Atonement Ganesha

Saturday, February 9, 2018

Elephant mice tree house HEARTS_Pixaby

Pixabay, altered image by Teagan

Diana Wallace Peach started a  monthly feature at her blog, Myths of the Mirror.  I caved into the temptation to play along. Click the link to learn more. 

Each month, Diana issues an image as a prompt. This time, my response is a twofer! My first response is my alteration of the original image.  Click the link above to see the original at Diana’s blog. 

As you can see, I was hoping to make a Valentine’s story.  However, whatever and whomever my muse is, apparently it has no relationship with Cupid.  Even so, I wrote a vignette and once again, made my response part of my “Atonement, Tennessee” universe.  I’ll leave Ralda Lawton to tell you about it.

***

What is that up ahead? I wondered.

I was about to turn my Toyota into the long, rhododendron lined driveway of Sunhold.  Before you get any glamorous ideas, the plants had run wild and hiring gardeners wasn’t high on my list of allowable expenses.  It looked nothing like Manderly.  However, it did look deserving of the Creepy Hollows nickname the locals gave the old estate I had won at auction.

As I was about to say, I stopped my car.  Just down the street, opposite the Sunhold cemetery, a van was broken down.  It was painted with colorful, almost psychedelic designs of whimsical shapes and animals, including a beautiful paisley elephant.

Ganesha painting suyinorlowski_Pixabay

Suyinorlowski, Pixabay

I saw a person, whose posture spoke of confusion, leaning over the open hood.  It was selfish of me, but I held back.  I had to get home for an appointment.  A squirrel had gotten into the house.  Annie from the antique shop recommended Jo Davis’ son Billy.  I didn’t want to miss him.  Guilt got the better of me though, and I went to see what the trouble was.

“Hey, is everything okay?  Do you need help, s―” I stammered.  “Um ma―”

I stopped mid-sentence.  I didn’t know how to finish because my eyes beheld such androgyny.  Blue jeans and a loose shirt were worn with whimsical athletic shoes patterned to resemble mice, as if each foot was a big mouse.  Glossy, straight black hair hung below shoulder-level.  Brown skin had a warm yellowish tone that made me think of turmeric.  Or maybe it was just the aroma of curry wafting from the van and going from my nose to my empty stomach that made me think so.

Huge soulful brown eyes turned to meet my puzzled gaze.  When I tore my stare away from those mesmerizing eyes, I noted the firm jawline, and then a rich voice that, while tenor, was certainly male.  A scar on one side of his rather long nose added ruggedness to his face.

He wiped his hands and closed the van’s hood.  He pushed back his bangs, rubbing his brow with the back of his hand.  I glimpsed what looked like a henna tattoo of an om symbol on his forehead.

“Hi!” he greeted me with a disarming smile.  “I think it’s good to go now.  I heard a noise and thought I’d better stop and check under the hood, just in case.  Besides, I think I missed a turn.  You couldn’t tell me where the Sunhold place is, could you?  Billy’s Critter Ridders was over booked and he asked me to pick up the slack.”

Squirrel scratching bbc

Comprehension abruptly dawned.  I took another look at the artwork on the van.  The psychedelic elephant was in a humorous pose with one foot on a mouse that appeared to carry the pachyderm.  Lettering beneath the image stated, “Humane Pest Removal.”

Tension gripped the back of my neck when another van stopped.  It was from Fae’s Flowers.  Gwydion, locally known as Guy Fabdon, hoped out, green eyes glittering flirtatiously.  He seemed to take quick stock of the situation.  There was something territorial in the set of his shoulders and the way he eyed the stranger. 

Just then the newcomer spoke.

“I’m sorry, I should have introduced myself.  I’m Bheema,” he said and shook my hand.

Bheema proffered his hand to Gwydion, who gave a snort.  I shot the florist a surprised look for his rudeness.

“Doesn’t that mean one who is gigantic?  A Hindu name I believe?” Gwydion asked in a sardonic voice.

I couldn’t imagine why Gwydion would know anything about Hindu name meanings.  Then again, I supposed he would know all sorts of things, considering the fact that he was a supernatural being of the fae variety.

I couldn’t help noticing that Bheema’s hand was not as androgynous as his slim body.

One who is gigantic? I thought.  Keep looking at his eyes.  Don’t look down, woman.  Don’t even glance.  Just don’t. Look. Down.

