When Glowing Pigs Fly!

le-sourire-1926-couple-on-pigDid you know that March 1st is National Pig Day (U.S.A.)?  I didn’t until Madelyn Griffith-Haynie told me.

Meanwhile, author and translator Olga Núñez Miret told me that she’s becoming quite fond of piglets, due in part to the “glowing otherworldly pigs” of Atonement, Tennessee.

(Just a couple of Olga’s books. Click here for Amazon author page.)

olga-psychiatry-2-n-man-who-never-was 

So with both of those things in mind, I knew I had to come up with another porcine adventure.  Yet what tale for those twisty tail waggers?

I got off to a good start, but then I got stuck about two-thirds of the way to the finish.  So I went to my trusty jar of “things” and pulled out three bits of paper.3-flying-pig-things

Well, let’s see… Puzzle, bill of sale, and monotony.  Hmmm… I think that just might do the trick.  Here goes!

When Glowing Pigs Fly

A sweet breeze stirred the brown leaves that covered the area beneath an ancient oak tree.  Honeybell quickly put a hoof on the page of her book to prevent it moving.  She took a deep breath of the air, pleasantly scented with early blooming crocuses and jonquils.  Then she settled back to continue reading her book.

However, a loud snort interrupted Honeybell.  Deme frisked up to her side, sapphire blue eyes shining brightly.  Her twisty tail twitched with anticipation.  Honeybell glanced up but tried to go back to her reading.  Deme snuffled impatiently.

“What are you so excited about, Deme?”

“Have you forgotten?  Honeybell, it’s the one day of the year when we get to go into Atonement, Tennessee and play with the humans.”

“You do that more than one day a year,” Honeybell grunted in a rather admonishing tone.

2-pigs-traffic-light

“Well, it’s the only day that we don’t risk getting into any trouble for it.  And it’s the only day all year when any memory of us gets removed from the humans.  That way we don’t have to worry that something we do might disturb them.  Aren’t you the least bit excited Honeybell?” Deme asked, shifting impatiently from hoof to hoof.

“I’ve gotten really fascinated with this book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Honeybell told her friend.  “At first it seemed too commonplace to be interesting.  But it’s gotten quite frightening in some parts.  Pigs as foot stools!  Absolutely horrid!  Other parts are just plain odd.”

“What do you mean by odd?” Deme asked, intrigued by anything that could so completely engross her friend.

alice-in-wonderland-pig-baby“Well take this part for instance,” Honeybell read aloud from the volume.

“Thinking again?” the Duchess asked, with another dig of her sharp little chin.

“I’ve a right to think,” said Alice sharply, for she was beginning to feel a little worried.

“Just about as much right,” said the Duchess, “as pigs have to fly….” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 9.

“What would be wrong with pigs flying?” Honeybell demanded.  “Of course it’s very unusual, and precious few of us can…  But shouldn’t it be every pig’s right to fly?  If they are able, I mean.”

Deme grunted a giggle.  “It’s only a story, Honeybell.  Try not to be bothered by a story so outrageous that it includes a character like the Queen of Hearts, who would rest her feet on a pig.”

“That’s easy for you to say.  You’ve actually flown.  More than once!  That’s why your eyes are bright blue,” Honeybell said with an impatient snuffle.

“You know that I can’t just fly any time I choose,” Deme defended.  “I can’t control when it happens.  Come on, that story is upsetting you.  Everyone else has already left for Atonement.  You need some fun,” Deme entreated and Honeybell reluctantly closed her book.

***

Sheriff badge

“Ralda, unless this is an emergency, I have to go.  Now,” Sheriff Robin Warden said emphatically. 

“Do you really think you should?” the woman asked in a concerned voice.  “The weather people were saying we might get a bad storm.”

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

“Shakespeare again?” the redhead asked him.  “You really are a Bardolator.  So in other words, you don’t care that you’re doing something foolish.”

“Do you think a weather report would stop me?  When pigs fly!  Ralda, I can’t explain, except that I told you this is National Pig Day, and I want to be as far away from Atonement, Tennessee as I can get!  I’ll be back in a day,” he exclaimed as Ralda Lawton looked at him with a bemused expression.

flying-pot-bellied-pig

The Sheriff’s car burned rubber, engine roaring until it was out of sight.  Deme made a loud disgruntled noise.  She particularly enjoyed getting Robin Warden involved in her play.  It didn’t matter that because he had been touched by Goewin, he was one of the few humans who was not affected by the magic that made people forget the otherworldly pigs.  Ralda Lawton was another such human, but her immunity had a different source.

“You have a crush on him, don’t you,” Honeybell stated with a sidelong look at her friend.  “You always want him to play.”

“That isn’t so!” Deme exclaimed, but Honeybell gave a soft snort.

Pig Valentine

The two glowing pigs looked around.  The rest of their drift of pigs was nowhere to be seen. 

“It looks like everyone else has already gone into town, Deme.”

“We could catch up easily enough,” the blue-eyed pig replied.  “Or we could nose around in the closed-off parts of Sunhold.  You like old mansions and ruins,” Deme suggested.

“That could be fun,” Honeybell reluctantly agreed, still thinking of her book.  “And Ralda-Esmeralda wouldn’t mind even if she knew we were there.  Perhaps we should ask her to come and play in the tower.”

“I think she’s afraid of that area, especially the tower.  She says it’s not safe.  You know humans are not as agile as we are,” Deme told Honeybell, who nodded knowingly.

Moving toward the old estate house, Deme and Honeybell followed quietly in Ralda Lawton’s wake.  Since she could remember them, they tried not to call attention to themselves. 

As the woman headed to her door the wind moaned.  Honeybell looked skyward uneasily, but Deme’s sense of play was contagious.  So the two friends trotted to an unused extension of Sunhold that Ralda had barely explored.  The otherworldly pigs, however, were already familiar with it.

2 Pigs

There were several rooms in that wing, and it led to a turreted tower.  Many places had bad flooring, so the pigs stepped gingerly.  Hooves clipping softly, they made their way to a rounded area.  At the center a beautiful old staircase spiraled gently upward.

[… And this is where I got stuck.  Time for three random things!]

Ralda Lawton quietly came in, unheard by the pigs.  She stood silently as she watched them in fascination.

