Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu the End Begins

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 

Bot n Tesla Starts His Car 1

Angel-bot with Tesla in his electric car.  Art by Rob Goldstein

Hi there, Shieks and Shebas!  You’ve come to the train station for Jazz Age Wednesdays.  This is where I share stories set in the Roaring Twenties.

The fabulous images for this #DieselPunk story are created by artist, Rob Goldstein.  He also makes pos-i-lutely swell videos that are parallel to the story. Plus, Rob sent random “things” that I used as prompts as I envisioned and authored Hullaba Lulu.

If you need reminders of past chapters, I did a Real World Tech Review post that has links through episode 11.1. 

Tesla Coil, Public Domain Image at Wiki Media Commons

That said, I’m nearing the end of this adventure for Lulu and the crew.  So I’m posting a longer chapter today.  I’m still pantsering, writing in an unplanned spontaneous way, so I’m not sure whether the end will arrive next week or the next, but we’re almost there.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Iset with her multicolored wings flew away with Valentino! The angel-bots stood on one another’s shoulders making a automaton tower to try and take Valentino away from Iset, but with disastrous results.  They all fell and… Oh the bot-manity! 

I think I hear the trumpet’s call.  Let’s get a wiggle on

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Beginning the End

Vaselino, Ellis Island

Bot above charging car Tesla-1

Moon using his own body to charge the electric car.  Art by Rob Goldstein

Nikola Tesla bent over the unmoving angel-bot, Moon.  I couldn’t see what the inventor did, but he seemed to examine the automaton in much the same way a medical doctor would check a human.  Moon, desperate to aid Valentino had tried to charge Tesla’s electric automobile by using his own body to power the vehicle.

I thought about Moon’s kindness to me when I had bumped into the Tesla coil in the control room of the train.  Although, the real problem was that sabotage had previously been done to the control room, my clumsiness was the cause of the train careening toward the Cotton Club and then into a pittura metafisica.  The train had emerged from the painting to land in the sand dunes of Egypt.

Sphinx Tesla Tower

Image by Teagan Geneviene

The saboteur’s actions also caused the gradual degradation of Valentino’s connection to the train, resulting in his mysterious illness.  I didn’t understand how it all worked, but Valentino had to be “attuned” to all the control components of the train.  If the train wasn’t working perfectly, then neither was he.

Anyhow, Moon was a real gent.  He didn’t let anyone know I had touched a thing. 

I heard Tesla sniffle as he worked on Moon.  Gramps seemed to feel sorry for the inventor.  I think my grandfather was trying to take the man’s mind off Moon and the other angel-bots who were damaged or possibly destroyed.  Gramps cleared his throat awkwardly.

“I had wondered if it was a problem to get fuel out here.  It’s not as though there’s a filling station on every corner,” Gramps began.  “So, the automobile is electric, you say.”

“Did you know the woman?” Pearl abruptly asked Gramps.  “You spoke a name when you saw her.”

Iset hair down Goddess 1

Iset. Art by Rob Goldstein

In contrast to the kind intent of my grandfather, Pearl simply didn’t understand Tesla’s concern for the automatons.  The look on Tesla’s face when Woo hit the ground and came apart… the poor man was mortified.  With Moon’s collapse, he had another clockwork creature to try and save before he could even reach the one with the worst need.

“Satchmo?” I asked Pearl, hoping she would just go back inside.  “That wasn’t the woman’s name.  It’s the nickname of Louis Armstrong.  He’s performed at Gramps’ speakeasy several times.  But you weren’t there the times he played.  I guess you were worried about being seen with the wrong people,” I added pointedly, unable to forget Pearl’s snooty comment about my family and me.

Suddenly, something clicked into place in my mind.

“Oh, that’s it!” I exclaimed in epiphany.  “That spiteful thing the woman said to Valentino!”

“I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you rascal, you.  Oh, I’ll be tickled to death when you leave this earth, it’s true,” Gramps sang in a gravely voice.  “Yes, Lulu, she was singing a Louis Armstrong song,” he told us.

Tesla-charging bot

Nikola Tesla repairs angel-bot Moon.  Art by Rob Goldstein

Nickola Tesla let out a guffaw, surprising all of us.  He straightened from working on Moon, and wiped a tear from his eye. 

The inventor stepped back from the damaged automaton.  He stopped beside me.  His hair had a mildly citrus scent from the pomade that oiled his hair into place.  Tesla was almost a vaselino, the men’s hairstyle popularized by silent film stars.  I supposed a man with a phobia about human hair liked to keep his own mane well controlled.

