The Delta Pearl 44 — Sing

Saturday, August 8, 2020 

Crystal happy birthday 14
Happy 14th Birthday to Crystal

First things first.  Happy 14th Birthday to Crystal! My little feline superhero in the Batgirl mask.  She likes to play with the combination of her arched scrubbing brush and teaser-string.  On the steampunk background, the brush looks like a sea monster, and super Crystal showing it who is boss.  #WorldCatDay too!

She came from a colony of feral cats in a dangerous part of town, south of Albuquerque.  A rescue group had their eyes open though.  They knew her mom was about to give birth, and they intervened.  The tiniest kitten I’d ever seen, she popped her head up and looked at me during an adoption event.  That was fourteen years ago, and she’s been through so many challenges. I’m blessed.

I really felt the need to take a break from this serial, and focus on the novel I started way back in November, but I didn’t want you to think I had forgotten you.  I managed to write a short episode.

Crystal likes to be sung to, so it’s appropriate that this chapter is “Sing.”  The titular verb for this episode name was inspired by today’s random reader thing.  Very early in this river voyage, Lavinia Ross gave us Ancient Tone.  It turns out, that’s an important thing!

Without further ado…

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 44 — Sing

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

Polished calcite inlays reflected the lamplight in the Delta Pearl’s hallway as Cal ran ahead of us.  An unlikely clockwork pair, the horse and the spider chased the tiny copper scarab.  Amethyst was again balanced on Cal’s head.

Victor and I were briefly stuck at the cabin’s doorway, both trying to get out at the same instant, so Cal and Amethyst had a head start.

“Why is it flying downward?  I thought it would head for the deck and the open air,” Victor remarked as we ran.  “It seems to be going to the boiler room.”

His remark startled me so much that I nearly stumbled.  Victor was right.  However, what he did not know was the importance of the riverboat’s boiler room.  I grabbed his arm.

“Victor, if it gets into the boiler room it must not get out!” I gasped.  “No matter what.”

My young inventor looked like the statement befuddled him.  His brows knitted, but he nodded.

From her perch on Cal’s head, Amethyst shot a fine silver thread up to a chandelier.  The clockwork spider swung up to the light fixture and disappeared into the many faceted crystals.

Amethyst loved to play and hide in the riverboat’s many chandeliers.  However, I suspected they also covered the mysterious ways that allowed her to travel unseen all over the Delta Pearl.

Sonja Kavka at Pixabay
Sonja Kavka at Pixabay

“Crazy Horse, Cal” bucked once as the spider left him, but then he kept after the scarab.  Victor and I had almost caught up with the mechanical horse.

We neared the boiler room.  At the far end of the hall, I heard music and Blue John Boulton’s voice, singing.  However, the Mate wasn’t playing his ukulele, as he often did for the crew.  The music came from his special tuning forks.

The perfect pitch of Blue’s voice could be mesmerizing.  I glanced at Victor, and knew he felt it too.  The closer we got to the boiler room, the louder and more penetrating the music became.

“The notes,” Victor began in an amazed voice.  “It’s a six-tone scale.  When I was small my father took us to visit a Gregorian monastery.  It reminds me of the hymns the monks sang.  But each new line is one degree higher…  The mathematic resonance is extraordinary!  They’re ancient tones,” he finished in awe.

He already knew about the clockwork creatures.  Was the young inventor in the verge of figuring out another of the Delta Pearl’s secrets?  I ran faster.

The music Blue John was making was part of the natural scale of music buried within every single thing in the world.  The riverboat used that scale to align herself.  The ancient tones were at the core of what made the riverboat the Delta Pearl.

Cal slammed into the boiler room door and then fell back onto his haunches.  Victor had said that he couldn’t get the clockwork horse to work properly.

A glint of copper let me know that the scarab had crawled under the door and into the tone-filled room.


End Chapter 44


Ancient Tone.  If you want insight into my thought process, click the link and scroll down to “Origin.”

Your friendly comments are 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.


88 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 44 — Sing

  1. Happy Birthday to superhero Crystal! There definitely is a touch of the serendipity about how she came your way. Loving these installments and the way the suspense is highlighted by your wonderful sense of humour.


  2. This was a short episode but fascinating. I didn’t know where you were going with ancient tones, but the background reading was very interesting.

