Brother Love 2 — A Shadow

Saturday, May 4, 2019

There are many things on my mind that I want to share with you today.  If I had known about the most recent one before yesterday, I would have done a midweek post.  First let me welcome you…

Country kitchen 3 windows_Mariamichelle_vermont-Pixabay
Maria Michelle, Pixabay

Welcome to my sanctuary.  Pull up a chair.  The sanctuary may be found in a quirky Tennessee town called Atonement.  It might be at a diesel-punk train station with an outrageous flapper named Lulu.  Or it could even be found at a steampunk submarine port, with an alchemist named Cornelis.  For now, my sanctuary has moved to a crossroads in a rural Mississippi town sometime in the late 1950s to early 1960s.  So, I also welcome you to the crossroads.

Yes, my blog is my sanctuary — a place where I can feel safe from the world.  It’s a place for me to share stories with friends (old and new).  It’s also a place where I can promote and lift up others.  That’s why I love making serials “interactive” by using things from readers.

That said, I freely admit to being a blog-tater.  I wouldn’t come into your house and be less than hospitable to you.  So, behave accordingly.  Bullying in any form, including passive-aggressive behavior gets deleted. 

Skull of the Alchemist Cover 1

Now the new thing on my mind… Here it goes again — that Creative One-Mind thing!

At the end of the post concluding my Cornelis Drebbel serial, I talked about how utterly undermined I was (in 2015) because I had all the details of a novel outlined (in-depth too, not pantsering). Then I saw a movie with all those same details.  Something similar happened with the new serial here — Brother Love.  Guess what I just found on Netflix… 

I haven’t had time to watch the show on Netflix, but there’s also this article about it.   At least it’s not as bad as the thing with The Skull of the Alchemist, but still I no longer look original… I just look like an unimaginative copycat.  It’s frustrating. 

Onward to the reason we are here.  Let’s get back to my crossroads!

No Facilities blog header photo by Dan Antion
No Facilities blog photo by Dan Antion

This is my new spontaneously written, pantser story, done in my “Three Things” way of writing.  Blogger Dan Antion collaborates with me on this new story.  He provides photos to inspire me and illustrate the posts.  Dan also gives me two of the “three things” that drive this unplanned serial.  The third thing comes from you the reader! 

The things you’ve already sent won’t be used in any particular order.  This week’s reader supplied thing is croquet mallet from Ally Bean at The Spectacled Bean blog.

Without further ado, I’m delighted to bring you Chapter 2 today!   

Previously with Brother Love

Chapter 1.  Birdie crawled half-under the table to pick up the flyer.  The kitchen light flickered and popped, causing her to bump her head.  Then all the lights went out.

The screen door creaked open.  Normally it would bang shut, but it closed softly.  At the sound of footsteps, she scrunched the rest of the way under the table. 

Brother Love 2

A Shadow

Shadow, Rain, and Croquet Mallet

Flash cropped image Dan Antion
Flash, from one of Dan’s photos

The footfalls hesitated.  It seemed like they turned back toward me, although I couldn’t see in the dark.  Then I realized there had been a faint noise outside.  Maybe that was the reason for the pause.

I dared not breathe, but the way I was crouched under the table, I wouldn’t have been able to draw a good breath anyway.

The footsteps moved across my little kitchen to the spot where the PanAm calendar hung on the wall.  I heard the pages rustle.

Then a firm knock rapped against the frame of the flimsy screen door.

Flimsy screen door on a shabby red wall
Photo by Dan Antion

Surprise shot through me like electricity.  My body jerked and I banged my head and shoulders against the underside of the table.

The kitchen light, along with the single light-bulb on the porch flickered and then came back to life.

A shadow lurched outside on the porch, and the knock came again, harder.

“Miss Devovo, are you alright?” came the startled voice of a man.  “Birdie, it’s Reverend Armstrong.  Is everything okay?”

For half a beat I stayed under my table.  Just as I was sure someone had been in the kitchen with me a moment before, I was also certain they were suddenly gone.

The preacher sounded as spooked as I felt.  His voice had the slightest quiver.  Plus, Doug Armstrong never added “Reverend” to his name.  Preacher, or more often Brother Armstrong was how he named himself.

Fist against red Pixaby

His fist banged on the screen door-frame again.  I extricated myself from my hiding spot before Armstrong broke the poor excuse for a door.

