R6 Festuscato: 7 Travelers, part 3 of 3

“Attend,” Danna said, clapped her hands, and all three wraiths appeared before her and promptly fell to their knees, even if they continued to float about a foot off the ground.  They had knees at least.  It was the feet beneath the nightgown-like dresses they wore that were invisible or non-existent.  Danna tapped her foot and put her hands to her hips.  “You have names?”  And she knew their names.  Morgan had the dark hair, Mabon was the blond and Moira had flaming red hair.  “Change of venue,” Danna decided.

Mirowen came running out the front door, saw what was happening and said, “Lady,” and stood quiet.

Danna waved her hand and all five women appeared on Captain Breok’s ship.  “I have made it so the Captain and his crew cannot see or hear you or in any way be harmed or frightened by you.  I have done the same for Mousden since Mirowen does not need the screams in the night, and come to think of it, I have done the same for the dock-master and any workmen or locals who have occasion to be aboard ship before we leave.  The tie between you and the Travelers is now severed.  You are henceforth tied to the ship until I give you leave.”

“Goddess, we will starve.”

“You will not starve, but you will not feed for a time.”  Danna changed back to Festuscato and he continued speaking.  “Mirowen and I will be the only ones you can communicate with, and you can only do that if it is polite and not threatening.  Break the rule, and I will cut you off from everyone, and it will be like you don’t exist, and you will starve, so be polite until I give you leave.”

Festuscato took Mirowen’s hand and walked her across the plank to the dock while the wraiths wailed their lament and followed up to an invisible barrier where they could not leave the ship.  “Thanks a lot.”  Mirowen inched closer to her Lord.  “I’ll have nightmares for years even after you let them go.”

They ran into Captain Breok on the dock, and he asked a friendly enough question.  “Why are you two still awake?  We are leaving before dawn.”

“I was just thinking I should sleep well, now,” Festuscato grinned at Mirowen.

“Okay. I’ll give you that one,” Mirowen admitted.

“Then again, maybe Fianna is awake and wondering where I went, in which case I might not sleep at all.”

“Lord.”  Mirowen slapped his shoulder, softly.  “I will not give you that one.”

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“So tell me,” Captain Breok said, over a late supper. The time, just after nine, when the moon started to rise.  “All day I have watched you speaking to the air and I have not seen who you are talking to. But I believe you have been talking to someone, perhaps invisible.  I offer three reasons for my belief and please tell me where I am mistaken. First, anyone else and I would say they had lost their mind, but you?  Second, I saw the lady speaking to the air more than once as well.  Third, I saw when you laid your hand on young Mousden’s head, and from the way he screamed and flew up to the masthead, I would say he certainly saw something.  So, tell me I am wrong.”

“I saw,” Dibs said.  “But I pretended I did not see so they left me alone.”

“I saw nothing,” Gaius said, and Bran and Seamus agreed, but Seamus added a note.

“I felt something frightening, something evil and uncanny all day, but I saw nothing so I said nothing.”

Everyone paused and waited for Festuscato to speak. “What you did not see,” he said. “Was for your own protection, for you and your crew.  Mousden has been likewise protected, and only caught a glimpse because the women claimed they were starving, and pixie fright was a treat.  In the case of these Christian men, there is a natural disconnect. Their faith can be turned like a weapon, so the women hide from them so the men must make a special effort to see. They have made no effort because until now they had no idea there was something to see.  Interesting that you made those observations since they were not out much during the day.  They have made a place for themselves down in the hold and mostly rest in the shadows during daylight.  They say the sun makes them look too wan and pale and hard to see.  The moon, they say, makes them glow.  I wouldn’t know about such things.  Mirowen?”

“Don’t ask me.  I haven’t glowed in years.”

“No.  Not true. You glow even now.”  They all protested, but Mirowen yawned,

“Raising boys is a dirty business,” she said.

“Not surprising your invisible visitors are women,” Gaius said, softly.

Mirowen yawned again.  “I am so tired.  The sea does that, but I probably won’t sleep a wink tonight.”

“Me neither,” Festuscato admitted, and they were still up at sunrise with Dibs and Gaius talking about old times when Colan and Mousden both shouted down.

“Sail ho!”  It appeared a ship they were all familiar with, and Festuscato groaned, while Mirowen clicked her tongue.

“What will it take to teach this guy.”

“Captain Keravear and his Pictish lads,” Captain Breok named the ship.  “Treeve. Get that sail down and get the men lined up.  Now, I want to hear please spare us and bless you good Captain nice and loud this time, and with feeling.  Last time I felt like you were getting a bit lax.”