“Ralda, luv.  I heard you had a tree-rat lose in the old manse,” he told me in his lilting accent.  “I can take care of that beastie for you.  No need to bring in extra help.”

There was no wonder Gwydion was posturing like an alpha male.  Yes.  I confess, I looked down.

Dark haired man, face half in shadow, soulful eye

Lee Campbell, Unsplash

“That’s not necessary, Gwydion,” I said, tiptoeing to peep inside his van.  “I know you need to get those flowers to the refrigeration units in your shop before they wilt.”

“So, how long are you going to be in Atonement?” the florist continued as if I had not spoken.

“That’s not clear yet,” Bheema said, and I found his choice of words odd.  “I’m helping out Billy for a while, but I’m also house sitting for his mom while she’s in Florida.  Not sure how long Mrs. Davis is going to stay.”

“Considering what happened the last time Billy took care of Jo’s place, I can understand why she’d want someone else there,” Gwydion replied with a knowing chuckle.

I resisted the impulse to ask for details.  I was still avoiding Gwydion and wanted him to get on his way.

The sounds of meowing came from Bheema’s van.  I moved to look inside.  Two pet carriers were secured in the backseat, along with a large duffle bag.

“Ah.  You’re a cat person,” Gwydion commented in a smug tone.  “Nice shoes,” he added, smirking down at the mouse designs.

Apparently having cats and whimsical shoes neutralized any threat Bheema posed to Gwydion’s territorial alpha male impulses.  He excused himself and left a moment later.

The meowing resumed.  Bheema reached into the van and brought out a configuration of clear plastic tubes.

“Oh, meet Siddhi and Riddhi,” he remarked with a motion to the carriers.  “I haven’t gone to Mrs. Davis’ to settle them yet.  Don’t worry.  The cats will be okay because this won’t take long.  I’ll just bait these traps and that squirrel will oblige before you know it.  Then I’ll take him far enough away that he won’t come back to munch on any more of your woodwork.”

“I’m relieved to hear that.  I like squirrels, but they can do a ton of damage when they get inside a house.  Plus, I’m worried about what might happen if it gets into a part of the house that my cat, Lilith, can access.  Such a little creature can cause such a big problem!”

“Ha!  I understand.  There’s a saying,” he began.  “Don’t tell Ganesha how big your problem it.  Tell the problem how big your Ganesha is!” Bheema said with a motion to the elephant painted on his van.

I chuckled as I looked into his soulful, reassuring eyes.  The om tattoo showed again when he tossed back that mane of black hair.  I looked from the symbol to the odd scar that marred one side of his long-ish nose.  I looked at the shoes that lent a fanciful illusion of mice carrying him.

Siddhi and Riddhi gazed at me from their carriers and gave affirmative sounding meows.

two brown tabby cats lay on wood planks

Nathalie Jolie, Unsplash

The end.

***

 

There you have my response to Diana’s image-prompt.  What do you think of Bheema?  Would you like to see more of him in my Atonement, TN universe? 

The #steampunk submarine will be at the port on Wednesday for Hidebound Hump day and the next serial episode of “Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers.”  Then Straightlaced Saturday will be back with another Victorian novel next weekend. 

Thanks for visiting.  Mega hugs! 

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

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

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

Amazon UK

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 © 2019 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.

Happy Year of the Pig, and a Bloomin’ Character Interview

Saturday, February 2, 2019

chinese new year woman-lights thomas-despeyroux-1208133-unsplash

Thomas Despeyroux, Unsplash

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!  Yes, I realize I’m a little early.  However, Atonement, TN’s porcine residents, Deme and Honeybell heard it is going to be the Year of the Pig.  Those two glowing gals wouldn’t leave me alone until they got their own special post. 

Straightlaced Saturday will return next week with another Victorian novel.

Actually, I had been trying to write a Valentines story… and getting nowhere.  I gave up, but the glowing pigs started their grunt-snuffle-snort in my brain.  I was just as stuck when I tried to give them a new story for Chinese New Year.  I think my writer-brain accidentally got packed in one of my moving boxes…

Deme and Honeybell still wouldn’t leave me alone though.  When I asked how they might celebrate it being the Year of the Pig, one of them said something about “fortune cookies” and the other said “character interview.”

