Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 8

Thistledown Girl

Welcome back to the faery world of Thistledown!  It’s a magical place, most often sunny and whimsical, but a darker side rises to the surface from time to time.  

Special Note:  Maybe you’ve seen similar statements so much that it’s expected, familiar, even annoying.  But here at Teagan’s Books, I continue to send good thoughts and prayers to everyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey. 

Writing Process

In every episode I try to reveal at least one new person of the “Mystery Folk” —  the 36 readers who provided character names when I began this serial. If it’s taking a while for me to get to you… well, I’m doing my best.

I began this serial with an adult (or perhaps elderly) Bedlam Thunder being caught up in a vision of the past — the time when she had her first truly terrifying vision.  In that scene older Bedlam is afraid her current world will experience the dangers of that old vision.

As a writer, I prefer to use flashbacks very sparingly.  However, I felt it was time to remind everyone of that aspect of the story — that the tale older Bedlam relates as the narrator of these episodes also involves much later events.  So Episode-8 includes a brief flashback.

About This Episode 

Another thing I like to do each week, is try to give you something new regarding faery magic or fantastical creatures.  That whimsy often comes to me when I look at those character names, which were left by the readers during my initial call to “come out and play.”

That said, Bedlam Thunder is a seer, even if she hasn’t fully come into her gift.  Her visions have a physical effect on her.  Somehow thinking about that made me wonder… What would it be like to have an examination by a faery doctor?  Read on and you’ll see.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 8

Christy's_Fur_Devon_Bowler wiki

Shadows of Body and Mind

“Mind if I come along?” Poison Ivy Razorleaf unexpectedly said from behind me.

I was so shocked when the huge scrying stone shattered that I forgot he was there.  A general sense of befuddlement settled on me, from all the strangeness, and the spiritual recoil of the exploding gem.

In the distance I saw Carver Eastdoor holding the huge copper battleax.  Poppy Songbird, with the leashed powderpuff sheep was next to him.  They were surrounded by piles of colorful candies that had exploded harmlessly from the whimsical, magical door that Carver hit with the fae battle ax.

Had Carver’s door somehow connected to the vast gem in Razorleaf’s scrying chamber?  I supposed it must have.

Trying to reorient myself, I mentally retraced my steps.  I had gone through one of three glowing doors when I parted company with Royal Chimera.  Beyond that door I met Poison Ivy Razorleaf and the massive yellowish gray obsidian scrying stone.  It showed me what Carver and Poppy had been doing.

Though I wasn’t sure if they were connected, and had no idea how it could have worked, when Carver destroyed the door he had created, the scrying stone where I was watching them — shattered.

Black Umbrella thomas-charters-299913

Thomas Charters, Unsplash

There was a blast of refracting, shimmering light when the massive gem burst apart.  Sharp as knives, shards and shimmering bits of the obsidian rained down on Razorleaf and me.  He quickly opened a heavy leather umbrella to protect us.  Even so, both of us had several cuts from the glassy shards.  Fortunately our wounds were minor.

I was able to walk back into my own world.

It looked like Poppy and Carver were occupied with the still falling candy.  They hadn’t noticed me in the distance.  Another man, apparently having heard the commotion came from Carver’s house.  He looked first at them, then he seemed to see Razorleaf and me where we stood on the hillside.  He stopped in his tracks.

“Who is that handsome devil?” Razorleaf asked in a flippant yet puzzled voice.  “Is that—”

“It’s hard to tell from here.  Plus I haven’t seen him since we were small children, but I think that’s Ivy Twinkle.  He and Carver were always good friends, and kept in touch even when Ivy’s family moved to the other side of Thistledown.  He must be visiting for the solstice,” I told Razorleaf.  “Um… he looks like you, doesn’t he?”

“Bedlam,” Razorleaf began.  “I was eager to visit your world, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be dangerous.”

“Thistledown is a peaceful, safe place,” I assured him.  “You wouldn’t be in danger here.”

“I don’t mean that kind of danger.  I’ve never researched it myself, but some people speculate that if doubles met one another it could be catastrophic,” Razorleaf replied.  “I have a strong hinky feeling.  It’s too big of a risk to take.  Besides, if I start quickly, I might be able to heal the scrying stone.  There is no other as powerful.  I really should try.”