“Isn’t this the spot where we found truffles once?” Honeybell asked.

“I believe so,” Deme answered with a sigh.

“What’s wrong?  I know you like truffles,” Honeybell snorted.

“It’s just that we’ve already hunted truffles.  We’ve already done everything we ever do.  The monotony is just so… monotonous,” Deme grunted.

“You two like to root around for things, if you’ll pardon the expression.  How would you like to help me look for old documents?” Ralda Lawton asked from behind them.

Startled, both pigs squealed in surprise at her unexpected voice.  After taking a moment to collect herself, Deme approached the woman, twisty tail wagging rapidly. 

Both pigs were intrigued by the human’s suggestion.  Looking for things was like solving a puzzle.  Honeybell particularly liked puzzles.  She was not as bold as Deme — no one was.  However, she hurried up to Deme and Ralda.  Hunting for documents would be even better than truffle hunting because it was something they’d never done before.

“What sort of documents?” Honeybell gathered her courage and asked.

la-vie-parisienne-sept-1926-woman-pig-farm

Ralda Lawton crouched down closer to the glowing pigs.  “You smell like flowers,” she murmured.

She held out her hand, as if she meant to pet them.  Then she drew it back, uncertainly.  Daring as ever, Deme nudged her nose under the woman’s hand to show her the affection was accepted.  Hence there was a bit of petting and scratching that delighted both pigs so much that they glowed quite brightly.

Deme and Honeybell both rolled all the way over and pounced back onto their hooves, tails wagging happily.

“I’m sorry,” Honeybell gasped.  “What kind of papers were you looking for again?”

“Anything with names.  Especially signatures,” Ralda told them.  “Like birth or death certificates, letters, a bill of sale, anything like that.  I’d like to make a timeline and history of everyone who has lived in Sunhold.  I’ve gotten some information in the old cemetery, but most of the headstones are impossible to read.  Besides, sometimes the graveyard was used for the entire community, not just people who lived in the estate.”

The pigs started to run up the staircase when Ralda called them back.  She seemed uncertain, strangely hesitant, now that they had agreed.

“Just one other thing,” Ralda began.  “Could you help make sure I don’t step on any rotted stairs or floorboards?  I’m heavier than you, so you might be able to walk on places where I would fall through.  Do you have any way to tell?”

“We can smell the various conditions of the wood if we are paying attention,” Deme told her, blue eyes large and sincere.  “So we will mind that carefully.”

pig

Dreamstime

The wind howled through the drafty, rundown structure.  Honeybell’s eyes widened fearfully.  However, she was determined not to show her anxiety.

“Don’t worry, Ralda-Esmeralda.  We will see that no harm comes to you,” Honeybell promised.

Deme and Honeybell snuffled excitedly, leading the way.  Their natural glow was enough to help Ralda see in the shadowy areas, but she kept her flashlight turned on just the same. 

“That room over there,” Honeybell said, trotting up to a door.

Ralda opened the door and the pigs went inside, still snuffling.  She asked if the floor was safe, so Honeybell double checked.  She had promised to keep the woman safe, and she would keep that vow.

Deme gave an excited grunt and her radiance became brighter.  She pulled a dust cover away from a small bookcase.  It was filled with old books.  Ralda praised the find, but the pigs knew it wasn’t what she had in mind.

“I wonder if there’s a Bible among them,” the woman pondered.  “Old Bibles were used to record the kinds of things I want to collect.  I’m going to take an armload downstairs and then come back to look at more.”

“I’ll go with you,” Deme offered, remembering the woman’s concerns about the old stairs and flooring.

1958-coco-chanel-staircase

While Ralda and Deme went downstairs, Honeybell pulled dust covers away from a sofa and chair.  With a squeal of delight she jumped onto the antique horsehair covered sofa and began tugging at a cushion.  As Honeybell tossed away the pillow, she found a worn leather folio.

Honeybell knew just by the scent that she had found the kind of thing Ralda-Esmeralda wanted.

“I found something!” Honeybell squealed in delight.

The small pig picked up the folio in her mouth, but she wasn’t tall enough to carry it well.  Tripping and stumbling all the way, she dragged it into the hallway and then to the railed area that looked down on the round room far below.  Part of Honeybell’s mind noted the wind worsened outside, but she was completely focused on her awkward task.

“Look!  I found something!” Honeybell repeated.

As she dropped the folio to shout, papers fell across the landing.  Deme and Ralda were already headed back up the stairs, but they quickened their steps.  Honeybell tried to nose the old documents back to the cracked leather portfolio. 

The others had a long climb up the gently spiraling staircase.  By the time they reached the landing both were breathing hard.  Honeybell had gathered most of the papers and pushed them next to the portfolio.  She pranced in place beside them while Deme and Ralda caught their breath.

The woman’s delight at the papers pleased Honeybell more than the little pig would have ever thought.  However, she always shared another’s joy, so why not a human’s?

Ralda Lawton’s eyes grew wide.  Her eyes were blue, but not the bright sapphire blue of Deme’s.

“What’s this?” Ralda gasped upon seeing a very old newspaper.  “I’m afraid it might crumble if I touch it,” she murmured as she sat on the floor to read it.  “Between the stains and the holes, I can only read phrases, broken sentences,” she commented on a sigh.  “The way they used English is even different.  Could it be from Esmeralda Gwynedd’s day?”

 

atonement-abandoned-moon

Image by Chris Graham

“There’s a date mixed with the stain at the top of the page — 1782,” Honeybell stated. 

“I didn’t know that pigs had such good eyesight,” Ralda commented in a pleased voice.

“We don’t necessarily see better than humans,” Deme explained.  “But we see wavelengths that you can’t.  Besides, we aren’t ordinary pigs,” Deme added with a wink and a wag of her twisty tail.

“Their way of speaking takes a lot of getting used to,” Ralda continued reading the sheet of newspaper.  “Not to mention the little holes.  But it’s a report of a drowning.  Dylan Aildon.  Then next paragraph says something about survived by Gwy— but the rest of the name is lost to the damage.  I wonder if he was one of the Gwynedd family,” Ralda speculated.

“The name sounds familiar, but from long ago,” Honeybell said softly, her eyes taking on a faraway look.

