Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 2

Welcome back to Thistledown, everyone!  If you are joining this serial for the first time, or if you need to refresh your memory click here for the premier episode.  I also have a category button on the right side-bar of the screen for “Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.”  However, these days I can’t make promises about WordPress behaving as it should. (For several days I found myself unable to comment on any blogs — including my own! WP just told me to email somebody else… Finally and laboriously got it fixed myself.)

Thistledown Girl

Alex Iby, Unsplash

Writing Process

As a writer, I tend to reject rules. (Often things are presented as rules, but feel more like “formulas” than anything else.  I don’t care for formulas either.)  Although, when writing in a genre, (to a degree) I do try to follow some general expectations, for the comfort and understanding of readers.  

So before anyone asks…  When writing fantasy, I’m fond of using archaic forms of words.  Hence my spelling of “faery.”  I followed the lead of Brian Froud.  Many people see him as an expert on fairies/faeries/fae.  If you want to know more about the topic, click here or here.  

I had expected to reveal Bedlam’s vision in this episode.  However, I’m flying by the seat of my pants.  It didn’t work out that way.  That’s all part of pantsering.

About the Episode

The mystery folk from the first episode return for this one.  However, several new characters are introduced.  Be sure to click the links (like this) to reveal the mystery folk behind the character names.

This time we get an idea of what sort of gifts, talents, and magic the faeries of Thistledown might have in their daily lives.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Trumpet Vine, by Manu via Wikimedia Commons free media repository

In the Kitchen

Smoke curled from the twin chimneys of the cottage where  Peaches Dragonfly lived.  I could see it a short distance away.  The warm breeze brought the aroma of tarts Peaches had cooking in the oven.  Even though my mouth watered, I couldn’t get my feet to move.

“Come on!” Peaches encouraged.  “Bedlam Thunder what’s wrong?” she asked, letting go of my arm and giving me a concerned look.

My eyes had found the bright yellow flowers of the trumpet vine.  A horrible idea sprang to my mind when I saw the blossoms.  The vine bore the local news.  I touched a petal, fearing it would shout my name.

Extra!  Extra!  Get the Thistledown Trumpet here!” the flower cried.  “Get the time and place of all the best Midsummer parties!  Take a leaflet,” the blossom added encouragingly.

“Oh good,” murmured Peaches as she reached to pluck a curled leaf.  Unrolling the leaf she read the list of parties before commenting, “Good, they got my information right.  They mentioned that Pick is visiting.  They even included that Holly Songbird will be singing!  I had to ask them to update the announcement for that.  I didn’t think I had given them the information in time.  Perfect!”

I was relieved at not hearing my own name or anything about my awful vision.  However, I still couldn’t manage to raise my eyes to look higher than the ground, or lift my feet to follow Peaches.

Crystal Ball Hand_yeshi-kangrang-258234

Yeshi Kangrang, Unsplash

“People are saying that the things in the vision I had will happen because of me — as if I’m going to make them happen.  That it’s my fault.  Or they just make fun of me.  I haven’t been around much of anybody since River Mindshadow and I were suspended.  That was so humiliating…  I just haven’t wanted to deal with seeing anyone,” I explained, eyes still firmly fixed on my feet.  “And I just can’t face River.  It’s all my fault that she got suspended with me.  I should have done something to stop it.”

It was hard to hold back tears.  I was overwrought, I had been for days.  Stellar the cat twined around my ankles consolingly.  However, it took all my concentration to keep my composure, so I didn’t pet her.  I sniffled and swallowed and sniffled some more before I could finally hold up my head.

Both Peaches and River stood watching me impatiently, fists planted firmly on hips.  I was startled because I hadn’t even heard River come up to us.  Peaches was tapping a foot.  River’s wings were unfurled, so I knew she was about to leave.

“Bedlam, I’ve been given a curfew, a truly unreasonable one too.  So I can’t stay, but I want you to know that none of this is your fault!” River told me in a firm voice.  “Especially me getting suspended, or this curfew.  If you say that again, I’ll be insulted.  My analysis of your vision was mine to state.  I made my own choices.  You didn’t make them for me.”

