Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 29 — A Hummingbird

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Orange Feather Alexander Sinn Unsplash

Alexander Sinn, Unsplash

Welcome once again to the faery land of Thistledown.  At the end of the previous episode  an orange feather from Bob the humming bird drifted down to Fallow Blackmoon. Thanks to Jacquie Biggar for being the first reader to cause me to see what a symbol of hope that feather was. 

Today hope is not quite gone.  However, our friends might resort to drastic measures… 

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

Episode 24 – The Other Seer

“The family always said the copper battleax was magical.  I’ve never seen anything unusual or special about it.  Except for how big it is.  And how old,” Stranglevine Starquencher told us.

 “Could you bring it here to the cave?” Fallow asked gently.  “I’d like to see how it reacts to the magic of this place.”

Episode 27 – A Feather

Bob made it to the tiny opening in the cave wall. He came out on the other side of the hill from where Bedlam and the scary faeries were at the cave opening.  He used his hummingbird magic to summon others of his kind. But they were all brown.

Episode 28 – Gray Wings

Last time Bedlam saw the bright orange feather that surely had belonged to Bob the Hummingbird, but she found no trace of the brave little guy.  Also, Fallow Blackmoon had grave news for Bedlam Thunder and it was related to her horrible vision.

“Bedlam, the rest of your burden is at least as great as mine.  And dire.  There is a connection between this world and ours.  Just as many of the folk of Thistledown have doubles, things that happen here can eventually bleed over and into Thistledown.” 

 

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 29

A Hummingbird

Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch_John Anster 1900s

Fairies Looking Through A Gothic Arch, John Anster 1900s

At first light the next day most of the drum circle gathered again at the entrance to the cave.  Although, first light in the colorless world happened later in the morning than it did in Thistledown.  The sun was in the same position, but it seemed to take it longer to build up enough illumination for the break of day.

As that sun shone weakly on the dull world around me, Fallow Blackmoon smiled at the sky as if she beheld a bright day.  I supposed she had gotten used to the difference after so many years in that place.

The copper battleax glinted warmly in the wan sunlight.  Stranglevine Starquencher moved it as Fallow Blackmoon requested, while she examined it in different lights.

“This ax is not of this world,” Fallow stated.  “Like its twin in Thistledown, it was made there.”

Stranglevine seemed particularly surprised.  Clearly he had never considered that his family heirloom had come from anywhere else.  After a moment of conversation, Stranglevine hefted the great ax and carried it into the cave where they analyzed its reaction to the magical properties of the cave.

I followed rather reluctantly.  I didn’t like the cave any better than the black abyss where I experienced the prolonged fall into that colorless world.  While the copper ax didn’t seem to be influenced by the cave, I could feel the dark magic of the place like dirty oil against my skin.

Märchendom Saalfelder Feengrotten

Der sogenannte Märchendom in den Saalfelder Feengrotten

“This cave is within the same mountain as the great scrying stone’s cavern where you visited me,” Poison Ivy Razorleaf told me.

I perceived that Razorleaf had more innate magic than anyone else native to that world.  His ability was second only to that of Fallow Blackmoon, who I had learned was from Thistledown.  Razorleaf and Fallow started talking in quiet voices.  They looked up at the endless seeming heights inside the mountain.  They appeared to come to an agreement of sorts.

“We think this ax may well be able to sever the connection between our world and yours, Bedlam,” Razorleaf told me, but included the group.

“But what effect would that have on all of you?  On your home?” I asked in dismay.  “And Fallow, you’d never be able to get home.  What if you changed your mind and wanted to go home?  Or even visit?”

“Don’t worry, Bedlam,” Fallow told me in a kind voice.  “I will not permit this until we have figured out how to get you back to Thistledown.”

I was appalled at the prospect and not just for Fallow’s sake.  It seemed wrong to me, in ways that I couldn’t describe.

“It’s not about me!” I cried, not knowing how to explain.  “It’s not about you either.  It’s…” I fumbled to a halt, not able to put my desperate feelings into words.

Razorleaf looked at me curiously.  Fallow looked at him, and then at me.  She took a step closer, her brows knitted in concentration.

“That’s coming from the seer in you, isn’t it?” she said speculatively.  “I sense your gift at work, but I can’t tell what message you’re getting.”

Face in water blue

“Maybe it needs some time to digest,” Razorleaf suggested.  “We can’t do anything with the ax until we figure out how to elevate it into the area from where you retrieved Bedlam as she was falling.  The upper part of the cave you called the abyss,” he told Fallow.