With that, Poison Ivy Razorleaf doffed his bowler hat and bowed grandly.  The sharp edges of the long leaves whooshed against the air as he waved the hat.  With a worried face, he took a final speculative look at Ivy Twinkle.  Then hurried back to the strange rock chamber.

I turned to watch him leave.  The obsidian shards started to rise up in the air, reforming.  Within seconds I could see nothing but the hillside.  It was as if the way through which we entered Thistledown had never existed.

Abruptly I was assailed by another vision.  This one was far worse than any before.

***

Hand Blue fishes toa-heftiba-270814

Toa Heftiba, Unsplash

The memory of that vision jolted me back to my present.  Looking up, I saw the stars that would soon be in alignment for the solstice.  Seeing my hand and its obvious age, I knew I had been carried away by the powerful revelation from my youth.  I trailed my fingers in the calm water of the pool.

When I had that vision, I had not simply viewed that horror.  I had empathically experienced the spewing emotions of hatred, self-importance, and fear.  I felt vibrations that were caught inside my skull.  I heard a loud whistle that came closer and louder.  Though from far away, the singe of intense heat reached me.

Then I saw the shadows.  Impossible numbers of people were destroyed, wiped from existence.  All that remained were their shadows — shadows that were blasted and burned into the rubble of walls.

I sat beside the scrying pool and wept at the memory of that vision.  I had always felt that those devastating events had really taken place, somewhere.  Perhaps it had been in some other world.  Maybe that was why no one seemed able to relate to it.

So many decades had passed since I had that horrific vision. It wasn’t something I could ever forget.  Why was it brought to me again so strongly? 

Perhaps my words would be heeded now, I thought. 

However, I had never known the respect as a seer that my grand-uncle was given.  I was young no longer.  I didn’t feel physically able to take up a cause.  Yet I couldn’t escape the feeling that those things had truly happened somewhere — and that they could happen again.  Worse, I worried that it could come to my own world, Thistledown.  I was powerless to stop it.

My tears fell into the pool, making ripples.  I was again pulled into the memories of those long ago days.

Black Gray Swirls david-werbrouck-247332

David Werbrouck

***

Was it like this for Uncle? I wondered.  How could a novice seer be expected to cope?  Not in any of the times he had given me guidance about being a seer, had he mentioned anything like the physical reactions I experienced.

Finally the phantasms released me.  I felt disoriented, queasy, and my head ached from the base of my skull.  A migraine was forming.  I squinted at the light of day.  Vaguely I noted that River Mindshadow and Lavender Cozy were there, but I couldn’t understand why.

“Shadows,” I murmured, trembling.  “Burned into the walls.  So many shadows.”

I sprang from a bed and darted to an open window.  I hung my head outside and vomited.

Weak, shaking, and sweating profusely, I finally became aware of my surroundings.  River took my arm and pointed me back to the bed.  I needed no encouragement to plop back down on the mattress.

The healer, Lavender Cozy, had a large firefly in her hand.  She whispered to the insect and its tail glowed brightly.  Taking my chin in her hand she shined the light in my eyes and looked at them closely.  She did the same at my ears.  Then Lavender took a large seashell.  She placed the wider end of the shell on my chest and put the narrow end to her own ear and listened.1925 Review Ad; butterfly kiss

Lavender went to the window and whistled.  It was a quick series of undulating notes.  A strange looking butterfly fluttered into the room.  It alighted on her outstretched hand.  I saw that it carried a drop of nectar on its tongue.

The healer transferred the butterfly to my neck.  I felt the sticky droplet of nectar.  In a moment a tingling sensation spread throughout my body.  I looked at Lavender Cozy curiously.

“It will be restorative to your system,” she answered my unspoken question. 

I commented about the tingling.  River looked from me to the butterfly and exclaimed that it had only been a tiny drop of nectar.

“It’s from a very powerful plant, a relative of the agave from far away.  A drop is sufficient.  Too much and it’s toxic.  Too often and it’s addictive,” Lavender explained as the butterfly hovered near her head.

