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We are happy that you have come. Arial and her friends have been waiting to show you their world. It's a world of magic where things are not always what they seem. Please, come in a stay awhile, there are a lot of things to see here and they are ever changing. So do come back often, we will be waiting through the ivy hedge.

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060 If you want your children to be brilliant, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be geniuses, read them more fairy tales. ~Albert Einstein~
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© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tami Ruesch, The Misty world of Arial Hollyberry, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category


I sat up, opened my eyes, and found myself sitting at the base of an old oak tree. The ground was covered with thick, deep green moss and soft, decaying pine needles. Tall fern fronds were growing everywhere. It was warm and humid and the scent of honeysuckle, lavender, and pine hung heavy in the air. The smell was the sweet, clean smell of  spring. I blinked several times trying to bring my eyes into focus. It took a few minutes, but soon my sight cleared and I was able to make out what recently just looked like huge, shadowy stick like beings. Everywhere I looked I saw nothing but tall, old pine trees and undergrowth. The sun was filtering through the canopy of the forest in hazy, golden rays, hitting the shadowed forest floor in gleaming pools of emerald light that danced around as the trees swayed peacefully back and forth. How long have I been here?

My head was throbbing, keeping time with the woodpecker high in trees that was doing it’s best to imitate a jackhammer. Thinking as hard as I could with my head pounding, I tried to remember where I am, and how I got here…I looked around again, wherever here is. Funny, I thought it was winter. I know this because Bill and I were just putting up our Christmas  tree. I remember Warren and Odette hanging silver ice-sickles on the bottom-most branches and chasing the dogs who were constantly darting in, grabbing a mouthful, then dashing off in a daring game of keep away. I pushed myself up, using the tree as a brace. The world tilted sharply. Whoa! I felt like I had had just a little to much to drink. Where am I?

Then it came flooding back in waves of remembered music and dancing…the Yule Ball! Well that answers the question of the headache, faeries have the most delectable honeyed mead. It is wonderful, but a little goes a long way. I held my head and tried to steady the world as it spun around me. Raising my voice, I called out to the forest at large, “Anyone here!?” I winced, the sound of my voice pounded in my ears and drove spikes into my brain. I decided that yelling was out of the question.

I didn’t have to repeat myself. Soon, five dazzling streaks of light flashed through the underbrush. They darted and danced all around me. To fast for my dizzy brain to keep up with. “Hey! Please! slow down!” The five faeries who I know all to well came to an abrupt stop, causing me to fall backward and plop down on the lush, velvet moss.

Sunny, Bella, Pip, Ferne, and Arial, glided slowly down until they were in front of my face, about three inches from my nose, then hung in mid air, all talking and giggling at the same time. I had to smile, it’s the same old routine every time the group gets together. Faeries! They are so flighty and full of energy. Holding my arms out, I waved my hands frantically back and forth. “Okay, okay, OKAY!! One at a time, I can’t understand you when you speak all at once”.

The excited chatter died down, then Bella, Pip, and Ferne got behind me to push, while Sunny and Arial each took one of my hands to pull me to a standing position. Much to my surprise, it worked! Note to self…never, ever, underestimate the strength of a faerie. The movement was so fast that it felt like all the color drained out of my face. Arial darted in close, perched on my shoulder and ask in a slightly worried tone. “Kind One? Are you alright? You wanted to stand-up, didn’t you?”

It took a moment to gather my wits and my balance, but I managed to stay standing once I was up. “Arial!” my voice came out all breathless. “What in the Goddesses name went on at the party last night!?” All the faeries giggled and Arial replied, “Last night? Kind One, you have been here for a week. I must say, it was a delight to see how you got on with the Centaurs! At one point, you even tried to ride one!” Pip was bouncing up and down behind Arial, her wings all sparkling red and gold. “I helped! I helped!” Needless to say, that set off another round of chirps and giggles.