While we spoke the great copper battleax started to vibrate.  Stranglevine Starquencher grunted an exclamation of surprise.  Then the ax levitated.  As it rose to waist height, he grabbed onto the handle.  The ax continued to ascend though he tried to pull it back to the ground.

Drummer Soulfire and her cousin Rotten jumped up to help.  Stranglevine tried to motion them away.

“Be careful of the blade.  There’s nothing sharper!” he yelled.

Instead of touching the ax Drummer and Rotten grabbed onto Stranglevine.

“You’d better get that thing outside,” Razorleaf told them with the smirk that seemed to be part of his nature.

I failed to see any comedy in the situation.  Apparently even humor was dark in the colorless world.  Fallow snorted and agreed that they’d best get out of the cave.

However, I did see something surprising as they wrestled the big copper battleax back to the floor of the cave.  Amid the intricate engravings that decorated the ax was the image of a hummingbird.

Hummingbird orange in dark Patti Black Unsplash

Patti Black, Unsplash

 

***

Bob the hummingbird gazed at the others of his kind in dismay.  It wasn’t just their dull coloring that concerned him.  It was the scant amount of magic he sensed — in the hummers and everything else where he should have detected magic.

He cried out to the other hummingbirds and the hornless unicorns who came to his call.  He asked that they summon all of their kind.  Bob realized that they wouldn’t be able to accomplish very much with their faint enchantment, but anything was better than nothing.

Then Bob turned to go back inside the cave of the abyss.  He gathered his courage and steeled his resolve.  Using dark magic could end in death or worse.  However, he saw no alternative.  Bob would have to try and combine his hummingbird magic with the powers of the cave.

 The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Be sure to visit the “secret” bloggers who have faeries named in honor of them in this episode.

Stranglevine Starquencher  https://nofacilities.com/

Fallow Blackmoon  https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/ 

Poison Ivy Razorleaf  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Rotten Soulfire  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Drummer Soulfire  https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/about/

Tune in next weekend for Episode 30 — A Perversion of Phantoms.  Until then…

Hugs on the wing!

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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. 

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 27 ― Hullaba Lulu 2

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Val and Lulu trumpet and Rolls

Art by Rob Goldstein

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  I’m happy to see you back for Chapter 2 of this new series.  It is not in the “Pip-verse” but it still takes place during the Roaring Twenties.  

Artist Rob Goldstein is collaborating with me, creating fabulous visuals and sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive this pantser story.  Some of the details also come from a song Rob’s grandmother sang to him called “Don’t Bring Lulu.”  

Don’t Bring Lulu

I was captivated when Rob wanted me to include a (potentially supernatural) Valentino character.  I loved his idea.  If you’ve been following me for a good while, then you know I like to make fictionalized versions of historic people.  Then, one of the “things” (the Bright Young Things) Rob sent for this episode showed me a wealth of such people I might include.  Yes, one of them has already become a mysterious character.  You’ll see in a moment.

The mystery elements begin here in Chapter 2, so pay close attention.  I won’t tell you what’s a clue and what’s a red herring.  I’m just wicked that way.  And now…  

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 2

Grand Central Station, Garter Flask, Bright Young Things

Lulu 5

Lulu, image by Rob Goldstein

 

Rose MacDonald sneezed delicately as soon as we stepped out of my grandfather’s speakeasy.  The “raid door” opened to the abandoned subway tunnel.  It was dusty from decades of disuse. 

Still feeling the effects of the hooch, I pondered sadly that the speakeasy was becoming rather like the tunnel.  I remembered when the joint was jumpin’ like Grand Central Station.  It wasn’t nearly as busy as it once was.  Gramps refused to do business with some of the more disreputable rum-runners.  Business started to fall off long about that time.

Rose put an elegantly embroidered handkerchief to her turned up nose and sneezed again, a decidedly unladylike noise.  The stitching formed a monogram, an R bracketed by two Ms.  It also matched her dress.  Rose was always coordinated.

By then my nose burned too.  I gave a big achoo! that echoed down the tunnel.

Rose Lulu - Small

Rose, image by Rob Goldstein

I closed the emergency exit of the speakeasy.  From the outside it blended into the walls of the subway tunnel.  You had to know exactly where it was if you were going to find it.

Also, it was dark when the red and blue lights from the strange train died.  I took a torch from an inconspicuous bracket Gramps had bolted to the wall.  A flip of the switch and we had enough light to see.

The cacophony, just moments before had made me think that train was about to crash right into the speakeasy.  It stopped several feet beyond the door and rested on the tracks where a train ought to be.  Except that no train should be in that part of the subway at all.  Nothing could get past the caved-in area.