“You and your books,” Deme teased fondly.

“That’s it!  One of Goewin’s books.  But the name was slightly different.  Dylan ail Don,” Honeybell cried, emphasizing the difference.

“The way Guy Fabdon is really Gwydion fab Don?” Ralda gasped and asked.

“Yes, Dylan ail Don was the son of Gwydion the trickster,” Honeybell explained.

As the three exchanged amazed looks, the wind tore open a window.  It scattered the documents that had come out of the portfolio.  A current of air suddenly lifted the newspaper off the floor and it sailed over the railing.

Ralda Lawton lunged to grab the paper, leaning against the railing.  With a dull crunch the banister gave way.  The woman wavered for an instant, trying to get her balance.  Too quickly for the pigs to act, she fell.Perils_of_Pauline_-_1947_Poster

Sapphire eyes bulging, Deme wished as hard as she could wish for her wings to emerge.  However, she had never learned to summon the ability to fly.  It only came to her unexpectedly.

“Ralda-Esmeralda!  I said she’d come to no harm!” Honeybell cried as she leaped.

Honeybell grabbed the woman’s jacket with her teeth, but to no avail.  They both plunged over the edge.

“Honeybell, no!” Deme screamed and ran to the edge.

Deme watched in horror as the other two plunged downward toward the marble floor far below.  Abruptly Honeybell began to fall faster than the woman.  Then wings sprouted from the little pig’s back and she darted underneath Ralda.

Deme didn’t realize she had done anything herself until she was beside Honeybell.  Together the two, glowing, flying pigs saved the friend they called Ralda-Esmeralda from falling to her death. 

She didn’t exactly land on her feet, but she was unharmed.  Just as Honeybell promised, Deme thought in satisfaction.

Ralda Lawton sat sprawled on the floor.  The woman seemed shocked and disoriented.  She gazed at the two winged pigs, hovering just above the floor.

“Ralda-Esmeralda, are you okay?” Honeybell asked, though the woman gazed at her in mute astonishment.

“Honeybell, your eyes are bright blue now, like Deme’s,” was the first thing Ralda said.

Abruptly the wings disappeared from the pigs and they plopped to the floor on either side of Ralda.  The three exchanged amazed looks.

“We’ll see you to the main house and to your bed,” Deme told her, wondering how much the experience might have rattled the human.

“Ralda-Esmeralda, are you sure you’re unharmed?” Honeybell asked, sapphire blue eyes sincere.  “Can you stand?”

Ralda nodded and slowly got to her feet.  “When pigs fly — I mean because pigs fly,” she answered with a wondering smile.

***

eyes

The end.

I hope you enjoyed this little tail… I mean tale.  Mega hugs!

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. 

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

 

 

 

Three Things Book Talk at Kev’s

Three Things Serial Story — Book Talk

3-things-cover_3-2016

Welcome back everyone!  If you were wondering, this post already went live at KC Books & Music.  I wanted to leave a gap before posting here.  If you’ve already visited there, thank you!

Kevin Cooper ever so kindly asked me to take part in his Book Talk at KC Books & Music.  How could I possibly resist?  So please go visit his amazing blog too, that’s important to me.  I’m re-sharing the post here, so that it will be in my own library.  Okay, here goes!

My debut novel was Atonement, Tennessee.  It’s an urban fantasy with a dash of mystery.  However, as most everyone here knows, over the holidays I “book-ized” one of the serial stories from my blog, The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story.  You can learn all about it here.  Anyway, that’s what I want to bring to Book Talk. 

Characters from my stories will get into my head at the oddest moments.  It might go something like this…  

young-lucille-ball-pensive-peach

Young Lucille Ball as Pip

Hey Sheba!  What-cha doin? 

Akkk!  OMG, Pip.  You scared me half to death.  I nearly knocked my laptop off the desk.  Couldn’t you give me some warning before you pop into my head?

Oh applesauce… What am I supposed to do, ring a doorbell?  Oooo you’re online shopping, huh?  Are you seriously getting a hat with cat ears?  That’s not what I’d expect.  It’s the  cat’s pajamas though.  Tee-hee, get it?  Will you write one for me in my next story? I’m tired of my pink cloche.

Burned toast.  That’s what the scent was.  I sniffed the air and stood up behind my desk as the odor was suddenly much stronger.  My pink cloche hat fell to the floor.

“Oh, applesauce!” I muttered as I quickly scooped it up and brushed off the nonexistent dirt.  The hat was brand new.

Paisley Idelle Peabody, why are you in my head?

You sound like Granny Phanny.  What did I do to make you use my full name?  Come on, I know you’re a flapper at heart.  I’m just having fun.  Wait, where’d the cat hat go?  Your computer is on a different site.  Ah… KC Books & Music.  Looks like the bee’s knees!

Young Lucy pensive

Young Lucille Ball

It is “the bee’s knees” and so is Kev, who runs the website.  I’m supposed to be there talking about your novella, The Three Things Serial Story.

Did you tell them about it being spontaneously written?  Every element of the story came from “things” your blog readers sent.  I gotta tell you, that kind of uncertainty was pretty darned scary for me!

You came through it okay though, Pip.  Don’t grumble, and for heaven’t sake don’t give the nice people here any spoilers. They might want to read your adventures.  Maybe you didn’t get everything you wanted, but having you grow up some is part of the story.

It still gives me the heebie jeebies to know that even the 1920s setting and me being a flapper came from those “things.”  Your mind must work in strange ways if you got all that from oscillating fan!

Well Pip, I can’t argue with you there.

1920s Fan

Tic, tic, tic, grunt.  Tic, tic, tic, grunt.  The noise chipped away at my preoccupied mind while I absently gazed at the quiet street below.  It was Sunday, so hardly anyone was out.  A little boy in a cowboy costume came around the corner.  He pushed himself against the brick wall of the building across the street and peeped back around its edge at his unseen playmate.  Then he jumped out with arms spread like a bear to startle his friend, and quickly disappeared from sight.

Tic, tic, tic, grunt.  Tic, tic, tic, grunt.  The sound drew my attention away from the window.  Some would find the low repetitive noise hypnotic, perhaps even relaxing.  To me however, the sound was becoming downright annoying.  A dust bunny skittered out from a corner, propelled by the breeze of the oscillating fan.  The stirring air brought a familiar scent to my nostrils and I looked toward the door.