That didn’t make it any easier for me to calm myself.  I opened the door, and belatedly thought to straighten my dress.

I was relieved to see anyone including the preacher, but I was too rattled to know what to say.

“What brings you to the outside of town so late, Brother Armstrong?” I asked.

Doug was a big, tall man.  A single stride took him halfway across the kitchen.  His eyes darted around the room, and he took another step, craning his neck to see the living room.

“The Lord’s work doesn’t keep a schedule,” he replied with forced joviality.

I didn’t wonder so much about why he was out long after dark.  Rather, I was curious as to why he took the road on the back side of the house.

Copiah County MS crossroads Google Maps
A crossroads in Copiah County, Mississippi, near the place from which blues legend, Robert Johnson came.

You see, my house sat in a triangle between ways at a crossroads.  There was a street in front and another road in back.  There were also any number of old trails that intersected there.

Old superstitions about the crossroads abounded.  My mother had been able to get the house because no one else would have it.  I kept it because I had nowhere else to go.

Doug Armstrong looked down at me as if inspecting my face.

“Is everything alright here, Miss Devovo?  As I was driving by,” he began but hesitated and shook his head.  “Maybe it was just a trick of light and shadow, but I thought I saw somebody moving around on the porch.  Then the lights sparked and went out.  I was concerned for your safety.”

I gulped.  I wasn’t sure why I would hesitate to tell him what had happened.  Maybe it was just the lifetime of skepticism and outright disdain I had experienced.

Communities on any side of the crossroads, on both sides of the tracks, as they would say, had whispered about me all my life.  They knew my mother would take up with any musician who came through.  After I grew up, she finally ran off with one.

Statue of woman and man kissing, World War II era
The Kissing Couple, Photo by Dan Antion

They never believed the story my mother told when we moved to Parliament, Mississippi.  I wasn’t sure I believed it myself, but she always said my father had died in the military when I was too young to remember him.  It would have been easier to believe if it hadn’t happened before the war.

Heck, maybe it was true.  A few times she got drunk and claimed the government had covered up the real circumstances of his death.  My mother had some wild stories, but conspiracies weren’t among them.

Anyhow, Doug Armstrong was probably the only person they gossiped about as much as they talked about me.

Although Doug made no secret of his past.  His whole purpose in life seemed to be a constant attempt to redeem himself.  Doug was an ex-convict.  He had gone to prison for killing a man.

He was also one of the few people who would even think about visiting the house at the crossroads.

I cleared my throat and then told him about hearing someone in the kitchen.  He asked if he could look around.  I nodded my assent.  Although I was sure we were the only ones there.  I also knew there would be no sign that anyone else had been in the house.

Men's wingtip shoes

Even so, it was a comfort to have Doug look through the house.  He checked every window and door.  He even looked in the closets.

Doug brought a croquet mallet out of one closet, suggesting that I might want to keep it at hand.  However, just as I expected, there was no indication that anyone had been inside the house.

“I guess it was my imagination,” I said awkwardly.

“Then it was mine too,” he muttered.  “There hasn’t been any rain,” he went on in a speculative tone.  “So, I guess there’s no use looking outside for footprints.  Even with a flash light, it would be hard to tell much in the dark.”

I got the feeling that he was nervous.  It made me want to ask him if he was alright.  However, that seemed rude, so I didn’t.

Audience looking at stage with lights
Stage Lights by Dan Antion

Doug looked down at my hand.  I hadn’t realized that I still clutched the flyer I had crawled under the table to retrieve.  It was for Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.

The mimeographed ad boasted of a revival meeting every night for a week, with evangelists from all over the state, and the supposedly famous Brother Love himself.  I’d never heard of him.

“Will you be preaching there?” I asked Armstrong.

“I was invited, but I haven’t decided,” he answered.

There was something strange about his voice and manner when he replied.  I had no idea what was behind it, but it gave the kind of uneasy feeling that makes you want to look over your shoulder.

Then I noticed the calendar.  I had been looking at the July picture and left that page up, because I liked it better than the image for August.  The calendar was turned back to August.  There was a smudge on the square for the coming Saturday.  The mark had not been there earlier.


