Guitar Mancer — Episode 6: Audition

1970 Aston Martin DBS V8 5636-R

1970 Aston Martin DBS V8 5636/R

Welcome back everyone!  I hope you had a chance to visit my midweek mini-series,

 The Sign of the Ape.  I’m telling the story in support of Get Caught Reading Month.  Yes, I know — that’s supposed to be May.  But the intrepid group of bloggers was so excited, and I needed it to be a midweek post, so that it didn’t get in the way of this road trip.  Learn more about it here.

This Week’s Featured Blogger

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00072]Recently it was my honor to do a guest post for Kristina Stanley for her Mystery Mondays.  We had a great time with a discussion of What’s in a Name.  Yes, I can get downright obsessed with naming my characters, as some of you have heard.

Pay a visit to her blog to learn more about Kristina and her Stone Mountain Murder Mystery Series.  The series has three novels, DescentBlaze and Avalanche, and she’s working on a fourth.  Drop by her blog and say hello.

So I took the “things” I’ve worked into this installment from Kristina’s blog and marvelous mystery books.  Look for descent, murder mystery, and Monday to be worked into the text of this installment of The Guitar Mancer.

About This Episode

In the 1990s when I wrote the original fantasy/romance version of The Guitar Mancer, I naively wanted each chapter to be connected to a song that reflected the plot of that chapter.  Santana’s version of Black Magic Woman was the heroine’s theme.  It played in my mind the entire time I worked on that version.  Carlos Santana’s guitar still rings in the recesses of my mind whenever I work on or even think about this story. 

James Garner white shirt

James Garner as Grover Harper

Have you noticed that I tend to leave extra clues in the comments section?  Last time Lord David Prossor  commented about the “totems” mentioned in Episode 5.  Here’s the hint I left in reply.  “… there’s more than you’ve been led to believe about this cat.  As for Freyja, she has something else on her mind, and won’t be likely to obey her mancer’s wishes to stay out of it.”  Read carefully to learn more about that in this installment.

Many of you have commented that Luci’s dad, Grover, seems to be hiding something.  In this episode you’ll learn a touch more about that, though not everything. 

If we sat down with a paper copy of The Guitar Mancer, this installment would begin Chapter 3.  We go back to Luci’s point of view.  We had left Luci in Episode 3, trying to make sure her dad went to his reunion.  So let’s get the 1959 Caddy back on the road.

 

Episode 6 — Audition

1970 Metropolitan Nashville Airport, Berry Field

Berry Field Airport circa 1960s

Luci rode in the car with her dad to Berry Field, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport.  He seemed much more excited about this reunion than she had realized.  Yet Grover also seemed very apprehensive about leaving her behind.  She hadn’t expected her father to suddenly become a bundle of contradictions.

“Daddy, I’ll be fine.  I just got my first real job, after months of trying to find one.  So I can’t very well ask for a vacation before my first day of work,” she reminded him.  “Now you just have a good time,” she insisted.  “Stay on with your friends even after the reunion.  You said they offered.  This is the kind of thing people are supposed to do when they retire!” she told him with a grin.

He gave Luci a look so soulful that even a puppy would have been hard pressed to imitate it. 

“About your job…  Sweetheart I know you’re real excited about it, but maybe it’s not such a good idea,” her dad suggested in a reluctant tone.

1969 Jean Shrimpton as Luci

1969 Jean Shrimpton as Luci

She was so surprised that she didn’t know what to say, but her dad filled the silence.  “I mean the record industry, and you being associated with that business,” Grover spoke hesitantly.  “That’s no place for good ordinary folk.  You’d meet all sorts of people that you’re better off not knowing.”

“Come on Dad!  It’s not like a descent into hell.  I could and do meet people who could be a bad influence anywhere — if I’d let them,” Luci defended her the new job even though she had not yet started work.

“It’s not just that,” Grover pushed, clearly not willing to let the matter rest.  “There’s sort of a… a family problem that I’ve never told you about.  It might be really bad for you to be around people performing music.  Okay, I see that you don’t buy that, but it’s true.  In our family, music can be like an addiction.  Yes — that’s it, an addiction,” he added almost as if to convince himself.  “It doesn’t happen in every generation.  I think… I hope it skipped you, but I just can’t know for sure.”

Luci was mystified by her father’s very odd conversation. Something like that could explain why he wouldn’t talk about his past as a band director for the USO.  However, it seemed more likely that it was just nerves.  He must be overly worried about leaving her alone while he was going to be more than a shout away.

“You’re not making any sense, Dad.  A music addiction?  Get real.  For one thing, I’m not a musician.  There is not a single instrument that I have any idea how to play.  Even if I did, I’m not going to be working in the recording studio.  They will absolutely not want me being a nuisance in there.  I’ll be in an office doing bookkeeping and other office stuff,” she assured him.

His puppy dog eyes studied her carefully.  She tried to calm herself before continuing.  “Look, I’ve heard of movie and music stars being hooked on performing.  How they just can’t live without the applause and worship of their fans.  But you know me better than that.  Besides, like I said, I can’t play anything to begin with.  I promise you that I will not fall in with the wrong crowd at work or anywhere else.  Okay?” Luci insisted.Flower Power stickers

“Some people are late bloomers,” Grover replied, still not giving up his position but Luci only looked at him and shook her head.

Grover took a deep breath and expelled it in a big whoosh.  “You’re right Luci,” he said and reached over to give her hand a squeeze.  “And I know you’ll be watched over.”

Luci’s eyes narrowed as she looked at her dad.  She remembered the conversation between him and that musician from the studio, Tam.  They used to know each other.  If he meant he had somebody practically babysitting her…

“You know,” he said pointing heavenward.

Grover drove them right up to the industrial looking building made of blue siding and glass.  In front it had a wide wall of glass all around the front doors.  A sign affixed at the roofline proclaimed, “Welcome to NASHVILLE.”

He leaned over and gave his daughter a peck on the check and a seated hug.  Then he got out of the car and Luci scooted over to the driver’s seat.  Grover wouldn’t let her go inside to see him off.  At first Luci thought that was because he didn’t want her to cry.  However, she was beginning to wonder if he would be the one to break down in sobs.

“Hey Dad,” she said, stopping him before he got a step away from the car.  “You forgot your book.”

She held a paperback murder mystery out the car window to him.  Grover Harper had a penchant for mystery stories.  Luci knew her dad would have missed having the book on the flight.  She smiled as he stuck the book in the pocket of his sport coat and gave it a little pat.

As she pushed herself across the bench seat of the Malibu, Luci noticed the vinyl folder containing her resumes in the floorboard where she had forgotten it earlier.  When she picked it up she saw that one of the forms she’d had to sign was caught on a paper clip. 

Mr. Blaylock was supposed to get that form.  She wondered if anyone was still at the studio.  Luci decided to go to the facility, just in case.  She didn’t want to get off to a bad start.1965 Chevrolet Malibu ad

***

Luci was in luck when she reached Blaylock Sound Magic Studios.  The doors were open and several people were still there.  Matt Blaylock greeted her warmly and asked her if she’d like to watch some auditions.

A voice from the studio area reached the lobby, and Matt made a wry face.  It was Ray Dean Simms, complaining about one of the musicians. 

“You can’t be serious!  He auditioned with Fats Domino’s Blue Monday.  That’s from the 50s.  I need to hear what these people can do with modern stuff!” Ray Dean shouted.

Matt rolled his eyes heavenward.  “We’ve been auditioning guitarists to back up Ray Dean,” the big man told her.  “It can be hard to please him,” Matt whispered and Luci nodded in sympathy.

1960s Party“After the auditions we’re going to have a little New Year’s Eve party right here.  You’re welcome to stick around if you want,” he offered but seemed to read reluctance in her face.  “But that really is last-minute notice.  I realize you probably already have plans,” he said affably.

Her shyness kicked into overdrive at the sudden prospect of being in a roomful of people she’d never met before, and for a New Year’s Eve party no less.  Everybody would already be paired off and supposed to have someone to kiss at midnight.  Luci found parties terribly uncomfortable, even when she knew everyone. 

She felt like bolting for the door then and there, but she did want to watch the audition.  Luci had never seen anything like that and it would be a good introduction to some of the work her new employer conducted.  Matt didn’t push her, and that helped settle her nerves.  He smiled and gave her a “gentle” pat on the back that made her stumble.

Luci saw Ray Dean walking around, pretending to check out the instruments, while keeping a suspicious eye on a musician who had walked in just ahead of Luci.

The man had long jet black hair with rippling waves.  He wore a leather vest with no shirt under it.  The thought of wearing that get-up on December 31st made Luci shiver, but the man didn’t appear to feel the cold.  He had a lot of tattoos, though she couldn’t see what they were.  It was very unusual to see someone with so many tattoos, so his appearance raised eyebrows and caused whispers among the studio regulars.  He looked more like a rock musician than country, but she knew studio musicians crossed genera all the time.

Ray Dean motioned for her to come closer.  “Who is that overdone hippie?” he whispered to her, but Luci had no idea.

Then an impish impulse overcame her and she couldn’t resist subtly taking a jab at the egotistical Ray Dean.  She remembered how he’d acted at that first brief meeting. 

denim jumpsuit of Elvis

Ray Dean tries to look like Elvis

“I don’t know.  He’s right nice looking though,” she said with a quick sideways glance at the minor celebrity.  “I bet he can really play too,” she added at which Ray Dean’s face went red and he stalked away.

