River Mist Tales: The Faery Door

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

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 The Faery Door

“You’re not gonna believe what I found,” said Marion catching her breath after running up the hill. “I’m sure it wasn’t there yesterday.”

Marion turned, hesitated, then began moving back down the hill expecting her sister, Fiona, and their brother, Sean, would follow, but her elder siblings stood silent, paying her no attention.

“You have to come now, before it’s hidden again,” said Marion.

“If it is hidden again, you don’t win the bet,” said Sean.

“Don’t care, come on, come on, before it’s too late,” cried Marion, moving down the hill toward the thicket of trees at the edge of the forest.

“We’ll follow,” said Fiona, smiling, giving Sean a conspiratorial nod, eager for the moment when she would reveal the truth about Marion’s discovery.

Sean and Fiona, tired of their younger sister’s obsession with finding a faery door, hatched a plan, a simple trick made of wood and moss.

The bet was Sean’s idea, whoever found the first faery door would be free from chores for one week, the other two taking on the extra work, but only if it were a true faery door, otherwise the finder of the false door must do a week of chores for each of the other two siblings.

Following the fast moving Marion closer toward the edge of the forest, the older brother and sister looked one to the other before Fiona asked Sean, “Did you move it?”

“Look, isn’t it wonderful,” said Marion pointing towards a small door among the tree roots, unaware of the confusion her brother and sister were experiencing. Standing in disbelief, the pair were shaking their heads as they saw the remains of their false door scattered about the floor of the forest.

River Mist Tales: The Tower

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

thetower_cwmThe Tower

“This is our inheritance, this decrepit old tower in the middle of nowhere?” asked Deedee.

“This is it,” said Rachel grabbing a flashlight out of her backpack and the large curving silver key. “Come on let’s see if the amazing stories the aunts told are true.”

“Really Rachel, not the aunts again,” said Deedee slamming the car door shut, slipping her pack onto her right shoulder.

“How do you think their business flourished, it was all because of this place, and where it took them, what they returned with,” said Rachel.

Only recently acquainted with the younger woman’s vivid imagination, Deedee followed her cousin across the field towards the tower, shaking her head, asking “And where exactly is that, and where are they now Rachel?”

The key fit easy and turned even easier stopping at the sound of a loud click, hesitating Rachel said, “You don’t need to follow me inside Deedee, just having you here, believing me after all those stories, all the stuff your mom told you, I mean, well me too, I didn’t know I had a cousin.”

“You’re too sentimental Rachel, just open the damn door and check this place out, but one loose step and we’re back to the car, okay?”

Nodding her head, gathering her courage, Rachel turned on her flashlight, pushed down upon the latch, nothing, she pushed hard against the door, it was heavier than anticipated, it didn’t budge, so Rachel pushed harder nearly falling inside as the door gave way against her effort, but steadying herself, she stood tall, slipping the large key back into the pocket of her jeans.

There was a staircase, nothing else, not even cobwebs or dust bits catching what little sunlight fell through the small windows, some with broken panes, some missing altogether, leaving gaping holes in the walls of the tower like empty eye sockets.

In silence the cousins climbed the staircase round and round as it rose toward the square room at the top of the tower, a room also clean and appearing empty, except for a soft mist which swirled and moved about revealing windows, hiding them again, finally revealing a door.

Deedee saw the door first, her involuntary gasp brought Rachel to her side, and both cousins stood for several minutes just looking before Rachel reached out to run her fingers along the intricately carved designs of knotted circles entwined with thyme and angelica leaves and a tiny petaled flower she did not recognize.

Music and voices grew louder as the two women opened the door revealing a full moon illuminating a most unusual marketplace that spread out in all directions in an alluring chaos of colors, sounds and curiosities.

River Mist Tales: The Butterflies

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

butterflies_cwm

 The Butterflies

“Your aunt is touched,” said Sorcha.

“She’s different, and yeah, she’s visited with the other crowd,” said Devan ignoring the heavy sighs billowing around Sorcha’s head. “Besides she’s not really my aunt, as you well know.”

“Right, I thought she said a short walk in the woods. It’s been two hours, and these shoes are killing me,” said Sorcha.

“We can stop for a few minutes,” said Devan moving off the dusty woods road toward a fallen tree trunk.

Dropping her knapsack onto the ground, placing one leg on either side of the massive trunk so her feet dangled, Sorcha said, “Maybe we misunderstood the directions, I’ve never heard of a kaleidoscope of butterflies, never seen more than one at a time, well close together anyway.”

