Jazz Age Wednesdays 20 ― Pip and Holding On Part 2

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

1923 Harold Lloyd Safety Last clock
Harold Lloyd in Safety Last, 1923

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Last time I posted part-1 of a story I wrote because Hugh Roberts, of Hugh’s Views & News, asked me to participate in his new feature series.  (Click here for Hugh’s post.)

Writing Process

Lately the real world has provided an over abundance of the “s” word.  Take that anyway you want, but I meant stress.  Stress drain.  It leaves me depleted of… well everything.  When that happens it’s extremely difficult for me to write, as this story proves. I spent two weeks of my writing time developing a simple short story.  I finished it last week, but I didn’t manage to make it short enough for one post, but today we have the conclusion. 

Pip and Holding On


City Hall Savannah 1920s
Savannah, Georgia City Hall 1920

After parking the Model-T, I walked with Miss Olive inside the echoing halls of the grand building, making sure she got to the right office.  It seemed like we waited at least an hour for someone to come to the desk.  However, the clock insisted that only ten minutes had passed.  I had never seen a secondhand creep along so slowly.  Someone finally came to help Miss Olive. 

Yes, I admit it.  I was bored that easily.  There were no distractions in that room.  Nothing to occupy the mind, no magazines, zipola.  Maybe it was all my fidgeting, but the elderly woman took pity on me.  Miss Olive told me it would be fine if I went to look around outside while she attended to her business.

I exited city hall and strolled a short distance down the sidewalk.  A commotion caused me to turn back.  A high-pitched call split the air.  A man screamed.  I heard Hank Hertz yelling.

When I looked up I saw the reason for the uproar.  The hawk we saw earlier had snatched Charlie’s little Chihuahua!  The raptor had caught the ruffles of the tiny dog’s dress.  Chichi dangled by her frilly dress, as the hawk flew high above the street. 

Two statues representing art and commerce adorned the fourth-floor balcony of city hall.  The hawk alighted there, Chichi in tow.  Charlie kept up his shrill scream so long I wondered where he got all the air.

Ramon Novarro chihuahua Chiquita1920s
Ramon Novarro with his chihuahua Chiquita, 1920s

Hank ran from the other side of the street toward the three arched entries of city hall and disappeared inside.  I went after Hank.  I didn’t see him anywhere, but I heard the pounding of his shoes on the marble floors.  I followed the sound.

I was breathing hard when I stepped out onto the fourth-floor balcony.  Maybe the hawk was spooked by all the yelling from Hank and Charlie Chilton.  Some of the people on the street were yelling too.  It flew erratically, hampered by the weight of the dog, as it flew from the statues up to the clock on the sixth story. 

(You can read the chapter of Murder at the Bijou that included Charlie and Chichi here.)

I leaned against one of the statues trying to catch my breath.  Thankfully that also put me in a shadow.  It was already getting hot outside.

The hawk stopped on the minute hand of the clock as it pointed at twelve.  Worse than the Chihuahua suspended high in the air, Hank Hertz had climbed out onto the face of the clock.  The bells gonged as the clock struck nine. 

Savannah’s youngest policeman cautiously stepped onto the hour hand.  Hank stretched up toward the vertical minute hand as far as he could, trying to reach the dangling dog.  However, the hawk flew back down to the statues.  Hank made a grab for Chichi, but lost his balance and started to fall.

Hank grabbed onto the huge minute hand of the clock, scrambling to get his footing.

Harold Lloyd clock

The Chihuahua struggled as the hawk glided down.  I stood stock still.  If the hawk saw me it would fly away with the little dog.  Or it might drop her.  That would be awful too.  Horsefeathers, it would be horrible if Hank fell from his predicament to the pavement 140 feet below.  What was he thinking?

The gears of the clock and the metal of the minute hand groaned.  Hank’s weight pulled it downward. 

Slowly I tilted my head to look up at the statue against which I leaned.  Chichi saw me and renewed her struggle for freedom.  The hawk was preoccupied by Hank’s presence on the clock. 

But what if it looks down? I worried.

I heard the scrape of Hank’s shoes as he scrabbled against the face of the clock for a foothold but found none.  Metal moaned as the minute hand moved again.

Involuntarily I gasped when Hank lost his hold.  The hawk heard me. 

Chichi yipped, tiny legs working furiously.

Hank managed to grab onto the railing below the clock face.  I held my breath as he swung one leg up over the banister.

The Chihuahua’s ruffled dress ripped where it was pierced by the hawk’s talons.  She sagged as her dress tore.

Hank finished pulling himself to the relative safety of the ledge behind the stone railing.  I heaved a sigh of relief.

