Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 26

3 Things, 3 Tags, & 777

An Author Spotlight

The steam locomotive to the Victorian Era is on the way, but it has to make an extra stop.  It’s too difficult for me to post more than once a week, so please forgive me for doing a combination today. Before the engine reaches our Steampunk platform it’s going through the 777 Switching Station.

Locomotive at Switching Station

The train is at the switching station because I was triple-tagged for the 777 Writer’s Challenge.  I was tagged by three delightful blogger-authors.  I hope you’ll enjoy their blogs.

The Rules:  Go to page 7 of your work‑in‑progress, scroll down to line 7, and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. (Rather than tag anyone, I’m opening the challenge to all.  Anyone who wants to take up the challenge is welcome to do so.)

Guitar Mancer Cover 11-28-2014A few times recently I’ve promoted my novel (Atonement, Tennessee), and the sequel that’s in the works. So for this challenge I’ll share a snippet of another work in progress (WIP) that I put aside in favor of finishing Atonement in Bloom(It doesn’t really matter, since I haven’t had time to work on any novel…)  Admittedly, I tried to manipulate the rules, but I still didn’t come up with a snippet that I was satisfied with sharing… Such as it is, here is my “777” from “The Guitar Mancer.”

Set-up:  The Guitar Mancer is a quirky urban fantasy. It opens on New Year’s Eve, 1969 in Nashville, Tennessee.  My 777 comes from the prologue, which centers on the villain, an evil supernatural being who is able to access power through music… (And put Chuck Berry in the back of your mind. I said it’s quirky.)

“I am still weak from countless years underground — obtaining an instrument that is well bonded to a mancer would restore me completely,” the man who called himself Yamata Orochi murmured.

Stepping outside his cell, Orochi bent to touch the incapacitated guard’s face.  “What was the instrument?” he demanded roughly, and the injured guard arched his back in agony as the answer was dredged from his mind.

“A strange concept for an instrument,” Orochi murmured.  “An electrical guitar?  Yet this electrified guitar invoked the power quite well in the music that renewed me.  Now, where do I find this place, Deep-Down Louisiana close to New-Or-Leans… among the evergreens?” quoting from the song, he compelled the poor guard to answer.

Okay… with that bit of blog-keeping out of the way, on to the serial!  The three things that fueled the steam locomotive for this episode are from an author who is a great supporter of this blog — the outstanding Olga Núñez Miret.  She has a newly released Young Adult series called Angelic Business.  For a limited time, book-1 is free!

Angelic Business trilogy

Now, without further ado… All aboard!

From last time…

“Hurry!  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!

Lovers Eye Brooch

26.  Glass Eye, Silver Vinaigrette, Sextant

“I feel funny,” Copper said and indeed she looked pale.

The one eyed one horned flying purple people eater roared a terrible screech a moment before, though the creature was not within our sight.  I thought all the excitement must be too much for the girl.  Copper, Corneils, Cal Hicks, and I hurriedly hid from the beast in the huge laboratory that belonged to the amethyst world’s duplicate of Cornelis Drebbel.Copper pensive

Copper got down from the lavender alpine goat that had playfully carried her into the building.  She really did seem unsteady.  Absinthe had been concerned about us consuming the water of this strange place.  I wondered if something she ate or drank at tea disagreed with her.

Frantic cries from outside caused Cal Hicks to dash to the door.  When he opened the door, the violet complected chimpanzee housekeeper rushed inside.  She was in a terrible state, having heard the roar of the flying beast.  She sank to a stool that was nearby.

“Viola!  Whatever brings you out here?  Were you hurt?  Did you see the beast?” Cal Hicks asked in a single breath.

Reading Ape purpleThe housekeeper shook violently.  I stooped down to see if she was hurt or unwell.  That was when I first noticed that she had a glass eye.  (Of course the eye was purple.)  It was also the first time I realized that she must be elderly.  There were broad strands of pale lavender in her reddish purple hair.  It was not until that moment that it occurred to me that those pastel streaks would be the same as gray hair in our world.