“I apologize,” the inventor began.  “It’s the idea of the goddess Iset having a fondness for American jazz,” he finished, chuckled, and took his handkerchief from his pocket.

“A gorgeous, exotic woman who likes Jazz…” Gramps began in a wistful tone.  “She’s the most beautiful thing I’ve seen since I was a young man delivering bottles my father and I made.  I had a delivery at Ellis Island, where I met your grandmother, Lulu.  Priscilla had just arrived in this country.  I loved her the minute I saw her,” he added and opened his pocket-watch to look at the inscription from his late wife.

Pearl Turban 3

Pearl in her “Tesla trap” turban.  Art by Rob Goldstein

“Goddess?  I admit she was no cancelled stamp, but ‘goddess’ is excessive, don’t you think?” Pearl interjected, taken aback.

Then everyone began to speak at once, wanting an explanation for the inventor’s comment.  Tesla reminded us that Valentino said the name “Iset” when the woman bent over him.  I wanted to know how Tesla could know who the woman was.

“Didn’t you notice her crown?” he asked.

“That ridiculous chair-hat?” Pearl burst out in an unladylike way.

I thought the fair-haired flapper, whom I had thought of as a friend for so long was close to losing her temper.

Tesla paused and looked at her oddly.  Pearl had been practically glued to his elbow since she put that turban on her head to cover her hair.  Pearl sank back demurely, most unlike her usually exuberant self.  She glanced at Tesla covertly.

Tesla portrait-c

Nikola Tesla by Rob Goldstein

“She had all that long hair.  It was just… loose, able to get on anything,” Pearl added in a soft voice.

Pearl made a little face as though she found the long hair distasteful.  I watched Tesla’s expression.  His face remained calm, but his shoulder twitched.  I realized he failed to completely suppress a shudder at the idea of all that human hair.  Pearl smirked when she saw him twitch.  She put her hand to the turban to make sure her blond hair was securely underneath it and moved a little closer.

My pal was more devious than I had ever guessed.

“Iset is thought to be a healer,” Tesla continued.  “Yet, telling a man she will be glad when he is dead, even if quoting a song…  Well, that does not bode well.”

Pearl gave a knowing nod.

With a series of clicks and whirrs, Moon sat up.  The angel-bot’s eyes blinked a few times as he looked around at all of us.  He bounded to his feet.

“Papá,” Moon began.  “We must hurry.  Many of the automatons are injured.  You are the only one with the skill to have even a small chance at repairing Woo.”

It looked like Tesla had fixed Moon.  However, the angel-bot abruptly stopped in the middle of what he was saying.  All sorts of sounds came from his insides, clicking, whining, even a screech of metal.

Valentino n Bots in dark room

Moon thinks about Valentino, Woo, and the other angel-bots. Art by Rob Goldstein

“Moon,” Tesla said.  “You are conflicted aren’t you.  You do not have to make the decision.  You are committed to helping both Valentino and your sisters and brothers, are you not?”

Eyes open wide, Moon managed to nod once.

“I relieve you of that responsibility,” Tesla continued.  “We will take the automobile to the injured automatons.  That is also the direction Valentino was taken.  If necessary, Lulu and her grandfather will part company with us there, taking the vehicle to pursue Iset and Valentino.”

That statement seemed to help Moon.  After a moment I heard gears whine again, but it sounded like they reset themselves somehow.

***

Tesla-car 3

Art by Rob Goldstein

The electric automobile was fully charged, thanks to the selfless efforts of Moon.  We got into it and hurried to the scene of clockwork carnage.  The sands of Egypt were littered with shining gold pieces and parts.  If the victims had been human, it would have looked as bad as any of the horrific battle scenes of the Great War.

Apparently, it really did seem that terrible to Nikola Tesla.  The inventor fell to his knees, covering his mouth with both hands.  Moon gently placed a blue-gold hand on his shoulder.

Pragmatic as ever, Dynamite along with his blue surge, Hot Ginger already had the scene organized.  Angel-bots in pairs worked to carry their damaged fellows to various areas that appeared to be organized according to the type of damage incurred.

Pearl’s patience had clearly worn thin with Tesla’s devotion to the automatons.  A sneer marred her pretty face.  She looked around at the wreckage, and then back toward the train.  Pearl scanned the horizon, probably looking for a means of escape.  However, the only thing in view was the Great Pyramid.

She took a deep breath.  Pearl tucked-in platinum blond hair that had escaped her turban during the drive.  She straightened her back and smoothed the old-fashioned dress.  Then she walked over to Tesla.

