Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 28 — Gray Wings

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

Episode 8 – Shadows of Body and Mind

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

Gray Wings

Fairy_CE Brock
Fairy by CE Brock, late 19th or early 20th century

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.”

Fairies, Edwin Austin Abbey, 1852-1911

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.

(See Episode 8 – Shadows of Body and Mind)

 “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.

Black Gray Swirls david-werbrouck-247332
David Werbrouck, Unsplash

“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.

Dancing Fairies, August Malmström

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!

(See Episode 5 – Pucker Up)

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.

 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.

Fallow Blackmoon

Drummer Soulfire

Rotten Soulfire

Poison Ivy Razorleaf

Lavender Cozy

Peaches Dragonfly

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.

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK



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.

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83 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 28 — Gray Wings

    1. Now I’m the one who is astounded. I feel plotting is my weakest area — hence all the spontaneously written pantser stories. Thank you so much, David. I blush. ^^’
      However, this story is a fancy cover for my darkest thoughts about the way things are today. I suppose that part of the plot comes from the past and Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When I was in grade school they showed us films of the aftermath of the atomic bombs. Bedlam’s vision is what I will never forget of those films. I felt we were dangerously close to that history repeating itself. So in that sense, the plot was already “written” for me.
      I really appreciate your visits. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. It seemed to be all doom and gloom for Bedlam until that orange feather came out of Fallow’s pocket. You had me feeling so very sorry for the folk of Thistledown, Teagan. Then, no sign of our hero, Bob, in the cave. My fingers are crossed that there be a sign of hope in next week’s episode.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow… the raw emotion and you really did an excellent job of painting the picture of the overall mood and feel of the colorless world…and then…a touch of color from Bob’s feather….perfect way to end this installment!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, my! My heart is in my throat for these little fairies and for Bob. Thank goodness for the bright orange feather, because there didn’t seem to be much hope. Can’t wait to see what happens next to these delicate and magical little ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This episode is gripping and given that I am one that believes we are blindly walking into – whatever!! – prophetic in many ways. I absolutely love the David Werbrouch’s image – Unsplash. So ethereal. Your creative juices have really been flowing this year….and long may it last. Thank you so much – I send you beaucoup hummingbird hugs 🙂 Janet xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Another Saturday treat is a visit to Thistledown.. however, Bedlam has been gone from the magic place for some time, down the abyss and into the colourless world where dreadful catastrophes had taken place over time, she takes comfort in the friendship of Fallow Blackmoon, but then is startled to see an object that reminds her of home and special friends. Head over and carry on with the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was a much more dire episode, Teagan, and I couldn’t help seeing glimpses of the world today – the dying of magic, climate change, shootings, and that the young are carrying the burden. Oh, and that bright feather of hope!! Beautiful, evocative, and emotional writing! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana, I admire your skill so much — so your comment means more to me than I can say. From the beginning, Thistledown was a whimsical disguise for my own dark thoughts of our present, a warning that I couldn’t find voice to give. Thanks for your words and for taking time to visit. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Fraggle. Thanks so much! Yes, the combination of past Hiroshima and present Washington has been in my mind since the beginning of this serial. A whimsical disguise for my dark thoughts.
      Wishing you a beautiful weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m going to start with a thank you, Teagan. When my dad used to wake me up (early) in the summer, he would turn on my bedroom light and say “the days’ a-wasting” When I read that in this episode, I was immediately reminded of him. It’s weird, because I normally don’t get to your post until later in the day. Today, I decided to read it early.

    This episode is one of your best! Bedlam’s description of the images she saw is positively scary. As this episode starts to tie earlier events together, and we start to see it make sense, your deft hand is very clearly at work. I am impressed with the way you use description and memory (both Bedlam’s and ours) to connect the dots of a story written on the wing, as it were. I was getting depressed, but you left us a bit of hope. Now, patiently waiting for Bob!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, thank you — thank you for this comment. I couldn’t possibly have lifted your spirit as much as you just brought up mine.
      I’ve circled back to the things that were on my mind when I began this story. The challenge I accepted to write a faery story was also a means for me to “exercise that demon” — What Bedlam describes is what I saw in grade school, a film they showed us of the aftermath of the atomic bomb used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So this story is also the first time my writing has ever been consciously symbolic.
      Fear not, Bob will be back. (I couldn’t bear for anything to happen to him. 😉 )
      Have a beautiful weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow, Teagan. I couldn’t help but take this episode as a metaphor for the current situation with the leadership (so-called) in Washington. The feather gives me hope.This was so well done I can’t even find the words to describe how well. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John, wow. I’m honored… and humbled for you to say that. Coming from someone of your skill that means more than I can say. I described my metaphor in the comment to Dan above, so I’ll just point to it. 🔺
      Wishing you huge success and great fun at the book fair in Galveston today! Safe journeys. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Olga. I really appreciate you taking time out to visit. Thanks for sharing too.
      Ah, thanks for the encouraging reminder about Bloom. I keep cautioning myself not to get too caught up in my new project for Jazz Age Wednesdays… You know I’m a research geek and that’s giving me so much temptation! 😀
      “Atonement in Bloom” is coming along. Round 2 is seeing more content editing than I expected. So I might have to do two more rounds rather than one before I’m done. Still hoping to finish pretty soon though.
      Wishing you sell your house fast and everything to fall easily into place. Hugs on the wing!


    1. Hi Christoph. I guess that underneath all the whimsy, this story was always serious, even a little dark. Hopefully I bring back the light and magic. ❤ Thanks for taking time to visit. It means a lot to me. Hugs on the wing and happy Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Jacquie! I think you’ve just caused that bright orange feather to be a symbol of hope for me. (I admit that is something that has been used up in my own life… so yes, an orange feather. LOL, I bet I can find one on Amazon. 😀 )
      Your encouraging feedback really means a lot to me. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

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