Rose and Pearl watched the man who had come into the speakeasy in a blaze of red and blue lights (along with that train) as if mesmerized.  Rose ran her finger down the lapel of his tuxedo jacket in a flirtatious way.  He met her eyes with a smoldering gaze, but I had noticed that the expression in his eyes usually looked that way.

“Ya know… you’re even more handsome than Rudolph Valentino,” Rose began.  “So, what’s your name?  I bet you’re a great dancer.  You look like a real sharpshooter, a regular floorflusher.  Why don’t we go back inside?  There’s a darb Victrola for dance music.”

“Yeah, tell us your name,” Pearl added her voice.

“Valentino,” he stated simply.

Bushwa!” I exclaimed.  “Who are you really?”

“I.  Am.  Valentino,” he repeated with emphasis.  “I take it that you know someone similar.  That happens sometimes,” he added in a tone that suggested he had said the same thing a thousand times.

His statement befuddled me.  We tried to get more sense out of him, but that was all he’d say about his moniker. 

Valentino_close Hat

Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

Meanwhile Pearl and Rose clung to his elbows.  I admit that I would have done the same thing.  However, he didn’t have a third elbow, and I wasn’t going to cling to anybody’s knee.

“What kind of woman is she?” he muttered to my pals in a baffled tone.  “She smells like onions and horseradish, and there’s marinara sauce on her cheek,” he added.

The man who called himself Valentino didn’t sound repulsed or offended, simply curious.  He looked at me like an ornithologist who had found a new species of bird.

“Oh, she’s not as wild and woolly as she seems,” Rose said with a grin, and winked at me.  “Although she is the kind of smarty who breaks up every party.  Cheer up honey,” she told me.  “Sometimes you get so glum when you’re tipsy.”

Pearl reached out and gave my hand a squeeze, although I thought she might be reassuring herself more than me.  Then she introduced herself and Rose.  The man was gracious, but in return he formally repeated the single name, Valentino, as if he had no other.

“And that’s Hullaba Lulu,” Pearl introduced me with the hated nickname, causing me to blush.  “You should see her Charleston!  We’d bring her to any party.”

I started to say something clever, but a hiccup escaped my lips instead.  Then I heard the echo of footfalls farther up the tunnel.

“Margosha!” another man called out from the distance.

The new stranger was coming from the direction of the hatch that lead up to the street.

“Is that you Margosha?”

He seemed to squint.  The lighting was dim.  I thought nothing would be able to pry my friends loose from the Valentino guy.  However, when the other man caught up to us, I noticed that Rose and Pearl had moved away into the shadows.

“Hey do you lot know where the door to the speakeasy is?” he asked.  “I’m looking for― um, an old friend and I heard that she hangs out there.”

Val and Tom D

Valentino and Tom

Judging by his face I would have thought he was an uptown swell, but he had longer hair, and the style of his suit made me think he had spent time in India.  I thought he must be a cellar smeller, who had somehow learned about my grandfather’s speakeasy.  At any rate, he didn’t look like a revenuer, so his presence didn’t worry me.  Besides I was still pretty well zozzled.

“Margosha?  That means pearl in Russian,” Valentino murmured so softly that I barely heard.

The door to the speakeasy opened.  Unnoticed by anyone else, Gramps stepped out, closing the door softly behind him.  His eyes went to Rose and Pearl in the nearby shadows.  The cellar smeller walked up to Valentino and me.

“You!” Gramps exclaimed, though I wasn’t sure which of the men he meant.

I didn’t understand my grandfather’s reaction.  His posture made me think of a snake, coiled and ready to strike.  That made me uncomfortable so I started babbling.  I tend to do talk when I’m nervous.  Unfortunately my chatter changed the subject and I didn’t find out which “You” Gramps meant.

“So, who are you, mister?  And who is Margosha?” I turned to the new comer and asked.

Tom Driberg.  He’s the journalist who tells all about the ‘Bright Young Things,’ you know?” Rose explained obligingly.  “The swells who throw all the wild parties.”

“The ones I’m never invited to?” I inserted a rhetorical comment.

I watched Rose and Tom Driberg.  There was a challenge in her eyes when she looked at him.  I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  However, I thought I recognized the hungry expression on his face when he looked at her and Pearl.

Pearl Lulu Waves

Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

Everybody said Pearl was a darned nice girl.  It was true ― at least if you asked me.  Yet at that moment she looked like a doe ready to spring away.  Pearl lifted her beaded dress revealing a garter flask.  She took a swig and almost forgot to pass the flask around.  I didn’t understand why she’d be upset.

