Thistledown — Come Undone

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam will return next weekend with  Chapter 25 Reopening the Portal.  

To say I’ve been stressed out is such a gross understatement that it’s laughable.  So this weekend I’m going to try and unplug as much as I can, because I think I’ve come undone.

https://yadadarcyyada.com/2017/09/28/we-were-on-a-break/

I mean, come on.  There’s only so much of the stress and disrespect from Mordor that anybody can take.  Would somebody please just throw the stinkin’ Ring into Mount Doom!

Image result for meme throw the ring into mount doom

I’m crossing my fingers that I will be able to work on editing Atonement in Bloom.  I hope, but it doesn’t look too promising, because I’ve…

… come undone
I wanted truth but all I got was lies
Came the time to realize
and it was too late

She’s come undone
She didn’t know what she was headed for
And when I found what she was headed for
Mama, it was too late
It’s too late
She’s gone too far
She’s lost the sun
She’s come undone…
Too many mountains, and not enough stairs to climb
Too many churches and not enough truth
Too many people and not enough eyes to see
Too many lives to lead and not enough time…

Thistledown will be back next weekend. I hope you will too.

Hugs on the wing!

Jazz Age Wednesdays 22 ― Pip Meets Tiny (Part 1)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day

Dennisons 1920s Valentine girl

Happy Valentine’s Day from Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books!  Awhile back I was lucky enough to do a collaboration with Fiction Favorites* author John W. Howell*.  He did one of his outrageous lists of “Ten Things Not to Do” and that took me to my short story, In the Pip of Time*

John Howell Books

I’m happy to say that John agreed to work with me again.  Reading the list that John created especially for this collaboration gave me such fun, vivid images that my story will be more than one post.  However, his list will be sort of a spoiler.  So I’m saving it as a treat for next week. 

Anyhow, in John’s lists of things not to do, a recurring character is Tiny, the WWF champ.  I thought it might be fun if Pip met a 1920s version of Tiny.

With this episode I will feature recipe links to some pos-i-lutely darb food bloggers!  Be sure to check them out too.

Let’s get a wiggle on and head back to the Roaring Twenties and see how Pip came to meet Tiny. 

Pip Meets Tiny — Part 1

1924 Feb_Theatre woman arrow heart Valentine

Theatre, February 1924

Granny Phanny gave me one of her old hats and some red velvet ribbon.  She encouraged me to get the hat “dolled up” for Valentine’s Day.  It was made of pearl gray wool felt with a medium height crown and a three-inch brim.  I used the velvet red ribbon to make a band and a large but neat bow for the front.  It was a big change from the nearly brimless styles I preferred.  However, I thought it would be fun to have something different.

I was ready to show off my hat, so I didn’t mind when Granny asked me to take care of her grocery shopping while she went to look in on Miss Olive, who had a cold.

“Pip, the wind’ll take that hat.  You should have used more than one hatpin.”

“I lost the other one, Granny,” I defended myself.  

“Lost it!  Paisley Idelle Peabody, those things don’t grow on trees, you know,” Granny chided.

“Anyway, it’s not windy today,” I said with a smile, trying to keep her in a good mood.

Granny grunted a contradictory reply as she stopped the Model-T in front of Gilley’s Grocery.

Another Foodie Blogger (click here)

I stumbled into a debate when I went inside.  The discussion was getting rather heated.  My spiffy hat would be last thing those guys would notice.  Godfrey Gilley, the store owner, was getting red-faced as he defended his favorite sport, professional wrestling.  Detective Dabney Daniels wouldn’t budge in his stance that it had become nothing more than modern theatrics.  I rolled my eyes when Hank Hertz, Savannah’s youngest copper, tried to defend both positions.  

Hank noticed my expression and tried to be nice.  He tried, but it just seemed like a criticism at the time.  

“Pip, you usually have two hatpins.  Are you sure one is enough?  My moma always uses two or three,” he told me.

Of all the nerve!  I guessed I should be glad somebody at least noticed my hat.  Sort of.   I gave Hank a glare and he looked like he was trying to figure out how to take back his poorly chosen words. 

1920s Girl Hat 2

Young Lucille Ball

“Pip, you’d best mind your Ps and Qs, and avoid strangers,” the copper told me.  “A bunch of professional wrestling carnies are in town.”

