Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 27

So the Drama…Fox Theatre ticked booth

I’m afraid I gave in to the dramatic again.  I might as well tell you that there is another cliffhanger ahead.  But you’re forewarned, so try not to scream “Akkk!” about my theatrics when you get there.

The multi-talented Sarah Vernon at “Rogues & Vagabonds” sent the three things that fueled the steam locomotive to the Victorian Era for this chapter.  Sarah’s blogs are visual treats.  “Rogues & Vagabonds” is for anyone with a passion for theatre.  The feeling I get when I visit there puts me in mind of the era of this serial.

Here’s the steam locomotive.  Remember to watch for informative and fun links in text and images.  Now, let’s hurry onto the train!  There was a lot going on when we left the amethyst world last time.  All aboard!

27.  Silver Locket, Green Chartreuse, Salmon Koulibiac

Cornelis Drebbel wore a grave expression as Absinthe popped off to confront the Purple Fairy — also known as the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater.  Our ape host and his housekeeper continued to murmur worriedly about the safety of the tiny Green Fairy.

I looked at the Dutchman.  His mouth twitched.  Then he smirked.  As I drew a breath to ask him what the devil he was thinking, Cornelis burst out laughing.  What preposterous behavior!  I was speechless, my question utterly forgotten.Hair brooch

Viola clutched a silver locket suspended from a chain around her neck.  A tear from her good eye trickled down her cheek.  She looked like she might swoon again.  Cal Hicks patted her shoulder, trying to comfort the violet chimpanzee.

She was so distraught that I said the first thing that came to my mind, meaning to distract her.  “What’s that pretty thing you have there?” I asked, meaning the locket she held tightly.

Viola sniffled and nodded as if she acknowledged the fact that she should compose herself.  Then she opened the locket.  Within was a narrow plait of reddish purple hair.

Lovers Eye Brooch“It belonged to my son.  He perished that day,” she explained softly and touched the corner of her glass eye.  “I wasn’t able to protect him!” she added on a wail.  “Oh that lovely fluffy green fae; so unique and beautiful.  And he’s so noble too,” she said with a glare at Cornelis who was still chuckling.

I was stunned that the alchemist would laugh when Absinthe had left in such a state.  Could the Green Fairy really mean to sacrifice himself, as Viola and Cal assumed?

Cal Hicks cleared his throat.  A parade of expressions marched across the amethyst ape’s face.  He looked confused, then appalled, and then scandalized before his features turned again to a perplexed expression.

“Lord of Alchemy,” the ape began but stopped to clear his throat again.  “Is the Green Fae so powerful that you have no concern for his safety?” Cal asked sincerely.  “Even against the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater?”

Terrence Mann as Cornelis
Terrence Mann as Cornelis

“The little fellow’s poots are perniciously powerful!” Cornelis exclaimed with delight, but no one laughed.  “Absinthe is—” Cornelis paused as if he chose his words carefully.  “Absinthe has encountered the Purple Fairy before.  He’s well aware of the creature’s capabilities.”

“That would explain why the poor little thing seemed so sad!” Viola exclaimed in a sarcastic and irate tone before sinking back into her usually reserved manner.

The Dutchman laughed again, but he finally seemed to grasp how truly dismayed Cal and Viola were.  His mouth twisted any number of ways as he fought unsuccessfully to contain his mirth.  I thought he was about to explain his incomprehensible attitude.  However, he became serious immediately when he turned to see the reason for a loud behhh from the lavender alpine goat.

Copper had said she wasn’t feeling well, and neither was I.  Cornelis said it was the physical effect of our doppelgängers being too close.  In the scant moment since the girl sat down on the floor, she had completely lost consciousness.  The lavender goat made a sound that was very similar to a baby’s cry as she nuzzled Copper’s bright new-penny colored hair.

I sank to the floor beside Copper.  The truth is I meant to kneel beside the girl, but I was in a poor state myself.  Once my body started downward, I had little control over it.  I put my hand to Copper’s forehead.  However, she seemed neither warm nor cold.  Abruptly I realized that we both had the same condition, and perhaps we also had the same temperature, whatever that was.  My thinking was foggy and I found it irritating to try and reason out the situation.Copper pensive

I put my fingers to Copper’s wrist, feeling her pulse.  It was very slow.  Cornelis deduced something with a single glance.  The alchemist vanished with a sharp pop, but he reappeared almost immediately.

He knelt down beside Copper.  Cornelis produced several crystal shot glasses and a bottle of liquor.  He poured green liquid into three of the shot glasses, handing two of them to Cal Hicks and Viola.

