, quickly tossing it into place to keep me from further injuring my wing.  You look like him.”

(You can revisit that chapter in Episode 2, In the Kitchen.)

Mushrooms blue Tim Price

“There is hardly any magic in this world, Bedlam Thunder.  I’ve been working to bring out any traces of magic I find ― the things and people that have a seed of innate magic inside.  I sensed such an ability within Royal Chimera,” Fallow Blackmoon explained.  “That’s why I haven’t tried to get back to Thistledown.  Magic begets magic.  I am needed here.”

“With Fallow’s guidance, I’ve been able to do some simple things.  Making tiny mushrooms into huge ones is far more than I’ve ever done before,” Royal told me in a modest tone.

“He’s learned quickly,” Fallow added a word of praise.  “Especially considering this was not a spell to be taught, but something he has to find on his own, from within.”

“So, you used to live in Thistledown?  You aren’t originally from this place.  You have no double here?” I confirmed, turning back to Fallow Blackmoon.  “I feel as though I should know you,” I added lamely, not knowing how to finish the sentence.

Fallow nodded.  I hoped she would elaborate, but she did not.

“Neither of us have a double here.  Yet everyone else seems to.  Why are we unique?” I asked.

I wished I could take back my words.  Looking at the faces around me, I realized my tone had been harsh and demanding, though I had not intended to sound that way.  The circle of faces around me glared in response.

“I mean…” I tried to smooth my rudeness.

Fallow smiled and her friends seemed to relax.

“The cave,” Fallow began with a motion to the nearby opening.  “That cave amplifies magic.  So, we come here to practice.  Bedlam Thunder, these people represent all the magic I have found in this world.  We were holding a drum circle inside the cave when I sensed the presence of another seer.  Of course, that was you, in your descent.”

Märchendom Saalfelder Feengrotten
Der sogenannte Märchendom in den Saalfelder Feengrotten.

She gave me a moment to process what she said.  It was only a handful of people, yet they represented the magic of the entire world?

“I have concluded that this world does not have seers, like you and me,” Fallow told me.  “Yes, we are unique in that we don’t have a double in this world.  The furry faery, Field Yewwasp, is also unique, even though he is not a seer.  Some describe a legendary creature of this world that could be his ‘double’…” she added.  “Although it is far from being a true duplicate Field Yewwasp.”

“I’m Drummer Soulfire,” the woman on the other side of me introduced herself.  “I’m relieved that you are okay.  Dah-le!  That was quite a fall!”

“Fittingly enough, Drummer, leads the drum circle,” Fallow inserted.  “She has a true talent for it.  The properties of the cave, combined with the drumming helped us retrieve you from your descent.  Otherwise, you may have continued falling forever.”

Her words caused me to shudder.  The idea of an endless tumble had entered my mind while I fell.  It was a horrid thought.

Feeling more alert, I took a closer look at the faces around me.  It was a sadly small group if these were the only people with any trace of magic.  There were three more familiar, yet wrong, faces.  Two of them I had met.

Rotten Soulfire!” I exclaimed.  “You really are more like River Mindshadow than either of you would realize.”

“Of course my cousin, Rotten, is part of the drum circle,” Drummer commented and gave her drum a tap for emphasis. 

A sound like knives slicing through air caused me to look away from Rotten.  Remembering the sound of the sharp, jagged edges of the leaves that decorated his hat, I smiled to see Poison Ivy Razorleaf again.  With a wicked grin, he doffed his hat and bowed.

Fungus mushroom Tim Price
Photo by Tim Price

Though I knew a face like his, I had not met the final member of the drum circle.  He gave me a quizzical look, as though he had yet to get a read on me.  His shoulders twitched as if he tried to force the muscles to relax.  He gave his name, Stranglevine Starquencher.

“The copper battleaxe!” I said in abrupt realization.  “That’s why I hallucinated about the axe.  Carver Eastdoor has one.  Do you?”

Stranglevine Starquencher, Carver’s double, drew back.  His eyes narrowed suspiciously.  He stared at me for a long moment before speaking.

