The Delta Pearl 42 — Prance

toSaturday, July 25, 2020 

Javier Rodrigues at Pixabay
Javier Rodrigues at Pixabay

Hello, my chuckaboos. I’m glad you could come back to my sanctuary.  Yes, this blog is my sanctuary.  I am the gatekeeper of this place.  It’s a safe haven not just for you, but for me too.  It’s safe from vitriol, religion, politics, and negativity.  Remember that.

Random Reader Things.  It gives me great pleasure when someone thinks about my stories after they’ve left my blog.  Last week, GP Cox did that and made a comment at his own blog, mentioning a Clockwork Horse.  I was captivated by the thought, and it changed what I had in mind.  That became my random thing for this short episode.

When we stopped last time, with Agate and Victor fussing over Émeraude, after her ordeal.  You know what a matchmaker the Cook is, especially where Émeraude and Victor are concerned.  We’d best not leave her with our filly and foal for too long.  She might get out of control.  

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 42 — Prance

Enrique Meseguer at Pixabay
Enrique Meseguer at Pixabay

Victor jumped up in dismay.  He tried to run the door, but Agate was in his way.  The young inventor gave a groan when the thump-thump-thud sounded at the door again.

“It’s gotten loose again,” he muttered just as the cabin door banged open.

The Cook began to coo all sorts of pleased, encouraging sounds.  I couldn’t see around her, so I started to get out of bed.  Agate gave a sharp glance over her shoulder at me.  I swear the woman had eyes in the back of her head.  I leaned back against the pillows.

Light clumping sounds reached my ears.  The way Victor and Agate moved and bent and spoke reminded me of people with a frisking puppy. Victor’s movements showed that he was still distressed.  He had been trying to hide something, I was sure of it.

“And look at Amethyst here on top of the wee barra!  Careful there, spider.  He’s quite a bampot.  You’ll land on your little purple bahoochie!” Agate warned.

The Cook gave a surprised yelp as the clockwork spider suddenly hopped to her head, and from there pounced to my bed.  I still couldn’t see what was happening.  Although I gathered that whatever it was had been the source of the thump-thump-thud sound I had heard several times of late.

Altered Spider jewelry pin Starbright Pixabay
Pixabay image, tomfoolery by Teagan

Amethyst looked back at Agate when the woman squealed.  My spider chirped a trio of high-pitched clicks, which was her way of laughing.

The amethyst on her back glittered in the lamplight as she scampered up to my shoulder.  Her legs stretched so she could whisper in my ear.

“Automaton,” Amethyst hissed, and I sat up straighter.

“I had wanted it to be a surprise for your birthday,” Victor began.  “No matter what I do, I still can’t get the mechanisms to work properly.  He has too many problems for me to give him to you.  But this is Cal.”

My mouth opened in wordless wonder when Victor and Agate stepped aside.  Brass hooves pranced toward me.  It was a clockwork horse.  He was about a foot tall, with a mauve gemstone making the “blaze” at his nose, and covering the larger gears that would be the horse’s muscles.

The clockwork horse shook his head, making a mechanical sound that was not unlike the snorting sound of a horse.  Then he started walking into the bed, causing a variation of the thump-thump-thud noise.

“Just look at ‘em,” the Cook enthused.  “A little mauve horse.  And I think he wants Amethyst to get back on his saddle.  Why, isn’t he just adorable.”

“I call him Cal for calcite ― that’s what the gemstone inlays are,” Victor explained.  “It’s a certain kind of limestone, that has mauve, mottled with tan and black.  Back in Texas, some people call it Crazy Horse stone.  And Cal is a crazy horse…  I can’t get him to act normally.”

Still crouched at her spot on my shoulder, Amethyst straightened then bent the legs on her left side, and then did the same on her right side.  It made a waggling motion.  That didn’t just mean “no,” It was an emphatic no.  Then she stretched back up to whisper again.

Stowaway!” Amethyst said.

steampunk woman green corset riverboat Pixabay
Image by Teagan R. Geneviene, sourced via Pixabay

Abruptly my spider jumped to Cal, the clockwork horse.  She started poking and pulling at his haunch as if she meant to dig her way inside.

I heard a metallic screech.  My hands went protectively to my ears.  The noise wasn’t terribly loud, but it was painfully shrill.

Tiny green wings streaked away from Cal’s leg and toward the ceiling.  The clockwork horse pranced trying to bite it.

“A scarab!” I exclaimed.  “It’s much smaller than the one we saw ashore, but I’m sure it’s a clockwork scarab.  It looked greenish, like tarnished copper.  Catch it!  We can’t let it get loose.”

Just then the cabin door opened.  With another high-pitched shriek, the copper scarab darted toward freedom.

***

End Chapter 41

***

Real World Notes

Crazy Horse Stone.  Yes, that’s actually a thing.  You can learn more about it at Fire Mountain Gems.