Ray Dean Simms had made a bad first impression on Luci, but he probably would have rubbed her the wrong way even if he’d been polite.  The truth was that Luci had not gotten a good look at the strange musician’s face.  She was unaccustomed to tattoos, so they didn’t appeal to her.  In other words she was not attracted to the musician.  She only said he was “right nice looking” because she knew it would annoy Ray Dean.

Matt walked over to her, chuckling.  “You have a great way with people, young lady,” he said dryly.

Luci’s only reply was a wide-eyed expression of innocence and a shrug.  She silently hoped she hadn’t gone too far.

Her new employer motioned for her to follow him and he moved back to the strange musician.  Matt looked down at the clipboard he carried.  “Ya-ma-ta Or-o-chi?” he sounded out the name carefully.  “That sounds like Japanese, but you don’t really look Japanese son,” he commented and the musician merely shrugged.

Luci tried to look at the man without being conspicuous.  She could be shy that way, especially when meeting men.  Like her new employer, she thought he might have been Japanese, but he might have been several other things too.  Maybe he was of mixed descent.  She hoped Matt Blaylock would drop that line of conversation before the man became offended.

“Maybe you ought to leave that guitar at home for a while,” Matt said jokingly to the man in the leather vest.  “Naturally I can see that it’s a reproduction, but there might be some as would think it really is B. B. King’s Lucille.  And if you didn’t know, she was stolen here recently.”

The man gave a wordless nod that was respectful enough.  For a musician anyway.  Then his gaze fell upon Luci and she thought her knees would give way.  He spoke with a trace of an accent, but she couldn’t begin to place it.  Pale gray eyes pierced hers as though he could wrench out her very soul just by glancing at her.  He was tall, gorgeous, and exotic.

Luci was so shy that just looking at him was enough to frighten her.  There was something indefinable about him that gave her chills.

Johnny Depp Guitar hat

Johnny Depp as The Guitar Mancer, Yamata Orochi

Yamata Orochi locked his eyes onto hers and he began to play.  Not once did he look down at frets or strings.  His fingers moved over the guitar with surety and grace.  The notes never faltered, their pattern simple, yet intricately worked.  The guitar solo turned out to be a lead-in to Black Magic Woman, but it was different than Fleetwood Mac had ever played it.

The style of music might not be likely to win him a gig at a country music audition, but he did not seem in the least concerned.  Ray Dean and Matt both stood in open mouthed surprise, first at his selection of material and then in shock at his artistry.

With the first haunting repetition of notes, the melody crawled up Luci’s spine in icy anticipation.  The guitarist’s pale eyes continued to hold hers in an iron grip from which she could not break free.

The music began as a caress, and then built in sensuality, drawing her into its embrace.  The melody’s gentle nature quickly turned to poignant longing, and the chill spread from her spine to encompass her body.

Luci felt rather than saw the studio musicians and technical staff gathering.  She could not pry her eyes from Orochi’s to turn and see everyone, but she knew with certainty that they stood mesmerized, watching him play. 

The sound of the guitar filled every corner of her mind, each note a glittering jeweled dagger, which pierced her heart.

Melody coiled around her from within, reaching out tentatively, as though it would control the movements of her body, while reaching ever deeper inside, as if to envelop her soul.

The guitar wailed in ecstasy and pain while tears of disquiet slid down her cheeks.  Matt unabashedly wiped a tear from his eye.  The guitarist added unique embellishments to the song that would have left anyone envious.

Finally he disengaged the hold he had on her gaze.  The power of his stare was so strong she nearly collapsed when he finally looked away.  Luci felt the inexplicable need to escape.  She thanked Matt Blaylock and hurried out of the studio and to her car.  The Malibu burned rubber as she left the parking lot.

***

Carlos Santana — Black Magic Woman

End serial episode 6

Recipe

Did you notice there was not a food “thing” for this installment?  I started looking for something in the episode that I could relate to a recipe, but I didn’t find anything.  Then I remembered one of Kristina’s book titles — Avalanche.  I was sure that there must be either a drink or a dish called an avalanche…. and there was!

Crispy Avalanche Bars

Avalanche bars

Photo credit:  Kraft Recipes.com

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/crispy-avalanche-bars-120727.aspx

That’s one avalanche I could enjoy.  

Carlos Santana’s guitar in Black Magic Woman has permanent residence in a special corner of my mind.  I hope you enjoyed this installment of The Guitar Mancer.   Do you remember that “new totem” from Episode 5 that Bodaway Thunder said was about to show up?  It arrives next time, so stay tuned.   Until then — be groovy and mega hugs!

Copyright © 2014 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.

Get Caught Reading — The Sign of the Ape 1

Crystal Atonement book stack

Crystal — Got Caught Reading

Yes, Crystal got caught reading…  If there’s ever been something you wanted to get caught doing, it’s reading!  Did you know that May is officially Get Caught Reading Month?  I didn’t know about it either until Annette Rochelle Aben told me. 

Get Caught Reading is a public service campaign launched by the Association of American Publishers to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read.  So I challenge you to do something, say something, cook something, dig, dance, or draw something that encourages someone to read.  

In honor of Get Caught Reading Month, I’m doing a midweek mini-series.  A few elite bloggers (and their pets) band together with one quest — catch the Story Reading Ape reading.  Now, you may say the Ape is known for reading, but our crafty friend is determined to lead the intrepid band on a merry chase.  The adventure is afoot!  

Atonement Airship

Image courtesy of Chris Graham

The Sign of the Ape — Chapter 1The_Sign_of_the_Four-_in_Lippincott’s_Monthly_Magazine_1890

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four Chap. 6, p. 111

Sleep, illusive as a feather’s touch, brushed past my wistful eyelids.  The slightest noise could wake me.  The sound seemed far away.  I wondered if a television had been left on, but what show would be filled with faint sounds… of meowing? 

Propping up on one elbow, in the puddle of a softly glowing light I saw my cat, Crystal.  She had my cell phone, the source of the multiple meows.  She looked at me guiltily.  The meowing continued.  Don’t misunderstand, I did think it was strange.  I’m not accustomed to my feline fielding phone calls.  I looked at the number, though the feline trio on the other end of the call was clue enough. I hollered into the phone, hoping to be heard by a human.  Annette!

The sound of a vase breaking accompanied the scramble of Claudius, Oh Kitty, and Sweeney as they scattered.  Annette was soon at the phone, and we spent a little time trying to figure out why our cats were having a meow-wow in the middle of the night.Annette Abens Cats

“Caught you, Crystal. Next time talk to your friends at a decent hour,” I told my unrepentant cat.

As I spoke the word “caught” it was greeted by a quartet of meowing, from Crystal and Annette’s three.  I asked Annette what she made of that.

“Oh!” she exclaimed.  “It’s Get Caught Reading Month.  But I don’t know why the cats would be talking about it at this hour.”

Suddenly simian shrilling blasted from the phone.  I looked at my cell and saw that the kitties had conferenced in someone else.  It couldn’t be…  Yet another screech said it was so.  The four naughty chimps were party to this monkey business. 

Then my phone buzzed with a text from the chimps.  “Time Square,” it said.  “Be there.”

I stammered that I couldn’t possibly. The text buzzed again.

“You have to catch the Ape reading.  He’s somewhere in New York.  At least for now,” it read.

Naughty Chimps

Chris Graham’s Naughty Chimps

“For heaven’s sake, he’s The Story Reading Ape!  Everyone already knows he reads!”

My cry was answered with the sound of another text.  “He’s been tucked away up in his tree-house for weeks.  Now he insists that you catch him.”

“But why catch him?” I exclaimed.

Annette supplied the answer — since it was Get Caught Reading Month, those naughty chimps had pulled me into some kind of game, probably orchestrated by the Ape himself.  The text buzzed again.

“Your ride is outside.”

Listening closely I heard a soft hum outside my window.  Hesitantly I pulled back the curtain.  I gasped to see a shimmering air ship afloat just beyond my window.  With the magical, alchemical sound of a sharp pop! the pilot leaned out of the dirigible and motioned for me to hurry.  He looked an awful lot like Cornelis Drebbel, but that would be even more impossible than cats and chimps having a midnight phone conversation.  

A gangway extended from the airship to my window.  Carefully a redheaded woman walked across.

“Ralda Lawton?  Why aren’t you in Atonement, Tennessee?” I sputtered.

Time Sq Atonement Teagan“I’m the only one who can take care of Crystal, and you are the only one who can start this chase,” she said.  “Now get going.”

Once on the airship I couldn’t help closing my eyes to yawn.  When I opened my sleepy orbs we were already at Times Square.  It was like magic… I shot a sidelong look at the pilot, but I couldn’t get a clear look at him.

“Ah!  That’s you, so this must be your stop,” the pilot told me, eyebrows flirtatiously bobbing.

I wanted to ask what he meant, but the sound of another pop! silenced me.  Suddenly, to my horror, I stood before a giant image of my own face.

My phone buzzed with a text from Annette asking me to let her know when  I arrived — or maybe it was from her feline crew, at that point I wasn’t sure.  I sent word to Annette and Crystal that I had arrived safely… already.

I couldn’t help gazing at the impossible billboard bearing my book and my bespectacled face.  Movement caught my eye.  I glimpsed something very large and very furry carrying a book.  He bounded around the corner.  I ran to the spot, and looked in every direction, but he was already out of sight.  All I saw was a suspicious looking guy.  Then on the sidewalk I saw a banana.  It had to be the sign of the ape.

