Jazz Age Wednesdays 30 ― Hullaba Lulu 5.1

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Lulu reclining trunks Valentino Station
Valentino and Lulu wait at the abandoned subway station.  (Rob Goldstein)

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.”

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 5.1

The Backstory

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.

The Station Val_Pearl enters_red
Pearl made it back after going to check on Rose (Rob Goldstein)

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.

vAL Grams Station_0011_007x
Valentino summons the train with his trumpet. (Rob Goldstein)

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.”

La Garçonne-ectoplasm
Lauren inside Valentino’s train  (Rob Goldstein)

“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!”

Rose Enters Station portal
Valentino, Rose, Gramps, and Lulu wait for the train (Rob Goldstein)

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.

Val Margosha getting on train All Abord
Rose made it too.  Is that a Chanel suit she’s wearing?

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:

Chapter 1 ― Rose, Pearl, Trumpet

Chapter 2 ― Garter Flask, Grand Central Station, Bright Young Things

Chapter 3 ― Saltwater Taffy, Raspberry-Red Rouge, Ouija Board

Chapter 4 ― Ectoplasm, Jung, Orthophonic Victrola

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.

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.


110 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays 30 ― Hullaba Lulu 5.1

  1. It was good to learn more about the relationship between Gramps and Valentino. I think it’s wise that you added the backstory to enrich what happens in future episodes, Teagan 🙂 Great illustrations from Rob!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christy. I appreciate that feedback. I liked having a bit of discontent between the two men in this story. Rob continues to do amazing work — even though he’s supposed to be on a break. 🙂 I’m not complaining. Thanks for visiting. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So many things I want to say about this series but I will keep it short. First of all the videos (artwork) are amazing and really set the tone this is such a perfect collaboration of two art forms. I really enjoyed and appreciated the foray into the family history, it’s like a puzzle that is coming together, the plot thickens, catching up and so happy I am!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, I’m not absolutely sure about anything with this story, Lavinia. But that’s where the fun is! I’m so happy you are enjoying it. This has been fun and even nurturing for me and for Rob too. I’m delighted that you’re aboard this diesel-punk train! You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The mystery deepens even further, Teagan. You got me thinking about Valentino and wether, like me, he’s a time-traveller. Could there be a little bit of love interest there?
    Rob’s drawings go from strength to strength (just like the story).
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Hugh — Rob will be delighted with this compliment. As am I.
      You are crafty! 😉 You’re onto me. I’m trying to tell about the relationships with innuendo. I want some parts of the story to be whatever the individual reader needs/wants them to be. I’ve done similar in my books with race, for instance. While I’ll mention hair color (sometimes eye color) unless it’s a big part of the character, I don’t specify race — because I want any reader to be able to imagine themselves (or whomever) into the part. I decided to take that approach a step further with these characters and whatever their preferences might be. Valentino and Gramps clearly have a history. In a past episode, Lulu speculated that both men and women seemed to be attracted to Valentino. I’ll let the reader decide what kind of history they want that relationship to be.
      Huge thanks for taking time to read and comment. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Gerlinde, thank you. I’ve struggled with asthma this week, brought on by fumes where they refinished the hardwood floors next door. But the air is finally normal and I’m getting better.
      Thanks for your kind words. I’m so happy you’re on the train for this story! You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adele. This is actually very good feedback for me in shaping the Valentino character. I think he’s probably a pretty good guy, but he’s so taciturn that it’s hard to tell. I appreciate you taking time to read and comment. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so kind, Rob. Thank you.
      LOL I would certainly like to have an automat like what I have in mind to put on the train! Maybe I should make it a bit temperamental… 😉 The diner images will work great for automat. Maybe a boardwalk scene, or something evocative of a carnival?
      You know your onions, so I know it will be great. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Joanne! That trumpet was one of the first things to come up when Rob and I did some initial brainstorming, getting a vague idea of the nature of the story. He’ll be happy that you like it.
      I’m so glad you could visit. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL… Don’t ask me why, Diana, but you just put a song in my head.

