The Delta Pearl 77 — Conclusion

Saturday, June 26, 2021

delta-pearl-cover-1
The Delta Pearl book cover designed by Teagan R. Geneviene

Welcome back, my chuckaboos. I hope you’ve had a lovely week.  The Delta Pearl is here. This riverboat first left dock on July, 27, 2019.  It’s been two years, and 77 installments! Yes, this is the final chapter. I’m grateful to everyone who has been a part of this story, whether you left “random reader things”, or just left friendly comments.  Your participation has meant the world to me.

Today I have a truly long episode, but I didn’t want to parcel out the ending.  For those who only want to read a little, I’ve divided it into “parts” to make it easy for you to find a stopping place. I’m serious about it being long… Without further ado…  

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 77 — Bond
Part 1

1878 Ludlow canaries caged birds Wikipedia
Ludlow 1878, Wikipedia

Cécile produced an ornate brass box.  It looked identical to one from The Delta Pearl.  At the base of the filigree adorned box, was a small hole.  The clockwork butterfly detached herself from Cécile’s shoulder, allowing the mambo to take the short gold rod which was the key.  She inserted it into the box and turned.  Then she reattached it to Peridot.

The brass box opened to reveal tuning forks, also like the ones in the matching box on the riverboat.  However, there were only five, rather than six.

“The sixth fork belonged to Malachite.  When the Delta Pearl banished him, she kept the tuning fork… and the key.  So, the Geostrophic Pearl has never held the level of magic that belongs to the riverboat.  But it could not anyway.  It is but an appendage of the riverboat,” Cécile explained.

“You mean the airship was always a part of the Delta Pearl?” I asked and she nodded.

Ma moitié That is why I say the Delta Pearl is my other half,” she murmured.

At a light whistle from Cécile the clockwork owl came forward.  His tiny top hat was about to fall off, and she fixed it for him.

“Onyx, mon choupinou, please see Peridot safely down to the Captain.  Make sure they get the key,” she instructed and the two clockworks flew out of the airship.

As I watched the two leaving, a reaction to the trauma of the struggle with Malachite caught up with me.  My hands started to shake.  The view outside only added to my distress.

When the wind, or perhaps the Voodoo queen’s magic, blew the airship inland, it took us farther than ever away from the riverboat.  It looked so small, far below us.  However, the Delta Pearl was leaving a wake behind her as she sped at an impossible pace to catch up with the air ship.

“You told me I had to save myself,” I began in a defeated voice.  “I’ve done a poor job of that.  Blue John and the clockworks are what saved us.  Maybe Malachite was right.  I’m not worthy to be the Delta Pearl’s heir.”

“Nonsense.  It isn’t over yet.  There is still much saving to be done,” Cécile told me in a sardonic tone I had not heard her use before.

“Émeraude, the bonding needs to be sung,” Blue John wheezed from where he lay.

“But that takes six voices.  There are only the three of us!” I told him, unable to keep my fear in check.

“It has to be done,” Blue insisted weakly.

Abruptly I remembered that Victor told me to use the telectroscope when the bonding was sung, so everyone’s singing could combine.  I went to the device and fiddled with the knobs.  Suddenly the screen was filled by a close view of Victor’s nose.

“Ah!  There you are, my chuckaboo!” he exclaimed and backed away so that he looked normal.  “Émeraude remember, turn on the volume.  It’s the dial on the lower left.”

I twisted the dial this way and that, and did everything my inventor recommended.  No matter what I did, I couldn’t make them hear us.

“It’s okay.  Don’t worry.  Something must have come loose inside the machine when it was transported.  The rocket wasn’t exactly a smooth way to move it.  We can still hear what’s happening up there, and we’re getting closer by the minute.  Hopefully that will be enough,” he tried to reassure me.

Victor moved aside and the Dealer’s face came into view.  I almost cried, just for the relief seeing him gave me.  If it had been Agate’s sympathetic face, I would have blubbered uncontrollably.

“Jaspe, what can we do?  We don’t have six voices.  The bonding will never work and Cécile says the singing of it will heal Blue John!” I asked, already forgetting that I wouldn’t be able to hear what he said.