Devan smiled as he sat beside his girlfriend, a multigenerational urbanite who was proving more country girl, more of a believer, than he had hoped for.

“You’re loving all this, aren’t you?”

“Yes I am, all those stories your aunt tells, all these trees, the birds, the unknown, so much unknown, so much space, and quiet,” said Sorcha. “Except these shoes, shouldn’t have listened to your sister.”

“Look,” said Devan pointing back towards the road, “look, there’s your kaleidoscope of butterflies.”

Jumping down from her resting place, grabbing her knapsack at she stepped, Sorcha said, “Let’s go, don’t want to lose those guides.”

River Mist Tales: Red Dog, Green Dog

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

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Red Dog, Green Dog

Miss Plumworth sat down on the sagging couch, took our her notebook, a silver and gold pen, and said, “Tell me about the red and green dogs down the street.”

Tenny studied the woman sitting before her, the eyes looking kind, but deep, pulling, as if the woman could read her mind, as if the woman would know immediately if she told a fib or not.

The woman smiled, raised one eyebrow, tapped the pen on her notebook, just once, softly, bringing Tenny’s attention back from where it had wandered through embroidered linen falling from knees closed together, and heels too, heels supporting one green boot, one blue boot, both boots tied round with bites of patterned fabric and narrow leather belts.

Uncertain Tenny glanced back over her shoulder towards the kitchen where her mother was busy preparing iced tea and who knew what strange bite sized offering.

Miss Plumworth leaned forward, whispered low, “I know you saw him, tell me about him, Tenny.”

“No one believes me, they, they all think its just one of my stories,” said Tenny, listening for her mother’s approach.

“Well then, you had better speak quickly,” said Miss Plumworth. “Now Tenny.”

“It began with sounds of the dogs, barking, rumbling, late at night. Everyone thought someone was moving the green dog about, so he was chained, but no one was moving the dogs, the dogs were being walked, by a small man, in the night.

“I was walking home, not too far, I’d been babysitting, the dogs were missing, but I heard them barking, and a voice talking with them, bringing them back from the river.

“The man was only about three feet tall, wore a hat stuck with feathers and sticks, with a gold pocket watch stuck one side, and he had boots, full of patches, and his pants and jacket were patched and covered with twigs and leaves like he had fallen through a tree or rolled around in a pile of brush, and all of them, the man, the red dog, the green dog, passed by as if I weren’t even there.

“When I turned the dogs were back in place at the end of that driveway and the man was gone, just gone,” said Tenny leaning close to Miss Plumworth whose hand had stopped moving across the page, whose face had lifted to welcome Tenny’s mother carrying a ladened tray of tea and sandwiches.

 

River Mist Tales: The Three Caves

Come in, come in, the river mist will be gone soon enough, but here you’ll find some tales, some warmth so make yourself comfortable. There’s tea in the pot, or perchance, you brought some wee dram of your own.

Please sit by the window, you’ll have the best view, and easy hearing. Ignore the cats, no matter what they say, and don’t open the window for the tapping crows.

I’ll be working at the table in the corner, if you have any need, or she knocks upon the door. And until you stop by again, may your wonderings be bold and your imaginings be wise.

Until your next visit, until the next photograph, the next 12-line story, good fortune and safe wanderings.

threecaves_cwm

The Three Caves

“It’s the three caves, well one of them, the answer has to be in there somewhere,” said Declan. “Let me read it again.”

“Okay, but I think something’s missing or misspelled or…,” said Maeve shaking her head, pushing the letter across the worn wooden table.

The letter began, “Dear N,”

“I am sorry my curiosity, my yearnings, my broken promises have brought such a terrible fate upon your head. Though I must leave you, here is everything you need, just as he promised me. The Three Sisters, solemn and dangerous as they are, each hold comfort for you, but look to one alone, for the way of truth.

“As this life flows from my body just as the tide flows from the shore, a new life will be revealed and so too, will be revealed the treasures the Sisters now hide.

“Go to them, time will not diminish nor moonlight hide the solace you will find there.

“It is with a soft voice and a slow turn, and my regretful shallow heart that I leave you at all.

“Find lay you will meet, speak his name, and he will guide and bless you with my last gift, Fearghas.”

Smiling, Declan finally understood the message, then letting out his long held breath he said, “It’s the cave with the shallow turning, and its not find, lay, but the name Findlay, and it is Findlay who will be our guide to the treasure hidden in the cave, and if we have any luck at all that treasure will be a door.”