“Go ahead,” the Dutchman encouraged them.  “Drink up.  It will set you straight — fortify your nerves,” he added and they obediently drank.

He offered me the third glass.  I felt woozier by the minute.  Adding the effects of alcohol seemed like a bad idea.  “What is it?” I inquired.

Green Chartreuse,” he supplied the name of the liquor.  “Um, maybe you’re right,” Cornelis muttered as if he knew what was on my mind, and then he upended the shot glass of green spirits himself.

Green Chartreuse“Ah yes…” Cornelis sighed.  “That’s better.”

The alchemist asked Cal Hicks for the ape’s harmonic tuner.  It was similar to the one Copper cherished as a gift from her father, except Cal’s tuner didn’t have three mystic monkeys postured to see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil.  Rather it had three mystic humans in the poses.

Cal Hicks wore a worried but excited expression as he handed the alchemist the mystic humans tuner.  Cornelis examined the ape’s tuner and a bemused expression briefly came to his face.  He poured another glass of the Green Chartreuse.  Then he held the device over the liquor and delicately flicked the harmonic tuner with his fingernail.

The tuner produced a very quiet sound that steadily grew in volume and resonance.  The glass of Chartreuse vibrated until the tone from the crystal shifted to match the tone from the harmonic tuner.  I saw a green aura surround the glass.

Jamie Murray as Felicity 3
Jaime Murray as Felicity

I blinked hard, thinking something was wrong with my vision — after all, the effects of my amethyst world double being nearby wreaked havoc with all my senses.  I started to think the green aura was actually the color of the sound produced by the tuner!  It seems strange to say, but I could also taste the sound.  It was like coarsely ground raw sugar.

Giving my head a sharp shake to clear it, I nearly fell over.  Cornelis glanced at me briefly, still intent on the glass of green liquor.  The vibration stopped as the tone dissipated.  Cornelis took a spoon from his jacket pocket.

The alchemist started to speak to me but twisted his mouth in a derisive expression.  “Never mind,” he commented though he hadn’t said anything else to me.  “Your hands won’t be steady.  Cal, could you get Copper sitting up and help me get two spoonsful of this into her?” he asked, meaning the alchemically treated Chartreuse.

“I’ll do it,” Voila insisted, following Cal Hicks to the girl.  “Sometimes a small medicinal dose of spirits can benefit a child.”

The alchemist’s eyes were still on the green liquid when he replied to Viola.  “It is liquor no longer.  The vibrations from the harmonic tuner have transformed the green Chartreuse,” Cornelis informed us.Green Depression Optic Shot Glasses

In a moment Copper was resting unconscious in Viola’s lap as Cal held her mouth open.  Faster than humanly possible, Cornelis had two spoons of the green liquid in her mouth.  Viola pushed the girl’s mouth close, and gently stroked Copper’s throat, easing the liquid down and into her system.

“Felicity, drink the rest of it,” Cornelis instructed, handing me the shot glass of special Chartreuse.

I’ve described the effect of my doppelgänger being too near as a combination of lightheadedness and an odd hollow feeling at my heart.  My hands really were shaking, that hadn’t just been Cornelis taking a jab at me.  I tried not to spill the green liquid down my chest — I had only packed one other shirt.

Jaime Murray n Double

I downed the contents of the crystal shot glass.  At first I felt nothing from it.  I looked at Copper.  She was still unmoving in Viola’s care.  After a moment I saw the girl’s hand move.  However, I looked away when something suddenly surged up inside me.  The hollow feeling at my heart seemed to stretch, becoming bigger and longer until it was pulled outside of me.  I staggered and found myself prostrate on the floor.

Yet within seconds my head felt clear.  The hollowness was gone and I felt solid, complete inside.  I turned to see Copper.  The girl was sitting up petting the lavender goat.

Vintage Girl Goat“Copper, thank goodness,” I murmured.  “How are you feeling?” I asked.

She looked at me as if she was about to say something that surprised her.  “I know it hasn’t been long since we had that very nice tea, but I’m hungry,” she said emphatically.

My stomach growled as if in answer and I realized that I was famished too.  Cornelis smirked and raised one bushy blonde eyebrow at the sound from my tummy.  “It’s a side effect of that particular alchemy.  Everything you’ve eaten today was consumed by the spell,” he informed.

Viola smiled broadly.  She may have been helpless to cure our condition a moment before, but she knew how to remedy an empty stomach.

“I have a lovely salmon koulibiac waiting.  We can have dinner early,” the violet chimpanzee said, sounding very pleased with herself.

