Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu the End of the Line

Wednesday, August 22, 2018 

You’ve arrived at the end of the line, Shieks and Shebas!  This is the final episode for the Jazz Age Wednesdays serial Hullaba Lulu.  

Well it’s all right, that we’ve been riding around in the breeze. Maybe somewhere down the road aways, you’ll think of me, wonder where I am these days.  Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line.

This is the dieselpunk series, set in the Roaring Twenties authored by yours truly, and illustrated by Rob Goldstein… and we’re at the end of the line!

Lulu blowing bubble

Lulu. Art by Rob Goldstein

You can do catch-up reading for most of the past chapters at this post: Real World Tech Review which has links through episode 11.1. 

Warning — this is a long chapter, but I didn’t think it suitable to divide it into more than one episode.  Save your place and take a break if necessary.  However, I think it will be a quick read, despite the length.  Enough said.  Time to get a wriggle on!

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

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! However, “Papa” Nikola Tesla was repairing them. 

Meanwhile, Valentino was near death. With her multicolored wings, Iset carried him away.  Lulu, Gramps, Dynamite, and Ginger took Tesla’s electric car and followed Iset to the Great Pyramid. Inside they found a secret chamber and a large alabaster disk. When they steped on the disk it sailed upward!  

I think I hear the trumpet’s final call.  The conductor shouts–

End of the Line!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 14

The Finale

LuLu in Egypt Green throne cat

Art by Rob Goldstein

The rapidly ascending alabaster disk came to a smooth stop.  Gramps, Ginger, Dynamite, and I stepped into a chamber that seemed empty except for a veritable forest of metal columns.  There were so many that it made the vast room seem like a labyrinth.  A tiny spark caught my eye.  I realized that each column was topped with intricately formed wires.  Tesla coils.  The room was full of Tesla coils!

I stopped in my tracks.  I would never get over the fireworks that resulted when I bumped into the one on Valentino’s train.

Outside my line of sight, I heard a woman throwing a tantrum.  Crashing sounds overlaid ranted words that I couldn’t understand.

“Why won’t it work?” she yelled.  “It’s not enough!”

Virtual reality photograph of Gramps playing the Theramin

Ginger, Lulu, and Gramps inside the Pyramid. Art by Rob Goldstein

Gramps hurried toward the voice.  I reached for his arm to hold him back, but I wasn’t fast enough.  I followed my grandfather in-between the columns and around a corner.

The voice belonged to Iset.

It was probably the least important thing in the world, but I noticed that Iset’s multicolored wings were gone.  I supposed that she only had them when she wanted to fly.  After all, huge wings would get in the way when you weren’t using them.

Her back was to us.  Iset bent over a large, open sarcophagus.  She started to chant fervently.  Her voice was raw, as if she had been speaking for a long time without a break.

“It’s not enough!  Nothing I do is ever enough!” Iset sobbed and banged her fists against the sarcophagus.

I hissed at Gramps to be still, but he went to Iset.  To my astonishment, Iset fell against my grandfather’s shoulder, crying her eyes out.

Gramps Iset

I borrowed Gramps and Iset to show them together.

When I moved forward I gasped in horror.  Laying in the elaborate casket was Valentino!

“I should have been able to heal him with the sarcophagus,” she wailed.  “Just infusing him with my lifeforce should have revived him.  With the sarcophagus, healing should have been immediate.”

An intricately carved copper bangle was on Iset’s wrist.  I saw that a copper strap ran from the bracelet to a matching cuff on Valentino’s wrist.  Another copper bangle-set rested beside him.  All the bracelets were carved with hieroglyphics that were inlaid with gemstones.  It looked like the gems had been melted into the ancient symbols.

“Maybe it needs all three of you,” Gramps told her in a gentle voice.

Iset looked up at Gramps with surprised eyes.  She turned her head to glare contemptuously at me.

“There are enough of those copper cuffs for three siblings,” Gramps continued in a matter of fact tone.

My grandfather reached into the casket and put the second bracelet set on Valentino’s bare wrist.  Gramps held out the bangle at the other end of the copper strap toward me.

“Gramps, what are you talking about?” I demanded, utterly befuddled.

Lulu light dress Pyramids-test-2

Lulu confused. Art by Rob Goldstein

“Lulu,” he chided.  “Do you mean to tell me that you never noticed the family resemblance?”

I stepped backward.  It felt like the rug had been pulled right out from under me.  My knees gave way and my fanny bumped one of the metal columns.