Do you really imagine the voice of a grown up Lucille Ball as the narrator when I tell my stories? 

Yes Pip, from the very beginning.  But only the narrator parts.  For instance right now, or when you’re in dialogue in a story, I imagine the voice of a young woman.

One who sounds like a young Lucille ball?  Did that come from a “thing” too?

No.  It was just there.  What’s that look on your face about? I don’t have an answer for everything.

Aren’t you going to share more of my adventures with these Sheiks and Shebas?  Tell them when.

As you would say, Pip — I pos-i-lutely am.  “Murder at the Bijou, a Three Things Serial Story” will be published this spring.

Is that where I—

Pip, spoilers!  I think we’ve probably talked enough.  We wouldn’t want to tell too much.

Bye folks.  Don’t take any wooden nickles!  It’s time for this flapper (and the writer too) to scram!

Thanks for visiting, everyone.  Drop by Kev’s blog. Check out all the great stuff there, and say hello.  Mega hugs!

teagan-3x3d-books-12-2016

Image by Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

A Valentine from Atonement, Tennessee 2017

pig-hearts-red-2017

For once I thought about doing a Valentine’s story before the last minute.  It’s a good thing too, because I stumped myself.  I wanted to use characters from Atonement, Tennessee, and bring back one from a past Valentine from Atonement, Tennessee as well.  However, connecting that part to another Atonement character presented quite a problem.  Every story-line I started took me to a spoiler!

Finally I settled on Marge Tipton, a very minor character.  No spoilers, but I had a devil of a time figuring out how Cupid’s arrow could strike bachelorette Marge.  You can read a little more about Marge here.

It’s a little longer than I’ve been posting, but fewer than 2,500 words.  I hope this little romp leaves you with a happy glow.  Here’s your 2017 Valentine from Atonement, Tennessee.  Enjoy!

PS: I made a video trailer too…

Deme and Honeybell’s Valentine

Silver light washed down from the moon to illumine the sidewalk.  Earth’s lone satellite was just past full.  The clock in the town square struck midnight on February 14th.

The moon wasn’t the only thing that glowed that night.  Two friends also emanated an ethereal radiance of their own, as they walked the deserted street.

Honeybell gave a surreptitious glance over her shoulder toward the second of two traffic lights on the main street of Atonement, Tennessee.  She grunted softly, fascinated by the slowly changing colors, red to green to yellow to red. 

It seemed an odd decoration.  It made her nervous.  This was all Deme’s idea.  Honeybell hoped her friend wouldn’t land them in trouble.  Deme could be something of a prankster, and Honeybell was getting the same reputation.  Still looking over her shoulder at the lights, Honeybell gave a loud snort as she bumped into Deme.

Pay attention and stop acting like an unsophisticated pig,” Honeybell silently scolded herself.

2-pigs-traffic-light

Deme had stopped.  Her eyes were closed in concentration.  When she opened them, her sapphire orbs were bright with excitement.  She reared up to point at the sign, Annie’s Antiques and Consignment Shop, and her front hooves came back to the sidewalk with a sharp clip.

“It’s still here!” Deme quietly exclaimed.

Honeybell wagged her curly tail happily.

“What about the woman?  Is she close enough?” she asked Deme, concerned about all the details coming together properly.

“The woman lives near the first red-green-yellow light.  It is an easy run from here,” Deme replied in a satisfied tone.

The glow from the two otherworldly pigs brightened a as they stared at the door of the antique shop.  Grunt, snuffle, snort.  Grunt, snuffle, snort,” they vocalized in unison.

The door swung open, shop-bell chiming in welcome.  Deme and Honeybell walked inside.

“I feel it!” Honeybell cried.  “I feel the rose quartz.”

Honeybell made a beeline to the back of the shop and a glass case.  As the pigs drew near, a necklace inside the case illuminated.  The filigree setting was polished brightly and held a large heart-shaped gem.  The pastel pink rose quartz stone pulsed softly in ruddy radiance.

Annies antiques

Annie’s Antiques

“It’s as if the heart is beating,” Honeybell said in awe.  “What a lovely gem.”

Deme agreed, her sapphire blue eyes wide.  “Rose quartz helps us accept and love ourselves,” she replied agreeably.

Honeybell nosed at the necklace until it fell from the glass shelf to hang around her neck.  Deme made a sardonic grunt at her friend.

“The most practical way to carry the necklace is to hang it around my neck,” Honeybell explained in a very indignant tone.  “Oh look!  That light over there is not earthly,” she quickly changed the subject, and was happy when Deme followed her gaze. (More about Annie’s Inventory Notes here.)

The otherworldly pigs went to investigate the luminescence near the cash register at the front of the store.  The light shone through several layers of paper in the special inventory notes kept by Annie, the shop owner.  If the writing glowed, that meant an item had awakened.  Deme and Honeybell looked at the rosy sparkle of the necklace and nodded to each other in approval.

***

pig-valentine-lolas

After a briskly refreshing run, the two otherworldly pigs entered the home of bacehlorette and local diner owner, Marge Tipton.

Deme looked around the spotless kitchen.  She saw a local newspaper and an advertisement on the table.  There was also a deposit receipt from the local First Bank & Trust.

Honeybell snuffled as she scented the air and listened to the vibrations of the house.  “I feel a lot of hidden sadness,” Honeybell murmured, eyes brimming with tears.

“So do I, but get ahold of yourself.  We can’t afford to let our own emotions get mixed in with what we’re about to do,” Deme told her firmly.  “Things could go quite badly if we did.”

The small pigs moved toward the bedroom where they could hear the regular breathing of Marge Tipton.

“She is soundly asleep,” Deme whispered.  “Honeybell, you seem better attuned to this woman than I am.  Do you detect anything in this house that can be used to work with the rose quartz necklace?” Deme questioned, delegating some of the authority she had bestowed upon herself.

