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 

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