Single angel-bot

An Angel-bot by Rob Goldstein

“It’s not proper work for a lady,” she began and that phrase alone told me that she was calculating again.  “But perhaps I can help somehow,” Pearl suggested to Tesla.

A small smile told me the way Pearl worded her offer had the desired effect.  Tesla patted her hand and told her not to fret, that he would take care of everything.  Then as a brilliant finishing touch, Pearl staggered, as if swooning.  She placed a pale hand to her brow.

For a moment, Tesla’s attention transferred to Pearl.  He asked Ginger to look after Pearl.  The delicate flower was clearly having a fit of the vapors.

Ginger solicitously helped Pearl to a canopy that was erected nearby for shade.  It was obvious to me that Ginger could tell nothing was wrong with Pearl.  When Dynamite joined them, I could hear a series of clicks and whirrs as the two angel-bots watched Tesla converse with my grandfather.  The two automatons hurried off toward the train.

Gramps and Tesla spoke softly.  A moment later my grandfather got behind the wheel of the electric automobile.  I hopped in beside him.  Before we could leave, Ginger and Dynamite came toward us at a run.  Dynamite held a wooden box.  Ginger carried a case that looked sort of like it was for a trumpet, but it was longer.  The angel-bots jumped in behind us. 

Lulu, Gramps, the Bots and the Car-two

Lulu with Gramps, Ginger, and Dynamite in Tesla’s electric car. Art by Rob Goldstein

I always knew the rose-gold automaton, Ginger had a soft spot for Gramps.  I chuckled to myself.  Dynamite might have had some competition if my grandfather was more like Tesla.

Bushwa!” Gramps muttered.  “Where’s the starter in this thing?”

I had a moment of déjà vu when Ginger leaned forward and pressed a button under the dash.

The electric automobile lurched forward.  The vehicle moved faster than any jalopy I had ever seen.  My hat flew off, but Dynamite reached up and caught it.  Clouds of dust and sand billowed in our wake.  The Great Pyramid of Gisa loomed ahead.

Chapter 13

The Jazz Man

Gramps Jazz Man shades close 1

Gramps, by Rob Goldstein

“Sarcophagus!” Valentino had cried, moments before Iset carried him away on multicolored wings.  Every time I thought about that moment it gave me the heebie-jeebies.  (Chapter 11.3)

A thick layer of dust softened the sound of our footfalls.  The atmosphere felt close inside the Great Pyramid.  I had to keep reminding myself to breathe, because I was so worried and afraid that I could barely draw air into my lungs.

The angel-bots Dynamite and Ginger found the way inside the ancient, gigantic structure without difficulty.  Gramps and I followed their lead.  They had an unexpected amount of knowledge about the place.

“You’ve been here before, haven’t you?” I asked the clockwork creatures.

They both paused, turned to look at me, and blinked.  Dynamite shifted the wooden box he carried.  Ginger still held the odd leather case that looked like it was made for a musical instrument.  They looked at each other while an inordinate number of clicks and whirrs passed between them.  After a moment, I got the most unexpected answer.

Bot carries Valentino Sarcophagus Tesla1

Art by Rob Goldstein

“Giver of Names,” Ginger began.  “We were born here.  All of the angel-bots came into being here.”

“Our bodies at least,” Dynamite added.  “Our births were not complete until after Valentino made various changes to make each attendant unique.  Our varied voices came in response to the location of Valentino’s train when our individual births were finished.  For instance, it was near Memphis, Tennessee when I was being born.  Hence my southern drawl and the other accents you have noticed with the other angel-bots.”

“I know most people think we look alike.  Yet you, Miss, you saw our individuality and began giving us names.  You are most unique among your kind,” Ginger said.  “Yes, the process of our births began here.  However, neither Dynamite nor I have been inside this pyramid in a fully conscious state.  We have some innate knowledge of the place, but no clear true memories of it.”

We entered a broad chamber with columns and tall Egyptian statues.  The center of the area was sunken.  We walked down three broad steps.  In the focal point was an elevated stone bench or bed.  Gramps moved to inspect it.

Egyptian temple com Goddes statue

Statue of Iset inside the Great Pyramid. Image by Teagan Geneviene

“I don’t see any blood,” my grandfather commented.

Bushwa!  Is that an alter?” I asked about the stone bed.  “Do you think that woman meant to sacrifice him?”

Gramps shrugged.  Abruptly I noticed his foot prints in the dust.  I cast the light of my torch around the floor.  I didn’t see any prints but our own.

