Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 8

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Valentino Lulu Dance Hop Bot on horse RED Cotton Club-5-22-

Valentino and Lulu doing the Lindy Hop, by Rob Goldstein

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Today’s episode of Hullaba Lulu brings us to Chapter 8 of the series.  Rob Goldstein  is back with more gorgeous images and videos (Click here for the entire collection of videos.)  

A glimpse into my writing process 

Even though this is a diesel-punk fantasy, I try to add some real world tidbits for you.  Lulu seems to like to dance.  Early on she did a bit of the Camel Walk.  This time she’s doing an American dance which was born in Harlem, New York City in 1928 — the Lindy Hop.

This chapter has a bonus fourth thing.  I really try to stay true to the three things as they are sent. “Pittura Metafisica” was supposed to be one of the Chapter 7 things (last week), not “Bubblegum.” However, the scene I imagined for that artsy term was too long to fit into that chapter, so we have Pittura Metafisica in Chapter 8.  I didn’t want to leave a thing behind, so today there’s a fourth thing — Route 66.

vAL Grams Station_0011_007x

Valentino uses his trumpet to summon the train, by Rob Goldstein

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Lauren vanished on the tilt-a-whirl.  Gramps tried to go after her, but Valentino restrained him. 

“You can’t reach her!  The tilt-a-whirl never goes to the same destination twice!” Valentino repeated.  “What if that wasn’t even Lauren?”

The ground trembled.  I heard a loud bang!  Behind us the giant Ferris wheel lurched.  The A-frame structures holding the wheel collapsed. 

The great wheel rolled inexorably toward us.. 

It’s time for Chapter 8.  I think I hear Valentino’s trumpet.

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 8

Chanel No. 5, Pittura Metafisica, Videophone

and Route 66

Ferris wheel outside train Lulu Valentino

Lulu and Valentino as the Ferris wheel gets dangerously close to the train

The screech of twisting, tearing metal overwhelmed every other sound.  The great Ferris wheel, free of its frame rolled forward, crushing everything in its path.

In the distance I saw Tom Driberg running toward Valentino’s train.  The group of men in dark coats, the ones Tom told me were Russian spies, blocked his path.  Tom turned on his heel and made for the tilt-a-whirl.  In a flurry of lights, the ride came to life again, spinning impossibly fast, just as it had when Lauren vanished.  A moment later Tom was gone.

Valentino Tilt-a-Whril Tom_Travelin Sideways

Tom escapes on the tilt-a-whirl, by Rob Goldstein

The group of men didn’t see what happened.  They made a quick search of the ride’s cars and moved on.  I heard one of them say something about “a distraction.”  They turned away as if they heard something and then moved further into the park.

Movement caused me to look at the gilded fortuneteller booth.  Ask Sipsing was written in bright red script across the top.  Inside the window I saw a pair of knees.

Rose had prudently hidden inside the gypsy fortuneteller booth, folding herself up as well as she could.  As she squeezed out of the booth her purse caught on the latch and was pulled open.  I saw that it contained an expensive bottle of Chanel No. 5, complete with a ribbon and gift tag.  I would have bet anything the name on that tag was Tom Driberg.

Pearl Hat Fortuneteller_Visits Zoltar

Pearl at the fortuneteller automaton, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino turned to the mechanical fortuneteller and commanded, “Deal the cards.  Keep dealing until I tell you to stop.”

I didn’t think automatons worked that way.  I started to tell him that you had to ask it a question.  However, sure enough, the “gypsy king” automaton started dealing the cards.

Beside the Wheel of Fortune, the automaton dealt the Tower and the Chariot.  Valentino nodded sharply.

“Sipsing, you can stop,” he muttered and the automaton stilled.  “Our chariot awaits,” he said calmly, as if there wasn’t a giant wheel headed toward us.  “We have to get back to the train.  This entire area has become unstable.”

Wheel of Fortune Gilded Tarot

The Wheel of Fortune, the Gilded Tarot

The great Ferris wheel continued to careen through the amusement park.  As it neared the main gate, we hurried to the train.