Ginger caught me before I hit the marble floor.  Dynamite grabbed and righted the Tesla coil post an instant before it would have fallen against the next one.  I shuddered thinking of the catastrophic domino effect that almost happened.

“Get ahold of yourself,” Iset snapped.  “You’re only our half-sister.  Yes, Valentino is our half-brother.”

“But… but,” I tried to interject.

“We three share the same father,” Iset said in an impatient tone.

“How?  Gramps, how could you not tell me?  Valentino?  What if he and I had… I mean,” I stuttered to a stop.

“Impossible as it sounds, I was pretty sure,” Gramps began.  “Seeing all three of you close together just now, I was certain.  Lauren, your mother, always did play the field.  Your father probably wasn’t that mobster after all.”

“Then who?” I whispered.

“This is not the time for that,” Iset stated bluntly.

Iset hair down Goddess 1

Iset in flight, by Rob Goldstein

She took a step toward me, snatched the other bangle from Gramps, and slapped it onto my wrist.

“Take his hand to make the connection stronger,” Iset ordered as she grasped Valentino’s hand.

The bangle slid down my wrist as I took Valentino’s other hand.  His hand was very cold. 

Iset began chanting again.  Her voice was hypnotic, like a song that pulled me into a story.  I didn’t understand the language she spoke, yet I found I was able to say the words.  It was as if part of me knew the language even though my conscious mind didn’t recognize it.  I chanted along with Iset.

The gemstone hieroglyphics in the bracelets started to glow.  The copper against my wrist felt pleasantly warm.  Valentino’s hand was still cold.

Iset sobbed and shook her head.

Gramps_Red 001x

Gramps by Rob Goldstein

“I don’t think he’s fully here,” Gramps muttered as he looked closely at Valentino.  “Part of his spirit is elsewhere.”

“Back at the Cotton Club he said that he couldn’t be far from the train,” I reminded Gramps.  “Then he said the Rolls Royce and the trumpet were aspects of his train, which allowed him to leave it for short distances.”

“That’s right, Miss.  The automatons are also aspects of the train.  Although to a lesser degree.  However, all of us together represent a complete circuit,” Dynamite explained.

A rapid series of clicks and shifting gears came from the rose-gold automaton.  Abruptly Ginger blinked and then ran to a window.  The angle-bot started climbing out the window. 

I called for her to come back.  We were nearly 500 feet off the ground!

“Ginger, be careful,” Dynamite drawled even as he climbed out the window with her.

It wasn’t a long distance from the uppermost chamber of the pyramid to its tip, but it was utterly treacherous.  The rose-gold automaton found hand and footholds to climb up to the pyramidion.  Dynamite was right behind her.

I hung halfway out the window watching them.  Tiny bits of stone showered down as Dynamite’s foot slipped.  Ginger reached one hand down to steady her beau.  A pebble hit my cheek and I drew back with an exclamation.  However, I couldn’t stop myself form leaning back out again to watch the clockwork duo.

Bots on Pyramid Calling All Bots.5-2

Angel-bots climbing to the top of the pyramid, by Rob Goldstein

As the two reached the zenith, the sun reflected from their gold bodies like a beacon.  I put up a hand to shield my eyes.  It was blinding.

Ginger started to hum.  She didn’t hum the way a human would.  It was more like the humming sound that comes from a finely tuned motor.  The sound she made grew louder.  Dynamite started humming at a lower pitch, but it was in harmony with Ginger.

Gramps came to the window beside me.  He looked up at the angel-bots, puzzled.  Then his expression changed.  The expression on his face told me he had a hunch.

“Something’s missing,” Gramps said, meaning the sounds the angel-bots made.

Gramps brought the slide-trombone to his lips.  I could tell he was listening intently to the humming.  Onstage at his speakeasy, I had seen him figure out songs that he’d never heard before.  That’s what he seemed to be doing.

My grandfather started playing the trombone.  After a few notes he played an intricate flourish that escalated in volume, blending in harmony with the hums of the automatons.  All the sounds came to a crescendo.

He squinted as he checked his compass.  Gramps shielded his sunglasses and stared down at the desert, looking in the direction from which we came.  A moment later I heard his sharp intake of breath.

I leaned out further to see past him and gasped in astonishment.

In the distance I could make out Woo standing on the hood of Tesla’s electric automobile.  The diminutive angel-bot leaned forward with arms extended as if she was flying.  The car was flanked by dozens of automatons.  Their golden bodies glinted in the sun as they ran at full-speed across the desert sands.  Clouds of dust churned up by their feet billowed behind their rapidly moving formation.