Honeybell snuffled and grunted quietly.  She went to a box in the closet.  A broad satin ribbon was tied around the box.  Honeybell pulled the ribbon, untying the bow.  Inside was a stack of old postcards, with postmarks in the 1980s. Cowgirl valentine

One postcard had been torn in half and then taped back together.  Honeybell noticed the scribbled writing said “I can’t wait to get back to Phoenix to see you.  Love, Chad.”  Some of the cards were marred by tearstains, particularly one that was addressed to “Marla” with the name crossed out and “Marge” written next to it.  Most of the words were rendered illegible by the long dry tears.

With an excited snort, Honeybell scampered back to the kitchen.  Deme followed curiously.  The checkered cloth muffled the clatter of Honeybell’s hooves when she bounded onto the kitchen table.  Her twisty little tail wagged at a quick pace as she inspected a colorful sheet of paper.

The two pigs went over every inch of the flyer and the newspaper article that lay next to it, and the bank slip too.  The ad was from the Rowdy Rooster, a large redneck bar outside the town of Atonement.

“Hit recording artist and 80s TV star of The Medical Files, Chad Allen to perform!” Deme read the flyer.

“The postcards were to Marge from Chad Allen,” Honeybell whispered then looked at the newspaper.  “They were lovers when she was a young woman.  Marge had a happy life then in Adrian, Texas.  But he left her to travel with the rodeo and got famous.  Then he recorded a hit song and did that television series and became a big star — for a while anyway.”

“He lied to Marge for years before she could admit the truth to herself.  She felt so betrayed and so ashamed that she never forgave herself for being foolish.  Then she came here when her brother begged her, saying he needed her,” Honeybell commented knowingly.

“So she is not in Atonement, Tennessee to atone,” Deme commented in a speculative tone.  “Her brother is.”

“Perhaps she actually is atoning too,” suggested Honeybell.  “She would not love herself enough to say no to those who did not deserve her love.”

The glowing pigs looked at each other for a moment.  They seemed to come to a silent agreement.

“Help me put everything back the way we found it,” Deme said and they put the newspaper, flyer, and even the bank receipt in place.  “Let’s leave the rose quartz laying on these papers.  That should be enough to get things started,” Deme said.

Honeybell dropped the necklace onto the papers.  There was a tiny spark when the gem touched them.  Then the rosy radiance filled the entire room before dying down.

*** Close-up of a woman's foot with slippers

“Come on Marge!  So what if you don’t care about seeing a washed up TV star.  It’ll be a night out with the girls.  We’re both scheduled to be off,” Jenny, the lead waitress at L-O-L-A Lola’s Bar and Grille, pleaded into the phone.  “When you turn loose, you’re the life of the party!”

“Good gravy, Jenny.  It’s too early in the morning to be planning a night at a bar,” Marge grumbled sleepily.

However, Jenny saying Marge was the life of the party brought a reluctant smile to her lips.  She had never told a soul in Atonement, Tennessee about the Chad Allen episode, as she thought of it.  She told her brother Tracey once, but he was too drunk to remember, so that didn’t count.

Jenny was still talking, but Marge had slipped into the past.  Every time she thought of her home back in Adrian, Texas she became melancholy.Maxwell House last drop ad

Marge shook her head thinking of that evening of inebriated confessions with her brother.  They both sure had tied one on.  She thought it was such a shame that her brother couldn’t get past his drinking.  Tracey had a good heart and was surprisingly generous.  Once he gave her a diamond tennis bracelet for no reason at all.  She knew he must have saved his money for years to buy it.

“It won’t be half as much fun without you.  All the girls still love Chad Allen,” Jenny went on, and for a second Marge thought she might change her mind.

Opening the refrigerator door, Marge took out a container of milk.  The coffee was done.  As she poured the steaming liquid into her mug, she wondered what it would be like to see Chad again, even from across the big room of the Rowdy Rooster. 

Then all the scenarios of what people would tell her she should do, what she should feel blasted into her head.  Maybe Chad had changed.  His star had risen and fallen.  What if he had actually become the person he made her think he was back then, before she learned what a lying, philandering jerk he really was.

Marge was sure anybody she knew would tell her she should — no she had to go and see him.  She gave her head a shake.  Would she feel vindicated or sad if the years had been unkind to him?  She told herself that he’d never recognize her.  If he did, he’d likely cringe at her appearance and pretend he didn’t remember.

She took a deep breath and brought her attention back to Jenny on the phone.  Making up an excuse, Marge turned Jenny down in a firm “boss” voice.  Jenny had worked for her long enough to know that tone brooked no argument.

Marge hung up the phone.  Coffee mug in hand, she went to the kitchen table to finish reading the newspaper.  That was when she noticed the beautiful antique necklace laying there.

“How?  Who?” Marge stammered.

1973-sarah-coventry-necklace-adShe picked up the rose quartz necklace with a sigh at its beauty.  “Tracy,” she murmured thinking her brother must have left it there to surprise her.  It couldn’t have been anyone else.

Marge plopped down into a chair.  She glanced at the newspaper article and Rowdy Rooster flyer about her old love, Chad.  She read both for the twentieth time.  With each reading she promised herself she would never be betrayed again.

It didn’t occur to her that she held the rose quartz necklace tightly in her hand, or that she didn’t want to put it down.  Then she fastened it around her neck.  Not only was the necklace the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen, she felt pretty just for wearing it.

***

That evening Marge tidied up the kitchen.  She picked up the newspaper and the receipt from First Bank & Trust.  It was a morbid attraction, but she couldn’t help looking at the flyer.  Taking a beer from the fridge, she read the article one more time.

“Marge Tipton,” she told herself aloud.  “Don’t you ever let your guard down like that again!”

She had no wish to see Chad again.  She had firmly stomped on the imagined voices of everyone saying she should do.  So Marge wasn’t sure why she changed into some party clothes that evening, still wearing the rose quartz necklace.  Neither could she have said why she got into her mint condition 1972 red Chevy C10 pickup truck and drove way out highway 41 to the Rowdy Rooster.

Almost an hour later Marge got out of her truck and walked across the parking lot.  The noise of the patrons lived up to the name of the Rowdy Rooster.

Her footsteps became slower as she moved toward the door.  The sound of the crowd inside grated against her nerves.  She couldn’t imagine why she had come there in the first place, after flatly turning down Jenny’s invitation.  Marge didn’t realize she had stopped in the middle of the parking lot.

