Unwanted Juck (sharing this post from True Mendicants blog—this man is funny!)g

I am currently enrolled in an online class that teaches the fine points of Medical Coding, Terminology, and Billing. And let me assure you, it is fascinating. Check out this note concerning Medicar…

Source: Unwanted Juck

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Oh, those Fantasy Fallback Crushes

Several years ago, when I started this blog I wrote about Fantasy Fallback Crushes. (https://blatherbabe.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/the-deep-lush-soul-of-an-irishman/) A fantasy fallback crush is a person you fantasize about when you’re going through a break-up, or a dry period, or maybe you’re just bored and need someone handsome to think about. The fantasy part is paramount, especially in the case of a break-up: you don’t want someone too available.You want someone to remind you that you can feel those feelings again, that tingle, that swoon that tells you you’re still alive…but, if you’ve recently had your heart broken, you don’t want that person to be too accessible, because the fantasy is healing, but turning that fantasy into reality may just be too real for your shattered little heart.

I have a fantasy fallback crush. Well, actually I have two.  The first one I ran into last September while I was still with the man who just broke my heart. This crush threw me for a loop: Why did I have a crush? I was in a committed relationship. This was so unlike me, I’m loyal as a dog, and never get crushes when I’m with someone…

After much pondering I came to the conclusion that this man was put in my life at that particular moment to show me what I was missing in my then current relationship: deep-seated happiness, no matter what situational sadness is there. Silliness, play, acceptance. A bunch of things I wasn’t getting in the relationship I was in. Now, that particular FFC may have only been put in my path for this reason, only time will tell on that, but, I have to say that the fantasy of him helped a lot starting six or seven weeks ago when the unhappy man I was with dumped me for a newer model…

Still, though, I started to think that perhaps I was putting too much emphasis in my lonely mind and munched up heart on this particular crush on this particular man. Perhaps it was time to open myself up to another fantasy fallback crush. Now, because of the dog-like loyalty I mentioned above, even having a second crush was a foreign concept to me, but I resolved to being open to it anyway…

Have any of you out there in blogland ever had a Fantasy Fallback Crush? Did it help you? What are some other things that helped you find joy and healing when your heart is crushed?  Are there any that might help me, or others on the journey from hurt to healing?

So, here I am on a rainy Friday afternoon writing my first blog post in almost a year. The breakup was bad, so bad I couldn’t even write about it, not even in a journal…but here I am several weeks in and feeling better, stronger, more like the person I am instead of the mess I’d become. (situational sadness, ya know) Oh, and yeah, I do  have a second FFC, a man who is, at the moment as brokenhearted as me, but who I’m secretly crushing on as we commiserate about our lost loves. Probably won’t come to anything but a deepened friendship, and that is fine, in the long run, because it’s fun and healing to feel those feelings again, as well as to have someone to talk to who really knows where I’m coming from. And vice-versa. I had a long talk with him last night and I’m certain we both felt the better for it.

Then, this morning, the first crush called…

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I’m developing a new theory:  I think Lit classes are actually designed to make book lovers learn to HATE books.  Anybody else out there (especially writers) who’ve had a hard time in Lit class?

I got my essay back, one I’d worked SOOOOOOOOOOO hard on, one I thought I’d done well on, one I actually did sucky on : I got  a 66%   (a C- or a D+?) because the teacher thought it “could’ve” been an “A”.  He wants me to rewrite it, and he’ll give me up to one full grade higher…so, whoopee, I might get a C+, or, if I can actually figure out what the guy wants, a B-.  Oh Yay! (sarcasm font) I got straight A’s last semester.  In fact, in the entire time I’ve been back in school, I’ve only gotten one B to mar my record—so, to be given a C-/D+ is mind-boggling to me.  It’s certainly a first.  I mean, I work HARD!!!

Last week in class we had a discussion on Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


The teacher asked us to pick out three words that were “weird”.  I had a hard time with this; none of the words seemed weird.  The only one that even came close was “queer”, and that’s just because we have a different connotation for it today than they did in the 1920’s.  The other students, however, had no trouble finding weird words: little, when combined with horse? Weird. Darkest? Oh yeah, weird. Stopping?  Oh my god, that is so weird! The whiteboard in the room filled up quickly. Seemingly every word in this simple and lovely poem was weird.  Oh-kay.

