Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 25

Thank you!

Christoph FischerMy heartfelt thanks to everyone who checked on me yesterday.  Thanks to those who left three things to drive the plot of this serial. And thanks for coming back after that delay!

Yes, yesterday the steam locomotive to the Victorian Era was stalled in Migraineville.  It was also out of the “things” that fuel the plot of this serial.  Author Christoph Fischer was the first to arrive on the scene with three things to get the train back on track.

Christoph is a writer, blogger, reviewer, as well as the author of many compelling novels.  Check out his blog.  My favorite of his books is The Gamblers. However, Christoph has written an impressive number of wonderful books.  You can see all of them together at his Amazon Author Page.Christoph books

Now that the locomotive is fueled…  All aboard!

From last time

Cal Hicks, the amethyst ape, turned somber eyes to the chapel.  He shook his head slowly.  “When the loud harmonic noise of the misused tuner dissipated, I realized there were no sounds whatsoever coming from the church.  To my horror, I found it empty.  Everyone inside had vanished along with the purple people eater,” he said.

“Cornelis!” I whispered to the alchemist.  “That army of chimpanzees back at the Hixon estate.  What if they weren’t trained,” I said.  “What if instead, they were actually translocated?”

25.  Babylon, Toothpick, Alpine

Lovers Eye Brooch
Victorian Lovers Eye Brooch

Cornelis Drebbel had that look in his eyes — the twinkle-eyed look that never failed to worry me.  That expression would make you think he came from ancient Babylon — powerful, affluent, and downright sinful.  However, he actually wasn’t born until 1572.  I knew that expression meant he thought he was being clever.  While the amethyst ape, Cal Hicks was distracted by Copper’s animated conversation, the alchemist cast a considering gaze his way.

“What are you up to Cornelis Drebbel?” I narrowed my eyes and whispered in a warning tone.

“It’s important that we get back to our own world, don’t you think?” he asked drolly.  “If there was a version of myself here, then that me would have had a laboratory or a workshop of some sort.  I suspect this ape knows where it is.  But how to get him to disclose the information…” the Dutchman pondered.

“Why not just ask him?” I sputtered in exasperation.  “There needn’t be any subterfuge.  He already believes you are, well… you.”

The Dutchman’s mouth twisted to one side.  “Oh, I suppose you’re right.  You do have a way of taking the fun out of things, Felicity,” he said drolly.

“Mr. Hicks,” I began.Reading Ape purple

“Dear one, please do call me Cal,” he said in a fatherly tone and added a little bow.

That felt the tiniest bit creepy to me, but I smiled and nodded agreeably.  “Would it be possible for you to show us to the Lord of Alchemy’s laboratory?  Cornelis doesn’t like to admit to having lost so much of his memory — temporary though it may be.  I think being among his things would help him remember.  Besides, he dotes on this submarine and would love to repair it,” I said.

The amethyst ape was eager to comply.  I gave Cornelis a sidelong look.  “See,” I told him.  “Simple as that.”

Surprisingly, Absinthe seemed to object.  He fluttered around the alchemist’s head, chirping excitedly.  Remembering how impossibly potent one of his poots could be, it made me nervous to see the Green Fairy so agitated.

“Calm down old boy,” Cornelis said soothingly to Absinthe.  “Everything will be fine.  If I so much as sense something a hair out of the ordinary, I’ll come back here right away.”

Green fairy skunkAt the words “out of the ordinary” the tiny skunk-like fairy shrieked.  I had to agree.  Everything in this world was out of the ordinary.

As we exited the submarine, Absinthe followed.  He seemed torn between flying protectively around Copper and Cornelis.  The girl turned back and gasped delightedly.

“Look at the submarine!” Copper cried.  “Isn’t it beginning to turn purple?”

Absinthe zipped through the air and quickly circled the submarine.  He came back, with nervous sounding chirping.  He hovered six inches away from the alchemist’s nose, looking quite excitable.  Cornelis looked from Absinthe to the submarine.

“It’s becoming part of the amethyst world,” Copper said in awe.  “If we stay will we turn purple too?” she asked in a way that made it clear she found the prospect of such a transformation delightful.

“We might at that,” Cornelis answered in a wry voice. Gas mask

I thought he had gone to hide when Absinthe darted back into the submarine.  However, a moment later he emerged with a seabag floating behind him.  The tiny fairy seemed to be handier with levitation than Cornelis.  Absinthe continued to levitate the bag until he reached me.  Then he unceremoniously dropped the bag at my feet.

The seabag came open and out rolled a frightful looking head.  I nearly screamed, but closer inspection showed it to be some kind of hideous mask.  It had two big round goggle eyes and a long snout that ended at a flat circle and a leather strap to hold it to the wearer’s head.

