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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.

Posts Tagged ‘centaurs’


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

Something was wrong! I didn’t know what it was, but my heart started doing a Gene Krupa drum solo in my chest and my breathing stopped, then started with a squeak. I thought I was having a heart attack. Men my age have them, you know, but I’ve learned the warning signs of a heart attack and this wasn’t it, nor was it a stroke. I think it was a panic attack. I was panicked but without a cause. Doesn’t that seem odd?

I was looking out the kitchen window at the ivy covered back fence. I stood there shaking and grasping the sink until my physical sensations settled down. That’s when I saw it. There was a beam of light like laser pointers, only it was an icky green instead of red. It was aimed at the ivy near the round outdoor thermometer. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. My best guess was across the street, but lasers pointed at the moon 238.000 miles away have illuminated spots that were seen from earth. If this was a laser its source could be anywhere there was a direct line of sight.

As I watched the green pinpoint started to grow and the ivy leaves scorched where it touched. I was shocked but fascinated. I had never seen anything like this and I wondered what I should do. If it grew any bigger it could cause some real damage. What if it shifted from the fence to the house? That’s when I got scared. We had to get out. We had to let someone know that our fence was under attack by, by what?

I didn’t know but I didn’t want to wait any longer to find out. I went rushing through the house yelling for my wife, but she didn’t answer. I didn’t know she was out, but she sure wasn’t in. I grabbed for the dogs who were yapping like a pack of idiots because they didn’t know what was going on. Better to yap than to be caught unprepared. The silly things ran away from me every time I tried to pick them up. I had to herd them into a couple of kennels so I could carry them out to the car. You’d think a four pound dog couldn’t put up much of a fuss, but they can. I don’t know if they were reacting to my fright or if they sensed something wrong too. They were bumping, and thumping against the sides of the kennel so hard that I could barely hold on to them. The handles on top were straining and I was afraid that they might break and they’d tumble down the stairs kennels and all. I was lucky, no breaks.

We reached the back door when I heard something strange above the caterwauling of the dogs. I know, dogs don’t caterwaul, but these three were coming very close to disproving that belief. It was loud, and obnoxious, and high pitched. I didn’t think I could hear a bomb go off in the din they created. But I heard something. It sounded like a woman shouting at me, “Mr. Bill, Mr. Bill don’t go away and forget us! We’re scared too.”

“Wha?”

It must have been the ringing in my ears and my overactive imagination. “Nah,” I thought, “I didn’t hear anything.”

Then just as I turned back to the door again, I heard it again, “Mr. Bill, don’t you dare leave this house without us!”

I turned around and there standing just outside of the kitchen were two little people only six inches tall. My eyes bugged out. I dropped the kennels, which caused the dogs to get louder if that was even possible, and I fell down hard on my butt. “Oh great,” I thought, “Here I am running around the house like a crazy person, scaring the wits out of our dogs, and the truth is I’ve gone around the bend to the funny farm and climbed the slippery basket-weaver’s tree.”

The little folk took this chance with me seated on the ground to run up my legs, scramble up my shirt and perch on my shoulder. The female said, “Hurry, we have to go. There is going to be a breach in the portal and we can’t be here when it happens.”

I didn’t move. The male of the pair slapped my ear and yelled, “Get up, yer big lug — we don’t have time for yer amazement. You can be amazed later — right now we gotta go.” With that he yanked the hair at the nape of my neck and screamed, “Go, go, go!”

So I did. Luckily the car door opened easily. In went the kennels. The tiny folks scrambled from my shoulders on to the front seat beside me. I jerked the door closed and backed the car down the drive. There wasn’t a moment to lose, I turned and shot down the street. Car, kennels, little guys and me, rushing headlong into the darkness. I glanced over at the little man and woman struggling to get under the broad seat belt and started to think. Were these the gnomes that lived under our sink? My wife said they were there, but I had never seen them. Not until today that is. What else has she been talking about that seemed too fanciful to be believed — fairies, shape shifters, and centaurs? What if it was all true? What if? The thought made my stomach queasy. I didn’t want to think about it anymore. Besides I had better figure out where we were going and what we were going to do once we got there.