“A hair of the dog,” Pearl explained.  “I’ve got a headache.  I really need to get home,” she added.

With an uneasy glance at Tom, Pearl started walking toward the subway hatch to the street.  She’d have a shortcut home that way.

Rose went after pearl to take care of her.  When I saw Tom Driberg, the journalist, follow them it didn’t sit well with me.  I turned back to Gramps.  I was surprised to see him and Valentino staring at each other wordlessly.

I cleared my throat, interrupting the silent tableau.

“I don’t trust that guy,” I announced.  “I’m going to make sure my pals are okay.”

Gramps_arm bent red

Gramps, by Rob Goldstein

“You should not go alone,” Valentino told me, abruptly breaking eye contact with my grandfather.  “I will escort you.  My automobile is up there.  We’ll make sure your friends are safe, then I can drive you back to your grandfather.”

Gramps looked none too pleased.  However, after a moment he nodded and went back inside his empty speakeasy.

We hurried after the others.  It was so dark I had already lost sight of them.  When we reached what I call the raid exit, Valentino went up the ladder first to push aside the heavy manhole cover.  However, it was already open.  We climbed up to the street.  I looked around for my friends.  In the distance I saw the two gals climbing the stairs to Pearl’s front door.

A sulfuric smell accompanied the strike of a match.  I turned to see Tom Driberg leaning nonchalantly against a Rolls-Royce.  Cigarette smoke curled above his head as he jotted something on a small notepad.  He looked at Valentino the same way he had looked at Rose and Pearl.

Without a word, Tom walked into the night.

***

The End

Valentinto LuLu Tom D Rolls

Valentino, Lulu, and Tom, by Rob Goldstein

***

If you want to know more about the real Tom Driberg click here.  He’s an interesting figure and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him.  That’s what causes fictional him to be a fun addition to this cast.

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  He’s not just a brilliant artist, he’s also an advocate for several important causes. 

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

 

PS:  Now for the shameless self-promotion — the links to my other 1920s books — the ones 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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

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.

 

Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam 28 — Gray Wings

Saturday, March 24, 2018

We’re back in the faery land of Thistledown.  It’s great to see you.  With this episode we leave Bob the hummingbird and go back to the point of view of Bedlam Thunder.  We last saw her in the colorless world with some enigmatic folks.  This time, a dire revelation.

Previously in Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam

Episode 8 – Shadows of Body and Mind

Finally, the phantasms released me.  I felt disoriented, queasy, and my head ached from the base of my skull.  I squinted at the light of day.  Vaguely I noted that River Mindshadow and Lavender Cozy were there, but I couldn’t understand why.

“Shadows,” I murmured, trembling.  “Burned into the walls.  So many shadows.”

Thistledown

Midsummer Bedlam 28

Gray Wings

Fairy_CE Brock

Fairy by CE Brock, late 19th or early 20th century

Only a few of the drum circle remained when Fallow Blackmoon and Drummer Soulfire went back inside the cave.  They checked the air again to see if the spores had dissipated enough to make the air safe to breathe.  Everyone seemed eager to experience the property of the cave that amplified their slight innate magic.  Drummer and Fallow had been whispering when they emerged from the cave.  Their faces bore concerned expressions.  Fallow discretely tucked something inside her gray snakeskin jacket. 

“A few mushroom spores won’t do any harm.  I hear they even have certain health benefits,” Poison Ivy Razorleaf suggested, with a wriggle of his eyebrows and a wink.  “Why not go back inside?  Dah-le, the day is wasting!  I know we’re all very well able to take care of ourselves but being outside after dark is foolhardy in this day and age.  I can circle around to the scrying cavern, but Drummer and Rotten have a bit of distance to cover before they get home,” he added in a more serious tone.

“The air should be clear enough,” Drummer told him.  “But just barely.  Be sure to tie a scarf around your mouth and nose.”

When the others went into the cave, Fallow motioned for me to remain outside with her.  She looked troubled.

“Though I suspect there may have been others over time, I am the only person in this world who is from Thistledown,” Fallow Blackmoon began.  “I have seen that many of the faeries I knew have doubles here, although I have none.  Like me, you are a seer, Bedlam Thunder.  You have no double in this world.  I think only certain people from Thistledown are drawn here.  I believe those people bear a great burden.”

Abbey,_Edwin_Austin_Fairies

Fairies, Edwin Austin Abbey, 1852-1911

The horrid visions I’d had were never far from my mind.  If that wasn’t a burden, then I didn’t know what was.  I described it to Fallow in detail.

