Saturday, April 3, 2021
For those who aren’t here on Wednesdays, I’m announcing the April installment of my Amazon serial.
Dead of Winter: Journey 4, The Old Road
Now available. Purchase links are at the end of this post.
Now, for the reason why you are here, my chuckaboos! “The Delta Pearl” is back with a new episode. I’m dancing as fast as I can — it’s been a very difficult week. So pardon this being a draft. There are doubtlessly mistakes. Pointing them out does not qualify as a friendly comment.
Since I wasn’t here last weekend, here’s a Link to the previous episode.
Do you see that lovely mirror in my image collage below? Fellow blogger, Dan Antion actually made that for his daughter, Faith! She took the photo of the mirror. Dan told me about it when he left Cheval Mirror as a random reader thing. Now let’s waltz on over to The Delta Pearl.
The Delta Pearl
Chapter 70 — Geostrophic
Hanging moss and a swampy river made the background for a painting. The unknown artist’s subject startled me enough that my attention was diverted from the man who wore a green pinstripe tuxedo. He followed my gaze.
“She is exquisite, no?” Malachite remarked in a Cajun accent. “Cécile Perle, mambo extraordinaire. A vodou queen of unsurpassed skill and beauty.”
The subject of the painting was a beautiful woman. Her luxurious hair shined like a halo about her lovely face. Around her neck was a ribbon from which an intricately carved cameo hung.
While the setting was different, it was the same woman from the old portrait on the Delta Pearl.
Of its own accord, my hand went to my neck. My cameo was nearly identical to the one in the portrait. Fortunately, I had not made it part of my ensemble when I got dressed that morning. I would surely have lost the necklace with everything that had happened.
His eyes returned to me. He regarded me in an evaluative stare. I felt like a specimen under Victor’s microscope. Several times he looked from the painting to me, and back again, as if comparing minute details.
Grinding gears, or perhaps it was a growl, made a noise that caused Malachite to look away. The sound made me even more nervous than I already was. If it was a growl, then it came from something big.
A series of tiny tugs inched from the top of my sleeve and up the back collar of my gown. I knew it was the clockwork bookworm, so I tried not to react. It had shushed me, so I expected the clockwork’s intention was stealth.
It pulled the hair at the back of my neck as it climbed. I flinched before I could stop myself. However, Malachite didn’t seem to notice. Then the bookworm hissed into my ear, much as Amethyst would have done. Instantly a pang of worry for my spider stabbed my heart. The tiny clockwork tried again to speak.
“Ap-pat… Lep-pat. Lep-pat,” it said urgently.
The growl came again. It was followed by a muffled voice. I both hoped and feared that the voice belonged to the Mate, Blue John Boulton. Then I realized the pitch was too high. I couldn’t hear the words, but the voice had to belong to a woman.
The voice was all it took to cause Malachite to lose interest in me.
“Cher, you must not tire yourself,” he called out and left the room.
The soft tones of the muffled voice reached me again. The sound was interspersed with remarks from Malachite.
“Alright. I’ll take care of it,” I heard him say from a distance. “But promise me you will go rest now.”
I heard small sounds as he moved away. Then the metallic noise of distant footfalls on a metal staircase. A moment later the floor vibrated and the hum of what must have been a huge fan started.
For the first time I was able to look around. I was in a long but rather narrow chamber. At the opposite end of the room was a tall cheval mirror. The position of the mirror allowed me to see a little way into the direction Malachite had gone. Although that was of little use, as the view showed an empty room.
I saw a round window, elaborately framed like the ones on the Delta Pearl. Staggering to my feet, I felt the slightest motion beneath me. It reminded me of the river.
“But that’s impossible,” I murmured. “I went up, into that awful brown cloud.”
I moved to the window. Blue sky and white clouds met my gaze. Looking down I saw the familiar sooty cloud. As the sound of the fan continued the brown cloud began to swirl and disperse.
“Welcome aboard the Geostrophic Pearl,” he had said moments before.
“A dirigible then? Malachite’s Geostrophic Pearl is an airship?” I muttered in gaping wonder.
The countryside far below composed a quilt with varied patches of green and tan. I wondered how far away from the river we had traveled. However, my view wasn’t 360 degrees. I hoped we stayed near the river.
“Émeraude,” a raspy voice spoke my name.
End Chapter 70
Well now, that’s quite a view… but much remains to be seen. Until next time, my chuckaboos!
Dead of Winter — The Other Journeys
If you haven’t already joined the journey, you’re just in time to curl up with a nice-sized bite of reading. All three together are under 200 pages — you can catch up before the fourth installment is published.
Journey 4, the Old Road
Journey 3, the Fever Field
Journey 2, Penllyn
Journey 1, Forlorn Peak
Thanks for visiting. I’d love to hear from you in a comment, but like I say, this is my sanctuary — so keep it friendly. Remember — this is not a forum for critique.
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
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