Get Caught Reading — The Sign of the Ape 1

Crystal Atonement book stack

Happy May Day, everyone!  Do you know what else May is?  It’s Get Caught Reading Month.  I’d like to give you another mini-series this year, but that’s just more than I can do this time.  So I thought I would re-run the one I did last year, featuring blogger pets from everywhere.  

I’ve closed comments, but I hope you’ll come along for a fun trip anyway.

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.

102 thoughts on “Get Caught Reading — The Sign of the Ape 1

  1. Such a fun post, Teagan! Great for this month of reading! Love the pics from Chris and all the cats and dogs. Happy reading! Will be back to read more. Hugs! 😘


      1. No, but I am editing my new novel, How Far Is Heaven. Hope to publish soon. My current read is Iron Butterfly by Lisa Wainland.
        This is a fun post including other authors. Good idea! You certainly do think out of the box. LOL! ❤️


  2. Sorry, I’m late to the party, Teagan. Moving house and all that… 😀

    What a delightful read. Mixing bloggers, their pets, and characters from your books – it’s a recipe for success. I do hope the Ape has not got you on a wild goose chase. However, a trip to New York abroad an Airship sounds like a great way to travel. And to see your photo up there in Times Square. Wow!


    1. Hi Andrea. Thanks so much for taking time to visit and comment. 🙂
      It feels a little like cheating to bring Cornelis and his magic into the story. But then, it’s not as though this was meant to be realistic. 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed the beginning of the story. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Suzanne. Thanks so much for dropping by and for taking a moment to comment. I know you have a lot on your plate — but you’re going to do great!
    The zaniness of this story has barely started. 😀
    Take good care of you. Huge hugs.


  4. Naughty chimps, kitties that read, super sleuth Percy, a missing ape. Oh this promises to be fun and exciting and what a great way to start out. Looking forward to the next installation. It’s whimsical, an air of mystery and just downright fun. Thank you Teagan.


    1. LOL. Wouldn’t that be something? Are you still in Arizona, Shelley? You’re one traveling woman. I’ve been considering doing some kind of one-way trip with an RV… Hard to find dealers for that. And I’d want the smallest kind — which is even harder to find. Keep doing retirement right! Mega hugs.


  5. Oh that’s a fun post! I can only imagine what is going to happen at Madame Tussaud’s. I wasn’t surprised to see your picture in Times Square. It looks so natural there, and you never know…


    1. LOL, Inese, you’re too kind. I should have half as much positive thought about that billboard. 😀 Yes, we never know. Anyhow, I’m delighted you enjoyed this little romp through imaginary frontiers. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! Isn’t that a great thing for “manifesting” and visualization! It kind of freaked me out, but once I realized that, I really liked it. Thanks for commenting, Amy. Have a thriving Thursday. Hugs.


  6. Oh hey there Teagan, what a pleasant surprise to see a mid-week post! And the shenanigans, lol! This should be a fun ride, for sure! I am excited to ride along in this new adventure. I am sure Suzanne and Percy will take good care of you. 🙂 XOXOXO


  7. Teagan, you’ve gone delightfully to the cats, dogs and apes! (shaking head & smiling) Love how your creative mind spins out and weaves terrific tales! Yep, on the trail with you catching the ape! Is the pug any good at “sniffing out” apes? I’d ask! Happy Wednesday. Hugs! 💛 Elizabeth


  8. Wow! Great to meet all the characters and a few more around… I’ll be looking out for bananas and reading apes. 😉 Thanks, Teagan!


    1. Well, Olga… there’s no telling where that Ape is. He might even be in your neck of the woods! 😀 Thanks so much for taking time to comment. Wishing you huge success at the book fair in Wales!!! Mega hugs.


        1. Oh-oh… now the Mission Impossible theme is in my head. I’ve finished chapter 2, but if that idea blooms, there’s no telling what will happen in Chapter 3… LOL. But then again, I’m pretty worn out. I probably won’t even remember tomorrow. o_O 😀

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gerlinde. That Ape is pretty crafty… It might take a whole crew to catch him. We’ll see what develops next week. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Mega hugs, my friend.


    1. Hahaha! When I opened that file I was horrified. I’ve always hated pictures of myself. Then the fantasy of the amount of success that symbolizes took over, and I loved it. Like George Lopez once said… He was talking about kids not getting encouragement to dream… “Don’t just dream big. Dream even bigger!” (But I wasn’t meaning for my face to be what was so big. LOL) Hugs bigger than a billboard face to you John. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Geoff… A billboard, an airship… and he didn’t even put bananas in any of them — totally selfless our Ape. I’ll feature more each week. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Huge hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris. What a fantastic intro. Thanks for that and for reblogging. You’re a treasure.
      Thanks again for all the lovely images you created. I’m featuring at least one in each episode of this mini-series. All of them are wonderful. You should hear the compliments you get when I show them to people. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great beginning, Teagan. I love these serials of yours. I bookmarked the serial about the “woman in pants” so I could go back and read it. I’ll be sure to follow this one this week. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne


    1. Hi Suzanne. I’m delighted that you enjoy my little imaginary escapades. Just a warning about “Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers” — that is the serial’s “homepage” so it’s going to look awfully long. You can also access individual episodes via the “Categories” button on the right hand side of the page (for individual episodes, including the featured bloggers in each intro — the home page does not have the intros).
      Huge hugs my friend. ❤ 🙂


    1. Dear Sally, I know you have a huge amount going on, with moving and all the related tasks. Yet you still took time to reblog and give this lovely introduction. I appreciate you so much! Mega hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Cheryl, it’s lovely to see you. But from the time stamp on your comment, I’m starting to worry that you never sleep. 🙂 Haha, your comment gave me the giggles. New purple flipflops? Oh! Divine. Mega hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah those naughty chimps. I had to borrow them from Chris Graham again. I thought of you liking them as soon as I pasted the image. 😀 Thanks for taking time to read and comment. I know there’s a ton of stuff on our plate with the Welsh book fair. Mega hugs ❤ 😀


  10. Oh Joy ! Chatting cats, the four monkeys and an adventure that includes Cornelius Drebbel again. Things are looking up. The hunt for the Ape is on.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


    1. Hi David. Happy Wednesday! I had not intended to bring Cornelis into it, but I needed transportation. LOL. Maybe Joey will like this story. 😉 Mega hugs my friend.


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