Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 32 — The End.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown… but first the real world.

Thistledown Girl

The Real World

If I were writing a novel, there are many things I would circle back to in this tale, loose ends to tie up, hints to conclude, Faery Namers to mention again.  I’ve often thought this was a story I should never have begun.  At an extremely challenging time in my life Thistledown does not take me to a world where I would escape.  Rather, it ties me to the darkness of the current time and place.  It seems like an odd thing to say about a tale of faeries, doesn’t it?

That said, it may not be done in the best “literary” way, or the best “technical” way, but I’m bringing this story to a close.  I’m truly grateful to everyone who has followed this story.  The joy I take in your comments has kept me writing about Bedlam and her friends.  I give you my heartfelt thanks.  And I shed more than a few tears as I write this final episode.

On to Thistledown

This episode is longer than some — I hope you don’t mind.  I don’t want to divide this closing chapter of Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.

I never thought little Bob the hummingbird would become so popular.  Much like Lilith the cat in the Atonement stories, he was a device to tell about things Bedlam could not witness.  Since you have embraced the little guy, Bob will finish the story for us.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 32

Conclusion

Three Phantom Elements

Ruby-topaz_hummingbird_flying in Tobago

 

The present situation couldn’t be allowed to continue.  Any hummingbird knew the past was no place to live.  Yet Bob couldn’t do what must be done with the resources of the present colorless world either.  He didn’t think it could be done even with all the magic of Thistledown. 

An idea started to take shape.  Not the past, nor the present – but from somewhere else!

Iridescent orange feathers soaked up the scant light in the cave of the abyss.  Bob’s plumage glittered in the dimness.  He steeled himself to the task he knew he must take, the risk he had to take.  Bob the hummingbird touched the dark magic of the cave.

His bright orange feathers became the color of midnight on a starry night.

Bob hummingbird midnight

He could feel the negativity of the enchantment course through his tiny body.  He hated to involve anyone else in the dire business, but there was no other way.  Bob loosed out a shrill, painful call.

A great wave of humming birds, like a huge cloud of brown flew toward the cave ― the hummingbirds of the colorless world.  The entire flock could provide only a small amount of magic, but Bob needed every bit he could get.  With a sigh of regret for using them, he welcomed the tiny dully colored birds.

For a time, they waited, hovering at the opening of the cave.  As a few more hummers arrived, Bob drew a bit of the magic he had gathered.  He cried out a second time, a deeper call from his gut.  Bob the hummingbird summoned the hornless unicorns of the colorless world.

Horse dull Mountain

He waited.  The steeds of the colorless world had no more magic than the hummingbirds, despite their size.  A single steed trotted up to the mountainside below the opening of the cave where Bob perched.  A collective chirp of sadness came from the flock of birds.

Then the ground began to vibrate.  Scores of hornless unicorns galloped into the clearing, whinnying and rearing their willingness to share the scant magic they held.

The spell Bob meant to work required three elements.  Now he had one ― the present.  The hummingbirds and hornless unicorns of the colorless world were gathered.

Together they circled around to the ground-level opening of the cave of the abyss.  Bob worried that he would not be able to contain the blending of the dark magic with his hummingbird magic for long enough to complete his spell.  It seemed to burn throughout his body.  Then he spotted Bedlam Thunder standing at the opening of the cave.

In a spiraling flight of delight Bob zipped down and circled the faery girl’s head.  At first Bedlam didn’t recognize him in his midnight colored feathers.  Bob chirped and tried to let her know it was him.  Then he remembered how he had told her his name when he first attached himself to her quest.

Fairy_CE Brock

He hovered just out of her reach, moving slightly up and down — bobbing as he did that first time.  His long tail feathers shot a static-like shock to her fingertips to remind her of the periwinkle muskox hair.  She gasped and drew back wearing a confused expression.  Abruptly, understanding spread across her face.

“Bob?  Can that be you?  You aren’t orange anymore!  But your midnight-blue feathers are just as beautiful,” Bedlam told him and stretched out her hands inviting him to alight.

However, he flew back to the sky, making a large circle around the hummingbirds of that world.

A loud clamor came from inside the cave.  Bedlam’s new friends grunted and yelled.  She ran inside the cave to help them.  Bob knew by the sounds what was happening.  The great copper battleaxe had awakened.  The mirror image of one in Thistledown it had power of its own.  However, where the copper ax in Thistledown would cleave something in order to create something new, the ax in the colorless world would sever and cauterize, creating a final separation.

The copper battleaxe had broken free of those who tried to stop its rise into the hollow heights of the cave.  Bob heard the beats from the drum circle as they used the cave to enhance the little magic they manifested with their drums.  He worried that the second element of his spell would not arrive in time.

Suddenly, a cloud of bats fled the cave.  Leather wings rustled as hundreds of bats flew out.  Dodging barren trees, they disappeared into the distance.

