Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 32 — The End.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown… but first the real world.

Thistledown Girl

The Real World

If I were writing a novel, there are many things I would circle back to in this tale, loose ends to tie up, hints to conclude, Faery Namers to mention again.  I’ve often thought this was a story I should never have begun.  At an extremely challenging time in my life Thistledown does not take me to a world where I would escape.  Rather, it ties me to the darkness of the current time and place.  It seems like an odd thing to say about a tale of faeries, doesn’t it?

That said, it may not be done in the best “literary” way, or the best “technical” way, but I’m bringing this story to a close.  I’m truly grateful to everyone who has followed this story.  The joy I take in your comments has kept me writing about Bedlam and her friends.  I give you my heartfelt thanks.  And I shed more than a few tears as I write this final episode.

On to Thistledown

This episode is longer than some — I hope you don’t mind.  I don’t want to divide this closing chapter of Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.

I never thought little Bob the hummingbird would become so popular.  Much like Lilith the cat in the Atonement stories, he was a device to tell about things Bedlam could not witness.  Since you have embraced the little guy, Bob will finish the story for us.


Midsummer Bedlam 32


Three Phantom Elements

Ruby-topaz_hummingbird_flying in Tobago


The present situation couldn’t be allowed to continue.  Any hummingbird knew the past was no place to live.  Yet Bob couldn’t do what must be done with the resources of the present colorless world either.  He didn’t think it could be done even with all the magic of Thistledown. 

An idea started to take shape.  Not the past, nor the present – but from somewhere else!

Iridescent orange feathers soaked up the scant light in the cave of the abyss.  Bob’s plumage glittered in the dimness.  He steeled himself to the task he knew he must take, the risk he had to take.  Bob the hummingbird touched the dark magic of the cave.

His bright orange feathers became the color of midnight on a starry night.

Bob hummingbird midnight

He could feel the negativity of the enchantment course through his tiny body.  He hated to involve anyone else in the dire business, but there was no other way.  Bob loosed out a shrill, painful call.

A great wave of humming birds, like a huge cloud of brown flew toward the cave ― the hummingbirds of the colorless world.  The entire flock could provide only a small amount of magic, but Bob needed every bit he could get.  With a sigh of regret for using them, he welcomed the tiny dully colored birds.

For a time, they waited, hovering at the opening of the cave.  As a few more hummers arrived, Bob drew a bit of the magic he had gathered.  He cried out a second time, a deeper call from his gut.  Bob the hummingbird summoned the hornless unicorns of the colorless world.

Horse dull Mountain

He waited.  The steeds of the colorless world had no more magic than the hummingbirds, despite their size.  A single steed trotted up to the mountainside below the opening of the cave where Bob perched.  A collective chirp of sadness came from the flock of birds.

Then the ground began to vibrate.  Scores of hornless unicorns galloped into the clearing, whinnying and rearing their willingness to share the scant magic they held.

The spell Bob meant to work required three elements.  Now he had one ― the present.  The hummingbirds and hornless unicorns of the colorless world were gathered.

Together they circled around to the ground-level opening of the cave of the abyss.  Bob worried that he would not be able to contain the blending of the dark magic with his hummingbird magic for long enough to complete his spell.  It seemed to burn throughout his body.  Then he spotted Bedlam Thunder standing at the opening of the cave.

In a spiraling flight of delight Bob zipped down and circled the faery girl’s head.  At first Bedlam didn’t recognize him in his midnight colored feathers.  Bob chirped and tried to let her know it was him.  Then he remembered how he had told her his name when he first attached himself to her quest.

Fairy_CE Brock

He hovered just out of her reach, moving slightly up and down — bobbing as he did that first time.  His long tail feathers shot a static-like shock to her fingertips to remind her of the periwinkle muskox hair.  She gasped and drew back wearing a confused expression.  Abruptly, understanding spread across her face.

“Bob?  Can that be you?  You aren’t orange anymore!  But your midnight-blue feathers are just as beautiful,” Bedlam told him and stretched out her hands inviting him to alight.

However, he flew back to the sky, making a large circle around the hummingbirds of that world.

A loud clamor came from inside the cave.  Bedlam’s new friends grunted and yelled.  She ran inside the cave to help them.  Bob knew by the sounds what was happening.  The great copper battleaxe had awakened.  The mirror image of one in Thistledown it had power of its own.  However, where the copper ax in Thistledown would cleave something in order to create something new, the ax in the colorless world would sever and cauterize, creating a final separation.

