The Delta Pearl 46 — Concentrate

Saturday, August 29, 2020 

Original photo by Dan Antion. Tomfoolery by Teagan
Original photo by Dan Antion. Tomfoolery by Teagan

Welcome to my sanctuary. It’s a safe place for all of us (including me), beyond any politics or creed, with no bullying or passive aggressiveness allowed.  I’m happy that you came back for another episode of The Delta Pearl, my chuckaboos.  

There are so many great minds here.  were thinking alike when separately they both left crystal ball as a random reader thing.

Olga Núñez Miret

Diana Wallace Peach

Previously Émeraude and Victor, along with Cal the crazy clockwork horse, chased the tiny, stowaway copper scarab to the riverboat’s boiler room. There they found visible music, a biproduct of the Delta Pearl’s magic. Jet, the librarian from their shore trip in Cairo, IL was being bound to the riverboat.  Victor was caught in the musical process.  Opal, the keeper of the riverboat’s secrets and artifacts slammed the furnace door shut behind the scarab. However, Cal was right behind the clockwork beetle. Without further ado…

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 46 — Complete

Ghost Enrique Meseguer Pixabay
Enrique Meseguer at Pixabay

Opal had alabaster skin with few wrinkles, despite her greatly advanced years.  Her face held an expression of bemused surprise as she gazed at the young inventor.

“I suppose it was bound to happen eventually,” she commented.  “Although I wouldn’t have expected it for another decade.  For the Delta Pearl to ensnare Victor in the bond like this…  The riverboat must know of a much greater need than any of us comprehend.

“What do you mean?” I asked quietly.

“My role is much like that of a librarian, as I keep track of all the artifacts and clockwork creatures.  Though, as you know, Émeraude, it also includes all the secrets of the Delta Pearl.  Mr. Fischer is the perfect candidate to gradually take on my duties.”

Her words upset me.  Blue John’s deteriorating mental state demanded that he take a leave of absence.  He had been putting it off for months because he knew we couldn’t spare him.  It didn’t take a crystal ball to see that staying wore away at his nerves.

The Mate seemed closer, more tangled in the parts of the Delta Pearl that I could only describe as her emotions.  The riverboat must be going through changes that we couldn’t see.  Her reaction to things like borders had become stronger and less predictable.  I couldn’t imagine how that must burden Blue John if his mind was tied to those sensations.

Kirk Douglas as Blue John. Composite public domain and free images, tomfoolery by Teagan
Kirk Douglas as Blue John. Composite public domain and free images, tomfoolery by Teagan

I knew he would have to leave soon, perhaps for years.  What if he never came back?  Now, Opal suggested that she would have to be replaced too.  My heart sank, weighted down by uncertainty and worry.

“Émeraude, darling girl…” Opal began when she saw a tear in my eye.  “The Delta Pearl won’t be rid of me for a long time yet.  It will not take weeks to prepare my successor.  It will take decades!” she added with a soft chuckle.

Her smile quickly turned to concern.  The elderly woman moved to Victor, who looked quite fishy about the gills.  A glance at Jet Fischer told me that he wasn’t doing well either.

Blue John glared at Victor.  Everyone present knew that the inventor was not meant to be part of the bonding.  Blue’s unique relationship with the riverboat required his undivided attention on the tuning forks and the ancient tones.  He was obviously distracted.

“Mate!” the Cadet hissed and nudged him with an elbow.

However, Blue paid no attention to Sid.  Opal took a long step toward him.  She stumbled as if her feet got tangled in her heavy skirts.  She put one hand to the table to get her balance.  With the other she struck a tuning fork.

As Opal leaned against the table, I saw the reason for her stumble.

“Cal!” I exclaimed softly.  “I thought you had gone into the furnace, chasing the copper scarab.”

The clockwork horse pranced toward me.  I realized that when Opal had twitched her skirt aside, she was actually blocking the mechanical horse from going into the furnace.  He had been tucked in the folds of fabric all along.

There was no time to rejoice about the safety of the clockwork horse.  I could tell something was wrong, or incomplete with the bonding ― perhaps because of Victor’s unplanned inclusion.

As the music produced by the tuning fork resounded through the boiler room, the Dealer intoned a deep note.  Opal’s crystalline voice joined him.  She poked Sid in the side to remind him to sing.