The healer made another odd whistle and the butterfly fluttered out the window.  We watched as it moved gracefully into the sky.

“Hey Lavender!” a voice called from outside.  “Are you home?”

I stretched to see out the window.  It was Crescent Glimmer, a distant relation of Catseye.  A sunbeam glinted on a large necklace she wore.

Crescent waved when she saw the three of us looking from the window.  Lavender smiled and murmured something about serendipity.

“I wondered if you had any more of that hairball paste,” Crescent said in a hopeful tone.

“Has Bean been over grooming again?” Lavender asked.  “Come on in and I’ll whip some up in a jiffy.  I see you have your moonstone with you,” the healer commented.  “Do you mind bringing it up here?”

Crescent was quickly in the room.  Concerned pleasantries were exchanged.  She removed the big moonstone from a cord around her neck.  She handed the gem to the healer.

“Was Bedlam injured?” Crescent wanted to know.

“Not physically.  Although her aura indicates otherwise,” Lavender commented as she looked at me through the luminous moonstone.

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Heyerlein, Unsplash

“That vision!” River stated.  “It’s hurt her, hasn’t it?  It was so powerful and so awful that it physically harmed her.  I’ve said from the beginning that Bedlam is having more than a simple vision.”

Lavender nodded and answered in a matter-of-fact voice.  She managed to include everyone with a glance.

“Bedlam, you are easily as powerful a seer as your grand-uncle.  However, your talent is much greater than your control over it.  Anyone who underestimates your ability should think again,” Lavender Cozy said as she continued to look at me through the moonstone.

Then to my surprise, and apparently everyone else’s as well, she turned the moonstone to River.

“River Mindshadow, you are progressing true to your name.  I’ve waited to see if this talent would manifest in you,” Lavender said, and River looked uneasy — as if she already knew what would be said next and she she was resistant to the idea.  “You can follow the shadows within the mind.  You just haven’t figured out the knack of it yet.  Not to worry.  All things in their time,” Lavender added in such a way that no one questioned the curious statement.

“You’re in shock, Bedlam,” the healer told me gently.  “And your aura needs the healing that can only come through rest.  I’d better not see you leave this bed until I say so,” she added quite firmly.

***

The End

In this episode we had the pleasure of seeing several old friends again.  One new person among the mystery folk was revealed:  Annette Rochelle Aben.  Be sure to visit Annette at her blog.  I hope you’ll say hello to as many of the other mystery folk as you can.  Until next time—

Hugs on the wing!

 

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 © 2017 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.

 

 

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Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 7

Cathedral of Learning Dan Antion

Cathedral of Learning; Photo by Dan Antion

For a few episodes, I have thought this unplanned tale would take me to a feature of fellow blogger, Dan Antion.  His blog has a number of fun features throughout the week, notably Thursday Doors.  Now and then he also does posts about trains or trolleys. Many times I see a story in one of the pictures.  Dan graciously gave me permission to use some of the door and trolley photos from his posts. 

Writing Process

The pantser story kept causing me to mention the character Dan named, leading up to who knew what.  Now I’m finally featuring him.  It carries over to the following episode as well.  However, even then, I’m not sure if I’ve finished with the doors thing.  (Dan can tell you that “Doors” can come to have a strong effect on people.) If you think the uncertainty of where I’m going is enough to drive me nuts…  Let’s just say that it was a short trip.

Need to Catch-up? Last weekend I interrupted this serial to announce my latest novel, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.  My heartfelt thanks again to everyone who so generously participated in the book launch!  ❤   Anyhow, I realize you might need to refresh your memory so here are some links.  

Episode 6  and Links to all past episodes.

About This Episode

This time Bedlam Thunder meets a new character from the other faery-verse.  She’s not quite sure what to make of him, but I have a hunch that he might have another part to play in this serial.  I’m just not sure precisely what, or when.  

When we left Bedlam last time, the counterpart of Catseye Glimmer — Royal Chimera, warned her to leave right away.  Then three glowing doors appeared.  When she entered one, I wasn’t so sure how well that was working out for her.  So let’s get on with Episode-7 right now.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 7

Märchendom Saalfelder Feengrotten

Märchendom_Saalfelder_Feengrotten

Doors and Doors

Black. 

