Back at the Bubble Rider Academy, Cherish the first alternate had worked her way up to valedictorian, and it had been a well deserved honor for her to lead the class on its first mission, and many of the others.

Shadow, however, had never excelled in quizzes or relays, never raised her hand, never had an essay returned with a gold star or a smiley face, and was never applauded by classmates or instructors. She had not been exposed to a single tribulation serious enough to compel her to overcome it.

As curious as it may seem to us, this circumstance left her feeling undeserving of any admiration or attention. Shadow didn’t even feel worthy of discussing this with anyone. She led a completely adequate life as a team player, neither scoring a point nor making a mistake.

In the autumn when Mother Nature was napping, Cherish pulled Shadow aside for a gentle conversation. By the time the last leaf had fallen, Cherish had pointed out a thousand tiny adversities that had been resolved with a more quiet grace than any of her classmates had ever attempted.

Shadow stepped into the light of her personal destiny. She found that one exquisite experience which she now knew she deserved, and with complete confidence she grabbed that first taste of perfection.

It was more delicious than any future bite could ever hope to be.

The Flood Fairies – Book Three

Just when we thought the bubble riders had gone to sleep until spring, some unusual activity was observed around the Accomac and the tomb of the Confederate soldier. As if it were Christmas Eve, the elves and gnomes and fairies simply could not fall asleep.

The ghosts at the Accomac were packing up their linens and headed for Jackson House further south. There was nobody to scare at The Accomac any more, and nobody was available to listen.

Somebody however, continued to try to connect with me through the internet. And I wasn’t alone. It is simply not normal for a truck to get up on its hind legs and howl at the moon. We must be clear, however, that hauntings are not always ghostly. Many non-human spirits become disembodied wanderers as well.

Ghosts didn’t disrupt the workers trying to put the land back together in the area. They might have had some responsibility for the ultimate closing of the restaurant, but spirits of another kind did the rest. Brownies, sprites, fairies, gnomes, pixies, animal familiars and maybe even witches – whether at work or play – reshuffled and blended the earth in that area for purposes we mere mortals can only guess at.

I don’t know what they want with me, or why they keep using Facebook, but when the new year comes around, I may just go out there and find a Winter Wonderland.


After the ground was covered with a blanket of oranges and reds, but before the white bedspread was laid on top of it, creatures of all shapes and sizes began the process of getting ready for bed. Whether they knew it or not, an alarm was already set for a time when each would rise to greet a new day, throwing off the covers and stretching in the sun, all green and refreshed and reborn.

This night was made for dreams. Guided by souls on the other side of the curtain known as The Veil, under the moon just between Equinox and Solstice, between full moon and new, gorgeous revelations for the future would reveal themselves. The only nightmares would be the ones arriving in drowsy wakefulness.

Tonight was made for sleeping, all distractions left on the nightstand. This night everyone sleeps alone in the dreams, even if the covers are shared.

The body rests in peace, but the mind has crossed the river into lively conversation with spirit beings. Here, it is perfectly logical to speak another language, to fly, and to share a cocktail with a great-grandfather and a movie star at the same time. Grandmothers give birth to potty trained babies. The childhood home has a third floor. Wedding dresses still fit.

Everyone you ever loved somehow fits in your livingroom, and they all like each other. World problems are easily resolved. The food has no calories. Insects and dead relatives speak to you. One kiss passes through all your old boyfriends and crushes.

Between the blankets of autumn and winter, Youth meets Wisdom, and dreams come true.

Barsy: A Year Later

(In the poetic words of Kahlil Gibran, “I care about your happiness just as you care about mine. I could not be at peace if you were not.”)

In memory of a smile:

After the clouds of grief finally lifted, the faeries stood like toy soldiers along a parade route. Their shadows were missing. Their wings were drooped in the heavy air. The sun was gone and the playground was soggy. None of them had been trained for this, but they stood on their tiny tiptoes in order to appear tall and strong for the event in which they found themselves participating.

The body of their Beloved was carried slowly past them on a flat wooden raft. They could hardly recognize him. There was no sunlight radiating from his face. There was no joy. It was now an ordinary face like so many others. A Zoloft face. Yet the crowd was not in mourning at all. They cheered and laughed and threw rice and rose petals toward the raft as it passed slowly by. The faeries had long since learned to be silent, because their giggles had always seemed to interfere with the humans all around them. They had slowly changed in color from the green of new grass, to the oranges of autumn, and finally to the brown that made them look like their brownie cousins going trick-or-treating.