With a shake of his head, Blue John came to himself and added his perfect pitch.

Something still felt off to me.  The ancient tones had not pulled Jet or Victor back into the song.  Although both men continued to be entranced.

Robbie Coltrane as Cecil Perlog, aka The Captain
Robbie Coltrane as Cecil Perlog, The Captain

Goosebumps covered my arms when I suddenly heard the wholeness of the bass tones.  I turned to find the Captain there.  With the addition of his rich voice, I could see the music again.  The tuning forks vibrated and glowed brighter.  Jet’s baritone added richness.  A moment later, Victor’s tenor made the sounds complete.  The prismatic colors of the ancient tones ran riot across the room filled with voices.

Though the spectacle was rare and amazing, I had many worries related to it.  My most immediate concern was about my young inventor.  How could I possibly explain to Victor, about the seriousness of what had just happened?

Victor had plans for his life, and a very bright future as a brilliant inventor.  He had inherited a topaz mine and held other property in Texas.  He had a life there.  How could I explain that in a moment all that had changed?

I was to blame.  I should have kept him away from the riverboat’s secrets.  Everything would have been fine if I had simply made sure he didn’t know about the clockwork creatures.  That’s where it all started.  How could I tell him that his life would never be the same, and that it was all my fault?


End Chapter 46


I hope you’ll take a moment to leave a friendly comment.  Although, as things are, I’m afraid I’ll be slow to respond.  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.


94 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 46 — Concentrate

    1. Thanks so much, Joanne. I believe out “inner eye” can see music. That’s why some songs stay with us, not just for a day, but for decades. Every cell is in constant movement or vibration (though we can’t see it). The human aura can be photographed via Kirlian photography. So why not music. Somebody needs to figure out how to do that. 😀
      I’m so happy you are on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That was such a sacred scene, Teagan. It gave us a deeper insight into the magic of the Delta Pearl and to see her as a living being. I feel honored to have witnessed this bonding ceremony! Great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Teagan, thank you.. Alabaster skin–the right word for the flesh color I’ve preferred in women./> Your writing is “eassy going,” and i like that so well. Stay well, dear friend. I know you will because you are as careful about your safety as you are about the selecon of words in your writing,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, David. That would probably have been better as a “thing” for one of the passengers, but I didn’t think of it until now. In the Victorian Era, alabaster skin meant not just fair, but skin that also had a slightly translucent quality. When it was learned that arsenic could give skin that translucence, they started using it for “beauty.” Small amounts created the right skin. There were even companies who sold it as tins of lemonade powder. The trouble was, arsenic builds up in the system to a lethal poison. I’ve seen more articles lately about it also being dyes of the era, and absorbed via the skin. Although intentionally drinking it is more horrifying to me. Yet, I guess we do a lot of things today that people 100 years from now would think are as bad.
      Heartfelt thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!


  3. Thank you for a wonderful narrative that invites us all to participate, to be in the midst of an adventure, to find new friends, to understand that there are beginnings and endings, to live with bold curiosity that opens new possibilities. Sending many hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heartfelt thanks, Rebecca. Now that the “bonding” is complete — at least for Jet (maybe for Victor too, we shall see), hopefully the Delta Pearl will be strong enough for the rough waters ahead. Thanks for visiting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Quite the ending! Okay, before you reminded me that Émeraude was only 16, I thought she and Victor might get engaged. Seems like Victor is now engaged to the Delta Pearl, and all of its residents. Well done!
    Feels like a sequel, one day.
    Teagan, I enjoyed the read, I enjoyed the ride, I enjoy you and your imagination!
    At least I have the Fiona Finch novelette to read! I’m on chapter 2, and it’s a lot of fun!
    Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Resa, I’m glad you liked this chapter. The title was confusing, the bonding was “complete” not the story. There’s plenty more to come. 🙂 I’m tickled pink that you are enjoying Fiona’s story. You’re the best, my chuckaboo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhh! Kay!
        Yay!!!! More to come! Yay!!!
        Yes, a bit confusing, as I did think it was the last chapter.
        Loving Fiona!
        (Will do some kind of review on GLAM, & hopefully put it on Goodreads)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You incorporated the crystal ball beautifully, Teagan. Well done! And poor Emeraude. I hope she doesn’t blame herself too harshly. I think Vincent will end up right where he should be in the end. Great episode. Have a marvelous day, my friend. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michael. It’s wonderful to see you. Haha. I never had “typical” taste in men. I’m happy you enjoyed the story. Ah, autumn there! It seems to be late coming here this year. It’s still too hot to get work done outside. I enjoyed my first winter here very much, so I’m looking forward to winter again. 🙂 Happy weekend, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Only because it only snowed twice — and that melted away by next day. 😀 I hate snow. That’s why I like it here. There are still 4 seasons, but winter is overall “mild.” (There are still some very cold nighttime low temperatures — a few nights were in the teens (as low as -8.8 C), but it warms up nicely during the daytime because of the sunshine. Crystal doesn’t care. She stays inside on her electric blanket! LOL.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Robbie — I appreciate that feedback. It sure looks like Victor is part of the crew… although the “bonding ceremony” was not smooth, and not meant to include him… So perhaps things might change. 😉 We will have to see. Thanks for being on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!