The Dealer moved his lips, but I couldn’t read them.  Then the screen flickered.  The image of Jaspe’s face was distorted.  The transmission stopped.  I started to cry.

Louis Jourdan in Madame Bovary 1949
Louis Jourdan in Madame Bovary 1949

I heard Cécile murmuring that foreign song again.  She was bending over Blue John.  I was so upset that I didn’t think about it.  In a foggy part of my mind, I remembered him saying that he didn’t want her to do any Voodoo on him.

“Em, we have to sing,” Blue John said softly, suddenly beside me.

Startled, I jumped.  He still looked awful, but he had gotten across the room.  Blue grumbled a complaint to Cécile about magic.

Cher, it was only a teeny trickle of power.  Just enough so that you don’t drop dead right now,” the mambo told him unapologetically.  “You are still your normal self.  Émeraude needs you… and so do I.  So does the Geostrophic Pearl.”

The Mate turned his blue-eyed gaze back to me.  My shoulders sagged.  I had never been part of the bonding ceremonies.  Those who sang had truly beautiful voices.  My voice was not trained.  I couldn’t read music.  I knew I wasn’t a great singer.  I said as much to Blue John.

“It is not the purity of pitch, cher.  It is simply that you sing.  It is your essence that is required,” said the Voodoo queen.

“Will the six-tone scale re-bond you to the Delta Pearl? Make you whole again?” I shifted the subject to ask Cécile.

After her remarks about being a bird in a gilded cage, I wasn’t sure if she would want to be part of the Delta Pearl.  There was such sadness in her human eye when she spoke of it.

“It’s true that I am a bird in a gilded cage here on the Geostrophic Pearl.  Malachite thought he protected me, but I had no freedom.  But now that I am changed, an unnatural creature, I could not go about freely anywhere.  If I were on the riverboat, it would not be allowed for the passengers see me.  I would have no freedom there either,” she stated.

“But that is of no import right now, cher.  As you know, Blue John became effected when the two ships came close together.  However, that is not a temporary condition.  It has progressed, perhaps because Malachite followed in this air ship for so long.  Just as the two ships repel one another because of the damage Malachite did so long ago, so has Blue John been divided.  However, the division and repelling, it is within his mind and soul.  If the riverboat and the air ship are not re-bonded, he will never be whole.  The song must be sung.”

“But we only have three voices, and the bonding calls for six.  And I don’t even have a good voice, at least not the right kind of voice,” I fretted.

“It is true that the two entities cannot merge without the perfection of the six-tone scale.  But Émeraude, it is not the exact notes the song must have in order to heal.  They would be able to withstand being in closer proximity,” she tried to explain, but I didn’t understand.

“Émeraude, I believe she is right,” Blue began.  “They can do the full ceremony on the Delta Pearl.  We can sing a counterpoint, or a harmony here and create a song that complements it.  It won’t have to be the exact notes or the same number of voices.”

I still didn’t fully understand.  However, what the Mate said did make a certain kind of sense to me.

“I’m hoping there is also an added benefit,” Blue continued.  “The changed situation would also give Cécile an amount of freedom.  She has developed a sense of self over the years.  If she was made part of the Delta Pearl again, she would still be a bird in a gilded cage.  Her only real freedom is the Geostrophic Pearl.”

The all-seeing eye pin started to glow brightly.  The tuning forks began to vibrate.  They emanated a rainbow of cascading colors that shot across the room.  There were no instruments, only voices.

With each line, the six-tone scale escalated one degree higher.  However, the tones felt very incomplete to me.  One of the tuning forks made a sour note.  I could feel the song unraveling.

I remembered when Jet Fischer’s bonding very nearly went bad, because of Malachite’s copper scarab.  However, when the Captain added his bass tones the process came back together.

“If only we had a bass voice,” I muttered with a hopeful look at Blue John Boulton.

Immediately I felt guilty.  It was amazing that the Mate could manage to sing a note in his condition.

“Lass, even on a good day, I could never hit the deep notes that Cecil Perlog sings,” he said, almost panting with the effort of singing.