1972 Chevy C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup

1972 Chevy C10 Shortbed Stepside Pickup

“Marge?  I mean, Ms. Tipton?” a voice intruded on her confused thoughts.

She turned toward the voice feeling muddled.  “I only had one beer before I left home.  What’s the matter with me?” she wondered and gave herself a mental shake.

He was barely recognizable in cowboy boots and a sport coat.  Marge had only seen Russell Skeen, the manager of the First Bank & Trust, in a dark business suit.

“Are you okay, Ms. Tipton?” Russell repeated.

“Oh, don’t mind me, I just suddenly felt a little out of sorts, that’s all.  And please call me Marge,” she stammered, feeling her cheeks heat with a blush.  “I should have stayed at home,” she murmured.

“I know what you mean,” Russell admitted.  “I do like the cowboy boots my daughter gave me, but I can’t say I care for this place.  I let my daughter pester me into agreeing to join her and her friends tonight.  Then wouldn’t you know, she just now called to say she won’t be coming,” he added in a bemused tone.  “She means to get me out more,” he said with a shrug.

Russell Skeen drew back a bit and looked at Marge curiously.  His hand rose toward her, but he stopped himself.  He shook his head and chuckled.

Midnight moon farie

“For a second there I thought your necklace was glowing.  It must have been all those facets reflecting the light,” Russell told her.  “I see that you like antiques.  That one’s a beauty.”

Marge unthinkingly put her hand to the rose quartz necklace.  It felt very warm to the touch.  She looked at the unassuming bank manager as if she had never truly seen him before.  Marge was pleased with what she saw.

“You know, there are a few antique shops between here and Atonement.  I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather browse through them than be inside that noisy bar.  Do you think you could join me?  Maybe we could get some coffee somewhere too?”

Marge looked toward the Rowdy Rooster.  She thought about the flyer advertising Chad Allen.  She thought of the stack of postcards she kept even though he had betrayed her.

She picked up the rose quartz and held it so that she could look at it.  “Why did it feel so warm?  It actually does seem to be glowing a little,” Marge thought.

“Mr. Skeen, I think that sounds like a fine idea,” she told him.

“Only if you call me Russell,” he replied as he walked her back to her pickup truck and politely took her hand as she climbed up into the cab.

“Did you hear that?” she asked Russell.  “I could have sworn I heard a snuffling, snorting sound, like pigs.”

“There’s lots of farmland around here.  It could be that one got loose.  But you’d think all the bacon they serve in these places would scare a pig away,” Russell joked.

At the word bacon, a shrill startled-sounding noise was easily heard, but they still didn’t see any pigs.

Pig Valentine

The End.

Happy Valentines Day from Teagan’s Books and everyone in Atonement, Tennessee.

 Mega hugs!

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

 

Thriving Thursdays: What if I Fall – 2

To read “What if I Fall -1” just click here.

Welcome back.  I’m playing catch-up again, re-posting some of the Thriving Thursdays mini-posts that The Story Reading Ape has so generously allowed me to do from his tree-house.

Thriving Thursdays: What if I Fall – 2

What if I fall?  What if someone laughs?  What if it’s expensive?  What if it’s a no return ramp exit?  What if—?

Are you afraid you’ll fall?  Yet you don’t want that nagging fear to hold you back, right?  Well, sometimes we just have to redefine our perception of things.  Would you really be falling?

“Did you just fall?”charlie-chaplin-fell-down

“No.  I attacked the floor.”

Go ahead and attack the floor.  If you even got up and tried — the truth is, that’s more than most people do.  That alone means you didn’t really fall.  Did you learn something from that failed attempt?  About yourself, or about how you’re doing things?  Then you didn’t truly fall.

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson

Flying man w umbrella

Wishing you a thriving Thursday,

Teagan

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Pip Arrives in Savannah

Last weekend I had another lovely visit with Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen.  I pos-i-lutely enjoy our joint posts, so I’m re-sharing it here today.  It includes another little vignette from the “universe” of my character Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip.  But more about that shortly, because to me, the main attraction is Suzanne’s marvelous cooking!

Suzanne’s place settings and photos are always a delight to behold. I can easily imagine these being in Granny Phanny’s home.  So let me introduce you to the star of this show, Suzanne’s sensational souffléd macaroni and cheese.  Take it away, Suzanne!

***Suzanne Debrango

We wanted to do something involving comfort food and when I think of comfort food one of the first things that come to mind is macaroni and cheese.  In keeping with the 1920’s flapper theme of the story this recipe is from that era from another feisty and very talented woman named Clemantine Paddleford.  The recipe is fantastic, light and flavorful really a wonderful change from the traditional macaroni and cheese.

img_9069

Souffléd Macaroni and Cheese

Makes 4 servings

Recipe by Clemantine Paddleford

1 1/2 cups scalded whole milk

1 cup soft bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese Note: I used 2  cups cheddar cheese

1 cup cooked macaroni

3 eggs separated

1/4 cup diced pimentos

1 tbs chopped parsley

1 tbs grated onion

1 tsp salt

3 tbs butter melted

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s Grease a casserole Note: I baked at 375 degree’s

Pour milk over soft bread crumbs, add cheese. Cover and let stand until cheese melts. Add macaroni. Combine and add beaten egg yolks, pimento, parsley, onion, salt and buttter. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into the mixture. Note: I sprinkled the top of the mac and cheese with breadcrumbs and grated some cheddar and gruyere on top.

Pour into prepared casserole. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes.

***

Deee-lish!  Suzanne, I know Pip would be drooling.  She was already jonesing for some of Granny’s mac & cheese.

This bit of a story would happen after The Three Things Serial Story It’s inspired by Suzanne’s souffléd macaroni and cheese.

Pip’s dad didn’t appreciate her escapades in that novella. So now she’s been sent to her grandmother, to learn to cook!  I hope you’ll enjoy this tidbit.

lucille-ball-1937-stage-door

Pip Arrives in Savannah

The breeze that rustled through the fronds of tall palm trees was tinged with salt.  I inhaled deeply as I walked out of the tall arched door at Savannah’s Union Station.  I heard the bell of a streetcar, which had gone past a moment before.  I stretched to see the trolley, but barely got a glimpse of its back-end.