Reeling with shock, I whirled at the sound of a horn blowing.  A bright yellow taxi idled beside me.  The driver’s bushy eyebrows looked all too familiar.  Was I fated to see Cornelis Drebbel everywhere I turned?

Percy asleep reading

Percy fell asleep reading his favorite book.

Sidling into the backseat, I took out my phone.  With trembling hands I found the number of the only person I knew in all of New York.  Suzanne.  If anybody could help me navigate New York it was Suzanne.  If anybody could help us sniff out the Ape and catch him reading, it was Percy the pug.

I felt like a heel.  It was no decent time to call — there would not be a Pug in the Kitchen (or a human) at such an hour.  I was sure to wake them.

However, Suzanne was such a good sport.  She and Percy were ready to jump into the game.  I mentioned the strange billboard on Times Square.  Suzanne wondered if it might be some kind of clue.

“Percy and I will meet you at Madame Tussaud’s Celebrity Wax Museum.  It’s near where you are now,” the blogger-chef promised. 

I leaned back in the taxi cab, too gobsmacked to think straight.

***

It’s hard to tell if we were chasing the Ape, or he was the puppet master, pulling our strings.  Stick around to see who gets caught reading next week!

By the way, it is a work day, so forgive me if I’m slow to answer comments.  

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

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

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

Special mention to Christopher Graham for the marvelous “Atonement, Tennessee” images.

 

Guitar Mancer — Episode 5: Bodaway

1970 Vista Cruiser

1970 Vista Cruiser

Welcome back everyone!  I’ve an announcement. May is Get Caught Reading Month. I’ll tell you more about that soon.  In support of encouraging people of all ages to read, I’m going to do a mini series of midweek posts. You’ll see the first one in a few days.

I’m downright thrilled that all of you are still on this road-trip.  Do we need a vehicle a little larger than the 1959 red Cadillac?  We might try out this vintage Vista Cruiser for a day.  Did you know that in 1972 these station wagons were the official pace cars at the Indianapolis 500?  

1972 Vista Cruiser pace car

They were not the typical station wagon.  There’s more than one reason why Bodaway Thunder got a brand new 1970 Vista Cruiser.  Tam will tell you about that shortly.

Boda-what?  You might ask.  Bodaway Thunder is a character you will meet today.  As I told Don Massenzio when he kindly interviewed me at his blog recently, Bodaway is probably my favorite of all the characters I’ve written.  So that gives me a particular challenge.  I’m not sure how much of his personality actually makes it to the page.  There might be more of him in my head than in the story.  That’s just one more thing for me to keep in mind as I write and edit…

Featured Blogger

Why is this character my favorite?  No matter how I look at Bodaway Thunder, he is unique.  So is one of my favorite blogs, Yadadarcyyada.  Donna Parker’s words are colorful, serious, funny, profound, absolutely entertaining, and always relevant. Donna’s many, many followers would agree.  For this installment of The Guitar Mancer, Donna gave us Topsy-Turvy Pineapple Cake, Woodstock, and Mustang.

About This Episode

Animated Teagan book

Image courtesy of Chris Graham https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/tsra-3d-books/ 

It’s time to turn some pages.  If we were sitting down with a paper copy of The Guitar Mancer, the end of this episode would also bring us to the end of chapter 2.  When we left the story last time the point of view had transferred to Tam Taliesin.  He had received a cryptic message from his shaman friend.  Strange things were happening.  Around North America, B.B. King’s famous guitar, Lucille, was stolen, with an attempt made to rob Chuck Berry of his guitar.  “Talents” and musicians all around Nashville have been suddenly unable to play their instruments.  Tam is worried about one talent, Grover Harper.  He doesn’t know yet that Grover’s daughter was the cute “wee mouse” he met.

 Episode 5 — Bodaway

Gordon Bennet!  They’re bloody deafening,” Tam muttered to himself as a long line of Harley Davidson motorcycles went around the vintage red Cadillac.

Elvis Triumph motor ad

Elvis Presley

It was urgent that Tam get there quickly, but it served his interests better to let the motorcycle group get ahead of him.  So he lightly touched the breaks, and the red rocket-looking lights at the tail fins flashed as he slowed the Caddy and motioned for the motor cycles to pass. 

New Year’s Eve 1969, he thought.  The bikers were sure to be on their way to a party.  At another time he might have enjoyed having the top down on the Cadillac and taking the car on a ride along with them.  But not on that day.

The bikers were enough to make most people do an apprehensive double take, but this group was not threatening in any way.  Several waved to the vintage Cadillac as they passed.  He waved and smiled in return, and schooled himself to be patient.

Abruptly the date replayed in his mind, New Year’s Eve 1969.  It was the change from one decade to the next.  That was a powerful time.  It was a time of transition, and those who were gifted could use the power that came with such a time.  Tam was more concerned than ever about the vague message from his old friend.  His grip tightened on the steering wheel of the classic car.

The Cadillac continued to wind down the narrow tree lined roads of Old Hickory State Park.  Tam wouldn’t have been able to give anyone directions to the meeting place, because he didn’t exactly know where it was himself.  In his mind, drums beat a rhythm, and somehow that guided him.  It was not something he could explain.  It was part of the shaman’s mancer power.

Dakota Sioux drums

Dakota Sioux drumming

Why drums?  Because the guidance came from Bodaway Thunder.  The tall Apache shaman was a drum mancer.  Bodaway had talent for the flute as well, but he drew stronger magic from the drums. 

It didn’t matter what kind of drum Bodaway used, big Indian drums made from a hollowed out tree trunk and skins, or bongos, or modern drum kits with bass, toms, snare, and cymbals.  He could draw power from any drum, from anything he used as a drum.  Once Tam watched in awe as Bodaway used a metal 50 gallon oil drum. 

When the two mancers went to Woodstock to soak up the energies there, the shaman had used the hood of a broken down car as a drum.  It drove the crowd so wild, that if Bodaway hadn’t been seven feet tall they would have dragged him and the car up on stage.  The shaman worked magic even with that.  By the way, the car started just fine after that too.

Abruptly the sky darkened.  Tam reflexively looked upward.  It wasn’t clouds that had obscured the sun, rather it was Bodaway Thunder’s totem.  Tam barely got a glimpse of her before she was quickly gone.

The presence of the totem meant Tam was close to the meeting site.  He eased back on the gas.  There were endless trails where he might turn off the main road and he didn’t want to waste time by missing the spot.  Bare gray trees, interspersed by occasional evergreens went by the car windows slowly.  A shrill avian call alerted him to the turnoff.

He followed the bumpy dirt road, deep into the forest.  Eventually between the thick trees he caught glimpses of the campfire.  He pulled the Caddy off the dirt road and into the campsite. 

The big fire was surrounded by hefty rocks forming a perfect circle.  The size of the fire was impressive, especially since Tam knew it would have been made entirely from dead wood Bodaway picked up from the forest floor.

Old Hickory Lake campfire

Old Hickory State Park, TN

There were three wooden benches separating the campsite from a steep embankment that went down to the lake.  A small covered dock sat empty.  The dock looked like it hadn’t been used in years. 

Tam got out of his car and walked over to the benches to sit down.  He wondered where Bodaway might be, but he didn’t bother to call out for him.  He knew the shaman would know he was there. 

The largest red tail hawk he had ever seen alighted on a low branch that was only a few feet away from him.  She was closer to the size of an eagle, a good 30 inches tall, with a wingspan he estimated at six feet, a good deal larger than any ordinary hawk.

Jay Tavare as Bodaway Thunder

Jay Tavare as Bodaway Thunder

The hawk gave another shrill call, causing him to look at her.  When Tam turned his eyes away from the hawk, the extraordinarily tall Apache shaman-mancer was seated on the next bench.  Bodaway Thunder’s long legs were stretched out so that his Brogan boots were less than a foot away from the campfire.  He wore faded bellbottom denim jeans and a plaid flannel shirt.  Two feathers were tied into his long straight black hair to hang beside his ear.

He was eating from something wrapped in aluminum foil.  It was shaped like a cake, but it looked all catawampus for a cake.

“What are you eating,” Tam asked his friend as a greeting.

The Apache raised one eyebrow.  “I haven’t seen you in months and that’s how you say hello?”

“Dude…  You’re the one who summoned me, shaman.  Besides, I haven’t had time to eat.  What is that thing anyway?”

“My aunt Louise made me a topsy-turvy pineapple cake for the road.  Want some?”  Bodaway asked as he broke off a large chunk with his hand and handed it to Tam.

At first Tam made a face, but then he sniffed the cake and ate the large helping in a few bites.

The huge hawk focused her intent gaze on Tam.  He shifted a little because it made him uncomfortable.  Tam knew she would never hurt him or anyone else… or at least he hoped he knew.  However, he had seen with his own eyes what a fierce raptor the hawk could be.Frejya Red Tailed Hawk

“Don’t mind Freyja,” Bodaway said in a resonant voice.  “She’s just impatient.  There’s something she wants to do, but she hasn’t explained it to me yet.  I’m reluctant to let her roam a strange town until I know what she has in mind,” the Apache shaman said of the red tailed hawk.  “But she gives me a vibe that seems like she wants to hunt, even though she doesn’t seem hungry,” he added in a confused tone and shrugged.

Many times Tam had wondered about the hawk’s unexpected name and decided to ask while she was the subject of conversation.

