The Delta Pearl 61 — Light

Saturday, January 23, 2021 

Composite image by Teagan R. Geneviene
Composite image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Welcome back, my chuckaboos!  Thank you, thank you for your patience and for returning to this #Steampunk riverboat.  For new readers, or those who may have missed it, “chuckaboo” was Victorian Era slang for dear friend. So, everyone who follows this serial is my chuckaboo.

Previously on The Delta Pearl

This episode is tied to Chapter 45 — Intone.  I’ve included a partial recap of the last chapter, so here’s a link to the chapter before that.  

Previously

The cat tried to meow and growl at the same time, and without opening his mouth more than a little.  The tiny corner of gold slipped out farther.  I could see a sparkling yellow-green stone.

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think the brooch was trying to get out of Reggie’s mouth,” Victor commented as Reggie meowed again.

Jaspe turned toward the Captain, as if he was about to speak.  Reggie took that moment to wriggle free of Jaspe’s grasp.  The cat jumped from the Dealer’s arms.  However, he dropped his prize when he landed.

A gold and peridot butterfly fell to the plush carpet.  Its wings slowly began to move.

“Opal’s butterfly brooch is a clockwork!” Victor exclaimed.  “I never realized.  But look.  It seems to have broken.  A tiny wand-like piece of gold is there beside it.”

“That’s the key,” I told Victor.

It was no ordinary key.  The key that Opal kept safely hidden in her clockwork butterfly was the tuning key.  It would unlock the brass box that housed the tuning forks used in the Delta Pearl’s bonding ceremony, and at other times when the riverboat needed the extra power produced by the crew’s singing combined with the tuning forks.

For a moment the key glittered on the deep red carpet.  Then a small shadow fell across it.

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 61 — Light

Steampunk eye clock broken shattered Kellepics Pixabay
Kellepics at Pixabay

Quickly, I put her my foot on top of the key before anyone else could see it.  Glancing upward, I looked for the source of the shadow I had briefly seen.  I heard a metallic rustle, but that was all.

The clockwork butterfly had most of my attention.  It was was gold and set with six peridot gems.  It fluttered awkwardly around the room, the cat chasing it.

“Peridot never did fly very well,” I told Victor.  “That’s why she usually sits like a brooch at Opal’s shoulder.  Sometimes she holds the Librarian’s spectacles.  Or she fetches small things, like index cards or pencils for her, but she can’t fly very far.”

After a moment of fluttering, Peridot stopped on the ground.  Reggie pounced and grabbed the butterfly again.  I spotted Amethyst watching them from her perch on a chandelier.

Just then, a deckhand came inside the etched glass doors.

“All’s secure, Captain,” the man stated.

Reggie, the butterfly again in his mouth, ran between the deckhand’s feet as the doors were closing.

On a silver thread, Amethyst swung out, right after them.

The Dealer’s reflexes were impossibly quick.  Jaspe turned on his heal to prevent his cat going into the unknown dangers outside.  He was barely an inch behind Reggie.  However, the heavy doors slammed shut in his face.

Jaspe put his palms to the glass.  The riverboat held the doors firmly shut.

My eyes roamed frantically for something I might throw to break the glass, so we could save Reggie.  I struggled to lift a big sterling silver coffeepot.  The Captain placed a huge but gentle hand on my shoulder, guessing my intention.

Green LIghts Drew Collins_1466939721550-ad3ef4b9eeec
Drew Collins, Unsplash

“Émeraude, the glass won’t break.  It’s several inches thick.  I don’t know how the designs were etched into it.  When I was a lad, I tried to scratch it with a diamond, and it had no effect,” the Captain said.

“What do they think they’re doing?” I cried.

Crazy Horse Cal, the clockwork horse Victor made for me, belatedly slid into the closed doors.  Cal seemed confused that the other clockworks had left him behind.  He walked into the door repeatedly until Victor picked him up.

A plaintive meow sounded from outside.

“Reggie!” the Dealer exclaimed.

The timbers of the riverboat moaned.  A bass pitched vibration reached from my feet to my stomach.

 

The etched glass doors swung open.  Something black leapt inside, and landed against the Dealer’s chest.  Then the doors slammed shut with a loud bang.

