Jazz Age Wednesdays 28 ― Hullaba Lulu 3

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ghost train station with color
Image by Rob Goldstein

Hi there, Sheiks and Shebas.  You’re at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Today’s episode brings us to Chapter 3 of the new series, Hullaba Lulu.  It is not in the “Pip-verse” but it still takes place during the Roaring Twenties. 

Update:  Here’s a link to a stunning video Rob made for the story. Please click over and check it out — it’s pos-i-lutely the berries!

Don’t Bring Lulu

I’m having a pos-i-lutely fabulous time working with artist Rob Goldstein.  He’s creating gorgeous artwork, starting inspiring discussions, and sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive each chapter of this pantser story.   If you need to review Chapter 2, click here.  Today we catch up with our bearcat Lulu the day after all the wild happenings in the abandoned subway tunnel.  Read on to see where Rob’s next three things took me for this chapter.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

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.

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 3

Saltwater Taffy, Raspberry-Red Rouge, Ouija Board


Lulu 5
Lulu by Rob Goldstein

The heels of my T-strap shoes clicked rhythmically against the cracked pavement, keeping me company.  I did a step-slide-step-brush of the Camel Walk dance as I walked down the deserted tunnel.  I was supposed to meet Rose and Pearl for a late breakfast.  However, neither of them showed.  So, I headed down to my secret place to console myself. 

Besides, maybe I’ll run into that man again.  I guess anybody who looks like the Sheik of Araby has a right to call himself Valentino.  But still… why didn’t Pearl or Rose show up? I’m the one who’s always late.

I remembered how oddly my friends had acted when that journalist, Tom Driberg, turned up the night before.  Then I thought about that car-full of government-looking types.  I suppressed a pang of genuine worry.  I did another a step-slide-step-brush to lighten my thoughts.

vAL Grams Station_012x
Gramps in the abandoned subway tunnel — Art by Rob Goldstein

Ever since I was a kid, Gramps had told me I wasn’t allowed in that part of the abandoned subway.  He always said it wasn’t safe, although I couldn’t tell that it was any different from the rest of the tunnels.  So of course, the forbidden area was my childhood playground.  The old station was the best place in the world for telling ghost stories.

The key to the station door hung from a ribbon around my neck.  When I found the key, years before, I started locking the door.  It became my special secret place and I didn’t want just anybody hanging out there.

My stash of saltwater taffy was behind the counter that had been the ticket desk when the station was in use.  I pulled off a sticky piece of the candy.  In a mood to reminisce, I took out my box of girlhood treasures. 

When I was little, one of the highlights of my week was when Gramps would let me take unclaimed things from the speakeasy’s lost-and-found.  One of those items was a dainty gilt embossed tin from Dorin of Paris*.  I removed the top of the raspberry-red rouge container.  Inside the lid was a tiny mirror.  I winked at my reflection and daubed a bit of the cosmetic on my cheeks.

Clumsy as ever, my elbow brushed against one of the dusty dead soldiers I had lined up over the years.  I caught the empty beer bottle just before it went over the edge of the counter. 


Lulu at table in station
Lulu in her secret place.  Image by Rob Goldstein

My knee bumped against something on the shelf under the desk.  I grinned when I saw what it was. 

“Well, hello there.  I haven’t seen you for a long time,” I muttered to my old plaything.

It had been a long time since I’d thought about the Ouija board.  I wasn’t sure if it had belonged to my mother.  It looked so old that it might have belonged to Gramps.  Anyhow, nobody seemed to use it, so I had quietly taken it to my secret place.

I bent to take the Ouija board from the shelf.  I placed it on the counter.  Taking out my handkerchief I wiped a coating of dust from the wooden board.  The letters of the alphabet formed an arch across the polished wood-grain, and the numbers one through nine, and then zero, were in a line below.

Ouija Board, Wiki Media Commons

Most people would have said the station could use a good cleaning.  However, I liked the spooky feeling of the cobwebs in corners and the dust on the floor.  My footprints made a chaotic pattern in the dust, back and forth from the door to the desk and throughout the station.  Any prints other than my own had long since blended into the dust.

Or so I had thought.  I walked around the desk, intent on investigating.  My hand still rested on the scratched surface.  My eyes widened when I realized there were new foot prints.  They were considerably larger than mine and came from pointy toed shoes.  That’s when, from the corner of my eye, I saw a movement near my hand.

I jerked back around to the Ouija board.  The planchette moved.  The small, heart-shaped piece of wood was meant to glide across the board’s surface, with the light, unguided pressure from the fingertips of the participants.  It was supposed to reveal subconscious thoughts or clairvoyant messages from beyond.

As I watched in stunned silence, the planchette moved from letter to letter, with no one touching it.

Quickly I grabbed a pad and pencil from the desk.  I wrote the letters to which it pointed.  Y, T, I, C, C, I, T, N, A, L, T, A.

Suddenly, I felt cool fingers touch my shoulder.  I jumped backward and screamed.