Of course, I remembered none of this. Arial held out her hand, her dainty fingers curled around a Lilliputian sized golden flask. “Here Kind One, drink this. I think you will be pleasantly surprised in how much better you feel.” I took the itty bitty bottle and uncorked it. The potion smelled like ripe strawberries. I was just about to up end the bottle when the memory of another potion blazed through my mind like a flash of white hot lightening . That was the time I had to rescue a faerie friend from my neighbor, Mrs. Shunner, who it turns out, is a shape shifter trying to gather enough energy to get back into the faerie realm through the portal in my backyard. That potion turned me into the likeness of her black cat. A cold shiver ran down my spine, causing a visible shudder. Seeing my hesitation, Arial asked, “Why do you hesitate? It is perfectly harmless. You will feel better, I promise.”

I shot Arial a sideways glance, hoping she didn’t see my sarcastic smirk, then, pushing the memories of Mrs. Shunners house deep down into a dark corner of my mind, I tilted the flask up and let the sweet liquid cascade over my tongue and down my throat. Warmth spread quickly through me. All of the dizziness disappeared and my mind snapped into sharp focus. I swear, I think energy shot from my finger tips!

I felt great! I think I could have single-handedly defeated the sinister forces that are threatening the realm. “Arial!” What was in that? I feel wonderful!” Sunny, Arial and the others swooped and dived around me while I did cartwheels through the bushes. We all fell, laughing and breathless, into the mossy bed at the foot of the old Oak tree. “Wow Arial, you should bottle that stuff, you could really get rich”.

Arial spun around, smoothing out her blue and white gown, then brushed some moss off of her wings. “See, I told you you would feel better. But alas, Queen Orlaith would never permit that kind of magic to be let lose in your mortal world.” She stopped, then went on. “I am glad you feel yourself again, I have great news.”

I don’t know what it was, maybe the look of excitement in her eyes, or it could have been her tone of voice, but I knew instantly that what she was going to tell me was going to change the coarse of things. “What?” Excitement began to bubble up inside of me. “What is it Arial?”

Everything went silent, it was as if the forest was holding it’s breath. “Arial, tell me! I’m about to burst!” Arial spun around once then said, “Your neighbor, the shape shifter, has been subdued. The mortals of your guard have taken her away. It seems that she was evil in your world as well as ours. She will not see the light of day again.”

I didn’t know what to say, to think. We have been battling against her getting through the portal for so long! Relief swept through me. “Your kidding! Oh Arial, This is wonderful news!” It felt like a one hundred pound weight had just fallen off of my shoulders. “Oh, I can’t weight to tell Bill that we are going to have new neighbors!  Normal neighbors! Fly me home Arial, this is going to be a sparkling new year!”

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009-2011

Today, when I came down to get my cup of coffee, I heard a strange shuffling noise coming from under my sink. Wondering what Warren and Odette were up to this early (they like to take their mornings slow and casual) I opened the cupboard doors to find that they had moved all my cleaning supplies to one side and were in the process of painting their pumpkin home bright green. They smiled up at me with their green smudged faces and waved the tiny paint brushes they were holding. “Top O’ the Mornin’ to you!” Warren continued to paint, making wide sweeping brush strokes then dipping his brush back into the bucket for more paint.

Odette set the brush down on the rim of her bucket and waddled over to me. “We thought we would spruce up the place for St. Paddy’s Day, what do you think?”

I stared into the cabinet. Green paint was splattered ever where. “It’s…ah, it’s certainly bright.” My little gnome friends are very sensitive and I didn’t have the heart to point out the mess they were making.

She beamed back at me. “We are goin to be havin some company. My cousins are wantin’ ta be visitin’. I don’t know quite when so rather than be in the garden, we thought we could have them here.” She pointed at their now mostly green pumpkin house. “I’m thinking its a grand color, will make them feel right at home. Warrens goin’ ta put out the wooden rockers.”

I pushed the mess to the back of my mind. “I think it will be great to have your family here Odette, you are very gracious to have them.”

Odette waddled back to her brush and began to paint, without turning around she said, “Oh, and don’t you be frettin about the mess, Arial is going to zap everything sparklin clean when we’re finished.”

I started to close the cupboard door when she squeaked, “We’re lookin forward ta your corn beef and cabbage tonight!”

Offering a weak smile, I closed the door and left the two gnomes to finish their project. I grabbed my mug of coffee and sat at the bar, staring out the kitchen window. Two thoughts kept running through my mind as I watched a blue jay pulling nesting material out of my hanging pot, first, how did Odette know what I had been thinking when it came to the mess of paint, and second, where in the world did they get little cans of green paint!

