Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 26 — Emptiness

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I’m happy to see you here, in the faery land of Thistledown.  It’s already March.  Time continues to fly for us, but in Thistledown, they still haven’t managed to get to their biggest midsummer party.  However, the story wings toward a conclusion… eventually.

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

Writing Process

Thank you for bearing with me while I try to overcome my own “stuff” and write another episode.  When I finished the last chapter, I thought the story would go back to the point of view of our hapless faery, Bedlam Thunder.  However, it didn’t.  There was more to tell from Bob the hummingbird.  Now to Thistledown.

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

Accessing the dangerous and ancient tome, the Etheraris Spiregris, the crochet circle spoke the Perversion of Phantoms spell.  Working together they created a new opening to the black abyss, where Bedlam Thunder was trapped.  However, the opening was far too small for the faeries to use.  Then suddenly, Bob the hummingbird darted into the portal.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 26

Emptiness

Hummingbird Kunstformen der Natur 1904

Hummingbird, Kunstformen der Natur, 1904

Blackness.

Emptiness.

Magic.  Dark magic.

Despair.

Bob the hummingbird tumbled wildly.  His descent into the black abyss was so forceful that he didn’t even try to fly.  He feared his wings would break.  His hope was all but gone.

A pinpoint of light caught his eye as he toppled, head over tail.  Distracted by the unexpected sight, his fear calmed and his rapid tumble slowed.  In sudden epiphany, Bob managed to quiet his tornado of thoughts.  Indeed, his panic had caused his drop to be faster and more chaotic.  

Having quieted his mind, Bob’s saw that his descent slowed to a much less threatening speed.  Cautiously he spread his wings.  The hummingbird glided downward on a gentle current of air.  He sensed ground somewhere far below.  A trace of odor reached his nostrils.

Mushrooms?  Oh, and a dangerous variety.  There must be millions of spores down there.  I’d best find a way around that place.

Bob tried to go with the air current rather than fight it, even though he glided closer to the air that was heavy with hallucinogenic mushroom spores.  Then the first sound he had heard since entering the portal reached his ears.  Leather wings rustled ― hundreds of them.

Bats.  Lots and lots of bats.

Wikipedia-Bats-001-v01.jpg

Wiki Media Commons

The sound came from below him, but Bob didn’t know how he could alter his descent to steer clear of them.  A horrifying realization came to the hummingbird.  The bats were breathing the spore laden air.  There was no telling what hallucinations they experienced, or how they would react as a result.

As Bob got closer to the bats, he could hear the chaos caused by their altered state.  He didn’t think he could make it through the cloud of bats alive. They were larger and stronger than a hummingbird.

The hummingbird saw the pinpoint of light again.  He struggled against the current of air he rode, but could not break free.

Bob felt the vibration before he heard it ― the beat of a drum.  It tapped out a message, a message for Bedlam Thunder!  His hope blossomed. 

Could Bedlam be somewhere nearby?  The drum was dir ected to her, so maybe…  Oh, but the drumbeat carries the tiniest trace of enchantment.  Could hummingbird magic blend with it enough to draw him to the source of the beat?

Bob wondered if that combination could give him the strength to break free of the current before he collided with the colony of hallucinating bats.  He combined his innate talents with the trace from the tapping drum.  Disappointed, Bob realized it was not enough.  

Adding the dark magic of the cave would be the only chance Bob had.  Yet it was difficult and unspeakably dangerous.

As Bob tried to gather his magic and his courage, not to mention his easily distracted focus, he felt a painful thud.  A bat, in its mushroom induced high, flew farther up than the rest of its cloud, colliding with the tiny bird.

Copper-rumped hummingbird in flight

 The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Bob flew in for a solo appearance for today’s chapter.  So, unfortunately there are no shout-outs.  Rest assured that the Faery Namers will be back.

Fun with words:  Did you notice the word cloud?  I’ve heard groups of bats called colonies, but a group of them can also be called a cloud. 

Now Bob is trapped in the abyss.  A ray of hope, dangerous dark magic, and then a collision with a hallucinating bat?  The heroic hummingbird seems to have become as hapless as his friend Bedlam.  Until next time… 

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 25 — Reopening

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Welcome back to the whimsical faery land of Thistledown.  

