Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 24 — The Other Seer

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Thank you for flying over to the faery land of Thistledown.  

Toadstools group Tim Price

Photo by Tim Price

I mentioned “mushrooms” to a couple of readers when I wrote the previous episode, Spores*.   Photographer, Tim Price kindly offered to let me use some beautiful images he captured of mushrooms.  You’ll see them throughout this chapter.  You can also see even more at his blog, T & L Photos*.

Writing Process

When writing serials, particularly stories that go on for months, I sometimes reach points where I need to tie up loose ends.  I also might need to leave answers for clues I’ve left along the way.  This is such an episode.  So the pace is not as fast, and it’s a little longer than the past few chapters.  I hope you’ll still enjoy the story.  Now to Thistledown.

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

Bedlam Thunder’s seemingly endless descent into the black abyss stopped.  Her fall was broken when she landed on a bed of giant mushrooms.  She couldn’t help inhaling air polluted by a cloud of the mushroom spores.  Then she saw horrible creatures.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 24

The Other Seer

I floated in blackness.  I knew the vague feeling of having woken to a horrific image, but along with wakefullness it seemed far away. 

A nagging beat entered my mind.  I had heard it somewhere before.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah. Pause.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.

Bongo drummer clem-onojeghuo-122041

Clem Onojeghuo, Unsplash

Softly spoken words came to me.  I had heard them before too.

“Bedlam.  Bedlam Thunder, can you hear me?”

I remembered the voice that spoke those words, now and before.

I tried to answer but the chimera roared, frightening me.  However, it’s roar became a voice.

“The potency of the mushrooms increased with their size,” the creature said.  “She must have inhaled a lot of hallucinogenic spores.”

“Is everyone alright?  Take deep breaths of the fresh air and stay away from the cave opening,” the first voice instructed.

The beat continued.  Gradually, I identified it as a drum.  No, several drums.  Soft murmurs surrounded me, a jumble of words and voices in my mind.  Fragments of sentences eluded my grasp.

Finally, a another string of words coalesced and I understood them.

“I don’t understand,” someone said.  “She has wings.  Why didn’t she just fly back to wherever?”

“She wouldn’t have been able to.  Not even with two good wings.  The abyss has subtle but powerful magic.  Dark magic,” the first voice replied.

My eyes fluttered open.  I drew back in fear when I saw the chimera leaning over me.  Then the features of the creature blurred and became a regular face.  I beheld a circle of relieved looking faces.  They were familiar, yet… wrong.  Beyond the faces I saw a gray-white sky.  A milky sun tried unsuccessfully to burn through the persistent clouds.

So, I’ve gone there again.  The colorless world, I thought.  I wonder if this world has ever seen bright sunlight or a blue sky.

“Didn’t I warn you not to breathe?” the now familiar voice demanded.

She leaned into my line of sight.  A bright pink streak in her straight brown hair stood out against the dullness of the day.  I remembered meeting her at Uncle’s bonfire party.  It was quite an entrance she made.  She seemed familiar to me then, and Field Yewwasp had mumbled as much too, though he never told me who he thought the woman was.  I sat up on my elbows.  Disoriented, I searched my mind for her name.

(You can revisit that chapter in Episode 10, Fire and Furry.)

Stunt_Pyrotechnics_Luc_Viatour

Fallow Blackmoon?” I asked.

She nodded and the other faces surrounding me smiled.  I noticed that they all held small drums.

“You have a knack for turning up in the most unexpected places,” the man who had leaned over me, at first seeming to be a chimera, commented.

“Catseye,” I addressed the man.  “But no.  You’re Royal Chimera.  The mushrooms!” I cried in sudden realization.  “You must have caused them to be so large.”

“Yes, but how did you know?” Royal wanted to know.

“Because,” I began with a shrug.  “That’s like the magic Catseye Glimmer has.  He can create something useful out of nearly nothing,” I tried to explain.  “Once I stumbled and he transformed a single cotton bowl into a huge pillow, quickly tossing it into place to keep me from further injuring my wing.  You look like him.”

(You can revisit that chapter in Episode 2, In the Kitchen.)

Mushrooms blue Tim Price

“There is hardly any magic in this world, Bedlam Thunder.  I’ve been working to bring out any traces of magic I find ― the things and people that have a seed of innate magic inside.  I sensed such an ability within Royal Chimera,” Fallow Blackmoon explained.  “That’s why I haven’t tried to get back to Thistledown.  Magic begets magic.  I am needed here.”

“With Fallow’s guidance, I’ve been able to do some simple things.  Making tiny mushrooms into huge ones is far more than I’ve ever done before,” Royal told me in a modest tone.

“He’s learned quickly,” Fallow added a word of praise.  “Especially considering this was not a spell to be taught, but something he has to find on his own, from within.”

“So, you used to live in Thistledown?  You aren’t originally from this place.  You have no double here?” I confirmed, turning back to Fallow Blackmoon.  “I feel as though I should know you,” I added lamely, not knowing how to finish the sentence.

Fallow nodded.  I hoped she would elaborate, but she did not.

“Neither of us have a double here.  Yet everyone else seems to.  Why are we unique?” I asked.

I wished I could take back my words.  Looking at the faces around me, I realized my tone had been harsh and demanding, though I had not intended to sound that way.  The circle of faces around me glared in response.

“I mean…” I tried to smooth my rudeness.

Fallow smiled and her friends seemed to relax.

