Jazz Age Wednesdays 29 ― Hullaba Lulu 4

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hey, Sheiks and Shebas.  Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays

My “partner in crime” (Rob Goldstein) did the video above.  I’m using as a review of last week’s episode.  I’m happy to be able to feature more of the artwork of Rob Goldstein

Update:  Here’s a fun related post that Rob did over at his blog, “10 Everyday Items Invented in the 1920s* — click over and enjoy.

Today we have Chapter 4 of the Roaring Twenties fantasy series, Hullaba Lulu.  The “dieselpunk*” aspect of the story is beginning to show in this episode.  The “three things” Rob sent for this chapter were downright educational.  Some of the “things” take a bit more writing for me to work into the story than others.  So please bear with me for this somewhat longer episode.

 If you need to review Chapter 2, click here.  

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Today’s chapter picks up where Chapter 3 left off, with Lulu in her “secret place,” the abandoned subway station.  The Ouija board spelled out nonsense letters.  She thought she was alone until…

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

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 4

Ectoplasm, Jung, Orthophonic Victrola

Magic table Lulu Valentino Gramps good portraits

Lulu, Gramps, & Valentino in the Abandoned Subway Station, by Rob Goldstein

My elbow hit one of the dead soldiers lined up on the counter.  As my scream echoed through the abandoned subway station the empty beer bottle toppled with a domino effect.  The entire row went down, rolling and clattering.  Several fell to the floor, but astonishingly none of them broke.  I wondered if the coat of dust on the floor was that thick.

Maybe it was, because a little cloud went up and I sneezed loudly.  As I wiped my nose on my sleeve I looked up at the owner of the cool fingers that had startled me.

Valentino.

For a moment I wondered how the mysterious man had gotten into my secret subway station.  Then I realized that I had not locked the door behind me.

“Your rouge needs blending,” he commented.

Once again, he looked at me as if he had stumbled upon a new species.  It made me wonder if I had a booger in my nostril.  I touched a knuckle to my nose uncomfortably and glanced around for a mirror.

Val hat Lulu trumpet expressions

Lulu and Valentino, by Rob Goldstein

I noticed Valentino held a red leather-bound volume.  It looked like some kind of logbook.  He casually set it on the counter near the Ouija board.  He put his hand to my cheek.  Using his thumb, he rubbed the raspberry colored cosmetic a few times.

“So, what’s that?” I inquired about the book.

Lifting the red cover, I saw hand written notes and illustrations.  Valentino laid his hand on the book cover, closing it.

“The pictures in it are unusual.  Did you draw them too?”

“Yes, Lulu.  I got the idea from Carl Jung.  It’s sort of a travelogue.  It wouldn’t make sense to anyone other than myself,” he replied.

(More about Jung’s own red notebook here)

I looked up at his face, evaluating his expression.  Brooksy, a classy dresser in that tuxedo, Valentino was suavely calm.  Maybe too cool.  It made me want to poke at the façade, get a rise out of him.  I wondered what would annoy him.

Val and Tom green

Valentino and Tom Driberg, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino had a charisma that was hard to describe.  I didn’t want to be attracted to him for the simple reason that my friends acted foolishly giddy over him.  I figured he had that effect on most women.  Maybe on men too, based on the way that journalist, Tom Driberg had gazed at him.

So focused was I on Valentino that I had not noticed my grandfather enter the room.  I was almost as startled to see Gramps as I had been when Valentino came up behind me.  I thought of the brief stare-down they had outside the speakeasy the night before.

The atmosphere around the two men seemed heavy.  It reminded me of ectoplasm.  I felt I would’ve needed a knife to cut through the gauzy membrane of it.

Then again, maybe it actually is ectoplasm, I thought.

Gradually a faint aura enveloped the two men.  It trailed away from them, becoming thicker, more visible as it stretched back to the Ouija board.  The planchette raced back and forth across the wooden board.  Apparently, I was the only one who noticed.

