Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 28

RewindingWhite Mt Locomotive

It was serendipitous that “three things” from Western Romance writer Mary J McCoy-Dressel fueled the story-line of this episode.  While there’s not a typical romance involved, there is something sort of along those lines.

Mary has been a great supporter of this blog and all the serials.  In fact, if I were to rewind, you’d see that she sent the very first thing, for the very first of these interactive serials.Marys Blog

Since Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers has been progressing for several months, you might want to rewind to episodes four through six.  One element of today’s chapter is rooted in Episode-4. However, I’m rewinding to Episode-6 where it really escalated.

Ah! Here’s the locomotive now.  All aboard! 



A Rewind from Episode-6

The chimp must have seen me looking back at him.  It started wreaking havoc in the branches of the tree, jumping up and down and screeching bloody murder.  His fellows in the distance screamed back excitedly.  It sounded like there were a lot of them.  I remembered nervously how strong they were.  I hoisted the carpet bag, putting its strap over my shoulder so I could take Copper’s hand.  I had to make sure we weren’t separated.

An earsplitting screech made me look over my shoulder.  However, the noise was not simian; rather it was a metallic sound.  Then I heard the shrill whistle of escaping steam.  The doors of the outbuilding where Cornelis was working burst open.  The road locomotive moved toward us with a loud clickity-clack clickity-clack.  As it increased speed, the clicks and clacks blurred together into a continuous noise.

Copper squeezed my hand.  I followed her gaze.  The chimpanzees had amassed at the shade tree.  They milled curiously as they watched the road locomotive.  One and then another would chatter to the others.  I had a bad feeling that they were working themselves up for an attack.


And now, from last time…

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.

“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!”


Reading Ape purple

28.  Well-bred Man, Courtship, Horseback

Cal Hicks yelled at me that it wasn’t safe.  His expression immediately became rueful and he apologized profusely for his tone.  Hicks truly was a well-bred man — or rather ape.  However, my feet had taken me to the door before my common sense caught up with them.

When I opened the door I saw Absinthe and the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater hurtling toward the ground.  The vast dome of fire continued to descend.

Michael Whelan Dragon purple
A Michael Whelan dragon

The tiny green skunk-looking fairy shrieked something at the purple people eater and grabbed onto the tip of her tail as they fell.  Absinthe used a trick like the one Cornelis sometimes used to send his voice.  Though I didn’t understand him, I clearly heard him snuffle and grunt to the Alchemist.

Both Cornelis and the dragon looked at Absinthe doubtfully.  Cornelis held up the harmonic tuner and gave it one sharp ring.  Absinthe echoed the tone and the pitch of his voice merged with the harmonic sound.  I could see a emerald aura stretching up from Cornelis to the Green Fairy.  Absinthe glowed verdantly and the intensity of the aura doubled.  I was sure they had somehow combined their powers.

The she-dragon looked at Absinthe as he clung to the tip of her tail.  She snorted a puff of purple smoke that briefly circled her one-eyed one-horned head.  Then she flicked her tail, launching the tiny Green Fairy even closer to the flames above.

Absinthe summersaulted as he soared pointing his bantam backside toward the dome of fire.  He lifted his fluffy tail and proceeded to produce one of his powerfully potent poots.  The forceful fairy fart flew against the flaming dome.

Albert Maignan's "Green Muse" 1895
Albert Maignan’s “Green Muse” 1895

I had first-hand knowledge of the fairy’s flatulence.  When startled or threatened, the Green Fairy produced a spray that was essentially a very highly concentrated form of the liquor, absinthe.  I was fearful to see him aim that fart at the flames.  I was certain it would only make the fire worse.

Cringing, I looked over at Cornelis.  The Alchemist drew a deep breath and then blew upward.  I couldn’t see his breath, but I remembered Cornelis telling me that his alchemy sometimes worked to exchange or transform one thing into another.  As I watched, the cloud of green vapor from Absinthe’s bottom expanded to the width of the flaming dome.

My arm went up reflexively to cover my face when the green vapor met the flames.  A blinding flash and a loud crack of thunder shattered the air.  I braced myself for the blast of a huge explosion, but the opposite happened.  The alchemically charged green vapor caused the dome of flames to implode.