“Captain, wait a minute,” Festuscato interrupted everyone as Bran and Seamus came up alongside him to get a good look over the railing.  “I have three women here begging to be let loose.  Ladies.”  Festuscato turned to speak to what the rest imagined as empty air, but he spoke sharply and wagged his finger.  “I want you to turn them away from this ship and head north, back to their home port, but you have to do it carefully.  Don’t scare them to death or drive them insane, and don’t scare them so badly they abandon ship.  If they abandon ship, you will be stuck floating around on an aimless, empty ship forever, or until you sink and drown in the sea.  So be careful.  Let them take you to their port.  Then I recommend you move inland with the Scotts over the years.  One day, they will build great stone forts and castles in the highlands, especially around the lochs.  You are welcome to haunt those places, and if you get to Loch Ness, say hi to Stubby for me, okay?”  The invisible women seemed to respond, because after a moment, Festuscato added, “Go on, then.  Shoo. Scat.” and he, Mirowen, and Dibs watched something head toward the oncoming ship.

“I liked the blond,” Dibs said.

“The redhead,” Festuscato countered.

“You have a thing for red hair,” Mirowen pointed out the obvious.

It did not take long for the ship to turn around and head north.  Mirowen smiled like she had been set free.  To Mousden’s question she said, “You don’t want to know.”

“To Wales?” Captain Breok asked.

“To Wales.”  Festuscato confirmed.

“I want to thank you for shielding our eyes and ears, and I don’t want to know, either,” Treeve, the mate said.

“Yes.  thanks,” the Captain said, and added to Treeve, “Go get Gerens.”

“All in a day’s work,” Festuscato said, and he went back to looking out over the endless waves of the Irish sea.

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MONDAY

Festuscato takes his crew back to Wales, but finds the Saxons there doing what Saxons do.  See you Monday for R6 Festuscato: 8 Branwen’s Cove.  Until then, Happy Reading

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Charmed: Part 10 of 11, A Disney-Like Halloween Story (Without the Singing)

Chapter 10

All of the creatures and people, with Mary, Jake, Jessica, Elizabeth, Cinnamon, Nuggets the dwarf and Mister Greely Putterwig found themselves back in the pine forest where the adventure first began. “Time to go home,” Mister Putterwig sighed, but before he could do anything, he got interrupted.

“We got you now.” It was Marrow the goblin. Worms and Maggot were with him, as was Big Tooth, the troll. “You need to take us to Earth or we will tell Lady Alice that you stole a human child.”nal gobin king

“We already did that part,” Mary got right into the goblin’s face and did not even blink. “Lady Alice has forgiven him now that he has set Elizabeth free.”

“Hey.” Worms sounded very unhappy. “Does that mean we can’t go and scare the children to death?”

“You are not going to scare any children to death,” Jake spoke up, loud, but it was from fear. The goblins were frightful to look at. “I won’t let you.”

“Me neither,” Jessica stood right beside Jake, and they both protected Elizabeth between them.

“How are we going to feast?” Maggot asked.

“Quiet. I’m thinking.” Marrow frowned and pulled on his chin.

“The portal,” Big Tooth suggested.

“That’s right,” Marrow grinned, a look almost more frightening than his frown. “You got an unauthorized portal to the human Earth. You need to let us go there or we will tell Lady Alice.”

“I am sure she already knows,” Cinnamon said.

hween dwarf 1“No doubt about that,” Nuggets agreed.

“Puts!” Marrow swore.

All that while, Mister Putterwig worked on opening the way to Earth, but he was not quite finished when they were all interrupted again, this time by the ghost of Thackery James Barrett, Esquire.

“Sir,” Thackery came up beside Jake and Jessica as if to protect them, and he stared at the goblins. hween thackery“You are brigands to be sure. You should certainly be hanged for highway robbery, but I confess you have the upper hand at present. Thus I implore you, in the name of Christian decency, let the women and children go unharmed.”

“You’re not a woman or a child,” Marrow responded. “I suppose that makes you free game, doesn’t it?”

There was a sudden flash of blinding light as the portal between here and there formed. Thackery let out a chilling shriek before the light settled down and Thackery became able to speak with more calm. “I remember,” he said. “I remember those very words. Suddenly a great light appeared beside me. I was facing certain death, so I ran toward the light. I heard the gun. I stumbled into the light. My God, the man shot me in the back and killed me, and I ended up here.” Thackery began to weep. “Gone. Gonnnne!” He wailed a true ghostly wail and then shouted. “Abigail. Abigail.” And he went into the light. Everyone stayed silent for a moment before Jake spoke loud and clear to the goblins.

“Doesn’t matter. I won’t let you eat any children.” He reached for the cutlass and got a bit unhappy to realize it had vanished along with the Lady Alice.

“What eat children?” Marrow responded with a dumbfounded shrug.

“Do you know the penalty for eating humans, especially children?” Maggot said, and the goblins, troll, and several of the others in that big group from the circle moaned and shivered at the thought.nal goblin extra

Marrow spoke. “We just want to scare them so bad they drop their bags. Then we plan to feast on all that Halloween candy.”