“Professional wrestling is a legitimate sport!” Godfrey Gilley inserted hotly.

The detective cleared his throat, pointedly ignoring the store owner.  Daniels and his chiseled features looked down at me, plainly dismissing my attempt to enter the conversation.  

I was getting pretty miffed.  Were they blind to the fact that times were changing?  I was a modern woman, a flapper!  As I stewed, they ran right over me and kept talking.

“As I was saying, they were supposed to pass through after one performance,” he continued, ignoring Godfrey’s sputter about the word performance.  “But they’re staying longer.  There will be folks around who are less than savory.  So steer clear of strangers.  Savannah, Georgia is not the sleepy Florida town you’re used to.”

Ringling Bros Bears circus

“I hear they’re even going to have a parade!” Hank Hertz inserted excitedly.  “They have a whole troop of wrestlers ― even a wrestling bear they brought all the way from Russia!

Detective Daniels frowned at his young cohort.  Then he managed to include me in the grimace too.

With a glare at the detective, the grocer turned to me and spotted the list from Granny Phanny.  Godfrey Gilley took the list from my hand.  He read over the list.  Then he appeared to have a moment of inspiration as he narrowed his eyes and gave a calculating glance at Daniels.

“I take it, Miss Phanny is making cookies?” he said and cleared his throat.  “I’ll throw in this new red vegetable dye that just came in.  Tell your grandmother it’s a little Valentine gift from me.”

The debate over professional wrestling seemed to have brought out a competition between the two men.  Dabney Daniels made a quick scan of the table displaying sale items and picked up a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Picture

Sunny Cove Chef (click here)

“I’ll take this cookie cutter, but put it with Miss Phanny’s purchase,” Daniels told the grocer.  “Pip, tell your grandmother it’s from me.”

“What a couple of palookas…” I muttered as I left the store.

Granny Phanny had been right about the calm wind not lasting.  As the door closed behind me, a breeze caused my skirt to flit above my knees.  Granny would have been scandalized, but what did it matter if a kneecap showed?  I headed up the street, in the direction of Miss Olive’s.  I expected to run into Granny in her Modle-T before I walked very far.

With one hand on my grocery basket and the other holding my skirt, I was unprepared for the gust of wind that caught my hat.

I knew that wider brim was a bad idea!  Why didn’t I wear my favorite pink cloche hat?

The single hatpin was not sufficient to the task.  The wind tore the hat from my head and it sailed away.  To my astonishment, my hat flew directly into the largest man I had ever seen.  I don’t know what surprised me more ― the unlikelihood of the hat blowing right to him, or his extraordinary girth.  Why, he was a broad as a door and as tall as a ceiling… or at least it seemed that way in the moment.

The stranger smiled and politely handed back my hat.  However, the cat had his tongue.  He fumbled and muttered some words I couldn’t make out before blushing and tipping his hat.  I tried to thank him, but some other men walked toward him, urging him to hurry.

IMG_0516

A Pug in the Kitchen (click here)

Detective Daniels’ caution came back to me.  I was alone and there were several unknown men walking toward me.  So, I smiled and thanked him, as I continued to walk.  Just then the yellow Model-T drove up, with Granny Phanny at the wheel.

She gave a friendly wave to the large stranger.  That was Granny’s way, and she would expect the same of anyone else.  He awkwardly tipped his hat again, that time toward her.  Then his friends hurried him along.

***

That evening I was helping my grandmother make supper.  A thud sounded from the front porch.  Granny was checking the oven and asked me to go and see if anything was amiss. 

When I opened the front door I found cuddly stuffed bear.  A red cutout heard was pinned to the ribbon bow around his neck.  Written on the heart was the old poem, “Roses are red, violets are blue.  Sugar is sweet and so are you.”

“Not very original,” Granny Phanny snorted.  “But a lovely, wholesome sentiment just the same.”  

When I looked closer, I saw the heart was attached under the bow by two rhinestone hatpins.  Then I realized that no one had signed it.  

“It must be for you, Granny.  Detective Daniels and Mr. Gilley both sent you something with ingredients I picked up for your cookies.”  