Ghost Station_017x
The abandoned subway station, by Rob Goldstein


The End


The Camel Walk* dance originated in the early 20th century.  Variations of it have been popular over the decades.  If you want to pick up Lulu’s dance steps there several are how-to videos.  Here’s one for a modern country version:

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

Rob sent more “things” for Chapter 4 — Ectoplasm, Jung, and Orthophonic Victrola.  Be sure to come back next week to see where those take Lulu.

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


PS:  I can’t forget my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka 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.


118 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays 28 ― Hullaba Lulu 3

  1. I can’t stop reading, this collaboration with Rob is awesome and I LOVE this story I need to make the dogs food but don’t want to stop, have to know what happens, I do have a fascination with the supernatural ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🙂 You are a fast reader. I know you wouldn’t let the pups go hungry. 🐶
      I’m glad you liked the Ouija board. I had fun writing that idea. Oh, and you’ve just reminded me that I should bring it back for Chapter 8! Thank you!
      You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am kind of lost as I was offline for a long time but everything you write never fails to amuse me, even if I am picking pieces here, I just want to keep picking them ❤

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Mihran. Thank you very much. I’m trying so hard to make this Lulu series different from my other 1920s stories (about Pip and friends)… Since I write it in an unplanned way, I don’t yet have a solid “feel” for it. But it will come to me. I should try to write a Jazz piano into the story for you. 😀 Hugs!


  3. Love how you get all those three items into your story, Tegan. I’d have struggled. This is turning into a spinetingling story. Mystery footprints, an abandoned subway station, and now an ouija board. Back in the 90s, I took line dancing lessons. It was an absolute ball.
    Great art and creativity form Rob. His sketches really do add to the story.
    Hugs to you both

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hugh, it’s so good to see you. I feel Rob and I have been remarkably in sync with this story, and I couldn’t agree more about his art.
      I do try to make each “thing” at least a part of a setting/scene — and sometimes the thing inspires a significant element of the story (like the Ouija board). When I’m having trouble making one fit the episode, I resort to mentioning it in conversation (as I did with Grand Central Station in a previous chapter). Although for a moment I was worried about that raspberry-red rouge!
      LOL — I only tried line dancing one time… I was a disaster! ^^’
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You get those items into the story so well, Teagan. I’d have struggled with the raspberry-red rouge as well, and don’t get started on Saltwater Taffy. I had no idea what that was until my trip to New York a few years ago. As a Welshman, I’m often referred to as ‘Taffy.’ It seems to be a name associated with being Welsh. 😀 Don’t you just love the way the English language can be interpreted?
        Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Any story with a Ouija board is a story after my own heart. Oh, how many games of Ouija did I play as a teenager, during sleepovers, when strange things happened? I’m a believer, my friend. Great story, and again. Rob’s work is marvelous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pam. I’m happily surprised that people are liking the Ouija board in the story — particularly since I had more plans for it! 😀
      I couldn’t agree more about Rob’s gorgeous work. Many thanks for visiting. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for this delightful comment, Jennie. I’ve wanted to keep the visual focus on Rob’s art. But I had never seen an Ouija board in person (of course I had always heard of them)… Anyway, I wanted to make sure people who were unfamiliar with them could have a clear image in their minds. I’m happy you visited and enjoyed yourself. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Amazing. I believe in a lot of things, Jennie. I’m not against them, but one thing stood out to me, a comment someone who should know made about Ouijas… “You never know who you’re inviting in” with them. (Cue Twilight Zone theme.) 😀
          Thanks for visiting. Hugs!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kathryn. I’m having fun with the fact that so many people are mentioning the Ouija board. There’s a reason why the Ouija board did those letters like that, and it’s part of the story too. 😉 Maybe that will come out next week — haven’t started writing yet.
      I hope the re-opening for Austin Street Tacos was a huge success! Many thanks for taking time to visit. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my, what another treat to the senses, as well as being treated to Robs wonderful graphics, He really captured the spirit of the 20’s within them.
    But I want to know where on earth is you never ending source of imagination pulled from.. Its just a brilliant story that keeps on growing and growing that takes us deeper into the supernatural I had goose bumps at the end too..
    Wonderful Teagan.. Apologies I have not been very good at keeping up.. But when I arrive I lap up your words that take me to another ‘platform’ 😀
    Have a great day and beautiful weekend to come my friend..
    Take care of You.
    Love Sue xx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, it’s so good to see you and read your kind and encouraging words. I’m delighted to see you whenever you have time.
      Rob will be happy to see your comment about his work.