Bongo drummer clem-onojeghuo-122041

The sound of the drums continued.  Rhythmic beats grew stronger, louder.  The dark magic of the cave blended with the drumming, amplifying.  The handful of drums began to sound like dozens as they banged out a complex beat.

Gradually Bob felt a harmonic vibration from the drums.  It became a sound of multi-part harmony.  A brilliant, many colored flock of hummingbirds soared out of the cave.

Briefly, the drumming faltered, worrying Bob.  He knew it had to continue to stabilize the dark magic.  He heard Bedlam’s voice calling for the drummers to continue.  He relaxed minutely.  Bedlam knew what needed to be done.

Bob trilled his joy as all the hummingbirds of Thistledown zipped and twirled around him and their brethren from the colorless world.  The hornless unicorns reared up as the brightly colored birds touched them, combining their magic.

Many Hummers Janet Weight Reed

Art by Janet Weight Reed

Bob flew to the opening of the cave.  He hovered, waiting.

Finally, several tiny avians carried a page from a book out of the cave.  Bob trilled a congratulatory chirp to them.  They brought the page containing the spell, A Perversion of Phantoms.

The spell was ancient, but hummingbird magic was older still.  The faeries of Thistledown had forgotten that the ancient tome, the Etheraris Spiregris, in fact was filled with enchantments based on the magic of hummingbirds.

Bob rested upon the page as the group of birds carried it high into the dreary sky with the other birds.  The text written on the page became luminous.  Bob soaked the spell into himself.  His new midnight-blue feathers glowed despite their dark color.

The hornless unicorns galloped in a circle below the hummingbirds.  They ran faster and faster, their magic growing as they ran.

The page containing A Perversion of Phantoms burst into brightly colored sparks.  The shimmering sparks exploded upward amid all the hummingbirds, and downward as well, to the running steeds.  As the sparks touched the steeds, their fur became shining white.

White Horses_in_camargue

Bob now had the second of the three elements he required.  The past.

The hornless unicorns whinnied as they felt their added strength.

The two groups of hummingbirds flew as one.  They circled rapidly in the air above the running steeds.  The circle spun faster until it looked like a cyclone of color.  It drew all the sparks that had once been the page from the Etheraris Spiregris into the vortex.

Shouting came from within the cave.  The great copper battleax had broken free.  The drumming stopped.  Bedlam yelled for them to keep drumming.

If the ax levitated high enough it would gather dark magic as it ascended.  It would forever sever the link between the colorless world and Thistledown.

Bob’s strength began to lag.  He knew he had to channel the darkest of the magic he had absorbed from the cave.  Somehow, he had to blend it with his own, even if it burned him alive.

Abbey,_Edwin_Austin_Fairies

Fairies, Edwin Austin Abbey, 1852-1911

Bob focused on the spell.  It was engraved on the race memory of every hummingbird in Thistledown.  It was a core component of their distant past.  Now the Thistledown hummers had brought it into the present.  The enchantment could easily be perverted in this colorless world, just as its name implied.

As the vortex expanded, exoplasmic figures began to move on the ground below.  They screamed in pain as they remembered their ending.  Substance had been given to the shadows that had long before been burned into the rubble in Bedlam’s terrible vision.  Bob knew that the vision had been a reality in the past of the colorless world.  He didn’t flinch as the phantoms rose up to surround the cyclonic mass of hummingbirds.

Bob chirped out the words of the spell.  The other hummingbirds added their voices.  The galloping steeds learned the spell and supplemented the calls of the birds with their neighs and whinnies.

The milky sun of the colorless world bloomed in brilliance.  Light seemed to bleed across the hazy sky.  Against the expanding sun was an enormous flock of hummingbirds of shimmering white.

Sunrise

Sunrise by Kirt Tisdale

Now Bob had third element of the spell ― the future.

The pristine birds flew amid the phantoms.  As the hummingbirds touched the phantoms, the ectoplasm transformed to light.  Healed, the lights soared into the cave of the abyss.

Bedlam Thunder and the others of the drum circle quickly left the cave.

“Are you sure you want to stay here?” Bedlam asked Fallow Blackmoon.

“This is where I belong, Bedlam.  I have a purpose here that I never had in Thistledown.  I hope you can understand,” Fallow told her with a gentle smile.

A copper glow briefly emanated from the mouth of the cave.  Bob heard the sound of the great battleax as it clattered to the ground.

The mountain trembled.  Part of the cave collapsed.  Dust poured from the opening.

“The abyss has closed,” Bedlam stated.  “But I can still feel the link to Thistledown.”

“But now you can’t get home!” Rotten Soulfire said as a horrified expression came to her face.

