The Delta Pearl 68 — Fuel

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Welcome back, my chuckaboos! I apologize in advance — I will be scarce around the blogosphere for the rest of this month.  I have a lot of catching up to do on Dead of Winter.

There isn’t much preamble today, I barely made it to the river as it is. However, I do have a random reader thing.  It’s from John W. Howell.  Several weeks ago he suggested insufficient fuel.  How could I possibly pass that up?

I threatened another cliffhanger, so hang on tight.

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 68 — Fuel

Aero-cab Station Jean Marc Cote 1899 Wikipedia
Aero-cab Station Jean Marc Cote 1899 Wikipedia

Sooty air left specks on the goggles of my breathing apparatus.  Although that didn’t make much difference.  I had flown up into the brown cloud.  It prevented me seeing anything, even if the goggles had been clean.

The kite-like wings welded onto the rocket tilted as I pushed all my weight toward the right.  It might have been fun if the harness hadn’t been too big for me.  I had the uncomfortable sensation that if I wriggled wrong, I might fall out of it.

The rocket began to sputter and dip, but I hadn’t reached the cloud yet.  For the first time I looked at the fuel gauge.  The red needle was all the way to the left.

Balderdash,” I muttered.

Seeing a metal framework of some sort I took hold of a grappling hook that was attached to a thin rope.  I had looped it around my waist as an afterthought before I set out on my hairbrained scheme.  I didn’t take the big crossbow contraption Victor made.  That was much to heavy and unwieldy for me.  I whirled the rope, breathed a prayer for good aim, and set it free.

The line lurched, but it held.  Hastily, I checked the parachute attached to the rocket in case the line didn’t hold.

My hands found a firm hold on a metal bar.  I tried to figure out how I was going to climb up into… whatever it was.

Squinting upward, I spied the place where the grappling hook landed.  Abruptly, the hook shifted.  I stifled a scream when I dropped a good fifteen feet.  The rocket beneath me rocked violently.  Thin rope holding it snapped.

I watched as the machine plummeted.  A second later the parachute opened, and it swayed and gently drifted downward.  At least the rocket would be safe.  Maybe Victor or the Captain could use it again.

Sucking air through the breathing apparatus I looked from the metal bar to which I held and up into the brown cloud.

“It’s a ladder,” I murmured in astonishment as my gaze followed one metal bar after another, thirty feet up into the cloud.

Carefully, I climbed.  On the tenth rung, my button boot slipped. 

Altered image by Alex Iby at Pixaby
Alex Iby at Pixaby. Altered image.

I gasped and squeezed shut my eyes, but I righted myself.  I tilted my head so that I would have to look upward — not down, when I opened my eyes.

I couldn’t help myself.  I looked down.  The Delta Pearl looked like a bathtub boat toy.  It was small and progressively smaller.  My ladder and whatever held it moved upward.

“Don’t look, don’t think.  Just climb,” I told myself.

Taking a deep breath, I restarted my ascent.

Finally, there were a few rungs left to climb.  I tried to see precisely where the metal bars led.  I knew it must go to something.  Granted, there were so many specks on my goggles that I couldn’t see clearly, but the ladder appeared to simply stop.

I thought about the Delta Peal.  Wanting another glimpse of the riverboat for courage, I looked down.  However, the grimy air prevented me seeing much of anything.

While my head was bent, I felt something grab onto the back of my gas mask.  It yanked upward at first only pulling my hair, but then choking me.

Reflexively, I put my hands to the bottom of the breathing apparatus, trying to keep it from strangling me.  Whatever held it pulled again.

My feet swung out wildly, no longer on the ladder.  Both of my hands clutched the mask.

I coughed and gagged.  My feet kicked as I used them to try and find the ladder.  However, my boots only found empty air.


End Chapter 68


Sorry… I hear you coughing.  I admit to a wicked streak.

Dead of Winter

It’s still early in my Amazon serial.  If you haven’t already joined the journey, you’re just in time for a nice-sized bite.  All three together are under 200 pages — you can catch up easily before the fourth installment is published.