I drew back.  River’s reaction was not what I expected.  I started babbling an apology, but she cut me off with a smile and a wave of her hand.  Then she nudged me with her elbow.

“It’s alright.  Go on inside and get a slice of tart.  Pick Dragonfly already had two slices,” River said in a kinder voice before she zipped into the sky.

“Ha!  My cousin has been accused of having hollow legs, a slim guy who is always hungry,” Peaches commented fondly as she waved to River.  “He’s actually a good cook.  That more than makes up for it.”

Bird Cherries tree vincent-van-zalinge-38365

 Vincent Van Zalinge, Unsplash

Peaches drew me toward her cottage.  Blackberry vines covered the roof.  It was dotted with berries in various degrees of ripeness, white, red, purple, and black.  The kitchen windowsill was lined with bread and pies set there to cool.  The aroma of desserts in the oven was irresistible.  The pink haired faery did not spare the ovens for her solstice celebrations.

As we neared her home, we had to stop for something most people would find unusual.  A long line of red cherries rolled from the other side of the orchard.  The cherries tumbled along, in single file across our path and through the open front door of her cottage.

Peaches shook her head and made a wry face.  That was how her cousin Pick took care of the cherry picking chore when he visited.  It was part of Pick’s gift, convincing the cherries to leave the tree and come to him.

“If I find a single bruise on those cherries…” Peaches muttered.

Different faeries had different talents or magical abilities, and to varying degrees.  The school was meant to help us, from an early age, to develop our apparent talents, and to uncover hidden gifts.  Some faeries had hardly any magic at all.  Like me.  I didn’t see my visions as any sort of talent, and they certainly weren’t magic.

I had hoped that going to the school would cause me to manifest a better talent.  However, before my freshman term of senior level was finished, my visions got me suspended.  I sighed without meaning to make a sound.  Peaches gave me a sympathetic look before we went inside her home.

Her cottage had a huge kitchen — the largest room in the house.  The way Peaches baked, that was a necessity.

Across the room, the first thing I saw was a uniquely lovely flower arrangement.  It contained the most unexpected combination of things, with all manner of wildflowers, and even stems of cotton bowls.

Cotton plant painting 1901

Cotton plant circa 1901, Wikimedia

However, I stumbled to a halt the moment I stepped through the doorway.  The cherries continued to roll until they went into a basket beside the sink.  Pick Dragonfly carried not just one, but three plates to the sink.  Yet none of those things were what caused me to stop in my tracks.

I faced the long kitchen table, mouth agape.  All of the people I admired most in Thistledown were gathered in my friend’s kitchen.  They weren’t the official council, but they were highly respected people.

The fae at the other end of the table sat head and shoulders above the rest.  He was known far and wide as the furry faery, Field Yewwasp.  The huge table looked ordinary next to him.  I knew the large top hat on the coat rack had to belong to Field.  Wire rimmed spectacles with rose colored lenses sat on his nose.  The red jacket he wore was perfectly tailored for his large frame.  I supposed that if your size and hair automatically drew attention to you, then you would want to be well dressed.

Ember Beamwitch sat at Field’s left.  The flowers in her hair bobbled when she looked up at us.  The fiery colored print of her dress had a soft radiance even in the daylight.  After dark it would give a fanciful glow.  A voluminous sleeve swayed gracefully when she raised her hand to wave at me.  Ember would judge the dance competition that Peaches planned to include in her Midsummer celebration.

One of the spectacles of the Midsummer gathering would be worked by Catseye Glimmer.  From practically nothing, Catseye could create fun and useful things.  I suspected that he would somehow make the dance floor, and that his creation of it would kick-off the party.

At seeing these enormously respected fae, I was a nervous wreck, on top of being an emotional basket case.  My eyes were wide with shock.  I stood speechless even when someone bade me sit down at the table.  That’s when I had one more shock than I could handle.  I dazedly realized the person offering me a seat was Calico Rainbowforest.  She ran the Thistledown Trumpet News!

Oh no, I thought.  This is horrible.  What if she puts my vision in the news?  She’ll probably agree with everyone else.  What if she blames every bad thing on me, like some people are doing?