“I want to eat so much I throw up,” Worms said, and sounded happy with that prospect.

“Don’t forget,” Maggot said. “I claim the vomit.”

Most of the people moaned again at that thought.

The portal wavered.

“Hey!” The goblins yelled, but Mary, Jake, Jessica, Elizabeth and Mister Putterwig went though first. Everyone else followed and got directed by Mister Putterwig out the back door, toward the big back yard where an old fairy circle was already present. It wouldn’t take long to put up some lights and get the music started.

hween putterwig house 2Jake, Jessica, Elizabeth and Mary went out the front door and got surprised to find Tommy, Blockhead, Mike and Serena still there, sitting around, nibbling on Elizabeth’s candy. It turned out to be a bit after seven, and they had been waiting for more than an hour.  At least they were sitting and waiting before the ghost came through the locked door. They backed up to the yard and the fence, and Blockhead looked ready to bolt every time Thackery wailed for Abigail.

“Watch it! There’s another one,” Mike shouted. It did not help being by the street, under the street light, when another ghost came floating up into that light. In fact, Mike and the others moved back into the shadows since the ghosts appeared to be attracted to the light.

“Thackery?” the ghost called. It looked like a woman, dressed in a fine traveling dress and cloak. She looked very young and pretty, even if she did not seem to have any feet.hween ghost love

“Abigail?”

“A very fine and proper lady named Alice said I would find you here,” the woman ghost said.

“Oh Abigail. I searched for you for ever so long.” Thackery flew to her and they embraced.

“At last, at last.” Abigail hugged him before he set his lips to hers in a passionate kiss. The two faded from sight and were not seen again in this world. Everyone sighed, except Blockhead, who looked more relieved. Then Jessica made a decision.

“Serena,” Jessica said. “Call Vanessa and tell her the party is being moved to the old Putterwig house.”

“Really?” Serena looked uncertain.

“Hey, we are talking Halloween party.” The music began to work its enchantment from the back to the front yard.

“There is that,” Serena said, and she got out her phone.

hween tommy 2“Tommy,” Jake called. “I got twenty bucks. Take Mike down to the supermarket and buy as much candy as they have left. We got some big kids that are dying for Halloween treats.”

“Keep your money,” Tommy said. “For the ghost show it’s my treat. So how did you do that?”

“Holographic?” Mike suggested.

“You haven’t seen anything yet,” Elizabeth said, and she tugged on Jake’s hand to take her out back. Fortunately, just then Sage and Thyme, with their mother Cinnamon, all in their natural small fairy form, came to fetch the little girl. This time, they sprinkled her all over with fairy dust and Elizabeth giggled when she lifted right off the ground and flew with the fairies down the hall and out the back door.hween fairies 2

“Serena shut your mouth and get the party here,” Jessica yelled, while Jake reached over and took her hand. Jessica stared at their hands for a minute.

“Blockhead, how’s your dancing?” Jake asked.

Blockhead said nothing. He just began to bounce up and down in a way that showed he had no sense of rhythm. Serena interrupted. “Hold it big boy. Save it for when we get to the dance floor.” She grabbed his football jersey and pulled him toward the back.

Jessica suddenly turned Jake to face her. She looked him square in the eyes. She tried to listen to her thumper, and she said, “I am loving you.”

“Well.” Jake hardly knew what to say, so he returned the words. “I am loving you, too.”

“Goody,” Jessica said, sounding like a genuine fairy, and she locked her lips to his. Jake was surprised for all of a second.

Tommy and Mike came back after a while. A bunch of other kids from the high school came. But neither Jake nor Jessica wanted to stop long enough to take a breath.hween greely 7

Greely Putterwig came out of the house, looking once again like an ordinary enough old man. Mary had pulled up a chair and was quietly knitting, have gotten her needles and yarn from some unknown source, presumably by magic. She gave the hobgoblin a look that he thought to explain. He pointed at himself. “You might call this my un-Halloween costume.” He chuckled.

Mary merely smiled and patted the seat on the rocking chair beside her. Greely sat and then stared at hween mary on porchthe witch for a few minutes before he spoke again. “So,” he said. “Want to go out on a date?”

Mary stopped knitting and her jaw dropped.

“Then again, we could just get some DVDs and stay in and cuddle by the fire.

Mary’s face turned red, but she did not say no.

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hween alien 5Charmed is either a very, very small book or a long story offered in eleven parts over this October, hween alien 32015, leading up to Halloween. The posts will be put up on the blog on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 5, 6 and 7; 12, 13, and 14; 19, 20, and 21; 26, 27, and an extra note on the 28th. If you miss a post, or want to go back to the beginning, they are easy enough to find. Just click on the archives and select October 2015. Charmed is the only posting for the month … So after the 28th, I say to you all, Happy Halloween, you know, aliens, robots, cyborgs and such.hween alien 1

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