My grandmother gave me a long suffering look.  She muttered a denial.  Then she hustled me back to the kitchen.  Granny Phanny was determined to make me learn to cook.

End Part 1

***

Thanks to our sensational chef bloggers for sharing their tasty Valentine treats!

You will surely want to share these sweet desserts with your sugar.  Check out these treats and more recipes from Kathryn “Another Foodie Blogger,” Gerlinde “The Sunny Cove Chef,” and Suzanne at “A Pug in the Kitchen.”

Ya’ll are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas for visiting.  

 

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

 

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.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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.

 

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.

Thistledown

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.)

Stunt_Pyrotechnics_Luc_Viatour

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.”

Abbey,_Edwin_Austin_Fairies

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 https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/about/

Fallow Blackmoon  https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/

Royal Chimera  http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog

Stranglevine Starquencher  https://nofacilities.com/

Drummer Soulfire  https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/about/

River Mindshadow  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Poison Ivy Razorleaf  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

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. 

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 21 ― February Pondering

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hi there, Sheiks and Shebas.  It’s darb to see you back at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  It feels like it’s been a long cold winter to me… and it’s only February.  

Teagan’s Pondering

 

The research geek in me wanted to know how different I might have felt if I lived in the Roaring Twenties.  How did they keep their frozen spirits up and generally cope with winter?  Putting it into perspective, some preferences weren’t profoundly different from the present.  I thought I’d provide you my pondering.

Snuggling with a pet is still a great idea.  I can’t make out all the text on the cover, but much as we might, the folks in the 20s thought about spiffing up their “nests” with new decor.  A new lampshade or an art map (maybe a map of warmer climes).

1926_Feb Modern Pricilla Girl Cat

Modern Priscilla, February 1926

Even if you are a romantic only in secret, you might secretly hope for a Valentine’s package in February.

1918_Feb Modern Priscilla girl package snow

Modern Priscilla, February 1918

Unfortunately, for some of us, snow is an inescapable part of February.  Some like it, others don’t.  However, those who like to play in the white stuff have gear for the snow.  Materials, styles, and means of navigating it have changed, but we still play in the powder — whether with waterproof coats and snowmobiles, or warm wool mittens and snowshoes.  Also when we go inside to get warm, we might read a serial story.  Theirs were in magazines, while ours might be in a blog. (Hint, hint… have you been to Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam lately?)

1922_Feb Good Housekeeping Child showshoes

Good Housekeeping, February 1922

One way we deal with the chill February weather is escaping to the movies.  In the Roaring Twenties, they might go see the latest film. If the weather was bad they couldn’t binge on Netflix — but there were several periodicals all about Hollywood, cinema, and the stars.  The latest gossip was eagerly devoured.

1922_Feb Photoplay girl scarf coins flower

Photoplay, February 1922

Or if Tenseltown just isn’t your thing, you might have chosen a magazine that kept you abreast of the latest technology.  Then and now you could have read about “new ideas.”  In the 1920s those topics were aviation, your home workshop, engineering, or automobiles.  (Have you ever noticed that I don’t use the word “car” in my stories?  Back then the term was automobile.  A car was something else.)

1929_Feb Popular Science Man construction building

Popular Science, February 1929

Like they say… the more things change, the more they stay the same.  I hope you enjoyed this bit of pondering.  Thanks for visiting the Jazz Age with me, if only in imagination.  You really are the cat’s pajamas!

***

 

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

 

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.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 23 — Spores

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown. 

Falling, falling until you finally feel the fathomless descent is normal — at least normal for you.  It’s dark.  A glimmer of light had make you think the dark would be banished.  Yet the blackness remains.  Darker than dark, you neither see nor hear another soul.  Alone.  The fall will surely kill you, but at least you know what kind of death awaits.  Landing… Landing lends new lethal longings and worries. 

The portal, the dark gaping maw, the black abyss — it’s back.  We resume the story from the point of view of Bedlam Thunder as she falls through the seemingly bottomless dark abyss. 

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

The black gaping maw of the portal closed with a pop.  Field Yewwwasp rescued Rhymer Rainbow and then River Mindshadow.  However, Bedlam Thunder was still in that darker than dark place when the portal snapped shut.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 23

Spores

Glowing mushrooms dark tree_jay-ma-304046.jpg

Jay Ma, Unsplash

No sun.

