Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 10.2

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Bot on unicorn Rocking horse The Pyramid 4
Art by Rob Goldstein

I apologize and hope everyone finds this post…. I made a scheduling error…

Welcome everyone.  The diesel-punk train has arrived at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  It’s great to see all you Sheiks and Shebas!  Artist, Rob Goldstein  created a new video and more wonderful images for this episode. Check out his latest video, Am I Blue.   His post, Dance of the Bots features the video.  If you need a comprehensive review of this serial, Rob has a post with links to past chapters

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Due to sabotage to the Tesla coil, Valentino’s train passed into a painting. Heroic efforts by the clockwork angel-bots brought everyone back onto the train.  However, it is still inside some kind of vortex and Valentino’s health continues to diminish. 

This time

In this episode we learn more about what’s in Lulu’s head as she experiences her strange adventure on Valentino’s train.  Pearl has something on her mind as well.  This episode is nearly 2,000 words.  The story picks up where Chapter 10.1 ended.Now to Chapter 10.2.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 10.2

The Theremin

Train travel vortex blue corridor Flight to Egypt-9
Art by Rob Goldstein

The brandy Dynamite intended to help me go to sleep wasn’t as strong as any of the giggle water that flowed through my grandfather’s speakeasy.  It didn’t have much effect on me.  I pretended to fall asleep so that he and Ginger would leave and go about their business ― whatever that was for clockwork creatures.

Dynamite and the other angel-bots risked life and limb to get everyone back on the train, I thought.  Life?  Clockwork creatures?  They must be more than other machines.  Whatever the case, they deserve some time to do what they want, not look after me.

Everyone was worried about Valentino.  After his collapse while his automobile followed the train into the Pittura Metafisica, and the dramatic way the angel-bots got us back inside the train, his deteriorating physical condition couldn’t be kept quiet.  Moon had figured it out when he discovered that the Tesla coil had been sabotaged.  I had a hunch he had blabbed to the other clockwork attendants.

Valentino n Bots in dark room
Valentino with angle-bots, by Rob Goldstein

Humph… gossiping angel-bots.  They seem more human all the time.  They’re definitely not ordinary automatons, I thought.

I was feeling confused and conflicted.  Valentino had separate histories with my grandfather, and later with my mother.  The odd tension between the two men could be fierce, but I sensed something deeper too.

My friends, Rose and Pearl acted like smitten kittens when the handsome and mysterious man was around.  Horsefeathers!  So had that journalist who turned out to be a spy, Tom Driberg.  It seemed the sheik attracted everyone.  Though I couldn’t admit it, not even to myself, I may have carried a torch for Valentino too.

“Speak of the devil and he doth appear,” I muttered as Pearl stepped from her sleeper car and into the corridor.

Rose and Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

Although Pearl was no devil.  Everybody said she was a darned nice girl.  Her red eyes and nose told me she had been crying.  I thought her crush on Valentino must have been more intense than I realized, but that wasn’t it.

“Hey!  Do you want to go down to the automat for bloody marys?” I asked with a grin and a wink.

It was my nature to put cheering up my friends ahead of the need I felt to be alone.  So I tried to hide my own confusion and sadness.

“Lulu, how can you stand this?  I’ve never been through anything as horrible as this trip.  Everything about this train and the places we’ve been is… upside down,” Pearl said and her tears began go flow.  “It’s terrifying!  And Rose is the worst part of it!  For years, I thought she was my friend, and it turns out she was some kind of spy with Tom Driberg.  She’s from a good family.  I thought she was swell, but she was just using me the whole time, so she could hide.”

I was stunned by Pearl’s vehemence.  I couldn’t think of what to say.  While I searched for words, she looked at me as if my lack of response betrayed her as much as she felt Rose had.

“Rose had big things to hide from,” I began, uncertain of what I felt myself.  “She mislead us about her past, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a friend.”

“You wouldn’t understand.  How could you, with the kind of people you come from?” Pearl continued on a frustrated sob.  “I know life is different for you, and I don’t hold it against you.  But I love my family and I want to go back to them. I need to get back before everyone thinks I’ve run off with a bunch of…” Pearl glanced at me and paused.  “I just want to go home!”

Burgers Lulu Recline
Lulu in the train’s automat… with cheeseburgers, by Rob Goldstein

Pearl turned back to her rooms and slammed the door behind her.  What she said about the kind of people I come from made an empty spot in my stomach.  Maybe Rose wasn’t the only friend who wasn’t what she had seemed.  I wondered if a cheeseburger would help.