Everyone smiled and laughed.  However, the moment of relief was cut short.

A thundering roar split the air.  The sound was so loud that the laboratory building shook.  Dust motes rained down from the high dome.  Whatever made that sound had to be tremendous.

Michael Whelan Dragon purple
Michael Whelan

“Absinthe…” Copper whispered worriedly.

A broad gout of flames shot past the long row of windows, scorching the ground in front of the laboratory.  I knew it wasn’t safe, but I couldn’t stop myself from running to the windows.  Where the sky had previously been dotted with pastel lavender clouds, now the beast that made that resounding roar took up my field of vision.

For just an instant I thought I saw a sun, but the sun had a black slit in the center.  A purple cover blinked down and I gasped.  It was a golden eye; a single eye.  Its proximity to the window was so close that when the great beast snorted the window shook.  It gave another contemptuous snort as it backed up enough for me to see the face of the cyclops-looking creature.  On its forehead, above that eye was a fat curved onyx horn.

Flapping broad wings, the creature rose heavenward.  The entire sky seemed to be occupied by an immense one eyed one horned purple dragon.

“A dragon?” I gasped.

“It’s the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater,” Viola said with a shudder.

A tiny green blur shot up thirty feet from the ground.  Absinthe.  The Green Fairy looked too small to even be a snack for the titanic purple dragon.

baby skunk 2Although I couldn’t explain what it was about Absinthe that made me believe it was so, he still seemed to be resigned to his fate.  The tiny fairy was fatalistically unafraid.

I couldn’t imagine what good it would do for little Absinthe to confront the giant purple fairy.  I knew he was able, along with Cornelis, to power the submarine.  I had seen him do small magic, like levitating things and making a shield around Copper when the submarine spun out of control.  However, I couldn’t imagine how he could hope to fight a huge dragon.

Absinthe must have used some kind of magic to boost his volume, because the little sounds he typically made were easily audible to us inside the laboratory.  He shrieked at the dragon in a forceful tone.  The beast roared, and its breath blew the Green Fairy back quite a distance.

In a green streak, Absinthe zipped back closer than before to the purple dragon.  The chirping from Absinthe took on a consolatory tone.  For a moment I thought he was negotiating.  A contained rumble came from inside the dragon and I feared it was about to produce another gout of flame.  Then I realized it was more of a low growl of anger.

Something in the tones of the two fairies made me believe they knew one another quite well, despite one being tiny and green and the other being huge and purple.  And that there was some sort of bad blood between the two.  That was even worse.  The Green Fairy facing the gigantic purple people eater was horrible, but for the tiny skunk-looking fae to contend with a tremendous creature that was angry with him — that was much worse.

“They know each other!” I exclaimed.Egyptian Amethis Pin

Cornelis nodded his head. I was aghast to see that the Dutchman was once again holding back his laughter.  “Oh yes,” Cornelis said, drawing out the words.  “He knows her alright.”

To my consternation, the alchemist even snorted.  “Cornelis Drebbel!” I yelled despite myself.  “How can you be so callous?  Absinthe has been your friend for centuries!” I cried, but my volume dwindled when I realized there was more to what Cornelis said.

“Wait, wait,” I said, backtracking.  “You said she?  She!  Do you mean to say that is a… a she-purple people eater?” I demanded astounded.

Cornelis twisted his mouth to one side and raised both of his bushy eyebrows.  “Heav’n has no rage, like love to hatred turn’d.  Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorn’d,” he quoted Shakespeare.

The purple people eater flapped her broad wings and arched her back, fiercely roaring heavenward.  Then she belched an enormous ball of fire that spread out above her and Absinthe like a lethal flaming dome.  Suddenly, both Absinthe and the purple fairy dropped from the sky, the burning dome hurtling downward, ever closer to them.Fireball

The fire was so bright that it dazzled my eyes.  I could only see glowing spots.  As I stood there blinking I felt someone rush past me.

“Lord of Alchemy!” Call Hicks yelled as Cornelis used one of his tricks to run right through the door without opening it.

“Cornelis, no!” I screamed.  “You’ll be burned to a crisp!”


Video:  Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls Of Fire.AVI


Will Cornelis perish along with tiny Absinthe and the one eyed purple dragon?  Be at the train station next time to find out!

Don’t leave yet.  One of Sarah’s three things was a sophisticated dish.  You’ll remember Viola, the chimpanzee housekeeper, told Copper that’s what they would be having for dinner.  When I searched the WordPress countryside for a Salmon Koulibiac recipe, I was pleased to find the very elegant blog of Jim and Deb Cianciolo.  As I wrote this episode, their most recent post was a recipe using Chartreuse!  So it seemed destined that I found their blog and beautifully prepared foods.