“We’re the only ones who have been here in a very long time,” I murmured.  “Are you sure they came here?” I asked Dynamite and both angel-bots nodded.

“Iset flew here.  She likely entered the pyramid at its pyramidion.  That is to say its top,” Dynamite answered, sounding rather pleased with himself.  “Before I learned to speak flapper, I learned to speak pyramid.”

Ginger walked to a broad pillar.  Only then did I notice the bronze statue of a woman with wings and the chair-like hat that I had learned was a crown.  I gasped.  It looked just like Iset!

Iset flying leap Wings -1

Iset by Rob Goldstein

I lifted my skirt and took out a flask.  Pearl wasn’t the only flapper with a garter flask.  I took a swig and then sat it down on one of the steps.

The rose-gold automaton shifted her position a few times.  Dynamite joined her and made the same movements.  Gramps removed something from his pocked.  At first, I thought it was his pocket-watch, but I saw that it was a compass.  He went to stand beside the angel-bots.

“You’re checking the direction, aren’t you?” Gramps asked.  “You are made with an internal compass?”

Ginger placed her free hand on my grandfather’s arm and they walked across the chamber.  When she stopped, Ginger opened the leather case.

“None of the attendants can play wind instruments,” Ginger told Gramps as she removed a slide trombone from the case.  “The correct notes must be played on the proper type of instrument to open the hidden door.  However, I don’t know what combination of notes will open it,” she added pointing to the wall.

Virtual reality photograph of Gramps playing the Theramin

Art by Rob Goldstein

“There could be endless combinations of notes,” I complained.  “Do you know any of the notes at all?”

Together Ginger and Dynamite made a sustained musical tone.  Gramps immediately nailed the note, humming with them for a moment.  One of his bushy eyebrows arched upward.  He stopped humming and made a harrumph sound.

“Could it have been a clue?” he muttered.  “Iset quoted the lyrics to one of Satchmo’s numbers.  That song begins on the same note.”

Gramps put the slide trombone to his lips and played the notes that went with the words, “I’ll be glad when you’re dead, you rascal, you.  Oh, I’ll be tickled to death when you leave this earth, it’s true.”

The angel-bots swayed along with the music.  The sound of the horn echoed throughout the pyramid. 

My skin twitched.  Something wasn’t right.  I noticed my flask.  The hooch inside the glass container swished.  The chamber was trembling.  Sand peppered down from the ceiling.  I put the cap on the giggle water.

Gramps Jazz Man shades close 1

Gramps the Jazz Man.  Art by Rob Goldstein

The vibration became stronger.  It was accompanied by a low scraping sound.  Large stones of the wall shifted back and then to the side.  Gramps had played the right notes to open a secret door.

I hissed for him not to do it, but Gramps stepped into the dark room.  I ran to catch up with him, and the angel-bots followed.  My torch started to flicker.  In the center of the room was a dais of alabaster tile and surrounded by a stone railing.  Gramps stepped onto the dais.  The angel-bots and I followed.  Lights beneath the translucent tiles came on, providing soft illumination.

With a jolt the dais started to move upward.  I staggered and grabbed the stone rail.  As the alabaster disk rapidly ascended, I heard the scrape of stones as the secret door closed.

Gilded Tarot Judgement

The Gilded Tarot — Judgement

***

The End

***

I think Tesla and Moon can probably repair the injured angle-bots.  Although, Woo was in pieces when she hit the ground…  Now Lulu, Gramps, Dyanmite, and Ginger are in the Great Pyramid.  Where is that rapidly ascending alabaster disk taking them?  Will Valentino be there? What about Iset?  We still don’t know what to expect from her. Be at the station again next week as we climb toward a conclusion.

Real World Notes

Vaselino Many men in the Roaring Twenties copied silent film star Rudolph Valentino’s look.  A man with perfectly greased-back hair was called a “Vaselino.”

In “Mud and Sand,” Stan Laurel played matador Rhubarb Vaselino in a parody of “Blood and Sand,” which starred Rudolph Valentino.

I hope 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.