© Tami Ruesch, The Misty World of Arial Hollyberry, 2009-2010

Why is Bill surprised? Visit “Real Men Don’t See Faeries”

Be sure to check out the post “What Lurks in the Dark Wood?” to catch up on the action

Related posts: “At the Request of the Queen”


 

elendain

The glow from the faerie crystal was bright enough to light the entire clearing. Now that we could see, Odette started pulling at my leg, trying to find out what had happened to my knee. “Missus…” She struggled with my pants leg. “Missus, a little help please. Lets be having a look at yer leg. Can’t be walkin around with a pain. C’mon, lets see.”

Holding the crystal up with one hand I helped her push the leg of my jeans up with the other until my knee was uncovered. “I’m telling you that it was just the fall.” She glowered at me. “Bruises don’t make pains, now shush and let me look.”

All I saw was a red spot about an inch in diameter. “See? Just a bruise.” Odette looked closer. “No, there’s somethin stuck in your knee, a quill I think, see, just there. It isn’t very long, I’ll pull it out.”  She grabbed onto the end of the barb. As soon as her fingers closed around it, it sprouted tiny wings and started to wiggle deeper into my knee. “Ouch! Odette stop! It’s going deeper.”

Odette scratched her head. “It looks like Night Nettle, the barbs have a poison that will paralyze anything they touch. The goblins use it as a trap to catch small animals for their dinner.” She turned and looked back at the stand of ferns we had crawled into. “You must have crawled into a patch when we hid.”

She was right, my knee was starting to go numb. ” Never mind how I got stuck, we have to get the thing out, now, before I’m completely paralyzed!” Scared now that I would never get home, that goblins would make a meal out of me instead, I watched Odette start crawling around the tree we were sitting under, mumbling something to herself. “I can’t hear you with your face buried in the bushes Odette.” She looked up. “Sorry about that, I was saying there is a special moss that grows in these woods, and when placed around the nettle causes it to back out on its own. I’m afraid that’s the only way to get it out.”

The trees and underbrush started swimming around me. “Hey Odette?” Odette was digging around the tree again and looked up at me. “Hum?” I felt like I was falling from a great height, even though I knew I was sitting on the ground. “Does this Night Nettle stuff have any other effect?” She jumped up and waddled quickly over to me, worry flooding her face.

What I saw coming toward me instead, in slow motion, was a huge hairy bird.leaf-on-a-pond That’s funny I thought, I didn’t know birds had hair, then I was floating on a leaf in the middle of pond. “I feel so peaceful, I think I’ll take a little nap.” Odette shook me. “Oh no, missus, no, don’t go to sleep!”

A storm came up suddenly, the leaf I was lying on started to pitch back and forth. I heard myself speaking from a distance, “I don’t have a paddle! The leaf is going to sink!” I grabbed onto the edges and curled them around me to try and stay afloat.

Odette is only three inches tall but she had no problem giving orders to the centaurs. “Do be careful, Watch it! You’re going to tip her over.” The centaur looked back at her and sneered. “It would be no problem smooshing you with my hoof little one!”  He lifted his front hoof in a threatening manor.

“Serg!” The tall graceful woman stepped away from the centaur and moved back to check the cart.  “Do remember your instructions: find the Kind One, bring her back. That’s it. I don’t remember anything about “smooshing”.

“It is lucky we found you before the goblins did! You could see the faerie glow miles away.”  Elendain reached over and tweaked Odette’s nose and chuckled under her breath. “Don’t mind Serg, he just doesn’t like pulling the cart and he is a little grouchy.” Serg hoofed the ground. “I didn’t plan on being treated like a pack mule!”

“But he is moving to fast! He will tip the misses out.” Odette paced back and forth along the edge of the cart. Serg growled something under his breath and Elendain patted his haunches to settle him down. “She will be fine, but we must hurry and get her to the Elvenwood before she is paralyzed. I have some rose-moss that will treat the wound.

The storm passed and the pond grew smooth. I let go of the edges of the leaf and floated toward a pale moon that was just setting on the far edge of the water. The leaf began to swirl around and around, rocking as it went.

Elendain signaled to six slender elven men to help carry the sling holding the human up the rope bridge to her quarters and placed her on the downy bed. Odette watched as Elendain mixed  rose-moss and dewdrops, then helped her spread the poultice around the night nettle quill, covering it completely.

“How long will it take?” Odette had settled herself to one side, intending to wait all night if need be. Elendain smiled, “You are a true friend indeed, but do not despair, the Kind One will be fine. It won’t take long and she won’t remember very much at all.”

The leaf came to rest on the far shore of the pond where a bed of large white flowers were growing. I laid there, looking at the stars and wondered where Odette was.

© 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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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.