Bots gather to welcome Papa

I borrowed a bunch of bots from Rob… The Sphinx is in the background for a reason…

The automatons gathered en masse at the foot of the pyramid.  They all began to hum.  The harmony was intricate.  The vibration of their combined intonations was so strong I could feel it hundreds of feet above.  The hair on the back of my neck stood on end.

I rushed back to Valentino and reattached the bracelet I wore.

The expression on my grandfather’s face told me he had gone to that place inside ― the place from which his music came.  Gramps put the slide-trombone to his lips again.

I held Valentino’s cold hand tightly.  Iset had never let go of his other hand.  She looked at me and took my free hand and nodded.

“As the automaton said, a complete circuit,” she said, meaning the three of us holding hands.

Gramps played a wildly free jazz melody that I had never heard before.  I knew that no one had ever played it, at least not on this earth.  The uninhibited notes swam and rushed in a torrent.  Then the music leveled off to a steady flow.

As the music took on a slow, even pulse, the gemstones in the bracelets glowed brighter.  I heard Iset gasp.

Valentino’s eyes fluttered open.

***

Pearl at Luxor

I borrowed Pearl from Rob so we could see her in the real Winter Palace Hotel

The sound of tiny chimes rang from a device that looked like a large brass compact.  It was about the size of a dinner plate.  It was Valentino’s video phone.

“It’s fine, Lulu.  Go ahead and answer it.  I gave one to Nikola Tesla.  It should be him calling,” Valentino assured me.

However, when I opened the big compact, I saw Pearl.  In the background I saw palm trees and the luxurious accommodations of the Winter Palace hotel in Luxor.  I wondered what Egyptians would think about New York winters. 

I could hear a man happily cooing beyond Pearl.  She looked over her shoulder with an exasperated glare.

“I thought Tesla was taking you home,” I told Pearl.

Tesla no hat Conducting-1-1

Tesla by Rob Goldstein

“That was the idea,” Pearl began.  “Now he’s in the middle of making some kind of business deal and he’s not ready to leave yet.  Lulu, I can’t take another minute of this!” Pearl wailed amid all the cooing.

“Pearl, what’s going on?  I know he’s and odd bird, but I thought he was basically okay.  He’s not trying to do something weird to you is he?” I wanted to know.

Even though Pearl had been saying hurtful things and showing herself to be a self-important brat, before that we had been friends for a long time.  I wouldn’t stand by and let someone mistreat her, even if I didn’t want to have anything else to do with her.

“Ha!  Odd bird!  Lulu, you got that right.  It’s the damned pigeons!  He’s constantly playing with the blasted birds, feeding them, making silly noises to them.  Nerts! He’s more interested in the pigeons than me!” Pearl said frantically.

I didn’t know what to say.  While I searched for words she continued.

“He said he’d send me home any time I wanted.  He said he’d pay your way too,” Pearl said in a different tone.

Tesla Iset Bots dance

Tesla, Angel-bots, & Iset celebrating Valentino’s healing. Art by Rob Goldstein

“I don’t want to go home,” I told her, puzzled that she would even suggest such a thing.

“Come on, Lulu.  You know it’s not respectable for a lady to travel alone,” Pearl pleaded, but I still declined.  “Fine then!  I can’t cope with this!  I’m going home.  Now!”

Pearl was in a lather.  She pulled off her turban exposing fluffy platinum blond hair.  Long dangle earrings tumbled down to graze her shoulders.

The cooing noises stopped.  Tesla stepped into view behind Pearl.  She whirled around to face him and her long earrings swung out nearly touching him.  Tesla screamed and ran from the room.

***

Night fell.  Stars glittered the deep cobalt sky.  A full moon illuminated the Great Pyramid.  The train was repaired and it waited beside the ancient structure.  I had stopped wondering how they managed to get it there without railroad tracks.  Some things were beyond my grasp.

Lulu Gramps Valentino control room blue

Lulu, Gramps, and Valentino

The angel-bots had transformed the uppermost chamber of the pyramid to a beautifully appointed dining room.  Crystal glasses and champagne bubbles shimmered in candlelight as we celebrated Valentino’s return to health.

With her half-brother healed, Iset had become… not exactly nice, but less frightening anyway.  I kind of admired her fierceness.  I looked from her to Valentino and shook my head wonderingly.

I had lost my best friends.  Rose left us to stay with a better version of Tom Driberg in that alternative “upside down” Egypt.  It felt like I lost Pearl too, but it was because she was never the person she pretended to be.  I had been alone most of my life, and I was alone again.