Chinese New Year ― the Year of the Pig

chinese new year pigs

Image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Snuffle-grunt-grunt-snuffle.  Snuffle-grunt-grunt-snuffle.  Snuffle-grunt-grunt-snuffle.

What was I saying?  It’s getting noisy in here.  And what’s with all that strange light?

Teagan-writer-Teagan!  Teagan-writer-Teagan!

TRG:  Oh, of course.  Hi, Deme.  Or is it Honeybell.  I’m sorry that it’s hard for me to tell you apart.  Where’s that giggle coming from?  Under the table?

Deme pouncing out from under the table:  No, that’s Honeybell.  Really, you of all people should be able to tell us apart.  I’m just a little bit taller than Honeybell.

TRG:  So, ya’ll are pretty excited about Chinese New Year this time, huh?  I love all of your prancing around.  I wish I had as much energy as either of you.

Honeybell:  I’ve been reading about the Chinese Zodiac.  This isn’t just any year of the pig, it’s the Year of the Earth Pig.

TRG:  Oh?  It’s not an earth pig because pigs like mud?

White Pig ditry nose dreamstime_xxl_83059557

Dreamstime

Deme:  That’s an insulting stereotype.  (snorts)

Honeybell:  Deme, you know you won the mud wrestling contest at the last four gatherings.

DemeGrunt-snuffle-snort!  Okay, I admit it.  Mud is my guilty pleasure.  But that has nothing to do with the Chinese Zodiac.

Honeybell:  The Pig is the twelfth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.  But they also use a cycle of the elements, so there are five different zodiac year pigs ― wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.  This year is earth.

TRG.  I was born in a Year of the Pig.

Deme and Honeybell together:  (Both squeal their enthusiasm)  Snuffle-grunt-grunt-snuffle!

Honeybell:  Do tell!  No wonder you thought of us and brought us to Atonement, Tennessee.

Deme:  This is so cool!  Which Pig are you?

TRG:  (Keyboard clicking.  Google search window opens.)

Honeybell:  (Looks over Teagan’s shoulder at computer.)  Our search engine is called Gruntle.

TRG:  You have your own search engine… wherever it is you go when you go home?

Deme:  (Snorts)  Duh.  Of course.  We even have Netstyes.  Have you seen The Walking Bacon?  That Daryl makes me sizzle!

Honeybell:  (aghast)  Deme!

Deme:  So, what kind of Pig were you?

TRG:  Wikipedia says I was… an Earth Pig.

pig

Deme and Honeybell togetherGrunt-snuffle-snort!  Oooh!  

Deme:  Wow!  There hasn’t been an Earth Pig in… well, in a long time.  You must be ancient.

Honeybell:  (Takes on wise manner and sage voice)  Maybe that means you’ve finished a long cycle in life.  Now you can start a better one.

TRG:  I hope you’re right, Honeybell.

Deme:  Oh, she is.  When Honeybell goes full-on prophesy-pig like that, she’s never wrong.

Honeybell:  Deme, you’re starting to glow.  That means it’s getting dark out.  We’d better go home.

Deme:  Race ya!  Last on there’s a rotten boar!  Grunt-snuffle-snort! 

Honeybell squeals, cloven hooves scrambling to catch up with Deme.

TRG:  Happy Year of the Pig, you two!

You can find a brief collection of Deme and Honeybell’s adventures in The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Happy Chinese New Year!

***

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Crystal Reading Atonement

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

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

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

Amazon UK

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 © 2019 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.

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore #Reviews – Teagan Riordain Geneviene, “Atonement in Bloom”

#BookReview! My heart is warm on this extremely cold day.  At her Cafe and Bookstore, the sensational Sally G. Cronin just shared a new review of “Atonement in Bloom.” I didn’t know about D.L. Finn’s review, and I’m thrilled!

Plus I’m overjoyed to be in such great company. Sally also shared reviews for fantastic books by Robbie Cheadle and Vashti Quiroz-Vega. Please click over to Sally’s and check them out.

Here’s a little more about my Atonement, TN books.

Atonement, Tennessee

Atonement in Bloom

And the otherworldly glowing pigs even have a small collection of snort stories.

 

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

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

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

Amazon UK

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 ©  2019 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.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the Cafe updates this week and after one of the busiest book selling season of the year, it is great to see the reviews coming in.