Absinthe levitated the mask over to Copper.  She was quick to understand that he meant her to wear it if needed.  When I saw that the bag also contained several bottles, I thought the Green Fairy was still concerned about this strange environment.  When we first arrived, he had given us bottled water; fearing things of this world would be harmful to us if consumed.

As I returned the bottles to the bag, I discovered a charming silver toothpick holder.  It was shaped like a little gazebo with a domed roof supported by columns.  Within was a crystal bird with wings outstretched.  Tiny holes in the rounded roof held toothpicks.

Portuguese Silver Toothpick Holder“Why ever would he think we’d need toothpicks?” I murmured, bemused.

Cornelis suddenly appeared at my elbow.  He knew it annoyed me when he did that.  It was always disquieting, and it always entertained him to startle me.  He smirked.

“Absinthe isn’t far off the mark,” Cornelis whispered.  “There is a very real danger that we could become trapped here.  However, we would have to be here for a very long time before that potential became a reality.  This is a measuring device,” he explained, pointing at the toothpick holder.  “If the toothpicks begin to turn purple, it is a warning.”

Seeing my widening eyes, he was quick to elaborate.  “Many of the effects can be mitigated,” he waived away my concern.  “For instance, a little lavender hue is of no real concern.  But if all the toothpicks turn purple we are in serious danger of being unable to return home.  Should the bird turn purple,” he added pointing to the crystal ornament in the center of the gazebo.  “Well, then it is too late,” he finished with a wry twist of his mouth, which suggested that was a real possibility.

The Green Fairy was still agitated, but the purplish color of the undersea vessel seemed to have changed the cause of his worry.  Absinthe fluttered over to Cal Hicks and chirped once.  The ape chuckled, still marveling at the tiny fairy.


“You are the most delightful shade of green,” he said in a mystified tone.

“He wants you to lead us,” Copper translated.

“Ah!  So he does.  This way then,” directed the purple primate as he adjusted his bowler hat and pointed with his amethyst topped walking stick.

After about fifteen minutes of walking we reached a clearing.  In its center was a sprawling building.  It was only one story tall, except for a broad, towering dome in the center.  Cornelis gazed at the facility in childlike wonder.

The sound of clamoring hooves and the clanking of a bell made everyone turn.  A lavender Alpine goat ran out of the building and barreled into Cornelis.  The Dutchman landed on his back with a thud.  The goat sniffed happily at his face.  She made the oddest warbling behh sound.

Alpine Goats
Alpine Goats

I had become accustomed to the amethyst ape’s warmhearted chuckle.  So I was surprised to hear him laugh uproariously.  He recovered himself somewhat and turned to me to explain.

“The Lord of Alchemy allowed us to keep a herd of milk goats behind his laboratory.  There was something about the grass there that improved their milk greatly.  I’ve always pondered if that was because this grass has a greenish tone,” Cal Hicks told me, but then shook his head.

“But I digress again,” he apologized.  “Cornelis Drebbel made a pet of this particular goat.  However, I always told him that it was she who thought he was the pet.  She’s quite possessive of him.”

Cornelis clamored to his feet.  The lavender goat gently head-butted the Dutchman and nearly knocked him over again.  She nibbled at his coat sleeve and pant legs, ignoring his attempts to brush her away.  From time to time she uttered that strange warbling behh sound.  It really was funny, and I couldn’t help laughing.

Copper had no compunction about offending anyone.  She wrapped her arms around the goat’s neck, hugging the animal.  The girl laughed so hard she toppled over.  Fortunately the goat seemed to take to her.  The next thing I knew, the large goat had maneuvered Copper onto her back.  Copper sat astride the goat as if she was about to take the goat for a gallop.  The oddest part was that it looked perfectly natural.Girl rides goat

All the laughter was abruptly cut short by a trumpeting screech.  I looked to the amethyst sky from which the sound came, but saw nothing.  Cornelis looked apprehensive.  The ape, Cal Hicks, trembled fearfully.

“Get inside,” Cornelis ordered pointing toward the building that was the laboratory of the version of him that inhabited this world. “Quickly,” he added with a sharp pat to the goat’s rump.  “Hang on tight, Copper!” he called.

The lavender goat bolted toward the laboratory, carrying Copper on her back.

“What was that?” I exclaimed.

Cal Hicks came to himself as we all ran behind the goat.  “I was so sure it was dead,” the amethyst ape said.  “That was the hunting call of the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater!


What wonders might the laboratory of the alchemist of the amethyst world hold? Will our heroes find a way home? Or will the purple people eater fly in with a savage attack? Come back next time and see what happens to the amethyst ape and the lavender goat — and Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers!


I wondered what kind of recipe I could possibly use for the “three things” that drove this episode.  So I searched the Google countryside.  I found the most delightful blog.  Please visit Claire at Eats from the Streets

Recipe:  Texas Toothpicks

Texas Toothpicks

Photo and recipe credit: Claire Williams



Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book 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.