Recipe:  Salmon Koulibiac with Lobster Sauce

Salmon Koulibiac

Recipe and photo credit:  Jim and Deb Cianciolo 


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.

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71 thoughts on “Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 27

  1. Fantastic. So the Purple People Eater is a female and the she and Absinthe know each other! Love it. Love it, but hope the tiny fae doesn’t catch a spark and sizzle. The tension keeps building. How will they make amends? Or will they? Going to read the current chapter now. I have to know what happens n.e.x.t. 😀


  2. Great cliff hanger!! Another great installment! I seem to get later and later each week catching up from the prior weekend! Great excuse this week…we had a long weekend at the Grand Canyon and in Flagstaff with our oldest and her husband. He had never been and we hadn’t been since our girls were quite young….loved it!! Great job Teagan!!


    1. OMG… All i can do is heave a big sigh over your scenic AZ weekend!
      However, there’s no such thing as being late for the locomotive to the Victorian Era. 😀 I’m glad you caught up, because it would have been a challenge to send Corenlis Drebbel’s submarine to the desert. 😉
      I’m delighted that you enjoyed this episode, Kirt. Thank you so very much. Hugs to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the way you made us wait almost to the end to find out what was happening outside the lab, Teagan. Great suspense in this episode and another wonderful cliff-hanger. I just hope the purple world does not catch fire once that huge fireball hits it.

    See you on Saturday 🙂


    1. Hi Hugh. It’s good to see you. You didn’t sneak that “truth app” of yours in here did you? 😉
      As Charlaine Harris was fond of having her Sookie character say, sometimes it takes a lot longer to tell about something happening than it does for it to actually happen. (Or something like that.)
      I’m happy that you liked this episode. I’ll be sure to save you a seat on the steam locomotive next time. Hugs. 😀


      1. lol, I’d hate to think what chaos would be caused if an iPad, with the Truth App, appeared in the story Teagan. You’re doing a fantastic job without me putting crazy ideas into your head.

        See you tomorrow.


  4. Akkk! …Oops sorry, forgot I wasn’t supposed to do that, but it is a scary cliffhanger… I do hope they don’t all get burnt to a crisp… actually, I do like crisps… and crispy. (We’re talking people here, Kev) Damn! Where was I before I got so rudely distracted?… Oh, burnt to a cinder. That just wouldn’t do. Please don’t make it that, Teagan.


    1. Oh-oh! Kev, if crisps are anything like potato chips, they might be done for! Where are those potato chips??? That’s an awfully big dome of fire… there might not be a cinder or a crisp left of anything it touches…
      Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good Monday morning…..once again you have written a magical and enchanting episode….loved this one, and the way you have interwoven Sarah’s three words….amazing.
    Have a most creative day and week ahead….janet. xxx


  6. Hi Aquileana — I’m happy you got aboard the train! Your comments are a delight. Your knowledge of classical mythology is evident in so many of the thoughts you leave here. I enjoy your perspective.
    I was looking at some of the older posts at your lovely blog. You always find such beautiful artwork to highlight your posts.
    Wishing you a wonderful week. Huge hugs my friend. 🙂


  7. `All aboard!´🎆‼️🔛⚠️🎇
    Cornelis Drebbel attitudes are quite weird, eh!
    I can see why Cooper feels a little bit overwhelmed at times when he is around…. Nevertheless Cornelis might argue that it would be a mere physical effect related to the doppelgängers being too close.🐵
    “Green Chartreuse might help… It even worked out fine for Felicity!….
    And…Viola´s silver locket with the plait of reddish purple hair on it and the memories of her lost child was such a perfect symbolic tool… one could even say that memories remain locked out until we finally decide to release them!.
    Another great episode…. Very catching and enjoyable!👏… Hugs, dear Teagan!. Aquileana 🍀


  8. You drama queen Teagan! Well, it wouldn’t be plain sailing to vanquish the purple people eater, if in fact poor absinthe can do that. You’ve added a little frisson there though – I’m wondering what kind of mischief he and the PPE got up to 🙂


    1. LOL! Hello there Andrea! Green and purple are near opposites on the color wheel. But then, opposites do attract. So there’s no telling what mischief Absinthe and the Purple Fairy did/will get into. Or how they’ll land, as they’re falling out of the sky with that giant dome of fire on the way down with them. Still not sure what’s going to happen there… We’ll see where Courtship, Well-bred Man, & Horseback Riding take us in #28. Thanks so much for commenting. Mega hugs! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Cherchez la Femme… It is “her”! What an interesting twist, Teagan!
    I love the scene with the eye. Very impressive!
    Thank you for the drama! Look forward to the next installment. Hugs!!!