I couldn’t help thinking that all the effort and pain had been for nothing.  Harmony or full song, it wasn’t going to be enough to keep Blue John alive.

Part 2

Kirk Douglas as Blue John Boulton
Kirk Douglas as Blue John Boulton

The Mate muttered something unintelligible as he checked the tuning forks.

Gee-peh, the clockwork leopard gave a low growl, as if in agreement with Blue.

“There’s no need to growl at me,” I remarked to the mechanical jungle cat.

“Not to worry, cher.  That is his purr,” Cécile assured me.

I looked at the huge clockwork curiously.  Then I was struck by an idea.  My eyebrows shot up near my hairline.  I looked at Cécile.

“That was actually a pretty good bass tone.  Do you think…?  With a little help, maybe…?” I tried to suggest but wasn’t sure what to say.

Cécile caught my meaning.  She clicked her tongue and the leopard went to her side.  It placed its chin on her knee and continued the mechanical purring.  Briefly she chanted foreign words over the cat.  The grinding noise became more like the sound of a motor.  Then the humming of the motor started to sound very much like a wordlessly intoned human song — in a rich bass tone.

Describing Blue John as looking better may have been an overstatement, but his decline seemed to have slowed.  I even felt more composed.  I turned a curious gaze to Cécile.  The rings surrounding her mechanical eye twisted first one direction then another.  A small smile played upon her lips.

The Mate looked at the light coming from the Captain’s emerald.  The glow was flickering.

“There’s a reason why the Captain wears the all-seeing eye pinned to hold his puff tie in place.  It doesn’t only help him attune to the Pearl.  It helps him have her voice.  Move the pin so that it is at your throat, not on your shoulder,” he told me.  “Then sing any sound that yourn heart would speak.”

I re-pinned the brooch as Blue instructed.  He and Cécile intoned rich music.  The perfect pitch of the Mate’s voice always gave me goosebumps.  Cécile’s voice sharp and high, but pleasant.  It reminded me of tapping a crystal champagne flute.  She touched the clockwork leopard with a nod, and its bass tone merged with their voices.

Then from somewhere inside the heart of the airship itself, an impossibly deep sound engulfed me.  I felt the vibration in my feet as a bass surged.  It was even lower than the leopard’s gris-gris enhanced purr.

“The voice of the Geostrophic Pearl,” Blue John whispered in awe.

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

Other music drew my eyes to the porthole.  Below on the river, I could see the harmonic music, streaming up from the riverboat in half a dozen colors.

Suddenly I could hear the difference in the song from the crew of the riverboat and the music from Blue and Cécile.  The two songs blended together so well that I had not realized it was more than one song.

I sang an awkward note that didn’t match either song.

Amethyst scrabbled up my sleeve and onto my shoulder.  The clockwork spider only had a whispery voice, but she urged me to use mine.

Then my purple spider hopped to the all-seeing eye pin at my throat.  She clamped her front feet around the black diamond that formed the pupil of the eye.  A dark rainbow aura formed around Amethyst.  Suddenly tones poured from my spider that were so pure they went straight to my heart.

“The voice of the Delta Pearl,” I murmured.

A tear glistened in Cécile’s eye.  Smiling, she nodded and grabbed my hand.

“Sing, cher!”

And to my astonishment, I did precisely that.

Cécile swayed to the tune.  She was surrounded by the colors of the music as she casted her spell.  Then she took one of the tuning forks and carefully struck it against her eye piece.

The Geostrophic Pearl rocked and lurched.  Below on the river, I saw the Delta Pearl waver and shift as well.

I remembered Victor’s description when the brown cloud that hid the airship came close to the riverboat.  He said that it was like two magnets with the wrong poles, pushing each other away.  The two ships could not be close together.  I feared what might would happen, because something was pulling them closer, despite the unseen force that repelled them.

Auras surged wildly.  The harmonic tones became so intense I could scarcely bear the sound.  The music consumed me.  Holding our hands, Cécile pulled Blue and me closer.

Blue John struggled to his feet.  His voice held the same tone that he sung, but he spoke.

“Émeraude, Cécile… I’m glad I could see you together.  It’s almost as good as seeing the Pearl made whole.  I’m glad I could see you one last time,” Blue gasped out in a ragged voice, then he fell into us as we sang.