Maybe Pearl was right about Rose.  She wasn’t who she let us think, but did that change the person she was?  Maybe what Pearl said about me had just been a poor choice of words, but I started to wonder if either of my friends were the people they made themselves out to be.

Feeling even more despondent than before, I wandered the corridors of the train.  My thoughts briefly went to Tom and my mother, Lauren.  Both of them, although not together, used that tilt-a-whirl to run away, back at the amusement park.  I said good riddance to both of them, but I couldn’t help wondering where they might have landed.  The only thing that seemed certain was that due to the properties of the strange ride, they wouldn’t have gone to the same place.

Valentinto LuLu Tom D Rolls
Valentino, Lulu, and Tom, by Rob Goldstein

I kept walking, trying to get my thoughts to fall into some semblance of order.

A soft light emanated from the control room of the train.  It was dark except for illumination from the various strange devices.  As the comfort of the gentle glows beckoned me, I promised myself to make sure I didn’t bump into anything else.  The last thing I wanted was a repeat of the Tesla coil incident.  I walked into the room stiffly, trying to be careful.

My eyes swept the room to make sure I was alone.  A single tear sneaked onto my cheek.  Then another fell.  Abruptly, rivers of tears ran down my face.  I was sad to think Valentino would die, but I hardly knew him.  So, I didn’t understand my uncontrollable grief.  I felt that hope abandoned me just as my mother had.

A quiet click drew my attention to the large golden control angel.  The Ouija board that was part of the navigation system was attached to the statue.  The board started to exude a thin fog of ectoplasm.  I bent closer to look at it.  Some of my tears dripped onto the Ouija board.

Lulu Valentino in the control room
The train’s control system including angel statue and Ouija board. Art by Rob Goldstein

The soft click came again.  I looked up and saw the stationary angel statue staring me right in the eyes.  So, it had looked at me that other time!  I took a breath intending to tell it off when the heart-shaped planchette from the Ouija suddenly jumped off the board and shot right past my nose!

The planchette had a small hole to hold a pencil that could be used for automatic writing.  The heart-shaped piece of wood flew over to the Orthophonic Victrola.  (Chapter 4.)  The Victrola had been connected to an odd looking device, which had an antenna at either end.

I straightened my arms at my sides and clinched my fists, so that I wouldn’t touch the thing.  I heard another click from the control angel statue.  Her eyes were opened very wide.  Until the moment before, I hadn’t thought she was completely immobile.  For all I knew, she might up and walk across the room, but her only movement was in her eyes.

She repeatedly turned her eyes from me to the device.

I gingerly stretched one hand closer to an antenna.  She blinked.  I drew my hand back.  She blinked twice.  I took a deep breath and reached with both hands ― a single hard blink.

Control room The Angel_0322-
The control room of Valentino’s train, by Rob Goldstein

I moved my hands near the antennae.  The device began to whine and moan like a ghost.  The sound was amplified by the Orthophonic Victrolla and the loudspeaker sent it throughout the train.  I jerked back and the sound stopped.

The sound of rapid metal footsteps preceded Moon’s arrival.  The clockwork engineer bounced on his toes excitedly.  I started blabbing that I hadn’t touched anything, that the angel told me to do it.

“No, Miss!  This is wonderful.  Do it again!” Moon cried in answer to my defensive babble.  “None of the angel-bots have been able to make the theremin work.  It doesn’t seem to respond to clockwork creatures.”

“The what?” I asked skeptically.

“Valentino is deteriorating quite rapidly,” Moon explained in his subtly Spanish accent.  “The theremin should stabilize his condition, but none of us could cause it to make music.  Please, Miss.  Put your hands out again.”

I did as Moon asked, but the hellish sound started again, so I drew back.  He made motions over the machine, but it had no effect.  I tried to copy his movements.

The Angel -Ship-Dark
Angel control system, Art by Rob Goldstein

“The antennae sense the relative position of the thereminist’s hands and the control oscillators,” he began explaining in techno-babble. “With one hand you control the frequency, and the volume with the other.  The electric signals from the theremin are amplified by the Orthophonic Victrola and sent throughout the train by the loudspeaker.”

“And this will help Valentino?” I asked, perplexed.

“It is unlikely to heal him, but it is my theory that the right frequencies from the theremin will stabilize him, hopefully long enough for healing to be found,” Moon told me.