“Oh dear.  You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Calico spoke in a kind voice.  “Poor Bedlam, I know what you’ve been through.  Did you know that the Readings Master suspended me once too?”

That admission got my surprised attention.  I couldn’t imagine Calico Rainbowforest getting into trouble at school, but she grinned and nodded.

“It wasn’t that long ago, you know.  I believe you and I are more alike than you’d expect.  That man just seemed to take an instant dislike to me.  Anyway… I would very much like to hear the story in your own words,” she requested and paused as if waiting for my answer.  When I didn’t speak she continued, “Whenever you’re feeling ready to talk about it.  I’d just listen, mind you, nothing more.  Then if everyone here agreed that it was safe to share with Thistledown, only if you approved would I put it in the Trumpet.

At that moment I knew Calico was saying something, because I could see her mouth moving.  However, I was already intimidated by the individuals who sat around Peaches’ table.  Plus I was downright paranoid about the Trumpet.  I was slow to absorb Calico’s words.  It seemed like I heard her voice from far away.

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

Fairy Islands, 1916, Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Wikimedia

Faeries have a fight or flight reflex — quite literally.  Mine abruptly kicked-in, and my wings unfolded before I knew what was happening.  My wayward wings knocked a honeydew melon off a sideboard.  The honeydew hit the floor in an explosive crash of seeds, juice, and melon flesh.  It splattered half the people at the table.

I jumped backward in my agitation.  One of my wings caught painfully on the doorjamb.  I gasped and turned, not understanding what was causing the pain.  My wing started to tear as I moved.

In the recesses of my mind I heard more than one person scream “No!”  They could see what I was too distressed to understand — that I was about to do serious harm to myself if I moved.

I was vaguely aware of seeing Catseye Glimmer stand.  He turned to the unique flower arrangement behind his seat.  Quickly he picked a stem with several cotton bowls.  He whispered to the plant and flexed his fingers in an impossible looking motion.  Then he threw it toward me.

The stem sailed past, an inch from touching me.  It transformed to a soft cushion the size of the doorway, gently preventing me from moving or doing serious damage to my wing.

“Goodness, she looks like she’ll swoon!” Ember Beamwitch exclaimed.  “Here Bedlam, sit down.”

As if he had the same thought as Ember, Pick Dragonfly handed me a glass of chilled water.

Ember put the first two fingers of her right hand to the “third eye” area of my forehead.  A soft glow emanated from her hand.  After a second I felt a wonderful cool sensation and I no longer felt faint.

I was suddenly aware of Field Yewwasp bending over me.  Everyone else had been between the furry faery and me.  How could someone so large move so fast that I didn’t even see him?  As I looked at him in confusion, he asked if I was all right.

“You’d best stay earthbound, rather than fly, until that heals,” Field advised.

The big pain in my wing seemed disproportionate to what was actually a small tear.  Calico unexpectedly drew a tiny jar of ointment from her pocket.  She gave me a sardonic smile.

“Bedlam, my flight skills aren’t any better than yours.  I’ve learned to keep first aid with me,” Calico confessed.  “May I?” she asked indicating the ointment.

I nodded, still mute.  The ointment did lessen the pain.  I drank from the water Pick gave me.  Wide-eyed, I gazed in amazement at the kindness of the people around me.  However, a most unpleasant sensation reverberated through my head.  I shook my head to clear the ringing, but it wouldn’t stop.

Fairfacefairy_2

Wikimedia

***

I hope you clicked the links to reveal the mystery folk. Additions to the cast for this episode include characters named by Hollyberye, Colleen Chesebro, Chris Graham, Mary J. Mccoy-Dressel, and Tim Price.

Fly back to Teagan’s Books next time to reveal new mystery folk and see what happens in episode three. 

 

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.

Time Travel Esc-Ape

Gotcha!  Caught you blog reading.  It’s Get Caught Reading Month — a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read.  Last year I did a zany series where an intrepid band of bloggers (and their pets!) tried to catch the illustrious Story Reading Ape in the act of reading.  I’m rerunning those posts midweek, through May. 

