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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.

Posts Tagged ‘Mrs. Shunner’


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

While celebrating her new found ability to mind-link with Ember Innocenzi, the Kind One remembered that there are more serious matters back at the ivy hedge. Menacing forces were trying to breach the portal and her family was in serious danger.

Before her fears could run away with her, Arial intervened. “Don’t give into panic–there is a better way,” she said, and she invited the Kind One to think about what she had learned from the queens, and her interactions with the faeries. After pondering the gifts she carried with her in a small pouch around her neck, and with a little help from Arial, the Kind One was suddenly overcome with clarity of purpose…the items she carried were not just friendship tokens, they were tools with immense power.

********

I stood, shocked by the scene that confronted me when I finally returned to my cozy garden. The sun had long since set behind the mountains on the far side of the valley and shadows were getting darker under the trees, but there was still enough light left in the sky to make out a line of scorched grass that wove from the sidewalk to the ivy hedge. The path of devastation crossed the ivy, weaving up and down, leaving brittle, dead leaves littering the ground.

The laurel bushes at the back of my patio sit just to the left of the ivy hedge that conceals the portal, the small opening that leads to the faerie realm. The location of the portal is a tightly held secret, only a few of us know its exact location. Last year, our neighbor, Mrs. Shunner, a disgraced shape shifter who had been banished from the realm, started snooping around, trying to find the opening. Arial’s elite emerald guard started patrolling it 24/7 ever since.

Tears came to eyes when I saw the dried and shriveled leaves of the Laurel bush that stood farthest from the ivy. Arial, Sunny, Ferne, Bella and Pip all hovered in and around the branches and leaves of the wasted Laurel. Ferne pulled out her silver flute and played a melancholy tune while the others looked on with respect, honoring the departed green spirit of the shrub. When the last notes of Ferne’s tribute had faded away, I turned and dashed toward the house.

Pulling the back door open I called for my dogs. “Lucy, mama’s home! Lucy? Merry? Edie, where are you? Come to mama.” I was greeted by a cold, eerie silence and I felt a knot start to form in the pit of my stomach. Moving cautiously into the kitchen I called out for Bill. “Bill!” I took the stairs two at a time. “Bill….! Bill, This isn’t funny! Where are you?” All around me were signs of a hasty departure, dog blankets were strewn all over the floor, shoes had been kicked into corners, and Bill’s hoodie laid in a heap on a chair with its sleeves pulled inside out. I sat down hard on the top step and laid my head in my arms. What had happened here? Where is everyone?

********

Bill stopped the car for the red light and checked in the rear view mirror to make sure the kennels holding the chihuahuas hadn’t slipped askew in his frantic departure. His eyes were met with three pairs of shocked, round puppy eyes. Wide eyes that asked the question…”What was that all about!” He started talking in a calm, but shaky voice. A calm he didn’t really feel. “It’s okay girls, daddy is just taking you for a little ride, we’ll go home in a while.” Edie, the smallest, gave him a sideways look, a look that we have come to know means that she is very skeptical. Very skeptical indeed.

The light turned green and he eased the car forward, still not sure where he should go from here. They were far enough from the house by now, far enough that he was pretty certain they were safe, so he turned into the entrance of our local park that sits across the street from a small shopping center. I’ll just stop here for awhile and catch my breath, he thought and swung into a parking space by an isolated pavilion.

Cool, quiet, darkness settled around them. The only light came from a solitary street lamp that stood across a wide expanse of well tended lawn. Bill rolled down the window and let the evening breeze blow the built up stress he felt out of the car and across the shallow stream that ran through the middle of the park. He had forgot about the two little gnomes that sat silently in the seat beside him.

Warren slipped out of the wide seat belt that he and Odette had hastily crawled under as the car sped down the street. He climbed up the back of the passenger seat and jumped onto Bills shoulder. Bill had laid his head back and was sitting with his eyes closed,  when Warren’s weight landed on him. He shot forward, almost hitting his head on the windshield. “Mr Bill…sir, would it be all right with you if the misses and I went for a wee stroll?” Bill sat, starring at him in stunned silence. This was going to take some getting used to, these tiny talking dolls. Without speaking a word he nodded, then watched as the diminutive couple grasp each others hands and leaped from the open window, hitting the ground in a graceful run. He watched them go, laughing and dancing through the deep green grass.He leaned the seat back and closed his eyes again, trying to calm his racing thoughts. This day’s revelations had taken all the energy right out of him.

He didn’t know how long he had been sitting there, eyes closed, head back, when the feeling that he was not alone swept over him. It felt like he was being watched. Just as he was opening his eyes he felt a hand lightly touch his arm. Jerking his head around, he opened his eyes wide to find Lilly, the white haired little lady from down the street, starring at him with shining blue eyes and a reassuring, friendly smile.

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

There’s a little white house down the street from us. It sits back off the road a little further than the rest of the houses, nestled among a riot of rose bushes.