“The cave,” Fallow began with a motion to the nearby opening.  “That cave amplifies magic.  So, we come here to practice.  Bedlam Thunder, these people represent all the magic I have found in this world.  We were holding a drum circle inside the cave when I sensed the presence of another seer.  Of course, that was you, in your descent.”

Märchendom Saalfelder Feengrotten

Der sogenannte Märchendom in den Saalfelder Feengrotten.

She gave me a moment to process what she said.  It was only a handful of people, yet they represented the magic of the entire world?

“I have concluded that this world does not have seers, like you and me,” Fallow told me.  “Yes, we are unique in that we don’t have a double in this world.  The furry faery, Field Yewwasp, is also unique, even though he is not a seer.  Some describe a legendary creature of this world that could be his ‘double’…” she added.  “Although it is far from being a true duplicate Field Yewwasp.”

“I’m Drummer Soulfire,” the woman on the other side of me introduced herself.  “I’m relieved that you are okay.  Dah-le!  That was quite a fall!”

“Fittingly enough, Drummer, leads the drum circle,” Fallow inserted.  “She has a true talent for it.  The properties of the cave, combined with the drumming helped us retrieve you from your descent.  Otherwise, you may have continued falling forever.”

Her words caused me to shudder.  The idea of an endless tumble had entered my mind while I fell.  It was a horrid thought.

Feeling more alert, I took a closer look at the faces around me.  It was a sadly small group if these were the only people with any trace of magic.  There were three more familiar, yet wrong, faces.  Two of them I had met.

Rotten Soulfire!” I exclaimed.  “You really are more like River Mindshadow than either of you would realize.”

“Of course my cousin, Rotten, is part of the drum circle,” Drummer commented and gave her drum a tap for emphasis. 

A sound like knives slicing through air caused me to look away from Rotten.  Remembering the sound of the sharp, jagged edges of the leaves that decorated his hat, I smiled to see Poison Ivy Razorleaf again.  With a wicked grin, he doffed his hat and bowed.

Fungus mushroom Tim Price

Photo by Tim Price

Though I knew a face like his, I had not met the final member of the drum circle.  He gave me a quizzical look, as though he had yet to get a read on me.  His shoulders twitched as if he tried to force the muscles to relax.  He gave his name, Stranglevine Starquencher.

“The copper battleaxe!” I said in abrupt realization.  “That’s why I hallucinated about the axe.  Carver Eastdoor has one.  Do you?”

Stranglevine Starquencher, Carver’s double, drew back.  His eyes narrowed suspiciously.  He stared at me for a long moment before speaking.

“The copper battleaxe is a closely held family secret,” Stranglevine began.  “Not even the drum circle knows about it.  How is it that you know?” he demanded.

Razorleaf looked at him with a raised eyebrow.  Then he snorted and smirked.

“I always suspected those rumors were real,” Razorleaf told him.  “Your double in that sugary world had an enormous copper battleaxe.  When he used it to break a magical doorway, it also shattered the great scrying stone here.  But it let me visit that world, and it got Bedlam back home.  At least until she landed here yet again.”

(See Episode-8 Shadows of Body and Mind.)

Stranglevine seemed minutely less distrustful after Razorleaf spoke.  Although, I didn’t think I had made a friend yet.  He seemed much different from Carver Eastdoor.  Yet Poison Ivy Razorleaf was vastly different from quiet, unobtrusive Ivy Twinkle too.  I reminded myself that there was no telling how drastically different the lives of the doubles had been, compared to anyone who grew up in Thistledown.  Who could guess what had shaped Stranglevine into a skeptic.  After a moment his shoulders relaxed.  He seemed to have settled something in his mind.  He cleared his throat.

“The family always said the copper ax was magical.  I’ve never seen anything unusual or special about it.  Except for how big it is.  And how old,” he finally told us.  “I don’t think it’s particularly valuable.  It’s just copper, not gold or rhodium.  But some people might think it’s worth something,” he added turning back to me.  “You don’t let word get out that you own something that might be valuable in this world.”

“Could you bring it here to the cave?” Fallow asked gently.  “I’d like to see how it reacts to the magic of this place.”

Abbey,_Edwin_Austin_Fairies

Fairies, Edwin Austin Abbey, 1852-1911

 The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Be sure to visit the “secret” bloggers who have faeries named in honor of them in this episode.

Field Yewwasp https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/about/

Fallow Blackmoon  https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/

Royal Chimera  http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog

Stranglevine Starquencher  https://nofacilities.com/

Drummer Soulfire  https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/about/

River Mindshadow  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Poison Ivy Razorleaf  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Our hapless faery, Bedlam, seems to have gotten a reprieve.  However, she is once again stuck in the colorless world.  It does not seem like a very benevolent place, despite the apparent kindness of the drum circle.  How will Bedlam get home?  Fly back to Thistledown again next time to learn more.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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. 

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 21 ― February Pondering

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hi there, Sheiks and Shebas.  It’s darb to see you back at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  It feels like it’s been a long cold winter to me… and it’s only February.  

Teagan’s Pondering

 

The research geek in me wanted to know how different I might have felt if I lived in the Roaring Twenties.  How did they keep their frozen spirits up and generally cope with winter?  Putting it into perspective, some preferences weren’t profoundly different from the present.  I thought I’d provide you my pondering.

Snuggling with a pet is still a great idea.  I can’t make out all the text on the cover, but much as we might, the folks in the 20s thought about spiffing up their “nests” with new decor.  A new lampshade or an art map (maybe a map of warmer climes).