Then we began to analyze the poem: Alright you guys, did you know that this poem is not really about taking a break on your travels to enjoy the view on a beautiful snowy night, but actually about beastiality, SBDM, suicide, running from the law and elicit affairs?  Yeah, I didn’t know that either.

So, rather than sit here being all confused and depressed,let’s just look at pictures of my dog…


Luka Bean on a rock

Luka Bean on a rock

Luka Bean in a box

Luka Bean in a box


Luka Bean all a-snooze

Luka Bean all a-snooze

Luka Bean with some booze

Luka Bean with some booze

Luka Bean with a friend

Luka Bean with a friend

Luka Bean at the end

Luka Bean this is the end

Oh, except maybe THIS is what Robert Frost saw in the woods on that snowy night:

bondage bunny


Posted in Academia, humor, poetry, travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Oh Dear…

You know how it is when life gets in the way?  I can’t believe it’s been seven months since I’ve posted here.  Life gets in the way, relationships get in the way, school gets in the way, playing Mahjong on the computer gets in the way…wait. Did I just publicly admit to goofing around? Yeah, I guess I did.

So, what have I been doing these past seven months? Well, relating, learning and playing Mahjong…plus gardening, painting the house, vending at a few shows, more school, still more school, relating some more, then more school.  (it’s funny that I’m actually writing LESS as an English major, but if I can just make it through the next two semesters, then I’ll have my AA and transfer to a four year that has an actual Creative Writing BA to work towards)

So, life’s been busy, and I haven’t been posting…plus, I just got a new computer. The last one wouldn’t let me access a lot of the features on WordPress.  I couldn’t read your comments, couldn’t answer them.  It got to be really frustrating.  That’s fixed now, yay!

You know how there’s something in your life that you really want to do, that’s really important to you but you’ve been neglecting it for awhile cuz life got in the way?  Yeah. That’s this blog.  You know how you promise that you’re going to get back to it, RIGHT NOW? Well, that’s me, and this is THAT post! 🙂

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Faerieworlds 2014, a Review



I’m cozy in my bed, with socks on and earplugs at the ready, though the realm isn’t too boisterous at this hour, so I don’t think I’ll need them…

But, it’s damp and I’m trying to sleep on a hill, and to top it off there’s a drum circle not twenty feet from my head.

The odd thing about the drum circle is that I don’t think I would mind it so much if it weren’t damp; and if I weren’t trying to sleep on a hill. The rhythms were good, and the crooning that accompanied it was soothing. I kind of enjoyed it, it helped lull me to sleep, and it was preferable to the musical fiasco from an hour or so earlier, when we wandered over to The Neverlands stage to hear the late night musical offerings. The Wicker Men took the stage for a midnight show. I couldn’t tell you how they sounded from that set, however, because whoever was at the mixing board never got it quite right, with the fiddle lost on one song, found on the next, with the flute lost at that point…I can, however, tell you how they looked: they looked like a band formed to score chicks. My young companion, Amber, dubbed the drummer Jesus-Tarzan, with his crown of thorn-like LED’s encircling a head of long brown hair, his bare, smooth, muscled chest and his loincloth… Then there was the one we called Elven-Pan, complete with Panpipes. He didn’t have cloven hooves, at least not as far as we could tell, but he was wearing a pale brown leather vest over his otherwise bare torso, with his willowy arms swaying the pipes hypnotically. His facial hair was rather goat/Pan like and the effect was rather mythic…Elron-the-Elf’s illegitimate half-dwarf-son took center stage, but I couldn’t tell you what he played, because our eyes were glued to Thor and his Mighty Fiddle tearing up both stage left and bunches of cat-gut (at least I assume he was tearing up the cat-gut, but, like I said, the fiddle was only aurally evident for every other song, despite how furiously Thor sawed away at it. I do think, however, that I saw smoke billowing out from underneath the strings…)

And then there was Jesse, guesting from Woodland. Jesse was fully clothed, and looked like…JESSE!  (this is truly his name, not one fatuously made up by my friend and I)  And, because Jesse was up there on the stage, I assumed that the other musicians were actually better than the bad sound mixing and hunky nakedness would have me believe; and, when The Wicker Men played on the Mainstage on Sunday, I found that this was so: Solid musicians with carefully crafted songs, a pleasure to listen to. Good on them, but this old lady (and her twenty-three year old walkabout companion) would advise them to put some clothes on if they want to be taken seriously…otherwise our snarky made-up names for them might stick!