Metallic clattering caused us to turn.  Dynamite and Boob-boom dragged the gypsy fortuneteller automaton ― still inside his booth ― to the train.  Valentino looked aghast.

“Dynamite, what in the Sam Hill are you two doing?” I asked.

“Miss, we could not leave Sipsing behind.  He is no ordinary automaton,” Dynamite drawled.

“Yes, Miss.  His casing is golden like an angel-bot.  Plus, he already had a name!” Boom-boom added as if that cleared up everything.

The train’s door closed behind me.  I watched through the small window as the huge wheel crashed through the main gate.  The amusement park sign split in half and the pieces sailed toward the train.  I ducked reflexively, but it didn’t seem to strike the train.

Lulu Valentino control room Red

Lulu and Valentino with chaos in the amusement part outside the train

Valentino’s trumpet played wildly.  The uninhibited notes wrapped around my consciousness, seeping into my soul.  I shivered as goosebumps appeared on my arms.  I looked out the window again and the great wheel was mere feet away.  There was no way the train could get out of its way in time.

Notes of a passionate refrain seemed to swirl from the loudspeakers.  I felt the ground tremble beneath the train.  In the distance some of the structures in the park collapsed.  The Ferris wheel came closer.  It looked like I could almost touch it if I were to lean out the window.

The trumpet’s notes flared to a crishindo.  The train abruptly lurched with such force that the motion knocked me to the floor.  All I could see beyond the window was a blur.

***

The Station-Diner_043-

Lulu, Valentino, and Pearl in the automat, by Rob Goldstein

The train sped along.  I didn’t know where we were headed.  My wits were scattered after everything that happened in Atlantic City, whichever Atlantic City it might have been.  Gramps retired to his sleeper car.  I figured my grandfather needed some privacy, so I asked Dynamite to check on him, instead of going myself.

Rose, Pearl, and I headed for the automat.  My pals said they weren’t hungry, but I talked them into going with me.  The passages in the train seemed different.  Pearl said she hadn’t noticed, but Rose agreed.  It seemed to make her nervous and she kept looking over her shoulder.

We entered a very long compartment that I had never seen before.  The entire length of the extended car was covered in murals done in a strange surreal style.  Intricately detailed vignettes were tied together by a dark line that went from one end to the other.  Closer inspection showed me the line was a road, with tiny highway signs denoting Route 66.

Portrait of Gramps with stuff

Gramps and the angel-bots with examples of Valentino’s Pittura Metafisica

“What kind of art do you call this stuff?” I asked.  “It looks like some sort of zozzled dream, but I like it.  Horsefeathers, it’s so detailed!”

“That’s probably why you like it,” Pearl quipped.  “Speaking of which…” she added removing a flask from her garter.  “After all the scary stuff, I could use a jorum of skee.”

Attagirl,” I responded when she passed the flask to me.

“The style is known as Pittura Metafisica,” Valentino answered.

The enigmatic man stood in the shadows.  He held a paintbrush and palette.  I supposed the mural was his work.

Pearl offered him her flask and commented, “That sounds like Italian.”

“You are correct, Pearl,” he added but stopped short.  “Lulu, what are you doing?”

“It looks like I could walk right into the painting, just stroll into that bizarre dream,” I told him, mesmerized.  “It just moved!  I saw someone run down that street!”

Valentino many bots painting red

Valentino and angel-bots with painting, by Rob Goldstein

Hand outstretched, I stepped toward the painting.  Valentino dropped his art tools and lunged to put his hands around my waist, pulling me back.

“It looks like you could walk into it because sometimes you can walk into the painting.  You don’t want to do that.  It’s the most insanely dangerous thing anyone could do,” Valentino said heatedly.

His eyes bulged and a vein throbbed in his neck.  It was the first time I had seen Valentino rattled.

***

Burgers Lulu Recline

Lulu in the train’s automat, by Rob Goldstein

Later, I swallowed the last bite of a hotdog as I left the automat.  My Mary-Jane shoes clicked on the floor as I did a rock-step-triple-step of the Lindy Hop.  I saw Valentino up ahead.  He didn’t see me because he was messing around with some whatchamacallit that was part of the train.