Dead of Winter promotional image by Teagan R. Geneviene
Dead of Winter promotional image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Journey 3, the Fever Field



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

Journey 2, Penllyn




Journey 1, Forlorn Peak



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


Thanks for visiting.  I’d love to hear from you in a comment, but like I keep saying, this is my sanctuary — so keep it friendly.   Remember — this is not a forum for critique.  I freely admit to having PTSD issues.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I barely made it here this week. 

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.


75 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 68 — Fuel

    1. Haha. David, you just made me wonder just how Dickensian a particular character might be next time. I enjoyed Dickens when I was much younger. Maybe he is a greater influence than I realized. 🙂 Stay safe and well, my chuckaboo!


  1. That’s a cliffhanger, Teagan… a ladder hanger? I can’t imagine what’s up there or what Emeraude is going to do about it! I’m glad she’s not too scared of heights. I was petrified just reading it. 😀 Happy Sunday, my friend, and Happy Writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

              1. I took forever to put a draft together Sat., but on Sunday I couldn’t find it. To top it off, they deleted me from following 3 people (so far that I know of).

                Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful imagination, Teagan! Reading this sequel i really got lost in the story itself. So funny and detailled it is. Thank you for sharing, and your efforts keeping all the things in mind, from sequel to sequel. Have a beautiful weekend! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SCARY, YIKES. SCARY! ! I found myself holding my breath, kicking my feet, not wanting to start the fast fall down! ! You are a very descriptive writer, a gifted author. Thank you for your choice of words that give a thrill to your story. Also, may I add, appreciate your art displayed. Thank your for sharing your gifts! !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 Ms. Frances, you make me smile. As I often have to be told — “Breathe.” I’m not sure what happens next time, but it will probably be a calmer episode. Haha, I guess it would have to be calmer than this one! Thank you for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!


  4. Thank you for the mention, Teagan. This is a harrowing situation. Someone holding Emeraude’s mask and her feet swinging in the air. Let’s hope it is someone who can pull her to safety. Good one, Teagan.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow, Teagan, this really is an exciting episode. It reminded me of when I first read The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton and Joe gets pulled off a ladder into a world above by the Magic Snowman. The Magic Snowman was also scary so that scene was very frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh, Robbie — that does sound scary, especially for a children’s story. I’m not familiar with the story or the author. However, I have no knowledge of children’s literature period, so that’s to be expected.
      I’m glad you enjoyed this chapter, my chuckaboo!


  6. I am reiterating the “YIKES!” of Barb. Hanging in the sky, in a sooty cloud, with nothing underfoot and choking…a cliffhanger indeed and a frightening one to boot. I would say you have us all hanging onto the edge of our seats, waiting and hoping for Em’s eventual safety. Sending hugs and wishes for a solid floor underneath your feet, Teagan.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow! You have literally left us hanging. Good luck with your Journeys this week. Looking forward to reading that. Each Saturday morning, I rush to see what has happened. I was disappointed yesterday morning until I realized it was Friday and not Saturday when I didn’t see an installment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha. Pat, more than once, I’ve blessed whatever technology will tell me what day of the week it is. 😀 Thanks for the luck — I need it. “Focus” is an illusive, theoretical concept at this point. Thanks for reading, my chuckaboo!


  8. Acccck, you did warn us, but you literally left us hanging with her. I hope whatever has hold of her is going to help, or her feet find that ladder again.

    I loved “ The Delta Pearl looked like a bathtub boat toy.” I had those, it really made me smile.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Keep your feet on solid ground, Teagan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tee-hee! I’m glad you liked that line, Dan. I never had bathtub toys, but I had such a clear image of it in my mind.
      Ha! I’m still trying to get my feet out of the muck that is holding me back from focusing. Thanks for your encouragement, my chuckaboo! I’m glad you’re on this riverboat.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow! You’ve left her hung up to dry! It makes me think of the Perils of Pauline, although I’ve only ever seen snippets of that silent-era film serial, but she sure got into quite a few tight spots as well. I wonder what’s coming next. Oh, and I adore the image of an aero-cab station. What fun! Thanks for keeping us glued to the story, and take a lot of care. One day at a time, dear Teagan. Big hugs. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Olga. I have not seen more than a couple of snippets of the Perils of Pauline either, and even that was long ago. However, I used to think of it when I wrote Pip’s 1920s serials.
      I thought the aero-cab image was fun too. Thanks for reading, my chuckaboo!


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