In case you didn’t know, Chris Graham is quite the story telling ape as well.  You can get to know Chris better at his blog.  

The Ape has honored us with a new short story!  And he has included Pip, from The Three Things Serial Story.  When I saw what Chris wrote I knew I had to make this a two-part post.  So be looking for my part of this collaboration next weekend.  Now without further ado, here’s a story from Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape.

FORWARD to the PAST

Some weeks ago, while Chris, The Story Reading Ape was away, the Naughty Chimps took the opportunity to enjoy a bit of Nit Picking.

You’ve been at the Honey Ants’ tree again, haven’t you, Cedric?”

I suppose it’s the sticky clumps of hair that’s given the game away Malcolm?”

Well, it wasn’t your ‘sweet nature’ – Har, Har”

Meanwhile, Aristotle the Scientific Genius, (Artie for short), was catching up with a bit of sleep.

He’d been working hard on the Time Machine he intended using to go back to the 1920’s and meet Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip.

Ever since reading about her adventures in the Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920’s Story, by Teagan Riordain Geneviene, he was determined to visit her and join in the fun.

The main problem was, the darn thing only went forwards in time, and only returned back to one second after he’d left and about 19 miles to the west for some reason.  So he had to drag the thing back home every time he used it.

This was a great source of amusement to the others.

So he was hoping that a good nap would help his overworked brain sort out all the possibilities and arrive at an answer.

Many Zzzzzz’s later…

Artie woke up suddenly to the sound of the other chimps calling out his name.

Wake up Artie – There’s a visitor here to see you – says he’s made a special trip to talk to you!”

Artie yawned, stretched, fell off his branch, sat up on the grass, scratched his armpit and opened his eyes to see someone watching. Someone who looked like his old Granddad.

“About time too, you lazy young chimp. How anything ever got made by you is beyond me,” barked the old one.

Wazzup Grandad? I wasn’t really asleep, I was deep in ponderating thought!”

“Mind your manners and don’t try that excuse on me, you young rascal.  I know exactly what you do during your ‘ponderating’ moments – I’ve come to tell you to stop wasting your time trying to go back to the 1920s!”

Wadyamean, wasting my time – when I’ve solved the problems, I’ll be FAMOUS.”

Oh, you’ll be famous ok, but for being such a Silly Billy for taking so long to figure out where you’ve been going wrong!”

What do YOU know about it then GRANDAD?”

Because, I’m YOU, from the future!”

Artie just stared agog at the old chimp as a myriad of thoughts whizzed through his mind.

If you’re ME from the future, then it means I’ve solved the problem of Time Travel – YIPPEE!”

Not so fast Knucklehead – you’ll never be able to travel back any further than the time you first started the Machine.”

I don’t understand, why can’t I travel back further?”

Because no Time Machines existed before then, so there are no connections in the Time/Space Continuum for you to use beyond that time,” explained the Old Artie.

So THAT’S why I’m able to go FORWARDS in time, but always return to one second after I’ve departed?”

Yes, and that’s also why you and the Machine always end up about 19 miles away to the West.” Old Artie confirmed.

“Earth revolves around the Sun at a speed of about 18.5 miles/sec (30 km/sec), plus, it rotates at about 0.25 miles/sec (0.46 km/sec),” Old RT explained, “Add the two together and the Earth has moved forwards AND rotated, about 18.75 miles in that one second”.

Young Artie’s legs gave way and he sat down with a thud. “So, I’ll never get to actually meet Pip?”, he cried plaintively.

“I’m afraid not – however, you CAN keep up date with her adventures, by tuning into Teagan’s blog every week and reading her ‘Little 1920’s Stories’ books.”

“That’s why I decided to risk everything by coming back to stop you wasting any more time on the Machine – I regret not spending more time reading.”

“But what will happen to YOU if I stop working on the Time Machine?” asked Young Artie.

“I’ll cease to exist as I currently am, but YOU will become a better old version when you reach my age” laughed Old Artie before he suddenly disappeared with a soft popping sound.

