Hidebound Hump Day — Fiona Fights Back

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Fiona Finch Thief costume full length
Fiona Finch as imagined by Rob Goldstein

Rob and I are together again!

Last year I was kicking around a serial idea with Rob Goldstein,  Who did the beautiful illustrations for Hullaba Lulu.  I envisioned a steampunk satire of The Scarlet Pimpernel.  My heroine is Fiona Finch, the Pink Pimpernel.  Her story is one of foppish frivolity, sarcasm, and a load of alliteration.  She’s a cutie with curls and dresses all and only in pink.  Secretly she’s still all pink, but she’s also so much more, just as was the Scarlet Pimpernel, but with steampunk gadgets galore — and still more pink.  Now you know Fiona.  That’s part of the background for this bit of nonsense. 

Recently, Staci Troilo was saying how life could be too bizarre for fiction.  I hope her trip to Bizarro World wasn’t as bad as mine — but she’s right.  Staci had the common sense to keep her personal strangeness out of her stories. Me on the other hand, I have about as much common sense as Lulu. 

Burgers Lulu Recline
Lulu in the train’s automat… with cheeseburgers that were used as cash

I swear I’m getting to the point. Bear with me.

I’ve had my own Bizarro World with an unbelievable comic book villain, Creepy Crying Guy, across the street. When I said “No,” he stood on my porch bawling. I’ll save you descriptions of his admission of trying to manipulate me and the disgusting leer that accompanied those words before he went back to bawling half a second later.  Oh, sorry… I guess I told you after all.  Yes, yes, I’m getting to the point.

Well thank heavens for good friends who could make me laugh about it.  This vignette was inspired by whimsical remarks from Renita and Rob.  Renita remarked that in her experience old ladies with machetes are enough to scare anybody.  Then Rob took her joke a step farther…  So I made characters from the Fiona-verse into alter egos for Rob and me.  Now, to the “point.”

Fiona Fights Back

The Pink Pimpernel Sees Red

Fiona Finch Test Shot 1
Fiona Finch as imagined by Rob Goldstein

A hansom cab clattered down a lane in Victorian Era San Francisco.  Fiona Finch sat in the light of her window.  The noise distracted her.  The pink ruffled sleeve of her gown fell against the machete as she fingered the hilt.  She went back to her task, intently turning the pages of Darwin’s The Origin of the Species.

“He’s not in here,” Fiona grumbled.

Straight black hair fell to cover his face as a man in black tailed tuxedo placed the tea tray on the table beside the single pink lace glove.  He silently raised an eyebrow, as any attentive butler might.

The “butler” was Fiona’s adopted brother, Steele.  However, he was no servant.  He simply enjoyed wearing the costume and the excuse it gave him to make snide remarks.  He also seemed to think buttling allowed him to boss her around.  A fact of which he openly reminded Fiona whenever she complained that he shouldn’t act like a butler.

“Really, Steele, don’t be such a prude.  Wearing gloves inside, in the summer, with no guests in the house?  Why no matter how darling they are, it’s absurd.  Besides, I couldn’t turn the pages,” Fiona defended.

Fiona picked up the teacup with her delicately gloved hand and used the silver spoon to stir it with the brazenly bare hand.

Steele, by Rob Goldstein
Steele, by Rob Goldstein

“I told you that I would thrash him the next time he comes to the door,” Steele reminded his sister.

“I don’t want you to batty-fang anyone, Steele.  Imagine the trouble that thrashing could cause.  Besides, he only comes when you are away.  Plus, he stands there blubbering like a baby when I reject him.  He’s sure to use that trick if the police inspectors come, and he’d make you the villain,” Fiona added, returning to Darwin’s controversial tome.

“I suppose your souvenir from our voyage to Madrid would cause less of a collie shangle?  I believe his species is human.  I doubt you’ll find anything useful in that book,” Steele told her.  “Although I do have an idea.”

She glanced at the ghoul who watched her from his own window on the other side of the street.

scary Joker face in window_Pasja Pixabay
Pasja at Pixaby

“What good does leering from his window do him?  Is he hoping for a glimpse of my cupid’s kettledrums?” Fiona complained.

Damfino,” Steele replied.

Steele picked up the crystal pot of red currant jam and moved toward the parlor door.