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

When we last met, Bedlam Thunder had met friends among the “scarey” faeries of the colorless world in Episode 24 The Other Seer.  Yes, she landed in that bleak world again, and who knows how she’ll get back to Thistledown.  Meanwhile her friends and the crochet circle are still trying to rescue her.  Let’s go back to Thistledown and see how their efforts are going.

From Episode 22, A Hair Aflame (click here)

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.

 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 25

Reopening

Glitter face h-heyerlein-199092

Unsplash

Bob the hummingbird watched in stunned horror.  His rapidly beating wings stilled and he dropped halfway to the floor before he caught himself.  The magical muskox hair he had brought to Bedlam Thunder — the one he hoped would lead her in her quest — sizzled and flamed.

Purplish blue sparks glittered the room where the crochet circle gathered, trying to save Willow Rainbow’s niece, Rhymer Rainbow, as well as River Mindshadow and Bedlam Thunder, from the dark abyss.

Periwinkle colored lightning shot haphazardly around Willow Rainbow’s library.  A brightly colored bolt narrowly missed Blossom Stargazer, zapping her blue tam.  Her crocheted cap lay smoking on the floor.  Tinder Willowtree fluttered to the ceiling as another bolt hit the floor, singeing her slippers.  In a particularly close call, the large moonstone that Crescent Glimmer wore was struck a glancing blow.

(See Chapter 8 — Shadows of Body and Mind for more about Crescent’s moonstone.)

Crescent yelped in surprise.  The previously pastel stone glowed with deep purplish blue.  Beneath the pendant, an angry red spot marked Crescent’s clavicle.

“I’m a bit singed, but it’s not bad,” Crescent assured everyone.  “I wonder… I have an odd intuition that I’ve been marked in a way that could become useful.”

“Bedlam is still in there.  We have to do something!” River shouted.

“How will we get Bedlam back?  Without the hair we’ll lose track!” Rhymer cried.

Ancient Book daniele-levis-pelusi-221717

Daniele Levis Pelusi, Unsplash

 

Willow Rainbow gazed at the Etheraris Spiregris.  She took a steadying breath.

“This tome is dangerous and should only be used by an expert, one who has studied it for a lifetime.  No one here is qualified to use it.  Why didn’t I burn the wretched thing?” Willow said remorsefully.  “I have no special powers, but…”

Then Willow Rainbow placed her trembling hands on the cover of the Etheraris Spiregris.  In a soft voice she murmured words that Bob could not catch.  The hummingbird knew it was a spell.

A sound like chimes emanated from the ancient book.  The cover burst open and the pages turned of their own accord.  Abruptly it stopped.  Everyone gathered, and Willow quickly warned them not to read anything aloud in unison.  It was a spell for a circle to perform.  No more than one voice at a time should read.

A Perversion of Phantoms,” she named the spell and the pages rustled as if in reply.

Everyone gathered around the book and studied the spell.  They shook their heads or muttered discouraged words.  It was a very advanced, difficult spell.  Finally, a hushed agreement was reached.  The crochet circle joined hands, but Field Yewwasp took a step back.  Imploring eyes turned to the huge furry faery.

“We need everyone,” several of them commented.

“My magic vibrates at a different level from yours,” he explained.  “It might make no difference, or it might cause the spell to twist and be, well… as it is named, a perversion.”

Soft voices began reading the spell.  The chimes returned, hitting varied discordant notes.  The faery voices fumbled and halted, but the ear wrenching chimes continued.  Field looked at the circle with narrowed eyes.

“Stop reading.  Let go of one another’s hands,” he suggested.  “Now breathe in, and then out.  On the out-breath take each other’s hands again, and then breathe in.”

“Field is right.  We need to cleanse our thoughts,” Blossom Stargazer added.

Ruby-topaz_hummingbird_flying in Tobago

Wikimedia Commons

They rejoined hands and read the spell a second time.  The chimes evened and gradually drew into a single clear note.  The air was filled with intense vibrations.  The circle started reading the spell a third time.  Their concentration was so complete that their wings unfurled and they lifted up from the floor.  The vibration in the air became so strong that it effected Bob’s hovering flight.  He alighted on Field’s shoulder unsteadily.