Crow on a high pine branch
Joe Crow in the role of Jinx.  Photo by Dan Antion

Jinx back-winged in his hurried flight when he saw the lights flash and go dark.  He alighted cautiously in the upper branches of the towering spruce pine.  He looked down inquisitively as someone walked across the back porch and into the house.

Curiosity got the better of the magpie when a moment later the big man stopped his old red car and went to the door.  Jinx glided down to the southern magnolia.  He settled amid the glossy dark leaves, next to a big hairy seed pod that had previously been a fragrant snow white flower.

He tilted his head.  Was it random chance that brought Doug Armstrong there at that specific moment?  Or did it happen by design?


Real World Notes — Southern Magnolia

Magnolia_flower n foliage Duke_campus Wikimedia.jpg

In 1938 the southern magnolia was named the state tree of Mississippi.  Who picked it?  The school children of the state cast their votes.  The southern magnolia was already the state flower, originally named as such in 1900.

It’s a long-lived evergreen species found throughout the southeastern United States.  The glossy leaves are dark green on top and yellowish to brown on the underside.  In the spring, the highly fragrant showy white flowers, emerge, but may bloom sporadically throughout spring and summer.

When left to grow naturally, southern magnolias have an irregular canopy, with many large twisting branches lower to the ground.  At maturity they may reach 100 feet in height, although that doesn’t happen often.


Real World Notes — The Kissing Couple

From Dan:  Those statues are in the Renaissance Hotel in Minneapolis, MN known as The Depot. It’s a hotel built in the renovated Milwaukee Road railroad depot. They kept a railroad terminal theme throughout the hotel. The statue is called “Kissing Couple.” 

Ready to Travel statue Dan Antion
Ready to Travel, by Dan Antion

I imagine this statue as Birdie’s mother when she ran off.  Dan tells more about these images in this post at his blog, “No Facilities.”


Thank you for coming to my sanctuary for the second episode of Brother Love!  If you want to participate by leaving a “thing” to be included in a future episode, please make a comment.  Remember this is a mysterious story, set in rural Mississippi of the late 1950s to early 1960s. 

I’ll meet you at the crossroads again next Saturday!  Hugs on the wing.


More storytelling by Teagan

Universal link to my Amazon Author Page

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USA:  The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

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USA:  Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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USA:  Atonement in Bloom

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USA:  The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

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USA:  Atonement, Tennessee

(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )

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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.

Copyright ©  2019 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.


115 thoughts on “Brother Love 2 — A Shadow

    1. It really is my sanctuary, Kev. That was particularly true in DC, with a hostile workplace, and at home the inescapable neighbor noise of a middle rowhouse, and the traffic noise.
      I’m much happier in my little cottage in the desert southwest.
      So thank you for visiting my sanctuary with your encouragement. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Of course I’m bound to love a story involving a crossroads, since Hecate is the goddess of the crossroads! It doesn’t matter if there is something out there with the same theme because your stories will always be uniquely yours Teagan 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for that, Andrea. ❤
      Oh, now you mention it, that sounds familiar about Hecate and crossroads. I had forgotten. I'm really not sure where this story will go, but I do hope to keep it different from my others. Thanks so much for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Teagan, I’m taking a morning break from writing, and love your new series! The ex-con Doug character turned preacher, Birdie, Jinx, all great characters. The story behind Doug will be interesting. Crows have a surprising meaning too. I was a teen in the 50’s, a young adult/nurse in the 60s. I’ve got 50s music in my WIP. Curious how you’ll weave that into the story. I used songs by Johnny Cash, Elvis, Buddy Holly, the Platters, even Hogey Carmichael (older), etc! Dan’s photos are a huge plus! Great to have a Photo collaborator like him. His blog photos keep me remembering CT where I lived years ago. So sorry about your allergies. Your body’s adjustment to new land, and flowering things! Hydration important, and allergy meds, if you can tolerate them. Good healing thoughts, my friend. Had to chuckle at the “high” neighbor pestering you. You are not too “old” for that, just not a “high” suitor! Happy Weekend! Hugs. 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Oh, Christine, that part of my life is sooooo over! Maybe I’ll think differently in ten years. But I also said that ten years ago, and haven’t changed my mind. LOL.
      Allergy meds? I take enough to knock over a Mac truck. But thank you. I’m doing everything I possibly can to get this very unpleasant episode cleared up.
      I am so happy you enjoyed this. The background for the Doug character is live now with chapter 3.
      It’s great that you ‘re using music in your novel. For me it adds a lot to a story.
      Along with the Neil Diamond song, another inspiration was the Robert Johnson legend of the devil at the crossroads. So I’m bringing in his music, even if I don’t make a fictional character for him (still undecided on that) — and his music was from the 30s.
      Someone left Elvis Presley as a “thing” so some of his music will probably seep into the story. You’ll also see more music in Chapter 3.
      Happy weekend to you too my friend. Great big hug right back!