(See Episode 8 – Shadows of Body and Mind)

 “I had a powerful, awful vision.  And I didn’t just see it, Fallow.  I felt all the spewing emotions of hatred, self-importance, and fear!  I felt vibrations that were caught inside my skull.  Then I heard a loud whistle that came closer and louder.  Though from far away, the singe of intense heat reached me,” I explained.  “Then I saw the shadows.  Impossible numbers of people were destroyed, wiped from existence!  All that remained were their shadows — shadows that were blasted and burned into the rubble of walls.  I’ve always felt that those devastating events had really taken place, somewhere…”

My voice trailed away as a suspicion came to me and quickly became a certainty.  Fallow nodded gravely.  However, she was silent for so long that I began to fidget.  I unfurled my gossamer wings with the sudden urge to check my wound.  It had finally been almost well.  I groaned in dismay when I saw that the nearly healed tear looked somewhat worse.

“Rotten told me about your injured wing.  She was so amazed to see anyone with wings!  I didn’t heave the heart to tell her about mine,” Fallow told me in a wistful voice.  “Your wing will not heal in this place.  It will likely get worse and worse if we don’t find a way to get you back home.”

Her words worried me, not so much for myself, but for her.  I felt something terrible must have happened to Fallow Blackmoon.  My face must have shown my question.  She took off her jacket and turned her back to me.  Her wings were gray.  She moved her shoulders in a very deliberate way, as though she had to force the muscles.  When her wings extended, I saw that they were stunted and withered.

I tried in vain to take back the horrified gasp I made when I saw Fallow’s wings.  She waved her hand and shrugged, but she looked sad.

Black Gray Swirls david-werbrouck-247332

David Werbrouck, Unsplash

“Yes, Bedlam.  It happened in reality.  Those events took place in this world.  Although it happened years before I came here.  Terrible as that was, it is only part of the reason there is so little magic in this world.  Innate magic is rare, and Thistledown’s magic can barely survive,” she explained with a motion to her wings.

“Fallow, you must come back to Thistledown with me.  Somehow, I’ll get back and you’ll come with me,” I told her.  “Lavender Cozy is a marvelous healer.  I’m sure she could help you.”

The bright pink streak in her hair shone in the gloom as Fallow shook her head.  The things she had said and the way she reacted frightened me.

“No.  The burden that brought me here is the burden that keeps me in this world,” she answered.  “I knew what I was getting into.  Though at the time, I hoped I could make a difference.  I can’t heal the barely existent magic of this place, but I can make a difference.”

“Then, is that my burden as well?” I asked.  “To stay here?  To leave Thistledown forever?”

She gave a small smile and patted my hand.

“No, Bedlam.  For one so young to carry that terrible vision… that is more than burden enough.  You brought it here as a warning, a confirmation,” she told me with conviction.  “Most of the people of this world have chosen to forget that those horrific events ever happened.  Or at least they ignore the extent of the suffering and the way it decimated large areas of the world for decades afterward.  They refuse to admit that they are headed toward the same kind of catastrophe, but one of even greater magnitude.”

“I don’t doubt your wisdom, but how could they possibly be so blind?” I asked, finding the situation unimaginable.

August_Malmström_Dancing_Fairies

Dancing Fairies, August Malmström

She only shrugged and looked sad.  I supposed words couldn’t describe and logic could not make sense of such circumstances.  Fallow held my gaze and spoke in a very determined voice.

“Bedlam, the rest of your burden is at least as great as mine.  And dire.  There is a connection between this world and ours.  Just as many of the folk of Thistledown have doubles, things that happen here can eventually bleed over and into Thistledown.”

I thought of the pond next to Peaches Dragonfly’s orchard.  The brown suckerfish and the odd little gray dog.  I remembered the dark, shadowy thicket that had inexplicably developed where we found the dog.  Those things had to be the result of what Fallow described as bleeding over from the colorless world and into Thistledown!

(See Episode 5 – Pucker Up)

Fallow pulled on her jacket.  She brightened when she put her hand inside a pocket.

“Hearing about your vision, I almost forgot one of the most marvelous things I’ve seen in a very long time,” she said, pulling out a long iridescent orange feather.  “This floated down to me when I went back into the cave.”

Even in Thistledown I had only seen such bright orange feathers on one creature.

“Bob!” I exclaimed.

I rushed back into the cave, but there was no sign of the hummingbird.