The immense Purple Fairy and the tiny Green Fairy settled to the ground, singed but unharmed.  I heard a long sustained grumble.  After a moment I realized that the sound was a low growl from the dragon.  Absinthe snorted and snuffled and the Purple Fairy continued to growl.  I gathered they had not yet settled their differences.

Green fairy skunkGlimmering green powder slowly drifted to the ground.  It settled on the two fairies, though they didn’t seem to realize it.  I stretched out my hand, watching as it dusted my palm.  Unexpectedly I felt content and happy.

“What is this shimmering powder?” I wanted to know.

“It’s residue,” Cornelis said with a shrug.  “It’s what was left of Absinthe’s defensive spray after it caused the flames to implode.  Have a care not to inhale the powder.  It’s not as potent as the concentrated absinthe vapors that Absinthe sprays, but it’s still intoxicating,” he cautioned.

Copper ran to the doorway, with Viola right behind.  The violet complected chimpanzee tried to grab the girl’s arm, but Copper was too quick.  Happily she stopped well away from the one horned cyclops Purple Fairy.

The sharp point of the dragon’s fat curved black onyx horn gleamed in the sunlight as the two fairies continued to make odd noises at one another.  However, they did seem calmer.  I thought I could see a bit of greenish dust on the black onyx horn.  I wondered if the powder had the same comforting effect on the fairies as it had on me.Copper curious w-green

“Don’t they like each other?” Copper asked.

“She’s his mate,” Cornelis said of the gigantic purple fae.  “They had a disagreement and both stormed off their separate ways.  Each was too stubborn to seek out the other.”

“You mean Absinthe was married to that big dragon?” Copper asked incredulously.

“Well, that would have been quite an unusual courtship, wouldn’t it?” Cornelis began.  “However, Aubrieta — that’s the Purple Fairy’s name — she wasn’t always a dragon.  I’m not sure how Aubrieta wandered into this place.  However, something about the combination of her particular magic and the nature of this amethyst world transformed her.  Of course, that situation made it even less likely for them to patch up their differences,” the Dutchman added.

Cal Hicks cautiously stepped out of the laboratory building.  Cornelis assured him that all was well.  He sketched a bow toward the two fairies, but did not approach them.

“Lord of Alchemy, you named the Purple Fairy Aubrieta?” the amethyst ape asked and his mouth twitched and puckered.  “Aubrieta is a tiny purple flower,” he whispered but failed to completely suppress a soft chuckle.  “No offense.  It’s just that I enjoy the irony of a one eyed one horned gigantic fairy being named for a tiny flower,” Cal said.

Victorian Ape CoupleThe mannerly ape composed himself and became businesslike.  “My family surely heard the commotion down at the main house.  That fireball was probably visible for quite some distance as well,” Cal reminded us.  “Since the effects of being too near their doppelgängers made young Copper and Lady Felicity so ill, I’m sure there is great merit to your assertion that bringing any of the two together would be dangerous indeed.”

“I’ll take care of that,” Viola called out as she came around the corner of the building leading an aubergine coated horse.  “Swift and I might be long in the tooth,” Viola began and patted the horse.  “If Nate and his wife and Penny are faster than us, we’ll still meet them on the trail.  I can turn them back, or prevent them trying to come in the first place, whichever the case may be,” she said as Cal helped her onto the horse.

We watched as Viola left on horseback.  However, our attention quickly transferred to the fairies.  Absinthe made a series of consolatory sounding chirps.  Then he fluttered up and perched on the curve of the dragon’s black onyx horn.  Aubrieta rolled her single eye upward at the tiny green fae.

I thought she was coughing.  A puff of smoke came from her snout.  Absinthe started chirping happily and flew backward several feet from Aubrieta’s face so she could see him better.  The dragon’s mouth curved and I realized she was not coughing, but laughing.Carson mansion Queen Annd

With an awkward pucker, Aubrieta spat out what looked like a purple grape.  She breathed lavender smoke onto the grape.  Absinthe chittered encouragingly.  The grape grew and grew to the size of a house.  It continued to expand until it finally exploded into a purple mist.

Aubrieta was suddenly transformed into a winged purple skunk-looking fae as tiny as Absinthe.  She still had only one amber eye.  In her dragon form she had a fat curved black horn, but it was changed to a golden unicorn-like horn.