1926_Feb Modern Pricilla Girl Cat

Modern Priscilla, February 1926

Even if you are a romantic only in secret, you might secretly hope for a Valentine’s package in February.

1918_Feb Modern Priscilla girl package snow

Modern Priscilla, February 1918

Unfortunately, for some of us, snow is an inescapable part of February.  Some like it, others don’t.  However, those who like to play in the white stuff have gear for the snow.  Materials, styles, and means of navigating it have changed, but we still play in the powder — whether with waterproof coats and snowmobiles, or warm wool mittens and snowshoes.  Also when we go inside to get warm, we might read a serial story.  Theirs were in magazines, while ours might be in a blog. (Hint, hint… have you been to Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam lately?)

1922_Feb Good Housekeeping Child showshoes

Good Housekeeping, February 1922

One way we deal with the chill February weather is escaping to the movies.  In the Roaring Twenties, they might go see the latest film. If the weather was bad they couldn’t binge on Netflix — but there were several periodicals all about Hollywood, cinema, and the stars.  The latest gossip was eagerly devoured.

1922_Feb Photoplay girl scarf coins flower

Photoplay, February 1922

Or if Tenseltown just isn’t your thing, you might have chosen a magazine that kept you abreast of the latest technology.  Then and now you could have read about “new ideas.”  In the 1920s those topics were aviation, your home workshop, engineering, or automobiles.  (Have you ever noticed that I don’t use the word “car” in my stories?  Back then the term was automobile.  A car was something else.)

1929_Feb Popular Science Man construction building

Popular Science, February 1929

Like they say… the more things change, the more they stay the same.  I hope you enjoyed this bit of pondering.  Thanks for visiting the Jazz Age with me, if only in imagination.  You really are the cat’s pajamas!

***

 

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 23 — Spores

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown. 

Falling, falling until you finally feel the fathomless descent is normal — at least normal for you.  It’s dark.  A glimmer of light had make you think the dark would be banished.  Yet the blackness remains.  Darker than dark, you neither see nor hear another soul.  Alone.  The fall will surely kill you, but at least you know what kind of death awaits.  Landing… Landing lends new lethal longings and worries. 

The portal, the dark gaping maw, the black abyss — it’s back.  We resume the story from the point of view of Bedlam Thunder as she falls through the seemingly bottomless dark abyss. 

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

The black gaping maw of the portal closed with a pop.  Field Yewwwasp rescued Rhymer Rainbow and then River Mindshadow.  However, Bedlam Thunder was still in that darker than dark place when the portal snapped shut.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 23

Spores

Glowing mushrooms dark tree_jay-ma-304046.jpg

Jay Ma, Unsplash

No sun.

No stars.

No sound.

I felt myself falling and falling.  And falling.  I couldn’t see anything, including the bottom of the abyss.

If there is a bottom, I thought in consternation. 

Neither could I hear anything.  Was sound as absent as light?  Or was it that there simply wasn’t anything else to make a noise.  Was I that forsaken?  A sob escaped my lips.

So, sound still exists.  Then I must be truly, completely alone.

Suddenly, it felt like the bottom fell out of my stomach.  The rate of my descent quickened.  The realization that I might actually splat onto the ground was even more alarming than the idea of falling endlessly.

In the black emptiness a nagging beat entered my mind.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.  Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.

Was it just inside my head?  Perhaps my heartbeat took on an erratic pattern as I fought to stave off panic.  I strained my ears, trying to determine whether there was in fact a noise, something with me in the light-less abyss.

Tap tap.  Pause.  Bum-dum dah-dah.  Bum-dum!  Bum-dum dah-dah!

Yes!  It was a beating drum.  Although I couldn’t tell from whence the drumming came.  The noise became a little louder.  Tap tap, like a knock at a door.  Then more insistently, Bum-dum!  Bum-dum dah-dah!

Bongo drummer clem-onojeghuo-122041

Clem Onojeghuo, Unsplash

Finally, I heard a whisper, a voice that seemed far away.  At first, I couldn’t make out the words.  The drumbeat came back with that odd pattern.  Then I could hear the words.

“Bedlam Thunder.  Bedlam!  Bedlam Thunder, can you hear me?”

The barely perceptible voice became louder as it spoke my name.  It began to sound familiar but I couldn’t place it.  It seemed like something I should remember from long ago.  Abruptly I realized I had also heard the voice fairly recently.

“We have something to break your fall,” she said.  “Try to land on your stomach.  I expect your wing is not fully healed, right?  Oh!  And it is very important that you do not breathe when you land!  It could be dangerous if you breathe before the dust settles.”

Those words were not comforting.

It felt as if something abruptly let go of me.  I fell faster than ever.  Frantically I tried to twist and turn so that my belly was facing downward.  I resisted the natural impulse to unfurl my wings.  I was falling so rapidly that it would surely reopen the tear in my gossamer wing.

After falling for so long, it seemed sudden when I landed.  With a soft thud the wind was knocked out of me.  My body automatically gasped, sucking oxygen back into my lungs, despite the warning not to breathe.

Bits of something floating in the air made a cloud around me.

I lifted my head to look at the soft but lumpy bed on which I landed.  Although, it wasn’t actually a bed.

“Mushrooms?  Giant mushrooms?” I murmured aloud in amazement.  “Spores…” I added looking at the cloud of floating bits that exploded from the mushrooms when I landed on them.

