Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 6

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Lulu looking tub bot Metropolis 9

A bath on Valentino’s train, by Rob Goldstein

Hey, Sheiks and Shebas.  Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  The weekly three things and images, from my “partner in crime” Rob Goldstein, spontaneously guide what I’m writing.  Last week he did an image of an Art Deco angel as part of my mystical diesel-punk train’s controls.  That caused me to see more of the train.  I can tell you, Valentino has one luxurious way to travel!

I guess this is a spoiler, but it has nothing to do with the plot…  I had already given the train a control room with mystical gizmos for navigation and communications, and then an automat.  Now I have deluxe sleeper cars — with attendants.  Between Rob and me, Lulu freaked out when she suddenly realized the bath had attendants… 

Lulu Towel run or dance botsMetropolis 5

Lulu and the Sleeper Car Attendants, by Rob Goldstein

Rob did another video for us (below).  I’m happy to be able to feature more of the artwork of Rob Goldstein

Here’s another fabulous video from Rob. Click for the full post.

Today we have Chapter 6 of the Roaring Twenties fantasy series, Hullaba Lulu.  The “dieselpunk*” train has reached Atlantic City.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu, Chapter 5

From Chapter 5

In the distance ahead, I could make out bits of the boardwalk.  I saw the great Ferris wheel and the tallest hills of the old Loop the Loop.

 “Hold on a minute!” I exclaimed.  “Atlantic City took down the Loop the Loop in 1912.  I’ve only seen it in photographs.”

 In the midst of the strange flashing lights, the tilt-a-whirl spun wildly.

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 6

The Garconne Look, Tarot Cards, Kodak Brownie

Burgers Lulu Recline

Lulu in the train’s automat… with cheeseburgers

The loudspeaker had a calm voice as it spoke, “Nearing destination.  Prepare to disembark.”

It was the slightest shift, but I felt the train begin to decelerate.  Suddenly excited, I wanted to remember this adventure forever.  Plus, that Loop the Loop — I needed a picture of that so people would believe it was there.

I ran down the corridor toward Gramps’ sleeper car, hoping he brought his Kodak Brownie with him.  When I came to the spiral staircase that went up to the control room, I paused to look up the stairs.  Everything seemed quiet and dark.  I figured everyone was getting ready to leave the train.

A moment later I was at my grandfather’s room, but he wasn’t there.  I saw his open suitcase on the bed and moved to see if the camera was there.  Gramps might not think to take it with him.

A soft click caused me to turn.  My eyes bulged at what I beheld.

Single angel-bot

Angel-bot by Rob Goldstein

“May I help you, Miss?”

“You’re an automaton!” I exclaimed after a stunned moment.  “A golden angel like the sculpture in the control room… but you’re an automaton.”

With halting movements he bowed.  His eyes blinked with another quiet click.

“I’m the sleeper car attendant.  May I help you, Miss?  Your companions have gone to the amusement park.  You will need these,” he said with a slight southern drawl.

He handed me a brown paper sack.  The aroma of the contents reached my nose before I opened the bag.  It contained several cheeseburgers.

“Oh, thank you, but I just ate,” I told him.

“Yes, I see,” he said and touched the side of my mouth with a white linen napkin embroidered with the letter V.  “There was a bit of mustard.  The cheeseburgers are currency.  You will need them.  You’d best hurry.  Your companions have already disembarked.”

I followed the golden angel-looking automaton into the corridor.  We had to step aside when three more of the clockwork creatures needed to pass.  I noticed they held various cleaning implements.  I stopped them, and asked a bunch of questions. 

Metropolis 3 inside train

Art by Rob Goldstein

Angel-bots! I thought in amazement.

“Hang on just a minute.  How many of you clockwork people are on this train?  And no offence, but you all look just alike.  How do I know one of you from another?  Do you have names?”