No stars.

No sound.

I felt myself falling and falling.  And falling.  I couldn’t see anything, including the bottom of the abyss.

If there is a bottom, I thought in consternation. 

Neither could I hear anything.  Was sound as absent as light?  Or was it that there simply wasn’t anything else to make a noise.  Was I that forsaken?  A sob escaped my lips.

So, sound still exists.  Then I must be truly, completely alone.

Suddenly, it felt like the bottom fell out of my stomach.  The rate of my descent quickened.  The realization that I might actually splat onto the ground was even more alarming than the idea of falling endlessly.

In the black emptiness a nagging beat entered my mind.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.

Was it just inside my head?  Perhaps my heartbeat took on an erratic pattern as I fought to stave off panic.  I strained my ears, trying to determine whether there was in fact a noise, something with me in the light-less abyss.

Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.  Bum-dum!  Bum-dum dah-dah!

Yes!  It was a beating drum.  Although I couldn’t tell from whence the drumming came.  The noise became a little louder.  Tap tap, like a knock at a door.  Then more insistently, Bum-dum!  Bum-dum dah-dah!

Bongo drummer clem-onojeghuo-122041

Clem Onojeghuo, Unsplash

Finally, I heard a whisper, a voice that seemed far away.  At first, I couldn’t make out the words.  The drumbeat came back with that odd pattern.  Then I could hear the words.

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

The barely perceptible voice became louder as it spoke my name.  It began to sound familiar but I couldn’t place it.  It seemed like something I should remember from long ago.  Abruptly I realized I had also heard the voice fairly recently.

“We have something to break your fall,” she said.  “Try to land on your stomach.  I expect your wing is not fully healed, right?  Oh!  And it is very important that you do not breathe when you land!  It could be dangerous if you breathe before the dust settles.”

Those words were not comforting.

It felt as if something abruptly let go of me.  I fell faster than ever.  Frantically I tried to twist and turn so that my belly was facing downward.  I resisted the natural impulse to unfurl my wings.  I was falling so rapidly that it would surely reopen the tear in my gossamer wing.

After falling for so long, it seemed sudden when I landed.  With a soft thud the wind was knocked out of me.  My body automatically gasped, sucking oxygen back into my lungs, despite the warning not to breathe.

Bits of something floating in the air made a cloud around me.

I lifted my head to look at the soft but lumpy bed on which I landed.  Although, it wasn’t actually a bed.

“Mushrooms?  Giant mushrooms?” I murmured aloud in amazement.  “Spores…” I added looking at the cloud of floating bits that exploded from the mushrooms when I landed on them.

Mushrooms many jakob-creutz-427450

Jakob Creutz, Unsplash

A fit of coughing overtook me.  Every time I recovered myself and gulped air I inhaled spores with it.  Which made me cough again.

Finally, the cloud of mushroom bits settled and I could breathe normally.  I scanned my dark surroundings.

Any illumination at all seem bright after being in such darkness.  The presence of a dim light felt so bright that I squinted. 

“Is that daylight?”

I was so surprised to finally see it that I spoke aloud.  I couldn’t exactly call it sunlight, but it did seem to be light.  Perhaps it was a very cloudy, rainy day.  It seemed to be the entrance to a cave… or rather the exit.

Disoriented from the impossibly long fall, I staggered as I got up from the pile of giant mushrooms.  A smaller cloud of spores swirled around my feet.  I felt quite bewildered.  As I struggled forward toward the opening, I became woozy.

The sound of a roar, like a great lion, caused me to stumble to a stop.  A gout of flame flared, blinding me for a moment.  Then I saw it at the cave’s opening ― an enormous chimera.

The beast’s lion head roared again.  Golden eyes stared me in a way that I imagined meant it was hungry.  Scales rustled against the ground as its serpent tail swished.

The chimera moved forward toward the cave’s opening.  I stifled a scream.

Eye white close paul-morris-184484.jpg

Paul Morris, Unsplash

A copper battleaxe the size of a millstone slammed down, blocking the cave exit.  The chimera roared frustration, and tongues of flame licked around the edges of the enormous battleaxe.

