Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Hi there, Sheiks and Shebas. You’re at Jazz Age Wednesdays. Today’s episode brings us to Chapter 5 of the new series, Hullaba Lulu. I hope you are enjoying my change of pace from the “Pip-verse.” Yes, it’s another story set in the 1920s, but this one is a “Diesel-punk” fantasy.
Once again I have more of the pos-i-lutely fabulous artwork from Rob Goldstein. He’s made another fun video for this series. Button up your overcoat and check it out below. Rob and I are also having inspiring discussions and he’s sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive each chapter of this pantser story.
However, this time I’m cheating a little… When I started fleshing out my notes for this chapter, I found myself relating the backstory of Lulu’s family — before I even got around to any of the “three things” from Rob. The backstory was enough for a small episode. So, I decided to give you “Chapter 5.1” today and move the three things to next week.
Our darb cast of characters is finally ready to get aboard that diesel-punk train. I can’t resist showing you the images Rob made for that.
Previously with Hullaba Lulu
“This Ouija board is part of my train,” Valentino 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.
“Lulu, you have to help me stop her!” Pearl cried. “It’s Rose, she’s going to blouse.”
Next Time 5.2: Automat, Cheeseburger, Tilt-a-Whirl
My senses tingled with excitement. I got goosebumps just thinking about getting on that train. And Valentino― No! I wasn’t going to think about him that way. I refused to be like everybody else.
I went to Brick Oven Pizza and asked my pal Tony if he could help get the trunks down through the speakeasy for Rose and Pearl. Tony was a peach. I knew he’d help without asking questions.
Then I ankled back to the abandoned subway tunnel. I was surprised to hear voices ahead. One belonged to my grandfather. After a moment I realized the other was Valentino. Gramps sounded like he was in a lather.
Gramps tended to be taciturn, and Valentino seemed pretty tight lipped. So, I knew they would clam up if they knew anyone else was there. I took off my kitten-heeled shoes so they wouldn’t hear me as I drew closer. The conversation I witnessed left me speechless and confounded.
“The first time I met you, I didn’t know what to think ― of you or of my own reaction to you. I was young then. I didn’t know much. I thought you’d left forever. Life went on. I married Priscilla, the love of my life. Then you showed up again. I only saw you in the distance, and that was for the best,” Gramps said.
My grandfather’s words sounded like a man reminiscing, but there was nothing of sweet memories in his tone. How could he have known Valentino that long ago, unless the darb mystery man had been a small child? I felt confused.
“Priscilla and I had Lauren, our beautiful daughter, though my Priscilla didn’t live to watch her become a woman,” Gramps said and swallowed hard. “If she had, Lauren might not have turned out the way she did.”
“I know the girl has a mean streak a mile wide, but I still love her. She took up with that mobster and to be honest, I don’t know which one was worse, him or Lauren. Finally, she came back to Lulu and me. But I knew she wasn’t happy, Lauren couldn’t be satisfied with us. She needed thrills that a normal life couldn’t provide. I shouldn’t have been surprised…” my grandfather’s voice trailed away, as Valentino waited in silence for him to continue.
“So, the last time you were here, you left with my daughter. I never saw her again. Now you mean to take my granddaughter with you — don’t bother denying it. I know I wouldn’t be any more able to stop her than I could have stopped Lauren, even if I had known what she meant to do. Well mister, things are going to be different this time. This time I’m going too!”
A noise caused me to turn. I heard Rose and Pearl thanking Tony. They insisted that they could manage on their own. The sound of an old baggage trolley with squeaky wheels echoed through the tunnel. The two men heard it and stopped talking.
My mother the mobster? I knew which rumrunner Gramps meant. If Lauren was potentially worse than that man… well, she must be pure evil.
And Gramps… I wasn’t completely sure what he meant about Valentino, but maybe that was because I was stuck, trying and failing to process what he said about my mother.
I put my shoes back on and waited quietly for Rose and Pearl to catch up. I didn’t want anyone, particularly Gramps or Valentino, to know I had been listening.
Here ends part 1 of the fifth chapter of Hullaba Lulu.
Next Time Chapter 5.2: Automat, Cheeseburger, Tilt-a-Whirl
Now that I’ve finished my Saturday serial, Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam, we might have some new readers on this diesel-punk train. This seems like a good time to provide links to the past chapters of Hullaba Lulu. If you’ve just gotten aboard Jazz Age Wednesdays, you can catch up at these links:
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 oyster’s earrings!
PS: I can’t forget my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.
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
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