  6. I (like everyone else) think Victor will be fine. What better life for an inventor than to be surrounded by so many questions and a beautiful young girl. So glad Cal was saved. Looking forward to the next chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dang, Teagan. You have created a parallel, complex lovely world that I hate to leave. The harmonics and the colors weave in and out of a multi-layered magical mythical confluence of reality, dreams, and imagination. Where can I buy a ticket to the Delta Pearl? Clouds of hugs wafting and drifting your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! This is an exciting chapter. I think Victor will welcome being part of the Drkta Pearl. It’s where he can best use his talents.

    I too wonder if, when Blue John leaves the ship, things will quiet down. So happy Cal was unhurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your pictures capture so much of the story Teagan! I love how you’ve casted your characters. Blue – KirkD mmmm. Were you a Steamboater? So special that the story keeps moving forward seemingly with ease and intent. I learn lots. Muito obrigada. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cecily, it is lovely to see you. And you are very welcome — I thank you. It always helps me write when I can cast my characters. Yet there are often characters whose faces I’m never able to see, just a blur in my mind. As the Captain, my mind alters Robbie Coltrane’s appearance to have thick platinum hair and eyebrows — along with a silk cravat and his “all seeing eye” emerald pin. I appreciate you reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I can feel the harmony of the tones and voices, Teagan. The scene is so real, it started as sound but grew to involve more of my senses. I hope Émeraude doesn’t stress over this. Some things are meant to be. Then again, perhaps things won’t play out as they appear. It seems like the Delta Pearl has her own plans.

    I hope to have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Or perhaps the riverboat is as “antsy” as Blue John. At this point, anything could still happen. Thank you, thank you, Dan for what you said about the senses. I always mean to make sure I include multiple senses when I write — but I don’t always remember to make sure I actually did. Especially the way I’ve been the past couple of years. I appreciate you reading and making such a helpful comment, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Aw, I hate to see our young heroine upset, but maybe she will she how it will all be for the best? I sure was happy to hear that Cal hadn’t been melted down. Perhaps Blue’s replacement will be the missing link to getting rid of that black cloud once and for all.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Beautiful, Teagan. I agree with the comments. I don’t think Victor will object. What better place for an inventor, and by Émeraude’s side as well… I’m happy the object helped and I’m pleased to know Diana and I had the same idea.
    Big hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always wonderful to see you, Olga. Ah yes, dear Emeraude… sometimes those who are closest to something are the last to see it. I hope you are having a lovely weekend, my chuckaboo. Great big hug right back.


    1. As much as I love gemstones, I have to agree, Fraggle. 😉 But of course, Emeraude is only looking from her own point of view, having lived on the riverboat since she was a child, maybe a topaz mine seems exciting… Then again she might be channeling one of my other characters who lives in a mine (not finished yet). LOL. Akkk! There are so many characters in my head. LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Adored Ape, I appreciate you sharing from your tree-house. I imagine all the Naughty Chimps on the branches, making music. One has a ukulele… and there’s Artie with a steampunk violin… 😀 Thanks for being part of this riverboat, my chuckaboo.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. No need to reply dearest Teagan.. While not catching many of your chapters.. Just reading the ones I do, bring my own Goosebumps my friend.. And loved your choice of Captain picture…
    Sending love dear Teagan… You are often in my thoughts… ❤ Hugs and much love 💖🙏😘

    Liked by 1 person

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