“Freyja is a Norse name, not Apache,” Tam said curiously.  “Why does she have the name of a Norse goddess?”

The shaman looked at him as if the answer should have been obvious.  “She is called Freyja because Valkyries could shape shift to hawks,” the Apache said, but Tam looked at him blankly.  “Freyja was a Valkyrie and Valkyries could shift into hawks,” Bodaway said as if explaining to a child, causing Tam to give him a droll look.

Bodaway Thunder wasn’t one for exchanging pleasantries.  He spoke to Tam as if he was just picking up where they left off in a prior conversation, despite the months that had passed since Tam had seen the Apache.

“I thought you were going to spend some time in Ruidoso,” Tam commented.  “You’re a long way from New Mexico.”

The shaman gave him a flat look.  “You know I can’t stay in my hometown for very long.  People will begin to ask too many questions,” Bodaway reminded him.

1960 Ruidoso NM

Ruidoso, NM circa 1960

Tam realized he’d said something stupid as soon as the words left his mouth.  With the totem’s extraordinary size, it would be impossible to keep her hidden.  He was also well aware of how difficult it could be to keep mancer abilities constantly under wraps, and Bodaway Thunder was an incredibly powerful mancer.  After his granddad trained him and put him through hell to become a shaman, Bodaway’s mancer abilities amped up even more. 

The trouble was, he seemed reluctant to cultivate the power for more than music.  He knew expertise as a shaman, but Bodaway Thunder was inexperienced as a mancer.

“Yeah, I guess it could get awkward,” Tam agreed.  “Unless you set up some elaborate excuse.  Okay, so what’s on your mind?  You seem really serious,” he said.

His old friend looked up at the hawk where she perched.  Tam thought it seemed like after all the urgency, and traveling across the country, Bodaway was putting off giving an explanation.  Tam raised his eyebrows, letting Bodaway know he was waiting.

Domhnall Gleeson outside

Domhnall Gleeson as Tam

“I asked you to come here because we saw important portends,” the shaman began.  “But you already knew that,” the shaman said as if he’d plucked the thought from Tam’s mind.

By “we” Tam knew Bodaway meant his grandfather and great-uncle.  The three of them working together had a shamanic power that was incomparable to any other mojo Tam had ever seen.  If they sensed danger, they were not wrong.

Then the Apache paused in an uncharacteristic way.  Tam was sure he was worried and that was bad.  Bodaway Thunder was the most self-assured person Tam had ever known, and rightfully so.  Tam didn’t like to think about anything bad enough to make the shaman worry.

“You told me things that I know.  What is it that I don’t know?” Tam asked quietly as his friend’s unspoken concern seeped into his own imperturbable manner.

Bodaway took a deep breath.  “There were not just one, but two disturbances in the astral plane.  I believe a totem was born and will be in search of an emerging mancer.”

The shaman paused.  Tam knew he was making sure his words sank in, so he nodded.  The birth of a totem was a rare event.  It was also an indicator that trouble was at hand — life threatening trouble for a mancer.   Tam paced a step away from the fire and then back.  He motioned for Bodaway to continue.

Johnny Cash home Old Hickory Lake

Johnny Cash home Old Hickory Lake

“Naturally the person is likely to be a child.  As you also know, that would mean the child has recently been exposed to their gift instrument.  That or they are entering puberty,” Bodaway said in a way that suggested puberty was not something he had enjoyed.

“Do you think it could be an adult suppressed talent?  Like a middle-aged man?” Tam asked and was rewarded with a rare double-take from the unflappable shaman.

It would have been nice to take a moment to enjoy the fact that he had said something to shock the Apache, but Tam quickly explained about Grover Harper.  Bodaway nodded gravely as Tam spoke.  Then he sighed and shrugged.

“I don’t know, man.  I do sort of get a weird feeling that the new mancer might be past puberty,” Bodaway said in a reluctant voice.  “But I don’t get that it’s an old dude.”

Tam’s shoulders sagged.  He mumbled that he’d known it would have been too easy if it was Grover Harper — someone Tam knew where to find and how to handle.

The kind of person Tam expected to find usually had talent that couldn’t help proclaiming itself.  They also tended to be flamboyant attention seekers.  However, now and then there existed the rare suppressed talent. 

James Garner white shirt

James Garner as Grover Harper

A talent could draw out music from within that other musicians could never reproduce, no matter how technically correct they were in executing the notes.  Once in a generation of generations a talent held the potential to become a mancer.

In its most simple form a mancer’s power could influence someone’s decision or affect their mood.  In its most advanced form, the power of a mancer could move small objects, effect the internal workings of machines, or create and direct energy — power.  The power within a great mancer could bring beauty and happiness or pain and death.

Bodaway looked contemplatively at the soaring hawk for a moment.  Then the Apache continued.  “That was one disruption in the astral plane.  The other disturbance was a much worse portend; destruction, chaos, death… and its source is a mancer.

The way Bodaway spoke made Tam’s blood run cold.  However, the Apache either couldn’t or wouldn’t say more about that part.  The shaman turned the conversation back to the totem.

Bodaway was sure the totem would manifest somewhere near the new mancer.  If they could locate the totem they would likely find the new mancer. 

“What kind of totem is it?” Tam asked as he looked up at Bodaway’s totem.

The big red tail hawk swooped from her perch and caught something on the forest floor.  He knew it was probably a mouse or a voile, but he still had to suppress a shudder.  It wouldn’t do to let the Apache see his squeamish reaction to the bird’s hunting.Red-tailed Hawk soar dreamstimefree_248058

“I could feel an air of confidence and self-reliance about the totem, something that makes me believe it is a probably a feline species.  Or possibly a venomous snake,” Bodaway told him with a sidelong look.

“That’s quite a contrast in species,” Tam said sardonically.

“I don’t really think it’s a snake,” Bodaway said drolly, and suddenly Tam realized the shaman had baited him just to enjoy his reaction to the possibility of hunting down a cobra or a copperhead totem.  “But that’s the only other possibility.”

“A cat?” Tam exclaimed.  “Something as common as a cat?  We’ll never spot it amid all the house cats in Nashville,” Tam complained in exasperation and gave his friend a pleading look.

“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Bodaway reminded him.  “The totem will be born into whatever form the new mancer needs most,” he finished in a typically cryptic way.

Squirrel scratching bbcWith a sigh of frustration Tam scratched his temple, several times, very fast.  Just as he had while driving there.

“Man, you scratch like a squirrel,” Bodaway commented dryly.

Tam looked at him, spread his hands and gazed heavenward as if for patience.

“So you think the totem might have already come through?” he asked the Apache.

“If it hasn’t then it will come soon,” Bodaway said.

“Well then I guess we’d best get looking for it,” Tam said.  “You need a ride?” he asked, abruptly realizing he had not seen another vehicle at the campsite.

“No thanks.  I have one,” the shaman said and waved his hand toward the other side of the campsite.

In the deep shadows Tam spotted the car and went for a closer look.  It was a new Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.

“A station wagon?” he asked, but when he looked through the window he saw how the seats had been modified to allow the driver’s to be pushed extremely far back.

“Long legs, long vehicle,” the seven feet tall shaman replied.

He had to admit that a station wagon was sensible for his tall friend.  Bodaway would never manage with something like a Mustang

Tam walked a circle around the station wagon, giving a low whistle.  That was no ordinary station wagon.  It had an amazing paint job — like the custom air-brush work that was popular on vans.  At first it looked like two racing stripes going up the hood, but then he saw the stripes were actually highway lines.  There was a Route 66 sign and a massive red tail hawk in the artwork.  And part of the sky gradually formed into a horse made of blue clouds.

“The Mother beckons,” Bodaway murmured as Tam looked at the design.Route 66 NM sign

Tam whistled in appreciation.  “You got a moon roof too!”

Both men grinned ear to ear as they looked at the car.  Tam stuck his head inside the Vista Cruiser.  “What? No car phone?  Under the circumstances you might want to get one,” Tam said, a little surprised since he had installed one in the Caddy.

“Don’t really need one that much, but I get what you mean,” Bodaway said with a sardonic twist to his smile.

Tam knew the shaman got messages directly from spirits and from the astral plane, from the red tail hawk, and who knew what else.  But a little modern technology wouldn’t hurt, he thought feeling ever so slightly wounded.

***

End serial episode 5

Yes that topsy-turvy pineapple cake was good enough to eat straight from the aluminium foil in which Aunt Louise had folded it with loving care. Forget forks, the utensils God gave us were good enough, and the cake was finger licking good.  I think Tam and Bodaway probably finished it right there beside the fire.  No doubt Freyja swooped down for a bite or two as well.  So here’s a recipe.

Recipe Topsy-Turvy Cake

At Food.com I found a recipe for Donna’s “food thing,” the upside-down cake.

Topsy Turvy cake

Food.com  http://www.food.com/recipe/topsy-turvy-cake-330930?photo=163520

It was great to have you in the vintage Caddy for this rendezvous in the park.  Next time you will meet the Guitar Mancer!

Until then, be groovy.  Mega hugs.

 

Copyright © 2014 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.

 

Guitar Mancer — Episode 4: Message

1959 Cadillac Convertible Red

The Opposite Sex

I’m happy to see you for this fourth installment of The Guitar Mancer.  Did the heading get your attention? (Winks) That’s how our characters might have termed it back then, the opposite sex.  You may or may not have noticed, but I rarely write from a male character’s point of view.  I don’t feel I can do it effectively — at least not for very long.