It’s a shame that the sound mixing was so bad for the Wicker Men, but it was, thankfully, perfect for the previous act: Moss Ratafia writes and performs one song for each Faerieworlds, pulling in other performers and singers to bring his magic to life. If you could close your eyes and imagine Edward Gorey characters dressed in Medieval/tribal attire, with curly toed shoes, pointy hats and dreadlocks, you might get an idea of the look of these half dozen or so people who took the stage. Took it with force, they did, impossible to look away from or ignore. More performance art, or eerie and cool musical theatre than rock and roll, they captured everyone’s attention with their discordant notes mixed with Gregorian chant-like song structure. The audiences first reaction to the piece was an almost universal “What…the heck…is this?” followed by complete captivation moments later. My reaction was “Faerie Burlesque…cool!” Who knew that a song about the tooth faerie could be so dark!



(sorry, there isn’t a video available. *sigh*)

The music on Mainstage was equally hit and miss, which is unusual for Faerieworlds. Omnia headlined on Friday night, with Aussie tribal rockers Brother taking an opening slot.

Omnia is a “Pagan-folk” band from the Netherlands.  I am not a fan.  In my opinion they are completely derivative, and can’t decide what genre or style they want to play, so they have perfected none. During their set on Friday night they played a “folk” song that was more of a heavy metal ballad; a “country” song that was really reggae; and a “rock” song that sounded country. Now, I have no problem with bands (or artists; or writers)experimenting with other genres, I just think that pains should be taken to do it right…and, let’s face it, if they hadn’t announced that they were going to play a country song, no one would’ve noticed or minded that they played a reggae-“ish” song instead. Know your genres, people, or at least stop mis-labeling your music.

In addition (and this might’ve even been worse than their lackluster song-smithing) the lead singer styles himself as some sort of planetary warrior, or savior, or such, and so spent much of their time on stage preaching to the audience. Honestly, if I wanted to be preached to I’d go to church or watch Fox News.  If you have something important to say, use your art to say it.  Put it in your lyrics, don’t preach it to the choir!

Omnia: Inane lyrics, badly crafted songs, (such as the following, with lyrics [mostly] lifted from Shakespeare)don’t waste your time.

On the other hand, there’s Brother. Why they weren’t the headlining act is beyond me. Brother is tight, with great musicians and superlative songwriting skills, the way they blend bagpipes and didgeridoos into alternative rock and roll is amazing, and never ceases to get the crowd jumping. I’ll take Brother anyday!

Too much to tell about the music at Faerieworlds, so let me just say:

Martine Kraft: Wonderful!

Zirp: Amazing!

Kytami: Wow! No, really WOW!  and one more, just because!

Woodland:  What would Faerieworlds be withoutWoodland?  Well…nothing.  Seriously, nothing.  Emilio and Kelly Miller-Lopez are founding members of both Woodland and Faerieworlds, so, yeah, you can’t have one without the other.    Over the years I’ve enjoyed Woodland more and more, they just keep getting better, and tighter and more delightful to hear.

A fan of my FANS.

A fan of my FANS.

There is so much more to Faerieworlds than the music!  There’s art, and vendors, and thousands of folks dressed as Fae, from swaddled babies to septuagenarians.  It has a spirit that’s missing in many music festivals, with camaraderie and conversation with close friends, those you only get to see once a year and brand new intimates.  The heat dampened the energy a bit this year, especially with so little shade on the festival grounds, but, as the sun went down, souls were re-awakened by cooling breezes and the promise of adventures to be had.  I found that people watching at Oberon’s Tavern was a good, relaxing way to spend part of a busy evening…that is, if you weren’t called away by glow-ball armed “fire”-dancers in the stone circle, or philosophical repartee in the food court.

Future customers get their Fae on!

Future customers get their Fae on!


The first Faerieworlds was in Sedona, Arizona in 2002, followed by various other locations in the intervening years, but in 2009 a “permanent” home was found in the Emerald Meadows area of Buford Park/ Mount Pisgah in Eugene, Oregon. Unfortunately, after misuse of the park by a much larger and louder electronic music festival, the Lane County Board of Commissioners voted to ban such events in Buford Park, despite ardent and vocal public support. Next year Faerieworlds will be held at it’s new home, Hornings Hideout near Portland, on Labor Day weekend.