Nowadays, young Artie can often be found reading Teagan’s blog posts and books, as the Time Machine slowly gathers dust, termites and vines…

***

The end

Copyright © 2017 by Chris Graham

***

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

“Hey, Teagan!  Come on and wake up.  Look, I know that nasty allergy-asthma thing has made you pos-i-lutely miserable for the past month.  I know you’re exhausted from it, but get your head back to the Jazz Age.  It’s me, Pip!  Oh, horsefeathers!

“Miss!  Whatever is the matter?  I could hear you all the way in my submarine… But the writer isn’t going to hear you.  Her creative thoughts are as displaced as my scull.”  

“Hey mister, who do you think you are, wriggling those bushy blonde eyebrows at me?  But I guess you are sort of a sheik, in your own way.  Oh, but poor Artie!  Did you hear all that.  The poor thing, trying so hard to meet me.”

“Now, now… surely it can’t be that bad.  Although Artie does rather remind me of someone I once knew.  Although that fellow’s complexion had an purplish cast…  But wait.  What’s that they have under all those vines?  Oh my! Is that really a time machine?  My dear, I am most intrigued.  I think this situation warrants closer examination.”

“Oh, you are the cat’s pajamas, Mister erm…?”

“Cornelis Drebel, at your service, miss.”  

***

The beginning

***

Lord have mercy…  It looks like my characters are crossing over story-lines and conspiring on their own.  Stay tuned for next time.  Same flapper time.  Same flapper channel.  Mega hugs!

Atonement Airship

Image by Chris Graham

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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

 

Thriving Thursdays: Fear or Courage?

Thriving Thursdays: Fear or Courage

Yeehaw!  I’m back at the Tree-house again with Chris the Story Reading Ape, for another Thriving Thursday!  This post is already live at his site.  He has a lot of other great stuff too, so be sure to visit my favorite Ape.  

I’ve been down with a nasty sinus-allergy thing.  While I’m a long way from being 100%, I’m trying to climb back up into the saddle again.

I’m here to encourage you to thrive.

Today I’m not thinking about how daring the feat was.  Nor am I wondering how dangerous the situation was.  I’m not even considering what extraordinary valor may have been involved.

How brave is someone when they do something they don’t fear?  Are they braver than the person who trembles in terror? 

Fear can hold us back.  But to overcome fear is to thrive.  If you see a person, daunted by distress, who dives into the fray despite their dread — then you have witnessed courage.

Courage is being scared to death — and saddling up anyway…  John Wayne

Due to a hectic workday, and to this relentless sinus/allergy problem I’m having, I’m closing comments here.  Please click over to the Ape’s tree-house and say hello. I’ll drop by as I’m able.  Click here.

Wishing you a thriving Thursday.

Mega hugs,

Teagan

john-wayne_courage-2

 

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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

 

 

Crowing Pains

Crowing Pains

atonement_coverNo, this is not the weekend, and you haven’t missed the steam locomotive to the Victorian Era — I’m here with a mid-week post!

Many of you have heard me say how difficult it is for me to cope with the indie author necessity of shameless self-promotion.  I’m going to start calling that crowing pains.

However, my excitement is making it a lot easier.  Why the giddiness? Atonement, Tennessee just received a five-stare review from (drum roll)… none other than the Story Reading Ape himself — Chris Graham!

When I wrote Atonement, Tennessee I followed some old advice that I continue to use in anything I write — let the story be whatever it needs to be.  Even so, I wondered if having mostly women as the main characters would limit the audience, but I shrugged it off, and let the story be what it was. With that in mind, I’ve been delighted to see that it is well received by men as well as women… and Apes too!

Here’s what Chris wrote. He posted it at Amazon.com.

This story deserves a sequel

By Chris Graham on September 6, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

A great fantasy with Celtic tones, set in modern days.

I loved the characters who are well described and believable:

Ralda (full name Esmeralda) has had unfortunate personal experiences with life and love before moving into the ‘Local Haunted House’ of Atonement, Tennessee; which, incidentally, has an ancient graveyard as part of the estate…

Her nearest neighbour is the beautiful and friendly Lacey, whose husband Ralph is not the most pleasant of people.