 

Domhnall Gleeson as Tam

Domhnall Gleeson as Tam

Yes, with the prologue of this novel I was in the guard’s head, and he was male.  To me I wrote from a “guard’s” standpoint.  The fact that he was a man was secondary.  Or that’s my excuse, and I’m stickin’ with it.  However, I broke my unofficial rule yet again with a chapter that is from a male character’s point of view.  Although most of the novel is witnessed by Luci, this installment is told from Tam Taliesin’s viewpoint.  

 

Since this point of view switch is not typical of the novel, I wanted to do the entire chapter in one installment.  Unfortunately it was just too long for a blog post. So Episode 5 will also be witnessed by Tam.

Before we get the 1959 red Cadillac back on the road, let me introduce this installment’s special guest.

Featured Blogger

KR Bigfish fishing

Kathryn Fishing

When I think of Kathryn and her blog, I imagine beautiful green trees, the Pacific ocean not terribly far away, and aromas of delicious food.  So welcome Kathryn, aka KR Big-fish of Another Foodie Blogger.  Originally from Texas, but now in the Pacific Northwest, Kathryn is a business analyst by day,  but a chef and food blogger by nights and weekends. Get to know her at this fun post.  At the end of this installment we’ll reward you with a link to one of her recipes.

As “things” to add to this episode, Kathryn gave a few TV shows.  I was able to use I Dream of Jeannie and The Monkees.

About This Episode

As you’ll recall from last time, Luci had overheard an odd conversation between her father and a stranger. To her astonishment the stranger turned out to be the man from the studio who ran into her, knocking the folder of resumes from her hands — Tam.

Meanwhile, across North America, famous musicians have been robbed, their favorite instruments the apparent targets.  In Nashville, many musicians either won’t or can’t play.  Tam has a bad feeling about it.  Let’s get back in that vintage red Cadillac.  Here’s Tam… 

Episode 4:  Message

As Tammarand Ben Taliesin pulled out of the parking lot of Blaylock Sound Magic Studios he glanced at the pink phone message paper.  “Meet me at the lake in an hour.”  The box marked “From” held the words Fire Maker.

“Cryptic enough, shaman?” Tam muttered sardonically.  “No one could be quite as enigmatic as a shaman.”

The note wasn’t much better than a message in a bottle.  The bad feeling Tam already had got even worse.  It wouldn’t be a fancy bottle, and there wouldn’t be any cute blond popping out of it, like on the I Dream of Jeannie television show.

It was bad enough that Tam heard rumors all over Music City of musicians who suddenly either wouldn’t or couldn’t play.  It gave him a bad, bad feeling.  Then for the usually laid-back Bodaway Thunder to suddenly show up in Nashville and insist on an immediate meeting?  That was a very unsettling combination of events.

It also worried Tam that in his message the shaman left the meaning of his name instead of his actual name.  The name Bodaway meant fire maker.  Tam was sure that was a hint that his friend’s visit was not a social call.  Use of the term fire maker also suggested trouble, as in setting a fire.

He would have been glad to see his old friend, Bodaway Thunder, if he hadn’t been so blasted annoyed.  Something was wrong and he knew it even before Matt Blaylock handed him that pink message.  So that made the cryptic note irritating in the extreme. 

Domhnall Gleeson suit

Domhnall Gleeson as Tam

Tam could feel it in his bones.  Something was off, out of balance, catawampus, and just plain wrong.  Something big and wrong in a very, very bad way.  And it wasn’t big in the way Bodaway Thunder was seven feet tall of big.  

He looked disdainfully at the pink paper again and crumpled it in his hand as he drove.  “The git didn’t even say which lake.”

However, Tam knew that answer without giving it any thought.  Bodaway was no fan of what he called western religion.  He didn’t even like the word “priest.”  So it wouldn’t be Percy Priest Lake.  He had to mean Old Hickory Lake.  Tam shifted gears in the Cadillac and headed toward Wilson County.

Tam thought about the map of Old Hickory Lake and gave a sardonic snort.  It was a manmade lake and the image on the map looked like a snake slithering.  Knowing which lake didn’t clarify the matter very much.

No matter the importance of the message, Tam had one stop to make first.  He thought it was a good thing, although it was also an ominous thing, for that stop to be right on his way.  When Tam understood the general location of the meeting, he immediately thought of Grover Harper, who lived in that area.

The rapid back and forth scratch Tam gave the spot just above his ear evidenced his suppressed frustration.  It was a nervous habit that he didn’t even realize he had.Old Hickory Lake Map

Tam was always on the lookout for new mancers.  He had not encountered one in a long time.  So the more he thought about the overall situation, the more worried Tam became about Grover.  He pressed the Cadillac’s gas pedal a little harder. 

Grover Harper had never manifested as more than a talent.  Still, it just didn’t make any sense.  The man couldn’t have abruptly turned into a mancer, especially not at his age.  Or it was extremely unlikely anyhow.  Mancers usually immerged by puberty. 

Grover had been a strong talent, but not a true mancer.  His wife Darla had possessed some weak power as a mancer.  Grover was never a famous musician, and Darla had been an elementary school music teacher.  

Tam had the sudden memory of Darla looking at him with an expression of deep envy when as a small boy, he had casually used his talents in front of her.  He pushed the thought aside.  Tam didn’t enjoy thinking ill thoughts of the dead.  Especially when they perished in the way Darla Harper had.

James Garner white shirt

James Garner as Grover Harper

Despite Grover Harper’s meager abilities, there had been many talents in Grover’s family line.  There had also been mancers, and some of them had been quite powerful.  It was just that Grover had always said the ability must have skipped his generation.  Tam never had any reason to question that claim. 

What if it didn’t skip Grover’s generation after all, Tam fretted.  Perhaps Grover knowingly resisted becoming a mancer.  What if the man had been suppressing his mancer ability all those years, and it had just suddenly emerged?  That wasn’t unheard of, just rare.

Tam tried to let go of the aggravating thoughts.  Whether or not Grover Harper had emerged as a mancer, Tam still needed to warn him.  There was a scary mojo in the air, and the location was too close to the man.  It might well be simple chance, but Tam didn’t like coincidences.

He knew that Grover blamed the power for his parents’ misfortune.  If they’d never had the power, they might still be alive that New Year’s Eve, 1969.  So would Grover’s wife. 

Grover had one child, Tam remembered.  At the memorial service for Grover’s parents the man vowed to never let his child anywhere near a musical instrument, even on the outside chance that any mancer ability had been passed down.  To Tam, it seemed sad, even cruel to deprive a child of music, but he could easily understand how Grover felt. Tammarand Ben Taliesin knew those feelings of loss and pain all too well himself.

Spahish guitar dreamstimefree_250123Even so, if Grover’s offspring had turned out to be a mancer or even a talent, Tam was certain to know about it.  And the child would be past puberty he reckoned, so there wasn’t even any talent involved.  That meant the only one he need be concerned about was Grover.

It was something of a relief to Tam that Grover’s child need not be involved.  He continued on to Grover Harper’s house.  It was a small but well maintained home. 

The meeting was awkward.  Tam had never been close friends with the man, though that was more from Tam’s reaction to his wife than from the difference in their ages or any dislike for Grover. 

Darla Harper had made Tam just uncomfortable enough that he’d preferred to avoid her company.  It wasn’t that she had ever offended him or even been impolite.  No, it was a look in her eyes.  The expression varied from sadness to unfulfilled longing, to occasional flashes of outright greed.  Unlike a few musicians, Tam’s ego did not feed off the jealousy of others.

There had been a group photograph, taken after Grover and Darla married.  Tam was too young to remember much, but he remembered pestering the photographer to let him

Barbara Feldon 1967

Barbara Feldon 1967

help.  So the photog allowed him to take one picture.  It was a happy occasion, and there was no trouble getting everyone to smile brightly for the camera.  However, Darla looked at him with a contemplative Mona Lisa smile.

 

Putting the past out of his mind, Tam tried to let Grover know his qualms.  He regretted that he couldn’t be more specific about his concerns when he warned Grover.

Luck seemed to be with Tam.  It turned out Grover had been thinking of going to a reunion in Jackson, Mississippi.  Unfortunately, Tam’s vague but dire warning caused the man to say he was going to cancel his trip.  It took a touch of mancer persuasion to undo that inadvertent twist.

So Tam voiced the unlikely fear that anyone who was in Grover’s proximity might also be at risk.  Fortunately Grover felt the knowledge that his presence might bring harm to anyone close to him was more than enough reason to distance himself from them and get out of town.

Again, Tam lightly touched the power and encouraged him to go; get away from town for a while.  Just in case, Tam added.  He expected the man had started packing his suitcase before the red Cadillac was out of the driveway.

Bless the guy for worrying about his loved ones, Tam thought.  With that out of the way, Tam settled back in the driver’s seat of the Caddy and turned on the radio.

Without thinking about it, Tam started singing the song about a girl called Sleepy Jean.  Tam was a voice mancer.  After a couple of words, his voice became an exact imitation of Davy Jones of The Monkees.  The song reminded him of the wall flower he bumped into at the studio.  He hadn’t given it any thought at the time, but she was a rather cute wee mouse.

Tam continued on to the lake for his meeting with the shaman.

