Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 10.3

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4th group
Avatars created by Rob Goldstein, added zaniness by Teagan

To all you Sheiks and Shebas in the USA, happy Independence Day!

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays. As you know, the illustrator and Sender of Things for this spontaneously written story is San Francisco artist, Rob Goldstein. (Click here for the entire collection of Rob’s videos.)

Rob let me play with some of his dolls/avarars to make a July Fourth image. Creating it helped me de-stress a little.  Valentino is looking a bit miffed as Tesla puts an arm around Lulu and a saluting angel-bot, as fireworks light the sky behind a Tesla tower.

Awhile back, Rob had an image idea with Valentino as an angel, but it wasn’t part of the story.  So I told him I didn’t mind if he had his own parallel part of what I call the Lulu-verse — the universe of all the things that make up Hullaba Lulu.  That’s been working for us.  We work together, Rob illustrating and me writing.  Yet sometimes we let things drift into other quadrants of the Lulu-verse.  Like the Hullaba Lulu Dreams post.  Rob’s latest video is like that too.

With today’s episode of Hullaba Lulu I’ve finally gotten to the other “things” for Chapter 10 of the series.  The action picks up where Chapter 10.2 stopped.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

With some instructions from angel-bot Moon, Lulu made music with the theremin. It wasn’t a cure for his malaise, but it helped temporarily bring Valentino back into tune with his train.   

The planchette from the Ouija board drew a triangle and wrote the words “secret chamber.”  Then the train thudded into the sand dunes of Egypt! 

It’s time for the rest of Chapter 10.  Do you hear Valentino’s trumpet?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 10.3

Wave Frequency Machine, Hidden Door

Lulu Egypt Green Pyramids-test-1
Lulu, by Rob Goldstein

I gawked at the Great Pyramid in astonishment.  My eyes swept the barren landscape hoping for another glimpse of those multicolored wings ― and the creature to whom they belonged.  I couldn’t imagine what could have such wings.

After a moment I turned on my kitten heels and ran toward the nearest exit door of the train.  The door had a porthole window, but the Great Pyramid couldn’t be seen from that angle.  Rose stood at the door with one hand poised to open it, but she made no move to do so.

“We might finally be far enough away for me to be safe, but we’re in the middle of nowhere and in a desert no less!” Rose cried and banged her fist against the wall in frustration.

Rose by Rob Goldstein

I don’t know what she must have hit, but a panel in the train’s wall slid open to reveal a hidden door.  It also had a window, but the view was of a completely different scene.  It was a busy archaeological dig.

The clank of automaton footfalls caused me to turn.  Moon rushed to catch up with me.  The blue-gold engineering-bot had stopped to pick up an odd-looking contraption.

Outside, a familiar face looked toward the train.  Rose saw him too and sighed wistfully.  It was Tom Driberg.  He was a journalist, so perhaps he was there to report on the discovery of some pharaoh’s tomb.  However, Tom was also a spy, so there was no telling what he might be doing.

“I guess I wouldn’t be that safe here after all, even in the back end of Egypt.  Because I can’t trust myself not to give in to Tom,” Rose murmured.  “You know Lulu, he just wasn’t the person he made himself out to be.  I thought I had taken up with a madcap reporter.  Gradually, before I fully realized what was happening, he pulled me into his world of espionage and deceit.  Even when I learned about it, he made it seem like wild fun.  I was up to my ears in it before I understood how bad it all was.  If only Tom had been the person he made me think he was.”

Val and Tom D
Valentino and Tom, by Rob Goldstein

I didn’t know what to say to comfort Rose.  I gave her shoulder a pat and asked if she’d like to go to the automat and get a gin rickey, but she gazed mutely out the window.  As my eyes followed hers I contemplated the contradiction between the scenes outside the two doors.  Tom Driberg was at an archaeology dig beyond the hidden door.  However, the view outside the main door was only desert sand, with the Great Pyramid in the distance.

“Moon?” I inquired of the automaton.  “Why are there two different Egypts outside?  Are both of them sideways?”

“Señorita, please do not open that door.  It is far too dangerous,” Moon said to Rose and gently touched her arm. 

“So, Lulu is right?” Rose asked, dropping her hand from the door.  “We went sideways again, like at Atlantic City?”