Silence. 

It was neither hot nor cold, but in a state near panic I began to sweat.  Was it reality or a horrible dream of being blind and deaf?

“Leave this place before it’s too late!”

Royal Chimera’s warning was strongly in my mind.  How did he expect me to leave when I didn’t know how I had gotten there?  I didn’t know, except that I followed the sandhill cranes. 

Then three doors, glowing with blue light had appeared. 

Had I left that place at all?  The darkness in which I found myself seemed like it should be part of that bleak world. 

One thing seemed sure, I had somehow left Thistledown. 

I exhaled a trembling breath.  Tiny sounds of my clothes rustling told me I was not deaf.  Although my ears had the unpleasant, stopped-up sensation of being underwater.  I shook my head and stretched my jaw, trying to make the feeling go away.

My eyes became adjusted to the dark, and I found that things were more gray than black.  I spotted a dim light and cautiously moved toward it.

I reached the source of the un-dark.  That’s how I thought of it, since it wasn’t exactly light.  It reminded me of the reflection pool, but it stood upright.  I extended a hand and touched a cool gemstone surface.  On closer inspection I thought it must be obsidian.  Yet rather than any color I knew the gem to be, it was pale grayish yellow.  It gave off a diffused glow.

Black Gray Swirls david-werbrouck-247332

David Werbrouck, Unsplash

As I gazed at it, my eye muscles twitched, as if they tried to cross.  I blinked and an image formed.  It was of the tall stone wall where I last saw Poppy Songbird minding the powderpuff sheep.

Wind gusted, just as it had when I left to deliver that message for Poppy.  A twinge of guilt came to me.  I hadn’t delivered the message yet.

The view went upward, over the wall.  Poppy was there coaxing the sheep toward the enclosure.  One animal lagged behind.  Suddenly the wind touched it just right, and the sheep lifted into the air.  The gust took the sheep so quickly that I gasped.

Poppy darted into the sky after the sheep.  Soon she sat astride the accidentally wayward animal.  It bleated in a way that suggested relief, though they were still airborne.  By appearances, Poppy rode a flying sheep.  However, the powderpuffs had no control over their flight.  It was Poppy who controlled the flying. 

Her flower-shaped spectacles were askew, but Poppy held the sheep tightly as her wings fluttered furiously.  Eventually, Poppy and the extra fluffy sheep touched down, but they had traveled some distance.

Purple wings shimmered in the sunlight.  Lavender Cozy fluttered down beside Poppy and the sheep.  She looked worried.  Since Lavender was a gifted healer, her concerned expression made me fearful.

“Poppy, are you okay?” Lavender asked, already checking my friend’s eyes and heart rate.  “I saw that wild flight.  I got here as fast as I could.”

“Fit as a fiddle, Doc!  You must have really been zooming to get here so quick.  But then, you always were one of the fastest things on wings,” Poppy said with a grin.  “Although, I would appreciate it if you could take a look at this powderpuff.  They’re pretty unflappable, but I’d feel better to have your opinion.”

“He’s just fine,” the healer commented, after examining the sheep.  “I’m sorry to rush, but I was on the way to a patient.  So as long as you weren’t traumatized, I’d best leave,” Lavender told her with a wink.

Everyone knew Poppy was not easily rattled, so they both grinned and had a quick hug.  Then Lavender darted into the sky.

As I watched the scene via what was apparently a gigantic scrying stone, I saw Carver Eastdoor hurry toward Poppy.

“Wow, Poppy!  That was some show,” Carver greeted her.  “If they make sheep wrangling a sport you’ll be a champion.”

“Did Bedlam give you the message from my cousin Holly?” Poppy asked him, but her brows knitted in a worried expression as if she already knew the answer.

“Bedlam?  No, I haven’t seen her in ages.  Do you mean she was on her way to see me?  I can tell you are afraid something is wrong,” Carver said.  “There’s a shortcut Bedlam might have used, a deer trail that parallels the pond at the Dragonfly orchard.  I’ll go that way and make sure nothing has happened to her.”

In a jiffy Poppy tied a harness and leash around the powderpuff sheep.  The animal’s hooves frequently lifted from the ground.