***

End serial episode 4

“Don’t have a cow, man” — there’s still a food element.  Kathryn is a fantastic chef, so there were plenty of recipes.  The trouble was deciding which one to use.  I remembered that she goes camping sometimes.  “Tam” is on the way to rendezvous with another character at a campsite.  Even though he isn’t there yet, I thought this would be an appropriate post to share from Kathryn.  She posted an entire week of camp food at Another Foodie Blogger.

Shredded Spicy Chicken Tacos KR Bigfish

Shredded Spicy Chicken Tacos

I hope you’ve enjoyed this part of the road trip.  Next time you’ll meet the drum mancer and his totem, so keep on truckin’ and mega hugs!

 

Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

Guitar Mancer — Episode 3: Grover

Update: There was a fire two doors down in my building at 3 AM Saturday.

Thankfully, everyone is okay, including my neighbor where the fire was, or at least she didn’t have to go to the hospital anyway. However, I have a lot of smoke (which makes my little bit of asthma a lot), and all the work related to the smoke.  All that to say, I might not be able to answer comments in the personal, full way that I’d like.

Bunny Get-in-Car

Welcome back everyone.  I’m happy that you’re in the car for this road-trip!  If we were sitting down with a paper copy of The Guitar Mancer, this installment would finish up Chapter 1.  With the end of this episode, the stage is set for the magic to begin.  

As usual, keep an eye out for informative links as we drive down the road.  (The links are underlined.)  Now let’s get in the car so we can meet the featured blogger for this episode.

1970 Hemi Cuda purple

1970 Hemi ‘Cuda

This Week’s Featured Blogger

My original 1990s “manuscripts lost” version of The Guitar Mancer was a fantasy-romance.  Even though I removed the romance aspect when I rewrote the story, it still seems appropriate that the “things” for this episode were given by a romance writer — Mary J. McCoy-Dressel.  She gave us beehive (as in hairdo), eyeliner, and a purple Hemi ‘Cuda.  (It’s been fun to see how many of you leave a car as one of the “things.” I was a car girl, and I still love old cars.)

You can learn about Mary’s extensive collection of western romance books at her website (click here).  Sign up for her newsletter while you’re there too.  You can also visit her Amazon author page.  

About This Episode

Last time when we left, Luci had just landed her first job since getting her two-year degree in Accounting.  To her astonishment, the owner of  Blaylock Sound Magic Studios hired her on the spot.  She was excited to tell her dad, Grover Harper, the good news.  However, that doesn’t go quite the way she expected.

Without further pit-stops, here is the next installment of The Guitar Mancer.

Episode 3 — Grover

James Garner white shirt

James Garner as Grover Harper

The Malibu’s engine was a deep steadying purr as she drove from Nashville back to Wilson County.  The house where Luci and her father lived was close to Old Hickory Lake.  The area had once been popular with country music stars, but it had fallen out of fashion in recent years.

It wasn’t a big house; really it was more of a bungalow.  However it sat on a nice corner lot so you might approach it from two different streets.  Luci usually used the road that came toward the back of the house.  She pulled the Chevrolet up next to a tall bush.  Though its foliage was sparse in winter, come spring it would be a lush and fragrant lilac bush.

She got out of the car and opened the Malibu’s trunk to get the paper bag of groceries she’d stopped to pick up on her way home.  Her dad was heading out of town to a reunion with his old USO troupe.  So that left her free to focus the grocery shopping more on herself than she normally would.

Since her dad’s flight was later that evening she didn’t buy the traditional New Year’s Day fare.  Luci wasn’t that fond of black-eyed peas, no matter how much good luck they were supposed to bring, and she didn’t like the smell of turnip greens.  However, she did buy ham, and not just for the sake of tradition.  Luci and Grover both liked ham.

Max Factor eye makeup ad 1969Her father had asked her to pick up a newspaper.  They had the Sunday paper delivered, but not the weekday news.  She noticed it was a little thick for a Wednesday.  Luci tried to put the newspaper in the paper sack with the groceries and tore the bag a little. 

On impulse she had bought Max Factor Shiny Eyeliner in midnight blue.  It dropped out through the tear in the bag, and rolled under the car seat.  As she contorted herself trying to reach the cosmetic tube, a loud engine caused her to jerk up and bump her head on the Malibu’s dash.

That engine noise was well known to her.  It was the purple Hemi ‘Cuda that belonged to a big auto industry executive who’d moved down from Detroit.  He lived in a big house that used to belong to a country music star, right on the shores of Old Hickory Lake.  (What’s a Hemi ‘Cuda? Click here.)

She groaned, knowing it would be a gamble to get the bag of groceries to the door without the tear going all the way down the bag and spilling everything.

Luci balanced the grocery bag on her hip as she entered through the kitchen door, ready to tell Grover the good news about her new job.  

It would be just like Grover Harper to be sitting at the kitchen table, with a cup of coffee.  Luci was sure he’d be right there, waiting for her to tell him every detail of her interview.kitchen at Luci house

However, she walked into the kitchen and found it empty.  Immediately Luci felt something was amiss.  Grover had been acting a little off for the past few days.  She wondered what was troubling her father.

After thinking about it, Luci remembered another subtle change in his mood right after she lined up the interview.  He seemed nervous about it.  She abruptly wondered if he knew something about the company that he didn’t like.

A muffled voice drew her attention.  She looked toward the living room.  Luci hadn’t seen the front of the house or the main driveway since she drove up the back way.  So she was surprised to hear the murmur of voices from the living room.

One voice belonged to her dad.  But the voice of a stranger answered Grover Harper.  Luci would have ordinarily gone into the living room to let her father know she was home, but she hesitated.  There was something oddly familiar about that man’s voice, she thought as she placed the bag on the counter.  However, she couldn’t quite place it.

“You should go on to your reunion, Grover.  Twenty years — that’s a milestone you don’t want to miss.  I know the news is worrisome, but I’ll be around to keep an eye on things,” the muffled voice said in a reassuring tone.

What Luci first thought was a British accent became so heavy that she was no longer so sure the voice was familiar.  She wasn’t even sure it was a British accent at that point.  Not that she’d had a lot of experience with that kind of thing, but his voice didn’t sound like the ones she’d heard on television.  She enjoyed watching Doctor Who and The Prisoner whenever she got the chance.  She didn’t care that she could only get reruns of the shows.

Luci had the fleeting thought that it was unusual enough to meet anyone with an accent from another country.  Yet she had encountered two in one day, even though she barely met the first, and couldn’t actually see the second.

Could it?  No, it wouldn’t be the cute guy from the studio,” she wondered, but told herself that was ridiculous.  That man was a musician. How would her dad ever know someone like him?

It became increasingly difficult to understand the man’s dialect, particularly since they were not in the same room.  Luci only caught random bits of the conversation.  She breathed a sigh of relief at the next words she heard from her dad.

“I admit I’ve been looking forward to seeing the old troupe again,” she heard her father say in a wistful tone.

Luci had never known her dad to be involved with any kind of music, or anything related to it.  Grover Harper always insisted that he had no musical talent. Despite the fact that Luci knew he could play at least a little on not just one, but several instruments.  However, he never would play anything — at least not in her presence.  As far as Luci could remember, there had never even been a musical instrument in their house.

1960s Harper living roomEven so, Grover had once been a band director with a USO Show troupe.  He spoke little of it to his daughter.  “It’s best not to talk about it,” was all he would say.

She was still surprised to hear a stranger — with a strange accent in the living room.  Despite traveling with the USO in his younger days, her dad wasn’t friends with any foreigners.  She certainly didn’t remember him mentioning anyone.  So who was with him in the living room?

What “news” was the man talking about?  What would cause her dad concern?  Grover hadn’t mentioned anything that troubled him.  However, he had seemed apprehensive about her interview… No, Luci dismissed that thought.

While those ideas collided at a bottleneck in her brain, the muffled voices of Grover Harper and his visitor moved with their footfalls across the living room.  Luci strained harder to hear their voices.

“I don’t know how you managed to stay so far away from music,” the voice said.  “But considering your family history, you would have been bloody determined to keep her out of it.”

The front door opened and closed as Luci contemplated that extremely odd remark.  A car engine came to life and she heard the vehicle pull out of the driveway.Tail-fin-Red-Cadillac_dreamstime_m_30410578

Luci hurried over to the other side of the kitchen and looked out the window above the sink so she could see the departing car.  To her astonishment it was the 1959 red Cadillac from the parking lot at Blaylock Sound Magic Studios!

That disturbed Luci.  She wasn’t sure what to think,
and she tried to squash the nagging feeling of betrayal that toyed with her.  Had Grover known somebody at the studio?  Was that why she got the job so easily?  Luci would like to get the job on her own merit, but should she care even if he did?

The Windsor back chair squawked against the vinyl floor as Luci pulled it back from the kitchen table and plopped down.  What “news” would make her dad so worried that he’d consider cancelling his reunion trip?  Grover had been planning that trip all year.

News—, she thought.  Luci looked at the newspaper sticking out of the grocery bag.  If anything major had happened she was sure she would have heard it on the radio, but she yanked the paper out of the bag.  As she did so, the tear widened, spilling the contents of the bag across the table.

1963 Vogue Jean ShrimptonLuci looked at the front page.  There were the kind of local headlines typical of a Wednesday.  Salvatore Baccaloni, an Italian opera singer and actor, died in New York City.  She turned to the second page.  She read ads for the best seller, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” by John Fowles, and the movie “Angels and Demons,” directed by Carlos Hugo Christensen.  She also saw a drawing of a woman with a beehive hairdo advertising a beauty shop. 