      1. Teagan, I can understand, the risky dating game today! Hope your body desensitizes to the allergic blooming spring! Frustrating to deal with! I think I’m caught up, just read another of your episodes that included music. I also had the characters sing or say the song’s words (copyrights noted). Most of the songs I chose were “love” songs. There’s romance to balance the historical dates & events in the historical fiction WIP. Seriously, those songs are so darn good- “Earth Angel,” “In the Still of the Night,” “Only You,” “ Tears on My Pillow,” “ Heart and Soul.”
        You can listen to them on YouTube and really get into the 50s. I’m intrigued with your new series. A bit of calendar and shadow mystery and Tammy’s super natural powers! Can’t wait for the next! Huge hugs 📚🎶 Christine

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Will do! I know you have a hydrating body lotion already. However, I found a good one this winter that I recommend. Gold Bond Ultimate restoring, green tea & vitamin C…hypoallergenic & dermatologist tested. Can find it in stores or online. 😊🤗

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Tee-hee — that’s what I got right after moving here. Trouble was, I didn’t use it often enough. Just too busy to stop and take care of myself. It’s good stuff! Curel has been more helpful with the itch, but Gold Bond feels more soothing. I’ve also been using cold-pressed 100% argan oil. (In the past I’ve been told to rotate things, because I become allergic.)

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Great. Thanks for the info. Okay, please take care of yourself! Skin looses hydration & elasticity in aging. I know it (turning 80 in July). Not sure what I’m turning into! 🥳🤣🤨

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jennie. It’s great to see you at the crossroads. They might have a connection at that. It sure seemed like they did in the prologue. Although with this pantser story, your guess as to what that connection may be is as good as mine! o_O
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Going really well! I’m making headway with the boxes, and have books, and clothes left really.
        Three of 4 closets are done as of today which means I can finally started filling the new shelves, and get clothes and my art and hobby things out of boxes.

        I’m glad I found Crossroads too. It’s nice to be getting back to my routine.

        Et tu? Are you ahead now and nearly settled in?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Deborah, that sounds like great progress. You’re way ahead of me. I had a lot of cleaning to do before starting anything else. Then there was shelf paper before I could begin to put anything away. So I kept dividing my time between, cleaning, painting walls, cutting and placing shelf paper, and pulling the weeds that quickly took over the entire back yard. (Well, the front too, but it wasn’t as big.) Divided effort made it hard to see progress, but it is finally coming together.
          I have most of my unpacking ahead, since I don’t want to start that until the places are ready for the contents.
          Then this blasted allergic reaction has really depleted me, and I can’t get it out of my system. I’ve hardly gotten anything done over the last two solid weeks. My arms and hands are still bad enough that cashiers draw back when I pay — but they are much much better than 2 weeks ago. However my eyes, face and neck got worse as the arms got better. My eyes are still swollen, red and crusty, and hives on my face and neck. I’m finally willing to give myself a break. The painting and unpacking will get done when it gets done.
          I hope you give yourself a break too. You’ve done so very much. Great big hug.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. OMG! What are you allergic to? I hope you’re able to get the symptoms under control. I can well imagine how uncomfortable you’ve been.

            What shelf paper are you using? I’ve never had good luck with any I’ve tried.

            Yes, give yourself a break! There’s really no rush as long as you’ve got your essentials out and ready for your needs. You’ll get there!

            Great big Hug to you too! xx

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Shelf paper/liner — I’ve gotten a few different ones. Contact had one that was too sticky, difficult to adjust. I’m not sure if this is the brand name, but “Smart Design” — I ordered theirs for my kitchen. It was pretty good to work with. It adhered enough to stay in place, but I could still move it around, trying to get it straight. None of them are perfect.
              (I wanted a red print, and couldn’t find anything that was right. So I settled for this.)
              I’m not sure what company this one is, I got for my bathroom/master closet, but I liked it just as well:
              It was either paper or paint, and I already have too much to paint.