Colored light stabbed into Blue John.  His back arched.  He cried out in pain.  Knees buckling, his body sagged.  The only thing holding him up was music and light.

Rainbow auras light and dark shot wildly around the room.  Colors and music enveloped the Geostrophic Pearl.

Suddenly Blue gasped hoarsely, sucking air into his lungs.

A mindless expression was on his face, but his voice rejoined the song.

The sensation of two magnets pushing one another away intensified.

“The circuit needs to be complete!” Cécile cried.  “Émeraude, take hold of him again.”

With the unconscious Blue John, the three of us made a circle.  The dirigible and the air around it vibrated.  The sound got in my head and buzzed in in my sinuses.  I shook my head hard.

Waves of auric light reached up from the riverboat to merge with those surrounding the airship.  Black is the presence of all colors.  Similar to the dark rainbow that came from the black diamond of the all-seeing eye, darker colors beamed out from the dirigible and down to the riverboat.

The singing from the riverboat was loud enough to easily be heard.  I could hear the harmonies as a single sound, but I also heard the individual voices.  Cecil Perlog the Captain’s bass, Jaspe the Dealer’s dynamic voice, Obsidian the Cadet, Opal the Librarian, Jet her apprentice, Agate, the Cook.  They made the six-tone chord!

I staggered to the floor, abruptly released from the hold of the music.  The Mate lay motionless.  His countenance was more peaceful than I had seen him look since I was a small child.

“Is he…” I tried to ask Cécile but I couldn’t bear to say the word.

“The Delta Pearl was angry with him so the music became violent, stabbing him,” the Voodoo queen began but saw my confused expression.  “Because he would leave her.  He has wished to leave for some months, no?  The stress of the divided Delta Pearl was too much for him.  But as the song was being sung, she knew he must go, no matter how the bonding would be done, c’est tout.”

I still didn’t understand.  Then I saw that the Mate was actually breathing softly, and I forgot all about my own confusion.

“He’s alive?”

Ça c’est bon,” she murmured looking from Blue to me.  “The magic… the Delta Pearl has healed his wound.  She has also healed herself, and his mind too, I think.”

***

Part 3

Faiths cheval mirror with steampunk
Image tomfoolery by Teagan

Thanks to Agate’s herbal potions and a bit of hypnotic suggestion, the passengers knew nothing of what really transpired.  The extraordinary speed at which the riverboat had traveled to catch up with the airship had brought the Delta Pearl close to the intended port.  The passengers disembarked as they normally would.

That didn’t apply to Mr. and Mrs. Randal Needleman.  They of course became a part of the events that transpired on the voyage.  Eliza and her husband extended their stay on the riverboat.  An unexpected friendship seemed to have developed between the entrepreneur and the Captain.

I couldn’t help remembering and wondering about the future where we left at Mate will stay with the runaway wife and her lover — Alison Ritchie and Azalea Morton.  The business card the Dealer secretly told me to give them, the place where someone would help them had read Cecil Perlog IV and Emerald Needleman, Attorneys at Law.

Captain Cecil Perlog regretfully accepted the resignation of his First Mate, Blue John Boulton.  However, the event was not a sad one.  Blue would become the captain of the Geostrophic Pearl airship.  Blue John decided that the air ship, a smaller vessel than the giant riverboat, and one with no passengers, would offer him the rest his mind needed.

Cécile and her clockworks could have managed the dirigible on their own, but she didn’t want the task.  No longer threatened by Malachite, she preferred to focus on her studies and magic.  Suddenly having the freedom to leave, she found that she wanted to stay.  Particularly if Blue John would also stay.

Obsidian Durango, the Cadet gulped when the Captain called his name.

“Captain sir, please don’t send me to that flying death-trap.  I promise I’ll be more timely and more focused on my duties,” Sid pleaded.

“You’ll have to, my boy.  It takes a lot of attention to detail… to be the First Mate of the Delta Pearl,” the Captain said by way of promoting him.