      I’m not sure it’s a matter of Valentino wanting Lulu (although Gramps would see it that way)… more that people are drawn to him whether he intends it or not. Hopefully I’ll be able to show that in future episodes. Although… I’m trying to allow the reader to infer a lot of what they want this story to be where the relationships are concerned.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the story and the art. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Applesauce… sorry about the link. It’s a video of the old “Mind Bender” song… “My Daddy was a gibson; My Mama was a Fender; That’s why they call me Mindbender…” Ha!!! You will not see videos of me– singing or mute. Hugs!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. As always with this new story, I don’t know where to start. The video and images from Rob are nothing short of genius and amazing! And, such a mystery now surrounding Valentino and Gramps and you even threw in the mob? And Gramps is going with them. My head is swimming, Teagan! Fantastic story and your writing style along with Rob’s images put me right there in the tunnel with them all. I can’t wait to see where the train goes. Love this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw Jan, you just gave me a huge smile.
      Well, the train is going to Atlantic City… sort of… (consider that a hint.) 😀 You might need some Dramamine for when we get there though!
      Looking forward to your next Jonah installment — it’s the finale, right?
      Many thanks for taking time to visit here. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. So good and so mysterious. I love all the background information on her family. What an intriguing story you’re crafting.Rob’s artwork is just spectacular and adds so much to these scenes. What a great collaboration you’ve got going on. I’m looking forward to Chatper 5.2 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so happy to hear that, Mae. Oddly enough, this much more “ordinary” group of things has given me more to write about. But like I say, I’m just not wired right, so I will as easily go somewhere wild with a normal item as something exotic.
      Rob and I have been amazingly in sync, particularly considering we only email, and there is an entire country between our coastlines. His images take a lot of time and work, yet I’m not able to give him hints in advance, because I don’t know where the story is going. So he really is doing extraordinary work.
      Huge thanks for being on board this train. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. The plot definitely gets thicker as we go along. Love the art and your story, Teagan. I’m having to guess what will happen when they get on the train. Maybe I’ll just wait until next week. Yeah, maybe I’ll do that very thing. Nice job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John, that is music to my ears. I think/hope everyone will have a great time, and fun surprises when the train gets to Atlantic City. Thanks for visiting and for all your support. See you at lunchtime for Story Day at your place — talk about a thickening plot! You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This has been such a crummy week, I decided to read today’s episode before this day goes off the rails, as it were.

    I love the notion of the Ouija board guided train, even though I find the boards a bit creepy. I also love the fact that she has a friend who will help “without asking questions” – we all need one of those.

    You’re hitting the senses again, and it’s working. I heard that baggage trolley. There’s so much to process today, my mind is going every which way. Things are lining up in ways that they can’t be, but I know you’re going to bring them together – and I can’t wait!

    The video was wonderful, as are the still images. I really like the man playing th trumpet in the tunnel – that has such an eerie feel to it – very well done.

    Great episod, Teagan – thanks for helping me try to save Wednesday from the rest of this week!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Applesauce, Dan — I’m sorry you are having a rough week. Here’s a midweek hug!
      I had to take a sick day myself. Things just seemed to heap on to make me feel unwell, including fumes from next door where they’re refinishing the hardwood floors… Maybe you can take a personal day… You deserve it.
      Since you give yourself exercises in writing, I think you’ll get it when I say that one thing this series is for me, is an exercise in telling a story with innuendo. I don’t know if that’s a “thing,” but that’s what I’m trying for the effect Valentino has on people, his history with Gramps, and the Tom Driberg character as well. Maybe you could say I’m trying to “show not tell,” but I feel it goes further than that.
      Partly, I want people to read their own “telling” into those parts of the story — let it be whatever each person wants or needs it to be. So I hope you’ll let me know if I’m managing that.

      Rob will be happy that you like the art — particularly the trumpet image. That was one of the early ones, and I’m only just now using it.
      Heartfelt thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I always read more into the stories you tell, you seem to leave room for us to do that, or you hint at an emotion of a character, but leave us some wiggle room. I think my view of these events is probably different than others’ but that’s a good story. You’re never too prescriptive, unless you’re sharing details we need to know. That’s one of the things I like about your stories.

        I’m at work. We’re having a ice cream sundae meeting to discuss the latest “get healthy” initiative. Ice cream because mental health is important. I’ll show up for ice cream 🙂

        Thanks for the hugs, I hope you feel better and those fumes fade quickly.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Dan, I appreciate you taking time to come back with this feedback. It really does help me.
          I chuckled out loud about the ice cream/get healthy meeting. I’m really glad I stayed home. I would have been miserable if I’d gone in. I just wish I could get a nap (2 nights with next to no sleep). But I’ve never been a napper. Not to be confused with a flapper or her dapper dad. Okay… i think i’m punchy. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  8. Very mysterious background story… There’s plenty to come yet and more fascinating artwork from Rob. Thanks, Teagan! Looking forward to it! (I’m intrigued by the relation between Valentino and Gramps…)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you said that, Olga. That one-sided conversation with Gramps and Valentino is about as direct as I want to get about their relationship. (Sometimes what we don’t say is even more interesting than what we do say.) So I hope I can tell that part of the story successfully with nuance and innuendo. This is sort of an exercise for me that way. Thanks again. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

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