Pyramid Outside portal
Egypt Outside the Portal, by Teagan Geneviene

A series of clicks and whirs came from the angel-bot before he spoke.

“Apologies.  I don’t speak flapper as well as Dynamite.  That Egypt is not sideways.  You might say it was upside down or backwards,” Moon explained, pointing to the window of the main door.  “People and sometimes events are opposite to what they are in your world.  If you knew that man—Tom for a bad man, then out there, he may be a good one,” Moon added and changed the direction of his pointing finger to the portal in the door that was hidden until a moment before.

Rose’s hand went back to the door as she stared outside at Tom.  Moon seemed to guess her intention.  The automaton’s next words caused me to inhale sharply.

“However, there might well be a very bad version of you there as well,” Moon continued.  “She would likely be driven to illuminate any duplicates of herself if you encountered one another.  Here,” he said, holding the odd machine with one hand and adjusting knobs with the other.  “Allow me please, to check your frequency.”

When I asked Moon what he was about, he called the gizmo a wave frequency machine.  The metal box had a cone-shaped device that made a wee-woo-wee-woo sound as it swung back and forth when Moon held it near Rose.  After taking a reading from Rose, he pointed the machine to the window with the upside-down-backward Egypt.  It wee-wooed for a moment before beeping rapidly.

Rose Moon Wave Frequency
Moon checks Rose’s wave frequency

Moon pointed the cone-shaped part at a blank wall and it projected a moving image, just like a film in a theatre.  It showed a gravestone for Margosha Rose MacDonald.  My pal Rose gasped at the site of her own grave.

“All is well, Señorita.  The demise of your duplicate there has nothing to do with your own health.  In fact, it should be safe for you to go to that Egypt,” Moon stated.

“I wonder what your boss would say about that,” Rose began.  “But he’s in no condition to try and order me around.  Wait though.  If I go there, will I become the opposite of what I am now?”

“No, Señorita.  You will remain as you are,” Moon replied.

“What about me, Moon?” I asked the clockwork attendant.  “Is there an evil me out there?”

A series of clicks and whirs preceded Moon’s pronouncement.

“No, Señorita.  None of the upside-down worlds have duplicates of you or of Valentino,” he said, rendering me speechless.


Gramps inside train
Gramps by Rob Goldstein

I didn’t realize Gramps was standing behind us until he spoke.  I jumped halfway out of my skin.

“What about me, or my late wife, Priscilla?” Gramps asked the angel-bot.

Moon twisted knobs and pointed the cone-thing at my grandfather and at the window.  In a moment he projected the image of a large tombstone that bore the names of both my grandparents.  I didn’t see anything about Lauren, my mother.  I was silent, waiting to see if Gramps would ask about her, but he did not.

“My apologies Señor,” Moon began.  “Although it might be safe for you or Señorita MacDonald to go there, it would be unwise.  There could be problems should you encounter someone who thought you were dead.”

“And me?” I wanted to know.  “Are you saying that I never even existed on any of these upside-down worlds?”

“Señorita, I have no information on the potential consequences of you visiting one of these worlds,” Moon replied apologetically.  “I don’t believe Valentino would advise you to go.”

Rose started to open the door, but I caught her arm.  Did she mean to just rush out into an upside-down Egypt?  Then I saw the expression on her face when she looked at Tom.  It was something I wasn’t sure I still had.  Hope.

“I would be safe from the Russian spies and Tom Driberg would be a good man,” Rose whispered.  “Don’t let anyone come for me, Lulu!”

Rose goes to Tom in the “upside down Egypt,” by Rob Goldstein

Too quickly for any of us to stop her, Rose rushed out the door.  I turned to my grandfather.

“Lauren might be out there somewhere,” I began.  “A good version of Lauren.  Are you going?”

Gramps stood quietly for a moment, looking out the window.  We watched as Rose ran to Tom.  Deiberg seemed to recognize her.  He picked her up in a hug and swung her around.  Her expression was joyous.  Gramps swallowed hard and then turned away.

“No, Lulu.  What would I want with a world where you never existed?” he replied in a rough voice then he walked back down the corridor.

I wiped a tear from my eye and looked outside again.  Rose waltzed away with Tom.

Rose and Tom
Rose and Tom Driberg dance, by Rob Goldstein

A shadow fell over the train.  I glanced out the window at the real Egypt.  I barely caught a flash of multicolored wings.  Then I heard a soft thud, as if something landed on top of the train.