The pages of the Etheraris Spiregris glowed with building periwinkle light.  The glow coalesced into a single beam, which flowed to Crescent Glimmer’s moonstone.  As the beam touched the moonstone, its glow increased.  The stronger beam shot to the place where the gaping maw of the abyss had been.

After a moment a small black opening appeared.  Pepper Stargazer sighed in frustration along with most of the others.

“That’s far too small for any faery,” Pepper said.  “We have an opening, but what can we do with it?”

Bob eyed the tiny portal.  When it formed the vibrations in the air became bearable.  He fluttered up from Field’s shoulder.  However, a shift in the stance of the furry faery caused him to look back.

“Bob,” Field began in a soft rumble, unheard by the circle.  “I realize hummingbirds have unique magic that is barely understood by faery-kind.  “But what you have in mind is very hazardous ― too dangerous for anyone to attempt.”

Field seemed to understand Bob’s determination.  A burst of air came from his lips that was so strong it would have knocked Bob across the room, if it had come in his direction.  Fortunately, Field turned his head.

“Since you are so determined,” the furry faery told him.  “Keep an eye out for a copper battleax.  I don’t know what means, but it’s important.  There is one here.  Ah!  I see you’ve seen it,” he added as Bob bobbed.  “I believe there will be one where you’re trying to go.  But you still should not attempt this.”

Bob held the huge faery’s gaze.  Finally, Field nodded.

Bob the hummingbird darted into the tiny opening to the great abyss.

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 © 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 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.

 

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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 19 — Songbirds & Battleaxes

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Featured Image -- 21891

It’s a new year here in the blog world, and I hope yours had a great beginning.  This fae tale started in 2017, before Midsummer.  While months have passed for us, only a matter of days have gone by for Bedlam Thunder and her faery friends.  As winter’s cold nips I can pretend I’m in the warmer clime of Thistledown. 

I recognize that it is difficult to keep up with the details of this serial over such an amount of time.  Plus, some of you only started following recently.  So here are links for two episodes that would be good refreshers for today’s chapter — Episode 7, Doors and Doors*, and Episode 8, Shadows of Body and Mind*.  Events there should trigger your memory.  Or with this post, you can catch-up with links* to episodes 1 through 5. 

Previously from Bedlam’s point of view…

Finally Carver reappeared.  He held a huge copper ax…  Then Carver braced himself and swung the massive ax at the beautiful door he had created…  A sound like the entire world shattering filled my ears.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 19

Songbirds and Battleaxes

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

Fairy_Islands_1916_by_Ida_Rentoul_Outhwaite

On tiny but speedy wings, Bob the hummingbird hurried to the cottage where he last saw Bedlam Thunder.  He knew something was badly out of balance.  Yet no matter how brave the heart, or how fast the flight, it was quite a distance for such a little bird.  Although Bob had to admit he had taken a detour or three.  It was no wonder his wings grew sluggish.

Far below, Bob spotted a faery with long dark blue hair.  Her wings were aqua with cobalt blue sparkles.  The hummingbird knew that was Holly Songbird.  Distracted by what he saw on the ground, Bob almost collided with Holly’s cousin, Poppy Songbird as she soared in playful flight.  Poppy back-winged and straightened her flower-shaped spectacles.

“Hi Bob!  Goodness, but you look all tuckered out.  Poor little guy.  You seem upset.  I wish I could understand hummingbirds,” she commented and stretched out a hand as she fluttered.  “Here.  Have a seat and you can fly with me,” Poppy said and Bob gratefully perched on her finger.

He got a tight grip and hung onto Poppy as she soared heavenward when her cousin sang a dramatic high note.  Poppy flew a daring loop and then performed a roll.

DCF 1.0

Holly Songbird was rehearsing for the big Midsummer party that Peaches Dragonfly was going to host.  However, Poppy was not performing.  She did the daredevil flying spontaneously, out of pure joy.

The two cousins were at the home of Carver Eastdoor, where he and Ivy Twinkle worked to re-create the amazing candy door that Carver had used a great copper battleax to destroy.  That act had somehow allowed Bedlam to return home from the colorless faery-verse when she inadvertently went there.  Bob worriedly wondered if something similar might have happened to Bedlam Thunder again.

