Straightlaced Saturday — Mansfield Park

Saturday, February 23, 2019 

victorian novels

Image by Teagan R. Geneviene

It’s Straightlaced Saturday, my chuckaboos!  I’m here with another Victorian Novels feature.  This series complements the era of my steampunk serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. 

Jane Austen has been mentioned in more than one of the serial chapters.  I just realized that one of her novels escaped my attention.  How could I have missed it, when it’s about a young girl named Fanny (even though my Pip’s granny is spelled Phanny — that was actually done so I could make her a “PIP” also)?

There were also audio books and films of the story in 1999 and 2007.  Well, after all, it is Jane Austen…

Actually, this should be the entire movie:

Some bill the story as a comedy while others say it shows the dark side of Jane Austen.  The concept doesn’t sound particularly comedic to me, but I suppose it could be a combination of both.  If you’ve read it, leave a comment to let everyone know the box in which you think it lands.

As I’ve mentioned I’m now right at the edge of my moving date, so I won’t be reading this yet.  However, we can still have a conversation about the Victorian Era and its novels, relationships, or Austen, or whatever you want.

Mansfield Park cover_Jane Austen

Mansfield Park cover

At Amazon

Project Gutenburg Link to Mansfield Park

If you want the book and have trouble accessing it, let me know and I’ll send you a file.

 ***

Leave a comment to join of begin a conversation.  I might not be able to answer comments right away, but I love hearing from you.

Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers continues on Hidebound Hump Day.  My chuckaboos, I’ll be looking for you at the steampunk submarine port on Wednesday, although I might not be able to answer comments for awhile by then.

***

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.

 

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.

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

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.

Steampunk Train Delay & Happy Holidays

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Locomotive Christmas Pixabay

Pixabay

Hello everyone! While I was trying to finish my Straightlaced Saturdays post, WordPress refused to give me anything but a spinning circle.  Well, my chuckaboos, life has been a crazily spinning circle all week. 

Train schedule Blue

Now that the WP gremlins are finally cooperating… I’m too worn out to work.  So please accept my apologies.  The next episode of “Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers” will post on Wednesday for Hidebound Hump Day.  If you need to catch up, the most recent episode is here.

Meanwhile, I wish you health, happiness, and contentment for any and every holiday you choose to celebrate.  Here’s a little greeting and a recap of my year from my feline companion and me. 

Holiday blessings, my friends.  Hugs on reindeer hooves!

 

It’s here! DEADLY QUOTES. Escaping Psychiatry 3 by Olga Núñez Miret

Friday, December 14, 2018

DEADLY-QUOTES-OlgaNM

Here’s the latest book in the exciting “Escaping Psychiatry” series by Olga Núñez Miret!

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this next volume in a terrific series. This isn’t just another “psychological thriller” — it’s written by a real-world forensic psychiatrist, and her expertise is clear in the entire series. I pre-ordered it for my Kindle, but got so busy that I forgot the day had finally arrived.

Wishing Olga huge success. Click over and check it out!  Here’s the link to Olga’s launch for Escaping Psychiatry 3 – Deadly Quotes.

Comments are not enabled here, because I encourage you to visit Olga’s site.  Here’s Olga to tell you more:

Deadly Quotes. Escaping Psychiatry 3.

Death by natural causes. That was the official explanation. Until they found the quote.

Killing isn’t as difficult as people think. In fact it can be quite easy.

Was it a novel the dead man had been writing? Was it an eerie suicide note?

Was it murder?

Mary Miller and Leah Deakin, friends and doctors, are not sure there is a case worth investigating, but they are intrigued. Could a serial killer behind bars have orchestrated another killing spree? Can the clues be found in his own autobiography?

The fourth book in the Escaping Psychiatry series sees Mary, psychiatrist, survivor of attempted rape and murder, and amateur crime investigator by default, team up with Leah Deakin, an FBI pathologist, in a case that pitches them against a man who loves to play mortal games. Will they be able to stop him? And at what price?

If you enjoy reading gripping psychological thrillers, prefer strong female protagonists, feel oddly attracted to ultraintelligent and twisted baddies, and can’t get enough of challenging mysteries, you shouldn’t miss this novel.

Discover Mary Miller’s new adventure, and if you’re new to the Escaping Psychiatry series, you can go back and read the prequel Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings, in e-book format without any extra cost.

Links:

https://rxe.me/L5Q26N

https://www.books2read.com/u/b5rGwk

To celebrate Christmas, and in case you fancy a non-Xmasy reading, my new book will be available at $0.99  throughout the holidays. Go on, give yourself present. Or ask Santa.

Thanks for your patience, for reading, and have lots of fun! 

Olga Núñez Miret is a multi talented author.  She also did the Spanish translation of the first book in my “Atonement” series.  I wouldn’t trust anyone else with that task.  For that language I changed the title to Expiación y Magia

Cover Expiación y Magia ― Una Fantasía Urbana

Now, click on over to Olga’s.    Happy reading.  Mega hugs!

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.