The big orthophonic Victrola in the train’s control room blared out “Toot, Toot, Tootsie! Good-bye.”  An angry look flashed across Valentino’s face.  He hurried into the control room and the music abruptly stopped in the middle of another toot.

Naturally I wanted to know what would make him mad like that, so I quietly followed him into the room.  I stopped in the shadows just inside the door.

Lulu Valentino in the control room

Lulu and Valentino in the train’s control room, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino opened what looked like a large brass compact.  It was about the size of a dinner plate.

“You!  Haven’t you made enough trouble?  What do you want?” he spoke to the big compact.

I moved closer for a better look.  A voice came from the brass thing.  It was not familiar, but I had the unpleasant feeling that I should know that voice.  Valentino shifted his stance and I had a clear view of the thing he held.  It was a videophone!

There was an article about videophones in Science and Invention magazine, but I never thought I’d see one in person.  Moving silently, I finally got into a position where I could see the person on the videophone.  I recognized her.  It was the woman from the tilt-a-whirl.  It was Lauren, my mother.

“What I want is for you to tell my old man to beat it!  You know I’m done with that life.  You’ve got a lot of gall, letting him on your train.  He’s got nothin’ I want, including the brat.  Unless you’ve brought Priscilla back from the dead, I guess the redhead I saw was her.  I’m going to blouse.  Anybody who knows what’s good for ‘em won’t try to follow me.  Understood?” Lauren said from the videophone.

Lauren La Garçonne -1x

Lauren by Rob Goldstein

My mother didn’t wait for a reply.  She broke the connection.

Valentino seemed to sense my presence.  He turned to face me. 

“Lulu…  I’m sorry you heard that.  Although, maybe it’s best that you did.”

I shook my head, stunned at the vehemence of Lauren’s words.  It made little difference that I was already pretty sure my mother was pure evil.  (Chapter 4)

“I’m just glad Gramps didn’t hear it,” I murmured.

***

The End

***

This Wednesday is a challenging workday for me. So I might not be able to attend comments as quickly as I’d like.  However, I hope you’ll still leave a comment.

Melancholy of Departure Giorgio de Chirico 1916

The Melancholy of Departure, Giorgio de Chirico 1916

Real World Notes

Pittura Metafisica: Marked by a strong sense of solitude and melancholy, the uncanny and dreamlike urban spaces and enigmatic iconography were typical of Pittura Metafisica or “Metaphysical Painting.”

Route 66:  Opened in 1926.  For some fascinating tidbits you might not know, click here.

Videophones:  Were first invented all the way back in the late 1800s, but they were refined in the 20s.  For more click here.

Chanel No. 5:  In 1921, a very clever designer and businesswoman created a scent that revolutionised the way women smell.  About a 100 years later, Chanel No. 5 is still the world’s most iconic fragrance.

The Lindy Hop:  Here’s how you do the foot-work!

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. 

Horsefeathers!  I’ve got to admire Lulu for her composure and for being well-adjusted.  They escaped that rogue Ferris wheel unscathed.  

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The things driving Chapter 9 are Jukebox, Star of David, and Bloshies.  What would you do with those things to further this story? Applesauce… Right now I have pos-i-lutely no idea what I’m going to write…And what the Sam Hill is a Bloshie?

Where will that swell diesel-punk train will go next?  I’ll see you at the station when Valentino’s train rolls up next week!

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

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for 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.

 

125 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 8

    • It’s really funny (strange) about Route 66. You know my mythology for it in The Guitar Mancer… Now other people (who don’t know that story at all) are sending it to me — first Chris (the story reading ape) and then Rob. I should take it as a nudge from the Universe and get back to the Mother Road! 😀 Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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