The hummingbird darted to a nearby tree to rest.  He figured that he would get distracted by the small group of faeries and their work if he stayed too close.  He instinctively knew something was getting steadily more off kilter in Thistledown, and he was in a hurry to check on Bedlam.

However, hummingbirds can be flighty even when they have the best intentions.  He heard two male voices, Carver Eastdoor and Ivy Twinkle.  Before he knew it, Bob found himself listening to the conversation of the faeries. 

“You’ve certainly got the lift in your wings, Poppy,” Carver’s old friend Ivy Twinkle commented using a popular phrase.

Saks Fifth Avenue Christmas Dan Antion

Saks Fifth Avenue at Christmas, by Dan Antion

“It’s such a shame that Carver had to smash the first door.  But it was fun cleaning up all the candy ― not to mention eating it!” Poppy told him.  “Although I think that really was the only way to bring Bedlam Thunder back.  I can’t imagine being stuck in the colorless world she described,” Poppy added with a shudder.

She adjusted her flower-shaped spectacles and then turned to watch her cousin Holly begin to practice another song.

“I’m not sure my voice will be loud enough on the lowest notes,” Holly commented.  “Not if the crowd is as large as everyone expects.”

“No one will care,” Ivy Twinkle stopped his work hanging confections around the portal to tell her.

His eyes really did twinkle when he looked at Holly.  Bob thought perhaps Ivy was a little bit star struck.  She was one of the biggest celebrities in Thistledown.  Carver elbowed his old friend in the ribs and cleared his throat.  Ivy pretended not to know what Carver meant.

“Don’t worry,” Carver told the songstress.  “The acoustics will be perfect once everything is finished.  Thanks for getting the Dragon’s Nest band to help transport the stage to Peaches’ orchard.”

“The band is always happy to lend a hand.  After all, it’s for our performance,” Holly assured him.  “So, it should be us thanking you.”

Red Smoke_ Wong Unsplash

Warren Wong, Unsplash

Unexpectedly, something large and red barreled across the sky toward them.

“What in heaven’s name,” Holly began.  “I’ve never seen anything move that fast!  Is it a dragon?”

“It’s Field Yewwasp,” Carver said softly.  “Despite his size, there’s no one faster on the wing than the furry faery.  But I’ve never seen even him move so quickly.”

Field’s sense of urgency seemed to reach ahead of him.  Everyone stopped what they were doing and stood close together.

Carver’s toddler daughter came running out of the house giggling.  She couldn’t fly yet, but with every third step she fluttered upward.  It made for an adorable bounce-run.  Just as Field Yewwasp touched the ground and straightened his bright red coat, she barreled into him.  Field swept the tot up onto his shoulders.  She took his top hat and put it on her own head.

The child’s mother was not far behind.  She expertly detached the tot from Field ― although, he had to stoop down before anyone could reach the child.

“What’s wrong?” everyone asked in a multi tone round of voices.

Field turned serious eyes to Carver Eastdoor.  Carver’s brows furrowed suspiciously.

“Please don’t tell me I’m going to need to shatter another door.  This one’s nearly finished.  There’s no time to make another one before the Midsummer party,” Carver muttered insightfuliy.

“I don’t think so,” Field began in a noncommittal voice that did nothing to ease Carver’s mind.  “However, I saw that big copper battleax of yours in a vision.”

Thistledown had not known any sort of fighting, certainly not battles, in more generations than anyone could count.  The mere mention of the battleax elicited dread from the group of faeries.

Silence descended.

Bob had caught his second wind.  He darted into the sky, hurrying on his errand.  He was filled with worry about Bedlam.

The End

***

 This Week’s Faery Namers

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

Poppy Songbird  https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

Holly Songbird  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyWrV-dmm_oWHnc50YKSVnA

Carver Eastdoor  https://nofacilities.com/

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

Ivy Twinkle  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Peaches Dragonfly  https://apuginthekitchen.com

Events are on the wing, whether large or tiny.  Fly over next time to find out what happens in Hanging by a Hair.  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.