The Delta Pearl 67 — View

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Image tomfoolery by Teagan
Image tomfoolery by Teagan

Yes, I know St. Patrick’s Day is over.  I just enjoyed the thought of this lovely tabby in that soft cushion of clover, and I had to use the image again.  Don’t worry.  The steampunk riverboat is here, my chuckaboos!

Last time we got a glimpse of an injured Blue John Boulton.  He was up there somewhere inside that sooty cloud that’s been following the riverboat around. That’s about all we could tell from the limited perspective offered by Victor’s telectroscope.  I’m sure there has to be something housing the few pieces of furniture, the clockwork creatures, and Blue. Just what that might be remains to be seen.  Whatever those confines are, something seemed to be chasing the Mate.  The only clue we got from him before he ran out of view was questionable. It might have been “tune” of possibly “tone.”  Then again maybe our lovebirds misinterpreted it. 

What could possibly happen next?

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 67 — View

Enrique Meseguer at Pixabay, altered image
Enrique Meseguer at Pixabay, altered image

Singing the song about a woman feeling like a bird in a gilded cage made me think of the old portrait, which had always fascinated me.  The subject of the painting was a beautiful woman.  She was from some undetermined past century.  In the scene, the painter included a myriad of details.

A riverbank formed the background to one side.  A tiny figure on the stood there.  An owl who looked surprisingly like Onyx sat in a branch.  Across the river, the woman sat on a balcony, which was enclosed by a fence of ornate golden bars.  Furniture and knickknacks were all around.  Her hand rested on an elaborately designed music box.  Around her neck was a ribbon from which an intricately carved cameo hung.

My hand went to the nearly identical cameo that I wore.  I never understood why the woman looked familiar to me.  Then, Blue John had laughed at my comment, and said the woman looked exactly like me.

A whoop and shouts from the main deck indicated that Sid and the others had finished the new rocket.  However, Victor and I were so entranced by the images at the other end of the telectroscope that we barely noticed.

Grandma's Cameo by Dan Antion
Grandma’s Cameo by Dan Antion

“Blue John is in trouble and injured.  We’ve got to tell the Captain!” Victor exclaimed, no longer paying attention to the clockworks.

Muffled squeaks pulled my attention back to the screen.  The owl turned toward the large tome that resembled my reception book that listed all the guests of the Delta Pearl.

The book moved slightly.  Amethyst swung to the book on her silver thread.  Onyx gave a flap of his wings and hopped to stand beside the book.  He used his beak, trying to lift the heavy cover.  Amethyst braced her front legs against the cover and pushed.

“Yes.  You go tell him — or the Dealer.  Whoever you see first.  I’ll keep an eye on this,” I said with a motion to the device.

“He’s been acting strangely,” Victor began.  “Even more unreadable than usual.  It makes me think he’s worried.  I’ve noticed he gets that way whenever that cloud is around,” he finished with a glance up at the brown cloud.

“I know.  The idea of anything making Jaspe worried is enough to terrify me.” I replied.

Victor hurried down the stairs.  When he reached the main deck, I heard him shout to Sid and Coral.  Based on the sounds of multiple footfalls, the entire group that had been working on the rocket followed Victor.

I turned back to the image.  The top of the big book shifted minutely.  I heard a soft puttering, “pat-pat” sound coming from under its cover.

The deep grinding noise got louder.  With a metal clank, two big spotted paws came onto the table where the book lay.  The spots were from gemstone inlayed on the machinery.

“Leopard jasper,” I murmured as I stared apprehensively.

To my astonishment a jungle cat rose up into view.  Never had I seen a clockwork so large!  Its “growl” was like the coarse grinding of gears followed by a quick sound like the gears abruptly stopping — gee-peh.

The mechanical leopard used its nose to lift the book cover and flip it open.  I heard what I could only describe as a satisfied growl.  The pages appeared hold handwritten lists, similar to my reception book.  However, I couldn’t make out any of the words from the angle of my view.

Leopard jasper gemstone closeup
Leopard jasper gemstone closeup

The clockwork leopard lowered its nose to the pages of the book.  A much smaller clockwork inched toward the leopard’s nose.

“Gee-peh,” the jungle cat snorted.

The clockwork bookworm moved with surprising speed toward the leopard.  Light glittered from round faceted eyes of bright blue apatite.  It pulled a pendant behind itself as it rapidly inched.

“Pat-pat,” the apatite bookworm grunted with the effort of moving the pendant.

I gathered the necklace had dropped into the pages of the book and was forgotten.  Then I got a better look at the pendant.

“It’s just like my cameo!” I gasped.

Gentle rasping came to my ears.  The sound was similar to dry leaves moving in a breeze.  However, I recognized the rustle of crisp taffeta cloth.  The sound swished closer.