***

Your positivity in comments is welcome.  Be well, be happy, my chuckaboos 

 

 

This serial is made possible in spite of (not because of) the deplorable lack of Internet service from TDS Telecom.  They are even worse than the government about claiming no problem exists in the face of  failure.  TDS Telecom meets every complaint and service call by saying they find no problem. Their technicians come to my home and refuse to do any work or replace equipment, even when their offsite managers have instructed them to do so. They brought equipment that they openly state does not work properly. They refuse to let me talk to a manager. They refuse to promise to send someone other than the previous do-nothing tech.  They refuse to make sure the technicians have working hardware with them. My letters, emails, and tweets go unanswered.  Dear readers, please do not comment here in response to this paragraph. Just be aware of my awful experience with this so called provider.

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 2020 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.

 


95 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 42 — Prance

    1. I had an epiphany a few weeks ago that tied together many of the things (from the original version — along with some from the new) to a better ending. So my old ending (that didn’t satisfy me) will be a building point for the new one. I’m so glad you’re enjoying this. More hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Alex, you are so kind — thank you. I’m happy Amethyst has a friend in you. It surprised me, how much fun it is to write her character. Yesterday I finished the next chapter. I hope you’ll love her part in it. Thanks for being on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh… my replies keep showing up in the wrong place, Jan. Between WordPress and TDS Telecom, I’m at my wits’ end. As I was saying… Polished, mauve colored (mostly) stone — what better for the Victorian Era? I’m glad Cal has a friend in you, Jan. Be well, be happy, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m delighted you enjoyed the chapter, Carol. It amazes me, the things little known things they achieved (both art and technology) when they had so little to work with. Even in modern history — the 1960s had such basic computers that today they are laughable — but in a relatively short time they got their act together and sent men to the moon. Now, we have so much knowledge, and the historic base of knowledge to draw upon, yet we can’t even create (produce & distribute) viable vaccine for a virus — let alone cure anything. What’s wrong with this picture? Sorry… I need to finish my coffee. o_O Thanks for being on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Like

  1. The clockwork horse sounds really neat, and that image of the jeweled spider is lovely. I’d like all spiders if they were jewels. Hum! Seems like there’s a spy on board!

    The Crazy Horse Stone is interesting and lovely. A friend gave me a handful of stones with the loveliest patterns that remind me of Crazy Horse Stone or Calcite. I’ve just sent off an email asking her what the name of the rock is as I’ve forgotten, but they live on my kitchen counter in a little French milk glass plate. They’re probably something completely different though. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many varieties within each gemstone… You arrangement sounds charming, Deborah. I’m very much a “rock geek” — my word for it.
      LOL, I tend to agree about spiders. I believe you’re right about the spy. We’ll see what happens to it. 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ooo, fabulous. There are so very many wonderful variations of jasper. I haven’t heard of that one — I’ll enjoy the research tangent! Great idea re the rock bag. I have a tiny pouch with a nugget of angelite that I keep in my car. Smoky quartz is good to keep near your pillow. In stead of a headboard, (remember I didn’t move any furniture) I have a “tree” (wall thing). There are little flower pots that can attach — where I originally intended to put mementos of outings and explorations of my new area. But life didn’t work out that way (for me to get out).
          So, instead, I’ve put some nuggets in a few of the pots, and hung different stones and crystals from it. It’s a work in progress.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Your tree wall sounds cool, and you may yet get out to put in some mementos.

            I have a raw emerald, onyx, and rose quartz in a little pouch I sometimes carry around. There’s room for a small piece of wonderstone Jasper. 😊

            There’s a nice river rock in my car I don’t think it has any special metaphysical properties, but I love its shape.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrea. I’m delighted Cal has a friend in you. Yes, the scarabs are new (not from my original version). Are they minions of a nefarious force? Or innocently misunderstood? I’m not completely sure myself. LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a pleasure to have you here, Denise. As long as I can scrape together a few minutes at a time of Internet, enough to format and post, then I will be here. The difficulty continues to rise, but I’m trying. Ah yes, the commonality. Every little thread ties back to one thing. 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh yes, my dearest Teagan, it is the sanctuary, a wonderful amazing sanctuary for all of us. Thank you for letting us in. 😊🙏
    Sorry I am late this time; after we got back home from Greece, there was a lot of chaos in the house, and I had to take my job again to make amends and reparation what we have spent in our holidays 😎🤣
    Anyway, finally, I continue reading this magical trip and excitingly must wait for the next episode 😉 Have a nice week ahead, my dear friend💖🙏💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are never late here, Magician. It’s always a pleasure to have you visit. As long as I can scrape together a few minutes at a time of Internet, enough time when added up, to format and post, then I will be here. The difficulty continues to rise, but I’m trying. I’m happy you enjoyed your holiday, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought you might be happy to see the spider, Lavinia. 🙂 It was always my intention for there to be more clockwork creatures than Amethyst and Onyx. Suddenly the floodgate for them seems to have opened. LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A short, neat, sweet chapter! Victor is obviously very smitten with Émeraude. At what age did people become engaged back then, and how long did/could engagements last?
    Lotsa fun, Teagan!