 The End

***

This Week’s Faery Namers 

Click the links to reveal the identity of the namers.  Be sure to visit the “secret” bloggers who have faeries named in honor of them in this episode.

Fallow Blackmoon  https://harvestinghecate.wordpress.com/

Drummer Soulfire  https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/about/

Rotten Soulfire  http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/

Poison Ivy Razorleaf  https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Lavender Cozy  https://doctorly.wordpress.com/

Peaches Dragonfly  https://apuginthekitchen.com

Things seem pretty dark… and I wonder if Bob the humming bird and Bedlam will find each other.  Fly back to Thistledown again next time to see what happens.  

 

Hugs on the wing!

For an entirely different variety of “fae” read Atonement, Tennessee.  I’m currently editing book-2 and hope to publish soon.

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

 

 

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene 

All rights reserved. 

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. 

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. 

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 26 ― Hullaba Lulu

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  As much as I love Pip and her friends, I was in the mood for a change of pace.  Today is the premier of a new mini-series.  It is not in the “Pip-verse” but it still takes place during the Roaring Twenties.  I hope my “voice” is different enough to distinguish this story from the ones featuring Pip. 

A while back Rob Goldstein offered to do some 1920s images for me, when one of my tales reminded him of stories his grandmother told him.  He mentioned a song his grandmother sang to him called “Don’t Bring Lulu.”  Right away I wanted to do a story related to it.  

Don’t Bring Lulu

For several weeks, Rob and I have had a great time playing with ideas for this story.  He quickly sent me several images for potential “Lulus,” and he created additional and wonderful artwork as well.  Since the Lulu in the song had red hair, I chose that for Lulu — but I wanted to use the other two images as well.  So I took two names from the song to be friends of my Lulu.

One last note, my draining “stuff” continues, and I wasn’t able to plan a story.  So this is another “three things” pantser tale.  The things driving this work will come from Rob and from our brainstorming notes.  

Sorry about all my blah-de-blah…  Finally, I present to you Chapter 1 of the story.  The things driving this episode are Rose, Pearl, and Trumpet.

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 1

Rose, Pearl, Trumpet

 

Pearl_Lulu 1

“Pearl”  by Rob Goldstein

 

The vibrant notes of the jazz band echoed in my mind as I faded in and out of consciousness.  I wasn’t sure whether my eyes blurred or cigarette smoke still hung in the air, but the place had cleared out.

The last thing I remembered was jumping up onto the stage and doing the Charleston with Rose and Pearl.  They were my best pals.

Everyone said I played too hard.  What did I care?  Those old blue nose busybodies needed to mind their own beeswax

Even Gramps cautioned me about burning the candle at both ends, going to the speakeasy every night.  Bushwa!  Now that’s a nice how do you do.  It was his speakeasy!

Maybe they’re right, I thought woozily.  The three of us closed the place — again.

My grandfather’s speakeasy was quiet and empty except for Rose, Pearl, and me.  I noticed that Gramps had draped a blanket across each of us.  He wasn’t so hard boiled when it came to us girls.  Although you can bet nobody wanted to mess with him.

Garlic from the remains of a brick oven pizza wafted to my nose.  My hand plopped down on the table when I tried to pick up the last half-eaten piece.  I tried again and managed to get the morsel.  Although I was pretty sure there was tomato sauce on my face from trying to actually get it to my mouth.

Tony is the bee’s knees, I thought with a loud belch.  Makes the best pizza in town and doesn’t charge me for it half the time.  ‘Course, I slip him some giggle water now and then…

Across the table from me, Rose snored softly.  Her black hair fell across her face.  I wondered if her little turned up nose had anything to do with the snoring.  She acted like such a goody two shoes that no one ever suspected her of anything, but she was a swell gal.

In the chair next to me, fair haired Pearl twitched in her slumber.  Everyone said she was a darn nice girl.  I couldn’t argue with that.  Pearl and Rose were invited to every party.  True blue friends, they always brought me along, even though for some reason I wasn’t usually on the invitation list.

Lulu 5

“Lulu” by Rob Goldstein

Me?  They called me Hullaba Lulu.  Don’t ask me why.  I wasn’t any more audacious than any other flapper.  I couldn’t help it if I had the reddest hair.  So what if I liked to dance and drink and had a good healthy appetite?  Although I admit I was clumsy.  Gramps had banned me from his glass blowing shop.  I wasn’t allowed to touch the dishes in the speakeasy either, because I had dropped and broken so many of them.

It’s an absurd nickname, I thought as I burped again.