The first author with a recent review is Teagan Riordain Geneviene in the second book of her series Atonement in Bloom which was released in October last year.

About Atonement in Bloom

“Atonement in Bloom” continues the urban fantasy from the point where “Atonement, Tennessee” ended.The quaint town was stranger than Ralda Lawton could have imagined. The local population included supernatural beings of the fae variety. Although only she and a few others knew about that.In a past life, Ralda ― Esmeralda had been involved in something with those supernaturals and it had carried into her present life. In Atonement, Tennessee, that almost got her killed. Now she has new problems, and new supes to complicate matters.Atonement in Bloom…

View original post 1,361 more words

Teetering by Andrea Stephenson & Her Bloomin’ Review!

Image by Andrea Stephenson

Enjoy this post from Andrea Stephenson, and wish her well.  Despite beginning the year with a nasty illness, Andrea has done a wonderful review of Atonement in Bloom!  Please click over and say hello to her

Andrea’s Review

Blogger Book of the Month: Teagan Geneviene – Atonement in Bloom

Blogging has introduced me to many talented authors, some of whom have featured on this blog.  This year I’ll be highlighting a few of the great books I’ve been reading by fellow bloggers.

I’m always delighted by the unique and magical stories that Teagan Geneviene creates, many of which are written spontaneously, week by week, on her blog.  Her new book, Atonement in Bloom is the second in a series of books set in the magical town of Atonement, Tennessee.

This book has all the whimsy, wonder and enchantment of the first.  Ralda Lawton lives in an old house in a small southern town that has more than its share of magic. A woman created from flowers, a mischievous calico cat, a herd of glowing pigs and the Queen of Winter herself all appear in this novel.

I would love to live in the enchanted town Teagan has created and to meet the characters that are so lovingly and inventively depicted. This is a hugely original book that weaves myth and imagination into a compelling story. The ending suggests that there may be more to come in future and, until then, I’ll be homesick to return to Atonement.  You can find Teagan’s blog here and her books are available on Amazon.

Harvesting Hecate

As one year teeters into another, my body is all at sea.  A stray bug or perhaps the sigh of inactivity after the busyness of December.  Flu sweeps in on Boxing Day and the lead up to the year end is fever, aches and pains, a chest infection.  It leaves me with labyrinthitis, an ear condition I get sometimes that feels like constant motion sickness.  So there is no optimistic, energetic start to the year.  I can’t walk far, I can’t use a screen, I can only read for short bursts.  Confined to the house, I hardly notice the passing days, or what is happening outside.

So far winter has been short and kind.  There has been almost no rain and little frost.  It has been mild, often grey but often sunny.  The weeks leading up to the end of the year blinked by and I wonder if the rest…

View original post 565 more words

Atonement, TN Style & a Bloomin’ Review

Saturday, January 12, 2018

You may have seen me say it before —I don’t just like color.  I need color. On days that I wear only black or even neutral colors I simply don’t feel very well.  There are two reasons why I’m reminding you of that so stick with me. 

Bethany Gwen is a Goth character in the Atonement universe.  Of course she wears black, but she likes to add a splash of color.  Bethany would like accessories like these.  She’d love the glasses.

glasses n accessories valentina

Image by Valentina Cirasola

Atonement’s heroine, Ralda Lawton, hasn’t had time to furnish her new-old home, what with all the supernatural shenanigans.  If she had the budget for it, Ralda would like something like this elegant yet comfortable sunny room.

sunny room valentina

Image by Valentina Cirasola

You’re probably wondering why I’m talking about all this.  I’m so excited that I’m kicking my heels.  I can’t wait to tell you any longer.  Atonement in Bloom has a new review!

valentina review image

Great surprises with magic and humor

I must say I hardly read novels, and if I do, my kind of novels are more on the tone of architecture or historical stories based on really existent places with fiction characters.

Teagan’s books hooked me on a new genre, fantasy, mystery, supernatural, magic characters and humor. Atonement in Bloom is a continuation of book #1 Atonement Tennessee. It was so surprising to see so much action and magic happening in such a small town with three street lights, of which everybody is aware and not just Esmeralda. She lives in a run-down mansion with its own cemetery. In the village some people have wings and some pigs glow.

The author has a fervid imagination and her characters are a true fantasy making both books, Atonement Tennessee and Atonement in Bloom a fun reading. I recommend these books, they will keep you at the edge of the seat.