A Bloomin’ Barn

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Atonement TN aetna-diner-vintage-postcard-Dan Antion

Image courtesy Dan Antion

When I was ready to publish Atonement in Bloom, blogger extraordinaire Dan Antion did the first ever (as far as we know) fictional Thursday Doors post.  He used doors and buildings from his part of the country that made him think of my quirky fantasy town in Tennessee. 

Recently, with the photos Dan posted for Thursday Doors, he shared more of the images he considered for that Atonement promo post. Among those photos was an old barn that reminded me of a scene from Atonement in Bloom.  Dan gave me permission to use it here.  So, I decided to share another snippet from my latest novel.

Pig Valentine 2

Based on my blog posts, anyone might think my Atonement novels are all about animals.  However, the core of the story is an everyday person whose plate is full with a real world that suddenly seemed full of supernaturals.  The critters are just a side-dish of whimsy.  Their parts are also easier to share in blog posts.  That said, here’s a new excerpt featuring Lilith, the calico cat.  She’s an ordinary cat… but all cats are extraordinary.

Setup.  Lilith got a little too adventurous, sniffing out a magical beast.  Frightened, as any sensible feline would be, she jumped to the nearest hiding spot.  Unfortunately, that spot was the open back of the Fae’s Flowers van.  Soon Gwydion got behind the wheel and the van cruised down the road.  Lilith was so rattled from the magic she had witnessed, that she was afraid to make her presence known.  Besides, Gwydion sounded really angry. Finally the van stopped. 

A Bloomin’ Barn

Central Pennsylvania barn_Dan Antion

Photo by Dan Antion

There were a few cows nearby.  Lilith couldn’t see them but her ears and nose told her about them.  The barn had faded red paint, but it was built on a stone foundation and it had a bright tin roof, so it looked dry and safe.

The calico wondered if she should get out of the van since it had finally stopped.  Maybe she should go to the safe looking barn.  Lilith didn’t like being in the van, but she knew nothing about where she was, except that it would be a very long trot to get home.  Esmeralda would be most upset with her by the time she finally got there… probably sometime the next evening.

She heard Gwydion arguing with men inside the barn. 

“Where is it?” he demanded.  “Where is the mirror?”

Lilith heard Gwydion’s voice clearly.  It seemed unlike him to be harsh, especially not so often.  She missed his lilting flirty voice and wondered what had become of that side of him.  If Gwydion had become so hateful, perhaps she didn’t want to be in the van with him again.

She swished her tail in indecision.  Just as she was about to jump, Lilith became aware that she wasn’t alone.  The old woman stepped up beside her.

blue-hair-Bun Beira Pixabay free

Pixabay

“Hello little heart.  This is a surprise!  You truly are the inquisitive one, aren’t you, to come all the way out here?” Beira the Crone said, and her long lapis-blue braid swung as she leaned down to scratch the cat’s cheek.

In the sunlight her complexion didn’t look quite so blue, just very pale. 

“Never you mind that hotheaded fae.  I’ll see you home.  I have to visit your Sunhold anyway,” she said.

That was when Lilith saw the awful mirror.  She had thought never to see it again.  Lilith hissed and arched her back, hackles rising.

“Now, now.  There’s no need to be that way.  It’s not an evil thing, you know.  It just shows the truth… in one way or another,” Beira said reasonably.  “Well… I have to admit that it can be cryptic and even mischievous, but it’s not altogether malevolent,” the old woman said of the Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic.

The calico wondered why anyone would want the nasty mirror.  She meowed her disapproval at Beira.  Cailleach Bheur seemed to understand.

Lilith and mirror

Dreamstime

The old woman’s eyes narrowed as she paused for thought.  Beira made a tsk sound.

“Taking the mirror from Gwydion will be a small beginning toward settling his debt,” she said.

The comment sounded vengeful to Lilith’s ears.  She tilted her head as she regarded Beira.  The old woman relaxed visibly, seeming to put aside her unkind thoughts.

“Calm yourself and come with me,” she said stroking the calico’s soft fur.  “If it makes you feel better, I’ll get you home so quickly that Esmeralda will never realize you’ve been gone.”

“What do you mean it’s gone?” Gwydon’s irate voice was easily audible.

Beira’s promise, combined with a crash from within the barn and another furious yell from Gwydion was all the persuasion she needed.  Lilith leapt into Beira’s arms.

***

Ah yes, that naughty mirror from “Atonement, Tennessee” came back for a cameo in “Atonement in Bloom,” although its part wasn’t as large.  I expect it will show up again in book three.   

I hope you enjoyed this little detour.  Join me at the station on Wednesday for the next Hidebound Hump Day.  We’ll catch the #SteamPunk train for Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers with Chapter 21. The random “things” driving that episode are Moustache Cup, Apricot Charlotte, Mangle.

I’ll be looking for you at the station.  Mega hugs!

Update:  I love your comments. Forgive me if my replies are short.  This morning I cut two fingers. I’m fine, but the bandages make typing ridiculously difficult.  

***

Now some shameless self-promotion.

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

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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

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