Mushrooms many jakob-creutz-427450

Jakob Creutz, Unsplash

A fit of coughing overtook me.  Every time I recovered myself and gulped air I inhaled spores with it.  Which made me cough again.

Finally, the cloud of mushroom bits settled and I could breathe normally.  I scanned my dark surroundings.

Any illumination at all seem bright after being in such darkness.  The presence of a dim light felt so bright that I squinted. 

“Is that daylight?”

I was so surprised to finally see it that I spoke aloud.  I couldn’t exactly call it sunlight, but it did seem to be light.  Perhaps it was a very cloudy, rainy day.  It seemed to be the entrance to a cave… or rather the exit.

Disoriented from the impossibly long fall, I staggered as I got up from the pile of giant mushrooms.  A smaller cloud of spores swirled around my feet.  I felt quite bewildered.  As I struggled forward toward the opening, I became woozy.

The sound of a roar, like a great lion, caused me to stumble to a stop.  A gout of flame flared, blinding me for a moment.  Then I saw it at the cave’s opening ― an enormous chimera.

The beast’s lion head roared again.  Golden eyes stared me in a way that I imagined meant it was hungry.  Scales rustled against the ground as its serpent tail swished.

The chimera moved forward toward the cave’s opening.  I stifled a scream.

Eye white close paul-morris-184484.jpg

Paul Morris, Unsplash

A copper battleaxe the size of a millstone slammed down, blocking the cave exit.  The chimera roared frustration, and tongues of flame licked around the edges of the enormous battleaxe.

The copper ax was engraved with designs and inscriptions.  They seemed to crawl on the surface as I looked at it.  An eye opened in the metal and leered at me.  Then the eye melted, running down the face of the ax like a molten jewel.  The chimera growled and the battleaxe gave a wicked laugh.  They both taunted me.

The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Bedlam truly was alone in the dark… there were no Faery Namers for this episode.  Actually there were a few but the chapter didn’t name the namers.  Can you guess who they are?  There are clues for those who have been paying attention.  Feel free to leave your guess in a comment.

Now what will happen to our hapless faery?  Bedlam finally had a soft landing, but now she’s confronted by a mythic chimera and an evil battleaxe.  Fly back next week to see “what the faery is going on.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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 22 — A Hair Aflame

Saturday, January 27, 2018

It’s nice to see you here in the faery land of Thistledown.  

The Time of the Dreadful Drain

Once in a blue moon things change — in a good way. I wrote this intro last week, when for weeks I had been wondering if I could continue blogging/writing at all:

“Real world” things have severely drained me the past several weeks, depleted my energy and the will to write — or do anything else for that matter.  I made a downright herculean gathering of my will and energy and managed to write a few episodes in advance.  This is the last chapter from that group.  As much as I hate the idea of leaving you hanging, I’m so drained by the way things are, exhausted in every way… I might have to take a break for awhile. I’ll try, but I thought I should give you a heads-up.

Scrubbing bubbles

That’s what I was going to say. However, a few things happened… Yes the drain is still there, sapping away, but I have renewed inspiration via working with other bloggers in our wonderful community. 

Coming Up at Teagan’s Books

I’m going to do a guest post with Teri Polen at Books and SuchThat’s coming in April.

Then came a delightfully unexpected, spontaneous collaboration with Robert Matthew Goldstein at Art by Rob Goldstein.  He’ll create a Roaring Twenties image and I’ll add another story to the Pip-verse! 

Thistledown has been the hardest to continue during my Time of the Dreadful Drain.  But the little renewal I’m having today began with Suzanne DeBrango at A Pug in the Kitchen, when she suggested another collaboration related to Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.  Look for that soon.

By then, my momentum was so high that I just up and asked John W. Howell at Fiction Favorites if he’d like to do another joint post for the Pip-verse.  And he said yes!

Maybe you should thank these bloggers.  Because of them Thistledown and Jazz Age Wednesdays won’t end yet. These shout-outs are my way of thanking them for helping me much more than they could realize.

Now to Thistledown

As stories sometimes do, the timeline backs up for this episode.  This scene was happening concurrently with “Hanging by a Hair” when Bedlam Thunder was in the dark abyss and her friends disappeared one by one. It’s the best way for me to show separate events that occurred at the same time.  Once again we view events from the point of view of Bob the hummingbird.  

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

From Episode 21 (click here)

A chorus of warnings and exclamations erupted from the crochet circle.  However, before the first syllable was finished…

Field Yewwasp leapt into the black void.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 22

A Hair Aflame

 

Fires Bi-Colored jacob-kiesow-349451

Jacob Kiesow, Unsplash

Breezes from the broad open window rustled the pages of the Etheraris Spiregris.  Some magic in the dangerous book anchored the periwinkle colored muskox hair there.  Bob the hummingbird saw the hair begin to vibrate.  Intuitively the little bird knew the magical hair should not behave that way. 

Field Yewwasp wouldn’t listen to reason after he rescued Rhymer Rainbow from the black maw of the abyss.  The furry faery was determined to try and reach Bedlam Thunder and River Mindshadow as well.  All the faeries of the crochet circle clearly thought it was too dangerous for him to go back into the dark portal.  Seeing the vibration from the muskox hair, Bob was certain the circle was right.

Bob darted toward Field to try and make him understand about the hair.  Valley Hummer was the only one who could easily communicate with Bob, but he had to try and make Field see reason.  However, Field Yewwasp was the fastest of all faeries.  He flew back into the portal before Bob could figure out how to tell him about the vibrating magical hair.