“There are sufficient numbers of us to assist in keeping the train in good working order and take care of all the passenger needs as well,” the sleeper car valet told me as the other three made soft clicking noises.  “We haven’t had a need for names, so we have none.”

When I stood speechless, another of them inquired in a voice touched by the Bronx, “May we assist you, Miss?”

I found it unaccountably disturbing that they all looked so much alike.  It reminded me of the time I met triplets when I was very young.  I wanted to give them all rhyming names like the triplets, but I wasn’t any kind of poet.

The first one, with the southern accent seemed to understand that something bothered me.

“We all look very much alike, except for the red-gold attendant,” he said.

The three housekeepers made mechanical chuckling noises.  He turned his placid face toward them.  I had the feeling that he would have blushed if he could.  I felt a little sorry for him.

Bot inside Metropolis 08

Bots, by Rob Goldstein

“She’s a hotsy-totsy!” he confessed with a shuffle of his feet.  “I tried to learn flapper language when I heard the train was going to Atlantic City,” he added, sounding entirely practical.

“Red-gold?” I asked.  “She must be Ginger then, and Hot Ginger because I think she’s your blue serge!  So, my friend, that would make you Dynamite.”

Suddenly inspired by the Nagasaki song I turned to the other three and stated, “That makes you three Wiki, Wacky, and Woo, like the song.”

“The song, Miss?” Dynamite asked.

Hot Ginger and Dynamite!  Somethin’ something’ and wicky wacky, woo!” I belted out a bar of the tune, or the part I could remember anyway.

For a moment there was silence.  Then I was surrounded by clicking noises.  They started chattering to each other.  I thought they were excited to have names.  I know ― everyone thinks clockwork creatures don’t have emotions, but I was there.  I was sure they liked having names.

***

Lulu hands behind head new dress

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

A familiar excited giggle drew me to a brightly painted booth.  Pearl had found a fortuneteller automaton.  It was much less sophisticated than the angel-bots on the train.  Its voice had no infliction as it prompted us.

“The gypsy knows all, sees all.  What would you divine?” it asked repeatedly as it spread tarot cards on the small table inside its booth.

“Go ahead, Lulu!  Ask it a question.  It gave me ‘the lovers’ card,” Pearl told me.

“You always ask about love, and they always tell you that you’ll find it.  I never know what to ask,” I complained.  “Oh, okay.  How is the Loop the Loop still here when it was taken down in 1912?  Did we go back in time?” I added in a softer voice.

The automaton stopped and looked right at me.  Something about the sudden change in clockwork movement gave me the heebie-jeebies.  The gypsy gathered the tarot cards and spread them again.  It drew out a card with a drawing of a man hanging by his foot.  The fortuneteller moved the card so that the man was laying down.

“Sideways,” was all the automaton said.

“We didn’t move east or west, or forward or backward…” I began.

“Sideways,” it repeated.

Morg-tom 031x

Rose and Tom dance, by Rob Goldstein

I gave a frustrated sigh.  Why couldn’t the blasted thing be useful?  I turned to Pearl and asked her where Rose was.  My fair-haired friend shrugged, then she giggled and asked the fortuneteller.

“Where is our friend, Rose?”

The gypsy automaton gathered the tarot cards, spread them, and turned over the Three of Swords.  The design on the card was like the leaflet I found in the automat.  There was an image of a heart pierced by three swords.  I shuddered.

“Betrayal,” the fortuneteller said.

The air was split by a loud scream.  The sound echoed around the amusement park.

“Rose?” I exclaimed.

I turned around, looking everywhere.  At first, I saw no one.  Then I saw a shadow that somehow made me think of the Ford with a bunch of G-men – or that’s what they looked like.  That was the night we met Tom Driberg.  I muttered his name.

Abruptly I realized that Pearl was gone.  She must have gone to look for Rose.  I took a breath to call for Pearl, when I the sound of feet pounding the pavement made me turn.

