The Delta Pearl 18 — Bump

Saturday, December 28, 2019

When I created Wednesday’s holiday greeting I felt fine. Little did I know that I was on Santa’s “Naughty List.”  The Jolly Old Elf brought me a flu bug Christmas morning.  Not to worry.  I expect to be fine and begin 2020 in good health. That said, I apologize for the inevitably rambling, disjointed intro that follows.

Thistledown 2019 cover
Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped and shared the launch of Thistledown – Midsummer Bedlam!  Several people let me share character profiles of faeries named in their honor.  Visit Olga Núñez Miret to learn more about two of the characters — one from Thistledown, and one from the colorless world.  If you enjoy reading about winged creatures of various sorts, be sure to take a look at Olga’s Angelic Business series.  It begins with Pink Matters.

Also, I just won a prize in a scavenger hunt in the Holiday Wishes Romance Book Fair, hosted by Aileen Harkwood! That helps make up for landing on Santa’s naughty list with the flu. 

I promise I’m heading to the riverbank now.  Considering how busy everyone is with the holidays (ahem… not just because I feel like crap) I didn’t want to make any big plot revelations. So, this chapter of The Delta Pearl focuses on Dr. Victor T. Elam (our genius young inventor) and Émeraude.

The “random reader thing” that drove this chapter is from Barbara at Teleporting Weena.  She left us Scrapbook.  Check at the end of the chapter for some interesting trivia on the topic.  Also, thanks to Faith Antion for the use of her photo of her cat Moncton as Sir Reginald La Felin.

It’s been awhile since I posted Chapter 17 — Jump.  Click the link if you want to refresh your memory.  Are you ready?

All Aboard!

Last time…

When I got to the tearoom it was empty.

“Agate?” I called, but no reply came.

Thump-thump-thud — two lighter bumping noises were followed by a heavier thump.

Thump-thump-thud.

The tearoom went dark.

I heard the floor creak.

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 18 — Bump

Composite Wikipedia & Pixabay images by Teagan
Composite of Wikipedia & Pixabay images by Teagan

Thump-thump-thud…

Startled, I dropped the hot pink rose that Obsidian Durango gave me a short time earlier. It landed on a table. I didn’t give the flower Sid had nicked from Agate’s decorations a second thought. I rushed out of the suddenly dark tearoom.

I collided with Victor T. Elam as he came around the corner.

“Oh, pardon me. Ah! Miss Perlezenn, thank goodness you’re still here. I apologize for being late,” the young inventor told me.

While apologies cascaded from his lips, I looked at him in utter confusion.

“And I’m sorry for running over you like a sailor on a benjo,” he added with reddening cheeks.

“Oh, it was just a little bump,” I murmured, trying to collect my startled thoughts.

Victor pushed his spectacles back on the bridge of his nose, that nervous habit of his. Damfino why I thought he was so adorable, but I found myself smiling at him.

“Hmm. That really should not go unpunished, Doctor Elam. As punishment I will have to insist that you call me Émeraude ― just as I’ve requested before. Are you in the habit of making a lady repeat herself?” I demanded with mock severity.

“Point taken, Miss erm I mean, Émeraude.”

He had dropped a package that was bedecked with a big mauve-colored bow. He tried to pick it up, but dropped it again, twice before thrusting the package toward me. By then the wrapping paper was torn in several places.

“Miss Agate sent one of the porters to tell me you asked to meet me in the tearoom,” Victor continued, his Texas roots showing in his voice.

Moncton as the Black Cat, by Faith Antion
Moncton as Sir Reginald La Felin, by Faith Antion

He a motioned toward the darkened place I had just fled. Turning, I saw Sir Reginald La Felin, as I liked to call the Dealer’s cat saunter out of the tearoom.

Could Reggie be responsible for that thumping thudding sound? Although, it seemed unlikely that the cat had been at the various places where I had heard the noise.

“I understand if you don’t have any time left, but perhaps we could sit down there,” he paused to clear his throat, “long enough for me to give you this. I realize your sweet sixteen party is not until tomorrow, but I’m told it’s the sort of thing one should give in advance.”

I cast a suspicious gaze at the tearoom. Victor misunderstood my hesitation and started babbling again. Forcing a smile to my face, I assured him that I could spare a few minutes. When he shifted the package to his other arm to open the door for me, he nearly dropped it again. For his sake, I hoped it didn’t contain anything breakable.

To my relief, when I tried the lamp on the table closest to the door, it lit without any fuss.

Since the wrapping paper was already in tatters, I tore right into the package. That seemed to please the inventor greatly. Inside was a large green leather-bound album.

“Your signature color,” Victor murmured when I ran my hand across the surface.

I must have had a questioning expression on my face. He began to explain why he chose the gift.