Oh well…I had better get started on the corn beef and cabbage.

“Winter Procession” by David Delemare

Transporting the “faerie way” has a tendency to make me slightly dizzy, I think it has something to do with molecules rearranging…

We always arrive in the realm outside the palace, appearing  just at the bottom of the broad stairs that lead up to the ornate double doors of the royal home. Because this was a special occasion, and because Arial wanted to make her first visit to the newly arrived queen spectacular, she made sure that our whole entourage appeared right in the center of the Grand Hall. Personally, I thought it was because she was showing off for her mother, but she insists it was…”just for effect, in honor of Yule”.

The winter palace, as you would suspect, is made entirely of ice and snow. Every wall glistens. The floors are solid white and the color of choice is blue, every shade you can imagine. It sounds like a cold and foreboding place but I can assure you, it is just the opposite. Faerie magic is a wonderfully subtle thing, you can never trust your senses. What looks cold; is warm, and things that appear at a distance are actually closer than you suspect.  Now, standing in the middle of the winter palace, I was comfortably warm.

The pale ice blue walls were draped with long runs of spruce garland that were decorated with pine cones, holly berries, and snowdrop flowers.Fireflies added their own particular type of twinkle.  Two large oak trees stood sentinel at both sides of the dais, where, instead of one chair, four chairs sat. I had to ask. “Arial, what’s with the four chairs?” I pointed at the ornate stools, each carved with symbols depicting winter, spring, summer, and fall. Arial was busy greeting a steady flow of her faerie family. She looked very proud of her kind as she  turned to explained.”The Festival of Oak and Holly is the only time the four sitting queens are together. The Yule ball is the time for all four seasons of the Fae to come together and celebrate the coming year.”

I nodded and looked around me. The grand hall was quickly filling up with faeries of all types and sizes. Other magical beings where in attendance as well. Elendain and the elves from the elven-wood were here. The centaurs were represented by Serg. There were dwarfs and pixies, mermaids and dyads (the mermaids accommodated by the placement of large fountains down each side of the hall). The dyads pretty much stayed in the oak trees, only coming out to greet the occasional well wisher.  This party reminded me of the one I attended at Midsummer, only more lavish.

While marveling at my surroundings, I was surprised by a sudden flurry of faerie wings. Flashes of blue, yellow, red, and green obscured my sight. Four faeries whipped about my head in an excited frenzy. They were all talking in high tinkling voices at the same time, which made it hard to tell what was being said, it just sounded like a cacophony of jingle bells. Then it dawned on me, these were the first four faeries I ever saw! I held out my arms. Sunny, Bella, Pip, and Ferne all came to rest, two on each arm, wings fluttering wildly in their excitement . “Oh! my dear sweet friends! I am so glad you’re back! Pip, I do believe you’ve grown, and Sunny, are you still a relentless teaser?” Ferne, the plant lover of the bunch, glided up to tuck a sprig of holly behind my ear and gave me a quick peck on the cheek.

While we got caught up on the latest happenings, the lights dimmed and the huge crystal doors at the back of the hall swung open slowly. A path to the throne was made as the guests parted to make way for the procession of queens. As it turned out, I was on the front line after the throng of beings drew back to allow the queens passage. I could see them as they came down the aisle, stopping every once in a while to hug someone or share a few words. I noticed, as they made their way to where I was standing, that the people they stopped to speak with didn’t look at all magical.  I watched as Litha hugged a small woman just a few feet away. She looked up to see me gazing in their direction and offered a huge smile, then practically danced over to where I stood and wrapped her arms around my shoulders in a tight bear hug. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. Glancing over I saw the small woman beaming approval and nodding. “Litha?, who is that woman, the one just over there.” I indicated with my head so that the petite little lady with thick wavy brown hair wouldn’t know I was asking about her. Litha turned and bent over as if to remove a speck of lint off of her gown, looking up briefly to see who I was talking about. “You will meet her. In the realm she is known as Sparkle, faerie blood flows in her veins too. She is very popular with the spring faeries, she loves bright colors.”