Yet while I lost my friends, I had found family — a brother and a sister.  So what if we were only half-siblings.  I wanted to know about our mutual father, but they weren’t ready to discuss that yet.

“And you’re sure we aren’t related,” I heard Gramps say.

Gramps inside train

Gramps and the watch he looks at daily to read the inscription from his late wife.

He took out the pocket watch my late grandmother had given him.  I knew he read the inscription several times a day.  However, that time he stroked his thumb across the case without opening it.  He tucked the watch back inside his vest and patted the pocket.

I choked on my champagne.  Dynamite’s metal hand gently patted my back.  I told him that I was okay, and asked for a stronger drink.

Gramps and Iset were looking into one another’s eyes like a couple of teenagers.  They whispered and giggled.  Gramps giggled!  I had never seen my grandfather act that way.  And with a woman so young?  I was shocked.

“Dynamite, make that a double!” I pleaded.

Abruptly I wondered how young Iset actually was ― or was not.  Tesla said she was a goddess.  For all I knew, she was twice the age of my grandfather. 

Neither Iset nor Valentino were ordinary humans.  What did that make me if I was their half-sister?

“Let me show you Luxor from high above,” Iset told Gramps and motioned toward the window.

To my astonishment an airship floated beside the window.

Air ship bots pyramid Calling All Bots.3

Art by Rob Goldstein

“Iset!” Valentino exclaimed.  “Isn’t that Ra’s sun ship?  Have you lost your mind?”

“He won’t care as long as I have it back by sunrise,” Iset dismissed her brother’s worry with a wave of her hand.

Gramps and Iset moved to the window.  The angel-bots helped them onto the airship.  I stood gaping.

“Don’t wait up,” Gramps told us as he stepped aboard the ship.

 I got the hiccups.

***

Lulu Valentino in the control room

Valentino is healed. He and Lulu consider where to go next. Art by Rob Goldstein

It was well after midnight.  Valentino and I were in the control room of the train.  He sat in a chair that had wheels.  He spun it around, turning his back to do something with the Ouija board that was part of the train’s navigation system.

“I have a brother,” I murmured in awe.

The tall gold control angel statue tilted her head down and winked at me.

“Where do you want to go next, Lulu?” Valentino asked.  “I can plot the course.  We’ll be ready to leave first thing in the morning.  Gramps and Iset will be back by then,” he added.  “Anywhere you want to go.  It’s up to you, Lulu.”

Suddenly confronted with endless choices, I couldn’t pick a destination. 

I had wanted so badly to visit exotic places and we ended up first in a sideways Atlantic City, and then back to New York for a sideways Cotton Club.  It would have been swell when we got to Egypt — that was about as faraway and mysterious a place as I could imagine.  But when we got there so many bad things happened.

I was pos-i-lutely blotto, but I was happy.  I started doing the Charleston and pulled my newfound brother up from his “wheeley” chair and into the dance.

As I flung out my arm doing the Charleston, I knocked something over.  Then my heel broke and I fell against the Ouija board, tilting it.  The angel-bot, Moon, rushed into the control room, leaving the door open. 

Moon had been working on something outside. I could see the night beyond the open exit hatch.  I tripped over the automaton’s foot and landed in the wheeley chair.

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

Valentino & Lulu dancing.  Art by Rob Goldstein

Valentino reached for me and fell into the control angel.  The statue’s eyes popped open wide.  The trumpet levitated off its table and blared out a note.  The train lurched forward.

The sudden motion caused my chair to roll out of the room.  I screamed as it continued to roll out the exit hatch.  With a thud the chair toppled into the sand.  It, and I, rolled end over end several times.

My head spun as I staggered to my feet, still fighting with the chair.

The train was gone.

***

Pyramid Outside portal

Image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Horsefeathers!  It’s so hot!  I’ve really gotten myself into trouble this time.

I plopped down and leaned against the huge statue, zozzled.  I watched the sun peep over the horizon.

As I blinked at the sun, looking up I realized the statue had a man’s face.  That was confusing, especially in my splificated state, because I was leaning against a gigantic paw.  Well, if it had a face, I’d drink with it — paws or not.

I took out my garter flask.  It barely had a jorum of skee left. 

Pearl managed to get Tesla to take her back to New York.  Gramps left for a well-deserved romantic tryst with Iset.  My latest bout of clumsiness caused me to fall out the door and sent Valentino and his train careening off to who knew where.  Worse, I was down to my last drop of hooch!

I held up the flask and squinted up at the stone face.  Was it wearing a Star of David for an earring?  I knew I was tipsy, but I hadn’t noticed that earring a moment earlier.