Then the hawk launched itself from the statue.  The awkward burden of the dog caused the bird to bob downward as the frilly dress continued to rip.

I was never any good at catch.  However, the bird was directly above me.  As the fabric tore free and the little Fido fell, I put my hands out and caught her.


1920s Ice cream Flapper
Viola Dana, 1920s Film Star

“Lord have mercy.  Paisley, you are a sight.  Your headband is all catawampus and that short skirt looks like you slept in it,” Miss Olive told me in a half-scandalized tone, but then she chuckled and waved her hand.

To my surprise, Miss Olive was sharing a cup of tea with a stranger.  Looking at the scene you would have thought they were old friends.  The man looked like a traveler, probably on his way to Union Station.  A suitcase sat at his feet with labels from England, Ireland, and Wales.  He spoke with an accent that sounded kind of British to my ear.

When the man finished his tea, Miss Olive dumped the tealeaves into the saucer.  Her wrinkled face squinted into even more creases as she peered at the pattern of the leaves.

“Miss Olive, do you see great things in my future?” the stranger asked lightly with a kind, patient smile.

“I see happiness for you,” the very old woman told him.  “That’s a great thing, Mr. Roberts.  I’m just a little puzzled that the main thing I’m seeing is not you.  It’s one of your descendants.  A brilliant novelist.  He’ll be called Hugh.”

The End


As a footnote, “Charlie Chilton” never looked anything like handsome actor Ramon Novarro, pictured above with his chihuahua Chiquita.  Sorry Charlie.  For more about the Savannah City Hall dome, click here.

Thanks for visiting.  You are pos-i-lutely darb!

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends. 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 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 provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.


74 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays 20 ― Pip and Holding On Part 2

  1. Well, not only did you take my breath away once (when I was reading the part of Hank hanging onto that minute hand for dear life), but twice, with the ending for this story, dear Teagan. For one of my predecessors to actually feature in the story (and with Miss Olive) is an absolute honour. Thank you so much for not only a brilliant ‘Pip’ episode, but for a fantastic short story full of character and expertise in the art of writing.
    Sending you over a huge ‘Hugh’ box of hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. hehehe! Reminds me of a conversation my son told me about with some of his friends one day. They asked if he had ever noticed that all his ideas for activities together seemed to require a helmet and a liability waiver 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The idea of Harold Lloyd loving this story tickles me pink, Jennie. 😀 LOL apparently I need them, because that is the only kind I seem to be able to write… the fantasy part at least. Try as I might to do a “real world” story, the fantasy element sneaks in before “the end.” TGIF hugs. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am glad Hank and the chihuahua survived this episode, Teagan! Dangling from above is something I know of from childhood, working on a tree fort. I slid backwards along the branches along with the boards I was laying down, and somehow, managed to grab onto a branch on the way down. I dangled for a while until my friend’s mother came to get me with a ladder.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was a nail-biter, Teagan! Wow! I barely breathed, afraid the hawk would drop the poor terrified little dog. And, then to have the clock nearly plummet Hank to his demise. Great episode and the ending…priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are a treasure, Jan. Thanks so very much for taking time to read this story.
      I knew I needed to put somebody hanging on for dear life on that clock… but who and how to get the person into such a mess in the first place…! It took me a while to figure it out, and another “while” to get the story there.
      Thanks again. You’re the cat’s pajamas.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. oh no, not flattery for that Roberts man? Do not encourage him, Teagan. You have a large pond between you but I have to face him regularly… You’ve read his short fiction. You know how his mind works. Just imagine what he’s like in the flesh? Exactly!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha! I really did just laugh out loud, Geoff. And now I’m coughing from it…
      You write some mighty creative, unexpected, powerful, not to mention fabulous short fiction yourself. 😀 Thanks for visiting. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you ever so much, Kathryn. 😀 I admit to letting Harold Lloyd inspire me for that part. But I’m tickled to hear that I managed to make you see what I was thinking.
      What a (another) cold, cold day here. I need to make one of your delicious soups for dinner. Thanks for visiting. You are the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, John. It’s a great episode at Wednesday Story Day at your place too! I admit that I was rather pleased with myself in the nod to Hugh. (My father is rolling in his grave that I said I was pleased with myself so maybe I should put “rather” in all caps.)
      I appreciate your visits. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Talk about a hair-raising episode! Glad Paisley saved the pooch, she’s a heroine for sure 🙂
    We had a little hairless chihuahua named Mickey. He was born with a deformed front leg so he limped, and his tongue waved at everyone from the side of his mouth, but I loved all three pounds of him.
    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A late lunch and some time with Pip – the perfect way to cruise over the hump. There are so many wonderful lines in today’s episode, Teagan. I’m going to call attention to two:

    “I heard the scrape of Hank’s shoes as he scrabbled against the face of the clock for a foothold but found none.” I found myself breathing hard until he was safely behind that railing. You are quite good at establishing the emotions of danger in your writing.