“What, pray tell, are you doing brother dear?” Fiona queried.  “Where are you going with the jam?  I wasn’t finished!”

A moment later Steele returned, carrying a long white nightgown.  It was covered with the crimson contents of the jam jar.

“At least you didn’t ruin my pink nightdress,” Fiona muttered.  “What are you on about now?”

“I know you favor pink, but white is so much more dramatic,” Steele began.  “Maybe our neighbor’s diligence in watching you should be rewarded with a good look at you in your nightie.”

“What?  Don’t be absurd!” Fiona replied aghast.

“Red currant jam, red as blood and running down the front of this prim white gown.  Imagine the ghoul’s face if you answered wearing this, and holding the machete!” Steele explained with a purely wicked grin.

The Machete_Fiona-Teagan 0
Fiona pranking the creep, as imagined by Rob Goldstein

“I’ve been waiting for you…” 

The end.


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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 and 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Images Copyright © 2019 and 2018 by Rob Goldstein

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95 thoughts on “Hidebound Hump Day — Fiona Fights Back

    1. Thanks Jennie. My friends inspired me. Unfortunately this morning when I put a crack in the curtain so Crystal could get in the window, the Creepy Crying Guy was out there again, leering from across the street… Maybe I could make a life sized print of Rob’s image and paste it to the front door.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Shame Rob can’t draw your neighbour out of the neighbourhood and stick him on a train to nowhere. Fiona looks like the sort of woman who, as a girl, utterly terrified me and as an adult totally ignored me. Totally fascinating therefore…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Geoff, *that* would be a happy ending indeed!
      Ha! I believe Rob would be delighted with what you said about his image of Fiona.
      Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo! (Oh, “chuckaboo” is Victorian slang for dear friend.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t read any reviews on Bloom yet, Teagan. Reading Atonement was enough to encourage me to get it. I will wait until I’ve written my own review before I look at any others as I do prefer my own views not to be influenced by others whenever I can help it. Loving it so far! 😉

        So happy you like Elaine… You really made my day! I have a few more boppy songs which I’m putting together and will be posting soon. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah, since he refuses to take “no” for an answer, then maybe this kind of “language” would have an effect! LOL.
      The friend who was putting finishing touches on the roof, while Creepy Crying Guy stood on his porch leering (attempting to be menacing) — he joked that he should park his truck in my driveway, leave it there over night, but have his wife drive up the back alley to pick him up. I thought that was pretty funny too. But I’m honestly concerned that would result on some kind of threat to him.
      Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Adele. I’m delighted you enjoyed this peek into the Fiona-verse. Rob and I talked about a series, but never got off the ground to blog it. I only borrowed the characters for this, as a way to vent a situation where I have no options. “The Pink Pimpernel” is actually a fun story. I hope to share it eventually. Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!


    1. Rob, thank you again for this. It really helped me cope, because there isn’t really anything I can do.
      I thought the Valentino image was perfect to use as Steele in their Victorian parlor. Yes, you mentioned about the house — it was great.

      Have a wonderful Wednesday, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re on the right track, Rob. I saw him as a combination of Mr. Steed from the old Avengers TV show (I haven’t seen this remake) and Sebastian of Black Butler. Fiona and Steele together are rather like Steed and Mrs. Peel in the original.

          Steed merged with Black Butler (Sebastian is actually a demon but loves cats, and he’s handy with a snarky reply for snobs) Black Butler has a Victorian setting.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Brad, I really hope me screaming “No.” and slamming the door in his face the last time did the trick. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to keep him from standing in his door way &/or sitting on his porch staring the entire time (friend’s husband) was here to put finishing touches on my roof. He was working alone that day, so I stayed outside, worried about anybody using a ladder &/or saw without someone nearby. I know the guy intended his staring presence to be menacing. And I have to admit it is. When somebody is that messed up an refuses to take “No” for an answer…
      Anyhow, thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo. Have a great rest of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mae, when my friends combined to come up with that visual, I had to put it in a story to vent my frustrations. The “Fiona” characters sprang to mind, even though that story is a long way from being published. Rob was so generous to make the images. Huge thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!


  2. Fun, fun, fun! Fiona is my kind of gal. You gotta love a girl who answers the door in a “blood soaked” nightie and a machete in her hand! And Steele is no slouch either with such an overactive imagination . If Fiona were around in the 60’s, she’d have been the first one to burn her bra!!