“Now what do I do?  I’m stranded in the desert with no giggle water,” I complained to the statue, not caring that it couldn’t answer.  “How am I going to get out of this mess?”

Lulu at the Sphinx

Still splificated, Lulu wakes up at a statue with huge paws and a man’s face. (Lulu by Rob, finangling by Teagan)

“What is the meaning of life?” a deep voice mumbled.

“Huh?” I muttered.

I burped and looked around.  I didn’t see anybody.  Maybe I was more than a little tipsy.

“The meaning of life,” I muttered and looked at the flask.

The bottle contained some of the 42-proof whiskey that Gramps got for his speakeasy.  A rumrunner from Canada brought it.  It wasn’t as strong as the usual hooch, but it sure was smooth.

I raised the flask toward the statue in a toast.

“42-proof!  Here’s to you, bub,” I said and then took a swig.

The bottle had a few drops left.  On impulse, I sprinkled them on the gigantic stone paw.

“There ya go,” I told it with a hiccup.

A sound like a rock-slide preceded a heavy thud.  I didn’t remember the big mound of sand on the other side of the statue’s paw.  Neither did I remember seeing its tail.  Then the big stone tail swept back to the other side, making another mound of sand.

“Huh?” I raised my eyebrows and murmured worriedly.

There was no way I was drunk enough to hallucinate.  Or at least I didn’t remember drinking that much…

The earth shook, causing me to stumble away from the statue.

Spinx Pyramids wide

I backed away and watched in awe as the stone head moved down to lick the paw where I sprinkled the whiskey.

“Smooth,” the deep voice rumbled, louder than before.

My eyes bulged.

“Yes, Lulu.  You answered my riddle,” the Sphinx told me.

“Erm, what riddle?  Oh, was it you who asked what the meaning of life was?  I knew I could hold my liquor better than that!” I said and tried to stop my voice from slurring.  “You mean that was a riddle?  I never was any good at riddles.  You aren’t going to ask me a riddle are you?  Because I’m no…” I started, but paused to burp.  “Scuse me.”

Hot air blew the fringe on my dress as the statue snorted.

“I already asked you the riddle — the meaning of life,” it told me with another blast of hot air and a rumbling sound.  “You answered correctly.  42.”

Was it laughing?

“Oh, but I was talking about…” I decided it was better if I didn’t finish that sentence if the Sphinx thought I had gotten something right.”

The earth shook again, harder.  I fell down.  A broad hand reached out to me.  I took the strong hand, but eyed its owner skeptically.  I was still unsteady from the tremor and grabbed his arm to keep from falling again.  His enormous bicep was rock-hard.  I gazed up and up, because he had to be nearly seven feet tall.

I patted his huge bicep.  Hard as sto— I only got half the thought finished. 

Sphinx character

I looked up at a very tall, powerfully built man who effortlessly lifted me to my feet.  He was wearing one of those cloth bandana-like hats I had seen in the Egyptian paintings.  He also wore a caftan, sunglasses, and one Star of David earring.

“Hello, Lulu — Giver of Names,” he greeted me.

He took off the sunglasses and grinned at me.  He had big green, slit-pupiled eyes.  A tufted tail twitched out from under his caftan.

Holy Hannah!” I exclaimed despite myself and stepped backward.  “I um, I have to find the train,” I apologized, turning to leave.

“Valentino’s train is long gone.  You know that.  You sent it away yourself,” he said amid deep chuckles.

I started to speak but then I noticed the Sphinx statue was gone.  My mouth moved but nothing came out.

“Don’t worry,” he said and led me around a mound of sand.  “You aren’t stranded.  Your chariot awaits.”

He pointed to the longest, reddest, shiniest automobile I had ever seen.  It looked like something from the Amazing Stories magazine.

“Oh, that’s right.  You don’t exactly know how to drive, and this vehicle is as far removed from an automobile as Valentino’s is from an ordinary train,” he told me.

“Who are you?” I asked, trying hard to make my mind focus.  “Are you real?  Or am I drunker than I’ve ever been before?”

“Just call me Sphinx,” he told me and winked one of those slit-pupiled green eyes.  “Maybe later I’ll tell you my name.  But try not to ask questions.  That compels me to ask you riddles, and that could end badly,” he warned but laughed deeply and loudly.

Sphinx opened the passenger door of the vehicle. 

“Don’t touch anything,” he cautioned as he helped me into the automobile.

When he walked around to the driver’s door, the floorboard shifted to accommodate the length of his legs.