 

85 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu the End Begins

  1. Oh, I didn’t want this to end, Teagan. I can’t wait to be onboard the punk-train next week. You’ve left us on the edge of our seats as to what is going to happen. Glad some of the bots got repaired. I love how they even have some affection for our heroes. You really touched on some heartstrings with these two episodes, although Pearl needs to lighten up, otherwise, she’ll be off my ‘nice’ list.
    Have a great week.
    Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hugh! I just finished penning the finale last night.
      LOL… Yes, Pearl does seem to have gotten on the “naughty” list. I have something special for her. 😉
      Heartfelt thanks for being on this train and for all your support. It really means a lot to me. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this long read dear Teagan .. And caught my own ‘Flash’ of imagination as I read this sentence..
    “I lifted my skirt and took out a flask. Pearl wasn’t the only flapper with a garter flask. I took a swig and then sat it down on one of the steps.” lol.. Brilliant.
    Sound vibration vital.. Lol.. But of course you know that.. 😀
    When the ‘Trumpets’ sound we had better be ready!!..

    Loved the silent movie.. 😀 haven’t we progressed in such a short space of time.. Mind boggling.. Have a brilliant Sunday Teagan..
    So enjoyed my visit today…
    Love and warm hugs my friend. ❤
    Oh and PS… Loved Rob's Wonderful art creations.. He has such a talent for bringing your words to life.. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I could just keep reading and reading….another great installment and sad to know it’s coming to an end, but that said…can’t wait to read how!! Great writing and great art by Rob…you two have made a great team!! Love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was outstanding, Teagan! I love how you added a Louie Armstrong song to the story, as it worked so well with Gramps’ horn and opening the secret door. Yes, where is Valentino? And can Woo be saved? Is there more about Gramps’ wife? So exciting!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jennie, I’m happy that you enjoyed this chapter. 🙂
      In some (hopefully subtle) ways I can’t manage to keep a bit of real life out of my fantasy stories.
      But I hope Valentino and Woo can be healed — and Gramps too, so that he can move on from his long-held grief. I honestly don’t know quite what happens next, but I’m going to try and finish the story next week.
      I’m so glad you’ve been on this train. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this is exciting Teagan! I’m very happy the angel-bots can be saved and I’ve always loved Lulu’s relationship with them. I can only imagine what the pyramid will bring and whether the goddess will be a goodie or a baddie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Andrea, that is music to my ears. Thank you so much.
      I’m beginning to worry that it will be anti-climatic. I have to put some serious thought into the next one… I did however write an epilogue that I hope every one will get a kick out of. I’m so glad you are on this train. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am really glad, Teagan, that my heart is being given a small break this week. While still badly cracked, the pieces are holding together and not shattering. I love this story. It is my favourite out of all your lovely stories I have read to date. I am enjoying Lulu’s character a great deal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really? I’m rather surprised, Robbie — but happily surprised. I guess because it’s so different from “Thistledown” and I believe that’s what got us acquainted, and that one is so vastly different from this one. But we both have far ranging tastes. 😀
      I have so many unfinished books, that I’m torn about what to do next. However, when I had everyone vote, the consensus was for book-3 of the “Atonement” urban fantasy. I’m just worried about being able to do that as a three things serial… It would be a challenge.
      Regardless, I’m delighted that you’re on this train and enjoying the ride. I appreciate the feedback about Lulu. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah Teagan, we’re at the end of the beginning.

    Our collaboration is high point of my time as a blogger on WordPress.

    You affirm my belief that people can use social media and the internet collaborate
    and make art.

    We first discussed the idea in February and I produced my first test shots for
    Lulu on March 1st.

    We now have over 306 Gigabytes worth of images for Hullaba Lulu.

    My thanks to all of all your readers who’ve read the story and left comments of
    appreciation on our blogs. 🙂

    You keep me going. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rob, you’ve brought a tear to my eye. Thank you.
      My friend, it IS wonderful to work with you too. Note the present “is” because we will have more joint projects.
      Probably 90% if my 500 (and more) posts have been collaborations of one kind or another, to various extents. Hullaba Lulu will be the most memorable.
      Your artwork wowed viewers from the promo I did before chapter-1 and continues to amaze them. I’m sure some people come just to look at the images.

      Valentino’s dieselpunk train is not at the end of the line quite yet. So hang onto your hat! You’re pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    It is Wednesday which means it is time for the Jazz Age over at Teagan Geneviene… Last week we were left aghast at the temerity of the mystery woman who whisked the ailing Valentino off into thin air. Meanwhile the distraught angel bots are in bits about the state of affairs, and I mean in bits and Tesla has his work cut out for him if he is to save them. Meanwhile Pearl is beginning to show her true colours… and Lulu and Gramps are the only ones who are in a fit state to find Valentino and rescue him. We are arriving at the climax of this story with only one or two weeks to resolve the conundrums. Head over and get up to speed…#recommended

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This was a great episode, Teagan. I know you’re working by the seat of your pants, but you are tying everything together in a nice beat package.