The two unfamiliar clockwork creatures looked up toward the rustling.  Taffeta fabric came to the edge of the screen.

Inhaling a sharp breath, I felt to make sure my revolver was holstered on my thigh.  I breathed a prayer of thanks to the Captain and the Dealer for teaching me to use it at an early age.

I fled down the narrow stairs.  When I reached the main deck, I was relieved to find the new rocket unattended.

Belle Starr 1886 Image by Teagan
Belle Starr 1886 Image by Teagan

My mind was such a chaotic mess that I didn’t have a spare thought for nervousness.  I gave a last stunned look, up at the sooty cloud.  Then I harnessed myself to the contraption.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I rocketed skyward.

***

End Chapter 67

***

Blue John is back… or sort of anyway.  I’m not sure if that tells us anything… except that he’s injured.  How badly, we don’t know.  Dash my wig if that dratted song isn’t back too.  Hmmm.

Dead of Winter

My new Amazon serial is in its third monthly installment.  This series will run for about a year.  I’ve been giving free serials here for many years. Now I also have this serial of novelettes at Amazon (and Kobo). This lets you have a nice-sized visit with the detailed world I created, and they cost less than a magazine. Join the journeys and explore this fantasy world where you’ll find oppression and those how oppose it, two determined young women, a mysterious society, danger, magic, and more.

Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field, by Teagan R. Geneviene
Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field, by Teagan R. Geneviene

Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08VMNSF97

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08VLMR2KD

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

anks for visiting.  I’d love to hear from you in a comment.  Remember — this is not a forum for critique.  If you want this serial to continue — remember that this is my sanctuary — so keep it friendly.  

Until next time, my chuckaboos!

.

.

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.

 


83 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 67 — View

  1. I have nothing but complete admiration and “ah” over your imagination and writing…incredible. I so applaud your creativity and again the ability to pull the reader right up to the edge of the cliff….so well done!! Awesome installment!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh no! What has Emeraude done? My heart is in my throat! I love the new clockwork creature introduced in this segment. And, I do hope that Emeraude is able to rescue Blue and get them both home safely! Great segment, Teagan!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The rhythm in this piece is musical. Dialogue with actions and gestures flow. I know I would recognize the rustle of crisp taffeta cloth. I love the mix of cowgirl and early industrial revolution. More I could say, but will end with great last sentence.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I didn’t think Emeraude would go up in the rocket to help Blue John. I figured it would be Victor. The Captain will not be pleased. Let’s hope the new clockwork will give us some clues. Terrific episode, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I like this installment, I sensed something different in the style or voice but can’t put my finger on what. I hope ytou are well and happy. I think now that Covid is ending we can speak of happiness again.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Lavinia. Thanks so much. I realize it’s against what any teacher or book critic would advise, but I needed things to set the stage up in the cloud, and what better way than with clockworks? 😀 Heartfelt thanks for being on this riverboat, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie. Yes, the ending I’ve had in mind for months is finally taking shape. Although it will still take some time to get there. This story has grown so much from when this serial began as a rewrite — to flesh out the middle. LOL, I gave it a middle, and then it turned out that the ending was part of that middle, and the “real” ending made itself known. The original ending was back when Dundas tried to escape with the diamond, by diving into the river. Back when the 2 women left to start their future together in well, the future. I realized that wasn’t where the story should end after all.
      Happy weekend, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind, Ms Frances — thank you for giving me such a big smile. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could have it in a movie? I would love to see one of my stories come to life on the big screen. But having it live in the imaginations of friends like you is just as good. Stay safe and well, my chuckaboo!

      Like

  6. Émeraude is a brave one! I can hardly wait to see what she finds in the sooty cloud.
    You are very fab at cliffhangers, Teagan!
    That elephant is wild!!!! {{{Hugs}}}

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Omigosh, hell’s bells, yowzer and good grief! Now we have Emeraude hitching a ride on a rocket into the wide blue (brown!) yonder in search of Blue John and beloved clock works. Yout know Teagan, I’m having to take my BP twice a day as it is. You’re killing me here! Lol. I know Victor is going after her, lord knows what means of transportation he will use. Perhaps the huge clockwork leopard. Yeah, that would work nicely. Transportation and protection in one package! 🤗