The faeries of the crochet circle held tightly to the thick rope of blue muskox hair.  They didn’t even notice Bob.  Meanwhile the periwinkle colored hair vibrated harder.  It started to sparkle and spark.  Bob flew in wild acrobatics just above the ancient volume that anchored the hair, trying to get the faeries to notice it.

Hummingbird Kunstformen der Natur 1904

Hummingbird, Kunstformen der Natur 1904

Willow Rainbow had left the other faeries to the rope while she made sure her niece, Rhymer was unharmed.  Rhymer seemed fine to Bob.  The girl reached for a plate of cookies and started eating them while her aunt fussed over her.

“Aunt, the cookies are so good they make me sputter,” Rhymer began, clearly hungry after her ordeal.  “But look at Bob, he’s all aflutter.  He wants us to know he’s on the job.  He must mean the hair ― see it throb?”

Gradually all the faeries turned to look at the periwinkle hair draped like a bookmark on the Etheraris Spiregris.  Bob noticed their looks of consternation and murmurs of worry.  Willow Rainbow approached it with caution while the others continued to tightly hold the crocheted rope. 

The magical hair sizzled and popped loudly.  Willow jumped back from it.  Her wings unfurled with her surprise and rustled in agitation.

The dark portal started to make a groaning noise.  The sound made Bob think of metal that bore too much weight and was about to collapse.

Fairy_CE Brock

Fairy_CE Brock

Field Yewwasp flew back out of the black maw, though not as quickly as he had entered it.  He held to something that seemed to resist being brought back.  With a firm tug he pulled River Mindshadow out of the portal.  To Bob’s astonishment, River tried to resist and go back into the abyss!

“You don’t understand!” River cried.  “Bedlam is still in there.  We can’t leave her alone in the darkness.  Worse than being lost to us, I’m afraid she will lose herself.  There is something powerfully wrong about that light-less place!”

Bob darted up to the ceiling as the periwinkle muskox hair sizzled and lifted up from the pages of the ancient tome.  The hair sparked and burst into purplish-blue flame.  Then it was gone. 

The black portal popped shut.

The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Enjoy a visit to their fantastic blogs.

Willow Rainbow http://cerobinsonauthor.com/

Rhymer Rainbow  https://whenwomeninspire.com/

River Mindshadow  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Field Yewwasp https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/about/

Is Bedlam lost in the dark abyss forever?  (Is Teagan lost there with her?)  Fly over next time and maybe we’ll find out.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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 21 — The Crochet Circle

Saturday, January 20, 2018

It’s been such a cold winter so far for many of us, so I happily welcome you back to the faery land of Thistledown.  As stories sometimes do, the timeline backs up for this episode — happening concurrently with the previous chapter.  It’s the best way for me to show separate events that occurred at the same time. 

We are once again viewing events from the point of view of Bob the hummingbird.  The next two episodes take place during the same moment of time when Bedlam Thunder suddenly found herself alone in the dark, her two friends having been snatched away by some unknown force.

Glitter person blue h-heyerlein-199082

Heyerlein, Unsplash

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

From Episode 15 (click here)

“I thought the girls would be in here, studying away,” Willow Rainbow murmured in a concerned tone.

 “Based on these half-eaten cookies, I think they must have left abruptly,” Luminous Twinkle added.

 Then Bob the hummingbird saw it.  The periwinkle muskox hair dangled like a book mark from an ancient tome.  Bob recognized the volume.  The faeries all saw it too.  They made a collective gasp.

 The Etheraris Spiregris.

 From Episode 20 (click here.)

River screamed.

 Then I heard a grunt, as if the air was knocked out her lungs.  I no longer sensed the large presence that came so suddenly.  It left as abruptly as it arrived.

 “River?  River!  Rhymer!”

 No one answered my calls.

 The sensation of falling became more intense.  I felt I was moving faster, hurtling downward through darkness.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 21

The Crochet Circle

Yarn oscar-aguilar-327798

Oscar Aguilar, Unsplash

Bob the hummingbird flew with all his tiny might.  He had left the home of Carver Eastdoor where he briefly stopped to rest.  It was a long distance for such a small bird.  He was a little proud of himself that he managed to focus, and was not distracted a single time.

He darted into the farmhouse of Willow Rainbow, where Bedlam Thunder, River Mindshadow, and Rhymer Rainbow had last been seen.  At that moment chaos ensued.

Willow Rainbow yelled something unintelligible when she saw the dark portal behind the Etheraris Spiregris.  She jumped halfway into the dark gaping maw before Blossom Stargazer and Crescent Glimmer each grabbed one of her legs.

“Rhymer!” Willow Rainbow exclaimed.  “I know my niece is in there!”

Luminous Twinkle shook her head sadly as she spoke, “We all know how dangerous the Etheraris Spiregris is.  You can’t just jump into that… that thing unprepared.”

Blossom Stargazer often wore crocheted blue finery due to the abundance of soft muskox yarn.  She put a hand to her head as she thought, pushing her tam to one side.  Blossom stared down at the arm-load of muskox yarn she held.  She looked from the yarn to the odd periwinkle-colored hair in the ancient book.  The yarn sparked with static, as if in response to the long hair in the book. 

Ancient Book daniele-levis-pelusi-221717

Daniele Levis Pelusi, Unsplash

“I wonder,” Blossom began.  “That strange hair must be a cousin of my team of muskoxen.  Perhaps there is an affinity between the two.”