As the purple fog settled, dozens of big chimpanzees could be seen.  They had the coloring of our home, not the hues of the amethyst world.

First one or two, then most of the chimps realized their nakedness.  Clearly embarrassed, they tried to cover themselves and hide.  However, a few stood boldly and cheered that they had returned home.  When they saw the one eyed one horned flying purple people eater, they too scattered and ran away.

Cornelis Drebbel
Cornelis Drebbel

“Are those…?” I began but the power of speech left me.

“Those naughty chimps!” Copper exclaimed.

Cornelis Drebbel folded his arms across his chest in a self-satisfied posture.  “Aubrieta, the purple people eater, didn’t devour the chimps, or rather the folk of this place who were lost at the abandoned chapel we saw on the way here,” Cornelis explained.  “However, she was angry at the way she had been treated here, and she used her power to banish them.  They of course ended up in our world.”

“So the chimp who was gesticulating what looked like sign language for Daddy—” I started to ask a question but the Dutchman finished my sentence.

“That clever chimp had figured out that Calvin Hixon, Copper’s father in our world, was the doppelgänger of Cal Hicks here,” Cornelis said with a nod.

Copper moved to the amethyst ape and took his hand.  “Can you help us find my Daddy?” she asked him with wide imploring eyes.

Portuguese Silver Toothpick HolderI thought Cal would melt on the spot.  He doubtless would do anything possible to help the girl who was so much like his own daughter.  The only question was — could he.

As the chimps fled into the distance I saw that their fur was already turning various shades of purple.  That reminded me of the device that looked like a 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.

It was a measuring device; if the toothpicks started to turn lavender, it was a warning that we had been in the amethyst world too long.  If all the toothpicks turned purple we were in serious danger of being unable to return home.  Should the bird turn purple, it would be too late.

I quickly took the detector out of the Dutchman’s bag so I could examine it.  The toothpicks were lavender.


Video:  Love potion number 9, The Searchers


Now that the army of naughty chimps has returned to their amethyst world, how does that effect the search for Copper’s missing father?  However, the meter device that detects the danger level of their exposure to that world has begun to turn lavender — a warning sign.  Will our trio be trapped forever in the strange land where everything is purple?  Be at the train station next time to learn more.


 Don’t leave yet — we still have a recipe!  I briefly wondered what kind of “food” I could take from the three things that fueled the story-line of this chapter.  The obvious answer was bread.  The next thing that was clear to me was where to get a recipe.  That was easy! I turned to the wonderful Chitra Jagadish of Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen where I’ve often seen lovely bread recipes.

Recipe:  Garlic Parsley Flat Bread

garlic-flat-bread Chitra

Photo and recipe credit:  Chitra Jagadish 

Garlic Parsley flat bread




Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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77 thoughts on “Copper, the Alchemist, & the Woman in Trousers: Episode 28

  1. I am so happy to be able to read all the wonderful episdoes I have missed. Thank you for transporting me into a much happier place, when I read your amazing fantasies/stories I can forget what is happening in my world and be a part of your amazing and creative story. You know I love your writing so much.


    1. Dear Suzanne, it’s a delight to see you again. If I’ve made a friend smile, then I’ve been successful. This blog and the stories are my sanctuary and you are welcome any time. Thanks very, very much for doing catch up reading, and for commenting. Mega hugs! 🙂 ⭐

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love that the chips from earlier have made an appearance and a tie-in to the beginning of the story. S.m.o.o.t.h. ❤ Now, what's next? "idea" The loose threads have begun a new slipknot for the pieces to come together. You're a master….errr…mistress of the cliffhanger.

    Am late. Have been away. Finally home and slapped internet and laptop into submission so I might catch up before your next episode tomorrow. 😀 😀


    1. Hey Tess! It’s so nice to see you. I’m absolutely tickled that you liked how this episode played out. 😀 We still have to find Copper’s Daddy… and account for that unidentified dead man in the study from early on… And those 3 objectionable people from the orphanage. I’m probably overlooking something…

      LOL. Know what? I actually gave myself the title ‘Cliffhanger Maven” on my LinkedIn resume. Because of the type of work i’ve done, i include my blog on my professional resume — it shows a relevant skill-set.
      Thank you so very much for reading and commenting. Mega hugs! ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Phew! You know, Teagan… I had psyched myself up for the worst and was literally hanging onto the edge of the sofa while reading how the two fairies were so seemingly tangled up in a blaze of inescapable fire and consummation. What a relief that they were able to combine their powers in such a way and escape barely singed. It wasn’t until I started to exhale that I realised, I was actually holding my breath ever so slightly… very intense. Fabulous!