    I’ll have to read on to find out what mischief that scarab is up to!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne. Back in 2016, I knew something magical powered the riverboat, but I didn’t explore what. Even when Lavinia left “ancient tone” as a thing about a year ago, I didn’t “feel” it. (Actually I had decided that thing was more appropriate to my unfinished novel The Guitar Mancer and I was saving it.) But then Olga’s papyrus led me to the music box cylinder template, and then “ancient tone” fell into place. Thanks for spending part of your weekend here, my chuckaboo!


  3. A belated Happy Birthday to sweet Crystal…Like the white rabbit, I am late, very, very late…My computer isn’t playing nicely and I awaiting delivery of my new one… takes a week to write my posts..sigh…Loving the mechanical horse…he’s behaving just like our real ones did unpredicable…Have a lovely rest of the week, Teagan Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Teagan, wish Crystall well for me, please. She’s a good age for a cat. I’ve had many cats.I hope your other writing is going well, and of course thanks for this installment. Also, of course, tend to your health. Best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How exciting!! The ancient tones are what makes the Delta Pearl work. Oooo… looking forward to more- after you give yourself a well deserved break. And a big happy birthday to Crystal!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm… my reply disappeared. Anyhow, no break for me, Jennie. I was just wishing for one, and feeling bad that I didn’t manage a longer installment. However, I’m delighted that you enjoyed this. Thank you from Crystal and me, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A wonderful happy birthday to your mousy sweetheart 😊💖 can I ask if I could have the whole story or it isn’t published yet?

    I know this term; Solfège when I used to play music some decade ago and thank you to let me in your head 🙏💖 {clean the guilt from my lips (with a kiss?😉)}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind, Magician. I never published this one because I was not satisfied with it. However, after this serial is over, I will edit and publish it.
      I am not surprised to hear there was music in your soul. 🙂 Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Birthday to Crystal! She is beautiful! This segment is full of action with all the running and chasing. I held my breath wondering what Cal would do if he caught the scarab. But what now? Can’t wait! This is a fascinating story, Teagan!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy, happy birthday sweet Crystal! 14 years young today. You sure don’t show your age! 🤗 Our 12-1/2 year old puppy wishes she could celebrate with you. She’s especially interested in your arched scrubbing brush!

    Teagan, this episode may be short, but it’s
    jam-packed with fun adventure. I laughed out loud at Emeraude and Victor trying to squeeze through the door together! And what a team Crazy Cal and Amethyst are! Blue John has been pretty quiet for a while, but I think he’s a key player in the Delta’s mystery. Definitely something connects the scarab to the music.

    Have a wonderful birthday celebration with the Queen of your home. Give her lots of scritches and mushy kisses and a special treat for dinner. You just have to look at her to see how loved she is and how well cared for she is.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so good to see you, Ginger. You may be right about Blue John. 😉 I’m delighted I could bring you some laughter.

      This is Crystal’s scrubbing brush. The bristles are softer than her old one (although she still uses both). The base (of either) is very light weight, is the only negative. But she quickly understands that she just needs to put a foot on it to hold it still if it moves when she scrubs.

      Some kitties like to have something to scrub on while they are brushed (I had a friend whose cat liked to bite one brush while she was brushed with the other). Anyhow this one works well for us. Thanks for coming to her birthday party, my chuckaboo!