The copper ax was engraved with designs and inscriptions.  They seemed to crawl on the surface as I looked at it.  An eye opened in the metal and leered at me.  Then the eye melted, running down the face of the ax like a molten jewel.  The chimera growled and the battleaxe gave a wicked laugh.  They both taunted me.

The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Bedlam truly was alone in the dark… there were no Faery Namers for this episode.  Actually there were a few but the chapter didn’t name the namers.  Can you guess who they are?  There are clues for those who have been paying attention.  Feel free to leave your guess in a comment.

Now what will happen to our hapless faery?  Bedlam finally had a soft landing, but now she’s confronted by a mythic chimera and an evil battleaxe.  Fly back next week to see “what the faery is going on.  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. 

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 20 ― Pip and Holding On Part 2

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1923 Harold Lloyd Safety Last clock

Harold Lloyd in Safety Last, 1923

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Last time I posted part-1 of a story I wrote because Hugh Roberts, of Hugh’s Views & News, asked me to participate in his new feature series.  (Click here for Hugh’s post.)

Writing Process

Lately the real world has provided an over abundance of the “s” word.  Take that anyway you want, but I meant stress.  Stress drain.  It leaves me depleted of… well everything.  When that happens it’s extremely difficult for me to write, as this story proves. I spent two weeks of my writing time developing a simple short story.  I finished it last week, but I didn’t manage to make it short enough for one post, but today we have the conclusion. 

Pip and Holding On

Conclusion

City Hall Savannah 1920s

Savannah, Georgia City Hall 1920

After parking the Model-T, I walked with Miss Olive inside the echoing halls of the grand building, making sure she got to the right office.  It seemed like we waited at least an hour for someone to come to the desk.  However, the clock insisted that only ten minutes had passed.  I had never seen a secondhand creep along so slowly.  Someone finally came to help Miss Olive. 

Yes, I admit it.  I was bored that easily.  There were no distractions in that room.  Nothing to occupy the mind, no magazines, zipola.  Maybe it was all my fidgeting, but the elderly woman took pity on me.  Miss Olive told me it would be fine if I went to look around outside while she attended to her business.

I exited city hall and strolled a short distance down the sidewalk.  A commotion caused me to turn back.  A high-pitched call split the air.  A man screamed.  I heard Hank Hertz yelling.

When I looked up I saw the reason for the uproar.  The hawk we saw earlier had snatched Charlie’s little Chihuahua!  The raptor had caught the ruffles of the tiny dog’s dress.  Chichi dangled by her frilly dress, as the hawk flew high above the street. 

Two statues representing art and commerce adorned the fourth-floor balcony of city hall.  The hawk alighted there, Chichi in tow.  Charlie kept up his shrill scream so long I wondered where he got all the air.

Ramon Novarro chihuahua Chiquita1920s

Ramon Novarro with his chihuahua Chiquita, 1920s

Hank ran from the other side of the street toward the three arched entries of city hall and disappeared inside.  I went after Hank.  I didn’t see him anywhere, but I heard the pounding of his shoes on the marble floors.  I followed the sound.

I was breathing hard when I stepped out onto the fourth-floor balcony.  Maybe the hawk was spooked by all the yelling from Hank and Charlie Chilton.  Some of the people on the street were yelling too.  It flew erratically, hampered by the weight of the dog, as it flew from the statues up to the clock on the sixth story. 

(You can read the chapter of Murder at the Bijou that included Charlie and Chichi here.)

I leaned against one of the statues trying to catch my breath.  Thankfully that also put me in a shadow.  It was already getting hot outside.

The hawk stopped on the minute hand of the clock as it pointed at twelve.  Worse than the Chihuahua suspended high in the air, Hank Hertz had climbed out onto the face of the clock.  The bells gonged as the clock struck nine. 

Savannah’s youngest policeman cautiously stepped onto the hour hand.  Hank stretched up toward the vertical minute hand as far as he could, trying to reach the dangling dog.  However, the hawk flew back down to the statues.  Hank made a grab for Chichi, but lost his balance and started to fall.

Hank grabbed onto the huge minute hand of the clock, scrambling to get his footing.

Harold Lloyd clock

The Chihuahua struggled as the hawk glided down.  I stood stock still.  If the hawk saw me it would fly away with the little dog.  Or it might drop her.  That would be awful too.  Horsefeathers, it would be horrible if Hank fell from his predicament to the pavement 140 feet below.  What was he thinking?

