Saturday, March 24, 2018
We’re back in the faery land of Thistledown. It’s great to see you. With this episode we leave Bob the hummingbird and go back to the point of view of Bedlam Thunder. We last saw her in the colorless world with some enigmatic folks. This time, a dire revelation.
Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam
Finally, the phantasms released me. I felt disoriented, queasy, and my head ached from the base of my skull. I squinted at the light of day. Vaguely I noted that River Mindshadow and Lavender Cozy were there, but I couldn’t understand why.
“Shadows,” I murmured, trembling. “Burned into the walls. So many shadows.”
Midsummer Bedlam 28
Only a few of the drum circle remained when Fallow Blackmoon and Drummer Soulfire went back inside the cave. They checked the air again to see if the spores had dissipated enough to make the air safe to breathe. Everyone seemed eager to experience the property of the cave that amplified their slight innate magic. Drummer and Fallow had been whispering when they emerged from the cave. Their faces bore concerned expressions. Fallow discretely tucked something inside her gray snakeskin jacket.
“A few mushroom spores won’t do any harm. I hear they even have certain health benefits,” Poison Ivy Razorleaf suggested, with a wriggle of his eyebrows and a wink. “Why not go back inside? Dah-le, the day is wasting! I know we’re all very well able to take care of ourselves but being outside after dark is foolhardy in this day and age. I can circle around to the scrying cavern, but Drummer and Rotten have a bit of distance to cover before they get home,” he added in a more serious tone.
“The air should be clear enough,” Drummer told him. “But just barely. Be sure to tie a scarf around your mouth and nose.”
When the others went into the cave, Fallow motioned for me to remain outside with her. She looked troubled.
“Though I suspect there may have been others over time, I am the only person in this world who is from Thistledown,” Fallow Blackmoon began. “I have seen that many of the faeries I knew have doubles here, although I have none. Like me, you are a seer, Bedlam Thunder. You have no double in this world. I think only certain people from Thistledown are drawn here. I believe those people bear a great burden.”
The horrid visions I’d had were never far from my mind. If that wasn’t a burden, then I didn’t know what was. I described it to Fallow in detail.
“I had a powerful, awful vision. And I didn’t just see it, Fallow. I felt all the spewing emotions of hatred, self-importance, and fear! I felt vibrations that were caught inside my skull. Then I heard a loud whistle that came closer and louder. Though from far away, the singe of intense heat reached me,” I explained. “Then I saw the shadows. Impossible numbers of people were destroyed, wiped from existence! All that remained were their shadows — shadows that were blasted and burned into the rubble of walls. I’ve always felt that those devastating events had really taken place, somewhere…”
My voice trailed away as a suspicion came to me and quickly became a certainty. Fallow nodded gravely. However, she was silent for so long that I began to fidget. I unfurled my gossamer wings with the sudden urge to check my wound. It had finally been almost well. I groaned in dismay when I saw that the nearly healed tear looked somewhat worse.
“Rotten told me about your injured wing. She was so amazed to see anyone with wings! I didn’t heave the heart to tell her about mine,” Fallow told me in a wistful voice. “Your wing will not heal in this place. It will likely get worse and worse if we don’t find a way to get you back home.”
Her words worried me, not so much for myself, but for her. I felt something terrible must have happened to Fallow Blackmoon. My face must have shown my question. She took off her jacket and turned her back to me. Her wings were gray. She moved her shoulders in a very deliberate way, as though she had to force the muscles. When her wings extended, I saw that they were stunted and withered.
I tried in vain to take back the horrified gasp I made when I saw Fallow’s wings. She waved her hand and shrugged, but she looked sad.
“Yes, Bedlam. It happened in reality. Those events took place in this world. Although it happened years before I came here. Terrible as that was, it is only part of the reason there is so little magic in this world. Innate magic is rare, and Thistledown’s magic can barely survive,” she explained with a motion to her wings.
“Fallow, you must come back to Thistledown with me. Somehow, I’ll get back and you’ll come with me,” I told her. “Lavender Cozy is a marvelous healer. I’m sure she could help you.”
The bright pink streak in her hair shone in the gloom as Fallow shook her head. The things she had said and the way she reacted frightened me.
“No. The burden that brought me here is the burden that keeps me in this world,” she answered. “I knew what I was getting into. Though at the time, I hoped I could make a difference. I can’t heal the barely existent magic of this place, but I can make a difference.”
“Then, is that my burden as well?” I asked. “To stay here? To leave Thistledown forever?”
She gave a small smile and patted my hand.
“No, Bedlam. For one so young to carry that terrible vision… that is more than burden enough. You brought it here as a warning, a confirmation,” she told me with conviction. “Most of the people of this world have chosen to forget that those horrific events ever happened. Or at least they ignore the extent of the suffering and the way it decimated large areas of the world for decades afterward. They refuse to admit that they are headed toward the same kind of catastrophe, but one of even greater magnitude.”
“I don’t doubt your wisdom, but how could they possibly be so blind?” I asked, finding the situation unimaginable.
She only shrugged and looked sad. I supposed words couldn’t describe and logic could not make sense of such circumstances. Fallow held my gaze and spoke in a very determined voice.
“Bedlam, the rest of your burden is at least as great as mine. And dire. There is a connection between this world and ours. Just as many of the folk of Thistledown have doubles, things that happen here can eventually bleed over and into Thistledown.”
I thought of the pond next to Peaches Dragonfly’s orchard. The brown suckerfish and the odd little gray dog. I remembered the dark, shadowy thicket that had inexplicably developed where we found the dog. Those things had to be the result of what Fallow described as bleeding over from the colorless world and into Thistledown!
Fallow pulled on her jacket. She brightened when she put her hand inside a pocket.
“Hearing about your vision, I almost forgot one of the most marvelous things I’ve seen in a very long time,” she said, pulling out a long iridescent orange feather. “This floated down to me when I went back into the cave.”
Even in Thistledown I had only seen such bright orange feathers on one creature.
“Bob!” I exclaimed.
I rushed back into the cave, but there was no sign of the hummingbird.
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.
Fallow Blackmoon https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/
Drummer Soulfire https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/about/
Rotten Soulfire http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/
Poison Ivy Razorleaf https://hughsviewsandnews.com/
Lavender Cozy https://doctorly.wordpress.com/
Peaches Dragonfly https://apuginthekitchen.com
Things seem pretty dark… and I wonder if Bob the humming bird and Bedlam will find each other. Fly back to Thistledown again next time to see what happens.
Hugs on the wing!
For an entirely different variety of “fae” read Atonement, Tennessee. I’m currently editing book-2 and hope to publish soon.
Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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