Bob dove down from the impossibly fast flight of the hummingbirds.  He rested on Bedlam’s back where her injured wing was tucked away.  Then he moved up to her shoulder and pulled at the sleeve of her yellow dress.

Bedlam unfurled her wings.  She smiled when she saw her wound was healed.

“Can you simply fly home?” Rotten asked in a doubtful voice.

DCF 1.0

More hummingbirds descended from the vortex, brown, white, and brightly colored.  They chirped excitedly.

“No, I can’t fly there on my own,” Bedlam began.  “But I will have help.  I believe I could take you with me, Rotten.  I think you would love your double there, my friend River Mindshadow.”

Bob could tell that indecision wared within the girl.  After a moment she shook her head.

“I’m not as brave as you, Bedlam.  But maybe another time,” Rotten told her.

Bedlam Thunder Bob the hummingbird fluttered skyward together.   The other hummingbirds from Thistledown gathered around them.  Hummingbird magic surged.  It spread across the sky like a multicolored sunset as they disappeared, headed home.

The vortex supported by the shimmering white hummingbirds, and the dull colored ones of that world surged and then flew apart.  The white hummers blinked out of sight.  The others chirped happily and flew down to the hornless unicorns as they slowed to a stop.

The sky transformed to turquoise blue.  The sun shone in brilliance in the colorless world.

I Will Give You Hope

“I Will Give You Hope” photo by Kirt Tisdale

The members of the drum circle murmured in amazement.  Fallow Blackmoon squinted, but she smiled as she gazed at beautiful blue sky and a bright sun unlike any the colorless world had known in its long memory.

The End

***

Faery Artists and Namers

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who allowed faeries to be named in their honor — and particularly to those who gave me permission to use their art and photos.  Here’s a shout-out and a huge “thank you!” to everyone, from me and Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam.  In no particular order: 

Annette Rochelle Aben Crescent Glimmer
https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/ 
Colleen Chesebro Ember Beamwitch
https://www.amazon.com/Colleen-M.-Chesebro/e/B01N9MV2RX 
Barbara Murray Tinder Willowtree
https://www.etsy.com/shop/MurrayHillGlassArt
Marjorie Mallon Belle Stargazer
https://mjmallon.com/
Mary J. Mccoy-Dressel Calico Rainbowforest
https://maryjdresselbooks.com/posts/ 
Pamela Wight Dewberry Moonglow
https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-S.-Wight/e/B00AYXT6R6 
Sally Cronin Poppy Songbird
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/
Adele Marie Park Luminous Twinkle
https://firefly465.wordpress.com/ 
Viv Drewa Meadow Glimmer
https://www.amazon.com/Viv-Drewa/e/B00J1PTJ20 
Christopher Graham Field Yewwasp
https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/about/ 
Kirt Tisdale Skypainter Morning
https://thewallgallery.com/ 
Eloise De Sousa Blossom Stargazer
http://www.eloisedesousa.wordpress.com 
Tim Price Catseye Glimmer
http://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog  Royal Chimera
Robbie Cheadle Glitter Shimmerling
https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ 
Olga Núñez Miret River Mindshadow
http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/  Rotten Soulfire
Suzanne DeBrango Peaches Dragonfire
https://apuginthekitchen.com 
Victo Dolore Lavender Cozy
https://doctorly.wordpress.com/ 
Jan Malique Cherry Starlight
https://strangegoingsonintheshed.wordpress.com/ 
Andrea Stephenson Fallow Blackmoon
https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/
Barbara aka ghostmmnc Glimmer Stargazer
https://teleportingweena.wordpress.com/about-me-2/ 
Willow Croft aka the Chaos Fairy Whimsy Thistle
https://www.amazon.com/author/willowcroft 
Lavinia Ross Moon Shadow
https://salmonbrookfarms.wordpress.com/ 
John W. Howell Pick Dragonfly
http://johnwhowell.com 
Kathryn Pepper Stargazer
https://anotherfoodieblogger.wordpress.com/ 
Christine Robinson Willow Rainbow
http://cerobinsonauthor.com 
Wanda Williams Ivy Thistle
https://cookiesandmoo.blog/ 
Vashti Quiroz-Vega Desert Firesong
http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com 
Dan Antion Carver Eastdoor
https://nofacilities.com/  Stranglevine Starquencher
Linda, Charmed Chaos Pippa Glimmer
https://charmedchaos.com 
Hugh W. Roberts Ivy Twinkle
https://hughsviewsandnews.com/ 
Hollyberye Holly Songbird
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyWrV-dmm_oWHnc50YKSVnA 
Sarah Vernon Tipsy Cotton
https://firstnightdesign.wordpress.com/ 
Cecily Willow Stargazer
https://cecilyswritings.wordpress.com 
Teri Polen Royal Razorleaf
https://teripolen.com/
Christy Birmingham Rhymer Rainbow
https://poeticparfait.com/ 
Janet Weight Reed Valley Hummer
https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/tag/janet-weight-reed/ 
Diana Wallace Peach Flora Twinkle
https://mythsofthemirror.com/author/dwpeach/
Brad Chimera Soulfire
https://writingtofreedom.com/about/ 
Sue Dreamwalker Drummer Soulfire
https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/about/ C52

Thanks again for being a part of Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam.