The gears of the clock and the metal of the minute hand groaned.  Hank’s weight pulled it downward. 

Slowly I tilted my head to look up at the statue against which I leaned.  Chichi saw me and renewed her struggle for freedom.  The hawk was preoccupied by Hank’s presence on the clock. 

But what if it looks down? I worried.

I heard the scrape of Hank’s shoes as he scrabbled against the face of the clock for a foothold but found none.  Metal moaned as the minute hand moved again.

Involuntarily I gasped when Hank lost his hold.  The hawk heard me. 

Chichi yipped, tiny legs working furiously.

Hank managed to grab onto the railing below the clock face.  I held my breath as he swung one leg up over the banister.

The Chihuahua’s ruffled dress ripped where it was pierced by the hawk’s talons.  She sagged as her dress tore.

Hank finished pulling himself to the relative safety of the ledge behind the stone railing.  I heaved a sigh of relief.

Then the hawk launched itself from the statue.  The awkward burden of the dog caused the bird to bob downward as the frilly dress continued to rip.

I was never any good at catch.  However, the bird was directly above me.  As the fabric tore free and the little Fido fell, I put my hands out and caught her.

***

1920s Ice cream Flapper

Viola Dana, 1920s Film Star

“Lord have mercy.  Paisley, you are a sight.  Your headband is all catawampus and that short skirt looks like you slept in it,” Miss Olive told me in a half-scandalized tone, but then she chuckled and waved her hand.

To my surprise, Miss Olive was sharing a cup of tea with a stranger.  Looking at the scene you would have thought they were old friends.  The man looked like a traveler, probably on his way to Union Station.  A suitcase sat at his feet with labels from England, Ireland, and Wales.  He spoke with an accent that sounded kind of British to my ear.

When the man finished his tea, Miss Olive dumped the tealeaves into the saucer.  Her wrinkled face squinted into even more creases as she peered at the pattern of the leaves.

“Miss Olive, do you see great things in my future?” the stranger asked lightly with a kind, patient smile.

“I see happiness for you,” the very old woman told him.  “That’s a great thing, Mr. Roberts.  I’m just a little puzzled that the main thing I’m seeing is not you.  It’s one of your descendants.  A brilliant novelist.  He’ll be called Hugh.”

The End

***

As a footnote, “Charlie Chilton” never looked anything like handsome actor Ramon Novarro, pictured above with his chihuahua Chiquita.  Sorry Charlie.  For more about the Savannah City Hall dome, click here.

Thanks for visiting.  You are pos-i-lutely darb!

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends. 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

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.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 22 — A Hair Aflame

Saturday, January 27, 2018

It’s nice to see you here in the faery land of Thistledown.  

The Time of the Dreadful Drain

Once in a blue moon things change — in a good way. I wrote this intro last week, when for weeks I had been wondering if I could continue blogging/writing at all:

“Real world” things have severely drained me the past several weeks, depleted my energy and the will to write — or do anything else for that matter.  I made a downright herculean gathering of my will and energy and managed to write a few episodes in advance.  This is the last chapter from that group.  As much as I hate the idea of leaving you hanging, I’m so drained by the way things are, exhausted in every way… I might have to take a break for awhile. I’ll try, but I thought I should give you a heads-up.

Scrubbing bubbles

That’s what I was going to say. However, a few things happened… Yes the drain is still there, sapping away, but I have renewed inspiration via working with other bloggers in our wonderful community. 

Coming Up at Teagan’s Books

I’m going to do a guest post with Teri Polen at Books and SuchThat’s coming in April.

Then came a delightfully unexpected, spontaneous collaboration with Robert Matthew Goldstein at Art by Rob Goldstein.  He’ll create a Roaring Twenties image and I’ll add another story to the Pip-verse! 

Thistledown has been the hardest to continue during my Time of the Dreadful Drain.  But the little renewal I’m having today began with Suzanne DeBrango at A Pug in the Kitchen, when she suggested another collaboration related to Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.  Look for that soon.

By then, my momentum was so high that I just up and asked John W. Howell at Fiction Favorites if he’d like to do another joint post for the Pip-verse.  And he said yes!