    “Lord have mercy. Paisley, you are a sight. Your headband is all catawampus and that short skirt looks like you slept in it,” – I love this line for personal reasons. I have a elderly aunt in Virginia and I swear, she begins every sentence with “Lord have mercy.” Of course, ‘have’ sounds like it has about 11 or 12 A’s, so that’s how I’m hearing it.

    Thanks so much for the midday/midweek break! I can only imagine how much work these episodes are to write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan your comment is a true delight! I’m so glad I let myself have an afternoon break — and I’m happy that you spent part of your lunchtime here.
      I’m laughing out loud about your aunt’s 11 or 12 As — because that is exactly my giveaway, my downfall, my tell. Remember, I’m originally from the deep south (even though I’d rather think of the southwest as home). I swear, my mouth gets stuck on the letter A. A simple name like Pam can have three syllables by the time it finally exits my mouth!
      Thank you so very much about your “establishing the emotions of danger” remark. You have pos-i-lutely made my day. I truly appreciate you taking time to visit. Hugs to you and the missus — and all the critters. You’re the cat’s pajamas!


  7. I must admit that I couldn’t help but get distracted by the footage from Safety Last. I remember going to a restaurant when I was little called Dizzies in Beckenham in London. I would love to watch a silent movie sometime but I must admit to ‘liking’ the look of the ‘young’ Lillian and Dorothy Gish. Not now obviously though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome Tom! Imagine how distracted I get when my research brings me all those lovely vintage things. 😀 The entire look of the Roaring Twenties beguiles me. What a marvelous era. At least when looking at it from this distant time, and admittedly through somewhat rose colored glasses.
      I appreciate you taking time to visit and comment. You’re the bee’s knees!


      1. My parents stopped taking me there after a while because I kept going up to the bar. The irony of it was I ended up working in catering and being a fitness enthusiast. I get heavily distracted as well!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, Teagan, what an exciting conclusion. I see what you meant about Charlie and Chichi having a big part in the ending. I’m glad you found your inspiration to write this short story. Love and huge hugs, dear friend. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Paul. I was just trying to leave a comment at your wonderful post. But “they” have me blocked at work… So aggravating the randomness of it.
      Thanks so much for visiting here. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Teagan it was lovely of you to visit the site. Great job on the story as I know what it is like sometimes just hitting a brick wall… you need al your strength to get over it PX

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Great conclusion to the story and fantastic (if scary) scenes! Lovely pic of Ramon Novarro (he was a looker and so was Chiquita, perfect name indeed). I hope the stress eases off a bit. Here the weather is quite mad, snow/sun/rain… It changes by the minute.
    Thanks, Teagan. Big hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Olga. It’s great to see you. I’m happy you enjoyed your visit.
      I enjoyed your latest book review. I was trying to comment and then “they” blocked me. So annoying how randomly they block things. One day fine, the next big scary red warnings.
      Yes! Even though Ramon Novarro is opposite of how I envision Charlie, I was so infatuated with the photo, I had to use it. Thanks for taking time to comment. You’re the cat’s meow!


    1. LOL. That’s why I had Miss Olive say last week “All God’s creatures have to eat.” I’ll have to wait until I get home to watch the video. Oh, from 1926? Definitely have to check it out. Huge thanks for visiting, Tim. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Good morning Teagan…. a superb conclusion to the story. Yes, we are living in the most stressful of times and all that stress is manmade. As much as the technology is good and has helped many including we creatives, it too can be very stressful and so it is lovely to read your story which removes us from all the current madness. Thank you so much, and I do hope that you and Crystal enjoy a lovely and stress free day. Hummingbird Hugs. Janet xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Janet — thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. It means a lot to me that you make time to visit here. Yes, an escape from the current real world is a moment of relief. I’m delighted to hear that I’ve provided that. I suppose my continual need for that escape is why I just can’t write truly real world stories. Atonement, Tennessee is an urban fantasy, set in the current time and our world, but it’s still not a place we would truly find in this real world.
      Hummingbird hugs right back. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello Teagan,
    a breath-taking episode. These type of scenes were why I couldn’t watch everything by the marvellous Harald Lloyd. Truly inspired cinematography that was.
    Loved the ending of this episode, I also know an inspired writer named Hugh…
    Huge Hugs! XOX

    Liked by 2 people

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