Before I could ask another question, Orlaith swept over to me with an air of “this one is mine” and took over the conversation. “Kind One, you look absolutely enchanting! This is your first Yule with us I think?” There was an undercurrent of tension between the queen of summer and the queen of winter, I thought, now I see why spring and fall have to separate the two, they are both very powerful in their own way. I hugged her. “Thank you, I can’t take credit, it was all Arial’s doing, you should be proud.” Orlaith took my face between both hands and kissed my forehead then stared at me intently, her blue eyes reaching deep into my soul. “I am proud of both my daughters.”

Did I just hear the queen of the frost faeries call me her daughter? Oh-my-gosh! I was stunned into silence. Orlaith moved down the path as people on either side bowed and curtsied. I started to make my way closer to Sparkle but was stopped by a dainty hand on my shoulder. It was Alina. She was standing, arm in arm, with another faerie I hadn’t met before. “Don’t go running off just yet! There is plenty of time to mingle. You need to meet Mab, the Queen of Autumn.”

The fall had been very short, or time just got away from me, and I realized that I hadn’t been to the palace when Mab reigned. “Your Highness.” I bowed my head and waited. Mab’s laugh was a lot like Orlaith’s, high and tinkly, but her manner was softer, more easy going. I guess that personality trait is a plus if you have to be the go between for Litha and Orlaith. Her hair was streaked gold and rust. She wore it shorter than the other queens and it had a unkempt wind blown look. The Autumn queen’s crown was a circular cornucopia. She was very steam-punk faerieish.

Mab lifted my chin with a finger. “I have a gift for you. If you don’t mind, would you honor me by gathering with the others at the entrance to the palace at midnight?” I promised that I would and as she moved away to take her place by the other three queens I wondered, what others?

The evening flew by (no pun intended). It was a blur of dancing and music, laughter and wonderful faerie food. Midnight bore down on me like a shooting star and as the time drew nearer I found myself filled with excitement. Who were “the others”? What was Mab’s gift? At five minutes to midnight I made my way to the arching crystal doors of the palace. I wasn’t the only one who was excited. When I arrived there were four others standing in a loose circle. Sparkle was there, she was speaking to a man with a pleasant face and easy going manner. The two other women were talking and laughing like they were old friends, one with thick shinning black hair, and the other with curly golden locks. They all turned to greet me, but before anyone could say anything, Mab appeared in a swirling bronze mist.

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009.


 

Arial’s Coloring Page
Arial’s Audio Page

For those who would rather listen, you can find all of the audio post in one convenient place, just look under the tab "Faeries in word and song". These are arranged from earliest to most recent so that you will be caught up on all the adventures. Turn up your sound!

083
"Kind One?"
"Yes Arial..."
"You forgot something."
"I don't think so Arial, what are you talking about?"
"look at the bottom of the posts!"
"I still don't...wait a minute...oh of course! Thanks for bringing that to my attention, what ever would I do without you."

Arial wants me to point out that you can also listen to each post by playing the audio at the end of each posting.

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Awards
The Proximity Award Bestowed by Valerie Ashley proximidadeaward_thumb The Heart of the Dragon Award Bestowed by The Creative Chronicler The Dragon's Loyalty Award Bestowed by the Creative Chronicler
Fun Fairie Facts

You Know a Fairie is Present When...

You hear a whispering of leaves.
You see a whirlwind.
You feel a tingling sensation in your hair.
You have an unexplained loss of time.
You laugh uncontrollably, or feel exceptionally silly.
You see blades of grass bending when there
is no one around.

The Most Likely Place for Fairie Portals Are...

Lake shores
Islands
Glades in the forest
Where two roads intersect
Fences and border hedges (this is Arial's favorite)
Stairwells, hallways and landings
Tidal pools
Bends in a road
Thresholds

fairylake

Tami 45

I would like to give special thanks to Gail Schimmelpfennig for allowing me to put her wonderful poem "Seeking the Muse" on my site. You can read her poem in the fairy poetry section under "Fairies in Word and Song". Gail is Utah State Poetry Society's 2009 Poet of the Year, and I'm proud to say, a dear friend. You can find her on FaceBook where there is a group for the Utah poets.