Wednesday, May 15, 2019
May is #GetCaughtReading Month! Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape himself, and I are together again to support this initiative that promotes the fun of reading for all ages.
Chris and I have collaborated on several short stories that include his character, a genius ape named Artie and my first flapper, Pip. It all started with Time Travel Esc-Ape. Then there was Pip in the Corn Maze, followed by the three-part Pip and Artie Meet Again.
I hope you Get Caught Reading our new story! It is set during the time-line of my upcoming novel A Ghost in the Kitchen. All right then, let’s get a wiggle on and head to the Jazz Age!
Pip and Artie — Aghast at a Ghost
“Hello,” I answered the telephone. “Andy, tha―”
“Paisley Idelle Peabody, where are your manners. That’s no proper way to answer the telephone. Give me that,” Granny Phanny demanded as she took the receiver away from me.
“TREmont 3332, Peabody residence,” my grandmother spoke into the receiver as I turned my head so she wouldn’t see me roll my eyes. “Why yes Andy, you may. One moment please. Paisley, Andy is calling for you.”
Granny gave me a stern look and handed me the card she kept beside the telephone. It was titled The Telephone Pledge.
“I believe in the Golden Rule and will try to be as Courteous and Considerate over the Telephone as if Face to Face.”
It continued with such advise as telephone manners are as important for voice-to-voice courtesy, as face-to-face politeness. Instructions to speak directly into the mouthpiece with lips a half inch away, and keep mustache out of opening were included.
I got caught reading it aloud to my pal Andy. It wasn’t the reading that annoyed Granny, but my laughter.
“You’d best take that seriously or they might discontinue our service,” she warned.
“Oh Granny! They wouldn’t really do that,” I defended as she walked away with her best bluenose attitude.
My grandmother had distracted me to the extent that I forgot to put the finishing touches on my glad rags before Andy came to pick me up in his old jalopy. I had a special pendant with a beautiful labradorite crystal that I meant to show him. I had recently told him the story behind that gem and he was keen to see it in person.
Andy and I weren’t gone long before we went back for the pendant. However, during that short time a lot happened. I only wish I could have seen it firsthand.
You see, my friend Aristotle, also known as Artie, dropped in at Granny’s cottage. That wouldn’t have mattered if Artie was an ordinary guy. Unfortunately for my grandmother’s state of mind, Artie was a time traveler. Not only that, he was an ape! He was very polite, and a genius to boot, but an ape nonetheless. He was also the one who gave me the labradorite pendant.
This is how Artie described what transpired.
When she went into town with Andy, Pip carelessly left the labradorite crystal pendant laying out on her dressing table, instead of in her jewelry box. That wouldn’t have mattered with an ordinary necklace, but the pendant acted as a transponder which allowed Artie to find Pip when he went back in time.
As fate would have it, Granny found the labradorite crystal while tidying up.
She was strangely drawn to the pendant. Phanny Irene Peabody picked up the crystal and held it, soaking in its gentle glowing warmth.
A loud “pots and pans” type of crash startled her. The commotion was followed by a shouted string of words that sounded oddly foreign, but were obviously from someone who needed their mouth washed out with soap.
Granny, still gripping the pendant, hurried angrily towards her kitchen.
Meanwhile, as Granny ran toward the ruckus in her kitchen, Aristotle, the genius ape was summoned to his time machine by the labradorite crystal that Granny Phanny had unknowingly activated.
The pendant had sent a distress call. So, he dropped what he was doing, hastily donned his time travelling gear and activated his portable time machine motorcycle.
Artie arrived in Savannah, Georgia of the Roaring Twenties.
Artie took off his helmet and gave a huge pointy fanged grin of satisfaction. He was excited at the prospect of seeing his friend Pip again, but of course he was also worried because of the distress signal.
The labradorite crystal pendant locator had worked a treat, bringing him just outside the cottage where Pip lived with her grandmother.
The link between pendant and locator had brought him within 30 seconds of the time when the pendant had sent the alarm.
As Artie hurried over to the cottage, the kitchen door burst open and what at first glance appeared to be a rotund man in Renaissance garb rushed out, ducking and weaving in an attempt to avoid the pots and pans flying behind him.
Artie bounded over and brought down what he presumed was an intruder in Pip’s home.
Granny appeared at the kitchen door and clapped her hands, applauding Artie’s heroics.
“Why thank you so very much! That strange looking man was in my kitchen. Bring him over here, so I can give him a piece of my mind.”
Dangling the figure by the scruff of his neck, Artie obliged.
Granny was so engrossed in seeing who had spilled her kitchenware, she didn’t notice that Artie wasn’t a man, until she looked up to thank him again.
Artie was careful not to grin, it showed his fangs too much for many humans and frightened them, so he gave a broad, but closed-lip smile instead.
Granny sank down to the ground in a fit of the vapors.
As she recovered, responding to the cool compress on her forehead and the muttered entreaties from two male voices, Granny slowly opened her eyes – and wished she hadn’t.
The man in the clothes of a Renaissance Era chef winked at her flirtatiously. Then with the sound of a fizzing pop, he disappeared into thin air!
The huge leather clad ape was still there.
Granny swooned again.
Heartfelt thanks to Chris Graham for being such a willing participant in these shenanigans. Our Story Reading Ape is a marvelous storyteller. If you want to get caught reading another treat, check out his mom’s book.
Don’t forget my mysterious new serial, Brother Love. Chapter 4 will go live on Saturday.
I’ll see you at the crossroads!
Universal link to my Amazon Author Page
USA: Atonement in Bloom
USA: Atonement, Tennessee
(E-book still on sale at 99¢ )
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 and Christopher Graham
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