The roses bushes around other houses are tidy and ordered, their blooms somehow know the perfect place to position themselves and lend a royal effect to the gardens, but the rose bushes around the little white house are irreverent and wild, the canes arching in unpredictable directions and the blooms defy any order at all.

I walk Lucy down past the little white house all the time. Like Mrs. Shunners house, there are never any signs of life, but, unlike Mrs. Shunners house, it has a welcoming aura about it, even with the masses of thorny rose bushes all around it.

This morning I grabbed the leash and headed out the door with Lucy (she gets so excited).  I let Lucy take the lead, she has a predictable path that she likes to take when we go for a walk: past Mrs. Shunners house, down the street past the little white house, around the corner at the gigantic elm tree. We make a large circle, cutting through the block using an ally half way down the street.

I always hesitate at the border between our house and Mrs. Shunners. The emerald guard placed protection charms in the flower bed to keep our property safely hidden from Mrs. Shunners prying eyes and I feel a slight tug when I break the energy field as I cross over the invisible line of safety.

A cold shiver ran down my spine  as we passed the little blue house. I know what the inside of that house is like, and every time I pass it, it feels like it is calling to me, trying to pull me back into its evil interior.

My head felt like it was swimming in a gray fog and the sunlight began to fade. “Lucy, wait, I have to sit down for a minute”. I started to sit on the front steps of the house to regain my balance but Lucy tugged insistently on her leash, staring at the front windows and growling softly under her breath. Feeling unsteady on my feet, I let her pull me quickly past and continued down the street.

As soon as we got past the far boundary of the house, all the fogginess disappeared. I glanced quickly around at the front door to make sure that no one was following and tried to shake off the gloom that had draped itself over me. When I was satisfied we were beyond Mrs. Shunners reach, I turned my attention back to Lucy and our walk.

I hadn’t realized it but we had crossed to the other side of the street and were standing right in front of the little white house with the unkempt roses. A petite woman with bright white hair was standing in the driveway, smiling at me.

She was wearing a straw hat with a large floppy brim that shaded the sun from her eyes, she was holding a silver goblet in both hands. She held one out to me as we got closer. “You look like you could do with a nice cold glass of  lemonade.” She smiled at me again and gave the cup a shake. “Come dear, it will do you good.” She had a familiar aura about her and I somehow knew she was a good person, so I took the cup. “Thank you, I guess I do feel a little lightheaded.”

She turned her attention to Mrs. Shunners house up the street and a shadow crossed her face. Her bright green eyes smoldered black , just for a moment, then she smiled at me again. “Come, sit down with me in the shade until you finish your drink.”

She lead me to a little table under an Oak tree. Lucy sat at my feet, contentedly watching a robin hopping in the grass as it looked for worms. Sipping  at my lemonade, I watched the little woman across from me and wondered again why she felt so familiar. “I don’t think I have ever seen you before, have you lived here long?”

Her smile gave her face a timeless quality and it was hard for me to tell exactly how old she was. She looked like she was thoroughly enjoying my company. “Oh yes dear, I have lived here for quite a while. I usually keep to myself, I’m rather a private person you see.”

“Oh, I can understand that! Life can get hectic sometimes…”  Before I could continue, two streaks of color shot past my head and stopped just behind my new friend. Arial and Cythia hovered over her head with their feet almost touching her hair, nervous looks on their tiny faces.

My mouth dropped open as I watched them. Without looking, the little woman reached up and patted her hair. I could swear that she flipped her fingers in a nonchalant way, indicating that the two faeries should shoo. She saw the look on my face. “What is it dear?” I tried to regain control of my dangling mouth. Was it my imagination, or did she know that they were there?

I quickly drain the last of the lemonade and stood up. “Thank you for the lemonade, you have been so very kind, but I really must be getting back now.” It sounded to me like I was stammering. The two faeries refused to leave, they kept hovering nervously over us and I felt like I had to rush off, if for no other reason than to keep this sweet woman from noticing their presence.

“Oh, alright. I hope I haven’t offended.” She stood in the shade, wringing her hands together. Arial and Cythia were frantically swinging around my head in an attempt to get me to go home. I turned back, I couldn’t leave this sweet little lady thinking that she had done anything wrong.

I took her hands in mine. “No!, not at all! Oh please don’t think anything like that. I am so glad you were here, your company was just the thing I needed, and that drink, I don’t know how you make your lemonade, but I feel wonderful! Would it be alright if I came by another visit?”

The worry left her face and she smiled as she hugged me. “Please drop by any time dear. I understand, you run along now. You young people are always on the go.”

I started up the street with the two faeries flitting around my head and realized that I didn’t know her name. I turned back one more time, the faeries gave loud heavy sighs of frustration. “I don’t know what to call you.”

“You can just call me Lilly.” She smiled and waved goodbye. As I started up the street, I heard a loud pop and when I looked back, she was gone.

I walked Lucy up the street on the opposite side, across from the Shunners house.

© 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.