Other characters include two handsome, but strange, young men who seem to be vying for Ralda’s attention, two other women, one of whom is a Goth, also become Ralda’s friends and a Small Town Sheriff with an unfortunate nickname locally.

Not forgetting Lilith, Ralda’s curious calico cat who sees more than her mistress and Puddles, Lacey’s mischievous dog.

I found this story easy to read, enjoyed the interaction between the characters and am left hoping that the author intends to write a sequel.

Now do you see why I’m practically dancing a jig, just like one of the Ape’s naughty chimps?

To reward you for putting up with my crowing pains, here is the original Crowing Pains… followed by all my purchase information (wink).

Mega hugs!

Barnes & Noble Nook

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/atonement-tennessee-teagan-geneviene/1117790203?ean=2940148918431

Kindle and Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412384486&sr=1-1

Amazon UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A

Amazon India

http://www.amazon.in/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1481826948

Writing from an Unexpected Point of View

Originally posted at Chris The Story Reading Ape‘s Blog.

Chris TSRA

 

Many thanks to Chris Graham (aka The Story Reading Ape) for hosting me at his amazing Author Promotions Enterprise blog. “The Ape” generously promotes authors on his blog, and he offers excellent resources for our use. However, he’s also a gifted cover artist. Be sure to take a look at some examples of his work.  Also, he has started creating fantastic book trailers! (By the way, his trailers are much, much better than the one I have.)

Here’s the article Chris hosted for me.  It features my Lilith character from “Atonement, Tennessee.”

If you want to capture someone’s attention, whisper.… Maybe, but they Book Cut Out Holmesmight not hear you at all. One way to capture a reader’s attention is to occasionally write from an unexpected point of view.

That can also be a practical tool, not just a “hook.” When I wrote Atonement, Tennessee, I decided to have my heroine narrate the story. However, there is a stumbling block with that kind of writing. My heroine could only tell about what she had witnessed. If she was not present for part of the action, someone would have to just tell her about it. Not nearly as exciting, huh?

So I wanted to occasionally shift and let another character be the witness. But who would be suitable? None of the people in my fictional town of Atonement, TN would be likely to see the events I needed to describe. Then I remembered an old exercise about writing from the point of view of an inanimate object. It was very enjoyable to me. Next I thought, what about an animal instead?Cat Eyes Watching

I gave my heroine a cat. At strategic points I make that shift and let the feline witness events. To bring you into the fun, I’m sharing a “character interview” I did with Lilith, the calico cat and part time narrator of Atonement, Tennessee.  Then I’ll show you a snippet of the novel written with the cat as witness.

Here goes!

Character Interviews: Lilith the Calico

Teagan: Lilith, won’t you come over here and sit with me?

(She looks all around the room — everywhere but at me.)

You’re even prettier than I expected. (Now she jumps onto the sofa. The compliment seems to have helped.) For this interview, the Creative Muse has given you the power of human speech.

Lilith and mirrorLilith:  Meow…

Teagan:  Now, Lilith. There’s no need to be contrary. You know you can talk for now. Take advantage of it. I understand you were a rescue kitty. Tell us about your life before Ralda adopted you.

Lilith:  Meow…

Teagan:  (I sigh. Talk about catitude…) I think what everyone wants to know most about you is — are you really a cat? Or are you some kind of supernatural? Maybe an enchanted person who has to… atone?  Because, in all honesty, even though I wrote the novel, I do not know.

(Lilith narrows her eyes then turns her back on me and proceeds to wash her face.  Clearly that line of questioning is not acceptable.) Calico washing face

All righty then; I’m not going to get an answer to that one either.

Okay, moving on. You tell the parts of the story that Ralda doesn’t see. What about Cael? Do you know more about him than anyone else?  Wait — what’s that?  …Are you purring?

Cael at rest- Adrian Paul

Adrian Paul as Cael

Lilith: Oh, Cael is simply divine. (Purrrrr…) Yes, I know more about him than Ralda does — even at the end of the story. He’s strong, courageous, faithful, and he knows about a lot more than is apparent. Cael is also childlike sometimes, which is an intriguing contrast to his strength. I also sense even more about him than I witness. I can’t really describe everything I sense. I can’t quite put my paw on some things.