“You think the yarn might be drawn to the hair?  Able to follow it?” Crescent Glimmer asked.

“Maybe a little anyway,” Blossom suggested with a shrug.

All the crochet circle seemed to have the same idea at once.  They took the blue muskox yarn that Blossom brought and began to crochet furiously. 

“Hold on,” Pepper Stargazer, the lamp maker said.  “That portal is pitch black.  Let’s add some light to things.”

Pepper took a small pouch from her bag.  It contained flash peppers.

“Isn’t that stuff extra combustible?  I’ve seen people blow up their kitchens with it,” Tinder Willowtree commented in concern.

“It can be if you don’t know what you’re doing, or if you have the wrong peppers.  This is a new variety,” Pepper said as she carefully sprinkled the yarn with ground red flash pepper powder.

The circle went back to work.  Their needles moved with magical speed.  A thick and long rope was rapidly created.

Insides_of_a_Amethyst_Geode

“I have an idea,” Tinder Willowtree told them.

She removed the finder from her bag.  Its dark reflective surface looked like an ordinary scrying stone unless someone was attuned to the device.

(Read the episode about the finder in episode-4 here.)

“A slight affinity between the periwinkle-colored hair and the muskox yarn probably isn’t strong enough to help very much.  And my finder should be useless when it is not attuned to someone.  But Willow Rainbow, you have an urgent, emotional need.  I’m hoping that will let both you and Rhymer, since she’s your kin, attune to the finder,” Tinder Willowtree continued, handing Willow the device.  “Hold it to your heart and think of your niece.”

Willow Rainbow held the finder to her heart.  Bob and the crochet circle watched in silence also focused on Rhymer.  The hummingbird noticed the multicolored chickens had gathered under the window.  Their gentle clucking sounded like encouragement.

Willow’s wings rustled in rhythm to her heartbeat.  Slowly the other faeries in the crochet circle unfurled their wings, all softly moving to the same beat.

1 Butterfly wing

After a moment Tinder Willowtree took back her finder and whispered words over it.  Then she tied it to the rope they had crocheted.  She turned to the others.  With a collective nod, they tossed the rope and the finder into the black maw.  Forming a line, each of them held onto the blue muskox hair rope.

They looked expectantly at the dark opening.  The flare peppers provided a bit of sparkling light.  It was just that there didn’t seem to be anything to illuminate.  The dark void appeared to be empty.

Willow Rainbow and Pepper were closest to the portal.  Suddenly they staggered forward.  The crochet circle tightened their grip on the blue rope.

“It has caught something!” Willow Rainbow began.  “But I can’t see what it might be.”

They all looked at one another uneasily.  Everyone knew that there might be something other than the missing girls inside that black portal.  Who knew what evil might live in such darkness?  Even so, they held tightly to the rope, steadfast in their determination.

Red Smoke_ Wong Unsplash

“What’s that?” Crescent cried fearfully as she turned her head to look out the broad window.

Something huge and red soared through the turquoise sky.  Then it barreled through the open window.  A round of gasps and startled screams came from the crochet circle, but they never loosened their hold on the rope.

Field Yewwasp!” Tinder Willowtree exclaimed. 

They quickly told the furry faery that they believed the three girls had been pulled into the portal.  He added his strength to theirs and they pulled the rope harder.

“I hear Rhymer’s voice!” Willow Rainbow cried.

Field moved to the edge of the black maw.  He drew a breath and with a faery trick, his voice boomed into the void, though he did not yell.

“Rhymer, are River and Bedlam there with you?” he asked.

“Yes, or I think so,” Rhymer’s muffled voice could be heard.  “I can’t see them though.”

Everyone pulled even harder on the rope.  A slim foot came into view.  The blue rope was tied around it.  Willow and Pepper let go of the rope to grab Rhymer and pull her back into the farmhouse library.

Field moved to go into the portal.  Tinder Willowtree caught his thick arm.

“I know you are the fastest of all faeries,” she began.  “If you are thinking what I believe you’re thinking, you’ll have to be mighty fast indeed.  Field, I have a bad feeling about it!”

“If I’m quick enough I might be able to follow the faint trail left by the flash pepper back to the other two girls,” Field said.

A chorus of warnings and exclamations erupted from the crochet circle.  However, before the first syllable was finished…

Field Yewwasp leapt into the black void.

The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Enjoy a visit to their fantastic blogs.

Blossom Stargazer http://www.eloisedesousa.wordpress.com/

Willow Rainbow http://cerobinsonauthor.com/

Crescent Glimmer  https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Luminous Twinkle  http://www.adelemariepark.com/

Pepper Stargazer  https://anotherfoodieblogger.wordpress.com/

Tinder Willowtree  https://www.etsy.com/shop/MurrayHillGlassArt/

Rhymer Rainbow  https://whenwomeninspire.com/

River Mindshadow  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Field Yewwasp https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/about/

Will Field Yewwasp fly fast enough to save River and Bedlam?  Or will the furry faery be lost as well?  Fly over next time to find out.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing! 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 19 ― Pip & Artie Meet Again – Part 3

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The New Year’s celebration is finally wrapping up, here at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape! collaborated on a story with me that started here.  I couldn’t resist keeping the tale going for a few episodes.  However, today I present my conclusion.

Part-1 (here) began with Chris’ character, Artie — a genius time traveler chimpanzee determined to meet up with Pip again.  In Part-2 (here) we left Artie and Mona being pursued by the police.  Now, the conclusion.

