Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 15

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

The insect army parted as Beetle-Queen Florigia led Bethany, flanked by Greta and Lobelia, onto the emerald-green lawn, where they were bathed in the unforgiving brightness reflecting off the pink walls of the Owl-King’s palace.

Seeing her sister, Bryony dashed from the poplar grove, followed by Mr Eyre and Hildebrand, to be greeted by Florigia, beaming in all directions from her multi-facetted eyes. Their reunion was interrupted by a blare of trumpets emanating from the palace, as the massive front doors swung open to reveal a towering figure, wearing golden robes and a richly-decorated helmet in the shape of an owl’s face.

Florigia advanced on the palace; perhaps it was a trick of the light, but she seemed to grow in stature with every stride, ‘Owl-King, we have had enough of your unwarranted acts against those who use words.’ She beckoned to Bethany, ‘we present the golden-haired child, who has returned to reclaim her queendom!’

The Owl-King swept his arm forward as though swatting a fly; a shrill whistle signalled the advance of a swarm of blue-clad troops clutching sinister-looking spray cans; Mr Eyre’s eyes widened, wishing he had a plan in reserve which might save them from the Stingers.

/….to be continued.


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: PERHAPS, SINISTER, FORGIVING
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: RESERVE

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!

MORE SIX SENTENCE STORIES HERE!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 14

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

Once they’d reached the apparently unguarded exit from the dungeon, Mr Eyre and Bryony introduced themselves to their fellow prisoner. Hildebrand explained that she’d been arrested for Word Singing, something she did every afternoon to entertain her husband’s elves while they plugged away assisting him in his shoemaking business, ‘Without my singing, all concentration will be lost and production will cease,’ she lamented, rubbing her red-rimmed eye sockets.

Peering around the door, they surveyed the empty yard and beyond it, the entrance gate which swung on its hinges as though someone had just departed. Mr Eyre beamed at his two companions then, taking their hands, he propelled them across the open space and through the gate.

Soon they were standing in a grove of slender poplar trees which led to the Owl-King’s palace; the ground began to shake to the rhythm of marching feet and a few moments later the palace’s emerald-green lawn was filled by an army of assorted brightly-coloured insects.

‘Perhaps you were thinking I did wrong in letting them go? said Captain Stinger to his lieutenant as they emerged from behind the dungeon’s walls, ‘but now we’ll take all the dissenters by surprise and exterminate the lot!’

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: PLUG, SOCKET, INLET
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: LOST

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!

MORE SIX SENTENCE STORIES HERE

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 13

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

Bethany scanned the length of the rickety bridge which crossed the Owl-King’s Great Divide, grateful for the blanket of fog cloaking the craggy depths below; Greta nodded her encouragement and together they stepped onto the first of the wooden slats as Lobelia, her anxious wings beating, led them forward.

Alighting unscathed on the other side, they entered a towering woodland, buzzing with insects; moments later a small shower of bright beetle-like creatures descended from the orange-red canopy. One, larger than the rest and clearly their leader, scuttered over and stood before them: ‘My sisters and I welcome the golden-haired child.’ Her fellow creatures bowed their heads, then brought out a succession of leaves, laden with ripe berries, and placed them at their feet.

Bethany looked at her companions in astonishment; Lobelia stepped forward, dropping a deep curtsy, her wings fluttering delicately: ‘Greetings to you, Florigia, we thank you and your sisters for your hospitality.’

Florigia inclined her head, ‘The Owl-King’s activities have been a disappointment to us all; she turned to Greta, ‘we received Hans’s message from one of the Wandering-Wasps, the three prisoners have been freed and should be joining us shortly; then we will march on the Palace.’

read the next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: HOSPITAL, APPOINTMENT, SCAN
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: BLANKET

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!

MORE SIX SENTENCE STORIES HERE!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 12

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

Mr Eyre paced the cell slowly, ‘we could use the bracelet to escape,’ he turned to face Bryony, ‘but that won’t help us find your sister, although in our current predicament…’ his voice tailed off as he caught a glimpse of the gallows outside the narrow window of their prison.

Bryony was about to reply when a strange, beetle-like creature came racing down the passageway and skidded to a halt in front of their barred cell. Glancing nervously over its shoulder, it reached under one of its armoured wing cases and drew out a key, which was almost as big as itself, and dropped it on the floor in front of them; then without a word – if indeed it could speak – it turned and scuttled off, back in the direction from where it came.