Lulu and Tom car

Lulu and Tom, by Rob Goldstein

“Speak of the devil,” I snorted.  “I should have known you were here when I glimpsed those G-men just now,” I told Tom Driberg.  “But how did you manage to get here”

“I heard Rose scream.  Where is she?” he asked.

He sounded suspiciously calm and I commented on the fact.

Tomato, didn’t anybody notice the handcar that hooked onto the end of the train?  I thought my stowaway jig was up when one of those clockwork angel things found me.  Anyhow, those weren’t G-men,” he told me in a voice tinged with contempt.  “Those are Russian agents.  They must have gotten to Margosha before I could.  I mean your friend Rose.  Margosha is her first name.  Rose is her middle name.  Didn’t you know?  Her monogram, MRM didn’t tell you anything?” he added with a condescending chuckle that grated my patience.

I looked around wildly for my friends.  Half panicked, I didn’t know what to do.

Rose Am I Blue

Rose, by Rob Goldstein

“Calm down.  They won’t hurt her.  They mean to use her to get to me.  You see, I quit them and they think dragging Margosha back into the spy business will force me to join them again.”

“What do you mean dragging her back?” I demanded.

The noise of screeching metal caused me to look away.  It sounded like something huge moving in a way that it had no business moving.  When I turned back to Tom, he was gone.  Twisting around in a circle I searched for any familiar face.  The scream could have come from any direction.  Tom could have run anywhere, so could Pearl.

Not knowing what to do, or where to do it, I started walking forward, farther into the park.  In the distance I saw a woman wearing the menswear inspired Garconne look.  Her face reminded me of one that I mostly knew from pictures.

I brought up the Kodack and aimed.  Abruptly she turned toward me.  I took the photo.

Lauren?

Lauren La Garçonne -1x

Lauren by Rob Goldstein

The woman who looked like my mother ran.  I followed.

Panting, I paused, hands on knees as I tried to catch my breath.  A brightly painted clown face marked the entrance to the tilt-a-whirl.  The clown had curved line for an innocent smile, and his eyes were little plus marks.  I looked beyond the sign to the ride.

I spotted her.

With a glance over her shoulder, Lauren did something, moving the levers on the ride’s controls.  She climbed onto one of the tilt-a-whirl cars.  It spun and turned, faster and faster.  Soon it looked like a blur.

Bright lights flashed.  Metal gears shrieked.  Green smoke poured from the machinery and the cars.  The tilt-a-whirl slowed to a stop.  No one was aboard the ride.  I ran to the car where Lauren had been.  It was as empty as all the others.

My eyes were drawn back to the clown sign.  The face had changed.  His eyes openly leered and his grin grin was vulpine, downright scary.  The gears of the ride groaned to a stop.

Pontchartrain beach Clown full face.png

***

The End

***

Well, I’m not sure what to say about that…  Except maybe that I will think twice before I get on a tilt-a-whirl again.  And where the Sam Hill did everybody go?

Next time, Chapter 7 — Pocket Watch, Pittura Metafisica, Bubblegum. 

 

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images and videos there. 

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the oyster’s earrings! 

 

PS:  Remember 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.

 

105 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 6

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

  2. I had to read this one twice, so much happening and I have to say the bots are great, what a wonderful idea it reminds me of the twilight zone! If food was currency these days you would have to have veggie burgers as well as cheeseburgers to be totally PC. I am on my way to episode 8 now and so excited!! This is too cool❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! There would have to be a burger currency exchange — cheeseburger to veggie.
      One cheeseburger to 100 carrot sticks…
      But I’m afraid there’s nothing PC about our Lulu.