Valentina

As you might expect, Valentina Cirasola is a colorful and fascinating lady.  She sparkles even more than that review.  You can learn more about her at these links.

Valentina on Instagram 

Her Youtube videos about design and style

Yes, I really do get that excited about reviews.  Thanks for putting up with me blowing my own horn. 

I love visiting with you, so do leave a comment. 

***

Now some even more shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

Amazon UK

Pigs collection cover banner

USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Atonement Video Cover copy

USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Amazon UK

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

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

Amazon UK

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.

Atonement TN Meets the Ice Dragon

Saturday, January 5, 2018

I had the next episode of Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers ready to post today.  Instead, we’re visiting Atonement, TN.  Why?  Diana Wallace Peach started a new monthly feature at her blog, Myths of the Mirror.  I caved into the temptation to play along. Click the link to learn more. 

Diana issued this lovely image as a prompt. I mistakenly thought she titled it “Ice Dragon” but that was actually the first reply to her prompt… Okay, so I’ve got a lot going on… and I’m blind as a bat too. (eye roll) So, now she has two “Ice Dragon” responses.  My bad.  What’s done is done.

stefan keller ice giant pixabay

Stefan Keller, Pixabay

I made mine part of my “Atonement, Tennessee” universe.  I’ll leave Ralda Lawton to tell you about it.

***

Shivering uncontrollably, I stiffly swung my legs off the bed.  The floor was not terribly cold, I couldn’t help being surprised to notice.

The brass bed was up to its old tricks.  

Not long after I moved into the rundown estate house in the quaint, but not so peaceful town of Atonement, Tennessee, I learned it was no ordinary bed.  It gave one dreams.  The dreams were often violent and always strange.  The trouble was that the far-fetched scenarios also had something to do with reality.

“I have got to get rid of that bed,” I muttered aloud.

Lilith, my cat, meowed in reply.  The calico was still nestled warmly in the covers, where my knees had been a moment before.

 

Lilith in snow

Dreamstime

I shuddered, remembering the dream, and not just because it left me cold.  The dream froze my heart with the pain of betrayal, abandonment, and isolation.

Instantly all the events and feelings of the dream rushed back into my mind and my body.  Sudden pain pierced my ribs.  I fell back onto my bed.

It started as another prophetic dream from that bed had begun, with Arianrhod’s silver wheel.

In the dream I hung precariously from the spokes of the wheel, taunted by voices that were not seen.  In fact, they weren’t really heard either, but I knew what they said nonetheless.

Despair overtook me and I relaxed my grip on the wheel.  I wondered if I should simply fall into the nothingness.

A gust of artic air lashed my skin.  My hands knew the pain of extreme cold.  The joints of my fingers stiffened.  As the wind howled, I lost my hold and fell.

My heart hammered wildly.  My arms flailed useless as I tumbled.

Then a fiery jolt rocked me as something hit my rib-cage.  My descent into nothing stopped.

I gasped first in pain, and again in shock.  I was flying.  Or rather the massive beast that caught me flew.

The impact to my ribs caused me to shift uncomfortably.  Then I realized that I was held in huge talons.  I abruptly stopped moving.  Even if it had not hurt to take air into my lungs, I would have been afraid to breathe.

blue claw beast-pixabay

Pixabay

My hands grasped an icy talon, desperate to hold on, in case the beast dropped me.

The midnight clouds retreated, allowing the moon to light the sky.  Tiny lights winked far below.  As the beast flew lower, I recognized the town of Atonement.

I felt a gentle shift of the creature’s muscles as its wings caught a current of air that again took us higher.  Moments later it deposited me on a ridge.  I could see the town below.  A few people were out and about at the late hour.  They were so far away that they seemed like ants.

Oddly, they carried lanterns.  Suddenly I wondered when I was.

I didn’t realize that I was crying until I felt the tears begin to freeze.  Trails of tears froze on my cheeks and collected at my chin, as if they would form an icy beard.  With the back of my hand I brushed the cold moisture from my face.

A sound like steam from an old-fashioned radiator caused me to turn.  It was the beast.

In the moon’s light I could see it clearly.  The creature’s hide was blue as if with cold.  Everything about it was either blue or white, from pale blue eyes that glittered like diamonds to the white clawed tips of its blue wings.