“The copper battleaxe is a closely held family secret,” Stranglevine began.  “Not even the drum circle knows about it.  How is it that you know?” he demanded.

Razorleaf looked at him with a raised eyebrow.  Then he snorted and smirked.

“I always suspected those rumors were real,” Razorleaf told him.  “Your double in that sugary world had an enormous copper battleaxe.  When he used it to break a magical doorway, it also shattered the great scrying stone here.  But it let me visit that world, and it got Bedlam back home.  At least until she landed here yet again.”

(See Episode-8 Shadows of Body and Mind.)

Stranglevine seemed minutely less distrustful after Razorleaf spoke.  Although, I didn’t think I had made a friend yet.  He seemed much different from Carver Eastdoor.  Yet Poison Ivy Razorleaf was vastly different from quiet, unobtrusive Ivy Twinkle too.  I reminded myself that there was no telling how drastically different the lives of the doubles had been, compared to anyone who grew up in Thistledown.  Who could guess what had shaped Stranglevine into a skeptic.  After a moment his shoulders relaxed.  He seemed to have settled something in his mind.  He cleared his throat.

“The family always said the copper ax was magical.  I’ve never seen anything unusual or special about it.  Except for how big it is.  And how old,” he finally told us.  “I don’t think it’s particularly valuable.  It’s just copper, not gold or rhodium.  But some people might think it’s worth something,” he added turning back to me.  “You don’t let word get out that you own something that might be valuable in this world.”

“Could you bring it here to the cave?” Fallow asked gently.  “I’d like to see how it reacts to the magic of this place.”

Fairies, Edwin Austin Abbey, 1852-1911

 The End


This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Be sure to visit the “secret” bloggers who have faeries named in honor of them in this episode.

Field Yewwasp

Fallow Blackmoon

Royal Chimera

Stranglevine Starquencher

Drummer Soulfire

River Mindshadow

Poison Ivy Razorleaf

Our hapless faery, Bedlam, seems to have gotten a reprieve.  However, she is once again stuck in the colorless world.  It does not seem like a very benevolent place, despite the apparent kindness of the drum circle.  How will Bedlam get home?  Fly back to Thistledown again next time to learn more.  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. 


104 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 24 — The Other Seer

  1. I have been enjoying your Thistledown series. Thank your for writing it & sharing it freely. I like Bedlam; she’s cool. She reminds me of a younger me.

    I hope you work through/get over your Great Drain. You are a gifted writer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s lovely to see you Sheila. I’m happy that you enjoy this serial. That means a lot to me. Thank you for your kindness and encouragement. I’m not making much progress with “the drain”… but I’m trying to cope day-to-day. Wishing you a wonderful new week. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the fact that the sounds of the drumbeats helped stop Bedlam from an eternal fall. That must have been like floating in space, although at a much faster pace. Great to see the story switch to the other colourless Thistledown, Teagan. Now, I wonder what they will find in that cave, and how the axe will react? Yet again, you’ve been a great storyteller.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank so much, Hugh. You always validate the elements that I was concerned about. LOL, I wonder what they will find too! I’ve been way too stressed out to do any writing. At least I have this Saturday’s Thistledown episode ready to post. After that… o_O. I appreciate you taking time to visit. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yes, I so remember Bedlams Uncles Bonfire Party.. The mere mention of it brought that episode come flooding back.
    🙂 When Fallow Blackmoon came out of the flames Aside her strange vehicle in grey snake skin. 😀
    And I loved the idea of creating Magic, as Royal has done, through ones finding their own hidden talents from within. A wonderful lesson for us all to learn from Teagan. 🙂 And Cave magic, Love it. 🙂 And the Drum Circle… ( Brings back some of my own Drumming memories 🙂 )

    I so loved how you brought back many previous characters within this episode.. I did have to revisit Episode 8 to refresh my memory there.. And I had forgotten about the shattered Scrying stone.. And Carver Eastdoor..