      I don’t remember what made me think of the angel-bots now — and I thought it would be a one-time thing. But once I started writing them, I loved the golden guys. I guess they’re taking the place of animals for me — You know my stories nearly always have animals in them.
      Heartfelt thanks, Suzanne. You’re one swell tomato! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The pace of the story and the fabulous images create this intriguing blend of whimsy and suspense. I have to say thought that it alarms me that everyone keeps abandoning Lulu. If I was Lulu, I would be upset that everyone keeps dissolving without any thought of me. WTH?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kirt. I’m getting a kick out of everyone thinking the clown is creepy. 😀 I wanted a much more sinister looking clown but that was the best I could do.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this chapter. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! Another action-packed episode, Teagan. Loved the golden automatons, and that fortune teller who would only say ‘sideways’ when asked: “Did we go back in time?” I’ve never heard of cheeseburgers being used for currency before. That was a great touch to the story.
    Rob and you make a great writing and visual effects team.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Hugh. LOL, I don’t know what made me think of using cheeseburgers as money, but I’ve been hungry ever since! 😉 🍔 I appreciate you taking time to visit when you must be so busy with the big Blogger’s Bash.
      Great big hug right back, my friend. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Gerlinde. 😀 People seem torn between being creeped out by the automatons and wanting one for their own. I’m with you! I wish I had a couple of them to do the cleaning while I write. Thanks for taking time to visit. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Like

  5. This is brilliant! And speaking of the heebie-jeebies, I think I might succumb on my train trip this year if automatons haunt my dreams 🙂 Love the video. You two are a creative dynamo ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

        • Haha, indeed I do! The best I can hope for with dreams is one that is bizarre (where someone would have a good dream). It wasn’t one of the automatons, but I dreamed a surreal art deco waiter (complete with tux) was preventing me leaving the office parking garage. He was in front of my car at every level of the garage. LOL, sadly he did not have a tray of cheeseburgers! 😉 May all your days be good, my friend. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think I’d have been tempted to run him down; and hopefully the accelerator would be working and my foot would reach the pedal 🙂 Thank you for your good wishes, my friend. Wishing the same for you ❤️

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Singin’ in the Bathtub – Art by Rob Goldstein

  7. Some really fabulous ideas here, Teagan. I love the Angel Bots and the giving of names. That creepy clown was a great way to end. There seems no end to your imagination and inspiration. Rob’s pictures are brilliant too.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I wouldn’t mind having an angel automaton, Teagan, or three. A cool addition to the story. And Lulu is going to find herself alone with that creepy clown pretty soon. Now where is everyone and how is she going to find them? Great episode and wonderful pictures and video from Rob. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Pingback: Jazz Age Wednesdays: Hullaba Lulu 6. – The Militant Negro™

  10. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is Wednesday which means that there is a party over at Teagan Geneviene who in the company of Robert Goldstein in hosting the Jazz Flapper adventure of the century… well the last one. The train has arrived and the cleaning crew are not what one might expect.. Lulu and Pearl are wondering where Rose has gone and there is an awful lot of screaming going on.. and it ain’t comin’ from the Waltzer sister… Things are up in the air alright.. better head over find out what…

    Liked by 3 people

  11. utterly creeped by the automata all clicking eyes and different accents – bit like meeting a clown convention; as for cheeseburgers as currency that sounds like sticky dough to me… sorry, couldn’t resist…

    Liked by 3 people

    • LOL. Geoff, I keep wondering how they put that kind of currency in a cash register. They must go through a lot of paper napkins. Thanks for taking a moment to visit. You’re the monkey’s eyebrows! (I promise, that’s a compliment.)