In other words, nothing in the newspaper looked like something that would alarm her father, or threaten their day-to-day life.  So whatever the strange man and her father were talking about must be very personal.

One thing was certain.  Luci didn’t want Grover to sacrifice his vacation over some unnecessary worry about her safety.  It was silly.  She had thought he was used to the idea that she was a grownup, but maybe she was wrong.  Her dad needed to learn that she could take care of herself.  So whatever she learned about that conversation and the guy from the studio, Luci needed to handle it carefully.

“That you sweetheart?” her dad called out as he moved toward the kitchen, apparently hearing the noise from the chair.

“Yeah Dad, I’m home,” she said as he came to the doorway.

Grover moved to the counter and put on a pot of coffee in the electric Farberware chrome percolator.  The coffeepot chugged merrily as he moved to sit at the table next to her.

“Who was that leaving just now?” she asked and watched her father’s face carefully for any hints.

“Oh just an old friend I didn’t realize had come to town,” Grover said, waving away his daughter’s question.

“He didn’t look too old to me,” Luci said.  “He was at the recording studio where my interview was.  I didn’t know you knew anyone there.”Farberware chrome percolator 1960s

Grover cleared his throat and got up to check on the coffeepot.  Finally he turned to face her, leaning back against the counter.  His mouth twisted in a derisive way.  He took a deep breath and expelled it.

“Neither did I, until just now,” her father said in a dry tone.  “I have known Tam since he was a kid, though I’ve never known him all that well.  He’s not a bad sort at all, but something about him just worries me; that’s all.  Though I couldn’t say just what.  So I wasn’t exactly pleased for him to show up out of nowhere just now,” Grover said.

 

“But you don’t know anything bad about him?” Luci asked and Grover shook his head that he did not.  She wasn’t sure how to proceed, but she had to know more.  “He didn’t try to talk you out of going to your reunion, did he?” she asked cautiously testing her father.

“Dad!” Luci exclaimed, suddenly horrified.  “You haven’t set him up as a…” she sputtered, too appalled to spit it out.  “As a baby sitter for me while you’re gone?”

“Oh for heaven’s sake,” Grover blustered.  “No, of course not,” he reassured her with a smile, and Luci knew that the voice she heard had in fact encouraged him to go.  “And no.  He didn’t try to talk me out of the trip at all.  He encouraged me to go.  I guess Tam just wanted to say hello.  He said he was here on business, but he didn’t mention where he was working,” he said and seemed to relax a little.

Grover turned back to the counter and took two mugs from the black metal cup tree.  He poured them each a cup of coffee.  Luci got up to get cream for hers.  Grover took his coffee black.

Coffee mug tree“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop or anything, but when I walked in, it sounded like he had either delivered some kind of bad news or you both were worried about something,” Luci said, feeling no small amount of relief herself at Grover’s more relaxed manner.

“That’s okay sweetheart.  I know I raised you not to be nosey,” he said as he came back to the table and sat the mugs on it.  “No, he was talking about some friends out west.  Everything’s fine here.  Don’t you worry none,” he said.

“So Tam works at the place where you interviewed?  Huh… Small world I guess.  But hold on now!  How did your interview go?” her dad asked.

Luci told him she had been offered the job on the spot.  Grover was so obviously excited for her that Luci knew his surprise and enthusiasm were genuine.  She answered his questions about what her job would entail.  Then she went on to describe her new boss, Matt Blaylock, her brief encounter with Tam, and the studio.  Grover shrugged it off as unimportant and a coincidence.

Remembering the snacks in the grocery bag Luci got up and retrieved a package of Nutter Butter peanut-shaped sandwich cookies.  She and her dad both liked the peanut butter filling.  Luci carried the cookies and the Wednesday newspaper back to the table and then picked up the percolator to top-off their coffees.

When she sat down Grover had already picked up the front page section.  She looked at the back of it while he held it up and saw a bizarre headline, “Lucille believed stolen.  Musician B.B. King’s guitar mysteriously disappears.”

The article went on to mention another legendary musician, Chuck Berry.  Back in September at the Toronto Peace Festival, Berry’s hotel room had been robbed.  Though several instruments were stolen, Berry’s guitar had not been in the room at the time.  Police speculated that the two crimes were related.

Luci couldn’t help chuckling.  It struck her as funny that anyone would name their guitar.  Grover lowered the newspaper to see why she was laughing.  Luci pointed out the headline.  At first Grover’s face was blank when he read the words, but then rather than laugh as she expected, he swallowed hard and looked worried.

“Oh, I’m sure they’ll track ‘er down.  You can’t have B.B. without his Lucille,” he said and quickly changed the subject.

***

End Episode 3

Stay where you are.  We haven’t eaten yet.   Since Luci didn’t bring home the traditional New Year’s Day foods, I thought you could at least have some greens while you were here.  Courtesy of Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser.  Be sure to check out her websites (yes, more than one) for other delicious dishes.  Click over for Southern Collard Greens & Pancetta!

I look forward to seeing you next time when you’ll learn more about Tam, with an installment from his point of view.  Until then, peace and mega hugs!

 

 

Copyright © 2014 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.

Guitar Mancer — Episode 2: Interview

Sanctuary 

Welcome to my sanctuary.  Since December 2012 when I began Teagan’s Books, I’ve mentioned a few times that this blog is my sanctuary.  It’s a place for me to escape the stress and sadness of the real, day-t0-day world.  I mean Teagan’s Books to be that kind of place for you as well.  So leave your worries, fears, and sadness (both past and present) behind and join me for awhile in my sanctuary.  It’s time to get in the car for the fantastical road-trip!

Tail-fin-Red-Cadillac_dreamstime_m_30410578

1959 Caddy.  Rights purchased at Dreamstime

I have to say that I was greatly encouraged by all the positive feedback from the prologue and then from the first installment of The Guitar Mancer.  I’m trying to put aside my worries about the novel’s pace.  So you have my heartfelt appreciation.  

Here’s a little video I made.  It introduces the heroes of The Guitar Mancer.

Featured Bloggers

With this installment I’m pleased to feature two bloggers.  I’m delighted to introduce you to both of them.  Meet Dan and Andrea.

 Dan Antion

Dan gave us 8-track tape, reliable car, and driver’s license. He shares photos and writes about a variety of fun things at his blog, No Facilities.  He does a number of series posts.  My favorites are “If We Were Having a Beer” and “Thursday Doors.”  Check it out. I’m sure you’ll be entertained.

Andrea Stephenson

Andrea gave us turquoise plectrum.  You can sample Andrea’s beautiful writing at her magical blog, Harvesting Hecate.  Andrea’s superb way with words always awes me.  Just the thought of a turquoise guitar pick combined with the knowledge of her style of writing was enough to put an entire story in my head. Unfortunately, for the purpose here, I had to hold back on that.  😀 

About This Episode

Jean Shrimpton head-shot

Jean Shrimpton as Luci

It’s fun to “cast” stories with stars present and past.  Oddly enough I never did that for The Guitar Mancer.  The first time I did a blog post about it, looking at photos, I chose 1960s model, Jean Shrimpton as Luciand I stopped there.  In this installment you will meet Tammarand Ben Taliesin, usually known as Tam.  Suddenly I need an actor!  I might change my mind at any time, but for now, I’ve cast Irish actor, Domhnall Gleeson, in the role of Tam.

As usual, keep an eye out for informative links as we drive down the road.  (The links are underlined.)

Last time when we left Luci she’d just gotten gotten to the location of her big job interview. However, she was still shaken from finding out her past employer had become a “nudie bar.” Even a horn-honking flirtation didn’t stop her fretting that the re-invented state of her former employer would keep her from getting the job. She was almost too nervous to get out of her car, but she made herself put one foot in front of the other.

Detour:  If you need to catch up, click the following links:  Prologue and Episode 1.

Learn the result of Luci’s interview, and meet our hero — Tam.  Here’s a little video to show you Luci’s mind set as she walks into Blaylock Sound Magic Studios.

Episode 2:  Interview

Get Smart Opening

The heavy glass door closed behind Luci as she stepped inside Blaylock Sound Magic Studio.  In her imagination the doors clanged shut like the secret doors on the Get Smart television show’s opening.  Her fate was sealed.  Either the interview would go well, or they’d ask her about her previous employer, Party-gras, and it would all be over.

Lucis interview suit

Luci’s interview coat

The entry was offset from the rest of the building.  Luci took a steadying breath as she looked around.  What she could see was rather Spartan.  There was a reception desk, but no receptionist.  A large wooden teardrop with modern geometric colored insets hung behind the desk.  It took a second for her to realize it was a clock.  Beyond the desk the building looked like a dark frightening warren.

She cleared her throat hoping to summon someone, and then felt silly.  In a place that size, who would hear her making that little noise?  Should she cup her hands around her mouth and yell into the distance?  Probably not.  She looked down at her self-winding Timex and moved the red leather strap so she could see the face of the watch.  She wouldn’t want to be late as a result of being timid.

“Hello?  Anyone here?” she called out in what she hoped was a friendly tone.

A burly man with a broad smile popped his head around the corner.  “I’ll be right with you, young lady.  Just excuse me for a second,” he said in a pleasant, if booming, baritone.

About all she saw was the wide grin and the cowboy hat before he was gone again.  However, she heard animated discussions in the distance.  She couldn’t make out the words, but somebody sounded upset.  Luci wondered if it would be such a good place to work if that was going to be her first impression of the place.