The End


Real World Notes

Archaeology in 1920s Egypt.  Video Digging Into the Past: Egyptian Excavations circa 1920 Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wave Frequency Machine:  This “thing” came from the real world in a different way.  Actually it isn’t from the “real” world at all.  Rob put this video clip in a comment and a “thing” was born.  It’s from the vintage TV series, My Favorite Martian.

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 things Rob sent to drive Chapter 11 — Sarcophagus, Remote Control, Violet Ray!  Right now, I have no idea where the seat of my pantser pants will fly with those things.  Horsefeathers… what the Sam Hill is violet ray? 

I hope to see you on our diesel-punk train again next week.  Thanks for visiting.  

You’re the caterpillar’s kimono! 


Now the requisite 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.


88 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 10.3

  1. The diesel punk train is getting more and more interesting. Teagan, how do you come up with all these ideas, like an upside down Egypt. Fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gerlinde. I’m honored that you’re catching up with the train. Ha! Well, I’ve long said that I’m just wired wrong! (But I embrace my wrongly wired brain.) 😉 Thanks for taking time to read this story. You’re the bee’s knees!


  2. I’ve taken an extended vacation around the Fourth, so I’m late checking in, but this was an excellent episode. I feel for Rose and Tom. Rob’s artwork of them is off the scale, adding to the emotion of the story. This is soooo good, Teagan. And that ending–Wow! Now I’m on pins and needles for next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great sci-fi episode, Teagan. Love the thought of upside-down, sideways worlds. Like our own world, I bet they are full of dangers, though. Still, Rose sounds like she’s finally got her man.
    Can’t wait to find out about that multi-coloured creature next week. I wonder why it’s come back so quickly?
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Hugh. Yes, I think so (the dangers of upside-down, backward, or sideways worlds). Perhaps even more so, since we don’t know what to recognize as a danger there.
      Whatever those multicolored wings belong to does seem to be hovering around. Waiting perhaps? Investigating from a distance maybe? I have one particular detail about that critter that I have to pin down… I could go 2 different ways with what I’m thinking…
      I’m very happy that you are on this train, my friend. Thanks for flying over. You’re the bee’s knees!


  4. This is such a deep segment. I relate to it on many different levels as I believe we would truly find duplicates of ourselves in a sideways Universe. 🙂 Good, I hope. I was almost cheering for Rose to grab at her chance for happiness and love. I love all of Rob’s art, as you both already know, but these are exquisite. Wonderful episode, Teagan!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was on edge but am filled with hopefulness, Teagan. Tom and Rose may find their place, wherever it may be. . .
    Gramps is so caring and I hope he may find joy and less worry in the future!
    Rob’s characters are stunning and colorful, they make sense in this story’s depictions. The video I saw was rich in it’s textures and colors. Wow!
    Hope your 4th of July was a fun celebration! 🎇✨🎆
    Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness, is that it for Rose? Well, I guess she’s happy. The Violet Ray, that seems like a wonderful device that lets you see through reality to what is actually depicted. Not sure if I understand my own words, but it sounded good. lol xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adele. I think Rose found a place where she feels safe and where her lover is the man he made himself out to be. Both those things are happiness.
      I’m intrigued. I haven’t had time to look up violet ray yet.
      I’m happy you are on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!


  7. Wow! This was fabulous. The plot is serious, even in an upside down world. I am nail biting about Tom, Rose, and Gramps, and of course about Lulu. And then the bird reappeared and landed on the roof of the train!! Terrific episode, Teagan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Wriggles eyebrows) Ah… but we haven’t gotten a good look at it (the multicolored wing) yet… I never said it was a bird, Jennie. (Bwhahaha…!) Stay tuned for more on that. I’m so happy that you are enjoying this train ride. ❤ Thanks for taking time to read and comment. You're the oyster's earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Time to catch up with Hullaba Lulu as the train reaches what appears to be Egypt and the Pyramids.. however as always in this intriguing Jazz Age serial… there are plenty of suprises and revelations. Should Rose take her life in her hands, what will Lulu and Gramps discover is they take a leap of faith and which way is up in this topsy turvy world created by Teagan Geneviene.. only one way to find out.. bring a shovel and start digging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christiph. I’m happy you visited and enjoyed it. Thanks so much — Rob will be glad too. Diesel-punk is the next era forward from steampunk. I’ve seen many stories where the elements overlap, so I let a lot of it drip into this story. However, while I have a fantasy component, I don’t tend to blend things of more advanced technology into it. Thanks for dropping by. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I do hope that Rose and Tom have their happy-ever-after … even if it has to happen in an alternate world. I’m such a softie for a happy ending.
    … but you are adding even MORE layers to a story that already has me full of questions. Why don’t Valentino and Lulu exist in the other worlds? I have a theory … interested in seeing where this goes 🙂