65 thoughts on “Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 25

  1. Hi Teagan!… Another great and intriguing episode… I was particularly haunted by the fact that you mentioned Babylon at the very beginning… I couldn’t avoid thinking of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World!…🌟★🌟
    I am also captivated by the imaginary you have already created as it shows up again in the shape of Tiny Fairies, purple twirling submarines and sea bags in this case. the silver toothpick and the alpine goat are great new hipster elements here!… Always a joy to drop by!… All my best wishes to you! Virtual hugs. Aquileana 😀


    1. Welcome, Aquileana. I’m flattered that you did “catch up” reading for two episodes. That means a lot to me.
      It’s so fun that you are in “the spirit” of this spontaneous tale. Honestly when “Babylon” was sent as one of the 3 things for me to work into this episode, I couldn’t think how I might use it. But the multi layered background and personality of Cornelis let apply it to him. I really enjoy that you applied “hipster” to this purple world — an additional bit of fun I hadn’t considered. Love your imagination! Huge hugs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Teagan, what an intriguing, colorful episode! The power of purple! I’m counting on Cornelis to concoct something in the laboratory to save everyone. There may be a struggle with the OEOHFPPE though! The suspense is great! Can’t wait for the next episode. I vote for Absinthe to turn everything “green.” So glad you are migraine free now! Have a great rest of the week. Good luck on Friday! Christine


    1. Hi Christine! I’m happy you liked this episode. (And yes, I’m feeling better — thanks. 🙂 )
      Well… It might not be Cornelis who confronts the people eater… Absinthe is tiny, but don’t underestimate the power of his plots! 😀 Hugs


    1. I’m always sorry to hear of anyone else who has those wretched things…
      Thank you very much Kirt — it is much, much better. Sometimes gone. It’s probably just stress now, when it tries to sneak back. All’s well.
      I’m very pleased you enjoyed this episode. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you are feeling better, and the steam locomotive got some fuel to resume the jorney. I see that the things are turning to the worse so far, as the purple people eater appears not to be as dead as expected. At least the danger of turning purple can be controlled by the means of the cute Toothpick Geiger Counter. Suspense is increasing…
    Hope you get perfectly well soon, and have a fun and productive week!


    1. Hi Inese. Thank you so much! I’m delighted that you are still enjoying the serial. I think you will end up liking the purple people eater… eventually. Maybe. LOL, I don’t know. 😀 Wishing you a wonder-filled week as well. Hugs! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Teagan, welcome back ,and I’m pleased you managed to get rid of the migraine bandits that highjacked the locomotive.

    Great reading and I’m eager to see just what the purple people eater monster looks like. I hope it can’t open doors or get through closed windows, and I hope nobody left a window open in the laboratory. I’m rather worried about everyone turning purple as well. That would clash with my curtains! 🙂

    See you onboard next week.
    Hugs to you.


    1. Darn, and I thought purple was the “new black” and would go with everything… I guess I’d better figure out how to get them back to our world before they clash… 😀 Thanks for this delightful comment, Hugh.
      Happily there’s fuel for the locomotive for a few trips… so there is no end to what the OEOHFPPE might look like or do. Mega hugs!


  5. Sorry about the migraine. Happy it’s gone. ❤
    Of course the OEOHFPPE had to come back! Oo-yee. What next? Hope the bird in the toothpick holder doesn't change color. The tension is so tight I'm about ready to pop! Another fantastic chapter, Teagan! I can't imagine what the purple beast is up to. 😀 😀


    1. Hi Tess, it’s great to see you! I hope you are having a fabulous time with your summer break. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. You really know how to keep me writing. 😀 I’m not completely sure what the OEOHFPPE will do either, but I have a couple of ideas. However, sometimes i get ideas that the “3 things” never take the story to those ideas… I guess we’ll both learn more next time! Mega hugs! ❤ ⭐ 🙂


  6. Really fun episode. I was laughing when the goat appeared and just watching (and listening) to the video finished me off… I’m pleased you’re feeling better and the recipe looks fantastic.


    1. LOL, I’m delighted that you enjoyed your visit, Olga. I’m always glad to give a giggle. 😀 Isn’t that goat’s “voice” just about the wildest, crazy sounding thing ever? Thanks for the kind thoughts and thanks so much for commenting. Hugs!


