The Bluebottle Boys (Vol. 1) — Chapter 18: Bethany, Part II [section 7 of 12]

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I heard a boyish laugh from a nearby brook and followed it in time to see a boy faerie, about 10 centimeters high, who wore a matching goldenrod tunic and leggings, floating down the brook on a similarly matching fallen leaf.

I looked up, trying to see where such a leaf might have come from this time of year, to see another faerie in matching green hat, tunic and leggings lounging on a branch of one of the trees. I walked on about 10 or 12 meters farther when I saw a pair of girl faeries in flowing cream colored gowns, flying amidst a mass of white cabbage butterflies, crossed by a group of swallowtails, with a quartet of faeries in flavescent gowns flying amongst them.

I turned to the right and saw a green-clad boy faerie hiding amongst the ivy that climbed a nearby tree. I turned left, and saw another swinging on a vine, just as a girl faerie clad in a brown robe flew by, her arms round a baby bird that had apparently fallen from its nest. She soothed the frightened creature and put it back in its nest, then sprinkled it with a pale periwinkle colored dust that seemed to eliminate any indication the babybird had been touched or handled in any way – evidence, had it remained, which might’ve caused the mother to reject the fledgling.

By now, the woods were growing dark, only light of early twilight, even that diminished by a thick canopy of trees overhead. The brown-robed faerie sped away, and a wave of panic shot through me – I was alone in a dark, shadowy forest, with no idea of where I was, or what perils I’d encounter.

I asked Bethany to bring me home, but she declined.

“No body hast thou there, Reggie, as von or vienden canst wond, nor pinen canst feel, nor yet from chald be chilted. Thy way be neither fowle, nor noyes nor parlous, nor yet hath thou raught thy destiny. Bide awhile yet-na and have patience. Thou shalt return erewhile.”

I must admit I was cheesed-off by the refusal – perhaps it’s why I didn’t tell her what I saw next. I should have. I might well have been spared the confrontation that followed.

 

© 2017, 2016, 2015 G. H. McCallum and Duvanian Press, all rights reserved.

The Bluebottle Boys (Volume One) and Walking Backward for Christmas: A Tale of Woe from Soggyhall are each now available from Amazon Books. The Bluebottle Boys (Volume Two) is expected to be delayed due to illness and surgery (mine) and to technical problems beyond my control, but should be available late this year or in early 2018. The next novel of the series, By Good Angels Tenanted, will be available later in 2018.