With a loud Bronx cheer I dropped my suitcase to the curb of West Broad Street.  I thought the Jazz Age slang for the rude noise I made was appropriate, since my Pops was continuing on the train to New York City.

Pops said I needed to be reigned-in, and Granny insisted that I needed to learn to cook.  Neither of them would admit that I was a modern woman.  No self-respecting Flapper needed to cook!  Anyhow, Pops had unceremoniously dumped me off the train, saying he’d visit with Granny and me on his way back.  I blew another raspberry at the streetcar that I had just missed — and at my wretched situation.

Union Station Savannah, GA

The ringing of the streetcar’s bell faded into the distance.  The first time I ever saw a trolley was during a visit to my grandmother, there in Savannah, when I was a very little girl.  I slipped away from her and Pops, and scampered onto a streetcar.  I didn’t get far, but Granny Phanny was mad enough to spit. 

This time, I had done the opposite.  Instead of getting on a trolley when I shouldn’t have, I had missed the one I was supposed to ride to get to her.  Now Granny would be waiting to meet me at some Chinese restaurant downtown, but I wouldn’t be on the trolley.  Horsefeathers!  She would be in a lather.

A nearby news vendor walked away from his stall, probably headed for a bite of lunch.  I called out and waved as I hurried toward him, my suitcase bumping along at my side.

“Hey Mac!  Was that the trolley that goes to Pearl Street?” I called out, but he didn’t hear me over the blast of a train whistle.  “Enjoy your lunch,” I grumbled and my empty stomach answered in kind.  “I sure could do with some of Granny’s macaroni and cheese.”

“Did you miss the trolley, sweet cheeks?” a clear tenor voice asked.

I didn’t see him until he moved forward.  He had been leaning against the opposite side of the newsstand.  He wore a suit and hat, but they had flair.  He cast a furtive glance over his shoulder, but then tilted his head back and blew a smoke ring into the air.

Applesauce!  He looked pos-i-lute-ly like the kind of character I had always been told to avoid, but he was as sexy as the Sheik of Araby.  Then his cigarette smoke drifted to me and I sneezed.  So much for me being a sophisticated Sheba.  I had to agree with Pops that smoking was a nasty habit.

mallory-ad-man-in-car-hat-ad

“You’re new in town, huh?  I’m Floyd.  I can take you where the giggle water flows aplenty.  It’ll be a real blow,” he said with a smile and a wink that made him even handsomer.

“Says you,” I countered coyly, thinking he was joking around.

“At least let me drive you over to Pearl Street.  Stick around until my pal gets back.  He’s picking up something for me,” he added gazing up and then down the street, as if looking for his friend.  Stay right here and I’ll get my machine.  It’s a sweet ride.  You’ll love it,” he called over his shoulder as he rushed away.  “Don’t move.  Promise.  I’ll be right back.”

I stood baffled, gaping at Floyd’s retreating form.  I was also feeling flattered by his interest.  There was an intensity about him that I found exciting.  Not to mention the fact that I was relieved that I might avoid Granny’s wrath over me missing the streetcar and leaving her waiting.

Signorina, do not be going with that man.  It would be a bad thing for you.  Trouble comes,” a voice, heavily accented with Italian, said from behind me.  “There will be other transportation.”

Turning, I saw a portly man in odd looking chef’s clothes.  He lifted his brimless toque and bowed.  A jalopy backfired so suddenly and so loudly that I jerked around to face the noise.  When I turned back, the chef was gone.  I didn’t see him anywhere.  It was as if he disappeared into thin air.

I quickly forgot about the odd occurrence when a wooden crate fell off a passing truck.  The driver pulled to the curb beside me.  Without thinking I went to help.  He had not been traveling fast, so little damage was done.  A few oranges rolled from a broken crate.  I started picking up the wayward fruit.1920s delivery truck

An Asian looking guy with a quasi-British accent jumped out of the driver’s door, apologizing even before his feet hit the street.  He gingerly hopped over the tailgate and began re-positioning the crates.  A couple of them looked ready to fall.

I noticed lettering on the truck proclaiming Wong’s Chinese.  Was that the name of the restaurant where I was supposed to meet Granny?  I was so resentful about being sent to Savannah that I hadn’t even paid attention to what she said.  I knew there wouldn’t be more than one Chinese restaurant on the street.

“Your place isn’t on Pearl Street by any chance, is it?”

“Yep, that’s Wong’s,” he replied with a grin, stopping his work.  “Hey, are you Pip?  Miss Phanny will be looking for you.  I’m Alastair Wong,” he bent from the truck bed and shook my hand.

I sighed with relief.

Then a brand new Ford stopped and gave a long blare of the auto’s horn.  “Hey! Move it,” my Sheik of Araby from moments before shouted angrily, and followed that with a racial slur.

Floyd got out of the automobile, moving toward us in a menacing posture.  I stood up, a smashed and dripping orange still in my hand.

“This cake eater’s bad news, Pip.  You don’t want to have anything to do with him,” Alastair Wong whispered as he stepped in front of me protectively.

In the distance a police whistle trilled.  The guy’s eyes widened and he looked over his shoulder.  Before I knew what was happening, he had hit Alastair in the head with the butt of a pistol.  I shrieked as he dragged me into the open Ford, my arms and legs flailing.

I could hear the coppers coming toward us, shouting and blowing whistles.  Suddenly the Ford was blocked between the delivery truck and police vehicles.  Alastair lay unconscious on the street.  The busted orange dripped juice all over my skirt.  The guy waved his gun around excitedly.  A maniacal gleam came to his eyes when he looked at me.

1920s Police car

An over eager copper fired his gun.  I heard the whiz of the bullet pass by my head.  Startled, Floyd jerked toward the policemen.  Movement from the delivery truck caught my eye.  A catawampus crate started to wobble.  Suddenly that crate and another one tumbled down to land on the windshield of the Ford.  Floyd started screaming and cursing, waving his pistol even more.

When he turned back to me, on sudden impulse I stuck the busted orange in his face and smeared it into his eyes.  By then the coppers had reached us.  They grabbed him before he could do any damage with the gun.