I looked at the automobile’s dashboard.  It had as many blinking lights and strange levers as Valentino’s train.  Just under the dash I spotted a small Ouija board.  The planchette started to vibrate.  I reached out and placed a single finger on the teardrop shaped device.

The engine roared to life.

Wildly moving shapes like the sine-waves Moon showed me when he opened a door to the “upside down Egypt” surrounded the vehicle.  It shot forward and upward, faster than anything could possibly move.  The brightly colored waves surrounded the vehicle like a tunnel.  It looked like it could go on forever.

“I told you not to touch anything!” Sphinx cried in shock.

His voice echoed into the distance behind us.

Sphinx car Egypt

Don’t touch anything Lulu!  Image by Teagan R. Geneviene

***

The End

***

Real World Notes

42 — Douglas Adams.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a comic science fiction series created by Douglas Adams that has become popular among fans of the genre(s) and members of the scientific community.  The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is requested from the supercomputer, Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42.  

Old Winter Palace Hotel Luxor.  A historic British colonial-era 5-star luxury resort hotel located in Luxor, Egypt, just south of Luxor Temple, with 86 rooms and 6 suites.  Founded in 1905 it is perched on the Nile River amid luxuriant tropical gardens.

Thanks again to Rob Goldstein for generously sharing the beautiful illustrations, that brought my words to life for everyone.  If you missed it, Rob talks about how making these images was important for him on a personal level in a podcast you can reach via his blog.

Thank you — each and every one of you — from the bottom of my heart for being on this train!  It’s been a fun, wild ride, and it would never have happened without you.  Many of you have been with this train from the introduction all the way through the end of the line.  I appreciate you more than you could know.  You’re pos-i-lutely 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.

 

119 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu the End of the Line

  1. Wow…an explosive ending and you always get one who cannot resist pressing or touching..wonderfully captured and a beautiful video from Rob to celebrate THE END! Or is it??? Fantastic series Teagan and Rob 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. A great ending Teagan – you completely surprised me – I didn’t see the family relationship coming at all and you’ve left lots of room for more adventures. It’s been great fun 🙂 I have to ask, are you musical? I’ve noticed music playing a part in a number of your stories…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Andrea. I’m so happy I could give a surprise ending.
      Me musical? That’s astute of you. I can’t bring myself to say I’m any good… such things are a matter of taste. But mostly because I can’t read music. So I say that I “play with” piano. I used to love to play and get a lot of satisfaction from it. But where I’ve lived in DC for the past 10 years, I rarely play. I don’t like my neighbors to have to hear me.
      Although lately I’m having trouble with my hands becoming very stiff. I know playing would be good exercise, So I should try harder to find times when I feel comfortable playing. I do love my piano.

      Thank you so much for having been on this train. It wouldn’t have been the same without you. You really are the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks for sharing the finale from your place, Melissa. You’ve been on this train, fueling it with reblogs, right up to the end of the line. I appreciate you more than you could know. You’re the bee’s knees!

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  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – Brunch Meet Robert Goldstein, Victoria Zigler, John W. Howell, Becky Ross Michael, Jemima Pett, Marcia Meara, Luna Saint Claire and Anita Dawes | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

    • Heartfelt thanks, Kirt. You were on this train from the time it left the station to the end of the line — and I can’t thank you enough! Comments like yours are the fuel that kept the train running. You are pos-i-lutey the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great way to end this story, Teagan. Is it really the end for Lulu, though? And I love what you did with Pearl. Tesla obviously wasn’t the man for her, but who can blame a girl with such beautiful hair for that?
    Everything neatly tied together, I’ve come away from this story feeling like it’s one the greatest adventures I’ve read. And to think it all began in the Cotton Club after waking up with the imprints of a pearl handbag over Lulu’s face.
    Rob did a fantastic job with the images. They really helped bring the story alive.
    Congratulations on a wonderful piece of writing and story.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Hugh, Rob will be delighted about the images. He really did work hard.
      I’m honored that you remember all the way back to the beaded handbag. 😀 Your comment gave me a great grin. Your support means a lot to me. I’m so happy that you’ve been on this train — all the way to the end of the line. You are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. bit of a journey there; not sure Lulu is safer drunk or sober and she will touch things won’t she? well, you’ve left enough there for next time haven’t you, tease that you are; I’m off to shake sand out of my shoes, dammit that stuff gets everywhere…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Sorry about the sand Geoff. If it’s only in your shoes, then you’re lucky.
      Thanks so much for being on this train, all the way up to the end of the line! You’ve made the journey much more fun than it otherwise would have been. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a fantastic wrap-up, Teagan! You caught me off guard with the siblings, too. Nope, didn’t see it coming. You are great at tossing in a twist or two now and then. Take a deep breath now and enjoy a job well done. Cheers to you and Rob for collaborating on this project. I love the vivid colors in your illustrations, Rob.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What fun to know (the Hitchhiker’s Guide) Christoph! I’m glad a few people have picked up on that. Thanks so very much for visiting. I’m happy that you were able to get on the train. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Like