“It’s a scrapbook. This is one of the self-pasting kind that Samuel Clemens ― the author, Mark Twain invented,” Victor added.

“Oh, I’ve never seen that kind. Samuel Clemens had extraordinary ideas, for stories and his inventions. The Captain has his history trivia game,” I remarked.

“My mother started a scrapbook for me about my inventions, the first time an article was printed about me in a newspaper. I’ve added mementos of both my parents, ever since they were lost at sea,” he tried to explain.

The memory of a canister rolling to my feet when Dr. Elam first boarded the riverboat sprang to mind. It contained a bracelet made of hair from his parents. Hair jewelry was quite popular. His mother had made it. Victor had been so upset when he thought the container, which was meant to keep it safe was about to roll overboard.

I escaped from my family. Victor lost his. I couldn’t help thinking about the contrast, and the different emotions he and I must have. Something must have showed on my face because he became even more nervous.

“I know it’s not the same circumstance,” he stumbled over his words. “I mean, I don’t know anything about your parents or background, but I overheard you say that the crew of the Delta Pearl is your family, and that made me think it might be similar for you… Since my scrapbooks are my favorite of any gift from my family, I thought you might like to start a one of your own.”

It was difficult to believe the young man standing before me, who could barely make coherent conversation and blushed to his hairline was a genius inventor. However, even if he wasn’t making much sense, his sincerity was clear.

“It’s beautiful,” I told him honestly. “Although I don’t know what to put in it. I don’t have newspaper clippings, or university degrees, or…” I faltered, afraid I sounded ungrateful, when that wasn’t the case at all.

“Oh, you can put anything in it, Émeraude. It doesn’t have to be all newspaper clippings, or awards, or photographs. You could begin it with bits of things from your sweet sixteen party ― a note from, say Agate or the Captain…”

His rush of words abruptly stopped when he noticed the hot pink rose, tied with a ribbon. I had forgotten about it. I was also a little annoyed that Sid would give me a flower he had taken from an arrangement that was meant for my birthday party.

Victor’s eyes darted from the rose, to me, and to the door. He cleared his throat, and then went on with what he was saying.

“Um, you could press a flower from the decorations, or a ribbon, little things that trigger good memories. That’s why I wanted to give it to you early, so you could start with your party. A sweet sixteen is the next thing to a debutant debut,” he added. “Anyhow, I know you have many things to do, so I won’t take any more of your time.”

With another glance at the hot pink rose, he pushed his spectacles back on his nose. He gave me a polite nod, but away before I could even thank him for the gift.

The sunlight sparkled his blue topaz earing as Victor hurried out the open door.

I couldn’t understand the sudden turn in his behavior, just when we were finally getting better acquainted.

Vintage Rose German Cologne

My eyes fell on the beribboned rose again.

“Victor must have thought it was from a suitor. Zooterkins! That sodding Sid!” I muttered.

The brightness of the sun abruptly dimmed. I wondered if it was about to rain. Then I wondered if it was that worrisome, sooty cloud.

I gathered up the rose and the scrapbook and went out onto the deck. I was relieved to see a very ordinary cloud obscuring the sun for a moment before it drifted away.

However, when I turned toward the riverbank, I saw it again. That smudge of a cloud was larger, and it was closer to the Delta Pearl than it had ever been.

***

Real World Notes

Did you know that Mark Twain, aka Samuel L. Clemens, had several patents? He received patent #121,992 on December 19, 1871 for an Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments. Twain also received patents for a self-pasting scrapbook in 1873, that was very popular and sold over 25,000 copies, and in 1885 for a history trivia game.

Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboos.  I’ll be looking for you at the riverboat dock next weekend.

***

 

 

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 © 2016 and 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.

 


88 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 18 — Bump

  1. This was a great episode, Teagan. I do fancy the inventor. Apologies that I’m tardy in my reading. It’s good to catch up after the holidays. On to chapter nineteen!

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  2. I sure hope you you are feeling better Teagan. It must have been horrible. I wish I could make you my special chicken soup that cures almost anything except broken bones. I love your story.

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      1. Last November, I took the flu shot for the first time and I got sick with the cold the week before Christmas. It lasted through the holidays, and is still lingering, so I know how you are feeling. Get better soon, we have a lot of books and stories to write. 😀🤗

        Liked by 1 person

          1. My last three months were like a vortex, and even with a winter sickness I had to finish all that it was required of me, no rest and that’s the reason is taking so long to recover. I am not going to let that impede me 😀Hugs 🤗

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jill. I’m slowly getting better now, thanks.
      I appreciate your feedback on Emeraude and Victor. This kind of detail is where a story can benefit from being written in serial form. It’s both fun and useful to get audience reaction to some things as they develop (or not). Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. What a marvelous beginning to my new decade — to see you here, David.
      Oh, it’s a mean flu. I’m calling it the “everything flu,” because it seems like very type of symptom got onto the illness buffet. However, I’ve turned the corner.
      I hope you are beginning 2020 on a good note. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