Teagan: At least that brought you out of your shell. Ralda said you like attractive men. Anyway, I don’t think Ralda really trusts him. Do you know why?

Lilith: She can’t put her paw on it either. Or rather she can’t put her finger on it. Cael is truly extraordinary though. His backstory is only hinted at in this novel. I’m sure there will be more about him in “book 2.”

Teagan: What about Gwydion? Ralda seems to at least try to trust him. Should she?Man Flower Face

Lilith: (She purrs again, even louder. Then she even turns halfway upside down, a paw across her face.) Ah… Gwydion! Oh he smells delicious, all manner of flowers and herbs and catnip. Did you know that he brought me catnip?

(Lilith sits back up, still purring.) Gwydion is a magical creature, you realize. His magic is tied to flowers. It’s not stated outright in the novel, but it’s pretty obvious. At the very beginning it’s even hinted that his grandmother was a faery. You know, Fae’s Flowers, named for his Gran?

Teagan: Who do you think would be better for Ralda, Gwydion or Cael? If they, so to speak, fought for her affections, who would win?

Lilith: Oh, it would be awful if those two actually did fight, wouldn’t it? They do seem to compete with each other in odd ways. But if they fought…  No, I couldn’t bear for either of them to get hurt! I’m not sure, but I have a suspicion that if it came down to it, Cael might be stronger than Gwydion.  However, Gwydion would have fewer — or at least different inhibitions so he might best Cael.  Oh, I’m just not sure. I really don’t like that question at all.

(Her tail makes a slash-thump against the sofa, signaling annoyance. Lilith jumps down from the sofa and sashays out of the room.)

I suppose that ends my interview with the cat.  However, you can read more from Lilith in Atonement, Tennessee.

veil_of_sky_open_Lilith copy

And now for that promised excerpt…

Esmeralda slept. Lilith’s ears pricked when she heard a tiny rustling sound coming from downstairs. The first time she inspected the bedroom, the calico had found a way out. She hadn’t shown it to Esmeralda. Immediately on the hunt for the source of that sound, Lilith soundlessly got up from the pile of blankets on the floor where they slept.

WardrobeShe trotted soundlessly to the tall heavy wardrobe. It was even bigger than the one where she found the mirror, and it reached almost to the high ceiling. It stood a few inches away from the wall. She squeezed behind the wardrobe. There was a gap in the wall. It was actually a door, which would open with a push. At some point in time, it had been left ajar. Lilith had originally found it because she scented the different air from the drafty opening.

Beyond the door was a narrow hallway and equally narrow steps that led to the parlor downstairs. She had a bit of trouble opening the door to the parlor. Fortunately it had a lever handle that was much easier to manipulate than a doorknob. After a moment her persistence paid off and the door creaked open. She stood still for a second. The rustling sound had diminished to almost nothing. The calico stalked into the living room. Her tail was held low and her body was close to the floor as she walked.

Her ears had more than twenty muscles, which the cat used to pinpoint the sound of a final rustle. She looked toward the flower arrangement by the windows. The white heather had grown and branched, vine-like until it covered every window and the front and back doors as well. All the flowers in the vase pulsed as if with a heartbeat. Lilith watched them for a moment to see what else they might do.White flowers take over

A sound came from the kitchen, and she went to investigate. It sounded like something had pressed against the porch roof for a moment and then pushed off. Immediately afterward she heard a few heavy beat and whoosh sounds, like extremely large wings.

She jumped to the kitchen window, but the heather covered it too, and prevented her seeing anything. However, through the little draft of air that came in around the window, she scented one of the odors she had tracked earlier that evening. There wasn’t enough of it for her to be sure which one.

After a while, the cat grew bored and returned to the secret door in the parlor. It was still open. She gave it a little nudge, using it to scratch her cheek, and it closed behind her. She returned to the bedroom.

***

I hope these examples have entertained you. Maybe you’ll want to try writing from an unexpected point of view.

Thanks for reading,

Teagan

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