  8. Lol, Lulu reminds me of myself- a klutz! I like how you left it open to possibilities for the future, after all, Lulu has to find her way back to her new family!
    And speaking of twists- nice one!
    Rob’s collaboration on this journey has been a like that taste of giggle juice in a hot desert, pure magic ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heartfelt thanks, Jacquie. Haha. Lulu did inherit my clumsiness. She was a fun character to write. You’ve been on the train since it barreled up to the abandoned subway station and all the way to the end of the line. I can’t thank you enough. You really are the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely Teagan; multiple layers of sadness as we say goodbye to Lulu and crew, for now: you did a bang up job with the images you modified, and your flying car is the bee’s knees. The close with the Sphinx is like the beginning of a new story. The closing line is perfect. Thank you for our collaboration, Teagan; it is a gift.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rob it certainly was a gift to work with you. What an adventure we’ve had! It really means a lot to me. I’m happy you liked the ending. I wanted Lulu and the crew to continue in readers’ imaginations even after the story was done. Although they will remember your amazing images for years to come. You are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    We have reached the end of the line…or Lulu, Gramps, Valentino, Pearl, Rose and the angel bots have.. but the tracks are not straight with a few twists and turns that surprise and keep you guessing. Will Valentino be saved, who will work together to make it happen and who is going to ride off into the sunset with the beautiful and powerful Iset? All that and far more awaits you in the sands of ancient Egypt……It has been a brilliant ride and a fabulously creative story by Teagan Geneviene and beautifully illustrated by Rob Goldstein. If you have not read any of the episodes then follow the links and start at the beginning.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sally, you’ve been on the train since it barreled up to the abandoned subway station and all the way to the end of the line. Heartfelt thanks for your support, my friend! You have been an important part of the story. You really are the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great wrap up. I can’t believe you pulled it all together – I was beginning to wonder… lol. This was a wild adventure, Teagan, and the collaboration with Rob was wonderful. Two talents united to make a great story. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Wow! That was a heck of a ride, Teagan. I never saw the sibling connection coming. I know this is the wrap (and a splendid one it is too!), but it seems there’s plenty of room for exploring more if you ever decide to. Cheers to you and Rob for such a fun and unique adventure. The combination of creative story and fanciful artwork was a delight from beginning to end!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Mae. It’s good to see you. Yes, I had to give Lulu and the crew other things to get into so they could keep making stories in the readers’ minds. I’m so glad you were able to get on this train and make it to the end of the line. You really are the kitten’s ankles! Heartfelt thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This was a great story, Teagan. I love this ending and I like how “This is not the time for that,” hints, perhaps, at another story to come. Congratulations on a wonderful job weaving this story and cheers to your partner in crime, Rob, for the wonderful illustrations that brought some segments even further to life than your words. You did such a good job of tying up all the loose ends – I am amazed.

    I hope you enjoy the weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Darn… I lost my own comment. Too much multitasking… As I was saying…
      So that’s what it was! Thanks John. I found the car searching (Wiki Media Commons [public domain]) “vintage concept cars”. I didn’t see anything that said what it actually was. So it’s a Detroit car — no wonder you recognized it. If only I could have made it red… I’m still working on my PhotoShop skills…
      You were on this train from the time it left the station to the end of the line — and I can’t thank you enough! You are pos-i-lutey the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Siblings? I didn’t see that one coming at all. Yay for Gramps! And Lulu should really quit touching anything having to do with technology. This was a triumph, Teagan, and kudos to Rob for his gorgeous creations!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Teri — whoo-hoo! I like the idea of “triumph!”
      I’m surprised that I’m surprising people with the siblings. Early on, so many people thought Valentino would be Lulu’s father. (I never had that in mind at all.) Of course I’m pantsering, so I didn’t have a clue either, until I imagined Iset. When she snatched Valentino, that’s when I knew they were all sibling.
      After I had done that I realized that Rob’s beautiful images (the avatars he uses) justified Gramps’ “family resemblance” remark. (In a novel, I would backtrack to set that up a bit, but can’t do that in a pantser serial…)

      You were on this train from the time it left the station to the end of the line — and I can’t thank you enough! You are pos-i-lutey the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I love the wrap-up, Teagan. Pigeons, 42, Sphinx riddle… you worked in some great stuff. The one thing that resonated with me the most, though, was the recap you started with. “Oh, the bot-manity!” That’s going to have me grinning all day. Nicely done.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Wow, half brother, and half sister found! A wonderful end to the story Teagan. It’s been a fabulous, fun ride.