  3. Reblogged this on No Facilities and commented:
    Just in case any of you missed this on Saturday. I have been contributing pictures and “things” to Teagan as she crafts this story right (write) in front of us. I am having a great time. I think you will too. Join us every Saturday in Parliament.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m glad you got rid of that rudeness. Teagan. I don’t understand why some people enjoy acting that way. At least we have the piwer to delete them. I love you already connected to the prologue. It was chilling being under that table in the dark and later seeing the smug on the calendar. I’m wondering what this peacher has to do with it and the magpie! Can’t wait for the next installment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so very much, Denise! Yes, I’ll use the Jinx character in much the way that I used Lilith in the Atonement stories. Jinx is going to be a fun character to write. He will let me provide some light moments, to keep the story from getting darker than I want. Hugs on magpie wings!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re laying the groundwork for another fantastic tale, Teagan. Some interesting characters and a bit of haunting in the mix. I’m looking forward to the story. And keep up the positive attitude regarding your blog sanctuary. Only kindness allowed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your support and encouragement, Diana. That’s a great policy.
      It’s music to my ears that you like the start of this story. I should have been working on Chapter 3 today… but your tempting prompt was too much for me. I spent the morning working on a story and post for it. My story isn’t even a fraction as good as what I’ve seen from others, but it was a good exercise for me. Thanks for the huge effort I know it takes you to work that feature.
      Hugs on magpie wings!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. When I saw the first pic and you mentioned your sanctuary, I thought it was the breakfast nook in your new place. I thought to myself, ‘Huh. I never knew New Mexico was that green.’ Duh. Sorry you’ve having to deal with bullying idiots, Teagan. Guess some people never progressed beyond middle school. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I should have thought. I originally had a different image (of the Cathedral of Learning), but got the photo credit wrong. So I rushed to change photos, found that one on Pixaby and liked it. I love my little kitchen — it’s worlds better than the one in the dump I rented in DC, where the cabinets were literally disintegrating… Anyhow, love my kitchen but I don’t have a breakfast nook. You won’t see a picture of it any time soon, because it’s basically my staging area for any work I’m doing to the house. That means it looks like the zombie apocalypse! Now the allergy problem has slowed me down, so who knows how long it will be before it’s presentable.
      Thanks for visiting. Chin rubs to Bond. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. There is a dark side to social media – those who live in the shadow of anonymity and choose to criticize, tear-down, put-down, shame, ridicule, etc, done under the twisted guise of ‘speaking my truth’. Maybe you should wear it as a badge of honour … you’re so good, you have your own trolls 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Thanks Joanne, you gave me a grin. The allergy problem is bothering me more than the trolls. But then again, maybe it’s the trolls I’m allergic to. 😀 Have a beautiful week. Hugs on the wing.


        1. I’m sorry you’re going through similar. Do take care. I seem to have gotten hyper-sensitized. Every little thing makes it worse. My arms are finally looking better. But my eyelids and face actually look worse. Apparently it has to run its course. Great big hug.


            1. Yeah… It’s from pollen (the “allergic contact dermatitis” on my eyelids), and every time I pulled weeds I reacted more to them — until the day that the spores got down inside my long gloves. Everywhere they touched became a tiny sore… that expanded into a rash all along arms and hands. So my body was already hyper… then over the weekend a neighbor crossed the line from neighborly to date-wanting-pest (plus the third time he showed up at my door Saturday, he was high… It stressed me out enough that add to everything else, I got hives all over my face and neck on top of the other allergic reactions.
              LOL…I’m way too old for this.