“You need a trim so you won’t be so buoyant,” she told the sheep, who made a plaintive bleat in return.  “I’m coming with you!” she called as she hurried to catch up with Carver.

1 Butterfly wing

I whirled away from the scrying stone.  I hadn’t heard anything, but I had the strong sense that someone else was there.  Out of the shadows walked a man wearing a bowler hat.  At first I thought the hat was decorated by three feathers standing from the band.  As he came closer I realized they were not feathers but long, sharp-edged leaves.

Nervously I took a step backward.  I stopped when I saw his disarming smile, but I didn’t relax.  He swept off the bowler had and bowed with a flourish.

Poison Ivy Razorleaf,” he proclaimed himself.  “At your service m’lady.  I see you’ve already found and brought light to the scrying mirror.  You must have quite the talent, Bedlam Thunder.”

My mouth moved noiselessly.  I didn’t know what to say or whether it was safe to be with the strange fae.  The edges of the leaves in his hatband looked sharp enough to cut like a knife.  They glinted even in the dim light as he returned the hat to his head.

“How do you know my name?” I demanded.

Or rather I tried to demand.  It came out as a whisper.

“As the keeper of the mirror, I pick up a lot of information.  Selling it actually makes for a decent livelihood.  I’m not that much of a seer, so I have to supplement my income.  Oh, don’t look like that.  I don’t blackmail anyone or do anything too unscrupulous,” he told me with a twinkle in his eyes and a saucy grin.

The huge scrying stone dimmed for a moment before showing Poppy and Carver again.  They were at Carver’s home.  I watched as he and Poppy spoke briefly with his wife and little daughter.  Then they hurried around to the back where Carver had made a huge sheltered work area.

“That’s quite a setup,” Poison Ivy Razorleaf commented as he stood beside me watching.

I jumped a little.  I didn’t realize the fae had stepped that close to me.  However, his attention was fixed on the image in the obsidian.

“Ah!” Poison Ivy exclaimed in a knowing voice.  “I had wondered how I could get you home, but maybe I don’t need to.”

His comment surprised me.  What did he mean by that?  My eyes involuntarily sought a way out of the strange shadowy chamber.

“Most intriguing,” he murmured, still looking at the image of Carver and Poppy.

“I was making this for your cousin Holly and her band to make a grand entrance at the solstice party Peaches is giving,” I heard Carver say.  “But I think we better use it now.”

Carver disappeared from my view.  I saw Poppy waiting before an elaborately designed door.  The colors decorating the door stood out brightly in the dull chamber.  Surrounding the door was a cloud-like border made of every imaginable candy.  Although he was out of view, I heard Carver say the sweets would fly out into the party crowd in a harmless, happy explosion when Holly Songbird came through it.

Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Dan Antion

Saks Fifth Avenue at Christmas, photo by Dan Antion

Then he and Poppy had an intense conversation.  I couldn’t make out their words, but Poppy looked really worried.  Beside me, Poison Ivy Razorleaf rocked back on his heels and grinned in what seemed like anticipation.

Finally Carver reappeared.  He held a huge copper ax.

“Where did you get that relic?” Poppy asked him.  “It looks like it was made for chopping more than wood,” she added with a cringe.

“It belonged to my great-great-great grandfather,” Carver answered.  “And you’re right.  It was a battleax.  He had a storied life.  Thankfully there has never been a battle in Thistledown.”

I couldn’t explain why, but Carver’s words made me shiver.  Razorleaf looked at me and chuckled.

Then Carver braced himself and swung the massive ax at the beautiful door he had created.

“It was nice to meet you, Bedlam Thunder,” Razorleaf said in a sardonic voice.

The enormous scrying stone went blank.  A sound like the entire world shattering filled my ears.

The End

*** 

Now, how could Carver Eastdoor think destroying that delicious door could help?  However, he knows his faery magic much better than anyone else.  Come back next time to learn what happened.  

New mystery folk revealed in this episode were Hugh Roberts, and Victo Dolore.  Please take a look at their wonderful blogs.  

Until next time, hugs on the wing!

 

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 © 2017 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.

Announcing the Launch! Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programming.  Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam will return next week.

