Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 1

Midnight moon farie

Welcome everyone, to the beginning of an all new serial here at Teagan’s Books!   This one is not a “three things” story, but it is still a pantser tale.  I’m flying by the seat of my pants again!  As I’ve done with other serials, I will promote bloggers each week.

Many of you will know that last weekend I issued a call for characters (for bloggers who wanted to be associated to a character), here and at Facebook.  Well, let me state a big disclaimer about that part.  The characters do not represent the person for which they are named. That is only a means of promoting the person.

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.

Each week, you will see brightly colored faery names (like this) which will be links.  Click on the link to reveal a mystery blogger.  

Here’s a little extra to get this premier rolling:

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, I present to you the opening episode…

Thistledown Girl

Alex Iby, Unsplash

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam

Beginning

Fragrances whispered to me of the past as they wafted on the twilight breeze.  Above, clouds from a distant storm moved aside, no longer obscuring my view of the stars. 

Moonstones mirrored in the reflection pool. I gazed at the images reproduced in endless repetition.  It was the memory of a long ago Midsummer.  Could such a time happen again?  I shuddered.

A faraway rumble came to my ears, reminiscent of my name.  Bedlam Thunder How, could anyone have expected me to fit in with such a name?  However, my grand-uncle had a vision and insisted that I bear a name of chaos among a race of people who were known for being goody two shoes.  My grand-uncle was a seer, so even his whims carried weight.

He insisted that I had the sight.  Some of the oldsters agreed with him, though they shook their heads and tut-tutted at the mention of my name.  They weren’t wrong, but I wasn’t the same kind of seer as my grand-uncle.  I could see around the odd corner or three, but I never saw anything good.  I never saw the healthy birth of a babe or who someone would marry.  I didn’t see anything anyone wanted to know.  Instead I saw things the existence of which my people denied.  Paranormal things — impossible places, creatures, and events.

However, in my younger days I had yet to fully realize those gifts.  When visions randomly bubbled to the surface, so to speak, they were more curse than gift.

My eyes shifted again to the reflection pool.  The vision remained.  Heaving a sigh, I sat down beside the pool to watch the mirror image of the stars gliding into place for the summer solstice.  It seemed that I must endure the replication of the past.  Perhaps I would find some enlightenment in it.  I allowed the reflection to flow into my consciousness, and my mind to merge with the vision.

Crystal Ball Hand_yeshi-kangrang-258234

Yeshi Kangrang, Unsplash

***

Morning’s blush still pinked the sky, but the fae of Thistledown were early risers.  The Opal siblings hurried past me, calling cheerful taunts at one another about who would get into the most trouble for being late for school.  I didn’t think their grand-aunt Willowtree would be too upset with them.

Folk of my age were on their way to school, beginners, intermediates, and seniors alike.  Except for me that is.  A week before the end of first term my friend, River and I had both gotten thrown out of freshman studies.

River Mindshadow was a free thinker.  That wasn’t something the schoolmasters appreciated.  The fact that she had no compunction whatsoever about sharing her thoughts and questions was the bane of their existence.

Me?  My visions were beyond the reckoning of the masters, or anyone else for that matter.  I had stopped presenting them in class, pretending that I’d had none.  Then came the day the Readings Master knew full well I’d had a vision and he demanded that I share it for the class to interpret.

The vision had been particularly chaotic and disturbing.  Knowing the contemptuous reaction it would receive from my classmates and the master, my face heated.  I begged to be excused, but the Readings Master would have none of it.  So I described my frenzied revelation as well as I could.  The class erupted in disorder, but the master brought everyone back to point.

River chose that moment to voice her thoughts.  The Readings Master interrupted her.

“Miss Mindshadow,” he began but turned to include me in his warning,  “and Miss Thunder, I’ve had more than enough of either of you.  Think twice about challenging common sense in my classroom!”

At his words, I tried to shush River.  She rolled her eyes at me and relentlessly continued.  River’s analysis of my vision was creative yet logical.  Of course the “creative” part was not well received by the master.  The sniggering from the other students brought the classroom to the edge of disruption.  

We might have come out of it unscathed if she had stopped there.  However, River closed her interpretation with a dire warning of what the vision represented.  Her reading resonated with me, and I vehemently defended my friend’s analysis.  Everyone else objected.  Then, suitably for my name, bedlam thundered in the classroom.

The Readings Master practically dragged River and me to the Headmaster’s office. 

“The loyalty of friendship is a beautiful thing, but…” the Headmaster said before I interrupted her.

We were in her office for all of five minutes before we both were suspended for the rest of the term.  River unfurled her wings and zipped away in righteous indignation.