  8. So both Birdie and Armstrong had the same suspicion of a shadow of someone doing something in the house yet they couldn’t find anything except the house was not bright enough to find any footprints. Why was the page of the calendar turned? Teagan, You left many mystery in this episode to tease the readers! Great work! I love it. Can’t wait for the next episode!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Miriam, it’s so nice to see you! I appreciate that specific feedback. Anytime I do a post that has a lot of backstory, I worry that it is boring, lacking in excitement.
      I’ve done part of chapter 3 for Dan’s “thing” Fog. Now I need to figure out how a Fox (his other thing) will work into it. o_O 😀 Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Teagan. It’s good to get specific feedback from your readers. I always keep a mental picture of the mysterious points and find answers further down the story. So chapter 2 got my attention. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have to keep a tracking matrix of all sorts of details when I do these spontaneously written stories, Miriam. Since I don’t know where it’s going, I have to keep track of where it’s been! LOL. Then when I think it’s about 3/4ths finished, I have to figure out how to tie it all together. That’s the biggest challenge. Have a beautiful new week.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I am still reading your post so I will reserve comment on it until I have finished, but I wanted to respond to the concerns you raised at the beginning. The WordPress trash bin is there for a reason. The idea that a troll has a right to use my blog or any private enterprise to spew bile is absurd. If trolls must refer to Hillary Clinton as ‘Killery’, they can use their own dime: I trash that stuff. As for being a ‘copycat’, when Leonard Bernstein wrote ‘West Side Story’ was he a copycat? ‘West Side Story’ uses the same structure as ‘Romeo and Juliette’, there is even a balcony scene, but ‘West Side Story’ is an entirely different story.

    Your voice is unique.

    When I was a kid, I wrote a short story about plants that attack people. Years later, I read ‘Day of the Triffids’, which was accused by critics of being derivative of H. G. Wells.

    I’m enjoying Dan’s illustrations. Good job, Dan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for this, Rob. Those are remarkable examples. I wish I could see your childhood short story. Intellectually I realize it is true, but I still struggle when it happens. This one with Brother Love wasn’t nearly as bad, since it is a documentary. But my mind was screaming “Not again!” before I knew what the Netflix show was. That with the second Cornelis book, I still haven’t been able to go back to my initial story-line, I’ve tried. Maybe eventually. I love the jackalope character I made for it. So I will try.
      I saw (and replied to) your email. I just wasn’t on computer for awhile.
      Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. So there is something else out there vaguely similar to what you’re writing? Bah! I know how you must be feeling, but you’re going to give everything your own spin. Lots of ideas cross, but it’s the author’s vision that makes each one unique.

    And I’ve got to tell you, this story is off to an amazing start. You have me hooked, intrigued, and wanting more. Bring it on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mae, thanks so much for the huge smile you just gave me.
      I do feel like this one is different from anything else I’ve done. Or I hope it is — I’m not sure where it’s going. Oh… you just gave me a “thing” — spin! Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Dear Teagan, the old saying, “there’s nothing new under the sun,” is pretty true, I think. However, that being said, no two people can tell a story the same way. Your way will be exclusive to you and your vivid and boundless imagination. Do not think for one second about being a copy-cat! Honey, you are one of the most original human beings I’ve ever gotten to know through the blogosphere! I love the story. It has lots of intrigue and mystery and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I have no earthly idea what this could have to do with your story, or if you’d even want to use it, but the words, “jaw-harp” came to mind, so I’m passing them along. 🙂 I love your sanctuary and anyone who treats it with anything less than respect does not need to be here! Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’ve been blogging for longer than you and have had some lousy things happen along the way. Trolls find you, try to stop/shame you, then move on. Of course at this point I’ll block anyone in a heartbeat if I sense they’re not on my side. It’s being proactive I figure.

    That being said, I like the story so far. It’s creepy and shadowy and entertaining. No doubt the addition of a croquet mallet makes it perfect! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Ally, I’m so glad you could make it back to the crossroads for Chapter 2.
      Of course! LOL. I could have given Birdie a shotgun, but that wouldn’t have been half as fun as a croquet mallet. 😀
      Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I understand the pain it is to find something which you’ve been working on suddenly out there, it’s happened to me too, but at least this is a documentary and not fiction. I am enjoying this so much that I was worried because of this you weren’t going to work on it any more. I also love how we get Jinx’s point of view coming in as well. As to things to include, I’m giving this a shot.
    A gris gris bag. Lots of hugs, xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Adele, I appreciate your support. Oh! gris gris bag is a perfect thing for this story — fabulous! I had been thinking about that line from an old Credence Clearwater Revival song about a hound dog chasing down a hoodoo. Hugs on magpie wings!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. At first I was going to say I couldn’t believe someone had misbehaved at the sanctuary, but then I realized I wasn’t surprised to hear it. Saddened, but unsurprised. The anonymity of the Internet has made people brazen and rude. Good for you for standing up for it and yourself. A pox upon the disrespectful.