  2. What a chapter! I like the action of the crashing amusement park, but even more so, the murals that you can walk into. That is pretty cool. I’m looking forward to finding out what’s unusual about the fortune teller automaton, and what’s up with evil Lauren? Yikes, so much going one. Great story, Teagan. Awesome work by Rob too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome back, Diana. Even if your break didn’t go as planned, I hope you got some refreshing R & R.
      I don’t know what put walking into a painting in my head, but I rolled with it. Now that they are there, I think that kind of painting might show up again. 😉 Sipsing? Your guess is as good as mine. But I knew Dynamite and Boom-boom wouldn’t leave him behind, even if he just goes into storage in some corner of my mind.
      Thanks for being on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea that the videophone was invented in the 19th century, Teagan. I thought you may have had some trouble getting that item into the story, but you smashed it. As for walking into paintings, what a cool idea. However, Valentino had a stark warning about that, so maybe not.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Hugh, it’s good to see you. Yes, Valentino seemed pretty upset about that… I suppose walking back out must be a different matter. 😉
      I’m having a lot of fun with the cool diesel-punk stuff I’m giving the train. I’m delighted you enjoyed this chapter. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It was fun watching the video , I love to dance. You make up all these wonderful stories with so much different characters and interesting things. I love them.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry, I am late to this party, Teagan, but what a party it was!! Wow! This is another enthralling episode with phenomenal use of the prompts. All of the characters, including the Angel Bots and the Train, are dimensional and layered. I am super impressed with not only your writing abilities but Rob’s artistic contributions. Wow!! That’s the only word I can find. I can’t wait for the next episode. And why do I have a feeling that the Fortune Telling Machine will also become a character? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome back, Jan. You sound refreshed by your vacation. You are so kind, I appreciate your encouraging words.
      LOL, Who knows about the fortuneteller. Your guess is as good as mine. I haven’t had time to start the next chapter yet. Rob sent great “things” for it. I know I’ll have fun researching them. I’m so happy that you’re on this train. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a deep twist to have Lauren spewing distain….you just added another deep layer to the story!! Well done!! I also like the tease of the painting and the danger of jumping into it….another really great installment….I know I say this every week, but I am amazed with where this all comes from!! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kirt, I really appreciate your feedback. It helps to know what people like or are drawn to. More to come on those pictures! 😉
      I don’t know where it comes from… but like I say, I’m just not wired right! (And I don’t really want to be.)
      Oh yes… I already have the rumble of Rolling Thunder gathering… Some years a significant number of the group goes via an underpass 1/4 mile from my home.
      It literally shakes the house then. But there’s something pretty awesome about it just the same.
      Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I admit I’m still in the ‘wth is going on’ stage trying to predict how all these pieces are going to come together. There is just so much going on! I don’t know how you do it, Teagan, and I’m going to keep reading to find out 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow!!! First off I loved the video’s both of them. I have two left feet and couldn’t dance to save my life and it was so much fun watching them dance. This chapter was for lack of a better word enlightening, the videophone that revealed Lauren for what she is made me a little sad for Lulu. Can’t wait for chapter 9 this is just terrific!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: She’s a Girlfriend of a Boyfriend of Mine – Art by Rob Goldstein

    • Hi Deborah. Wasn’t it though! I guess complex dances were what people did before everyone had to be good at sports. LOL. Watching the Lindy Hop instructions was mind boggling for me. I don’t think I could master even the most basic dance. So I’d still be sunk! 🙂
      I’m happy you enjoyed the chapter and delighted that you’re on the train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

      • When I was a girl was always acting, singing, pretending. I tried out for our local community theaters production of Fiddle on the Roof for the middle daughter part. I nailed the lines, and song, but when it came to dancing…sigh. It was clear I’d need too much time to pick it up so wasn’t selected. I stuck to rolls that didn’t include dancing after that.

        Always a glutton for punishment I signed up for a creative dance class in my late 20’s. I thought, “This will be fun, and I’ll get some exercise too”. I was behind everyone else learning the steps, and when I had to create my own dance and perform it for the Final…well I didn’t attend the Final so scratched/failed the class.
        In my 30’s I did Jazzercise and did much better, but never memorized any of the routines or steps.

        The freestyle dance of my era works for me. I wouldn’t be able to waltz or do the Lindy Hop either! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    All aboard the train now leaving platform 1 at Teagan Geneviene’s station. You will need to buckle up for this episode and keep eyes in the back of your head. Nothing appears to be what it seems and the corridors and carriages of the train seem to be different. You need to be light on your feet to keep up with Hullaba Lulu, Pearl, Rose, Gramps and Valentino, but never fear there is a Lindy Hop lesson in there to help you out. With the fantastic illustrations by Rob Goldstein you have no excuse not to head over for episode 8.. and watch out for the…………..