Finally!  Wheew!  I’ve been almost ready with this for months.  So I’m dropping everything to tell you about it.  Also, a pos-i-lutely huge thank-you to everyone who agreed to be part of this book launch.  Ya’ll are the cat’s pajamas!

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Bijou front only 2

Yes, that’s the cover.  (I love making covers!)  I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

Giveaway!

My apologies everyone — I tried to limit the giveaway to just my followers, but it clearly went public anyway, and they blew right through it. (I’ve noticed many of the same “winners” appear on every giveaway too.)  I hope at least one person here actually won.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise.  I asked friends to give me three completely random things.  Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things.  I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things.  I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters.  That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery.  However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.  

Still want to know more about the original  Three Things Serial Story?  Here’s a great review from author and translator Olga Núñez Miret.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story.  I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story.  This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook.  Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times.  She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned.  This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space.  If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device.  The purchase links are below.  But first, here’s a snippet from the story.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me.  I’m not sure which.  I opened my eyes to complete darkness.  There was no light, no sound.  The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean.  It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else!  Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily.  The sound of a cricket came to me.  Good.  The utter silence had been very disturbing.  I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses.  My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark.  Bare ground was beneath me.  The air had a musty odor.  A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound.  Still sitting, I turned.  My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness.  When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away.  I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was.  I felt a burlap bag and round lumps.  Rutabagas?  I felt around and found another bag.  That one felt like potatoes.  I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape.  Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar. 

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there.  Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type.  Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one.  And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest.  Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk.  Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon:    https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Thriving Thursdays: Thrive or Success?

Thriving Thursdays: Thrive or Success? 

Posted at The Story Reading Ape.  I’ve disabled comments here, so I hope you’ll visit Chris and me at the tree-house.

Hello down there!  It’s me, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.  Yes, I’m up in the tree-house again.  Thanks to Chris the Story Reading Ape for hosting me for another Thriving Thursday.

Man Blowing Bubbles brandon-morgan-286192

Photo credit: Brandon Morgan, Unsplash

You don’t necessarily have to choose.  Sometimes thriving and success are similar.  Take this quote from Dale Carnegie…

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.

I think the quote applies to thriving.  So even if only for a few minutes, today have some fun.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 6

Heron flying pond Tim Price

T & L Photos

Hello everyone — I’m delighted that you’ve come back to Thistledown for another episode of my serial.  I have another special guest today.  Some of you know him.  If not, then let me introduce Tim Price.  Tim takes marvelous photos, with a “focus” on things and people in the southwest.  There are great examples online at T & L Photography, Inc.  If you click on any of Tim’s photos here, it will take you to a related post at his blog.

What you might not realize is that Tim is also a fantastic storyteller.  You can see that at his blog, Off Center & Not Even, where he often combines an entertaining narrative with his photo post.  I recommend you check out the tab for “Tales from My Youth.”  If you’re an animal lover you’re really in for a treat with plenty of pictures of the kitties and parrots who own him and his wife Laurie.

About This Episode

Tim had several photos that reminded him of the colorless world I described for the other faery-verse.  He kindly agreed to let me use them.  He describes one as “The Undertaker and the Cranes” at his blog.  It’s a fun post. I hope you’ll take a look at it and others when you visit him.  Naturally it inspired me, but the image took me to my own story.  

However, we begin this episode with a more colorful scene.  It also introduces new mystery folk.  So click on the links to reveal the people who named these characters. 

We now return to Thistledown…

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 6

Boreray_rams

Boreray Rams

Powderpuff Sheep and Cranes

Update: I had to include this wonderful creation from Robbie Cheadle. I’m honored that she was inspired by this story.

Image may contain: 1 person

Poppy Songbird called my name.  I heard her loud and clear, but I didn’t see her.  She chuckled when I turned a full circle looking for her.

“I’m up here, Bedlam,” she called from high atop the stone wall.  “I have to mind the powderpuff sheep.  You’re free aren’t you?” she asked, pushing her flower-shaped spectacles back on her nose.

My face flushed.  Everybody in Thistledown must know that I was suspended from school.  Poppy seemed to realize where my thoughts had gone.