“Just as the instruments of the train have to be attuned to one another, so does Valentino have to be attuned to the train.  That balance was sabotaged, as you know,” the blue-gold angel-bot continued.  “Yes, keep moving your hands like that.  The vibrations are pleasing so I think you are using the correct frequency.”

Bots w Huge angel blue Bots Get Down
Art by Rob Goldstein

What at first sounded like ghostly moaning, under Moon’s direction became more musical.  Although it was still an eerie sound.  Several of the clockwork attendants quietly gathered in the control room.  The odd music seemed to please them, but in a soothing, almost mesmerizing way.

An indigo colored light suffused the area.  A collective sigh came from the angel-bots.

The calm was broken when the trumpet levitated from the place where it rested.  It blew a single sustained note, an A.

“You may stop now, Miss.  The harmonic spectrum is in balance,” Moon explained, though it didn’t make a lick of sense to me.  “That should help Valentino… at least temporarily.”

He picked up the Tesla coil to examine it and I cringed, remembering how wild the lightning from it could become.  Moon still bore the scorch marks.  A series of clicks came from the clockwork engineer.  The sound reminded me of someone saying “tut tut.”

Portal Valentino_Entering ND-2
Valentino out of tune, by Rob Goldstein

“Do you know how to fix him permanently?” I asked and hated the pleading tone of my voice.

Moon shook his head and looked down sadly.

“The adjustments the theremine will not hold.  I will have to ask you to repeat the process from time to time.  Is that agreeable to you?” he asked and I nodded mutely.

The planchette started scratching where it had landed by the theremin.  Moon quickly got a sheet of paper and slid it under the pencil of the heart-shaped tool.  It zigzagged and looped across the paper.  Abruptly it stopped.  I looked at the product of the automatic writing.

“It drew a big triangle and wrote secret chamber?” I read aloud.

Bot Valentino Lulu inside train windows Flight to Egypt-4
Art by Rob Goldstein

Suddenly it felt as though the floor dropped out from under me.  There was a heavy thud and a hiss similar to tires spraying gravel.

“I don’t think that was a triangle,” Moon stated as he gazed out the large windows of the control room.

The train had stopped.  The clockwork attendants were quick to make sure all the mechanisms of the of the train were in place.

At first, I thought the scene beyond the window was nothingness.  Then I realized it was sand… an endless ocean of sand.

With a whoosh, the sky darkened.  I gazed at multicolored wings in flight before they quickly vanished.

My eyes followed the direction of the wings.  Squinting, in the distance I saw it.  The Great Pyramid.

Sphinx Tesla Tower
Composite image by Teagan R. Geneviene


The End


Bushwa!  Lulu is afraid Valentino is going to die.  Well, he said he would if he’s separated from the train.  Will there be time to save him?  Tune in again next week!

Real World Notes

The Theremin.  Originally known as the ætherphone/etherphone or thereminophone, a theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the performer. It is named after the Westernized name of its Soviet inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.

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

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The remaining things Rob sent to drive Chapter 10 are Wave Frequency Machine and Hidden Door.  Your guess is as good as mine for what I’ll do with those things. 

I hope to see you will be at the station again next week to catch the diesel-punk train.

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.


96 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 10.2

  1. Please bear with me while I slowly catch up here. I went off to harp guitar retreat, did not post in June, and am a month or more behind with mnay people. Your posts require a good reading time with no distraction.

    I’ve never heard of a theremin, although listening to your YouTube clip, I know I have heard them. So that is how they got the music on The Day the Earth Stood Still! I may have to get one of these things, although I am sure the cats would not like the sound.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lavinia. Yes, I read about the harp guitar retreat in your newsletter. What a great idea. I’m so glad you could go.
      I’m honored that you want to catch up here.
      I had the same thought about a theremin. I’m pretty sure it would freak out Crystal… not to mention getting every dog in the neighborhood howling! 😀 Thanks for visiting. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You can tell I was going down my email from the most recent. You really are catching up. Thank you so much for all the time you spent here today, Gerlinde. I hope it is another beautiful weekend at your Sunny Cove. You’re the cat’s meow!