      The answer (to imagination) is something I’ve often said — I’m just not wired right! 😀 But then I never wanted to be like everyone else, so that’s fine. I suppose the secret is being able to abandon my “shoulds” and be willing to let the “3 things” guide me completely. For instance, I had absolutely no idea this story would take a spooky turn. I let the “things” Rob sent be my guide. If I had not relinquished control, I would have guided the things, rather than the other way around — I might have let the Ouija board be sold in a yard sale or used the planchette as a pendant, anything to fit how I intended the story to go. But I let the “things” lead in this little dance, and that was where it took me. By the way — the Ouija board took me to a larger purpose than you’ve seen so far. There is more to come about it.
      ❤ & Hugs! You're the kitten's ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I have no doubts there is much more to be revealed with the Ouija board.. 🙂 lol and love it..
        I think our best work is always when we do not force it in a certain direction and just allow it to flow and find its own level. My poetry it the same..
        Sending Huge Hugs and big Purrrs back. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I did a lot of work after the draft you saw, Rob. I’m delighted you are pleased with it. Your artwork really makes it come alive. And it gives me subtle ideas that get worked into the story. Have a wonderful (rest of) Wednesday. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I can’t wait to see the results. Ectoplasm, Jung, and Orthophonic Victrola should make a fun chapter! 😀 The next few days aren’t geared to writing, and Crystal’s vet visit Friday too. But hopefully I’ll have a brainstorm of my own. Hugs.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Oooh, this was so good, Teagan. I can’t wait to learn what the letters mean. And what fun to have an abandoned station as a play area. Great images from Robert. I like the backgrounds he’s adding too. On pins and needles for the next episode!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Diana, that is music to my ears. There’s a reason why the Ouija board did that, and it’s part of the story too. 😉 Maybe that will come out next week — haven’t started writing yet.
      Rob tried to explain his process to me, and it seems like intensive, detailed work. I’d use the word “layered” (not sure he would though). Anyhow, having seen his description it is even more amazing to me. Thanks for visiting. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Seriously? LOL, Mary I should have known you’d have a spooky tunnel. 😉 I’m glad I could manage to give you some cowboys with this 1920s story.
      I investigated the Camel Walk a little when I did the very first Jazz Age Wednesdays post… but I didn’t know until this one that it had become a Country dance.

      I agree. Ouija boards are pretty freaky… but it will have an unexpected purpose in the story, beyond the freaky stuff. 😀
      Huge thanks for visiting. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. You just sent me down a rabbit hole watching endless videos of the camel walk – oh my! You would have had a good giggle at me TRYING the camel walk 😉

    Ending this one on a cliffhanger, Teagan!! Looking forward to the next instalment …

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is Jazz Age Wednesday over at Teagan Geneviene’s blog and we are now in episode three of the Hullaba Lulu Three Things Serial. Don’t worry if you missed the other episodes as you will find links for them. There are some things you will need to bring with you.. dancing shoes so that you can do the Camel Walk along with Lulu and someone to hold you hand in the scary bits. Whenever there is a Ouija board around you can expect trouble. Head over and catch up and come back safe…….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Whenever there is a Ouija board around you can expect trouble.” Ain’t that the truth!
      It’s great to see you, Sally. Thanks so much for being a part of Hullaba Lulu. Huge thanks for sharing from the Smorgasbord. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry about the video Robbie. It’s such a treat.
      Yes, the “things” took me to a creepy scene — but hold on tight! You never know what will happen next. 😉 I appreciate you taking time to visit. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Loved the YouTube video. What an exciting and wonderful time in history! I am thrilled that you chose that era to set your stories in. That being said, this episode gave us a closer look at your character, Lulu, and a bit of her backstory. Like Dan said, your descriptive way of writing put me right there in the tunnel. Hmmmm, the letters the Oiuja board gave leaves me wondering and trying to figure it out. 🙂 Great cliffhanger! Can’t wait for more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jan. Rob will be so happy you liked the video.
      I’m delighted that you are enjoying this and the era. To think it was all pure chance from the very first “thing” that caused me to think of the 20s years ago… Heartfelt thanks for your feedback. Character development it the hardest thing to keep in mind with writing this 3-things-way. I guess I have an edge this time — since the “Don’t Bring Lulu” song describes her so well. 😀 Thanks again. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! (the cryptologist working for the gov) — I nearly choked on a crouton. (Poor guy. I’m sure he had great qualifications in a GS-3 job, 20 years before he took that GS-15+ executive cryptology position. Besides, he was such a good friend to somebody…)
      There’s a reason why the Ouija board did that, and it’s part of the story too. 😉 Maybe that will come out next week — haven’t started writing yet. Oh, and I need to ankle on over to Story Day before my lunch break is over. Huge thanks for visiting, John. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh my Teagan! How can you leave us here?

    It’s ok, the image of the Ouija board thingie moving all by itself was beginning to give me the creeps. “Y, T, I, C, C, I, T, N, A, L, T, A,” huh? I’ll get right on that.

    This is an amazing chapter. I love the way you worked the three things in so seamlessly. I’m not sure how that mind of yours works, but it creates some fascinating reading. Rob’s images are so wonderful, but that first one, with the train, that’s amazing! I also love the way you used the images and sounds of shoes and walking to paint the scene. It’s interesting to see how much that helps make me feel like I’m in that tunnel – where, at the moment, I do not want to be!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dan. Tee-hee — I’m sure you figured out the letters quickly. There’s a reason why the Ouija board did that, and it’s part of the story too. 😉
      Rob is doing a great job, not just with the art, but with choosing period appropriate “things.” I couldn’t agree more about that first image!

      I always enjoy your detailed feedback. That about the sound is appreciated. I try to use the five senses in my writing — but sometimes I forget. So when you notice it, that reminds me to do it again. LOL. (My brain is so full lately, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.)
      I hope everyone will click over to your Wednesday post — It’s the berries.

      Thanks again. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 1 person

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