Hugs on the wing!

For an entirely different variety of “fae” read Atonement, Tennessee.  I’m currently editing book-2 and hope to publish soon.

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

 

 

 

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 31 — A Perversion of Phantoms

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Boy field smoke-ball aziz-acharki-290990

Aziz Acharki, Unsplash

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown.  It’s great to see you!  In this chapter, Bedlam relates the next part of the story as it was told to her.

Previously in Thistledown

In Episode-29, A Hummingbird, we left Bedlam and Bob the hummingbird far away from Thistledown, their home. Though neither knew quite where the other was, they were both in the colorless world with the “scary faeries.”  In their own way, both felt the need to save Thistledown from the terrible potentials of Bedlam’s vision. 

In Episode-30, Meanwhile Back in Thistledown, the day of the grand Midsummer party finally arrived.  All the hummingbirds of the realm gathered to take part.  However, the entertainment for the party was overtaken by dark magic.  The faeries of Thistledown saw, projected onto the clouds, Bedlam’s horrific vision.  All the hummingbirds flew away.

Ghosts Thomas Breeson Salbert hill fortifications Old NATO station

Thomas Bresson via Wiki Media Commons. Salbert Hill fortifications Old NATO station

From Episode 14, The Etheraris Spiregris

“A Perversion of Phantoms,” River read aloud the title at the top of the timeworn page. 

 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 were touching the pages of the incantation as we spoke.

 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. 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 31

A Perversion of Phantoms

Rope Bare feet Dark_eva-blue-42498

Eva Blue, Unsplash

I relate this part of the story as it was told to me by my friends River Mindshadow and Rhymer Rainbow.

My friends and I had held precariously to the periwinkle colored muskox hair as we dangled in the great abyss.  Bob the hummingbird had brought me the magic-charged hair to guide me as I searched for understanding regarding my visions.  At that moment the fine hair was the only thing between the three of us and a potentially endless fall within the black abyss.  The huge furry faery, Field Yewwasp had rescued Rhymer Rainbow and then River Mindshadow.

(See Episode – 22, A Hair Aflame)

Thanks to the efforts of the crochet circle and Field, my friends were safe.  However, their well-being was damaged from their time in the dark place.  Willow Rainbow, Rhymer’s aunt called for the healer, Lavender Cozy.  The healer borrowed the big moonstone from Crescent Glimmer that she had used to examine what might be wrong beyond my physical ills.  Lavender used the moonstone on River and Rhymer.

(See Episode – 8, Shadows of Body and Mind)

Maiden and Moon_The Pink Fairy Book_1897_Andrew Lang artist unknown

The Maiden and the Moon, from The Pink Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang artist unknown circa 1897

Lavender shook her head in worry about their condition.  She ordered that my friends stay in bed and not be moved.  So, they stayed at Willow Rainbow’s charming yellow house, where they were when they were pulled from the abyss.  She wouldn’t allow them to even go to any of the Midsummer parties.

“It’s as if they are depressed,” Lavender Cozy said.  “That’s a very dangerous condition for faeries.”

Depression was unheard of in Thistledown, so the healer had to explain the condition.  She emphasized its seriousness.  She said it was not something that the girls could simply shake off or decide to change their moods.

The most worrisome part was that neither of the girls cared that they were missing the parties.  When the day arrived for the grand Midsummer party at Peaches Dragonfly’s orchard, Rhymer and River stayed in bed, without protest.  Concerned, Willow Rainbow stayed home to watch over the girls.  However, they finally persuaded her to go to the spectacular party Peaches was hosting.  It seemed to make them feel a little better that Willow would enjoy herself, so the woman reluctantly agreed.

After a while, shadows filled the bedroom.  Rhymer went to the window and looked at the sky.

“Oh my!  Such dark clouds in the sky.  Could there be a storm?  On Midsummer that’s not the norm,” Rhymer exclaimed.

Something thumped somewhere downstairs.  River jumped out of bed and hurried down the stairs toward the sound.  Rhymer went after River, long rainbow-colored hair streaming behind her as she ran.  They paused for a moment, waiting for any other sound.  Then they heard a rustling sound, like the pages of a book rapidly turning.

Ancient Book daniele-levis-pelusi-221717

Daniele Levis Pelusi, Unsplash

“I thought your aunt Willow put that book away.  Do you think…” River began.