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I saved this until lunchtime, Teagan. After the dance video, I put some relaxing music (to drown out the kitchen noise) and I settled down with this wonderful episode.

    “Valentino’s trumpet played wildly. The uninhibited notes wrapped around my consciousness, seeping into my soul.”

    Oh my goodness, I think I was the one with goosebumps after reading that. I loved the action and the general pace in this episode. Also. the hard realization spewing out of the vidoephone – what an interesting way to handle that bit of the story – well done, girl! I am also intrigued by the mural that you can (sometimes) but shouldn’t step into. I hope we learn more about that,

    The illustrations are wonderful and by now, I’m sure Rob won’t be surprised to see that my favorite was the conductor calling the train in the tunnel – it’s magical.

    Thanks for another wonderful episode! I hope you get passed this awful day and cruise into a nice long weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Dan. I’m glad to see you — and happy that badly cut finger didn’t keep you from blogging. It’s good day — now that long boring meetings are finished. The bad part is that I’m hypoglycemic, and it made me 2 1/2 hours late for the time when my system demands lunch or blood sugar dive. Some people get cranky when they don’t eat on time. I get mean… That in combination with an after-long-meeting-to-meeting-with-boss is a dangerous thing! o_O But I’m scarfing some truly horrible Chinese food and expect to get to normal.

      Anyhow, you made my day. I sincerely appreciate your feedback, particularly about the videophone/Lauren scene. I feel it’s (or rather the Lauren character) is getting mixed “reviews”… but I’m sort of committed to that sub-plot now. I realize a negatively portrayed mother figure is a huge turn-off to a lot of people (or just incomprehensible). That’s one problem with writing in this spontaneous way — If I had been writing a real novel, I would have considered all that. So I’m glad to know it added to the story for you.

      The painting seems to be a hit — thanks for letting me know your thoughts. So it will have to come back. After I gave the “Pittura Metafisica” magical properties…when I (stopped and then) went back to finish the chapter I thought it would add to the mystique of Valentino if I had him being the painter.
      Huge thanks for spending your lunch-break here. Get well soon! You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sometimes fiction needs to take us out of our comfort zone. I think you handled it well. One sided, no questions, shirt and sweet (or not so sweet). When I get sucked in like I did, I know it’s good.

        I had a couple long meetings today as well. It’s never good, but it sounds dangerous for you.

        Creeping up on a long weekend. I hope yours will be nice.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. What a wretched woman to have as a mother. I feel so bad for poor LuLu.

    This was another great entry, Teagan. I loved the addition of being able to step into the paintings. It will be interesting to see if that crops up again later.

    Loved Rob’s artwork as always. My favorite was the first one with Valentino summoning the train– so moody and atmospheric.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Mae! Thanks so very much. You’ve put into words how I feel about that particular image.
      It was fun to write about the Pittura Metafisica. I think it will definitely have to come into the story again. I’m delighted that you took time to hop aboard this train. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robbie, it’s great to see you. Self-redemption in the real world is in short supply, and I let that carry over into the Lulu-verse. We’ll see how Lulu manages to get by despite her upbringing.
      I’m glad you like the bit about the paintings. 🙂
      Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Teagan, what a fun story. Think my Mom did the Lindy Hop. Rob’s photos are extraordinary. What a delightful collaboration! So impressed with your creative energy! Look forward to more. 🤗 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I love how the mystic and obscure shines through your episode. It was such a important part of those times. I’m a sucker for tarot cards as it is, but I also like the obscure train compartment. Excellent graphics, as always.
    A great way to start my Wednesday morning.
    Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Christoph. It’s great to start my Wednesday with you! Wow — I really appreciate that feedback. I’m making a conscious effort to make this story sound and feel different from my other 1920s stories (about Pip).
      I have a small collection of tarot decks. The pictured card is from the Gilded Tarot. It’s a gorgeous deck. And the train is becoming more and more a “character” in my mind.
      Hugs right back! You’re the berries!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 8 – The Militant Negro™

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