Gramps Valentino sepia Station

Gramps and Valentino in the abandoned station, by Rob Goldstein

Gramps swallowed hard and his eyes were tight as he fixed Valentino with a cold stare.  That was the second time I had seen Gramps encounter the enigmatic man.  Both times my grandfather’s intensity, his expressions and manner befuddled me.

“So that’s what brought you back?  That old Ouija board?  I guess coming back to get something is not as cold hearted as returning on a whim.  But it would have been better if you hadn’t come back at all,” Gramps told him in a level tone.

Horsefeathers!  My Gramps already knew Valentino?  But…

The red leather book flew open and the planchette jumped from the Ouija board to the book.  I hurried to look at the pages before Valentino could get a chance to close it again.

The left-side page was filled with words written in elaborate script.  The hand was neat but difficult to read through the gauzy nimbus.  I wanted to pick up the book, but I was afraid to put my hand into the ectoplasm.  The right-side page bore a hand drawn map.  I gazed at it in sudden inspiration.  I grabbed the notepad where I penciled the letters of the Ouija board to which the planchette pointed moments before, Y, T, I, C, C, I, T, N, A, L, T, A.  My eyes went back to the map.  I spat out the piece of saltwater taffy that as still in my mouth.

English_ouija_board

English Ouija board, Wiki Media Commons

“Atlantic City?” I read the title of the map.  “Bushwa!  Couldn’t it point to Paris, or Cairo, or even Shanghai?  But no― Atlantic City.  And why the devil did it spell the words backward?” I commented incredulously.

Valentino reached the desk in a single step.  He didn’t even flinch at putting his hand into the aura.  He picked up his travelogue.  He snapped it shut and the nimbus burst.  The noise of tiny pops repeatedly assailed my ears, like a string of lady finger firecrackers.  Bits of ectoplasm showered down in sparks.

I tried to take the book from him, but he held it tightly to his chest.  He gave me a derisive look that was probably meant to make me stop.  I desperately wanted to get another look at that page.  The only thing I had been able to make out in the handwriting was a name.  Lauren.

“Lauren was my mother’s name,” I hissed into his ear, not wanting Gramps to hear.

“I know, but save it for later,” he whispered back as he twisted away from my hands.

Lauren La Garçonne -1x

Lauren by Rob Goldstein

Pearl burst into my erstwhile secret place.  I stopped trying to get my hands on the book.  My fair-haired pal was clearly distraught.

“Lulu, you have to help me stop her!” Pearl cried.  “It’s Rose, she’s going to blouse.”

“She wouldn’t do that,” I assured Pearl.  “I don’t think Rose has anywhere else to go, no family or anything,” I commented, but paused for a second as a suspicious feeling tickled at my mind.  “At least she never talks about them.  Why would Rose be leaving?”

“I don’t know,” Pearl said near tears.  “Especially after all those gifts came.  But she is.  She’s packing her suitcase and everything!”

When I wanted to know what Pearl meant by gifts, she described several expensive items that were left at our friend’s door.

“And there was a beautiful Chanel suit, and even a big Orthophonic Victrola,” Pearl explained.  “A note came with it that was addressed to Margosha.  So, it wasn’t even meant for her.  I told her that if she didn’t want the stuff she could just send it back, but she was all upset about it.”

Valentino surprised me by telling Pearl, “I thought you were Margosha.  The name means pearl.”

Pearl Lulu Waves

Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

“Did you leave the goods then,” I asked him, and I was surprised to hear the accusing tone in my voice.

“No, but I’ve a good idea who did,” he told me.  “Pearl, go get your friend and bring her here.  It’s not safe for her to travel alone.”

Pearl daubed a lace edged handkerchief at her eyes.  She brightened considerably.

“It’d be a shame to send back the Victrola.  It’s the bee’s knees,” she sniffled and said, trying to joke.

“Not to worry.  I have one on my train.  We can let it play on the way,” he told her.

I saw Gramps shift his stance.  His hand twitched as though he was about to reach toward something.  Or maybe someone.