From the Horning’s website (www.horningshideout.com) and the post on the Faerieworlds Facebook page by Emilio Miller-Lopez (https://www.facebook.com/groups/7136224911/permalink/10152316361634912/) it’s seems like Horning’s will be a delightful place to continue the Faerieworlds experience.  My only hope is that 2015 will see the return of Faun, and Delhi to Dublin and Stellamara to the Faerieworlds stage!

Sonja from Stellamara andme at FaerieCon East 2012

Sonja from Stellamara and me at FaerieCon East 2012



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Oh The Irony…

…at least I think it’s irony.  I have to admit to being one of those people that thought they knew what irony was, until people started making declarations of “That’s not irony!” when other people  (yeah, yeah, yeah, Alannis Morrissette) would claim something was ironic.  I must also admit that I’ve looked the definition up, several times, and I’m now more confused than ever.  What the hell IS irony?  I don’t know, I really don’t, but I think what I am about to tell you is ironic.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, you tell me:

Yesterday the dog door arrived; the mega-fantastic, uber-wonderful ELECTRONIC dog door that has a key to attach to the dog, so’s he can go in and out to his heart content, but only him…i.e., the cat can’t go out, raccoons, skunks and possums can’t come in.  Or squirrels either, should they want to. (ah, life in the suburban jungle!)

We’ve been anticipating the arrival of the dog door with baited breath and tired eyes.  Ever since my pup and I moved in here with my beau, sleep has been an issue.  Especially after Luka, the dog, stayed at his Auntie Sue’s house for several days. Sue has a dog door.  Not a fancy electronic one like we just got, but a regular old plastic flap dog door.  (and cat door.  She has indoor/outdoor cats)  Luka got used to going in and out whenever he so desired, and when he got back to the new digs,he wanted to continue with this new, errant lifestyle. He would have to “go” every few hours throughout the night; some nights it was as many as four times, some nights as “few” as twice, and, quite often he would lounge outside before he came in.  Awesome.  So, whenever he stirred in the night, I would shoot out of bed, anxious to get him outside before he woke Michael up.  Then Michael told me that the shooting out of bed woke him with a surge of adrenaline that prevented him from getting back to sleep so I took to sneaking out of the bed.  Some nights I would be so bone tired that I wouldn’t hear the canine stirrings, and Michael would get up to let him out…and have to wait while Luka did his lounging thing, of course.

Michael is a saint.  He doesn’t even like dogs and he’s been so tolerant.  But still, enough is enough, we needed to get some sleep, so we ordered the dog door, and yesterday it arrived!  Hallelujah!  A good nights sleep would soon be had.  Little did we know how soon…last night, with the dog door still in it’s box, Luka slept the whole night through, not needing to go out until 9:30 this morning.

Now that’s irony for ya…I think!

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Lotto Fever: a Faerie Story, pt 2 revised and rewritten with more to read

Back on the other side of the Portal Podraig was beside himself with the searching for Danna. He knew she wouldn’t have just run away: they were in love, fer fricks sake, she would’na done that. And…there was something deep down inside himself that told him she had not been killed, that told him she was alight and alive. She was not, as so many hushed voices had said when they didn’t know he was a listening, lying in a gully somewhere, dead as bones.

He knew that in his core. He could not be dissuaded.

He would find her. It was true. The hummingbirds had given him a path on which to start, chittering and twittering and pointing out the pale phosphorescence that marked where his Danna had gone. (All faeries leave that phosphorescence in their wake. Faerie dust, it’s been called, and each trail is as distinctive to the faerie that left it as fingerprints are to humans.) Podraig found the portal too, and he knew Danna had passed through it, not because of that phosphorescence, glittering shyly in front of him, or the disappearing of it twenty feet from his nose. No, he knew Danna had passed through the portal because he knew Danna, and he knew Danna would pass through the portal…how could she not? It was a delightful mystery and Danna would have to see what was on the other side.

He would want to go too; not because he was so very brave, but because he knew he always had fun when he let Danna take the lead on an adventure.

And now she had gone adventuring without him, and how was that to start a new marriage, for they were supposed to have been wed on Saturday last…

So, here was poor Podraig, worried and scared for his Danna dear, all lost and away without him…but, besides that he was frustrated beyond belief. He kept digging and digging, trying to open the portal. With every shovel of dirt he threw out of the hole, another shovel full was thrown into the hole from the other side.