Those thoughts swam randomly through my muddled mind just before my head dropped back down to the table.  My face landed on my beaded handbag.  It didn’t make the best pillow, but at that moment, I didn’t notice.

A noise startled me awake.  I lifted my head, the fancy clutch stuck to my cheek.  It fell after a second, leaving that side of my face covered with little round marks from the beads.  I wiped a bit of drool from my chin and looked around.  I could have sworn I heard a trumpet, but the band was long gone.  I strained my ears but didn’t hear anything.  That was to be expected.  Sound didn’t usually get into or out of the speakeasy. 

My grandfather’s speakeasy was the best kept secret of the Prohibition Era.  It was underground, so there was no noise to give it away.  I should back up and explain that.

He built his house around a small structure that was one of the original subway entrances.  No one wanted to construct anything too close to Gramps because of the fire hazard of his glass blowing “profession.”  Of course, his real money came from the speakeasy.

1900s Manhattan Subway Entrance

Manhattan Subway Station circa 1918

The old subway entrance was converted to his workshop.  A hidden door at the back of his shop lead to the speakeasy downstairs, underground.  It was in a disused section of the subway.  There had been a cave-in many years before.  The subway authority never cleared that section, finding it cheaper to build a new one instead.  In case of a raid, the speakeasy had a secret emergency door, which opened to the abandoned tunnel.  There was a ladder and a hatch that came out on the street a quarter mile away.

So, I couldn’t possibly have heard the sultry notes of a trumpet.  Yet I heard it again ― just as the room started to shake!  At the loud rumble of a train I stood abruptly, causing my head to spin.  I grabbed the table to steady myself.

“There can’t be a train!  That’s impossible,” I exclaimed.

Rose snorted and woke, looking around shocked and bleary eyed.  Pearl gave a stifled scream as she roused.

I turned toward the back of the club, looking at the emergency exit.  Red and blue lights blazed from the edges of the door.  I heard the screech of the subway train stopping.  The door burst open.

Portal Valentino_Entering ND-2

Portal image by Rob Goldstein

Spots danced before my eyes.  All I could make out was a pair of pointy toed patent leather shoes.  When my vision cleared I beheld a man as stunning as the Sheik of Araby.

Pearl gave a fearful little shriek. 

Rose made a dramatic gasp that would have pleased Cecil B. DeMille. 

“He looks just like Valentino!” Rose and Pearl exclaimed in chorus.

I hiccupped.

Sheik of Araby

Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik 

The End

***

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  He’s not just a brilliant artist, he’s also an advocate for several important causes.  Thanks for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees! 

 

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to my 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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

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.

 

Introducing ― Hullaba Lulu at Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Featuring Images from Art by Rob Goldstein

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Headed your way — Hullaba Lulu!

An All New Roaring Twenties Story

Premiers tomorrow, only at Teagan’s Books — Jazz Age Wednesdays

This new collaboration features images by Rob Goldstein*. 

It’s an all new 1920s fantasy story.  All new characters.  All spontaneously written pantser fun!

Lulu 5

Lulu, by Rob Goldstein

Tune in tomorrow here at Jazz Age Wednesdays for Chapter 1.  Three things will drive each episode.  Chapter 1 is Rose, Pearl, and Trumpet

Now where do you think those “things” will take the beginning of my new story?  This video will give you some clues.  See you soon!

Don’t Bring Lulu

Of course, I have to show you the links to my 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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

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.

 

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 Green

Image by Chris Graham

It’s not really St. Patrick’s Day as I write this, but it is my writing day for Thistledown.  However, I’m not up to continuing the story today, so I’m taking it easy on myself to some extent.  Hopefully I can do some more editing for Atonement in Bloom.

Here’s a snippet from Atonement in Bloom.  There are a couple of new “supernaturals” in the town of Atonement, Tennessee.  This excerpt comes from the middle of the scene where Lilith the cat encounters them.  The oddly warm December night saw the calico sneaking out and following her nose to the thing she hated — magic. She watched the actions of two supernaturals for a while.  Then she realized another stranger stood behind her.  The unknown woman’s anger had grown as she observed what transpired. 


Atonement AND Bloom

…“Now to restore the balance,” the strange woman said, yet she hesitated.  “But those two tricksters have definitely earned a small lesson,” Beira the Crone added with a wink to Lilith.

Her dark green velvet cloak fell back as she extended both arms.  With the staff still grasped in her right hand she turned in a circle three times clockwise.  As she moved, the velvet cloak swirled about her ankles as if the wind moved it.  Beira’s long lapis-blue braid lifted on the same invisible currents.  Her violet eyes shone brightly in the moonlight.  On the third circle Beira tilted her head back exultantly.