Valentino turned and picked up the Ouija board.

“Hey!  That’s mine,” I protested.

Gramps shocked me by saying, “It belongs to him.”

I turned to my grandfather in sputtering confusion.

Gramps_Red 001x

Gramps by Rob Goldstein

“I didn’t realize it had a defect when I left it.  That explains why I never got a message…” Valentino told Gramps in an apologetic tone that left me more muddled than ever.  “That’s why it gave you the letters in reverse order,” he added turning back to me.

My hands were still extended toward my Ouija board.  Too many strange words and thoughts were flooding into my mind.  They caught in a bottleneck, leaving me immobile.

“I’ll get you another one,” Valentino told me.

His mouth held an impatient twist as he looked at my outstretched hands.  He sounded like he was talking to a petulant child.  The whole situation was getting me in a later.

“This Ouija board is part of my train,” he added in an annoyed tone that was tinged with guilt.  “It’s part of the navigation system.  This one was a backup.  The primary board was corrupted and a default setting sent the train here, where the backup board was left.  I didn’t know it was bringing me here.  I didn’t mean to cause you pain,” he added, looking at my grandfather.

***

The End

***

Now I’ve exposed another of the challenges of writing “three things” and/or serials — achieving the right combination of stopping point and length. Applesauce, I do try…  

Will Rose arrive safely at the abandoned subway station?  Why is she in danger anyway? Lulu has a mysterious mom that apparently no one talks about?  How the heck are a Ouija board and a Victrola part of the workings of a train?  Must be dieselpunk…  At least some of these questions will be answered next time with Hullaba Lulu Chapter 5 — Automat, Tilt-a-Whirl, Cheeseburger. 

1927 Orthophonic Victrola Ad

In 1925 Orthophonic Victrola* was a big innovation in sound reproduction.  The new electrically recorded phonograph records sounded harsh on the old Victrolas.  The had to consider all sorts of frequencies and even how long the horn had to be to produce a good sound — not to mention how to fold the resulting nine-foot long horn into a cabinet. 

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. 

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.

 

120 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays 29 ― Hullaba Lulu 4

  1. Pingback: Catch-Up Saturdays — Hullaba Real World Tech & Review | Teagan's Books

  2. Pingback: Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 8 | Teagan's Books

  3. Props to you for fitting in those unique 3 things – including ectoplasm! That must have taken a bit of planning for sure 😉 I’m curious to find out how the ouija board fits with the train – and I’m loving the art from Rob! I’ll head over to see his related post that you linked to here too. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Christy. Nope… no planning in this story… none at all. Rob is good at sending “era appropriate” things and often a blurb of his research. Otherwise I do my own research — but that’s after I get a “thing”.
      I hope you’ll like how the Ouija fits the train. That part popped into my head as soon as I saw “Ouija board.” … Have I mentioned that I’m just not wired right? LOL.
      Thanks for being on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your stories always take interesting twists and turns, Teagan! You’ve worked that Ouija board in very nicely. I like the Gramps character, too. He has an interesting background, which I am looking forward to you divulging for your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was just working on chapter 8… I’m liking Gramps more and more as the story goes. I’m trying to tell the relationships with innuendo… I want individual readers to fill in what they want some things to be. Hopefully I will manage that without leaving out so much that it’s annoying. We’ll see! I appreciate you catching up. Great big hug!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Let’s do the Raccoon – Art by Rob Goldstein

  6. This Valentino guy – his relationship with Gramps? I’m intrigued. And I wouldn’t want to put my hand in the ectoplasm either. I saw Ghostbusters – I know what that stuff is like.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Jazz Age Wednesdays 30 ― Hullaba Lulu 5.1 | Teagan's Books

    • Thank you kindly, Hugh. I had so much fun with that idea. When Rob sent it as a thing, i was stumped for a moment — then my mind just went off the rails with it. Wait until you see what i have in mind next time for Tilt-a-whirl! 😉
      Thanks so much for taking time to visit both stories. You’re the monkey’s eyebrows! (I promise that is good. 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Jazz Age Wednesdays 29 ― Hullaba Lulu 4 – Cecily's Writings