Jet Fischer, who already had extensive experience in library science, was to temporarily give up his position as Opal’s apprentice.  He would serve, as the airship’s librarian, copying all the works of the Geostrophic Pearl, so they could be shared with the riverboat’s bank of knowledge.

When Victor finished a tour Cécile provided of the airship, my young inventor was beyond fascinated.  Then he became very quiet.

Cécile gazed at Victor.  Her mechanical eye clicked and whirred as the various rings around it adjusted.  A spark of pink light appeared in the glass.  Her chin tilted upward, and her head slightly to one side before she spoke.

Mon choupinou Victor,” the mambo began.  “You are gifted with mechanical things.  With enough time to study her workings, do you imagine you could make a way to power the Geostrophic Pearl?  A way that doesn’t create the vile brown cloud?”

The Captain and Jaspe were utterly silent.  They looked on interestedly.

In an overly casual tone, Victor mentioned a wish to spend more time on the Geostrophic Pearl to study it.  He said he believed he could create something similar to the naptha engine that powered the launch boat.  Then he became quiet again.

“I know it’s not proper, but propriety be damned.  Come with us, Émeraude!  Marry me please,” he burst out, dropping to one knee.

I freely admit that my heart did a flipflop.  The sapphire clockwork bluebird even fluttered around my head.  That actually earned Victor a narrow-eyed look from me.  I suspected he and the bluebird were in cahoots.

As exciting and romantic as it was, his proposal came as a complete surprise to me.  I had dreamed of a “Prince Charming” or a knight in shining armor along with a beautiful fairytale wedding, just as most girls did.  However, those weren’t my only fantasies.

“You’d ask for my hand,” I started bewilderedly.  “Yet you’ve never managed to even steal a kiss?  How can you want to marry me?”

Abruptly he stood.  Pulling me into a tight embrace, Victor firmly planted a kiss on my mouth.  It was followed by a softer, lingering kiss.

Seeing the exchange from across the deck, the Captain bellowed like a giant bear.  The Dealer and the Chief Porter each grabbed one of his arms.  Jet Fischer tried to talk calmingly to him.  Sid prudently backed away.

Cecil Perlog shook them off as easily as he would take off a coat.  Finally, the Cook stepped in front of him.  I couldn’t hear what she said, but she punctuated every sentence by poking her finger into his chest.

He looked from the Agate to me and then to Jaspe.  The Captain’s shoulders sagged, but otherwise he did not move.

Mr. and Mrs. Needleman stood nearby.  Eliza smiled.  Randall chuckled.

Ataboy, Victor!” he cheered.

“Victor, I’m barely sixteen years old—” I began but Victor cut off my words.

“There’s nothing improper in that!  Girls much younger than you marry.  I’m easily able to provide for you.  Or I’m quite happy to stay aboard the Delta Pearl with you.  I know this is your home.  I wouldn’t demand that you leave, or go any place that you didn’t want to go,” he vowed.

“I’m not saying I don’t want to marry you, Victor.  I’m saying that I don’t want to marry anyone — not yet.  I’ve lived almost all my life on the Delta Pearl.  Granted I see much more on these river voyages that most girls ever see… but I’ve never seen or done anything else.  I just don’t know what I want,” I finished lamely.

Atagirl,” Eliza murmured, earning a confused look from her husband.

Cécile murmured something to Blue John.  Hearing it, Jaspe glared at her, but then his face softened and he nodded.  The Dealer turned to the Captain and they talked quietly.  So did Eliza and Randal.

“Victor, my chuckaboo...  You can’t just throw propriety to the winds,” Eliza spoke up.  “But who could complain if you have chaperones?  Randal and I would love to do a tour on the Geostrophic Pearl.  What could be more exciting?” she exclaimed.

Neither the Captain nor the Dealer looked very happy with that solution.  However, both of my father figures looked less irate.  At least I didn’t think either of them was about to kill anyone.

“Oh, alright,” the Captain grumbled.  “Mate— ahem… Captain Boulton, you have ninety days.  At the end of that time, she’d better be brought safely back to us.  Émeraude see Europe and the Far East, and any place you’ve dreamed of… but just ninety days, mind you!  Eliza, I’m counting on you to keep all this new crew in line.  Maybe that responsibility will keep you out of trouble too,” he muttered in an aside.