    Have a wonderful weekend. Stay safe. Be well.
    Ginger

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Maybe she is at that, Jill. But based on her odd reaction, I’m not sure if she has any idea just what she’s doing. 😉 Maybe she’ll figure it out next weekend… or not. LOL. Thanks for reading and for the shout-out from your place, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the clockwork leopard and bookworm (in a book of course). The pace is revving up! I hope Blue John and Emeraude will be okay. An exciting episode, Teagan. And I hope things are going well with Dead of Winter. I’m behind, but I will catch up!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! Diana, I’m behind too, after the past 2 weeks — but yes, it’s going well. I appreciate you being part of the journeys. No need to feel behind.
      LOL, if all worms had lovely faceted apatite eyes, they might be better liked. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Em on the rocket? I never would have guessed that she would ride it into the sooty cloud. I can only hope that she knows what she’s doing and makes it back to the riverboat unharmed with Blue John and the clockworks. Or is that too much to ask, Teagan? Hugs and purrs and clockwork noises…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Mary J. Em couldn’t bear to be the damsel in distress again, not after the net episode and the physical results to Randall when he rescued her. Back at her birthday party, when Malachite attacked from the cloud, she was dragging Victor behind her, trying to get a better look at things. She was bound to take things into her own hands eventually. Ah, but how will that turn out? We shall see. 😉 Happy spring to you and Gibbs, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you, dear Teagan, for all efforts you’re giving yourself to make us happy and satisfied. I am now in a very turbulent time of my life: from one side, our Persian new year celebration and the other side, a funeral because of a lost (the brother of my wife). Anyhow, life (the show?) must go on! Have a wonderful weekend, my Chuckaboo 🤗🙏💖🥰

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, Aladin, I’m sorry to hear of that sad loss to you and your wife. It is indeed a difficult time. I won’t try to say any wise words, but offer my sincere condolences and send good vibes and hugs winging to you. Wishing you both healing and restful hearts. Thank you for spending part of your day here, my chuckaboo.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! You sure have left a cliffhanger. Who is the taffeta-wearing person that terrifies Emeraude so badly that she flees to the rocket? I am also intrigued by the new clockwork animals. The leopard seems most impressive and I like the picture of the gemstone. Can’t wait for the next embarkation. Well done, Teagan!.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed it, Priscilla. There’s no telling what will happen to our bricky girl. After seeing the bad after effects Randall experienced when he rescued her, there’s no wonder she took matters into her own hands. Happy spring, my chuckaboo!

      Like

  12. Émeraude on the rocket 😮 Oh, Teagan I was not expecting that. Now I’m intrigued and worried. And I’m worried about Victor. I’ve become so “close” to these characters that I’m worried about all of them. How will Victor, and the dealer and the captain feel? So many thoughts…another week?

    Thanks for a wonderfully exciting episode. New clockworks, new concerns and rocket girl 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Amazing! A clockwork bookworm is a fantastic addition, and the jungle cat too. I love the surroundings and the time the story is playing. Thank you for sharing another great sequel, Teagan! I hope you are well, and have pulled Crystal out of the field of clover. Lol Have a beautiful weekend! Big hugs xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha. Michael, Crystal would probably be afraid of the field of clover. Although there is no cat braver when it comes to “hunting” her string toy, or the paper balls she likes to carry. (Just golf-ball-sized wads of noisy tissue paper — my cats have always loved to play with that.) Yes, she is a brave huntress then. LOL.
      I’m very happy you enjoyed this chapter. It’s a beautiful first day of spring here. I hope it is for you too. Sending hugs back to you, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Crystal is the best! I adore cats, for their own will. 😉 Enjoy Spring, Teagan! Here its dayover about zero degress, and in the night till minus 8 degrees (C). Its forcasted better wetter for the next week, when the next lockdown will start. Lol Sorry, my sarcasm is increasing, these days! Thank you for this great sequel, and have a nice weekend! :-)) Michael

        Liked by 2 people

  14. And she’s off! What is she going to find there? Oh, Teagan, we have to wait a week to know what happens! Mind you, the jungle clockwork cat sounds amazing. I know I always say the same, but I have no idea where the story is going to take us next, although I’m happy for the ride. And the end of the third journey is approaching for me, although I’m stretching it out… Take care and keep the creative juices flowing. And stay safe. ♥

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Olga, I certainly hope I can surprise you with the ending (eventually), although I expect you could guess almost anything.
      Thanks so much about Dead of Winter. I’m behind with Journey 4, after the past 2 weeks — but yes, it’s going well. I appreciate you being part of the journeys. Happy spring, my chuckaboo!

      Like

    1. Hi Barb — just now rescued you from the spam folder. I don’t know what kind of company you had there, because none of it was in any kind of alphabet I could read…
      Ermmm… don’t hate me for what I’m going to do next week… Happy spring, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You on the rocket brought to mind Slim Pickens riding the bomb in “Dr. Strangelove”. A clockwork jungle cat. Interesting developments. We are having a family gathering for corn beef tomorrow, a few days after St Patty’s day.

    Liked by 4 people

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