    Love, love, love Rob’s images! All his avatars are so BEAUTIFUL!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I agree, Joanne! I can’t wait for you to see the one he just created for a new character. Pos-i-lutely breathtaking!
      Haha… (hysterical laugh). I’m not sure I know why — call it part of the mythology I’m creating for this world.
      I couldn’t resist giving Rose and Tom (well, *a* Tom) their happy ending. I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for being on this train. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Teagan, love the alternate world concept. It’s another creation of your fabulous mind. Rob’s videos and photos fit so perfectly with the story. Always look forward to where the adventure goes next. Happy 4th of July! Many good wishes and hugs for a peaceful day. 🇺🇸 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rob… your images *are* part of the story — a very important part. Everyone agrees that they bring it to life. Thanks so much for letting me use them — and for sending the “things” to drive the train. It’s a pleasure to work with you. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly Robbie. That means a lot to me.
      Rob showed me a couple of test shots for something coming down the pike (or tracks) and they took my breath away. I can’t wait to use them.
      I’m glad you liked that part — I had to leave Tom and Rose with a second chance. I’m happy that you are on this train. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Diana. A happy Fourth to you as well. I love the old poem you posted — a reminder of things too many have forgotten.
      Rose and Tom needed the upside down Egypt. I think the main story will go to the real one. Although nothing is ever normal or ordinary in this story! I’m so glad you’re on this train. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m happy to hear that Deborah. I’m so glad you’re on this train. Ha! Next time I hope I will be telling about the thud and those wings…
      Loved (and shared) your fireworks post. Happy Independence day to you too. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha… Michael, I think I can manage to avoid burning any ships. However, burning what I cook is another matter! 😀
      Yes, I think I would be scared to death to meet my opposite in upside-down Egypt.
      Thanks so much for commenting. Have a wonderful Wednesday. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi John. At this point that thud could have come from anything… but I have a hunch that it has to do with those multicolored wings… Maybe we’ll finally see what they’re attached to… good or bad. Thanks for being on this train. You’re the cat’s pajamas! Happy Independence Day!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I like this episode, Teagan! It’s fun to imagine a world where we exist as opposites or as different than ourselves. You have gotten very good at suspense in this story. I fear for Lulu sometimes. I hope this world has something to offer the folks on the train, but I hope Lulu listens to the Angel bots. I also really liked the video and the illustrations, it’s hard to imagine them fitting with the story any better than they do.

    Have a great day off!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you Dan — for everything you said. I hope you can enjoy a relaxing day working in your shop or whatever makes you happy. And maybe a chili-dog and potato salad too! 😉
      I agree completely. Rob is just as talented with the videos as he is the images. He doesn’t use my easy way with Animoto (when I make book trailers) — he does all the work. And he just keeps getting better with both.
      I’m relieved about your feedback about suspense. I really do have trouble seeing whether I’m doing that.
      Happy Independence Day to you and yours. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks, Teagan! What a fabulous episode! It made me think about alternative worlds. I’m not sure if I’d want to go there or not, although it’s easy to see why Rose decides to go. I suspect we’d all want to try if we were guaranteed a better version of the world, but what if it was worse? (Although that is a bit difficult to imagine sometimes). I can’t wait to see what the multi-coloured winged creature is up to, or what you’re going to do with the new words… Great video and images from Rob as well, as usual (Rose looks very pretty today).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Olga. (I can’t believe I made the same scheduling error as last week…)
      I’m happy that you enjoyed this! Yes, that’s a lovely shot of Rose. Wait until you see what Rob has made related to the multicolored wings! OMG… the most exquisite image I think I’ve seen yet.
      Wishing you a lovely rest of the week. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

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