However, she recognized the voice of the man who briefly greeted her.  Unlike the somewhat higher pitched voice he didn’t sound upset.  In fact his tone was like one of an adult placating a small child.

denim jumpsuit of Elvis

Elvis’ jumpsuit

It sounded like they were coming closer and Luci reflexively drew away placing the reception desk between her and everything else.

“No, Matt.  I don’t care what you say, that guy isn’t good enough to back me up.  Get somebody else,” said the second voice.

“Listen to me for just a second will ya?” insisted the deeper voice, which apparently was Matt.  “Two of the guys you usually use cancelled on me.  One said he thought he was sick, and the other said something crazy about just not being able to play.  I guess he hurt himself or something.  And only a few unknowns have made appointments for the audition.  You might not have any choice.”

That was met with a wordless exclamation, immediately after which a wiry-thin dark haired man wearing a bellbottom jumpsuit came around the corner.  His sideburns flared out at the ends, just like his pants.  Luci thought he was trying a little too hard to get himself compared to Elvis.  Then it dawned on her.  She recognized the man for a local Nashville celebrity, though the rest of the nation wouldn’t know him.  Ray Dean Simms stormed into the reception area.

“Sorry ma’am.  No autographs,” Ray Dean said to her as he practically stomped toward the door.

“Uh… thank you anyway,” Luci said, awkwardly uncertain about why he would have expected her to ask for his autograph.  “You have a nice day,” she added as he went out the door.

turquoise plectrumBefore she could regain her balance from that unexpected encounter, she heard the first man’s voice again.  He still sounded like he was placating children.

“Tam, hold on.  Don’t worry about Ray Dean.  We’ll record your tracks while he’s not here.  No trouble at all,” the friendly voice intoned.  “And I’ll make sure he doesn’t take your fancy turquois guitar pick again.  I know it’s something special to you.  And I don’t put up with no thievin’ in my studio.”

“It’s not that, Matt,” said a man with an accent, who sounded like he was in a hurry.  “Ray Dean isn’t likely to forget the way you came after him for trying to take my turquoise plectrum.”

Then the man who belonged to the accented voice stepped into the reception area.  He held a pink square from a “While You Were Out” message pad.pink message pad

“Don’t bite your arm off.  I have urgent business to attend,” the man said, waving the pink paper as if it was evidence of that fact.  “I’ll be giving you a call soon, but I ‘ave to take care of this straight away.  But not to worry — I’ll bring you a drummer when I return.  You did want a drummer for that prat what just left, didn’t you?” he said looking over his shoulder at the man he called Matt.

Luci didn’t realize she had stepped closer to the path from the back of the building to the front door.  She was intrigued by the man’s accent and something about him drew her closer.  She didn’t realize just how close until he turned his head forward and ran right into her.  The collision knocked her folder out of her hands and the expensive professionally printed resumes scattered across the floor.  The name Party-gras glared mockingly at her from the resumes.

He laid a hand with a firm grip on her arm, as if to steady her.  All she could think about when she looked up at him was the incredibly green color of his eyes.  That and how she liked the soft waves of his sandy hair.  She gave her head a little shake to snap herself out of whatever had just come over her.  She didn’t think it was actually attraction, or rather not only attraction.  But she couldn’t figure out what else could have mesmerized her.

“Oh, I’m sorry luv.  Beg pardon,” he said to her, slowing his pace enough to make sure she was okay.

He stooped and hurriedly helped her pick up the resumes.  She kept apologizing even though it hadn’t been her fault.  Luci couldn’t seem to stop babbling.  Then he gave her a sardonic smile and looked into her eyes with those green orbs of his.

Domhnall Gleeson as Tam

Domhnall Gleeson as Tam

“Timid little mouse are you?” he commented and his words mortified Luci, causing a heated blush to come to her cheeks.

She didn’t know how to respond to that.  Was it a bit of light teasing or an insult?  Before she could form a word in reply he took her elbow to steady her as she stood up from retrieving the resumes from the floor.

His extraordinary eyes twinkled and he glanced at the resumes in her hands.  “Good luck to you, Wee Mouse,” he said with a wink.

Stammering, Luci apologized profusely, but he was already gone.  Her eyes followed him beyond the glass doors until he got into the vintage red Cadillac and sped away, burning rubber.

A warm chuckle broke through the confusion of her thoughts.  She turned to face the man with the cowboy hat and big baritone voice.  He was as big as his voice.

“Ha!” his chuckle turned to a last guffaw.  Then he looked at her perplexed expression and smiled kindly.  “Oh, I don’t mean any harm.  It’s just that I enjoy a little irony.  You see, Ray Dean came through, all ego and bluster, just like he always is.  He expected you to fawn over him.  But you didn’t.  That’s not to say you weren’t polite.  You were just fine,” he said reassuringly when she started to protest.

“Then right on his heels, Tam came through and hardly noticed you were there, despite the fact that he walked right into you,” he told her.

Jean Shrimpton houndstooth

Jean Shrimpton as Luci

Luci was rather offended, or at least a little hurt by that remark.  Her expression must have showed it because the burly man hastily explained.  “See Tam, he zooms right in every time we have a new woman here.  Not that he does any harm, but he always has to know every little thing about a new girl,” the man chuckled again.

“You’re not a musician or a singer though, are you young lady?” he asked and Luci shook her head mutely.  “Maybe that’s it… something about fellow musicians…” he let the words trail away with a sheepish look on his face that suggested he knew he had put his foot in his mouth.

“Tam has an unfortunate attraction to the wrong women.  You know — the ones that are flamboyant, attention seekers, that type.  It never does work out, but he doesn’t seem to learn from it,” he said.

In other words, Luci thought, everything that she was not.  She shrugged it off, knowing that someone like that intriguing man would never be interested in her anyway.

The man stepped forward, extended his big hand, and enveloped Luci’s much smaller one.  Her eyes moved from the unexpectedly large hand to the bolo tie at his neck.  The braided leather cord was held together at his collar by a substantial hand-worked silver chief’s head.  It was intricately carved and inlaid with turquois, coral, and mother of pearl for the chief’s war bonnet.  It was the most unusual piece she had ever seen.  Unusual, but that’s not to say she thought it was attractive.  She gulped and quickly looked away from the tie.

Bolo Silver Zuni Chief Headdress“I’m Matt Blaylock,” he said, absently placing an 8-track tape on the reception desk.  “And I expect you are Miss Luci Harper.  Do you know that you were the only one willing to come in for an interview on New Year’s Eve day?  It makes me wonder how much the rest of ‘em want a job,” he commented.

That remark was about the last thing Luci expected to hear in an interview.  She was at a loss for words.  She gulped and tried to smile.

She was getting really nervous.  In fact she was getting more nervous by the second.  “Well Mr. Blaylock, I certainly do want a bookkeeping job.  My grades were good, and I have two letters of reference with me,” she managed to compose herself enough to say.

“I am happy to hear that,” he said congenially.  “The truth is, I’ve talked to the folks at your business school and at the part time job you listed on your application.  They all speak real highly of you,” he said, surprising her again.

“You don’t do drugs of any kind, do you?” he asked.

Her eyes widened in surprise and she mutely shook her head no.

“Of course not.  I didn’t think so.  You don’t seem like the type,” he said with a smile.  “I suppose I should give you some kind of math test or something,” he said and Luci tried not to show her dread even though she knew she would pass a test — or she would if she wasn’t so nervous.Elvis Tennessee drivers license 1975

Matt Blaylock twisted his mouth over to one side, as if trying to think of something he’d forgotten.  Abruptly he looked like he remembered. 

“You live out toward Old Hickory, is that right?  Near the lake?” he commented more than questioned, but Luci nodded affirmatively.  “That’s a pretty good clip from here,” he added, sounding concerned about the distance.

Luci’s father, Grover, had rehearsed the transportation questions with her.  She was pleased to have that reply ready.  “It’s not a bad drive.  I have my driver’s license and my dad makes sure I have a reliable car,” she told him with certainty.

“Well then, after talking to your school, I don’t see any reason to bother with those tests.  You just passed the best test I could have given you with how you reacted to two very different but sometimes difficult people — Ray Dean and Tam.  So what do you say that we jump ahead and talk salary,” he said causing Luci’s jaw to drop in complete shock.

A moment later Luci sat at a desk filling out numerous forms in triplicate.  The tax forms required her full name.  She hoped no one started using it.  That had always happened with her school teachers.  Since “Luci” came from her middle name, it always took months to straighten out the confusion.  However, there was no escaping it.  She filled in the forms “Carolina Lucille Harper.”

She closed the Cross pen and put it away carefully.  It was a graduation present from her dad.  Luci noticed it had left a dent in her finger because she had been holding it so tight.  She took a deep breath and grinned.  The job was hers.

8 Track Tape club ad

End Episode 3

We didn’t have a food “thing” for this installment. But when I was collecting things, several of you mentioned the “Big Boy” restaurants (of various names). Knowing Luci, she’d celebrate her successful interview by stopping at Shoney’s Big Boy and ordering a Slim Jim sandwich and French fries.  So here’s a recipe from Food.com.

The Slim Jim Sandwich My Way

Slim Jim sandwich

I look forward to seeing you next time when we meet Luci’s dad, Grover. She will also overhear a mysterious conversation between Grover and the last person she would ever have expected him to know.  Until then, have a groovy week.  Mega hugs!

 

 

Copyright © 2014 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.