Long after the crowd dispersed, the faeries returned to the playground for a private moment of sadness. The sun would never come out to dry the earth again. They no longer had a purpose here. But they could not leave their Beloved. As they gazed at a bonfire which was more like a funeral pyre to them, their wings began to dry just enough to allow them to hover over the flames. One by one, they each shed a tear for the perfection that was now gone forever. The tears caused the fire to crackle and spark. It was the night of the Hunters Full Moon, and in the presence of all the witches and goddesses that had ever been conjured, each little faerie was lifted to the sky to become a sparkly star, ever at watch over her Beloved, but never to play again.

Of All the Towns in All the World — lessmuch

This never happened before. I don’t know if this story belongs in the reality blog or the fantasy blog. I keep them away from each other, just as I do in my life. Fairies actually don’t belong in tiny houses, and my pleasant life demands that they stay on their own side of the river. […]

via Of All the Towns in All the World — lessmuch

The Flood Fairies


Near a recently flooded haunted inn called The Accomac, there was a recent disturbance involving some mud fairies. I have trouble believing that they were outright mean, but at least part of this story can be verified, so it must be at least partially true.

It all started with a soldier who died before his young lady back home had a chance to accept his proposal. His name was Stuart Cannabis, and fortune was only good to him once – the day he became The Unknown Soldier instead of poor old Stuey Cannabis.

Stuart died in his sleep in an apparent effort to avoid being shot at Gettysburg the following week. Upon his chest were a dozen mournful bubble rider fairies who would not leave him, even when some Union soldiers buried him where he was found. He is still there, sleeping.

For a time, Stuart Cannabis and his fairy sprites just lay there dreaming of the woman back home. The world had gotten used to knowing him as “C. S. A. Unknown”, and life went on and on. A curious but simpleminded son of the local ferry runner would sometimes visit. Junior was certain that there was something going on under the grass, because whenever he visited the grave, he would have wild dreams that night. This went on for several years as he and his father would travel across the river and back. The dreams carried him all the way through adolescence, until he could no longer be sure he was awake or asleep.

This is where the mud fairies enter the story, because there is no other explanation for what happened next. John D. Coyle, Jr. got it into his head that he should marry young Emily Myers and they would live happily ever after. In his dreams they would behave as honeymooners, with no responsibilities other than to tend to one another. Poor Emily Myers had no dreams at all, let alone the romantic and erotic ones described by Johnnie Coyle. And she told him so. Twice. This proved to be the end of her, and the end of Johnnie’s dream, for when she laughed at him for saying he saw fairy sprites on bubbles floating in the air, he shot her dead and she stopped laughing.

The fairies, who had stayed with their soldier to the end, would stand by Johnnie all through both of his trials and his eventual hanging. The plea was insanity, but he knew the dirty little fairies were real.

A river separates the burial sights of Emily in Marietta and Johnnie in Accomac, but they continue to argue at Coyle’s Ferry and she still can’t see any fairies, and Johnnie still can’t not.

I know this tale is true because during the recent flash floods, those mud fairies broke into my Facebook account and shut it down. They were in Hallam, a place I have never set foot. But I have been known to send my own bubble riders there on many occasions, and they see everything.


Cashmere and Silk

On the surface, this is a story about Shirley and Norman, but it goes deeper than that. It is also a story about a couple of fairy sprites called Cashmere and Silk.

As is the case with most romantic pairings, this bubble rider team of Cashmere and Silk complemented each other. They could not be more different individually, like root beer and mouthwash, but as a team, they were undefeated. Where Silk was young, slippery, and always behind schedule, Cashmere was wise and fuzzy and strangely punctual. While Silk would arrive by overshooting her target, Cashmere looked more like a poorly aimed bowling ball that was lucky enough to avoid the gutters.

One fall evening, the bubble riders began an unusual assignment in a senior living residence. Norman and Shirly had lived perfectly adequate but separate lives prior to arriving at the residence to maintain a social life. Norman had diabetes. Shirley was arthritic. They had met casually while line dancing and card playing and riding the little bus to the grocery store.

After the first visit from the bubble riders though, Shirley was compelled to confess that she had been having fantasies about Norman. His response was to laugh so uproariously that someone had to go get his inhaler. But later during a game of Skip-bo Norman kept poking Shirley’s shoe under the table, and a passion arose in him as well.

This unexpected turn of events was treated with wisdom and reverence, and a large dose of humor. Life is short, afterall, and precious. Over the next several weeks as the bubble riders kept visiting, Norman and Shirley began to contemplate the possibility of actually consumating this relationship with physical expression. Silk and Cashmere had worked hard at creating this eventuality and were longing for their own gratification.

Finally on the way to the dining hall, Shirley shoved Norman into a waiting wheelchair, scooted him into the elevator, waited until they were between floors to smack the emergency button, yanked out both of their hearing aids, and sat on him.