The copper battleaxe had broken free of those who tried to stop its rise into the hollow heights of the cave.  Bob heard the beats from the drum circle as they used the cave to enhance the little magic they manifested with their drums.  He worried that the second element of his spell would not arrive in time.

Suddenly, a cloud of bats fled the cave.  Leather wings rustled as hundreds of bats flew out.  Dodging barren trees, they disappeared into the distance.

Bongo drummer clem-onojeghuo-122041

The sound of the drums continued.  Rhythmic beats grew stronger, louder.  The dark magic of the cave blended with the drumming, amplifying.  The handful of drums began to sound like dozens as they banged out a complex beat.

Gradually Bob felt a harmonic vibration from the drums.  It became a sound of multi-part harmony.  A brilliant, many colored flock of hummingbirds soared out of the cave.

Briefly, the drumming faltered, worrying Bob.  He knew it had to continue to stabilize the dark magic.  He heard Bedlam’s voice calling for the drummers to continue.  He relaxed minutely.  Bedlam knew what needed to be done.

Bob trilled his joy as all the hummingbirds of Thistledown zipped and twirled around him and their brethren from the colorless world.  The hornless unicorns reared up as the brightly colored birds touched them, combining their magic.

Many Hummers Janet Weight Reed
Art by Janet Weight Reed

Bob flew to the opening of the cave.  He hovered, waiting.

Finally, several tiny avians carried a page from a book out of the cave.  Bob trilled a congratulatory chirp to them.  They brought the page containing the spell, A Perversion of Phantoms.

The spell was ancient, but hummingbird magic was older still.  The faeries of Thistledown had forgotten that the ancient tome, the Etheraris Spiregris, in fact was filled with enchantments based on the magic of hummingbirds.

Bob rested upon the page as the group of birds carried it high into the dreary sky with the other birds.  The text written on the page became luminous.  Bob soaked the spell into himself.  His new midnight-blue feathers glowed despite their dark color.

The hornless unicorns galloped in a circle below the hummingbirds.  They ran faster and faster, their magic growing as they ran.

The page containing A Perversion of Phantoms burst into brightly colored sparks.  The shimmering sparks exploded upward amid all the hummingbirds, and downward as well, to the running steeds.  As the sparks touched the steeds, their fur became shining white.

White Horses_in_camargue

Bob now had the second of the three elements he required.  The past.

The hornless unicorns whinnied as they felt their added strength.

The two groups of hummingbirds flew as one.  They circled rapidly in the air above the running steeds.  The circle spun faster until it looked like a cyclone of color.  It drew all the sparks that had once been the page from the Etheraris Spiregris into the vortex.

Shouting came from within the cave.  The great copper battleax had broken free.  The drumming stopped.  Bedlam yelled for them to keep drumming.

If the ax levitated high enough it would gather dark magic as it ascended.  It would forever sever the link between the colorless world and Thistledown.

Bob’s strength began to lag.  He knew he had to channel the darkest of the magic he had absorbed from the cave.  Somehow, he had to blend it with his own, even if it burned him alive.

Fairies, Edwin Austin Abbey, 1852-1911

Bob focused on the spell.  It was engraved on the race memory of every hummingbird in Thistledown.  It was a core component of their distant past.  Now the Thistledown hummers had brought it into the present.  The enchantment could easily be perverted in this colorless world, just as its name implied.

As the vortex expanded, exoplasmic figures began to move on the ground below.  They screamed in pain as they remembered their ending.  Substance had been given to the shadows that had long before been burned into the rubble in Bedlam’s terrible vision.  Bob knew that the vision had been a reality in the past of the colorless world.  He didn’t flinch as the phantoms rose up to surround the cyclonic mass of hummingbirds.

Bob chirped out the words of the spell.  The other hummingbirds added their voices.  The galloping steeds learned the spell and supplemented the calls of the birds with their neighs and whinnies.

The milky sun of the colorless world bloomed in brilliance.  Light seemed to bleed across the hazy sky.  Against the expanding sun was an enormous flock of hummingbirds of shimmering white.

Sunrise by Kirt Tisdale

Now Bob had third element of the spell ― the future.

The pristine birds flew amid the phantoms.  As the hummingbirds touched the phantoms, the ectoplasm transformed to light.  Healed, the lights soared into the cave of the abyss.

Bedlam Thunder and the others of the drum circle quickly left the cave.

“Are you sure you want to stay here?” Bedlam asked Fallow Blackmoon.