“What sort of evil magic is this? “He said, to no one in particular. “Are the dark ones conspiring to keep me from my Danna?”

He pulled out another shovels worth of dirt, only to be immediately hit by more dirt from within, this time square in the face, leaving him coughing and sputtering and mad.

The dirt stopped falling. The rocks started falling. The demons of this portal, the guardians, he supposed, were dead set against him following his love to whatever new land waited on the other side. He would not be stopped, he knew that and vowed, with a crossing of his heart and a spit to the ground. He would follow and find her, of that you could be sure. He waited till the rocks stopped falling, then he pulled them out of the hole. As soon as he was done, more rocks fell into place to fill the void.

“FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!” he cried, in agony of dashed hopes as well as of the three fingers that had been smashed by the last stony onslaught. He might as well call it a night, and go soak his fingers in some cold water and hope he could sleep through the pain.

It was three days before he returned. His fingers were still swollen, but he could work them now, and it had been determined that, smashed as they were, none of them had been broken. When he pulled the stones out this time, a miracle happened: no new stones rained down to replace them. He was full of hope as he crawled up into the portal, only to have those hopes dashed by the discovery of how solidly the portal was now blocked, by stones held in place by sticks of steel or iron and a spiderweb of such, all glued together by a thin, hard stuff that appeared to have been poured in placed. It was like the wattle of huts, but stonier and impenetrable. He couldn’t cut through the metal, and when he tried to break the stony-stuff it came off only in small, insignificant, pathetic, tiny chips. Fie.

Podraig knew that at present there were only two things to be done, a choice: One, he could give up, go on with his life, eventually love another (or, more likely, he knew, die old and lonely and alone, because Danna would be impossible to get over) or, two, he could go on a journey of his own, with old maps, through forests deep and dark to the throne of the King of Dwarves, all the way to Diamond Mountain, to request assistance from those who knew mines and metals, and stones and such, who could help him forge a way through the cursed portal to find his Danna.

He knew which decision he would have to make, and he’d better started planning and packing so’s he could leave on the morrow.

But finding faeries to go with him proved harder than Podraig would’ve thought possible.

“Podraig, I feel for you, I really do,” said Timothy. “ Danna was a great girl…”

“IS a great girl,” interrupted Podraig.

Timothy looked at his friend kindly…and, truth be told, just a wee bit superciliously. “WAS a great girl,” he repeated. “But she’s gone now, without a trace. Let’s face it, that family always was more adventuresome than they should’ve been, even for faeries.”

“There’s a reason we call you Timidthy,” muttered Podraig.

Timothy just shrugged his shoulders and turned back to his pint. He was not going to help. Podraig thought about arguing with Timothy that there WAS a trace of where Danna had gone, or at least there had been, in the hours after she’d gone through the portal, but what would be the use? And besides, there had to be braver faeries than Timidthy that would want to help.

And there were. Braver, though not necessarily brighter, or fitter or more capable…

Angus approached Podraig at the bar.

“I’ll help, Podraig, sure I will,” said Angus wheezily.

“Oh…Angus.” Podraig grimaced. “Angus…” but then he brightened. Angus was strong. That could be useful.

Angus fidgeted and shuffled his large feet. “I’d like to help, really I would. I know I’m big and lumbering and don’t fly so well, and,” he lowered his head a bit shamefully. “And I know I’m not the brightest firefly in the jar, but I’m strong and hearty and I don’t give up.”

It was true: Angus was as tenacious a faerie as you’d ever hope to see. It was said that he had a bit of the bull in him, though that was said by the kindest in the sidhe. Those not so nice had joked about there having been a troll in the woodpile…

“Please Podraig. I really do wanna help. Danna always stood up for me, and I counted her among my few friends. I owe it to her to help get her back.”

Angus had a point. Danna had always defended Angus, from the play yard bullies when they were young, to the wanna-be Unseelies of their teen years , with dark clothes to go with their dark attitudes , to the meaner of the faeries now.

“Angus, Danna has always had faith in you, and I do too! I’d love your help and companionship.” Podraig turned to Angus’ companion Damon, tall and skinny with a shrill voice, greasy hair and pimples hidden in plain sight between every single one of his freckles. He was fast, he could help. “And how about you Damon?”