Cal Hicks turned to us and described how the purple people eater had attacked the village where Viola grew up.  She had been among the casualties.  He discretely indicated that her eye had been one of her wounds.  It was no wonder just hearing the creature frightened her to such an extent.

The amethyst ape seemed to know his way around the laboratory quite well.  I thought he must have worked closely with the purple version of Cornelis Drebbel.  He went directly to a table that held many intriguing devices.  Cal opened a drawer and removed an intricately designed silver vinaigrette.  An invigorating scent drifted over to me when he took the vinaigrette to Viola.  The aroma seemed to revive her.silver vinaigrette

Smelling salts?” I inquired.

“No, not precisely.  Rather than ammonium, it’s a restorative herb,” Cal explained.

Assured that Viola was only over-excited and not injured, I stood up again.  As I moved I felt suddenly lightheaded.  There was also an odd hollow feeling at my heart.  My ears were ringing.  I closed my eyes, placed my hand to my solar plexus and took deep breaths.  When I looked up I noticed Copper sitting on the floor, the lavender goat nuzzling at her hair affectionately.

I tottered a little as I stood.  Viola handed me the vinaigrette and patted my arm in a grandmotherly way, but I wasn’t experiencing the vapors  as she had.  Whatever I was experiencing it was not from the emotional response that upset the housekeeper.  She nodded, encouraging me to inhale the scent.  I found that it actually did help.  I took it over to Copper, suspecting that whatever had overcome me was also the cause of her discomfort.

“Viola, you must have run to catch up with us,” Cal said.  “Whatever was so important?”

Victorian Ape Couple“It’s the family.  They’ve returned.  I wanted to make sure they got to meet your extraordinary guests, but I wanted it to be a surprise for them.  So I hurried here, only telling them that I was going to fetch you,” Viola explained.  “Then I heard that horrid beast.  I’ll never forget that awful day!” she cried, tears leaking from her good eye.  “So I ran the rest of the way, fearing for your safety — for all of you.”

When Viola uttered the word “family” Cornelis paled.  He looked from me to Copper.  “You’re not feeling well,” he said and it was a statement not a question.  “They are too close,” he muttered worriedly.

“Who do you mean?” I asked unsteadily.  The dizziness was making it hard for me to think.

“Your doppelgängers!  They are too close.  That’s why you feel ill.  A hollow feeling?  Dizzy, ears ringing?  Am I right?” Cornelis demanded and I nodded apprehensively.  “You must not get any closer to your doubles from this world!” he said, including both Copper and me.

At the excitable tones from Cornelis, Absinthe poked his head up from the alchemist’s jacket pocket.  The tiny fairy stretched his wings and then fluttered to a long worktable that was covered with charts, maps, and scientific looking implements.  The Green Fairy inspected the maps and drawings carefully.  He was just as thorough when he began to examine the contrivances scattered across the table. Sextant

He was also remarkably silent.  Though I’d never heard him utter an actual word, the tiny skunk-looking fae usually muttered, chirped, or grunted most of the time — especially if he was intrigued by something.  However, Absinthe seemed quite serious as he investigated the strange implements on the long table.

He stopped abruptly when he came to a gleaming brass sextant.  It was beautifully decorated with amethyst cabochons.  The navigation instrument was supported by two exquisitely formed gold mermen.  The apparatus sat on a wooden base of purple streaked mahogany.

Absinthe checked the sextant closely, finally muttering very quietly.  However, he still didn’t seem to be himself.  For a moment I wondered if he had a doppelgänger nearby as well.  Then the Green Fairy sighed resignedly.  He looked up at Cornelis and chirped something that the alchemist seem to understand.  They exchanged a sad look.

The Dutchman moved to examine the sextant.  He muttered in much the same manner as Absinthe.  Finally he nodded.  “Yes.  This should do the trick,” Cornelis said with a decisive nod.

He turned gravely to Absinthe.  “Can you take care of the err… the Purple Fairy?” Cornelis asked the tiny Green Fairy, and Absinthe nodded, again with that sad resigned attitude.

green skunk palmThen with a sharp pop Absinthe disappeared.

“What Purple Fairy?” I wanted to know.