    I’m going off now to practice ‘batty-fanging’! And no one is going to see my kettledrums…… unless the price is right! Lol.

    Teagan, you are one twisted sister with your imagination and Rob’s artwork compliments your story perfectly. By the way, do you two share the same padded cell, or do you each have your own? 😂😂😂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha. You slay me, Ginger. I’ve often told Rob that we must have been “separated at birth.”
      I do believe you’re right that Fiona might have been a bra-burner. As long as it wasn’t pink. She wouldn’t be able to part with a pink anything.

      LOL “unless the price is right” — I keep saying that if HBO will pay me enough they can get all my characters nekkid. So far they’re still fully clothed…
      Thanks for visiting and making me smile, my chuckaboo! (More Victorian slang — chuckaboo is “dear friend.”)


  3. I can’t say I NEVER put the craziness in my stories. (I’ve never been accused of having common sense before.) But I have to say, I’ve never taken things to this degree. This was AWESOME, Teagan. I really enjoyed it. (And thanks for the shout-out.) Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Staci. Again, I’m sorry our real lives were in parallel with weirdness. Like I said, I couldn’t resist putting real life into a story.
      Absolute full credit for this idea goes to Rob and Renita for their joking comments to my situation. I turned their comic statements into this story weeks before I read that you were having weirdness problems of your own. Sorry to have your lovely company in that misery! Hang in there. Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ha! That would be the perfect solution for CCG. I love it when you and Rob put your twisted (I mean that in a good way) minds to work. This is a great little story, and Rob’s artwork adds the perfect touch. Nicely done, both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Apparently I’ve missed something. I hadn’t realized your next door neighbour’s unwanted attentions have escalated into the creepy leering stage. Oh dear, just what every girl doesn’t want 😕

    This is my first introduction to Fiona and Steele and I like them both. As always, Rob’s images are a great addition to your writing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You didn’t miss anything, Joanne. I’ve only mentioned it here in the occasional vent.
      When a friend was here recently working on the roof, I know the guy intended his staring presence to be menacing to another “male” on the scene… This guy is seriously messed up.

      I’m delighted you enjoyed this peek into the Fiona-verse. Rob and I talked about a series, but never got off the ground to blog it. I only borrowed the characters for this, as a way to vent a situation where I have no options. “The Pink Pimpernel” is actually a fun story. Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Perfect images and characters, as always, Teagan and Rob. I do like Fiona, for sure, and the idea of the jam on the nightgown is a fantastic own I’m writing down, just in case. I hope things work out all right and the bizarro times are soon over.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! Cindy, I think Rob will love the analogy.
      It’s all a joke — two friends using humor to help me cope with a horrible situation about which I can do nothing (“actively”). I’m hugely grateful for both of them.
      I appreciate you taking a moment to visit. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robbie. Yes, I can see a bit of Fiona in you. 😀 I look forward to fine-tuning her larger story eventually. Her character came immediately to mind when Rob added to my friend’s joke about the machete.
      Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Current jam cover dress and a machete. Good combination to answer the door with. “Is he hoping for a glimpse of my cupid’s kettledrums?” is quite hilarious. I’ve never heard of “batty-fanging” anyone before now. Fun and clever wording.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Tim. I’m getting the impression that machetes are sort of cultural items here. It cracked my up when my old friend here made the crack about keeping one with her when she’s out in their large garden, saying something like “an old lady with a machete is pretty scary.” (In the context that it was a better deterrent than a gun.)

      Most recent episode, crazy crying guy stood in his door way or sat on his porch staring openly the entire time (friend’s husband) was here to put finishing touches on my roof. He was working alone that day, so I stayed outside, worried about anybody using a ladder &/or saw without someone nearby. I know the guy intended his staring presence to be menacing to another “male” on the scene… This guy is seriously messed up.

      Glad you enjoyed the Victorian slang. It’s been fun to collect it. Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Machetes are quite useful in the garden. You might consider acquiring one, and hack up a few weeds with it when the crazy crying guy is out staring at you.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. You could go out and whack those suckers off the trees. Might be impressive. When Laurie was tutoring mid and high school students at the house, one option they had for a reward for getting their work done correctly was to go out and chop on elm trees with one of my machetes. That was a great incentive to get work done and done correctly.


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