Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam 12: Hear-See-Speak No

Marketing Graphic for Thisledown

Friday, October 6, 2017 

Hello, everyone. I’m happy to see you here in Thistledown after my semi-break last weekend. Before we fly off to Thistledown, let’s take a stroll on the dark side…

Only at Teri Polen’s Books & Such

It’s already October — how did that happen?  My favorite holiday is Halloween.  Leading up to that fun day, author Teri Polen hosts Bad Moon Rising.  It’s her yearly celebration of suspense and horror.  Each year more than 30 horror/thriller indie authors are featured throughout the month of October on her blog, Books & Such

atonement-video-cover-copyEven though many could argue that my “Atonement” books are not thrillers (and they are certainly not horror), they are suspenseful and there is a graveyard…  But Teri thought they qualified.  So I’m participating for my second Bad Moon Rising on October 10th.

In honor of Bad Moon Rising, through October, I’ve priced the Kindle version of my debut novel Atonement, Tennessee at just $1.00. 

Now to the faery world of Thistledown…

In today’s episode, keep an eye out for the character Teri Polen named. 

About This Episode

While gazing through a special moonstone, the Thistledown healer, Lavender Cozy, predicted Bedlam’s friend, River Mindshadow, would be able to follow the shadows of the mind.  I can think of a few directions that gift might take the young faery.  You’ll have to look closely to see them, but figuratively speaking, this episode of my pantser serial has wispy shadows, foreshadowing, hints of the unknown (even to me) directions this tale will take.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 5

Glitter person blue h-heyerlein-199082

H. Heyerlein, Unsplash

Hear No-See No-Speak No

My fingers ran along silken strands of blue hair left by the muskoxen.  I braided it absently.  There was no entertainment for me except my school books.  The hummingbird carried a single long blue hair to me.  I thanked it graciously. 

“You really outshine me with your iridescent orange feathers,” I commented to the hummingbird.

Why not have a playful conversation with the hummingbird?  What self-respecting faery wouldn’t?  It clearly liked the attention.  The hummer’s elongated streamer-tail made a whirring sound as it hovered at eye-level.  The tiny bird gave several twittering chirps as if it understood my words.  Then it gave a light tug at the loose sleeve of my yellow dress.

“Oh no,” I replied.  “I’m glad you like it, but I look positively rumpled.  Nothing to compare with you.”

The tiny bird flew in amazing antics.  I couldn’t help giggling.  With the long orange tail streaming behind him, I was astonished to realize he flew in a spiral pattern.  I looked at the hummer curiously.  Looking at the spiral gave me goosebumps. 

“Strange,” I murmured to myself, but the bird began to twitter and chirp.  “Have you a name, little one?”

The hummingbird twittered excitedly.  Facing me, it flew up and down in a bobbing motion.  My brain ran through likely names for hummingbirds.

“Zippy?  I see, that’s not it.  Erm… how about Firespinner?” I asked, pleased with the idea.

However, the hummer made a disgruntled sounding tweet.  His tiny face looked impatient as he repeated the odd bobbing flight pattern.

“Bob?  Your name is Bob?” I exclaimed in epiphany.  “What an unusual name.”

With that, Bob the hummingbird zipped away.

Ruby-topaz_hummingbird_flying in Tobago

Ruby-topaz hummingbird in Tobago

Maybe that wasn’t his name after all, I thought.  I hope I didn’t offend him.

A moment later Bob reappeared, carrying a long strand of muskox hair.  However, it wasn’t from the blue muskoxen of Blossom Stargazer’s team.  This hair was purplish blue, a periwinkle color.

“Wherever did you find this?” I murmured.

Bob darted about ten feet away, but then turned to hover facing me.  He gave an impatient chirp, clearly meaning for me to go with him.

The light capelet of my yellow dress was pushed aside as I tentatively I unfurled my wings.  I examined the tear cautiously.  It was beginning to knit but even a short flight would reopen the tear.

I looked at Bob sadly and told him, “I’m sorry little one.  I can’t keep up.”

Bob zipped back to me and let go of the long periwinkle hair.  I caught it, and fidgeting I rolled it between my thumb and middle finger.

“Ouch!” I muttered as a static discharge from the hair shocked my hand.

Darting forward again, Bob turned to wait for me.  He was remarkably single-minded for a hummingbird.  Most of them were easily distracted, and given to literal flights of fancy that they might follow anywhere, distracted a dozen times before they found their way back home.

Another pop of static from the strand of muskox hair shocked my hand.  However, I hardly noticed because at the same moment a commotion began in the bushes.  A small carriage broke through the shrubbery.  Startled, Bob zipped away.