    I really enjoyed my reading time within this episode and feel very honoured to have been chosen to be part of your magical Tale.. And I hope if you take awards.. ( I became an award free zone, ) so I fully appreciate the time it takes in awards.. This one comes from me with no strings.. But Should you ever want to use a drum 🙂 I Gift you this award .. Have a most Magical Day.. And I also so loved your post on Valentine’s Day Teagan.. Have a wonderful rest of the week and Super Weekend.. LOVE and Blessings… Sue ❤

    PS.. I so enjoyed the Mushroom photography.. My Dad and I would often go mushrooming together, He knew which to pick.. 🙂
    LOVE and HUGS.. and Keepy Flying.. ❤ 💜🧡💙💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Sue — such a lovely, helpful, and encouraging comment thank you from the bottom of my heart. I took a lesson from Agatha Christie… in my late teens I was reading one of hers and was astounded at how she had left so many clues, and brought them all together at the end. So I always try to bring little things (if not exactly clues) back into the story as I try to bring it to a solid close. (The actual closing takes a while.) And, since serials stretch out for months and months, I try to give reminders, since I can’t expect anyone to remember. So thanks for what you said.

      I’m absolutely honored to have your drum award. You are so kind.
      Tim will be delighted that you enjoyed his photos. He’s having a big computer/camera problem. So he will appreciate the encouragement.
      Huge thanks for flying over. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the gift of story telling.. I have so enjoyed this series and I am so honoured to have got a mention with the instrument that means a lot to me.. The Drum.. .. The Drum was hand made by a gentleman in our circle.. He gifted me the drum and I painted upon it and painted a bear upon his and a raven.. as a return thank you for the gift of my drum.. So the Honour dear Teagan is all mine.. ❤ Much love xx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oooo… I hope I can remember to add the bear image to Drummer’s drum. I love adding that kind of detail. The next episode leaves Bedlam to go back to Bob the humming bird. I’m about as easily distracted as tiny Bob though so…
          Anyway, great big hug.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I am enjoying Bedlam’s unfolding story, Teagan! The story brings back memories of taking the Mammoth Cave 6 hr, 6 mile wild cave tour long ago. At one point they had us switch off the miner’s headlamps, and experience the complete darkness and intense quietness of the cave. One could potentially get seriously lost down there. The creatures down there had adapted to a life underground, quite different from their counterparts above.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beautifully said about magic, Rob. And you made my day about animation! My guilty pleasure is anime. Good anime, mind you. (Not the kind that sexualizes young girls.) I had not thought much about this serial, but I have one unpublished novel… a huge epic quest-type fantasy that I’ve dream of being an anime series. Think “Black Butler.” Huge thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

            1. For a while I blogged posts on my unpublished “Guitar Mancer”… a had retro photos of actors that I ‘cast” for the parts, like Jean Shrimpton and James Garner. I commented to someone that I believe, before too long, they will develop the technology to reuse existing footage in a realistic way so that we could create movies staring actors of the past. Using VR for animation would be huge fun. Hard work, but fun results.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Finding the right class can be as hard as learning the topic… I got PhotoShop Elements 18, because I want to convert images to line drawings. It can’t be done in a couple of simple steps… naturally. During my lunch breaks I’ve been watching a tutorial on, sadly only a few minutes at a time. The tutorial is really good, but I don’t think it will show me what I want. Still useful though, since the past several Elements have been far from intuitive…

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. I use Painshop pro and GIMP along with Picassa. To use the avatars in a performance I have to settle down and learn to make animations or adapt existing animations.

                  I saw a couple of videos the other night in which avatars were performing a dance and the movement was incredibly smooth, and I thought, I want to learn how to do this.

                  Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s no such thing as late here, Tess. I’m always happy to see you, and I I’m delighted you enjoyed your visit! I like blogging best when I can promote others, so I’m glad to hear that part. Hugs on the wing!