“That’s coming from the library.  Let’s not tarry,” Rhymer replied.

Opening the door, the first thing the girls noticed was a wide empty spot on the top shelf, where Willow had put the ancient tome.  On the floor, the covers were open and the pages started to turn.  The Etheraris Spiregris moved of its own accord.

Cautiously the girls approached the powerful book that had gotten them into so much trouble.  Step by step they edged closer to the tome.  They were almost upon it when the sun seemed to go behind a heavy cloud.

Looking out the open window they saw that the sky had not clouded because of weather.  A thick flock of hummingbirds had darkened the sky.

Orange Pink Hummers Janet Weight Reed

Janet Weight Reed

“That must be every hummingbird in Thistledown!” River cried.

Then the tiny birds started streaming through the window into the library.  They went directly to the rustling pages of the Etheraris Spiregris.  A dozen of the humming birds flew in a circle around the ancient book.  The pages stilled.  Then the birds swooped down and tore out the page on which the book stopped.

River and Rhymer saw the page clearly as the hummingbirds tore it free.  It was the page containing the spell A Perversion of Phantoms.

The birds that had entered the farmhouse flew back outside.  It took several of the tiny avians to carry the page, but it didn’t seem difficult as their flight was so perfectly coordinated.  Then the mass of hummingbirds disappeared without a trace.

Everything became unnaturally quiet.

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.

Willow Rainbow  http://cerobinsonauthor.com/

Rhymer Rainbow  https://whenwomeninspire.com/

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

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

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

Lavender Cozy  https://doctorly.wordpress.com/

Valley Hummer https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/tag/janet-weight-reed/

Impossible as it seems, it looks like all of the hummingbirds may have left Thistledown.  Tune in next weekend when I hope I’ll be able to tell you more.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

For an entirely different variety of “fae” read Atonement, Tennessee.  I’m currently editing book-2 and hope to publish soon.

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

 

 

 

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 30 — Meanwhile Back in Thistledown

Saturday, April 7, 2018

 

Welcome back to the faery land of Thistledown.  Things have taken a much more serious tone in recent episodes.  Our friends might resort to drastic measures as they try to fix the situation. 

Bob the hummingbird has something up his tiny sleeve (err rather wing), but he sees no way to accomplish what he needs to do without using the dark magic of the cave of the abyss. There is not enough magic in the colorless world where he followed Bedlam Thunder. 

The friends Bedlam has made in that murky place think the only answer to saving Thistledown from the reality of Bedlam’s horrific vision is to sever the link between the two worlds.  Bedlam’s seer instincts tell her that breaking the link would be disastrous for both worlds.  She also knows her friend Bob is there somewhere, but his whereabouts are unknown to her. 

With all that, it’s been quite a while since we paid a visit to the home of Bob and Bedlam — Thistledown.  The faeries there were in the midst of their weeks long Midsummer celebrations.  So we return to them now, as Bedlam looks back and describes what was happening in her home.

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 30

Meanwhile Back in Thistledown

Be Still And Know

Image by Kirt Tisdale

Some people think it should have bothered me, hurt me, even scarred me, but I couldn’t see it that way.  Most of the Thistledown faeries are a positive, happy, generous lot.  Their joy multiplies more and more as it is shared.  They also live for parties.  That’s why it didn’t bother me to know that everyone went ahead with the Midsummer parties even though they had no idea where I was or what had happened to me.

The party Peaches Dragonfly gave was the grandest of them all.  Her cousin Pick Dragonfly made sure the liquid refreshments flowed, including his special agave juice.  (See Episode-9, Gone to the Dogs.)

Poppy Songbird did aerial acrobatics high above the stage.  As the Dragon’s Nest band played, her cousin Holly Songbird made a dramatic entrance through the beautiful arch that Carver Eastdoor created for the occasion.  Candy of all sorts exploded from the arch when Holly hit the high note of her opening song.  (See Episode-7 Doors and Doors.)

Then Skypainter Morning flew high above the stage.  He had finally perfected the moving image he wanted to use.  He tied the magic of the scrying pool to the images he cast against the clouds.  It was unlike anything that had ever been seen in Thistledown.  The partygoers gasped and shouted, cheering Skypainter on as he made the cloud painting more complex and realistic.  (See Episode-4 A Finder.)

Sunrise

Sunrise by Kirt Tisdale

 

He recruited Moon Shadow and Valley Hummer to help.  Moon played her flute, adding emotion to the moving paintings.  Valley summoned the huge flock of brightly colored hummingbirds.  Their flight was like an intricate dance to the music and echoed the movements of the paintings.

That’s when things started to go wrong.

The hummingbirds stopped their aerial dance.  For a moment they silently hovered in place.  The onlookers murmured to one another in puzzled, worried tones.  The hummingbirds began to chirp to each other.  Their voices became a raucous cacophony.  Abruptly all the hummingbirds flew away.