  4. I’m late again, Teagan, but only because I wanted to sit down knowing I had at least 10 minutes so I could read this episode without being disturbed. I just loved this episode. I’m so pleased nothing horrible happened to our Absinthe. He is one very brave fellow. I’m hoping those toothpicks don’t turn purple but, knowing you, I know you’ll have us on the edge of our seats again on Saturday. As for those naughty chimps, well at least they are back where they belong.

    Strangely enough, I had Garlic Parsley Flat Bread with Chilli for dinner on Tuesday evening, and here it is turning up on your blog. I did not, however, make it myself, but can tell you that it was delicious.

    Large hugs


  5. Oh, I’ve been away too long. Thanks for the mention along with my Three Things. I had forgotten all about them. What a great job you did with them, too. I love the dragon’s name and the creativity around this whole episode. The whole toothpick holder section–priceless. See you next week…


  6. Hi dear Tegan! ☀ 🌟★
    The summary of the two previous chapters was very useful… I still could feel that thick atmosphere with the Doppelgänger chimpanzees … the purple ambience and the ball of fire, which effects could have been almost apocalyptic
    Now we have a dragon, an again Felicity unraveling mysteries related to certain gases such as those ones due to fairy’s flatulences… Not to mention the alchemic powers here and to transform one thing into another.
    From absinthe to flaming domes which implode!… Then shimmering, intoxicating powders… Green and purple fairies making noises.. And Absinthe and the Big Dragon… (well, that was quite unexpected!).
    But what I found mesmerizing is that again the doppelgängers seem to have such influences upon the main characters.
    The detail of the purple grape becoming a big house with pullulating naked chimps and so on!.
    Finally, a sort ofd question… Who would have thought that something as mundane as toothpicks could be such a conclusive variable to properly measure ranges of time!…
    Judging for all the things the characters had gone through I´d say that they had certainly been in the amethyst world too long!. What will happen in next episode… I am intrigued, Teagan!.
    Thanks for yet another great delivery… Many hugs to you! Aquileana ⭐


    1. Dear Aquileana, thank you for reading and for your mindful comment. It means a lot to me. Yes, even the most mundane object can become extraordinary with the alchemy of Corenlis in play! 😉 I’m delighted you enjoyed this chapter.
      I’m off to the office now. Mega hugs my friend. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey my friend hope you are doing well. Thanks for your continuing story-its always a surprise of the things you put into words.


    1. Nice to see you Patrick. Thanks so very much!
      One thing I enjoyed about the TV version of Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series (True Blood) was the often amusing choice of song for the closing of each show. I guess i’ve been amusing myself that way lately. Have a wonderful week. Hugs.


  8. I read this and didn’t have time to comment so I came back to read and share it again and I wasn’t sorry. Wow, another great installment and more questions! OK, you gave us some explanations, but just enough to still want to know more. I love it. And now I’m singing Love Potion No 9 and am hungry. lol 🙂
    Thank you again and again Teagan for giving us the pleasure of looking forward to your episodes each week. I hope people are finding them and catching up. I know I’ll be waiting at the station for the next train…any hints? 😉
    Hope this week is as fantastic as you Teagan (I know that’s not possible, but we can hope).
    Megahugs my friend, all the best. 🙂


    1. Donna, it’s great to see you. Your words are so encouraging. Thank *you* my friend. You are so very welcome. LOL, the song went so much better with the scene as it originally popped into my mind. When it worked out a little differently, I just couldn’t give up the song.
      No hints this time, dear reader. I pushed my poor brain to finish this episode, and haven’t started the next. Anything’s possible! 😀 Mega hugs right back. 🙂