  9. Happy Birthday to Crystal from two sleeping critters and their human! Thanks for the short episode, Teagan. It gave me just enough intrigue while breaking from laborious house cleaning. I’d rather being doing something else, but I suppose so would Emeraude and Victor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michael. She really is amazing with all she’s been through. She’s moved 2000 miles across the country with me two times. In DC she had Inflammatory Bowel Disease (and threw up blood) it took years for me to find a good veterinarian and get it under control. So during those years, she was on Prednozolone (a steroid, serious drug). Finally it is mostly controlled with prescription cat food that is also non-allergenic. Then 2 years ago she had a golf-ball sized cancer removed from her side. I thought that was the end, but she bounced right back. That’s why I say she is my superhero.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gosh, they are putting cats on drugs (too)? How horrible is this. Now she has a very good partnership with you, and one can see it on her face. Keep staying funny and enjoy the Sunday, Teagan! Best wishes, Michael (P.S.: Just writing on some complaints the court needs to get tomorrow.)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy birthday, Crystal! I love her rescue story and glad you found each other! Another great episode, I’m curious how the song is effecting them.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Did you know it is International Cat Day (some countries call is World Cat Day) today, September 8, 2020. So, serendipity is alive and well. Crystal has a wonderful biography – a rescue from danger, a happy adoption and 14 years of care and attention. I loved how she popped her head up and looked at you when you first met. I believe cats choose us, and somehow the universe conspires to make that happen. All the very very best on your writing. Sending positive thoughts your way…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s right. That is actually why I decided to feature Crystal the serendipity of her birthday being on cat day. There is much more to her story, Rebecca, as you can see in my reply to Michael (who is her greatest fan). But her adoption story included me being uncertain about whether the time was right… I went back inside the pet store to think about it, talking myself out of it. Meanwhile I couldn’t spot my friend inside. There were a pair of colorful lovebirds in an enclosure. I looked at the birds and muttered out loud “Should I get the kitten?” The birds started all sorts of chatter back to me. About that time my friend walked up (a lady in her mid 70s at that time), She laughed and said “Get the kitten!”
      Thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you ever wonderful if we are the most advanced creatures in this world. This colourful lovebirds knew how to answer you, which was the exact time your friend arrived to translate the messages There is never any coincidences in life. This is the best story for International Cat Day!!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I like that the Delta Pearl’s secret might be revealed. Soon?
    Keep writing your novel! I know the feeling of wanting to finish something. I am within 15 hours of finishing my new Art Gown. This is why nothing else much is getting done.
    After that, I can do some reading again. Your novelette is first up!
    Take care, Chuckaboo!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, perhaps part of her secret. The Delta Pearl has many. 🙂 That’s exciting about your Art Gown, Resa! I used to be a seamstress, so I understand the huge level of effort you put into them. I can’t wait to see it. Thanks for spending part of your weekend here, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. New kitties? Oh I missed that. I hope you’ll come back with a link so that everyone can see them, Tim. My Internet (lack of) service is absurd. I can’t get any blogging done. I need to catch up with everyone. Crystal thanks you for your lovely wish. Huge hugs, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Excellent chase scene, Teagan. I have been fascinated by the six-tone scale. I have tinnitus and whenever I get near a fan the scale kicks in. I can see how the scale is an integral part of the Delta Pearl. Hugs, and Happy Birthday, Crystal

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you John. I’m sorry for that. I can imagine. I’m very noise sensitive, if usually in a different way. They’re anxiety, fight or flight triggers for me. I can’t handle the noise of a fan. I’ve gone through several bad purchases with fans. Several years ago, I found one by Dyson, a round blade-less fan. On low, it’s quiet enough that I barely hear anything. Pointed right at my head, it helps keep me cool, with quiet. (Thinking I was onto something, I later bought an oblong shape Dyson that was also a heater. Big mistake. Huge noise.)
      Crystal thanks you for the kind wish. Huge hugs, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Happy Birthday Crystal !!! We love all cats, but especially black and white kitties. I love her mask.

    I can easily picture these guys running, from bring stuck in the doorway to Cal colliding into the boiler room door. The action is tense but humorous. Life is like that so often so this chapter made me feel good. You’ve left us at a good place (if you need a break) but I am wondering what lies beyond the door. I would be fascinated by the boiler/engine room in any ship, but especially on the Delta Pearl.

    I hope you enjoy this weekend and start a wonderful week on Monday.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dan, if I wrote a “feel good” moment, then my weekend is made. Thanks for mentioning about the door. After last time, I did not want to suddenly drop the slapstick. Crystal thanks you for the kind wish. A wonderful weekend and new week to you and yours, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. A great episode, Teagan. Thanks for squeezing out a short one. I know how you feel about not having enough time. My leave this past week turned into Monday only and I had things I had planned to do. I ended up feeling totally stressed out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Robbie, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s terrible when we’re looking forward to a reprieve and then end up stressed-out during it in stead of relaxed. I hope today and tonight will be different, and peaceful. Thanks for taking time to visit here, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Mine didn’t start out well either Robbie. The past two weeks have been extremely difficult almost every day. That’s why I related to yours so much. But I’m trying to “reboot” the day and put it behind me. It’s so hard for me to keep up with blogging, with my Internet. So when you post about your secret project — any reveals, please leave a link. Hugs on the wing.

          Liked by 1 person

  16. Happy Birthday to Crystal. She really does have a Batgirl mask. 🙂 It’s great to hear that you’re working on a book, but nice to get a new episode too, Teagan. Now we have a mystery around the boiler room, and I can’t help but wonder if the scarab was attracted to the music. Hmmm. So many mysteries about this riverboat. Have a lovely weekend and Happy Writing. Hugs. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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