    They say every story has already been told, it’s just the “telling” that can be fresh and exciting. I wouldn’t worry about seeing similar plot ideas elsewhere. Your unique and creative take on fiction will prove that your idea is your own. And I know I’m dying to see what you do next. You’ve already captured me with the eerie atmosphere and mysterious clues. Great episode!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so very much for your kind words, Staci. I’ve been blogging since 2012, and I’ve seen how otherwise intelligent and nice people will be influenced, and jump on a bandwagon. One such (during my second “Three Ingredients” serial nearly caused me to give up writing completely. Now, if I see a potential trend developing, and heading that way, I nip it in the bud. Yes, I’m a blog-tater that way and I’m not ashamed of it. 🙂
      I appreciate your visits and your encouragement. Hugs on magpie wings!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. People can devolve fast. But this is your space, and you have every right to blog-tate as you see fit. Don’t let the poor manners of others steal your writing passion from you. EVER.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. This story is so atmospheric, Teagan. I could almost hear the light flicker, and the page of the calender rustle as Doug flicked the page. I also loved the way at how you described him looking around the house. There is already so much mystery, and you’re only two episodes in. I love it.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hugh, you are such a master at creating atmosphere and mystery — you’ve made my day. I appreciate the specific feedback too. I want to do an intro about how Doug’s character came about.
      Heartfelt thanks for your kindness and support. Hugs on magpie wings!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. An unimaginative copycat your not. So many roads cross that sometimes those crossings look the same, but with a second look they’re not. Keep on Truckin’.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Enjoyed your story today. I got a twinge of heartache when I read about respect. I can’t imagine anyone leaving you anything but loving comments. You are a treasure, Teagan. Thank you and Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi John. I’m delighted that you are enjoying this new story. You’re so kind about the respect issue. I’ve seen how otherwise intelligent and nice people will be influenced, and jump on a bandwagon. One such (during my second “Three Ingredients” serial nearly caused me to give up writing completely. Now, if I see a potential trend developing, and heading that way, I nip it in the bud.
      Thank you so very much, my friend. Great big hug right back. And tummy rubs to Lucy and Twiggy.

      Liked by 2 people

  18. I’m really liking this Teagan. The shadow. The calendar. Mississippi sounds a bit spooky! Dan’s photos are so great and I love the way you weave them into your tale. I’d like to add a “thing”…..a well-worn left hand black glove.

    Have a wonderful weekend and I hope your allergic reaction to a weed has cleared up.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Ginger! I’m delighted that you came back for chapter 2. This is a terrific “thing” — I’ve added it to my list.
      My allergy thing… it’s really getting me down. I started to realize that all-over dry skin was adding to the problem. (This is an extremely dry climate, and my body hasn’t had time to completely adjust. Moisturizer on just face and hands is not enough. I was so busy trying to put the house in order that I didn’t bother to moisturize properly.) That is helping, but it’s still very bothersome on my eyelids. I’ll get there eventually.
      Have a beautiful weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Hey, sounds like real life! Love conspiracy and mysterious characters too. Have a lot of them here, and know a lot of them inside the Roman Catholic Church too. Lol
    Happy Afterpainting Day (I hope so!) Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s great to see you Michael. After painting day? LOL… I never managed to get to it yesterday… or the day before. The ugly itchy allergy reaction seems to have stolen my enthusiasm for painting (even though the weeds are to blame). But fear not walls — I will paint eventually! 😀
      Meanwhile my next project is to install the “mounting” things (brackets? not sure how well that will translate) for curtain rods. Also to take down the bathroom mirror (it is not in good condition and is simply boring). In its place I will hang several small mirrors of various size, but all are round. I hope to do those 2 things soon.
      Thanks for your good feedback and encouragement here. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Haha… unfortunately, I am not Speedy at anything. Oh, I invested in a good step ladder — 3 steps plus a shelf to hold things, and a… not sure what to call it, but the metal frame goes up and across, so there is a bar for me to hold for balance. If something requires higher climbing than that third step, then I will have to get someone else to do it. Big tall ladders are not for me!
          It’s just an old 1950s cottage, so my ceilings are not high. 🙂


  20. Thank you for welcoming us to your sanctuary. The more I read, the more I think your place might become my sanctuary too. Nice escape from reality. It is overcast and rainy here, just the right weather for reading this gem. The presence in the kitchen – feels REAL I tell ya!