Bryony swiftly retrieved the key and Mr Eyre applied it to the lock; a moment later the cell door swung open. They were about to follow their strange, silent rescuer, when an ashy-faced woman appeared from the shadows of the cell opposite; the key fitted that door too.

Mr Eyre raised an optimistic eyebrow, ‘now all we need to do is get out of the building.’

on to the next chapter


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things ChallengeSLOW, CAMERA, SHY
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: ARMOUR

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!

MORE SIX SENTENCE STORIES HERE!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 11

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

Bethany stared round-eyed at Lobelia as she fluttered through the open window and landed at Greta’s feet, without doubt, the anxious creature was one of the faerie folk; Lobelia returned Bethany’s astonished gaze, ‘so the golden-haired child has returned!’

‘We thought so too, Lobelia, but she wasn’t wearing the travelling bracelet we left for her, so she can’t be,’ said Greta, looking at Bethany doubtfully, ‘she just appeared out of nowhere, and now two more Other Worlders are here; Captain Stinger and his soldiers took them away just now.’ Greta slammed the window shut, ‘you say the Shoemaker’s wife has been arrested for Word-Singing?’

Lobelia nodded, her wings drooping for a moment, ‘so many people have been taken away for Word Crimes since the Owl-King arrived: we must do something to restore justice!’ cried Lobelia. ‘All the other faeries have gone into hiding until a solution is found,’ she stared up at Bethany, ‘and if she isn’t the golden-haired child, who can we pin our hopes on?’

Greta looked at Hans, ‘I think the time has come for us to take matters into our own hands; after all, the Owl-King doesn’t know that Bethany isn’t the golden-haired child, does he?’

on to the next episode!


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things ChallengePIN, SOLUTION, WITH
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: RESTORE

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!

More Sixes here!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 10

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

Bryony’s face itched from the thick hessian of the hood that had been forced over her head; behind her she heard the rasps of Mr Eyre’s breathing, as Captain Stinger and his guards herded them across the wooden bridge that crossed the Owl-King’s Great Divide.

They stumbled off the slatted planks and their forced march continued through what Bryony, from the late-season scent of autumn leaves, could tell was woodland, until eventually Captain Stinger called a halt; their hoods were removed and she and Mr Eyre were left blinking in the sunlight.

A towering, pink-stoned palace, surrounded by emerald-coloured lawns, rose up before them reminding Bryony of an illustration in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, a volume she’d been given as a keepsake by a favourite aunt.

‘To the dungeons!’ yelled Captain Stinger and once again they were on the move, escorted swiftly to a drab grey out-building set within a high-walled yard; ‘you will await your fate here,’ the Captain announced, glancing meaningfully at the gallows in the corner.

Dread welled up in Bryony’s stomach; Mr Eyre took a breath and squared his shoulders: ‘Surely your Owl-King will permit us a fair trial?

No reply came from their grim-faced captor.

/…next episode.


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things ChallengeALLOW, PERMIT, SEASON
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: KEEPSAKE

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!

Join the party and read more #SixSentenceStories here!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 9

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

Bethany stared after Bryony and Mr Eyre as they were marched away by the strange-looking soldiers in their indigo field dress, their fierce-looking weapons making her fear for her sister and tutor’s treatment at their hands. ‘Where are they taking them, Greta?’

‘Those are the Owl-King’s soldiers, they patrol his Kingdom making sure everyone obeys the laws and rounding up Other-Worlders, they’ll be taking them beyond the Great Divide to the Owl-King’s Palace,’ Greta glanced through the window to where Hans was returning from speaking to Captain Stinger, she sighed heavily and continued in a hollow voice, ‘no-one who has been taken there has ever been seen again.’

Hans stomped through the doorway, taking one last look down the now empty path which led across the forest, ‘I managed to satisfy Captain Stinger’s suspicions, for the time being at least,’ he raised his eyebrows in Greta’s direction, ‘but what we do now…’ his gaze rested on Bethany, his forehead furrowing.

A moment later, a tiny oval-shaped face with pointed ears and piercing blue eyes appeared at the window; Greta flung it open: ‘whatever is it, Lobelia?’