The amethyst ape seemed to grasp the fact that was eluding my dizzy noggin.  I struggled to catch up to their thinking, but I felt so woozy.  I vaguely remembered the amethyst ape calling the purple people eater a fae — a fairy.

“Oh you don’t mean?” Cal Hicks gasped with a horrified expression.

Viola echoed Cal’s sudden inhalation, putting a hand to her mouth.  “No.  You can’t mean that very small green creature is going out to confront the giant one eyed one horned flying purple people eater!” the violet chimpanzee housekeeper exclaimed.  “Why the poor little thing won’t last a minute.  Please! Can’t you call him back?”

***

Will the doppelgängers of Felicity and Copper come any closer?  What will befall our heroines if they do?  

Absinthe and Cornelis seemed so sad. Could it mean that the tiny Green Fairy means to sacrifice himself?  What will become of Absinthe if he confronts the purple people eater?  And what about that sextant — what might it do?  Or perhaps I should ask, what kind of trouble can it cause?  Be sure to be at the train station next time!

***

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.

 

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76 thoughts on “Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 26

  1. Hi Teagan! Interesting words from Olga and you incorporated them into a fascinating story. Wow! I’m very intrigued to know what happens next. I hope the little green fairy succeeds.
    Interesting snippet for the 777 challenge! 😀

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  2. I can hardly contain my worries with wanting to know what on earth is going to happen to my lovely Absinthe. Oh I do hope he is going to be the hero, Teagan? I dread to think just what that horrible purple people eater is going to do to him.

    I love the way you get all three objects into your story. You have such a very clever imagination to be able to do that, not knowing what they are going to be. I love the way you leave us hanging at the end of each chapter as well.

    Looking forward to episode 27. 🙂

    Hugs to you,
    Hugh
    xx

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    • Thank you dear Hugh! LOL, unfortunately I’m left hanging too (especially since I’ve only written a couple of sentences for the next chapter…). Golly, I’m starting to worry about Absinthe! 😀 Mega hugs!

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  3. Still amazed by this instalment. So powerful… That the violet chimpanzee housekeeper showing up was a mesmerizing image…. I was blown away by the image of the purple glass eye… Quite compelling indeed…
    Needless to mention those balsamic fragrances coming out from silver vinaigrette… Your writing is so vivid… I could almost feel the effects of that invigorating scent drifting over…
    Great delivery, as ever, dear Teagan!… Thanks for sharing… Love and all my best purple wishes! Aquileana ⭐

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  4. They says things come in threes and your vignette from The Guitar Mancer is a good result from three delicious tags. See, you just needed a little prodding. 😀

    It’s been a while since I ran into the one-eyed horned purple people eater. 😀 Nicely weaved.

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  5. Hi!
    I have seen your writing before, Copper and the Alchemist, perhaps on Smorgasbord Sally’s site? Thank you for liking my article connecting Twitter and site creation on Sherrie’s site. Nice to see you again.
    Janice

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  6. First off, I must tell you I’m captivated by the 777 from The Guitar Mancer. How DO you do it? 💡
    I held my breath throughout this read, worried everyone will change color and then the characters begin to get oozy and I thought they would, but wait! No, and the suspense if killing me. Enthralling like always. How many more turns of the screw can these people withstand? Thanks for another engrossing chapter. Hope the new week treats you well. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    • Tess!!! I’m happy to see you. I hope you are enjoying your summer break.
      I’m pleased you liked the 777. I was really excited about The Guitar Mancer… then my “mythology” took an unexpected turn, and the story just didn’t have the original feeling. Still not sure how I’ll bring that one ’round. o_O
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I’m delighted to have entertained you. Mega hugs! ❤ 😀

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      • My pleasure to read your work, Teagan. Always exciting reading. ❤ ❤ ❤
        Time's moving too fast. Don't quite feel rest up yet. Have done some reading, and have a started a great (I ❤ it) project. 😀

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  7. I look forward to each weeks installments…another great chapter!!!! I will pass on the 777’s and leave that to the professionals!! 🙂 Also…happy to see Sally shared your post this week and a nice plug for Olga!! Both are great ladies!! Have a great week!