River did will in flight class.  I was not so proficient.  My wings remained smoothly tucked away.  (Wings of the faeries of Thistledown were not apparent until needed.  It was a matter of convenience that became custom.  Imagine the amount of space that would be taken up by roomful of faeries in full winged glory.)  I was better off on the ground, so I contented myself by leaving at a slower, dignified pace.

Hand Rock BW_brina-blum-112497

Brina Blum, Unsplash

I stumbled over a rock.  That brought my young thoughts back to the moment.  It seemed I wasn’t much more graceful on the ground than in the air. 

A group of children laughed at me.  The adults minding them whispered to one another and smirked.  Word of my suspension from school got around almost as fast as the tales told about my chaotic vision.

“You’re a fine one to laugh, Sprite.  You fell out of your own bed last night,” a woman told him.

The boy glared at me, but looked suddenly inspired.

“It was because of her!” he accused, pointing at me.  “She sees bad things.  She must make them happen too!”

The woman made an exasperated sound at Sprite, and made an admonitory face him.  However, she turned a speculative look at me just the same.  It was not the first time I had seen that kind of expression on a faery face since my suspension.

Part of me knew it would only make them laugh harder, but in a fit of youthful emotion, I unfurled my wings and jumped into fumbling flight.  It wasn’t the first time I had been blamed for things that went wrong, things beyond my control.  However, I had the feeling this time it was going to get a lot worse.

I had no idea where I meant to go.  Even if I had, I wouldn’t have been able to see the way through my tears.  After a while, I managed to get myself tangled in the branches of an exceptionally large plumb tree.  A surprised cat, lounging on the next branch, meowed at me. 

Stellar?” I asked the meowing feline.

Even if I had not recognized the cat and the unusually big plumb tree, the delicious aromas of baking would have let me know where I was.  It was the orchard that belonged to Peaches Dragonfly.

“Bedlam?” I heard the astonished voice of the baker, just before I tumbled to the ground.

As Peaches pulled me to my feet, I noticed the ground was littered with plumbs.

“What’s all this?” I asked even though I was afraid to hear the answer.

She pushed her lovely fluffy pink hair away from her forehead, and looked wryly at the plumbs.

“Rotten,” she said, shaking her head.  “This season half the fruit is rotting as it grows.”

“Oh Peaches, I’m so sorry!” I apologized, as my tears flowed again.

Peaches started out in the same class as River and me.  However, Peaches proved to be a prodigy in persuading fruit trees to produce.  What she did in preparing the fruit was pure magic, even when no magic was involved.  She graduated three full terms early.

“What?  Oh, I see.  You’ve been listening to the wrong people, my friend.  River told me all about your vision, and her reading of it.  I’m in complete agreement,” Peaches said to my great relief.  “I have some free-thinking friends coming to lend a hand with my solstice preparations.  They will want to talk to you, hear what you have to say first hand.”

I gave Peaches a wide-eyed, doubtful look and murmured that I wasn’t so sure that was a good idea.

“All of Thistledown is already talking about your vision.  It gets more twisted with every telling.  So don’t you think you should discuss it with a few people who are willing to listen?  Tell it the way you saw it?  Now, come with me.  You need pie,” she told me.  “Come on, my cousin Pick is back.  River is here too.”

Pick Dragonfly was the only person I knew who had traveled beyond Thistledown.  He was almost a legend locally.

“Oh!  I should have known Pick was back when I saw Stellar in the tree,” I commented, feeling a touch better about the situation already. 

Cat silhouette Tree_saso-tusar-130051

Saso Tusar, Unsplash

***

End Episode 1

I hope everyone clicked on the links to reveal this week’s mystery bloggers.  Pay them a visit and leave a comment.  We love comments.  

Thanks to the mystery folk of this episode:

  • Barbara Murray (along with Zen and Zasha)
  • Olga Núñez Miret
  • Suzanne DeBrango
  • John W. Howell

Stay tuned to learn just what kind of disturbing vision Bedlam had.  I hope to see everyone again next week in Thistledown.  Mega hugs,

Teagan 

 

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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

 

 

3-D: A Party for the Story Reading Ape

Naughty Chimps

Hello everyone. The Four Naughty Chimps are back and it’s time to get jiggy!  None other than the one and only Chris Graham, better known to you as The Story Reading Ape, is here today.  And I’ve decided to throw him a party.  Woot!

Chris/Ape is such a multi-talented individual, making book cover designs and promo trailers.  Not to mention his tireless promotion of Indie authors.  I’m going to start this party by showing you a sample of something new he’s doing — 3-D images of book covers.  I was so excited to see Atonement, Tennessee in 3-D!