Pip and Artie Meet Again

Part 3 — Conclusion

1920s Dance Party

The Christmas tree still stood in the parlor corner.  Granny and I had made the decorations for it.  I frowned at the strings of popcorn, remembering how many times I stuck my finger with the needle when I made them.

Light reflected on the German-made glass ornaments of which my grandmother was so proud.  They were shaped like things from a Nativity scene, although there was one I just couldn’t identify.  To me, it looked a lot like a motorcycle, but that couldn’t be right…

The shiny ornaments reminded me of that labradorite pendant I found at the corn maze site.  I thought it would look darb with my costume.  So, I hurried to my room and took the gem out of my little jewelry box and hung it around my neck.1925 Theatre Magazine jade necklace jewelry

A loud peal of thunder shook the cottage.  I figured Miss Olive’s prediction of a severe storm was about to come true.  Then I heard the coppers’ sirens, so I hurried to the parlor window. 

Sure, enough it was a police vehicle.  A Ford was right behind it.  Oddly, I couldn’t see anybody they might have been chasing.  Both automobiles slowed and stopped.  A tall man got out of the Ford and talked to the officers for a moment.  He made broad, frustrated seeming gestures as he spoke.

The man was Detective Dabney Daniels.  He headed up the walkway as the police vehicle turned around and drove away.

At the same moment I heard a loud commotion from outside, in the backyard.  I felt the need to see what that was, but I knew Granny would have my hide if I didn’t politely answer the door.

I met Daniels at the door and asked what was happening.

“Some hood on a motorcycle got balled up and went the wrong way on a one-way street near Union Station.  Speeding too.  There was a flapper on the back of the bike.  When he headed this way, for a minute I thought the girl might be you.  Then I saw she had dark hair,” Daniels said as he took off his fedora hat.  “Anyhow, I don’t know how he managed it, but he gave us the slip.”

Durrusehvar, daughter of the last Caliph of the Ottoman dynasty, circa 1920

Princess Durrusehvar, circa 1920

He finally noticed my attire and looked at me like I must have escaped from the looney bin.  People were wild for anything to do with Egypt or the Orient.  So, I wanted my costume for the party to be from either one or the other.  I finally put together a costume that looked like Dürrüşehvar, an Imperial Princess of the Ottoman Empire.

It bugged me to death that nobody knew who I was.

“I’m on duty,” Daniels began, but looked hopefully toward the hallway.  “I can only stay a moment.”

“Everyone is either in the dining room or the kitchen getting food,” I told him.  “Go on back and make yourself at home.”

Movement at the corner of my eye caused me to glance out the window again.  Cinnamon Bun! 

Granny’s Flemish Giant rabbit shouldn’t be out of his hutch, but there he was in the front yard.  I guessed that was what the noises I heard out back were.  Then I saw two people chasing him ― a man in a suit that made me imagine a formal military uniform from some strange country and a flapper.

(See more about Cinnamon Bun here.)

“Mona!” I cried and ran outside.

“Pip!” my friend exclaimed and hugged me.  “I remembered you describing Cinnamon Bun in your letters.  I knew your grandmother wouldn’t want him running around, so we were trying to catch him.  We ran into his hutch when we… err… when we stopped,” Mona told me in a rush.

Cinnamon sat up tall on his haunches when the man offered him a treat.  I could tell the big bunny liked the guy.  Then he turned toward me and took off his cap.  He grinned when recognition spread across my face.

“Artie?”

“I had to do a mini-jump with my portable time machine to evade the police,” Artie said sheepishly.  “When we popped back, we bumped the rabbit hutch.  I sincerely apologize.  Nothing was harmed, but the door was knocked open, and this magnificent rabbit got lose.”vintage bunny

“Pip, it’s amazing!  Who’d of thought I’d meet a talking chimpanzee!” Mona enthused.  “And travel in a time machine!”

Artie looked embarrassed.  I could tell that he was humble for a genius.

“The time machine still has some bugs in it.  It had trouble locking onto the transponder, but I see you found it,” he said with a grin as he motioned toward my labradorite pendant.  “So, Mona and I accidentally took a detour to Germany, a decade or two ago.”

Artie gave me a bright-eyed look and in a devil-may-care tone asked me when I’d like to visit.  With all of the world and all of history to choose from I was dumbfounded.

“Cat got your tongue?” Mona asked.

“Your costume gives me an idea.  Would you care to see the Ottoman Empire and meet the real Begum Sahiba Hatice Hayriye Ayşe Dürrüşehvar Sultan?” Artie offered.

He knew!  This talking, time traveling, genius chimp knew who my costume was supposed to be!

“No phonus balonus?  We could really go there?” I asked.

He nodded and Mona grinned.

“Granny Phanny will never even know you were gone,” Mona winked and told me.

“You realize of course, that you can’t tell anyone about this escapade,” Artie told me with a regretful expression in his big brown eyes.

“I guess they’d think I was spifflicated if I did,” I muttered.  “Okay.  Let’s get a wriggle on!

The End

Horsefeathers!   It’s too bad Pip can’t tell anyone about her time travel adventure.  I guess that’s why it is not mentioned in her novels!  I’ll leave all you sheiks and shebas to imagine the endless kinds of trouble Pip, Artie, and Mona got into for that little jaunt through time and space.  Thanks for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are the links to the books about Pip and her friends. 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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

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

 

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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 20 — Hanging by a Hair

Saturday, January 13, 2018

I’m glad to see you were able to come back to Thistledown.  This episode is a brief return to the point of view of Bedlam Thunder. 