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    • I’m delighted that you caught the locomotive to the Victorian Era, Kirt. I couldn’t agree more that Sally and Olga are terrific! Thank you for taking time to read and comment. I’ll save you a seat for the next episode. Hugs! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Infinity Dreams Award | Aromas and Flavors from my Kitchen

  9. This is almost cruel, Teagan, how can you make us wait until the next installment? How can we take it? What will become of the Green Fairy?!? I’m going to need those smelling salts! 😉
    Another awesome romp, and I suppose it’s a good thing we’re left wanting more so we’ll wait at the station next time. 🙂
    Thank you, dear one, you made my weekend!!! Thank you kindly and hope this week is good to you…and the Green Fairy! 🙂
    Megahugs!!!

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    • Dear Donna… I’m rather stunned by just how big the outpouring of concern for little Absinthe has been. Glad you found the smelling salts! Thanks so very much for reading and commenting. Your visits are a delight. Mega hugs! 🙂

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        • I can see that I will have to go above and beyond with the next episode, for the Green Fairy’s sake. I hope i haven’t bitten off more than a purple people eater can chew! 😀 We’ll see where ‘silver locket, salmon Koulibiac, and a Green Chartreuse’ take the story… though I’m not sure how they can help Absinthe.
          But remember! “Sacrifice” doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. Okay — that’s as much of a hint as you’re going to get. 😉 Great big hug. 😀

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  10. Teagan, could it be that the Purple People Eater is a doppelgänger of the Green Fairy? I hope not… I don’t know how I survive until the next installment… Simply don’t know!
    Hugs!!! 🙂

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  11. Wow…how do you do it? So many amazing characters, human and otherwise, and the interaction between them is extraordinary….Fabulous and just keep it coming. Have a wonderful weekend. Janet. xxx

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  12. Loved the snipped of Guitar Mancer. Also loved today’s episode. So full of Tension and Terror but not without hope. You’re a dab hand at this lark my girl.
    xxx Sending you Hugs Galore xxx

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    • Dear David, you always manage to make my day. Thank you!
      And thanks for the encouragement about the Guitar Mancer. Granted I felt I “should” finish the Atonement sequel before carrying on with that novel writing month draft (Guitar Mancer)… but also, the mythology I created for GM went in an unexpected way, and it became a little intimidating. Since it was different than I meant it to be, I doubted whether it was any good. However, you haven’t seen that unexpected part… Now i’m babbling. Wishing you a wonder-filled, hug filled weekend. 🙂

      Like

  13. I’ve never heard the expression “odd hollow feeling at my heart” but as soon as I read it, I was certain that I knew how that felt. I love your descriptions Teagan. Great episode. I’m hooked (you know) waiting for next week.

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    • Dan, you always have such valuable feedback. Thank you! The “odd hollow feeling at my heart” was just from my imagination. I tried to think what physical sensation there might be in a “world” where meeting your double was dangerous. I thought of feeling a split or a division, and it just seemed like my heart would feel hollow…
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I’ll save you a seat on the locomotive to the Victorian Era for next week!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks so much Teagan. Wow! I love your sample and the chapter. I worry about what will happen to all of them, with their doppelgangers so near. And I’ve always been fascinated by sextants, and the one in the picture is fantastic. And thanks for the mention of my new series. By the way, just in case, the first book in the series is free now… Looking forward to the next stop!

    Like

    • Oooh. I wish i had included that. I’ll make an update.
      Thanks very much for the things — they were really fun to work with!
      I’m glad you liked the snippet of Guitar Mancer. I wasn’t feeling good about that tidbit. I hope to get back to that story. Mega hugs! 🙂

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  15. Marvelous interplay with all the characters, human and otherwise. I don’t know how you remain fully in control of such a fantastic group as the excitement continues to build! Wonderful! Loved your excerpt. That hooked me!

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  16. This is getting more and more exciting. I just love to follow this wonderful adventure!

    Excited about your new project, that you shared from as part of the challenge as well. Heading off to the three blogs who tagged you now!

    Like

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