“This is where I belong, Bedlam.  I have a purpose here that I never had in Thistledown.  I hope you can understand,” Fallow told her with a gentle smile.

A copper glow briefly emanated from the mouth of the cave.  Bob heard the sound of the great battleax as it clattered to the ground.

The mountain trembled.  Part of the cave collapsed.  Dust poured from the opening.

“The abyss has closed,” Bedlam stated.  “But I can still feel the link to Thistledown.”

“But now you can’t get home!” Rotten Soulfire said as a horrified expression came to her face.

Bob dove down from the impossibly fast flight of the hummingbirds.  He rested on Bedlam’s back where her injured wing was tucked away.  Then he moved up to her shoulder and pulled at the sleeve of her yellow dress.

Bedlam unfurled her wings.  She smiled when she saw her wound was healed.

“Can you simply fly home?” Rotten asked in a doubtful voice.

DCF 1.0

More hummingbirds descended from the vortex, brown, white, and brightly colored.  They chirped excitedly.

“No, I can’t fly there on my own,” Bedlam began.  “But I will have help.  I believe I could take you with me, Rotten.  I think you would love your double there, my friend River Mindshadow.”

Bob could tell that indecision wared within the girl.  After a moment she shook her head.

“I’m not as brave as you, Bedlam.  But maybe another time,” Rotten told her.

Bedlam Thunder Bob the hummingbird fluttered skyward together.   The other hummingbirds from Thistledown gathered around them.  Hummingbird magic surged.  It spread across the sky like a multicolored sunset as they disappeared, headed home.

The vortex supported by the shimmering white hummingbirds, and the dull colored ones of that world surged and then flew apart.  The white hummers blinked out of sight.  The others chirped happily and flew down to the hornless unicorns as they slowed to a stop.

The sky transformed to turquoise blue.  The sun shone in brilliance in the colorless world.

I Will Give You Hope
“I Will Give You Hope” photo by Kirt Tisdale

The members of the drum circle murmured in amazement.  Fallow Blackmoon squinted, but she smiled as she gazed at beautiful blue sky and a bright sun unlike any the colorless world had known in its long memory.

The End


Faery Artists and Namers

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who allowed faeries to be named in their honor — and particularly to those who gave me permission to use their art and photos.  Here’s a shout-out and a huge “thank you!” to everyone, from me and Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.  In no particular order: 

Annette Rochelle Aben Crescent Glimmer 
Colleen Chesebro Ember Beamwitch 
Barbara Murray Tinder Willowtree
Marjorie Mallon Belle Stargazer
Mary J. Mccoy-Dressel Calico Rainbowforest 
Pamela Wight Dewberry Moonglow 
Sally Cronin Poppy Songbird
Adele Marie Park Luminous Twinkle 
Viv Drewa Meadow Glimmer 
Christopher Graham Field Yewwasp 
Kirt Tisdale Skypainter Morning 
Eloise De Sousa Blossom Stargazer 
Tim Price Catseye Glimmer  Royal Chimera
Robbie Cheadle Glitter Shimmerling 
Olga Núñez Miret River Mindshadow  Rotten Soulfire
Suzanne DeBrango Peaches Dragonfire 
Victo Dolore Lavender Cozy 
Jan Malique Cherry Starlight 
Andrea Stephenson Fallow Blackmoon
Barbara aka ghostmmnc Glimmer Stargazer 
Willow Croft aka the Chaos Fairy Whimsy Thistle 
Lavinia Ross Moon Shadow 
John W. Howell Pick Dragonfly 
Kathryn Pepper Stargazer 
Christine Robinson Willow Rainbow 
Wanda Williams Ivy Thistle 
Vashti Quiroz-Vega Desert Firesong 
Dan Antion Carver Eastdoor  Stranglevine Starquencher
Linda, Charmed Chaos Pippa Glimmer 
Hugh W. Roberts Ivy Twinkle 
Hollyberye Holly Songbird 
Sarah Vernon Tipsy Cotton 
Cecily Willow Stargazer 
Teri Polen Royal Razorleaf
Christy Birmingham Rhymer Rainbow 
Janet Weight Reed Valley Hummer 
Diana Wallace Peach Flora Twinkle
Brad Chimera Soulfire 
Sue Dreamwalker Drummer Soulfire C52

Thanks again for being a part of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.

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.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise. 


123 thoughts on “Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 32 — The End.