Sparkler hands be the spark

Previously in the Etheraris Spiregris

To review episode 14 click here*.

River turned to the next page and the hair sparked, shocking me yet again.

 “Do you think this is the one?” River asked excitedly.  “A Perversion of Phantoms,” she read aloud the title at the top of the timeworn page. 

 At River’s words the long muskox hair fell limp against the page.  My hand dropped, resting against the page as Rhymer and I echoed River in stating the name of the spell.  All three of us happened to be touching the pages of the incantation as we spoke.

 “The name of the spell reminds me of how we were talking about learning whether people had disappeared from Thistledown.  Missing faeries being like phantoms,” River continued.

 The three of us exchanged a look.  It was spontaneous, a coincidence.  We didn’t mean to speak in chorus but as one we gasped.

 “A Perversion of Phantoms!”

 Abruptly the heavy volume snapped shut.  The periwinkle muskox hair was still within, like a bookmark.  The room spun wildly.  It was like looking into a kaleidoscope. 

 Then the world shattered. 

 Quickly I moved my hands away from the book and caught the hands of River and Rhymer. 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 20

Hanging by a Hair

Face in water blue

Vivid black.

How could black be vivid? I wondered dizzily as I spiraled.

Then I remembered that while black was the absence of all light, it was the presence of all color.  I supposed it could be vivid at that.

Though I could see nothing, the world around me seemed to toss and turn.  Nausea surged.  I tried to put a hand over my mouth, but something restrained me.  Then I remembered Rhymer Rainbow and River Mindshadow… and the Etheraris Spiregris

The magically charged periwinkle colored muskox hair was tangled around my wrist.  I remembered being snared by it just as the ancient tome snapped shut and the world seemed to shatter.  River had been trying to free me from the muskox hair, so she already held onto my arm.  If Rhymer had not reached for my hand at the same moment that I caught hers, I wouldn’t have been quick enough.

At first, I was blind.  It felt like I was falling, yet not moving.  After a while, I could see vague forms from the soft purplish glow of the special muskox hair.  I recognized the shapes as my friends.

Abruptly the sensation of falling became a sharp yank.  The three of us were jerked upward, but then the motion stopped.  I heard a scream.

August_Malmström_Dancing_Fairies

August_Malmström_Dancing_Fairies

“I can’t stay put.  Something’s got my foot!” Rhymer cried.

Even as I felt my grip on the rainbow-haired faery’s hand begin to slip, I felt River move so she could reach Rhymer’s other hand.

“By something woolled I’m being pulled!  I’m being wrangled, it’s got my ankle!” Rhymer gasped as her hand was yanked free of mine.

“Rhymer!” I heard River shriek, and knew that she had also lost hold of our friend.

I heard Rhymer’s muffled voice, but her words made no sense to me.  It sounded like she said the wool was sprinkled with lights that twinkled.

“River, you’re much faster than me.  Go get her,” I said.

“We shouldn’t get separated!” River exclaimed in a torn sounding voice.

River let go of my hand and I felt relieved, thinking she would try and help Rhymer.  I was an awkward flyer at best, and with my half-healed wing I would be a hundred times worse.  I couldn’t make the choice for River, but I felt she should go after Rhymer.

However, River merely shifted her hold from my wrist to my ankle.  Her free arm flailed as she felt around the darkness for Rhymer.

“Rhymer, say something!  Where are you?” she yelled.

“I’m still here,” Rhymer said with a grunt.  “But not for long I fear!”

Her voice sounded as if she was being forcibly yanked backward.

“You said ‘woolled’ ― did you mean something wooly has you?” I called.

Rope Bare feet Dark_eva-blue-42498

Eva Blue, Unsplash

“A vast wool rope.  I’m held too fast to cope,” she replied, but sounded farther away.

“River, if you don’t go now, it will be too late,” I sobbed.  “I can’t see her anymore.”

“Oh!” River cried in epiphany.  “I have it.  This way I can still find the way back to you.  Just don’t get untangled.”

Then River took off her belt and looped it around the periwinkle colored muskox hair that was firmly tangled around my wrist.  She held onto the other end of the belt.  Despite the awkward position it caused, she flew quickly in the direction we thought Rhymer had gone, but remained close to the hair that would lead back to me.

For a short time, I could see a vague shape that I knew was River, illuminated by the glow of the magical hair.

“River?” I called.

“I’m still following the muskox hair,” she replied, but she sounded so far away.  “I think I see Rhymer.  Maybe.  I’m not sure.”

I don’t know how to describe it.  Perhaps it had to do with my supposed “gift” as a seer.  Or maybe the air pressure was displaced by something large coming into our presence.  That’s how it felt ― like something else was added to the space where we were.

River screamed.

Then I heard a grunt, as if the air was knocked out her lungs.  I no longer sensed the large presence that came so suddenly.  It left as abruptly as it arrived.

“River?  River!  Rhymer!”

No one answered my calls.

The sensation of falling became more intense.  I felt I was moving faster, hurtling downward through darkness.

The End

***

 This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Enjoy a visit to their fantastic blogs.

Rhymer Rainbow  https://whenwomeninspire.com/

River Mindshadow  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Okay, I hear you yelling about the “cliffhanger” ending.  Is it really a cliffhanger if the character has stopped hanging and started falling?  I see that didn’t settle you down at all.  Fly over next time to find out what happens in The Crochet Circle.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing! 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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.