  7. So glad you are back and presumably feeling better.
    I was so totally engrossed in this story, perhaps taking it a bit too seriously when you popped out with the “one eyed one horned flying purple people eater!” LOL! I had forgotten all about that song. Haha! If I get an earworm for that song, you will be hearing from me. 😀 😀 😀


    1. Haha! Thank you Michelle. I’m always glad to give a giggle. Since these serials are purely “pantser” (and therefore given to literary holes and wobbles) I try to avoid letting the story take itself too seriously. I really do go wherever the “things” readers send take me.
      > Sometimes random comments they worm their way into the story (like the purple people eater, or their blog’s name like Yadadarcyyada). Hopefully the song doesn’t worm permanently into your ear. I think you’re supposed to sing the whole song to make it go away. So if you do, kindly record it for us. 😉 Kidding.
      > Truth be told, in the first few episodes, I wondered if this story was going to have a dark overtone. I even pondered if little Copper was the killer. But there wasn’t a title for the first few chapters. After she became part of the title that just wouldn’t do!
      Then when Chris Graham’s “naughty chimps” scampered into the plot, the whole thing took on a zanier tone.
      Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad to see you banished the migraine bandits and returned it style, Teagan!!! This was marvelous! And I want those Texas Toothpicks now…I mean, right now. 😉
    I do now know I’ve officially watched too much Doctor Who, when I saw the gas mask I thought, “Are you my mummy?” in a little British child’s voice. Anyway, I might want to cut back on the DW. 😉
    I don’t know where this is going, but I know I so want to come along for the ride. 🙂
    So pleased you’re better and I’ll be waiting faithfully at the station for the next ride – I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to be a dozy. “The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last.”~Oscar Wilde (but I said it as Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka). 😉
    Thanks for making my day that much brighter, sweetie and hope this week treats you well. 🙂


    1. Donna, you make my day!
      As a long time Whovian, (even though I’m a season behind), I assure you — there is no such thing as too much Dr. Who. 🙂 I didn’t think of that when the gas mask came to mind, but I got your wonderful reference immediately.
      I love Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka too.
      Thanks so much my friend. Wishing you a hug filled, wonder filled week. Mega hugs back!


  9. It’s so good to see you David. I really enjoyed your diary post this weekend.
    Kill off the purple people eater? Hummm… I’m afraid that would be too easy. 😉 But those nasty people from the orphanage might come back. Wouldn’t they be a tasty snack for the beast? Mega hugs dear friend! ❤ 🙂


  10. So glad you are feeling better, nasty migraine. I saw the other post this morning but comments were closed. You have me at the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to see what happens next week. Please take care of yourself.


    1. Hi Suzanne. I’m so happy to see you. I try 🙂 (to take care of me). I know my stress level needs to go way down, but try as I might for the past few years to change things, well…
      I’m delighted that you enjoyed this chapter, and to know that it is still interesting.
      Please take good care of you too. Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am glad you are feeling better. Maybe not 100% but well enough to treat us to another exciting twist. I hope the toothpicks remain their normal color. I’m trying to guess where this is heading but I fear that’s a futile effort. I’ll wait patiently for next week.


    1. Hi Dan. Everyone is welcome to guess. That’s actually very fun. But even I don’t know. I had to let the seat of my pants do the flying for sure today since i’m a little less than 100%… but there are loose ends for me to tie up. That can guide the ending somewhat, but even with all ends knotted, it could go anywhere. Many thanks for reading and commenting. Great big hug!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a delight. I adore the silver tooth pick holder – so elegant.
    Laughed out loud several times, especially the goat 😉
    Thanks for the plug and so glad you left Migraineville.
    Huge Hugs and enjoy the rest of the weekend ❤


  13. Okay! The Texas Toothpicks look really good! I don’t like beer, but beer battered, deep fired jalapeños just sounds way too good!


    1. Don’t they though! Batter+fry+peppers… that equation can’t go wrong. Thanks for stopping to comment, Tim. Have a great new week. Hugs to you and the kitties and birds… okay and even to the boa since he’s such a good hugger! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Fantastic episode Teagan! I’m glad the OEOHFPPE might make an appearance! And the Texas Toothpick recipe was an ingenious find, thanks! So glad you are feeling better. I’ve had migraines in the past but now I have some medication I can take at the onset and they aren’t as bad if I take it in time. Many hugs!


    1. It’s good to see you Kathryn. LOL, it seems unfair to blame so much on the OEOHFPPE, without letting him make an appearance. So that’s been in my head since the comment that brought him into this pantser story… but the “things” haven’t brought me around to it yet. Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment, and for your kind words too. Mega hugs! 😀


    1. Janet, I’m so glad you enjoyed this chapter. LOL, kitty is demanding attention, not a snuggle. Poor thing has been needy since her big brother died… So I try to give her all the play and attention she wants. I’m rewarded with the occasional snuggle. Mega hugs my friend. 🙂


    1. That’s so kind of you John. It is much better today, just an echo of it left now. That kind of headache is something i get from time to time. I consider myself lucky if it doesn’t hang on for a week (which has happened a few times over the years).
      I’m very happy to know you enjoyed this chapter. Mega hugs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.