    The ending leaves me wondering if there won’t be a sequel one day so we find out what happens to Lulu, and who is that guy Sphinx? Her father perhaps?

    I hate it when I book I like ends, and I have to say good-bye to characters I like. I hope there’s a sequel!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OMG… I hadn’t even thought about Sphinx being her father. LOL. Maybe you need to pick up the pen, Deborah! Rob and I actually have discussed the potential of doing another Lulu series next year, or maybe some short stories. However, I’m feeling strongly pulled to finish my many nearly-done novels — and I can’t do that *and* write a serial. (Part of me worries that I won’t live long enough to finish all of them, since I will always have to hold a job.) But for you to say these things lifts me up and encourages me. ❤
      You were on this train from the time it left the station to the end of the line — and I can't thank you enough! You are pos-i-lutey the oyster's earrings!

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Pingback: Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu the End of the Line – lampmagician

  18. Woke up to a weird Wednesday (long story), but this chased some of my cares away, banished them to a damp, dusty corner while I wandered through this lovely wonderland. Thank you, dear Teagan, you’ll never know just how much you mean to some of us out here in bloggyland. You’re the rarest of treasures. Off to share, like, everywhere humanly possible, more than once lol 😉
    Hope your day is filled with peace and inspiration. 🙂
    Mega “Don’t Panic” (I have adored Douglas Adams for more decades than I sometimes feel I have been alive) hugs xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Donna… thank you from my heart for your words. I’m uber stressed today, but what you said helps me feel better. Haha — I need to hang that “don’t panic” sign in front of my face today! If only I had my towel… o_O I couldn’t resist a nod to the master with 42.
      Huge thanks for sharing this post and for taking time to visit and support. You’ve really helped me today. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This has been an amazing story from beginning to end, Teagan, but I’m sitting here with my mouth hanging open. Half brothers and sisters! Wow!! And Gramps with the beautiful Iset! Wow! What a way to wrap it all up. Well-done, my friend, well-done. And, of course, Rob’s artwork is just the icing on this diesel-punk cake!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Jan. I value this feedback. I’m delighted that I could leave a surprise about the half-siblings. 😀 Absolutely, Rob’s art is the icing on the dieselpunk cake — I love that! Keep on celebrating your birthday month.
      You are pos-i-lutey the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Dearest Teagan..
    While I have not caught every episode of this amazing story I have gleaned the bits I missed via your catch up explanations..
    And yes to lose a friend, but to find a brother..

    Wonderful how you weaved so many things of the unseen world into this story.. I loved the trumpets and the vibration.. And the 42.. Well.. pure genius..
    I have so enjoyed this series, and loved all of Robs talented art work he contributed to your story..

    I hope those little Bot’s now get a much deserved rest… But I dare say your grey matter will be bubbling away already full of the next adventures you are going to share..
    Brilliant writing..
    Have a Super Day and rest of the week Teagan..
    Love and HUGS my friend.. Take care and Much love ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sue, thank you from my heart. You always pick up on the little things that are important to me when I’m writing (like the sound vibrations).
      LOL, I’m trying to prevent my cauldron of grey cells from bubbling… (believe me that’s a challenge) because I so very much want to finish some of my nearly-done novels… But with work, there’s so little time/energy. Thank you for being on this train. You’re the kitten’s ankles!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Oh, Teagan. Thank you for a wonderful, mad, exciting ride. Excellent, story, excellent. Got goosebumps reading this last chapters. But…Lulu could be anywhere and where exactly is Valentino? What will Gramps do? he he, you just know there are more adventures waiting for them all. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dyanna heartfelt thanks for saying it that way (about the boxes). That is wonderful feedback and makes me very happy that you think so. I appreciate the reblog and all your support. You were on this train from the time it left the station to the end of the line — and I can’t thank you enough! You are pos-i-lytely the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. This story could be studied in sci fi classes, comparative history or a class dealing with mythology mash-ups. It’d probably take me a good long week to fully absorb all the nuances, in this chapter alone. Well done, Teagan!!

    Liked by 2 people

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