 

3-D Atonement Cover no background

The Prices, etc, can be found at: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/tsra-3d-books/

It wouldn’t be a party if I didn’t invite everyone to come out and play.  When I saw the wonderful 3-D image, on a whim I challenged our Ape/Chris to write a quick story relating to 3-D.  Not only did he go 3-D, he put three “D” names in the story.  Now that’s jumping into the game!

Then I realized it was a little unfair of me to ask the Story Reading Ape to write a story if I didn’t take the same challenge.  (I freely admit that his story is better than mine though.)  Of course he had upped the ante by adding the three “D” names.  Chris TSRA

Now, since this is a party, you know that I want all of you to come out and play too.  Leave something in the comments that the thought of “3-D” inspires in your imagination.

First we’ll have the story from Chris, and then you’ll see mine.

 3-D

By Chris Graham

Davy, Don and Duke had apparently not only painted the town red last night, they’d applied three coats of primer and varnished over two coats of waterproof emulsion judging by they way they felt this morning.

The alleyway they woke up in didn’t look familiar; it was wet and kinda flat looking; even when they forced their eyelids wide open.

As the others watched in befuddled disbelief, Duke slowly peeled himself off the wall and flopped around for a while before draping over a nearby garbage can.

“God – I feel so FLAT!”

“You are!” slurred Don.

“Don’t ya mean – “You Do?””

“Nope, he was making a statement of fact Duke”, a stunned looking Davy slurred in agreement.

Flat Stanley“Waddya mean by that?” grunted Duke as he tried to push himself upright.

“Because you ARE flat” Don slurred more clearly.
“As a pancake” Duke clarified.

Duke looked down at himself, slowly turned his hands and arms around a bit, repeated the action on each of his legs and looked back at his two buddies, still sitting propped up against the alley wall.

“As paper…” his buddies screamed in unison when Duke momentarily disappeared from the waist up as he turned.

Silence gripped the alleyway as all three of them fainted.

Some hours later, when they woke up together, a trio of voices shouted “Hey Guys, I’ve just had the weirdest dream.”

The alleyway still looked as flat as they did.

The end.


My Turn

Okay… that’s hard to follow, but I’ll at least participate.  Here’s my spontaneous 3-D story.  But since I can…  I’m going to put the title at the end, to avoid spoilers.  Here goes…
1930s bedroom elaborate

“Well, Dinah…  It’s a little bit, I don’t know, Gothic looking,” Daisy said thoughtfully as she looked at a picture of a bedroom design her friend wanted to use.

Daisy actually thought the décor bordered on tacky, with all the ruffles and lace.  However, that kind of thing did suit her romanticizing friend.  She moved to a spot where the light was better.  The two young women had slipped into the copy room of the university’s Advanced Technologies lab.  It was the closest place to make a photocopy.

“Where did you find this photo?” Daisy wanted to know.

“It was in the research materials my cinematography professor let us use,” her friend replied.  “Oh I can’t afford to be late for class.  Give it back.  Let me just make a copy of it.  This machine looks like it’s already warmed up,” Dinah said as she put the photo into the machine.

“Cinematography?  Dinah, wasn’t your assignment in that class about a director named John Badham and Frank somebody-or-other?  Hang on a minute.  That’s not a copy machine!  It’s a 3-D printer.”

The lights flickered and went out as all the power was diverted to the 3-D printer.  The machine clicked and chugged.  With a groan it spat out a ruffled pillow.  Shrill whirring whistling sounds filled the room.  The printer shook and belched out a lacy curtain.

Smoke Blue Horizontal

“Turn it off!” Daisy cried, worried that the printer would explode with all the noise it was making.

Dinah frantically and repeatedly pressed the off button.  When that had no effect, she began to slap every button on the control panel.

“I can’t!  It won’t stop!” Dinah yelled above the noise.

The printer screeched and hissed.  Smoke filled the room.  The girls coughed and tried to see through the vapors as they felt their way toward the door.

The sound of soft footfalls reached their ears.

“Who’s there?” Dinah cried.

With the grace of a cat a dark silhouette strode toward them.

With a shaking voice Daisy whispered to her friend, “You don’t suppose that’s D—”

Dinah finished the name in a shaking voice, “Dracula?”

3-D Dracula

Daisy and Dinah Meet Dracula

The end.

Your Turn!

Okay, now it’s your turn.  Think 3-D and all the advancements, or all the science fiction, or even the goofy red and blue 3-D movie glasses.  Give your imagination freedom and leave a comment about 3-D.

Open Invitation

If this inspired you to just write something or otherwise create anything related to 3-D, that’s even better!  If you want, you can use the comments to leave a link to your story or blog post.  Kindly link back to this post if you blog about what you wrote, cooked, painted, or photographed.

Thank you from my heart for “coming out to play” at my party for the Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape.  Drop by his tree house to say hello.

Mega hugs,

Teagan

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.