  1. And so it comes to an end – with Bob, our dear Bob. I loved how you incorporated so many colors into the ending and also that you allowed me to be a part of the cast of delightful characters, Teagan. I’m hoping your week is going well ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s 4am and I am finally getting around to reading the ending of Thistledown. Although it’s sad that the story ended it was a magickal ending.. I do love your writing and I am sorry I have not been here in as often as I want to.☺️the ending made my heart soar, so uplifting, beautifully done!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Suzanne. It’s good to see you, although I’m sorry you weren’t asleep at that hour. I haven’t been sleeping either. The past 2 days I went ahead and got up at 3AM…

      It means a lot to me that you enjoyed this concluding episode. Thanks for having been a part of Thistledown.
      PS: If you are interested, here’s a link to the first chapter of my current series. It’s a 1920s Diesel-punk fantasy, and it’s a “three things” spontaneously written story.
      I hope the day is good to you. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t believe I missed this post! It was a shock when I read your newest that said it was over. I have loved catching up and coming along and will miss Thistledown, the faeries and of course Bob. Well done you for creating such a magical world when your own was not the best, but great art sometimes comes from great despair. Will still be looking forward to Lulu’s continuing saga.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, what can I say but thank you for the pleasure your story has brought? I’m sad that it’s ending and sad to to hear that your mood is “off.”

    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a brilliant way to bring this tale to a wonderful closure! Glad I could help in my small way with the sky shots! I say it repeatedly and I will say it again…brilliant…love your tales and the way you create stories and characters. Brilliant!! My only hope is that the light shines itself into your current situation!! My best to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much Kirt. You have been a wonderful support. I’m so glad you were a part of Thistledown.
      You might enjoy the Wednesday series I’ve been doing. I’ve gotten “off the rails” imagination for this one (though the first couple of episodes were more normal) It’s a 1920s Diesel-punk fantasy, illustrated by Rob Goldstein. In case you are interested here’s a link to the first episode:
      Thank you again and again. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on completing your Thistledown adventure, Teagan. Finishing a story of heart and soul is always a bit of happy and sad for this author, as I imagine you are experiencing too. Enjoyed seeing all the bloggers who shared their contributions, and I bid you my warmest wishes for a new bright adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a magical ending and magical journey you’ve taken us on over the last 32 weeks. Teagan. Big praises to you for writing such a wonderful story. I, for one, am very glad that you wrote it. I have enjoyed every moment of it and it will certainly stay with me for a long time. I don’t read as much as others do, but your writing always manages to keep me reading and engaged. I never tire of it.
    Have a great week.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Hugh, that is music to my ears. That makes it worthwhile. I believe Razorleaf was my favorite of all the many characters. I’m not quite sure what may have inspired the enigmatic guy, but I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks so much for being a part of Thistledown. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A wonderful ending to this amazing tale, Teagan. I hope that things are a bit better for you at work now. I have also gone through nearly 12 months of a really hard time at work – incessant change, anxiety and overwork. Everything ends eventually though and other opportunities present themselves. See you on Wednesday. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so nice to see you Robbie. I appreciate you taking time to visit. If anyone has a full plate, it’s you. You have a lovely attitude (can’t say that of myself nowadays). You deserve better at work. I’m trying to carry on. (In my case, as they say, the more things change the more they stay the same. Six years of watching for and trying to make those opportunities, changing my strategies, enhancing and broadening my skill set…)
      Huge thanks for being a part of Thistledown. You were one of the people who helped me complete this tale. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, it’s over, but what a lovely ending, Teagan. Bob came through and I love the richness of the story as well as a happy hopeful ending. This was a wonderful story – you’re first serial that I read from beginning to end. I’m sure it’s a big sigh of relief too. Happy Writing, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Diana — that means a lot to me. Yes, there is a sigh of relief, since (oddly) this whimsical tale came from my saddest thoughts. Now on to things that put me in a happier place. Rob Goldstein and I are having a grand time with “Hullaba Lulu” for my Jazz Age Wednesdays post. And May is Get Caught Reading Month — so Chris Graham and I are getting back together for a mini series which will be my new Saturday post.
      I’m grateful that you’ve been a part of Thistledown, my friend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL… you should see the dust bunnies that have overrun my home. I guess that’s how. Yes, I’m in stage 2 (of 3) of my editing process for the second Atonement book. I hoped I would publish it about now, but not yet. Since I worked on the book (start & stop) for about 4 years, the editing is more work. I’m trying to give it at least 30 minutes to an hour each evening after work — that’s not enough…
          Have a beautiful new week. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderful ending to a fanciful tale Teagan! I’m amazed at how many diverse elements, and such a big supporting cast that you have woven together. I guess it’s time for Bob and the faires of Thistledown to fly free! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Finally after 32 weeks we have reached the final part of Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam created for us by Teagan Geneviene. No spoilers of course but by now you will have realised that Bob the Hummingbird is a very magical creature and in one final heroic effort he is going to utilise all his power… but is it too late to save the colourless world and those that live within in it.. including Bedlam.. I would head over and find out.. another exceptional piece of writing from Teagan. #recommended