  2. Love that you ended it by showing up at the Great Pyramid….where will all of this lead us…another excellent installment…love the emotion that is building…Rob’s art is great!! Can’t wait til next week!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Kirt! It’s so kind of you to catch up here. LOL, Lulu wouldn’t leave me alone until I took the train someplace “exotic.” We’ll see what trouble the “things” make at the pyramids! Thanks for being on this train. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor Lulu, she’s been thrown into a confusing situation and it seems doesn’t know who to trust. But she obviously has the touch that’s needed to help Valentino – and this is certainly a change to travel from New York to Egypt!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooo, a pyramid. I wonder if it contains any treasures or mummies, or something that will help poor Valentino, Teagan? This was a super sci-fi episode for me, what with all the machinery and strange devices. And when in doubt, why not have a cheeseburger? But what about what was attached to those multi-coloured wings? We still don’t know. Hopefully, soon?
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great episode, Teagan. I’m so sorry to be late but all day meetings kept me jumping yesterday. I thought I would read it in the train ride home today from Baltimore, but the train was full and not quiet at all. I’m gone now with the pup.

    Anyway, I really like where this is headed (although I have no clue how it got to Egypt) but I like the idea that Valentino can be saved.

    I really liked: “What she said about the kind of people I come from made an empty spot in my stomach. Maybe Rose wasn’t the only friend who wasn’t what she had seemed. I wondered if a cheeseburger would help.”

    I liked the “empty spot” and I really liked that she wondered if a cheeseburger would help – I would have that thought. It’s thoughtd like that that always make your characters seem more real

    Wonderful images and the video is so good. The control room image is so interesting. Great job by both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Dan. I’m glad you and Maddie are finally getting some quality relaxation.
      I appreciate that you mentioned a particular line you liked. Thanks for your feedback.
      Your comment will make Rob smile too.
      Ha! I leave the technicalities of how the Ouija board gets the train from one place to another as a secret known only to the control angel… And she can’t talk! 😁
      The train 🚄 may or may not be sentient…
      Thanks so much for making time to visit. This really is the longest week.
      You’re the cat’s pajamas;

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Amazing, Teagan. I am very pleased about the healing although it is sad for Lulu about her friends. I am sure it will all come right. Egypt – awesome. Rob’s video is brilliant and I love the detail around the eyes and mouth of the characters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rob gets an astounding amount of detail in his images, Robbie. I’m fascinated with each one.
      I’m happy you enjoyed this episode.
      Sometimes it feels like the only people who are what they seem to be — are the ones about whom we can’t fathom. LOL, okay… that makes sense to my wrongly-wired brain, but maybe not to anyone else. 😉
      I’m delighted that you’re on this train. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh, thank goodness you left us with some hope for Valentino! Like Lulu, I would cry if he died. Somehow I think there is a much deeper connection that runs between Valentino, Gramps, Lulu and Lauren. Hmmmm. What could it be? Well, I’m quite sure they’ll enjoy the ancient pyramids. Perhaps they hold some answers. Great chapter!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, John. I want one too… but it would probably freak out my cat. I imagine the dogs would enjoy “singing” to it though if you got one. 😀 By the way, I love those photos of Lucy with Twiggy. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    The only place in town to be on Wednesday is Jazz Age Hullaba Lulu on the train to an unknown destination. The ailing Valentino needs a miracle but in the meantime Lulu may be able to help him last long enough for one to come along. Friendships seem fractured, angel bots are trying to hold it all together and the train has arrived at one of the worlds wonders……to find out which one you will have to head over to Teagan Geneviene’s ….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha. I’d kinda like to know where I’m going too, Jacquie. o_O The next episode slows down, so you can take off your neck brace. I’m delighted you enjoyed this one. Thanks for being on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m worried about Valentino, and –wow!–n certainly did not expect the Great Pyramid. This is certainly one wild train ride, Teagan! I’m loving it.:) Also love how Rob’s artwork captures the mood of each section. Spectacular stuff, both of you!

    P.S., I’m about 30% into Atonement, Tennessee and love how quirky it is!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Mae, I’m so glad you’re on this train. Ha. Lulu wanted to go someplace exotic, so I hope she’ll enjoy it. 😀
      I agree completely that Rob is doing a fabulous job.
      Oh! I’m so happy you are enjoying my quirky little town! Thank you, that means a lot to me.
      Thanks for taking time to read and comment. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. 😀 I was afraid the post had disappeared again (that happened last week while I was working on one). So glad it was just my own silly mistake. I don’t know when I am any more and scheduled it for Saturday… (eye roll) even with “Wednesday” in the title… Just tired I guess. Mega hugs my friend.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Actually… Monday is the only day next week that I’m working. (Of course they’re trying to make up for that by handing me everything this week, but that’s the way of vacations.) I hope to do make huge progress editing Atonement in Bloom. Hugs.

              Liked by 1 person

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