Lobelia’s wings fluttered anxiously, ‘it’s the Shoemaker’s wife, she’s been arrested for Word Singing!’

/….to be continued.


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things ChallengeHOLLOW, SATISFY, FIELD
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: TREATMENT

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!

More #SixSentenceStories here!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 8

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

‘What happened to the bracelet, Mr Eyre, I thought it was in one of your pockets?’ Bryony whispered as they were marched away; Mr Eyre winked and whispered back, ‘like any good conjurer, I’ve hidden it up my sleeve.’

‘No talking!’ ordered Captain Stinger; Mr Eyre smiled disarmingly at their captor, ‘I beg your pardon, but my young companion and I were just wondering on what charge you might be holding us?’

‘You have been found in blatant contravention of the Owl-King’s Special Directive on the Unauthorised Possession of the Written Word,’ Captain Stinger prodded Bryony’s shoulder with the blunt end of his segmented stinger.

Mr Eyre and Bryony exchanged a puzzled glance, ‘and where might we be going?’ asked Mr Eyre mildly, seemingly unfazed at being found in breach of such a nonsensical law; the Captain glared back at him, ‘not only that, you are clearly Other-Worlders and not to be trusted, we are therefore taking you to a special secret location.

They tramped on until they came to a rough-hewn wooden bridge leading over a narrow ravine, where the Captain announced: ‘prepare to cross the Divide of the Owl-King!

Heavy hoods were slipped over the prisoners’ heads.

/…on to the next chapter


Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – SECRET, SEE, SEGMENT
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – VIDEO

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and it looks like they’ve got their wish!

Read more #SixSentenceStories here!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 7

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

Bethany followed Hans and Greta, who scurried off through the woods, their short legs scuffing up the leaf litter in fountains of foliage. Their house, which Bethany had almost expected to be made of gingerbread, such was the similarity of the pair to the almost-namesakes of her daydreams, soon came into view.

Greta ushered Bethany inside, while Hans pulled the front door closed behind them, leaning back against it with an obvious sigh of relief, ‘you don’t think anyone saw us do you, sister?’ he said anxiously, glancing at Bethany, ‘if Captain Stinger and his patrol…’

‘Hush, brother,’ interrupted Greta; she turned to Bethany, ‘please sit down, my dear, while we decide what’s best to do next,’ she gave Hans a sideways glance, ‘rest assured we will not be handing you over to anyone.’

Hans, alerted by the sound of marching feet, rushed outside to greet the approaching patrol, allaying any suspicions with much bowing and scraping, while beyond the patrol’s line of sight, Greta and Bethany peered from the kitchen window: ‘I pity anyone who falls into the clutches of the Owl-King,’ whispered Greta, noticing the two prisoners.

Bethany gasped: ‘those two prisoners are my sister and our tutor!’

/….on to episode 8


Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – LITTER, PITY, DREAMS
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – FOUNTAIN

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and it looks like they’ve got their wish!

More stories here!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 6

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

Although their previous dalliance with other-worldly travel had led to a certain equanimity in how to handle unfamiliar situations, nothing had quite prepared Bryony and Mr Eyre with the sight which confronted them now.

They were surrounded by a small group of black-bearded fellows, dressed in indigo army fatigues and wielding weapons reminding Mr Eyre of the stingers found on wasps and other vespids; the overall effect would have been rather intimidating but for their small stature and the incredibly large pointy ears poking out from beneath their caps.

‘Other-Worlders!’ exclaimed one who, from the elaborate insignia adorning his cap, must be the captain; he craned his neck in an attempt to look Mr Eyre in the eye, ‘ready your weapons, men,’ his eyes switched back and forth between his prisoners, ‘these could be tricky customers.’

Six stingers began to buzz; the captain pointed first at Bryony and then Mr Eyre, ‘Turn out your pockets!’

Mr Eyre offered Bryony a reassuring nod before emptying the pockets of his tweed jacket of everything from bus tickets to bits of string; Bryony pulled her notebook from her pinafore pocket and held it out.

 ‘Word-Peddler, eh?’ said the captain with a sinister smirk.

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – DALIANCE, BUZZ, CRANE
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – HANDLE

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and it looks like they’ve got their wish!

More #SixSentenceStories here – don’t be shy, add one of your own!