  9. So enjoying this Teagan! Loving Rob Goldstein illustrations too – I shall scurry over to his blog page to take a look at more. I’d love to re-blog but can’t see the reblog icon.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is that time of the week to visit one of Teagan’s creative worlds set in the 1920s, where time has little meaning and strange events are par for the course. We are in Lulu’s secret space in the old abandoned subway.. well it is supposed to be.. so why is there a train in the station?…Then there is the enigmatic and magnetic Valentino and his big red book…(is it This is Your Life?) It could be but Grandpa is not too happy about it all.. Then there are Lulu’s friends Pearl and Rose who also seem to be in a bit of a pickle.. Something is going on.. and it looks like Lulu and her friends are going to be taken for a ride….#recommended

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: 10 Everyday Items invented in the 1920’s – Art by Rob Goldstein

  12. A fun episode, Teagan. I like the link between the Ouija Board, Valentino, and the train. And Lulu cracks me up. She’s so forthright. “It made me wonder if I had a booger in my nostril.” Ha ha ha. Amazing images and video from Robert too. The music was a perfect choice. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so glad you enjoy this. I have so much fun with the steampunk stuff, Kathryn! Although I guess I should call this dieselpunk for the 20s. (I had not heard of that until fairly recently.)
      Our Valentino is quite the mystery man — we may never know all about him, but that’s part of the fun. 😉 Thanks for visiting. You’re pos-i-lutely the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Gerlinde, you might not have too long to wait for that car. I’d like one myself.
      I couldn’t resist including the booger! Glad it gave you a giggle. I’m delighted you enjoyed this.
      Rob will be pleased you liked his artwork. Thanks for taking time to visit. You’re the oyster’s earrings! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved it, loved! This is the bee’s knees, Teagan. I love all the plot bunnies you have hopping all over the place, and can’t wait to see what you do with them. Highly exciting, and Rob’s art is breathtaking. Standing ovation to both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Oh my goodness!!! Where to start? Okay. Well, I loved the video Rob created. His talent matches your own, Teagan and you two make a great team. What a challenge to include the three things Rob threw at you. You did a superb job! I admit I had to look up ectoplasm. 🙂 And a train that needs a Ouija Board for a navigation system? Brilliant!! But, why is Valentino leaving the gifts for Pearl? Here’s where my mind went…Perhaps he is both Pearl and Lulu’s real father?? 🙂 I will simply have to wait and see. This has become my favorite stop on Wednesday!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jan, you just made my day. I’m delighted you are enjoying this. Rob is doing a fabulous job with era appropriate things that add to the atmosphere of the story. It really is driven by the “things” — I’m not behind the wheel, and that can be scary, but it’s fun!
      Valentino didn’t leave the gifts (Lulu was wrongfully suspicious), more on that next time. But hmmm about Valentino as father… hmmm indeed. You never know around here! Huge thanks for taking time to visit. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. OK, the talent on this page is a little unnerving, what an awesome combo!!! What a way to start the day!!! Thanks Teagan and Rob – the dynamic duo! You’re both the cat’s pajamas! Hope this day treats everyone kindly!
    Mega big Orthophonic Victrolas hugs xoxoxoxox

    Liked by 2 people

  16. First off, Rob did an excellent job with the video.

    As if I needed additional reasons to be intrigued by this story, you’ve added a train. I’m totally hooked. The notion of trains moving on their own, or with their own directions, is special kind of fantasy.

    Your storytelling ability is amazing, Teagan. I think this is one of your best episodes, certainly among the best. You immediately pinged my senses with the crashing bottles and scream – I was hooked. I also loved the honesty of “As I wiped my nose on my sleeve” because, yeah, that’s what we would do. It made the scene seem so real, I just stepped into it.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Pingback: Jazz Age Wednesdays 29. Hullaba Lulu 4. – The Militant Negro™

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