    Off to turn some lights on.
    See you next week!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jill. That is music to my ears. I want this blog to be a safe haven for everyone. A place to escape the pressure of the real world, but with just enough connection to reality that their stress feels validated. Thank you so much for this lovely comment.
      I’m delighted that the presence felt real. When I do a “back story episode” I always think it is probably boring. Thank you.
      Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. I loved this episode! Interesting about the magnolia trees. Our neighbor has two ginormous magnolias in the front yard. I think when a storm blows in, the wind through the thick, stiff leaves sound like an ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so very much, Priscilla. People liked the “real world notes” I added to my serials that are set farther back in time. This era is a lot more difficult for me to come up with that topic. So I appreciate that feedback.
      You may not have intended it — but you just gave me a “thing.” 😀 Wind through magnolia leaves. I just realized that despite being fairly close, Birdie has never seen the ocean. Hmmm… I added it to my list. Hugs on magpie wings!


  22. I love the way you draw us into these stories. I’m starting to understand that there is mystery around every corner in Mississippi. The scene with the calendar gave me goosebumps.

    I did suspect that you had selected “Ready to Travel” but I wasn’t ready for how it would play into the story.

    Great job. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Dan. Thanks so much for mentioning the calendar scene. When I do a “back story post” I always think it’s going to be boring. I appreciate that feedback.
      Your statue photos fit perfectly to use for “memory” scenes. When I had that thought, it resonated with me. If we were making a film, we might do soft focus, or black and white, or some other effect to show a flashback. That is how the statues felt to me.
      Don’t work too hard this weekend. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Your introductory words concerned me, Teagan. I can’t understand why anyone would not find your stories and blog delightful. I really enjoyed this episode and the edition of Dan’s photographs make is simply perfect. Looking forward to the next episode and what will happen at the revival meeting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dan will be delighted to hear that!

      (Laughs-touched with hysteria) OMG, I’ve got to get them to that revival! o_O That’s the difficulty in a pantser story, Robbie. To make it a good story, I have to give it some vague “shape” (like the revival), but letting the “things” guide it tends to make the shape hard to follow.
      To the other thing, if you’d kindly see the reply to Jacquie.
      Congrats again on another great review for “While the Bombs Fell.” Hugs on magpie wings!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Intriguing, intriguing. Doug sounds like an interesting character as well and the background to the story is shaping up as well. Conspiracies, missing fathers, music, a revival? Can’t wait. Thanks, Teagan, for allowing us into your sanctuary. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Olga. This is great feedback. Thanks so much! I want to share how the Doug character came about. I’m deciding whether to do that as an introduction, or a midweek post. I appreciate you taking time to visit. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Christoph. “Unusual” means a lot to me. With most new stories I actively look for something different, something that hasn’t already been done to death. Oddly this time I was just going with the inspiration — yet I think the story is more different than anything I’ve done. (Of course next time I look, I’ll likely see that there were hundreds before I started writing. LOL) Happy weekend hugs! And tummy rubs to the dogs. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry about the chill, Dyanna, but I’m glad to know I created something.
      It was time to get the backstories told, and that doesn’t tend to make for an exciting episode. So I’m relieved to know that it kept the foreboding mood.
      Many thanks for sharing from your magazine. Hugs on the wing!


  25. I’m sorry you felt the need to tell people this is your sanctuary and to show respect, Teagan. It seems there is less and less of a filter on social media. It’s like school all over again, lol.
    Enjoyed today’s post- sounds like the revival meetings and Brother Love are going to be a key part of the mystery surrounding the shadow 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Jacquie, sometimes I think I’ve just become a cranky old woman… but I know I’ve always stood my ground. (People hate that. LOL.) However, I’ve learned to nip that kind of behavior in the bud, before it blossoms into a big ugly flower. I have zero tolerance. I also want this blog to be a sanctuary for readers. They won’t feel that way if it seems, shall we say, contentious rather than warm or playful.

      Haha! You’ve touched the trouble with pantsering. I’m not really sure what the actual mystery is, until a random thing tells me. Huge thanks for visiting. Hugs on magpie wings!

      Liked by 2 people

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