Then Skypainter’s wonderful images wavered as the clouds darkened.  The paintings rippled as if something might have dropped into the scrying pool, which was part of the magic that Sky used to project them.  Gradually the images transformed into something horrible.

Replacing the glorious paintings Sky had created in the clouds was the horrible vision which the very same scrying pool had inflicted upon me.  That vision had devastated me, and as a seer, I was somewhat trained for it.  The horror of it was too much for the faeries of Thistledown.  They cried and screamed.  Chaos ensued.

The Midsummer party fell into bedlam.

Red Smoke_ Wong Unsplash

Altered image via Unsplash

 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.

Pick Dragonfly http://johnwhowell.com

Peaches Dragonfly https://apuginthekitchen.com 

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

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

Carver Eastdoor https://nofacilities.com/

Skypainter Morning https://thewallgallery.com/

Moon Shadow https://salmonbrookfarms.wordpress.com/

Valley Hummer https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/tag/janet-weight-reed/

 

Tune in next weekend for Episode 31 — A Perversion of Phantoms.  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 29 — A Hummingbird

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Orange Feather Alexander Sinn Unsplash

Alexander Sinn, Unsplash

Welcome once again to the faery land of Thistledown.  At the end of the previous episode  an orange feather from Bob the humming bird drifted down to Fallow Blackmoon. Thanks to Jacquie Biggar for being the first reader to cause me to see what a symbol of hope that feather was. 

Today hope is not quite gone.  However, our friends might resort to drastic measures… 

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

Episode 24 – The Other Seer

“The family always said the copper battleax was magical.  I’ve never seen anything unusual or special about it.  Except for how big it is.  And how old,” Stranglevine Starquencher told us.

 “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.”

Episode 27 – A Feather

Bob made it to the tiny opening in the cave wall. He came out on the other side of the hill from where Bedlam and the scary faeries were at the cave opening.  He used his hummingbird magic to summon others of his kind. But they were all brown.

Episode 28 – Gray Wings

Last time Bedlam saw the bright orange feather that surely had belonged to Bob the Hummingbird, but she found no trace of the brave little guy.  Also, Fallow Blackmoon had grave news for Bedlam Thunder and it was related to her horrible vision.

“Bedlam, the rest of your burden is at least as great as mine.  And dire.  There is a connection between this world and ours.  Just as many of the folk of Thistledown have doubles, things that happen here can eventually bleed over and into Thistledown.” 

 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 29

A Hummingbird

Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch_John Anster 1900s

Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch, John Anster 1900s

At first light the next day most of the drum circle gathered again at the entrance to the cave.  Although, first light in the colorless world happened later in the morning than it did in Thistledown.  The sun was in the same position, but it seemed to take it longer to build up enough illumination for the break of day.

As that sun shone weakly on the dull world around me, Fallow Blackmoon smiled at the sky as if she beheld a bright day.  I supposed she had gotten used to the difference after so many years in that place.

The copper battleax glinted warmly in the wan sunlight.  Stranglevine Starquencher moved it as Fallow Blackmoon requested, while she examined it in different lights.

“This ax is not of this world,” Fallow stated.  “Like its twin in Thistledown, it was made there.”

Stranglevine seemed particularly surprised.  Clearly he had never considered that his family heirloom had come from anywhere else.  After a moment of conversation, Stranglevine hefted the great ax and carried it into the cave where they analyzed its reaction to the magical properties of the cave.

I followed rather reluctantly.  I didn’t like the cave any better than the black abyss where I experienced the prolonged fall into that colorless world.  While the copper ax didn’t seem to be influenced by the cave, I could feel the dark magic of the place like dirty oil against my skin.

Märchendom Saalfelder Feengrotten

Der sogenannte Märchendom in den Saalfelder Feengrotten

“This cave is within the same mountain as the great scrying stone’s cavern where you visited me,” Poison Ivy Razorleaf told me.

I perceived that Razorleaf had more innate magic than anyone else native to that world.  His ability was second only to that of Fallow Blackmoon, who I had learned was from Thistledown.  Razorleaf and Fallow started talking in quiet voices.  They looked up at the endless seeming heights inside the mountain.  They appeared to come to an agreement of sorts.

“We think this ax may well be able to sever the connection between our world and yours, Bedlam,” Razorleaf told me, but included the group.

“But what effect would that have on all of you?  On your home?” I asked in dismay.  “And Fallow, you’d never be able to get home.  What if you changed your mind and wanted to go home?  Or even visit?”

“Don’t worry, Bedlam,” Fallow told me in a kind voice.  “I will not permit this until we have figured out how to get you back to Thistledown.”

I was appalled at the prospect and not just for Fallow’s sake.  It seemed wrong to me, in ways that I couldn’t describe.