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Another fabulous video! You guys are amazing! The teamwork is resulting in some great writing. My head is whirling from all the things going on – Angel bots, missing friend, out-of-control tilt-a-whirl, the reporter, Russian agents. Wow!!! Great segment, Teagan and Rob.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Olga. I think Metropolis inspired Rob with the look of his bots. I like the movie too.
      LOL, it’s funny that everyone is saying the chapter is kind of scary. Funny because I never seem to know when I’m being scary. Imagine if I actually decided to frighten somebody! 😀
      Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment. I hope your course today was great. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Holy moly! This is one action-packed scene, Teagan and Rob. Love the introduction of spies and you added all the parts of a fair that freak me out, too!
    By the way, my grandpa had one of those Brownie cameras. Thanks for the memories it brought back {{hugs}}

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Jacquie. LOL… I get it about the clown, but I’m not sure what else I did. But then I rarely know! o_O But I’m tickled pink that you enjoyed it.
      Rob will be delighted that he brought you a good memory.
      Thank you so very much for reading and commenting. You’ve really made me smile. You are the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Ah, lunch time and Teagan – This is how I beat Wednesdays! I’m going to apologize for the length, but I’ve been taking notes. This episode seems to be a very tight weave. It’s entertaining, and it’s one step ahead of me.

    When Lulu wanted to get a picture of the Loop the Loop, I started thinking about technology and wondered when Kodak introduced the Brownie and before that thought could take root, you were there with “hoping he brought his Kodak Brownie with him.” You did it again with the “What do you mean dragging her back?” I demanded.” line. That was my exact thought! I felt like I was immersed in this story at a different level than reading.

    I loved the “Yes, I see,” he said and touched the side of my mouth with a white linen napkin embroidered with the letter V” part. It brought me back to those burgers and pulled the story together a little tighter.

    I’ll wrap this up soon, but I have to compliment Rob (again). The video is excellent , but I was most impressed with the Lulu image and the one of Lulu and Tom. They have an almost 3-D quality, and somehow, they bring the story a little more to life. The two of you have been working so well. There is also something special about the images in the tunnels.

    OK, I’m done, except to say that I think I “heard” the sudden change in clockwork movement, and it gave me the heebie-jeebies, too!

    Have a great rest of your week, Teagan and thank you for getting me through mine.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh my! Do go on… ^^’ LOL, you are so kind. Rob will be very happy.
      He uses Virtual Reality and Second Life, and has tried to describe it to me, but I’m a poor student. Anyhow, he knows how to tweak the basic images to make them look like drawings that might come to life at any moment. I’m always amazed.
      Rob has a lot going on right now, but he will be around, and tickled pink when he sees this comment. He has been choosing very mindful, educational “things” to propel this story. To me, that makes it even more fun.

      I appreciate the feedback — I try to leave subtle reminders of past episodes, without being repetitious (never sure what the balance should be). So that was very helpful to hear. It’s also helpful that you mention specific lines so that I’m sure.
      If I’ve helped you get across the midweek hump, them my week is made!
      Your post today was great. I wish I could link to it for my (ghost writer) weekly message at work (every week it has to be something about customer service), but they wouldn’t let me go outside like that.
      Many, many thanks. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. My eyes are wide and feel like my fingernails are barely holding on, breath coming in short bursts – awesome! You and Rob and a dynamic duo! But clowns – arggh! I just advised (maybe poorly) my son to watch, “Killer Klowns From Outer Space”, possibly one of the worst movies ever made (so bad it’s good type thing, but with a great theme song by The Dickies), but this is good it’s good, fantastic, the bee’s knees, dear friends and just made my day (week/month. maybe my year).
    Mega life is a tilt-a-whirl hugs xoxoxox

    Liked by 3 people

    • LOL, the clown seems to be doing what I meant for him to do.
      Hi Donna! Thanks for visiting and bringing your wonderful enthusiasm. I really do appreciate your feedback.
      I’m just strange (I already know I’m not wired right), but I don’t realize when I’m making something scary or creepy — ok, sometimes if I’ve gone really over the top. I guess that’s a commentary on my life. Ha! Anyhow, I’m delighted you enjoyed your visit. Mega hugs right back. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. That was quite the adventure! I’m worried where everyone has gone off too, and also worried about Rose. And then that clown….you’ve got so much going on!

    Rob’s new video and illustrations are fab. They add so much by bringing your wonderful scenes vividly to life. Great job, you two!

    Liked by 3 people

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