    Like

  4. Teagan, I love the addition of a clockwork horse! I hope Victor can eventually make it work, but I’m more concerned with the scarabs. Perhaps Victor needs to build a large clockwork beetle swatter to accompany Cal. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My goodness, Teagan. The number of clockwork creatures is starting to mount. Do you suppose that scarab is the same one from the shop? It could be a relative I suppose but I don’t trust it. Don’t let it get away.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent episode. All the clockwork all of a sudden brought to mind “A Clockwork Orange”. I hadn’t thought of that film in ages. Have a wonderful Caturday. Are you getting thundershowers in your neck of the desert?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know… as much as I’ve seen about that film, I don’t believe I ever watched A Clockwork Orange, Tim. I should remedy that situation.
      There have been some clouds all day, and rain during the night, but the rain spirits are quiet so far today. Nice to have the temperature under 100.
      I’m happy you enjoyed this little chapter. Happy Caturday to you and the kitties, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A Clockwork Orange is not an uplifting movie. Actually it’s quite disturbing. You haven’t really missed out by not seeing it, unless you like disturbing movies.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Entertaining episode. I already love Cal…..just the way he is. Another clockwork scarab in the mix! Maybe Amethyst and Onyx will team up and catch the little bugger. Boy oh boy, this is one whacked out ship!! Can’t wait to read more.

    Stay safe Teagan. Don’t let your guard down yet. This virus isn’t finished with us. Hope you and Crystal keep cool. Continuing hot and humid here for the next few days. Ugh! But I’ll still take it over winter.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ginger, take care in that weather. The humidity was always hard for me. It felt like the air was so thick that I couldn’t pull it into my lungs. We’ve had an abnormally hot summer down here — many days 15 degrees above average. The low humidity still makes it preferable to me. Thankfully, this week has been about normal — and a few days with rain!
      I’m happy that Cal already has a friend in you. 🙂 The riverboat will just keep getting weirder now, so hang on tight! Next time we might learn more about the mysterious Delta Pearl. So stay tuned, my chuckaboo!

      Like

  8. Your imagination is ticking off things in a most un-clocklike manner with unexpected dartings and dodgings. That spider is a wise animatron. I wonder how long the scarab has been infesting the horse (seems like it would have been before the arrival in Cairo from the earlier chapter). I’ll be anxious to see how you tie up that loose ends. Enveloping hugs to aid in the fortress you are creating. Your knowledge of gemstones is fascinating.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so kind, Pat. About 20 years ago I was working to create a book about the legendary properties of gemstones. At one point I had a lot of them memorized. Now I have to look up most of them. I stopped working on the book when I saw how many there already were on the shelf. (eye roll) I thought I had something unique, but nope! I still hope to finish it one day. Great big hugs back, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is another great episode, Teagan. Your descriptions bring the elements and artifacts of the strange ship to life. I had no idea there could be a clockwork horse. Of course I’m not surprised to learn that Victor has one. The scarab being loose is a bit disconcerting. I hope they can trap it and stop its mischief.

    I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Clockwork hugs from the land of heat and humidity.

    Like

  10. Another wondrous episode, Teagan! And to think my clockwork horse is now in it!! Thank you!!
    Sorry your internet service has been such an irritation. Computer is bad enough, but when your service adds to the problems – well, that just shouldn’t be!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for understanding, GP. Yes, my Internet (lack of) service has me pulling out my hair. Particularly since my novel in progress is a big mishmash of 1960s things that requires constant fact checking and research.
      It’s my pleasure about Cal. I had fun imagining that. Next time we might learn more about the mysterious Delta Pearl. So stay tuned, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Priscilla. Revolveress is a terrific thing! Especially since in an early chapter I gave Emeraude a garter pistol. I’ve been wanting to bring some of the early things about her back into the story. Dueling was actually on its way out by the time of this setting. Scholars attribute it to different cultural and economic conditions. Personally I find the decrease in dueling corresponds to the increase in accuracy of guns. It’s a lot easier to challenge someone to a duel if they aren’t likely to hit you. LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful episode, Teagan! I love Carl and Barb’s video reminded me of this wonderful clock at the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg:

    By the way, thinking about a random thing… A pair of duel pistols!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Great episode. I really love those Victorian automata—some could do incredibly complex moves. One of my favourites is an amazing 18th century silver swan at the Bowes Museum in County Durham.

    Liked by 3 people

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