“It’s not about me!” I cried, not knowing how to explain.  “It’s not about you either.  It’s…” I fumbled to a halt, not able to put my desperate feelings into words.

Razorleaf looked at me curiously.  Fallow looked at him, and then at me.  She took a step closer, her brows knitted in concentration.

“That’s coming from the seer in you, isn’t it?” she said speculatively.  “I sense your gift at work, but I can’t tell what message you’re getting.”

Face in water blue

“Maybe it needs some time to digest,” Razorleaf suggested.  “We can’t do anything with the ax until we figure out how to elevate it into the area from where you retrieved Bedlam as she was falling.  The upper part of the cave you called the abyss,” he told Fallow.

While we spoke the great copper battleax started to vibrate.  Stranglevine Starquencher grunted an exclamation of surprise.  Then the ax levitated.  As it rose to waist height, he grabbed onto the handle.  The ax continued to ascend though he tried to pull it back to the ground.

Drummer Soulfire and her cousin Rotten jumped up to help.  Stranglevine tried to motion them away.

“Be careful of the blade.  There’s nothing sharper!” he yelled.

Instead of touching the ax Drummer and Rotten grabbed onto Stranglevine.

“You’d better get that thing outside,” Razorleaf told them with the smirk that seemed to be part of his nature.

I failed to see any comedy in the situation.  Apparently even humor was dark in the colorless world.  Fallow snorted and agreed that they’d best get out of the cave.

However, I did see something surprising as they wrestled the big copper battleax back to the floor of the cave.  Amid the intricate engravings that decorated the ax was the image of a hummingbird.

Hummingbird orange in dark Patti Black Unsplash

Patti Black, Unsplash

 

***

Bob the hummingbird gazed at the others of his kind in dismay.  It wasn’t just their dull coloring that concerned him.  It was the scant amount of magic he sensed — in the hummers and everything else where he should have detected magic.

He cried out to the other hummingbirds and the hornless unicorns who came to his call.  He asked that they summon all of their kind.  Bob realized that they wouldn’t be able to accomplish very much with their faint enchantment, but anything was better than nothing.

Then Bob turned to go back inside the cave of the abyss.  He gathered his courage and steeled his resolve.  Using dark magic could end in death or worse.  However, he saw no alternative.  Bob would have to try and combine his hummingbird magic with the powers of the cave.

 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.

Stranglevine Starquencher  https://nofacilities.com/

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

Poison Ivy Razorleaf  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Rotten Soulfire  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

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

Tune in next weekend for Episode 30 — A Perversion of Phantoms.  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 11

Magical Town Crickadoon

The Magical Town of Crickadoon, Janet Weight Reed

Friday, September 22, 2017

Today I’m excited (oh, let’s be honest — I’m positively giddy) to collaborate with and feature one of my blogging she-roes.  Please welcome artist Janet Weight Reed.  Her love of color and sense of whimsy equals my own.  Janet’s talent and imagination leaves mine sitting in the dust. There are surely faeries in her magical town of Crickadoon.

Some of her magical hummingbirds have made their way to Thistledown for this episode.  (This post shows a beautiful collection of Janet’s hummingbirds click here.  If you want some of your very own, click here for her Zazzle store.)

Writing Process

Fallow Blackmoon, a faery from the colorless world (or the scary faery-verse), made an entrance that was hard to follow.  My pantser pants were not flying me anywhere — by the seat or otherwise.  Then a hummingbird with fiery orange plumage flew into my imagination, inspiring this spontaneous collaboration with Janet.  I have to thank her right now for being so quick to get images to me, with no planning or notice.

Janet was away on a break when I began this serial, and so didn’t get to name a character.  But that didn’t keep the orange hummer away.  In fact the little bird refused to leave.  So, I made a character name inspired by the artist.

About This Episode

This chapter picks up where Episode 10 left off, with the abrupt departure of Fallow Blackmoon.  I still don’t know where we are flying with this serial, but we are fluttering along with some beautiful images this time.

And now, the eleventh installment of my serial. 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 11

Ashes and Hummingbirds

Sparks from the bonfire sizzled heavenward.  Red, blue, and purple flames crackled in exotic shapes, thanks to the enchantments cast by my grand-uncle and Field Yewwasp.  The faeries who were gathered around the fire seemed to think the machine that roared out of the bonfire was one of the magical effects.  As I stood in bewilderment at the abrupt disappearance of Fallow Blackmoon, loud applause rose from the audience as they looked up at us in the branches of the primeval evergreen.

“For now, we should probably play along,” Field suggested in a rumbling whisper.

The huge furry faery doffed his green top hat and bowed grandly.  I tried to follow his example and nearly fell headfirst down the stairs.  Field caught my elbow to steady me.