“Oh…  Sorry, Bedlam.  I didn’t mean anything.  It’s just that I have to deliver a message, but I got stuck minding the sheep.”

The extra fluffy sheep on the other side of the wall bleated.  I knew it was a big responsibility to tend them.  When the direction and velocity of a breeze was just right, powderpuff sheep could get airborne.  Unfortunately they had no ability to control their flight.  The wind might take them anywhere.  Looking after them required a strong weather sense, to pick up on minute atmospheric changes.  If a powderpuff got into the air, retrieving it took a very dexterous flyer who could anticipate changes in the air current.

“Don’t worry, Poppy.  I understand.”

“How’s the wing?  It looks like you’re still grounded, huh?”

“My wing is getting better.  It doesn’t hurt now, unless I unfold my wings in a breeze.  So, what’s going on?” I wanted to know.

“I met up with my cousin Holly last night while she was on her way to her next gig.  She asked me to take a message to Carver Eastdoor.  Holly is coordinating with him for her grand entrance for her Midsummer performance at the orchard,” Poppy explained.  “I promised I’d get her message to him first thing this morning, but I didn’t know I was going to have to tend the sheep.”

My friend Peaches was excited that Holly Songbird, and her band Dragon’s Nest, would perform at her solstice party.  So of course I agreed to deliver the message.  Poppy dropped a paper folded in the shape of a bird and it floated to my hands.

Poppy said that Carver was planning something spectacular of his own as an introduction to the musical performance.  I knew that Carver had the talent to shape trees as they grew.  I couldn’t imagine what marvel he might create for the Midsummer party.

DCF 1.0

Little-Fairy-Girl, Janny Sandholm

I headed toward the home of the Eastdoor family.  It would be fun to see their baby daughter.  The last time I saw her, she was toddling around, using her tiny wings for balance.

The problem was the Eastdoor home wasn’t exactly close, and with my injured wing, I still couldn’t fly.

A foreboding feeling, caused by the dull colored fish and the dank thicket Peaches and I saw the day before, was still partly on my mind.  However, it caused an inspired thought.  If I cut across the orchard near the pond, it should save me a good deal of time.

As I neared that area the sky began to darken.  It’s a good thing Poppy stayed with the powderpuff sheep, I thought, although bad weather was not expected.

Uncle hadn’t said anything about a storm being on the way.  My grand-uncle’s ability as a seer included the weather.  Gazing heavenward, I realized that there were no storm clouds.  It was more of a thick haze.  That happened, although rarely.  However, when that kind of haze came to the sky it was usually at the end of summer.  We had not yet reached Midsummer.

Assuring myself that there was no storm about to break, I moved into the heavier vegetation.  Quickly I found a deer trail.  I knew it would lead toward the pond, near where Peaches and I found the odd little dog she called Pucker.

The snapping of a twig caused me to stop and look into the brush.  After a moment I spotted a pair of tall sandhill cranes.  It seemed so odd that the cranes should be there that I decided to follow them.

There was even less light away from the trail.  I could tell the tall birds knew I followed them, but my presence didn’t seem to make them nervous.  After a while the ground became wet.  I walked in ankle deep marshy water.  The area reminded me of the thicket that had formed on the east bank of the pond.  However, the direction I walked should have taken me beside the pond, not into it.

The sandhill cranes walked up to a gray heron that poked its long beak into the shallows, looking for food.  It stretched a sinuous neck to look at me.  Something seemed to pass between the heron and the pair of cranes.  All three looked back at me, and then moved to dry ground.  They looked over their shoulders as if expecting me to go with them.  I followed the large birds to a patch of sunlight.

Heron n others Winter Tim Price

A tall, lanky man stepped out from behind a tree.  On thin stalk-like legs, the heron walked up to the man to have its head scratched.

To say I felt uneasy was a vast understatement.  However, I relaxed when the man turned his face toward me.  Nothing in his manner was like the man I knew, but the face I saw was Catseye Glimmer.

The fleeting smile left my lips when I realized something was very wrong.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” he told me.

Royal Chimera!” a woman’s voice called from far away.  “Where are you off to now?”

The man turned at the sound of the odd appellation, but apparently it was his name.