A copper helped me out of the Ford.  I ran to Alastair as another cop helped him stand.  Across the street I saw Floyd’s pal, the news vendor being held by a policeman.

“What just happened here?” I demanded.

A paddy wagon rolled up and the policemen pushed Floyd into it, along with his pal.

“Bootleggers,” a copper told me.  “As if we didn’t already have enough of those around here.”

“So Pip,” Alastair said while he held a handkerchief to his bloodied forehead.  “How do you like Savannah so far?”

I chuckled despite everything.  At least he had a sense of humor.

studebaker1920_2

“Well, I was afraid I would be bored to tears here,” I told him with a dramatic sigh.  “But I suppose it will be interesting enough.  So far I’ve learned three things.  Don’t take any wooden nickels.  Don’t get into Fords with handsome men.  And Wong’s Chinese is the right place to go.” 

Alastair laughed.  “That’s a good slogan, doll face.  Mind if I use it?  How about we get you to the restaurant.  Miss Phanny will be getting impatient.”

And so began my adventures in Savannah.

The end

***

Thanks for visiting, everyone.  Especially thanks to Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen for the wonderful comfort food!

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Thriving Thursdays: The Value of Nonsense

If you have already seen this post, forgive me.  It is one of a series of monthly guest spots I’ve been doing at The Story Reading Ape’s blog.  I’m adding it here to my Motivational section.  Since it’s “been done” be sure to pay a visit to the Ape.  Just click here.

Thriving Thursdays:  The Value of Nonsense

Batman Elephant purple

There used to be a list of jokes about keeping a healthy level of insanity.  A good sense of whimsy, an active imagination — those things will help you thrive.

“I like nonsense —
it wakes up the brain cells…”  Dr. Seuss

Here’s one more whimsical quote.

 “My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz.  It’s the letter I use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz.  You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond “Z” and start poking around!”
Theodor Geisel  (aka Dr. Seuss)

From Yuzz to Z, make it a thriving Thursday!

Mega hugs,

Teagan

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Three Things Fire Rooster

2017 Is a Fire Rooster Year

1918-july-vogue-woman-rooster

Vogue, July 1918

My post for the calendar New Year was about “animalizing” your writing (that post is here).  As most of you know, the Chinese zodiac is a cycle of 12 animal signs. Each year is represented by an animal. So I thought it would be fun to mention the Chinese New Year as a follow-on for my Is Your Writing Beastly? post.

If 2016 monkeyed around with your life, remember what mischievous animal embodied that year.  However, it is advised that we embrace opportunities and navigate challenges in 2017.  That doesn’t sound like much of a reprieve to me. Already I’m navigating way too many challenges…  Okay — I will try to be positive.

chinese-new-year-babies-vintage(Yes, I know that’s a fish in the picture, but it’s a fiery color.) I had to investigate why this year’s rooster was called a Fire Rooster.  In Chinese element theory, each zodiac year is also associated with one of five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth.  So to include both the animal cycle and the element cycle, a Fire Rooster, for example, comes once every 60-years.  The last Fire Rooster year was 1957.  Before that, I believe it was 1897.

So in theory, 2017 and persons born in a Fire Rooster year would have characteristics  decided by their birth year’s zodiac sign and element.  Anyway, now we have a fire rooster ready to pick up where the monkey left off.

Three Fire Rooster Things

Most of you are familiar with my three things writing exercise. It led to me writing four serial stories here at this blog, and “book-izing” the first one as a novella, The Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story.  (All about that here.)

So now I challenge you — put your fingers on your keyboard and just write anything, as if you were writing an article or a story.  Write until you’ve mentioned the three things I’m about to give you.  Then leave it in a comment here, or a link to your own blog.  Ready?  Here’s your things:

Fire, Rooster, Calendar

Okay, okay… I hear you.  I know it’s not fair unless I play too.  So here goes…  Off the top of my head, here’s something from the “Pip universe.”

3-things-cover_3-2016

Pip’s a Chicken

“Bock, bock-bock.  Bock!  Baaawk!”

Of all the nerve!  My mouth dropped open.  I was speechless.  Granny Phanny bocked at me like a chicken.  She bocked.  She put her fists under her armpits and flapped her boney elbows — and she bocked at me!

Then, to make matters worse, she laughed.

Why that banty old woman.  Of all the self-important, cockalorem…

“Oh Pip, if you could see the look on your face,” she said, still chuckling.  “It’s not like you to chicken out.  Now tie on your apron and we’ll look at this recipe together.”

Granny hung an apron around my neck, and then put her hands on my shoulders to forcibly turn me around.  She tied a bow in back that I knew without looking was perfectly symmetrical.

“But Granny, I nearly set the kitchen on fire last time,” I complained, sincerely afraid of what damage I might cause.life-woman-chickens-1908

“Hush that nonsense right now, Sweetpea.  We’ll not be having any fires.  Just because your fried chicken turned out as tough as an old rooster doesn’t mean you can quit.”

“An old rooster?” I exclaimed, mortified.

I looked at the recipe card.  “Chicken Fricassee…” I read aloud.  “Dredge chicken pieces in the flour mixture; coat well.  Oh Granny, this sounds pos-i-lutely like a repeat of the fried chicken disaster.  Granny?”

Phanny Ilene Peabody was gone.  Her purse was missing from the corner table.  I called out again and she hollered from the living room.

My eyes fell on the calendar that hung on the wall.  Wong’s Chinese Restaurant made one annually for Chinese New Year.  Granny was going to an early dinner with friends.  No wonder she wasn’t worried about me ruining dinner again. 

“Granny!” I yelled, really miffed.

“I’ll be back this evening, Pip.  Just keep the stove set to low while you fry that chicken, and follow the instructions for the fricassee,” she called from the living room to the sound of the front door creaking open.

I blew a raspberry as the front door closed with a thud.  My hand plopped down on the plump poultry with a smacking sound.

“Old rooster, huh?  I’ll show her,” I muttered and went back to the recipe card.

***

Special thanks to Suzanne at A Pug in the Kitchen for suggesting chicken fricassee as Pip’s cooking assignment.  

As a little bonus treat, here’s more on chicken fricassee.  This one has a Cajun slant.  Happy Chinese New Year! 

 

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. 

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.