Saturday, March 31, 2018
Welcome once again to the faery land of Thistledown. At the end of the previous episode an orange feather from Bob the humming bird drifted down to Fallow Blackmoon. Thanks to Jacquie Biggar for being the first reader to cause me to see what a symbol of hope that feather was.
Today hope is not quite gone. However, our friends might resort to drastic measures…
Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam
Episode 24 – The Other Seer
“The family always said the copper battleax was magical. I’ve never seen anything unusual or special about it. Except for how big it is. And how old,” Stranglevine Starquencher told us.
“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.”
Episode 27 – A Feather
Bob made it to the tiny opening in the cave wall. He came out on the other side of the hill from where Bedlam and the scary faeries were at the cave opening. He used his hummingbird magic to summon others of his kind. But they were all brown.
Episode 28 – Gray Wings
Last time Bedlam saw the bright orange feather that surely had belonged to Bob the Hummingbird, but she found no trace of the brave little guy. Also, Fallow Blackmoon had grave news for Bedlam Thunder and it was related to her horrible vision.
“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.”
Midsummer Bedlam 29
At first light the next day most of the drum circle gathered again at the entrance to the cave. Although, first light in the colorless world happened later in the morning than it did in Thistledown. The sun was in the same position, but it seemed to take it longer to build up enough illumination for the break of day.
As that sun shone weakly on the dull world around me, Fallow Blackmoon smiled at the sky as if she beheld a bright day. I supposed she had gotten used to the difference after so many years in that place.
The copper battleax glinted warmly in the wan sunlight. Stranglevine Starquencher moved it as Fallow Blackmoon requested, while she examined it in different lights.
“This ax is not of this world,” Fallow stated. “Like its twin in Thistledown, it was made there.”
Stranglevine seemed particularly surprised. Clearly he had never considered that his family heirloom had come from anywhere else. After a moment of conversation, Stranglevine hefted the great ax and carried it into the cave where they analyzed its reaction to the magical properties of the cave.
I followed rather reluctantly. I didn’t like the cave any better than the black abyss where I experienced the prolonged fall into that colorless world. While the copper ax didn’t seem to be influenced by the cave, I could feel the dark magic of the place like dirty oil against my skin.
“This cave is within the same mountain as the great scrying stone’s cavern where you visited me,” Poison Ivy Razorleaf told me.
I perceived that Razorleaf had more innate magic than anyone else native to that world. His ability was second only to that of Fallow Blackmoon, who I had learned was from Thistledown. Razorleaf and Fallow started talking in quiet voices. They looked up at the endless seeming heights inside the mountain. They appeared to come to an agreement of sorts.
“We think this ax may well be able to sever the connection between our world and yours, Bedlam,” Razorleaf told me, but included the group.
“But what effect would that have on all of you? On your home?” I asked in dismay. “And Fallow, you’d never be able to get home. What if you changed your mind and wanted to go home? Or even visit?”
“Don’t worry, Bedlam,” Fallow told me in a kind voice. “I will not permit this until we have figured out how to get you back to Thistledown.”
I was appalled at the prospect and not just for Fallow’s sake. It seemed wrong to me, in ways that I couldn’t describe.
“It’s not about me!” I cried, not knowing how to explain. “It’s not about you either. It’s…” I fumbled to a halt, not able to put my desperate feelings into words.
Razorleaf looked at me curiously. Fallow looked at him, and then at me. She took a step closer, her brows knitted in concentration.
“That’s coming from the seer in you, isn’t it?” she said speculatively. “I sense your gift at work, but I can’t tell what message you’re getting.”
“Maybe it needs some time to digest,” Razorleaf suggested. “We can’t do anything with the ax until we figure out how to elevate it into the area from where you retrieved Bedlam as she was falling. The upper part of the cave you called the abyss,” he told Fallow.
While we spoke the great copper battleax started to vibrate. Stranglevine Starquencher grunted an exclamation of surprise. Then the ax levitated. As it rose to waist height, he grabbed onto the handle. The ax continued to ascend though he tried to pull it back to the ground.
Drummer Soulfire and her cousin Rotten jumped up to help. Stranglevine tried to motion them away.
“Be careful of the blade. There’s nothing sharper!” he yelled.
Instead of touching the ax Drummer and Rotten grabbed onto Stranglevine.
“You’d better get that thing outside,” Razorleaf told them with the smirk that seemed to be part of his nature.
I failed to see any comedy in the situation. Apparently even humor was dark in the colorless world. Fallow snorted and agreed that they’d best get out of the cave.
However, I did see something surprising as they wrestled the big copper battleax back to the floor of the cave. Amid the intricate engravings that decorated the ax was the image of a hummingbird.
Bob the hummingbird gazed at the others of his kind in dismay. It wasn’t just their dull coloring that concerned him. It was the scant amount of magic he sensed — in the hummers and everything else where he should have detected magic.
He cried out to the other hummingbirds and the hornless unicorns who came to his call. He asked that they summon all of their kind. Bob realized that they wouldn’t be able to accomplish very much with their faint enchantment, but anything was better than nothing.
Then Bob turned to go back inside the cave of the abyss. He gathered his courage and steeled his resolve. Using dark magic could end in death or worse. However, he saw no alternative. Bob would have to try and combine his hummingbird magic with the powers of the cave.
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.
Stranglevine Starquencher https://nofacilities.com/
Fallow Blackmoon https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/
Poison Ivy Razorleaf https://hughsviewsandnews.com/
Rotten Soulfire http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/
Drummer Soulfire https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/about/
Tune in next weekend for Episode 30 — A Perversion of Phantoms. Until then…
Hugs on the wing!
Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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