The strange pillar lights faded out of the sky, and the glowing nimbus became normal wintery clouds.  Then the temperature plummeted.  Lilith instinctively fluffed out her long fur. 

This can’t be good, the calico thought. 

Cat-upright dreamstime_xs_31062797

Lilith (Dreamstime)

Lilith watched in wonder as snowflakes floated to the ground.  Snow began to accumulate on the nearby stone wall.  Beira walked over to it and tilted her head as if considering.  “So it has grown here before, and spontaneously.  Ah, recently too.  This place is more interesting than I knew. Perhaps it bears further investigation,” Beira commented, rousing Lilith’s curiosity.

She gave the wall a light tap with her age darkened wooden staff.  Then she nodded once more.

Lilith’s feline ears heard an odd vibration within the stone wall, which a human would never have noticed.  In the light of the moon, the cat watched as a single rose sprouted from the top of the rock wall.  A single blue rose.

***

As I said, it would be nice if I could do some editing to “Bloom” today.  Although, Chris Graham (aka the Story Reading Ape) sneaked the idea for another story into my brain when he created the fun images for me.  Now I’m wishing I could also write The Chronicles of the Green Witch.  (Winks.)  So many unfinished novels… so little time.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

from Teagan’s Books

Me green 2018 Green beer

Image by Chris Graham

I hope you’re wearing your green!  See you next weekend for Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam. 

***

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Teri Polen, The Gemini Connection

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Anita Page sombrero 1920s

Anita Page, circa 1920

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  It’s almost Saint Patrick’s Day, so I had to give you something green.  I hope you enjoyed Miss Page.  But wait a minute, I can’t hear myself think.  Horsefeathers! The characters are taking over this post…

Pip:  Hey Andy, have you seen this?  I know you love science fiction and get into some horror stories.

Andy:  Hi-ya, flapper.  What did you say?  Oh I see.  This post is a departure because Teagan couldn’t resist sharing author Teri Polen’s new cover reveal!  Applesauce, look at all that.  Shhh… I’m trying to read it.

Pip:  Move over, I can’t see.  Oooh that’s pos-i-lutely darb! 

Would you two get back in your corner of my brain, please?  Thank you.  Now, back to the point.  I’m “green with envy” because Teri Polen’s new book is so fantastic!  Here’s more about it in the author’s own words.

And now, presenting… 

The Gemini Connection

by Teri Polen

Paperback Release Date: May 31, 2018
E-book Release Date: June 7, 2018
Young Adult > Sci-Fi/Fantasy > Thriller

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is.

On their dying planet of Tage, scientists work tirelessly on its survival. Like the twins’ parents, Simon is a science prodigy, recruited at a young age to work with the brilliant creator of Scientific Innovations. To the bitter disappointment of their parents, Evan shows no aptitude or interest in science. As a Mindbender, he travels into the minds of scientists to locate buried memories, connect ideas and concepts, and battle recurring nightmares.

When Simon mysteriously disappears, Evan is plunged into a world of loss and unbearable guilt. For the first time, he can’t ‘feel’ Simon—it’s like he no longer exists. Evan blames himself. No one knows that he ignored his brother’s pleas for help on the night he went missing.

A year later, Simon is still gone. Evan lost his twin, but Tage might have lost its last hope of survival when it’s discovered that Simon’s unfinished project could be its salvation. Evan is determined to find him—somewhere—and bring Simon home. Their unusual connection might be more extraordinary than they know, and the key to locating Simon.

The Gemini Connection paperback is available for pre-order at the following locations:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
And for a discount at Black Rose Writing

You can find Teri at the following locations:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest / Goodreads / Amazon

Pip:  Hey Sheiks and Shebas.  Just letting you know that Jazz Age Wednesdays, with yours truly will be back next week.  Thanks for visiting. You’re pos-i-lutely the cat’s meow!  

Sigh… that flapper just refuses to stay in her corner.  I have just one more thing to say, a reminder.

In case you missed it…

Last week I posted a request for your votes and feedback.  I want your input as I decide on what kind of blog serial to do after Thistledown — Midsummer Bedlam is finished.  It will be a “three things” style serial, with you sending three random things to drive the story.  So I want you, the reader to be evolved every step of the way.  If you missed that post you can vote for the type of serial you’d like and leave your thoughts here*.  Please do vote and/or comment.  It really helps my thought process.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees!

PS:  Now here’s the requisite shameless self-promotion — 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.