I thought it was Reggie.  However, if the cat got back inside, then where were the clockwork creatures?

Beyond the doors I saw the blue and green lights that came from the crack in the sky.  The colors pulsed and swirled as the crack erupted all the way downward to the river.

My sense of gravity momentarily disappeared.  It felt as though the Delta Pearl had been tossed up off the river, as if by a huge wave.  I wasn’t sure whether or not my feet still touched the floor.  My mind couldn’t immediately process the bizarre sensation.

Abruptly, white light blared through the glass door and windows, searing my vision.

There was light. 

Only light. 

No sound, no sensation. 

Light.  Blinding light.

***

End Chapter 61

***

Once Émeraude’s “world went black” — this time it was a white-out, albeit not a blizzard.  I’m sorry I didn’t come roaring back, but… It’s a start.  

Featured Book Cover

No, this is not about my Cover Reveal for “Dead of Winter: Journey 2, Penllyn.”  Although, if you haven’t seen that, I hope you’ll click the link.  Each week I’ll feature a Designed & Ready book cover. (Thanks again to Dan Antion for coming up with the phrase, “Designed & Ready.”)  I’m offering the service of pre-designed book covers or promotional images if preferred.  Here’s this week’s featured design.  Click here to see my entire portfolio

Couple, Window, Lake, Cat, Whimsical, Romance
Book Cover design by Teagan R. Geneviene

***

.

 

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 2021 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.

 


80 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 61 — Light

  1. Teagan,
    It’s great to be back aboard the Delta Pearl!
    This was a short sweet cat-ch up post!
    Interesting how the Clockworks can work together… or at least seem to want to.
    {{{hugs}}}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jennie. I left that open to speculation… mostly because I haven’t come up with the “connecting” part from that scene to where I want to go. But there’s a 95% chance that the black shape was Reggie. LOL. 🐱
      I’ve already goofed up and forgot about the “small shadow” from the end of the previous episode. Onyx was meant to have a part in today’s scene — and I forgot… So now I have to think of something else to do with him. o_O
      Heartfelt thanks for spending so much time here today, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I have no doubt that you will have an awesome episode. You always do, Teagan. Leaving things open to speculation was perfect. And the small shadow… well, I’m a believer that things are meant to be. The fact that you forgot will make it become an even better part of the story. Really.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree that it’s bright and beautiful. It seems to have gotten hard to find that classic yellow-green color of it. Now I usually see a very pale green. I have a pair of small earrings made form a cluster of tiny beads. It reminds me of a ballerina’s dress. Happy weekend. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. It certainly is mystery with Reggie and the clockwork critters. From the darkness they saw the light. But not light that helps one to see and orient one’s self.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Tim. Now that Dan has all sorts of music in my head, I could add “Blinded by the Light” as a theme song for this chapter. LOL.
      We finally have a big swath of blue sky between the clouds down in this end of the state. It’s been downright weird to have such heavy cloudy weather. I just wish some of it had resulted in rain or snow. Happy Caturday, my chuckaboo.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nothing bad better happen to Reggie or the butterfly! Hmmmm, maybe Reggie is protecting the butterfly. This is one river cruise that none of the passengers will ever forget!

    Have an enjoyable weekend Teagan. Hope you and Crystal are well.
    Ginger

    Think positive. Test negative.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So glad I already had my ticket for the re-embarkation on my favorite riverboat. You manage to convert so much in a few words. Next Saturday can’t get here soon enough. The new book cover looks like a change from your usual style. Looks very cheerful and mid 20th century. I particularly like the flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pat. I tried to have a little of everything in my portfolio. I’ve seen a trend toward what I’ll describe as animation figures without animation… Cartoon or cutout type figures. So I wanted to have a couple like that. I thought the elements in it might appear in any number of stories.
      I admit it was an effort, but I’m relieved to get this boat back on the water. Stay safe and well, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s a very good start. I am happy to be back aboard, although all the confusion has me worried. I don’t know whom to worry about first or most, there seems to be more than enough danger to go around. At least Émeraude is protecting the key, it looks like they might need it soon.

    I hope you have a nice easy weekend, Teagan.

    Liked by 1 person

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