Sparkler hands be the spark

Unsplash

I’d know that carriage anywhere.  Scores of chipmunks happily running in large exercise wheels powered the carriage.  Although sometimes the chipmunks could get off course.  They appeared to have taken it upon themselves to take a shortcut.

A head full of sparkling lavender curls popped out of the window.  Glitter Shimmerling smiled and waved before jumping down from her carriageFleur Thistle followed her.

I hadn’t seen Fleur Thistle since I was suspended from school.  I always felt embarrassed whenever I saw someone I had not spoken to since that episode.  I fidgeted, trying to think of what to say.  However, my friend who also got expelled that day, River Mindshadow exited the vehicle behind Fleur, so I felt more relaxed.

“Thanks for the lift, Glitter.  Fleur, I appreciate your help at the Trumpet.  Be sure to tell Peaches and Pucker I said hello,” River told the others before turning to me.  “They were on their way to the orchard and offered to give me a ride.”

Fleur Thistle was one of the reporters for The Thistledown Trumpet newspaper.  I remembered how worried I had been that Calico Rainbowforrest, the managing editor would say something about my terrible vision in the newspaper.  However, my fears had been for nothing.  Calico was incredibly kind to me.  Because of that, I was not as tense in Fleur’s presence as I might have been otherwise.

But what could River have been doing at the Trumpet?

“Hi Bedlam,” Fleur and Glitter said in unison.

“I’d better see to the carriage before we go though,” Glitter stated as she inspected her vehicle.

Fleur pointed at chipmunks trying to count them, and then started over.  Twice.

“Bedlam,” Fleur began with a smile, but shook her head as she bent toward the carriage wheels.  “Could you help count the chipmunks?  They won’t be still.  Someone needs to check my counting.”

“Yes, we must have picked up some extras.  I’m sorry to crash through the bushes like this,” Glitter began.  “Chipmunks love the carriage wheels so much.  To them they are fun exercise wheels.  Sometimes random chipmunks jump aboard while I’m traveling and it gets the carriage off balance, making it a little hard to control.”

However, there was no counting, as the chipmunks collectively seemed to choose that moment for a play break.  They scurried all around the area where the bonfire had been the night before.  A quartet of them ran across Fleur’s feet and she fluttered off the ground reflexively.

My eyes followed the playful chipmunks.  Uncle seemed to think any kind of fun was outside the scope of the “rest” I was supposed to get.  Everyone knew I was grounded.

River seemed to follow my thoughts.  She nudged Fleur and Glitter, and then she covered her eyes.

“I know you’re still grounded, Bedlam ― in more ways than one.  But we don’t see or hear a thing,” River promised with a grin.

“That’s right!” Fleur added, covering her mouth.  “I won’t tell a soul.”

“What?  Did somebody say something?” Glitter joked, covering her ears.

Hear See Speak No Evil Robbie C

Photo by Robbie Cheadle

(Robbie’s post https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/my-thoughts-on-indie-books/)

***

When the chipmunk powered carriage pulled away, River turned to me with a gleam in her eyes. 

“We need to dig something up – literally,” she told me.  “There’s a very old vine of the Trumpet not far from here.  Remember that while news stories come out on curled leaves from the vine, there are archives of articles stored in the roots.”

I remembered Calico Rainbowforest saying as much.  However, I wasn’t following River’s thought pattern.

“But why?” I wanted to know.

“Bedlam, you never mention anything from when you were little.  I don’t think you remember that part of your life.  Haven’t you ever wondered why you don’t remember anything from when you were very small?” 

“Not really.  A lot of people don’t remember when they were little children,” I told River.

River Mindshadow gazed at me doubtfully.  I remembered Lavender Cozy, the healer, saying that my friend would be able to “follow the shadows within the mind.”  I wondered aloud what River was thinking.

“I’m not sure myself,” River admitted and she fluttered from side to side, the equivalent of pacing. “I know everyone thought it was part of the show when that woman rode out of your grand-uncle’s bonfire.  But I figured she was from the place you went to, where no one wears colors.  You said there was a girl like me, and like Meadow Songbird* and Luminous Twinkle* as well.  So, there should be someone in Thistledown who looks like Fallow Blackmoon, don’t you think?  Fleur let me look through the images at the Trumpet office, but I didn’t find anything that looked like her.  I want to know if people have ever disappeared from Thistledown.”

Her words made me more nervous than they should have. Just thinking of the stunning appearance and disappearance of Fallow Blackmoon, was enough to make me uneasy. 

“I’ve never heard of anyone disappearing from Thistledown.  People just don’t do that,” I told her.  “Why would you think of that in the first place?”