Maybe you should thank these bloggers.  Because of them Thistledown and Jazz Age Wednesdays won’t end yet. These shout-outs are my way of thanking them for helping me much more than they could realize.

Now to Thistledown

As stories sometimes do, the timeline backs up for this episode.  This scene was happening concurrently with “Hanging by a Hair” when Bedlam Thunder was in the dark abyss and her friends disappeared one by one. It’s the best way for me to show separate events that occurred at the same time.  Once again we view events from the point of view of Bob the hummingbird.  

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

From Episode 21 (click here)

A chorus of warnings and exclamations erupted from the crochet circle.  However, before the first syllable was finished…

Field Yewwasp leapt into the black void.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 22

A Hair Aflame

 

Fires Bi-Colored jacob-kiesow-349451

Jacob Kiesow, Unsplash

Breezes from the broad open window rustled the pages of the Etheraris Spiregris.  Some magic in the dangerous book anchored the periwinkle colored muskox hair there.  Bob the hummingbird saw the hair begin to vibrate.  Intuitively the little bird knew the magical hair should not behave that way. 

Field Yewwasp wouldn’t listen to reason after he rescued Rhymer Rainbow from the black maw of the abyss.  The furry faery was determined to try and reach Bedlam Thunder and River Mindshadow as well.  All the faeries of the crochet circle clearly thought it was too dangerous for him to go back into the dark portal.  Seeing the vibration from the muskox hair, Bob was certain the circle was right.

Bob darted toward Field to try and make him understand about the hair.  Valley Hummer was the only one who could easily communicate with Bob, but he had to try and make Field see reason.  However, Field Yewwasp was the fastest of all faeries.  He flew back into the portal before Bob could figure out how to tell him about the vibrating magical hair.

The faeries of the crochet circle held tightly to the thick rope of blue muskox hair.  They didn’t even notice Bob.  Meanwhile the periwinkle colored hair vibrated harder.  It started to sparkle and spark.  Bob flew in wild acrobatics just above the ancient volume that anchored the hair, trying to get the faeries to notice it.

Hummingbird Kunstformen der Natur 1904

Hummingbird, Kunstformen der Natur 1904

Willow Rainbow had left the other faeries to the rope while she made sure her niece, Rhymer was unharmed.  Rhymer seemed fine to Bob.  The girl reached for a plate of cookies and started eating them while her aunt fussed over her.

“Aunt, the cookies are so good they make me sputter,” Rhymer began, clearly hungry after her ordeal.  “But look at Bob, he’s all aflutter.  He wants us to know he’s on the job.  He must mean the hair ― see it throb?”

Gradually all the faeries turned to look at the periwinkle hair draped like a bookmark on the Etheraris Spiregris.  Bob noticed their looks of consternation and murmurs of worry.  Willow Rainbow approached it with caution while the others continued to tightly hold the crocheted rope. 

The magical hair sizzled and popped loudly.  Willow jumped back from it.  Her wings unfurled with her surprise and rustled in agitation.

The dark portal started to make a groaning noise.  The sound made Bob think of metal that bore too much weight and was about to collapse.

Fairy_CE Brock

Fairy_CE Brock

Field Yewwasp flew back out of the black maw, though not as quickly as he had entered it.  He held to something that seemed to resist being brought back.  With a firm tug he pulled River Mindshadow out of the portal.  To Bob’s astonishment, River tried to resist and go back into the abyss!

“You don’t understand!” River cried.  “Bedlam is still in there.  We can’t leave her alone in the darkness.  Worse than being lost to us, I’m afraid she will lose herself.  There is something powerfully wrong about that light-less place!”

Bob darted up to the ceiling as the periwinkle muskox hair sizzled and lifted up from the pages of the ancient tome.  The hair sparked and burst into purplish-blue flame.  Then it was gone. 

The black portal popped shut.

The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Enjoy a visit to their fantastic blogs.

Willow Rainbow http://cerobinsonauthor.com/

Rhymer Rainbow  https://whenwomeninspire.com/

River Mindshadow  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Field Yewwasp https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/about/

Is Bedlam lost in the dark abyss forever?  (Is Teagan lost there with her?)  Fly over next time and maybe we’ll find out.  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.