It snorted, causing a cloud of condensation.  Although its breath was only slightly warm on the cool night air.

Fortunately, and I use the term loosely, I’d had enough experience with the brass bed to know that I dreamed.  Else I would have been terrified, rather than just scared witless.

“Who―  Why―” I stammered unable to find sufficient words for the many questions that collided in my mind.  “Are you a― an―”

“Dragon?” it supplied.  “An ice dragon?

The steam sound came again in a quick succession of hisses.

“Are you laughing?” I was startled into asking.

The giant pale blue eye nearest me blinked.  I could have sworn I saw the glint of mischief there.

eyes forest aqua fantasy-pixabay

Pixabay

“Look down there, Esmeralda,” it began in a rumble.

The creature instructed and jutted out its icy bearded chin as if pointing toward the town below.

It worried me that it named me Esmeralda rather than the shortened “Ralda” that I claimed for my name.  In my experience up until then with my new town, that didn’t bode well.  The supernaturals were the only ones who insisted on calling me Esmeralda.

“I borrowed Arianrhod’s wheel to speak with you, and though her power is nothing compared to mine, I will only borrow it, not take it.  Of course, I could have used the Queen of Winter to relay a message… but the wheel amuses me,” the ice dragon rambled in a reflective tone before getting back to business.

“But I digress.  Where was I?  Oh yes.  On occasion I give in to an odd, altruistic impulse.  So, I have brought you here to impart something important,” the dragon told me.

I was much too close and it was far too large for me to be able to see more than the one eye.  However, that eye narrowed slyly.

“I probably should not tell you, but where would the fun be in following rules?  You, Esmeralda,” it used my given name again and the tone suggested it knew the thought I had about that a moment before.  “If you want to break the cycle that keeps giving you rebirth into the same betrayed, embattled situations.  If you want to one day be born into a safe, loving existence, then you must learn and understand your origins.”

I stopped breathing.  With ice in the pit of my stomach, I knew that dream was just as prophetic and just as real as the first dream ― the first time I dreamed in the brass bed.  I also knew the real events that would result from the dream would be equally dangerous, and worse, full of detestable fae magic!

“But Esmeralda, that is not enough.  The Queen of Winter could tell you that much ― although she would make you earn the knowledge, probably through that willful mirror.  What you also must learn and understand is the origin of the town itself,” the dragon added.

Abruptly, rough gusts of cold wind battered me.  I staggered backward.  The ice dragon lifted into the night sky.  I stared up at the darkness.  Then I looked down at the tiny lights of the town below.

I jerked convulsively when the hiss of laughter was again at my shoulder, through whatever kind of magic the dragon held.

“Esmeralda, you must comprehend that some inhabitants of Atonement are not there to atone.  They have a fundamental relationship with the place.  If you want to survive, you need a better understanding of the townsfolk, like the Metatron sisters.  And you must, must understand why the wings of Cael Adriel are black, rather than gold,” the dragon finished emphatically.

gold angel on black pixabay

Pixabay

The huge blue eye glittered playfully.  It blinked and the dragon was abruptly gone.

Now wake, Esmeralda!”

Shuddering, gasping, I tried to shake off the aftereffects of the dream.

“Coffee… I really, really need coffee,” I muttered.

Lilith jumped down from the bed and went to the door.  In her mind, coffee meant breakfast for her.

I gave a different kind of groan when I sat up on the edge of the bed.  I lifted my pajama top and looked in the mirror.

A wide bruise purpled across my ribs.

***

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

USA:  Atonement in Bloom

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USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

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USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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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.

via Tales from Fraggle Towers

Monday, December 10, 2018

I’m having a Wayne and Garth moment for not realizing the fabulous Fraggle had done a rockin’ review of not just one, but all the Atonement books — at Fraggle’s Other Place.

So, I’m doing an extra post to share it.  I hope you’ll click over and visit both of her exciting blogs. Fraggle Rokin’ a Camera Across the Universe.  Be sure to click over and “toon in” at her place.  Have a great new week!

I can’t resist including a link to a post from Denise too.  She included a review of Atonement, Tennessee with her “Recent Books Read.”  Head over to Author D. L. Finn, because I’m in great company with Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Aaron D. Brinker and Marcia Meara

Have a marvelous Monday, everyone.