Sparks burst high into the sky, drawing everyone’s attention back to the bonfire.  Shimmering flames in yellow, purple, and blue stretched to wing-like shapes.  I saw a woman hovering just above the ground, her orange wings vibrating with intensity.  She held a small wand made of fire opal and waved her arms, conducting the movement of the flames.  The brightly colored flames coalesced and then surged into a starburst of iridescent hummingbirds.  Only Valley Hummer could create such a spectacle.

Amid the oohs and applause, many faeries were inspired to dance.  I saw Moon Shadow put a flute to her lips.  Her long, flowing purple hair swung as she played, and a lively reel began.  A circle formed and wings of every color fluttered, carrying the dancers into the sky.  Moon’s opalescent wings carried her up amid the dancers where she continued to play.  The hummingbirds flew all around the dancers, darting in and out of their circle, moving in time to the music.

***

The next day I was given permission to leave my bed — but not go more than a stone’s throw beyond the branches of the huge evergreen.

So why not let me go down to the bonfire the night before?  It wasn’t as if I was any better or worse a few hours later.

With a dejected sigh I walked down to the blackened remains of the party.  In counterpoint to the ashes, echoes of the merrymaking filled my mind.  As I looked at the burned wood, my thoughts flashed on the recent, truly horrific vision.  Thousands of people were destroyed, wiped from existence.  All that remained were their shadows — shadows that were blasted and burned into the rubble of walls.  I stomped on the frightening thought, hastily pushing down.

I felt a tickle at my head.  A hummingbird with iridescent feathers in the orange hues of a sunset hovered beside me.  It picked a strand of my hair.  When it opened its tiny beak to let go of my hair, I heard the voice of Valley Hummer.

“The other magical hummingbirds went home with me.  However this little one thought he should stay with you, at least for a while,” Valley’s voice told me and then went silent, giving the hummingbird’s natural voice back to him.

Fluttering at eye-level, the hummingbird made twittering chirps at me.  His elongated streamer-tail produced a “whirring sound” during his flight as he made series of darting movements around the circle of stones that had been dragged into place by the blue muskoxen.

I sat down on one of the stones and the humming bird flew to a nearby bush of butterfly weed to drink its nectar.  There were several clumps of long, silken blue hair amid the large flat rocks where the revelers sat the night before.

“One of Blossom’s muskoxen was late to his molt,”I commented to the hummingbird, but he continued drinking nectar.

I picked up several clumps of the blue hair, untangled it and began braiding.  I had no purpose in mind for it.  It was just something to do with my hands while my brain worked on a thought that resisted bubbling to the surface.  Finally, I realized what had been bothering me ― Fallow Blackmoon.

When my visions took me to that strange colorless world, no one was able to tell that I had left Thistledown.  However, Fallow Balckmoon was obviously present in her physical form.  That had troubled me.  Abruptly I remembered that when I went to the place where I met Rotten Soulfire, Satellite Frostbite, and Desert Firesong, I had physical presence there.  Or at least it had seemed that way.  Rotten had touched the joint where my wings depended from my back.  I remembered her amazed reaction that my wings were real.

“I’m Fallow Blackmoon.  It’s good to meet another seer,” the snakeskin clad faery had said before she vanished.

It must have worked that way for her as well.  I shook her hand.  She was actually there.  Yet she must have also been, probably in some unconscious state, in her own world.  Half an attempt to work out how that could be possible quickly gave me a headache.

Headache or not, my brain wasn’t ready to let go of the ideas.  I played with the long blue braid as I thought.  Then I remembered something else that was said during that strange moment.  Field Yewwasp said something I barely heard.  I was so distracted by Fallow Blackmoon’s sudden disappearance that I had forgotten how odd Field’s words were.

“She looks familiar,” he murmured so quietly that I barely heard.  “Could it be?”

It seemed like many of the residents of Thistledown had a counterpart in the colorless world.  Did the big furry faery know the double of the seer from that other place?

I rubbed my temples, trying to make the headache go away and the memories flow.  Did she look like anyone I knew?  It was hard to remember her face.  There had been so many distractions, the flames, her strange clothes, and the loudly roaring machine she rode.  Try as I might, I couldn’t remember ever seeing anyone like Fallow.

Field’s words rang in my mind, “Could it be?”

***

The End

As you saw, this we were revisited by a number of mystery folk from previous episodes.  They would appreciate it if you click over and say hello. 

Please also visit the new ones.  The new mystery folk revealed in this episode were:

I like to have a couple of chapters written in advance.  However, I’m no longer ahead on writing these episodes.  So, I have no clues to offer about the next installment.  Have a wonder-filled weekend.

Hugs on the wing!

Sunday update… I love your comments! But I might be slow to answer today. Somehow I’ve managed to get a stomach virus that has me on a very short leash to the bathroom…

 

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.