Damon looked stricken. “I…I…”

“Oh Damon, you’ve gotta go,” pleaded Angus. “Think of the time we’ll have, an adventure.”

“I…I…” Damon pursed his lips. “I…guess.”

“Great,” said Angus, slapping his friend on the shoulder.

“I’d like to help too, Podraig,” said a small voice behind him.

“Ciara,” said Podraig as he turned to look at the small, slim faerie with a bent and mangled wing. This was shaping up to be quite a troop to lead, manned as it was with misfits and broken sorts…still, Ciara was smart and clever, and good at spreading calm, so she could be useful as well.

“Alright, Ciara, you’re in,” said Podraig confidently, and turned to the eyes watching the goings on from all corners of the hall. “Who else? Who else will journey to Diamond Mountain and then through the portal to find Danna?”

There were various snorts and laughs and rude comments, including muttered “In a ditch somewhere,” and “dead as bones.” Podraigs heart sank.

Then a strong, powerful voice was raised in the back of the hall. “Disloyal cowards, the lot of you.” It was Danna’s Grandmother, imperious, important, with a gold circlet twined in her silver hair. She flew up to a point near the tall ceiling so everyone could see—and hear—her.

“Have you forgotten that my family has always marched in the front of the troop? Have you forgotten our importance simply because my husband and son have died? Have you forgotten that we’ve led you for thousands of years, that we brought prosperity to this mound when we were clothed in rags and exiled from our true home? Have you forgotten that Danna is the heir to this leadership, that she will be your queen when she comes of age? Have you forgotten all that?”

Mutters sounded in the hall.

“Mags,” uttered one man. “It’s not so much that we’ve forgotten, as…” he trailed off.

“As we want a different way,” picked up another.

“A different way!” exclaimed Mags. It was a statement and not a question. “You may yet have your different way, for all the good it’ll do you, but not by throwing out my bloodline in our time of need. Danna needs your help, Podraig has seen where she’s gone and is set to go and find her,”

Grumbles of disbelief echoed amongst the throng, and shouts such as “There was no faerie dust, he saw what he wanted to see.”  and “He’s a foolish boys who wants us to join him on his foolish quest.” emanated from one specific table, headed by a powerful looking faerie, with dark hair and especially fine clothes.

“Oh you, Keiran,” shouted Mags to the man at the head of the table. “I know you want to lead, and I know you think you’re worthy of kingship, and I know there are those who agree, and many who may come to agree, with enough talk, convincing and coercion, but that’s a question to be settled later. You can’t have our small throne the easy way, through the last heirs disappearance, but the honorable way, if it’s to be, by the will of the people when given a fair and informed choice, and by proving you deserve it.” She looked away from Keiran and scanned the room, catching even the eyes that tried to look away. “But, the rest of you, I ask, does a faerie who refuses to help to search for a member of our court deserve to be King?”

Shouts erupted around the hall, dissenting views echoing loudly from the stone walls. Mags tried to continue, but her words were drowned out.

Ciara knew what she had to do: she flew a lopsided spiral around the room above everyone’s heads, letting her faerie dust fall on them all. When she got to the top next to Mags, she put two fingers to her mouth and whistled loudly. Those below calmed and quieted and paid her attention.

“I do believe our Mags still has something to say,” she said, and yielded the ceiling.

Mags continued: “Danna is lost. Podraig has said he’s seen her faerie dust leading to a portal and I believe him. Whether the rest of you believe him or not is beside the point,” she looked sharply at Keiran and his companions. “What is important is that we do all we can to find her. Even if she were not of the court, she is a member of our tribe, and we owe her this much.”

This time the shouts were supportive, of the “Hear hear.” and “Indeed.” variety, and the dissenting grumbles were few. Strong, able faeries raised their arms in volunteering, and Podraigs troop increased to nine. They would need one more to make their journey. A voice from Keirans table sounded:

“I’ll go,” said Dugan, while Keiran exhibited a sly, catlike grin.

Podraig didn’t especially want Dugan, who had grown into a bit of a bully in the last few years, due in no small part to his association with Keiran. Still, he was strong, and smart, and they used to be friends…

“You have your ten,” came a shout from the back of the hall, not coincidentally just to the left of Keiran’s table. “Yes! You have your ten,” the chant was raised “Go and find your Danna dear.” And so it was decided, despite Podraigs silent misgivings.

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