  5. Another fabulous post, Teagan. “Otherwise, you may have continued falling forever.” is a horrific thought, enough to give one nightmares. I have a feeling we’re going to hear more about the copper ax. Huge hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Teagan, you have such an excitable mind that is reflected in your energetic, fast-clipped style and stories. It’s such fun to read you because it’s an adventure and the reader is never quite sure what might be coming up. Thank you for another grand post. Best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David, I’m blushing. ^^’ Thank you so very much. Your comment has made my day. And believe me, on a workday Monday (or any workday) I really needed it. 😀
      I do try to have a certain rhythm when I’m portraying something intense. I appreciate your feedback and validation that it is coming across. Have a wonder-filled new week. Hugs on the wing!


  7. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Bedlam finally ends here descent into the abyss and having landed in a soft mattress of mushrooms is recovering from the the spores effects on her mind… She finds familiar faces but they are not quite the same as she remembered… what is this place and who are these people who are attempting to recapture the magic of Thistledown… head over and find out…#recommended

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m happy to visit the colourless world again to hear more about its people – it’s so interesting to consider that they are different because they haven’t had access to the same advantages as those in the faery world – a theme that’s quite profound Teagan 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so generous, Andrea. I appreciate your comments. The advantages of a world filled with gentle magic, compared to one with hardly any magic at all. It would have to shape people differently… just from the very air they breathe.
      I’m delighted you enjoyed this visit. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Christoph! I’m happy to hear that. Somehow I’ve had a clearer sense of Razorleaf than many of the characters. I guess he echoes some of the sardonic impishness in me. I truly appreciate your time with this feedback. Hugs on the wing!


  9. Loved this Teagan, the detail made this episode visual and I felt like I know the faeries and was right there with them. I can’t wait to see what happens, especially with the copper axe, yikes!! I am totally in love with the faerie world, both worlds. BTW, love the photos the mushrooms are amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much about the photos, Suzanne. Tim will be happy to hear that. I’m delighted you enjoyed this chapter. I just hope I haven’t hacked myself into a corner with the darned ax! LOL. Huge thanks for taking time to visit. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good to meet my double. Seems like he needs to loosen up a bit 😉

    I am impressed with how you wove all these parts together. At the start, you made it seem like this episode would be kinda dull, but I found it intriguing. Two bits stuck with me. First: “Otherwise, you may have continued falling forever.” – Yikes, that is such a scary thought! The second bit was when I read: “You don’t let word get out that you own something that might be valuable in this world.” – That’s a very strong yet unique descriptive phrase – I like it.

    All in all, a very good episode, Teagan. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, your feedback is always so helpful. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. The last line you mentioned, I was inspired by a movie. Most people don’t remember it but… Freejack. I would look up a link, but I am not on my computer. Anyhow, the scene has been done a lot. A violent place, and a character lives in a dump, but it’s really a front for a luxurious home. So the character in Freejack made a similar comment. Have a cozy Sunday. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oooh, what’s next, what\s next? I know, I’m terrible at waiting, but I’ll try. 😉
    I can’t eat mushrooms (darn!), but they are lovely to look at and Timothy’s images are awesome. 🙂
    Thanks for another amazing Saturday treat, dear Teagan, you always know how to start the weekend off right!
    Mega magical hugs on the wing hugs xoxoxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s lovely to see you Donna — and thanks for sharing on Facebook. I haven’t written the next episode yet… I wonder if eating mushrooms would help… LOL. Somehow I don’t think so. I’m so happy you enjoyed your visit. I appreciate you more than you know. Mega hugs right back!


    1. It’s great to see you, John. Yes, that is one exciting photo! LOL… yeah, I’m anxiously awaiting the idea for that to come to my brain, too. 😉 I’d much rather be a few episodes ahead on these stories… but I’ve caught up with myself yet again. Sigh… one universe at a time. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, I think Bedlam will be leery of mushrooms for quite some time to come, Kathryn! 😀
      I’ve tried to bring out the difference in temperament between the two faery groups. They’re not *bad* just kind of scary. Or so I hope. 😉
      I appreciate your feedback about the pace. That’s a relief. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Really? I appreciate the encouragement, Adele. I know that every story needs “breath-catching” chapters, but I’m always unsure how the slower pace will be received in serials. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.
      Crystal is having her after-breakfast semi-snooze, watching a Youtube video of deer eating in the snow. 🐱 Happy weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

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