  10. “Burn baby burn — disco inferno… burn that mother down” Life’s rather boring if there is no drama or cliff hangers or purple people eaters or “Great Balls of Fire”! Otherwise “…life sucks then you die”! (look it up on youtube). 🙂


  11. I hope I’ll be able to connect next week as I’ll be away, but I’ll miss a few episodes after… Love Sarah’s blogs and what a recipe… I guess there was a love story between the two fairies…;)


    1. Hi Olga. I’m glad you enjoyed this chapter. Don’t work too hard getting ready for your holiday. Wishing it is filled with happiness, fun, and relaxation. See you when you return. 😀 Mega hugs my friend!


  12. OK, there are times when warning us isn’t enough – now what?!? I guess we have to wait…and speculate. 😉
    Thank you for another exciting installment, loved it’s twists and turns…what a lovely treat to find in my mailbox. I think I’ll just hang around at the station, wondering, hoping, waiting for the next train. 🙂
    Hope this week is good to you (and your characters).


    1. It’s great to see you Donna! If you must wait at the station, let me show you to the luxury dining room, with cushy velvet seats, and a connection for your tablet (laptop) so you can watch Haven. (I really did love your post today.) Mega hugs right back!!! 🙂


  13. Entertaining as ever – you can’t beat pyro-technics. Feeling sluggish this morning after an over-indulgence yesterday, I wish a spell could get rid of everything I consumed yesterday 😉
    Big Sunday Hugs from Wales ❤


    1. Hi Christoph. You’re such a good friend — taking time to read and comment when you’re not quite “up to snuff.” Maybe a little apple cider vinegar? It’s a natural detox… Wishing you a restful day — with Sunshine Super Hugs! 😀 ❤


  14. So, you’re moving to a Saturday/Wednesday format, right? I love the way you bring ordinary things into the story line – “Everything you’ve eaten today was consumed by the spell” – I. Assuming you know where we’re going. I trust you and I can wait until Wed..I mean Saturday.


    1. Thanks so much Dan! I’m delighted you picked up on that line. Since alchemy is a magical transformation process — and I call Cornelis “the alchemist” now and then I try to include something that is being transformed or exchanged in his magic. Remember the beets? Another exchange.
      > Oh nooo Dan… I never know where this pantser serial is going. Sometimes I have an idea I want to work into it, and the “things” don’t take me there. I try to get some control toward the end, so I can tie up the loose ends. Be watching for some monkey business to maybe get tied up next time.
      > I don’t have a schedule format… It takes about 2 full days to do the serial posts (writing, proofing, editing, then collecting images, formatting them, arranging everything into the WordPress template… That’s why I’m a little inconsistent with timing.
      > When someone is kind enough to review my book, or host me as a guest at their site, I save that for a Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on when I have time — and that’s usually just a reblog — and NOT every week.
      > I’ll be doing a reblog of Tim Price’s post long about Tuesday. He was very kind and generous, and I can’t wait to share it.
      Huge hugs my friend. 🙂 ⭐

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Teagan, I’m shaking my head at this one! Every serial that I read gets better & better at theatrics and cliffhangers! Akkk! Okay, where did you get the perfect photo of Copper & the goat? Now the OEOHFPPE (purple dragon/fairy) is a SHE! Loved Cornelis’s Shakespeare quote! And Absinthe is a tiny green skunk-looking fairy? This episode is alive with color and descriptive form! Loved it! Nah, Cornelis isn’t going to “burn-up,” now is he? Have a great weekend! Tons of Hugs! Christine


    1. Hi Christine, it’s great to see you! I found the photo on Pinterest, I believe that’s one of several I saved that goes back to a free vintage photo site.
      Bwahahaha! I’ve been waiting for the “things” to let me say the OEOHFPPE was a she! Finally. (Go ahead and take a hint from the Shakespeare quote…)
      Ha! Funny — i didn’t think anyone was going to be too worried about Cornelis. But remember — you’ve never seen him do any really huge magic, so you never know… 😉 Mega hugs!


    1. Oh Kathryn… I just can’t seem to help myself… 😉 I’m very happy that you enjoyed this chapter.
      If you’re away for the next one, the serial will still be here. You can use the “category” buttons on the right hand side of the page. Mega hugs! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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