    I love that you use music as a way of encoding a message. Back before we had accurate clocks, scientists like Galileo used music to time events and to compare times. I’ve always found the link between art and science to be interesting.

    I just mentioned to Rob, at his site, how I am impressed with his attention to detail. His illustrations here are no exception. These are wonderful.

    Last thing, I love the part where LuLu warns Grsmos not to go, but then follows. That’s the kind of realism that I appreciate in your stories.

    Ok, redl last thing. I also love the humanity
    Of the bots 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dan, you’re pos-i-lutely swell. Heartfelt thanks. Sometimes little reality touches slip into the story as just part of a character (I’m not actively focused on doing it), like that one… then other times I actively look for something to use. (Like describing a meal.)

      I write serials spontaneously — right up to the end. But you’re right. Even so, when I think I’m about 2/3rds of the way finished I have to start pulling all the threads together. Lulu hasn’t been as complex really. I think the most difficult was the Cornelis Drebbel story. That was such an effort to bring together, that it felt physical as much as mental. Thanks for taking time here, Dan. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. You’ve done it AGAIN, dear Teagan. You left me hanging on by a thread, then “boom” you ended it. 🙂 Wow! What an incredible climax this is all coming to. I cannot wait to find out the rest of the story. I love it. And Gramps has my heart at this point. He is a most special character and holds the key to many secrets, I am thinking. And what will they find when they get to the top? This is a terrific story from beginning to end, dear lady! And, of course, as always, Rob’s art is phenomenal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jan, that will mean a lot to Rob.
      You are so very kind. Your comment means a lot to me.
      It’s interesting… Gramps is the second time what I meant to me a minor, walk-on character was instantly embraced by readers. So I expanded the role. I just wish I knew what I did right with those two characters! LOL… It warms my heart that you like him. I’ve had a twist in mind for Gramps at the end. I hope you’re going to like it.
      Heartfelt thanks for being on this train. You’re the caterpillar’s kimono!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh my gosh! I was reading the end when the interior was trembling, and the dust was peppering down on them…great turn of a phrase btw, then the dais started to rise when my alarm went off and I nearly jumped out of my chair! I couldn’t turn it off quick enough to get back to the story!

    I believe they are headed to the tippy top and there they’ll find Valentino. I can hardly wait for the next chapter!

    Liked by 2 people

      • I hope you were able to slay the dragons today Teagan! I’m glad I made you smile…my alarm sure got the best of me this morning. 😊

        I wore my new tassel ear-rings yesterday. I just love them! I hope you cheered up and smiled when you saw your reflection in them today, because I just know they’re cheerful!

        Liked by 2 people

        • You’re so kind, Deborah. I’m glad you’re still rocking those dangle earrings. They really are gorgeous. It’s been one bad day after another all year…steadily worse. I’ve been trying to get somewhere else for years — far away from DC. Haven’t succeeded yet. It makes it hard to write. But writing is my only satisfaction, so I keep trying to put out stories. Heartfelt thanks for your support.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Good morning dear Teagan….thank you once more for the magic…both in your writing and the wonderful illustrations. What an adventure this has been – I think we will all be sorry to see it coming to an end – but am looking forward to your next Egyptian adventure. Very exciting. Hummingbird Hugs to you and dear Crystal Janet x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Tandy. It’s lovely to see you. That’s the Gilded Tarot — every card is stunning. It was packaged well too — nice box with magnet opening, and a book that’s big enough to read. I’m happy that you liked that line. Tough-guy, jazz man Gramps is a softy at heart. Thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I’m sad to hear the story is coming to an end but excited to see how it does. And I love Egyptian themed adventures, so I can’t wait! Thanks, Teagan, and congratulations to Rob, as well. Fabulous artwork!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So the chair on the hair is a crown? Huh, obv now I think about it. Well there are Geezers in Giza this time for sure. Glad something is being done about the busted bots and lets hope Pearl gets her comeuppance… here’s to next time.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I haven’t heard the term “Bushwa”, since I was a kid and my Mom would use it, when calling us out for a falsehood. I will be waiting to see what the intrepid party experiences, in the Great Pyramid. Perhaps, an unearthly jazz fest?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Gary. I love the language of the 20s. Yepper, “bushwa” meant “BS.” Back then profanity wasn’t around in the abundance that it is today.
      LOL, love the idea of an unearthly jazz fest. Thanks for visiting. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 2 people

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