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A Wonderful ending, Teagan… I could almost hear at the closing of the cave, the colorless world, the mass of hummingbirds filling the sky, Bob and Bedlam, the whole of the magic tale, all building with music of violins and brass instruments to a crescendo of Triumph! You, Milady, are a magic weaver of tales from Faeryland! ♥♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on Today, You Will Write and commented:
    Well you know what they say about all good things…don’t believe them… okay well only just a little. Catch the last episode of Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 32 — The End. Tell Teagan, how much you’ve enjoyed it in the comments sections…Thanks Teagan! And the readers and contributors as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hugs on the wing, indeed!! I loved the ending, Teagan. How you combined past, present, and future to bring the story to an end was brilliant. Well, I loved the entire series. Bob really was a hero. Many thanks for weeks of pleasure reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank *you* Jennie. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. Not long ago, I was thinking of the various sad political situations afflicting this country and all the issues the people of various factions have — I found myself thinking that the present was intolerable, yet going back (to the past) wasn’t right either. Suddenly I thought “something else.” Then I knew I had to let go of doing this story properly (in a literary sense) for my own sake… and I had to make that part of the ending. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. An amazing finish to an amazing story, Teagan. It struck me as I read how many of your fellow bloggers you have honored as part of this tale. I feel fortunate to be among them in your fabulous fantasy. Thank you so much. HUGS

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A wonderfully perfect ending to the story, full of hope and colour, Teagan. I’m working on Atonement, as you know, and enjoying it anew. Have a beautiful weekend and thanks again! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Olga, I’m so very happy that you are enjoying the translation of Atonement! Indeed “We rise by lifting others,” as Ingersoll said. I appreciate all your constant support here, and all the sharing. It made you a huge part of this story in my mind. Thanks for being part of Thistledown. Hugs on the wing! ❤


  17. Dearest Teagan, It was no coincidence that this morning was the morning I chose to log into WP and my reader in an attempt of catching up.
    And what do I find my favourite of favourite stories awaiting me..
    I devoured your descriptive story line by line. As your excellent vision within your mind comes to life as I hear those thundering hooves and see the change of colours as wings beat and spells are whispered..
    Such a fabulous tail.. from beginning to end.. And one I have been so happy to read, even though I know not as regular as I should have liked..
    I have told you often, your skills in story telling is remarkable.. Loved it and others you are in the process of creating..
    Wishing you a very Peaceful Weekend Teagan.. LOVE and HUGS, as I send a few Drum beats your way xx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Sue, thank you from my heart — especially for the drum-beats! ❤
      Ha… I was hoping for peace at the ending of this story, but they're renovating on the other side of my thin wall. So I have the constant noise of power tools and hammering… But at least I'm not in Mordor for a couple of days.
      I appreciate your encouragement more than you can know. Thanks for being part of Thistledown. Drum-beats on the vibe, and hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. This has been brilliant, Teagan, literally and figuratively. This has been so well done, so neatly knitted. Sad and uplifting, scary and hopeful, fantasy and real. I knew Bob could do it. I knew you could do it, but I am amazed and impressed. I will read this again later, but this has to be the first thing I read today.

    Congratulations and many soft hugs on a newly healed wing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I only have a small understanding of the relationship between an author and her characters, but I sense a deep connection in your stories. In addition to being able to connect all the dots, I think that’s what makes your stories so enjoyable.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A small understanding is probably larger than what I have. Even the ones from my 20 ago stories, and “manuscripts lost” all of them are still here, tromping around in my head. Happy weekend, Dan. And happy Caturday to MiMi & MuMu.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. Field Yewwasp was one of the most enjoyable characters for me to write, Chris. I really do appreciate all your support.
          I know I told you I wanted to start our #GetCaughtReading series this coming Saturday, but I’ve decided to do a promotional post for it instead. Build a little excitement, hopefully. And let folks know what I have in mind now that Thistledown is done. More hugs!

          Liked by 1 person

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