    1. Oh Ape, it’s so kind of you to share this serial at your blog! You firmly implanted your four naughty chimps into my psyche as I was writing the fourth chapter. So they made a cameo appearance in Episode-4.
      And they sort of became an entire race of naughty (and some nice) chimps and apes, one or more of which showed up now and then through out this serial. Thank you Chris Graham for that bit of inspiration. Mega hugs! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my goodness, you have done it again….left us all hanging and waiting for what comes next…the mark of a superb story teller and writer. I missed this on Saturday and so a lovely way to begin my week.
    Do hope you have a wonderfully colourful and creative week ahead….Janet:)xx


    1. Hi Janet I blush — thank you! You were probably fast asleep in your part of the world when I finally posted this on Saturday. It takes me at least 2 days to get the post ready and I wasn’t able to do much on it during the week. Wishing the very same to you. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Awww, a happy every after for Absinthe, hopefully! Love the way the chimps have come full circle – it’s amazing where a purple world will take you! But will they ever get back to their own world in time….?


    1. I think the Purple Fairy is glad to be back in her real form too. She can use her unicorn-like horn to keep Absinthe in line. 😉 Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment, Andrea. I appreciate it. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You are so kind, John. Thank you. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about that fireball. Thank goodness for Absinthe and his potent absinthe poots! Many thanks for reading and commenting. Mega hugs!


  12. I had shut down last night at 7:00 CDT and so this am I woke to a wonderful story. I like the way the fireball was dispatched and don’t mind being in a stew about lavender toothpicks. Another great one Teagan.


  13. Fabulous. I don’t know where to start my praise: Aubrieta is such a cool name. I love seeing the tooth pick stand again, the song is divine and I love parsley and garlic bread and will definitely have a go at trying your recipe.
    Have a fantastic Sunday and thanks for this great episode. Garlic breath hugs! 😉


    1. Hi Christoph. Thank you sincerely for the encouraging words. When I first called this blog “my sanctuary” little did I know how it would be filled with a group of people who keep me going! 🙂
      Chitra has so many remarkable recipes at her blog. She does a lot of vegan dishes, and while I’m not vegan or even vegetarian, I am allergic to eggs — so I enjoy her recipes. Wishing you a wonder-filled week my friend. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m happy the two fairies are back in talking terms. They somehow seemed a matched pair… I might have to catch up on the next few episodes when I come back but I’ll see if I can find a connection. Great work, Teagan!


    1. Hi Olga! Thanks so much for taking time from your vacation to read and comment. You’re a brave woman to venture into a non-Internet zone! 😉 I hope your holiday is pure relaxation and enjoyment. Mega hugs!


    1. Hi Cheryl. I know i can be a fiend with the cliffhangers. 😈 (You should see some of the comments my fumbling fingers leave at other blogs. A couple of simple transposed letters are nothing. I have truly left some masterpieces…) Mega hugs my friend. 🙂 ❤ ⭐

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Melinda. So glad you got aboard the steam locomotive to the Victorian Era! This is the currently running “interactive” serial story. Readers send “3 things” that I use spontaneously (pure “pantser” fun) to make the plot of each episode. It’s the fourth serial I’ve done this way (but the first with this group of characters and setting). I keep a homepage with all the episodes together, in chronological order — where people can do catch-up reading (button at top of screen)
      > I will eventually make the serials into books. However, the book you’ve heard me mention is “Atonement, Tennessee” & there’s more about it here:
      I’m delighted you’re loving the lavender! Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. A lot of energy today. Despite the new cliffhanger, I feel satisfied with the events today. Twists and turns are keeping my head spinning, but I’m not dizzy yet. Great episode.


    1. Hi Dan. I’m happy you enjoyed this episode. I begin to wonder if I’ve let the story stay in the amethyst world too long, or let it get too far off the fantasy deep end. But in the small amount of time I have for writing, and the commitment to let the “things” from readers guide the story… Well, I’m doing the best I can. Although the summer slump syndrome seems to have afflicted “Teagan’s Books” blog.
      Lovely Saturday post from you. Have a great new week. Hugs!


      1. I like a story that meanders a bit, that goes where it should, as opposed to a story on a strict schedule. I’m getting appropriately concerned for the crew of that submarine but I’m sure you will get them out in time.


  16. I love how you tied the chimps to the new purple world (does make sense) and am grateful the OEOHFPPE is not the bad beast made out to be initially! It’s all wrapping up nicely! (However, you gave us another cliffhanger, thanks…) 😉 Hugs!


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