“Coming,” he called in return.

“You should not be here, Bedlam Thunder,” he told me with a frown.  “Find your way back home.  You’re a creature of color and sunlight.  Leave this place before it’s too late,” Royal Chimera warned.

The gray heron stood to his full height and extended amazingly long wings.  The beat of the large bird’s wings had a hypnotic effect.  With the rhythmic movement of the heron’s wings, the air pressure surged and receded.  Light blared and then went dark again.  The sensations repeated, making me dizzy.  It continued until I could no longer stand.

I swayed.  My eyes blurred.  Finally I was able to focus.  The birds and Royal Chimera were gone, but his warning rang in my ears.  I turned back to face the marshy bank.  I found three doors where the marshland had been.  In that nearly colorless world, the doors glowed with blue light.

Am I to choose a door and enter? I wondered.

Overwhelming ringing filled my ears, just as had happened at the cottage where Peaches Dragonfly lived.  I stared at the doors, trying to understand what I should do.  The ringing was so loud, I became dizzy. 

Large black spots danced before my eyes.  I knew I was on the verge of losing consciousness.  Although I wasn’t sure why I would move forward or turn back, I stumbled blindly toward the doors.  My fingers met the cool surface of a metal doorknob.

Not knowing which of the three doors I touched, I turned the knob.

3 Doors BW Blue Tim Price

***

The End

The new “mystery folk” revealed in this episode are Sally Georgina Cronin of Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life and Dan Antion of No Facilities.  Please visit their blogs and say hello. 

 

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 © 2017 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.

 

 

Cover Reveal! Murder at the Bijou – Three Ingredients-I

 

Bijou front only 2

Ta-dah!  I’ve finally finished the technical aspects of book-izing the second of my blog serials.

About the Novel

Murder at the Bijou – Three Ingredients-I is the second of my “three things” style of blog serials.  As with the first serial, The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story, it was a spontaneously written (“pantser”) serial.  Everything in it — characters, setting, plot, was driven by things left by readers of the blog, episode by episode.  However, this time the things were “ingredients” since it is a culinary mystery!  

Pip returns as narrator.  She has new friends for this adventure, as she has been “sentenced” to live with her grandmother until she learns to become a passable cook.  As you can imagine, that does not sit well with our flapper. (Yes, I still need to write a blurb…)

Book Launch?

My “real job” doesn’t allow me time for marketing or promotions.  I limit that to this blog.  So you don’t see much fanfare with my books.  However, I want to ask… 

Is anyone interested in hosting me for a book launch post?

If so, please leave a comment to let me know.  I’ll write something to be posted at your blog.  Any takers?  

See you Friday, or whenever you can visit this weekend, for the next episode of the current serial, Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam. Until then, hugs on the wing!

 

Copyright © 2017 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 Catch-Up

Thistledown Girl

Sunday, August 6, 2017

As if by magic, August is already here.  I can’t believe this serial, Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam is already a month old.  I thought it would be a good idea to do this catch-up post for any new readers.  

This is a “pantser” story.  That means I’m flying by the seat of my pants, with this completely unplanned tale.  Most of my inspiration comes from the characters to which readers gave names when I started this project.  I don’t know what the plot is going to be, from one episode to the next until I look at a character’s name and think about what that faery would be, do, or where they would live, or how they would act.

If you’ve seen this serial in your “reader” but didn’t want to come in at the middle, here are links to all the episodes.  There is also a category button in the right-hand sidebar, but I’m making it easy for you.

Episode 1:  Beginning

Crystal Ball Hand_yeshi-kangrang-258234

Yeshi Kangrang, Unsplash

Episode 2:  In the Kitchen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Episode 3: Another Vision

Boy field smoke-ball aziz-acharki-290990

Aziz Acharki, Unsplash

Episode 4:  A Finder

I Will Give You Hope

Photo by Kirt Tisdale

Episode 5:  Pucker Up

Sour Cherry and Gooseberry jams SDeBrango

Photo by Suzanne DeBrango

So there you have it — all the episodes so far.  Be sure to click on the links to reveal (and visit) all the mystery folks.  

By the way, I closed comments on this post, since there is no new story information here.

Hugs on the wing!