  3. Fun episode. I like that he gave her a scrapbook for her birthday present. It will be interesting to see what she puts in the pages. Thanks for the mention and the use of my suggestion.
    Hope you are feeling lots better today. No fun being under the weather at Christmas. Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s great you posted the latest episode being sick and all. I hope you feel better very soon. Those roses can be thorny. Interesting Mark Twain trivia. I would think that 25K self-stick scrapbooks would be very good sales in Twain’s day. But I’m guessing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh gosh, Jill. I hope your symptoms didn’t get any worse — and that by now you are well. I’m calling this the “Everything Flu.” Sinus congestion, drainage, body aches, fever. Then a day later added fatigue, chills. And on “the third day of Christmas flu” added headaches, diarrhea, nausea, watery eyes.
      The fever is finally gone, so I’m making progress. You get well too. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, Teagan…did it ever get worse. This was the worst flu I’ve ever experienced. I tried to fight it even though my fever was up, but Tuesday morning I fainted and was bed ridden for 3 days after. My fever is finally gone, now I have the head congestion and low energy. This was a brutal dose! We didn’t deserve this! I hope you’re doing better. Here’s to good health in 2020! I feel like I lost 10 days of my life. xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh goodness. Fainting is so dangerous. I hope you weren’t alone. I agree about it being an awful strain. Brutal indeed! I’ve been saying that I’ve only been this sick a few times in my life. Do you take zinc? I’ve just added zinc back to my regimen, but how the supplement is processed is important. (When I relocated, I let many of my supplements lapse…) After a ton of research I chose this one. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004UAPG46/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
          Just a thought since most people don’t think about zinc. Hugs.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thankfully Derek was around when I fainted…it scared him. I’ve had the flu in the past, but nothing compared to this. I’m a big believer in supplements and I used to take zinc. It started making me sick to my stomach, so I stopped. I might need to reconsider. Thanks! Feel better! xo

            Liked by 1 person

            1. So many vitamins and supplements upset my stomach… Zinc may not be a good one for you. If you find that you aren’t tasting salt as much as you think you should, it can be a sign that you’re low on zinc. Anyhow, happy weekend my chuckaboo.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Teagan, I am SO sorry that the flu bug found you. I do hope you are on the mend. Sending healing energy your direction! I absolutely adore this segment of Delta Pearl. The poor socially awkward inventor is having a heck of a time trying to woo Emeraude. 🙂 What a lovely and thoughtful gift, though. That sooty could is worrisome. I hate to see what havoc it might bring to the magic riverboat. Please take care of yourself, Teagan! And congrats on “Thistledown” and winning a prize!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. First off, I don’t think Santa put you on his Naughty List. Sounds like he put you on his S*** List!! 😂😂😂

    I’m not so sure Sir Reginald La Felin was the cause of the thumping noises. Nooooo, you don’t make things that easy! 🤗 That cloud though……. I think it will bring more than a shower.

    The relationship between Emeraude and Victor sounds very promising. But I dare say that if things progress with these two, there will be some crew members who will be very jealous.

    Teagan, I think this is a sign of a good writer……you have us all referring to these characters like they were our next door neighbors!! Lol.

    Sure hope you are feeling much better by now. The flu is no fun, and no matter what you’re doing to “Doctor” yourself, it will leave when it’s good and ready…..like in-laws!!! 😳😜🙄
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Thanks for making me laugh with Santa’s Sh!# List, Ginger. I’m going to call this the “Everything Flu.” Sinus congestion, drainage, body aches, fever. Then a day later added fatigue and chills. And on “the third day of Christmas flu” added headaches, diarrhea, nausea, watery eyes.
      The fever is finally gone, so I’m making progress.
      Heartfelt thanks for your comment about the characters being like neighbors. You made my day. Hugs.

      Like

    1. Teagan, sorry you fell victim to the flu. My next door neighbor suffered the same the day before Christmas Eve. I hope you are recovering a feeling better today.

      I enjoyed this chapter and have a feeling Victor and Emeraude will eventually find their relationship an easy and happy one.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s good to be back on the Delta Pearl. I see that the fluishness hasn’t affected your ability. The conversation we witnessed was live with emotion. My heart sunk with the inventor’s when he saw that flower. That was a masterful bit of writing, but I hope Émeraude can straighten things out.

    PS, I can attest to the fact that Sir Reginald La Felin could be responsible for a bump.

    I hope you’re feeling better. I look forward to continuing this voyage in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Um, this scrapbook could become a unique collection of unusual events in itself. If the inventor caused it to be more mysterious than just self-sticking, it just might cause the Pearl to have more episodes of phenomenon than we first expected.

    Liked by 1 person

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