“The things you’ve said about that other faery-verse,” River began.  “Everybody seems to have a counterpart, a double.  However, you didn’t have a doppelganger when you went there.  You’re a seer.  Then Fallow Blackmoon came here, and told you that she was a seer.  And she has no double here!”

With a gasp I told my friend, “Field Yewwasp said she looked familiar!  Do you think Fallow Blackmoon actually came from Thistledown, yet somehow became part of the colorless faery-verse?”

In a restless gesture, River flicked her wings.  Then she shrugged.

“You said faeries there didn’t seem to have wings.  What if the other faery-verse doesn’t have seers either?  At least not without them going there from somewhere else… like here,” River tried to explain her thoughts.

With unexpected anxiety, I fiddled with the long strand of periwinkle colored muskox hair that Bob the hummingbird brought me.  It emitted a bigger discharge of static electricity than before.  I cried out as is shocked me.

River gasped.  The strand of purplish hair extended straight out, as if pulled forward.  It was almost like something that had been magnetized by a hematite stone.  It sizzled with static and pointed like a divining rod.

Purple sparkles billy-huynh-278252

Billy Huynh, Unsplash

“It looks like you two should go where that electrified hair leads.”

We both turned, startled.  It was Fleur Thistle.  A chipmunk perched on each of her shoulders and several more danced around her feet.

“I didn’t mean to startle you.  Some of the chipmunks got lost so Glitter and I came back to look for them.  She went in the opposite direction as me,” Fleur explained and then nodded at the periwinkle colored hair.  “That’s too magical of a message to be ignored.  Besides, a hummingbird brought it to you!  You have to listen to it.  I’ll dig up the Trumpet archives.  Sorry ― I couldn’t help overhearing.”

“But Fleur, you could lose your job for doing that!” River objected.

“I doubt anyone will care.  Besides, I’m expected to do some ‘research’ every week,” Fleur added just as the hair gave me another stinging pop of static.  “It seems impatient.  You should probably get going.  I’ll let you know if I learn anything about missing folks.”

The periwinkle muskox hair popped and sizzled. 

***

The End

Please note: I’m compelled to state this because this has happened every time I bring my hamsters into the story.

 Every creature and thing in this serial (and in all my writing) is strictly the product of my imagination, and has nothing to do with any other writer or blog. As with the sheep, hummingbirds, muskoxen and every other creature hamsters portrayed here are the product of my imagination.  The carriage driving rodents in Thistledown are hamsters — not dudes or “hamstas,” or any other name used in the work of any other writer. None of the characters in this serial are affiliated with any other blog, including the rodents.  To avoid any additional confusion, hamsters of any kind will make no further appearances in this serial.

We were happy to see many old friends this time.  However, only one new person among the mystery folk was revealed in this episode:

You have met the “scary faery” counterparts of two more mystery folk, but not the Thistledown characters:

Maybe you can visit all of them.  I look forward to seeing you next weekend, here in Thistledown. 

Until then, 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.

Every creature and thing in this serial (and in all my writing) is strictly the product of my imagination, and has nothing to do with any other writer or blog. As with the sheep, hummingbirds, muskoxen and every other creature hamsters portrayed here are the product of my imagination.  The carriage driving rodents in Thistledown are hamsters — not dudes or “hamstas,” or any other name used in the work of any other writer. None of the characters in this serial are affiliated with any other blog, including the rodents.  To avoid any additional confusion, hamsters of any kind will make no further appearances in this serial.

 

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#BadMoonRising Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene #IndieAuthor #urbanfantasy @TeaganGeneviene

Terrific Teri Polen interviewed me for her month long celebration of Halloween, called Bad Moon Rising. Be sure to click over to her site and say hello — and check out all the fantastic books she has already featured. Happy Halloween, everyone.

Books and Such

bmr

Welcome to Day 25!  Today’s featured author is Teagan Geneviene.  We’ve had so many stunning covers lately and Teagan’s is no exception.  I’m one of the many who miss Sookie Stackhouse and it sounds like Atonement, Tennessee will fill that void perfectly.
3-D Atonement Cover no background

Synopsis

Esmeralda Lawton is sick and tired of the big city. “Ralda” was betrayed until trust became a theoretical concept. So it’s a dream come true when she buys an old estate, complete with historic cemetery. Okay, she isn’t excited about the cemetery, but she’s strangely drawn to the estate. Atonement, Tennessee, a quaint town, seems like the perfect place for her. However, her new life isn’t quiet.

The house is full of antiques. Some have extraordinary properties — a brass bed causes strange dreams, and a mirror shows the truth of who you are.

A mysterious neighbor secretly watches over the graveyard. There’s more to him than…

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