Abruptly I remembered the Captain’s all-seeing eye pin.  I needed to return it to him, because I was certain that he only meant it as a loan.  As I went toward him, I stopped to speak to Cécile.

“Didn’t you tell me that I had to save myself, that the Delta Pearl would not have a weak heir?” I started.  “Because I don’t feel heroic.  I’m not sure I saved anything, including myself.  Do you think the riverboat will not accept me?”

“Ah, cher…” Cécile began with a shake of her head.  “You did save yourself, and more than once.  That does not come from vanquishing someone who is two times stronger than you.  When you find inner strength which you never knew you possessed, that is when you save yourself.”

“Émeraude, you did save yourself.  Cher, you will do so again and again,” promised the Voodoo queen.

***

Later, the Geostrophic Pearl drifted lazily above the river, Victor worked to repair the pink tourmaline flamingo and some other clockworks that were damaged.  Randal looked on and assisted.  Jet enthusiastically started going through all the books and charts.  Eliza and Cécile were getting acquainted.

So, I indulged my curiosity and prowled.  I found all sorts of interesting knickknacks that had been collected.  In an out of the way corner, I found a tall storage cabinet.  Opening it, I took out a long parcel.  I felt wrong about unwrapping it, but something told me I had better look.  When I moved the paper, I found a prosthetic mechanical leg.  By the length and size, I knew it belonged to Malachite.

“Is he like Cécile?  Is he something other than human?” I wondered.

I remembered his fall.  The dirigible had been over solid ground.  Surely no man could survive…

***

The End 

***

There you have it, my chuckaboos!  After 77 installments the Delta Pearl has returned to dock.  Her voyage has come full circle, but it’s not really an end, because as long as she travels in your imagination, the adventures continue. Plus now she has a sister ship, the Geostrophic Pearl and who knows what collie shangles will ensue up there!

To those who are relatively new to this story, it means a lot to me that you joined this crew.  For those who have been aboard The Delta Pearl from the very beginning, I can’t thank you enough.  You’ve kept this riverboat afloat.

While I will still be blogging, I’m taking a break from blog serial writing.  Like Blue John, my brain could use a rest.  However, after I recharge, I’ll be back with an all new, from scratch, “Three Things” style, pantser serial.  And sets of three random things, from you will drive every aspect of that story.  

Until next time, my chuckaboos!

***

I’m sorry, my chuckaboos.  I’m having the same kind of out-more-than-up Internet problems I had last summer and fall.  Because of this, I will be slow to answer comments.  It also seems to cause some of my comments to disappear.  Your comments mean so very much to me, and I will answer as I’m able to squeeze out a few minutes at a time of Internet “service.”  (Voodoo curses upon you TDS Telecom!)

 

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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.

 


103 thoughts on “The Delta Pearl 77 — Conclusion

  1. Phew! I can’t believe it’s been so long, congratulations to you for keeping going for all that time and not only that but entertaining us every step of the way. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip on the Delta Pearl. Well done 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I savored every bit of these final three parts. I so didn’t want the story to end but what a lovely ending after all. Thank you for taking us on this wonderful adventure Teagan! Good times were had by all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a perfect ending! Can’t believe it’s been two years since we boarded. I’m glad Em gets to have an adventure – and she got her first kiss with Victor. Hope your brain enjoys the rest – hugs, Teagan!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This has been a terrific story, you have a fantastic imagination and a gift for writing an exciting story. Now it is finished and you will be off on another adventure to share with your readers. Thank you for all the time you have dedicated to write this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Ms. Frances. It’s been a delight to have you on this riverboat (or airship). I hope you’ll be part of the next story too. Be thinking of 3 unrelated, random things to leave for me. That’s how I will write the next one — whatever it turns out to be. Hugs winging to you, my chuckaboo!

      Like

    1. Thank you kindly. There will be another serial in a few weeks, with lots of reader engagement. Although even I have no idea what it will be. However this weekend I’m taking a vote about a singular aspect of the next story. It may or may not become an important part of the plot. We’ll have to wait and see. Les bon temps roulez, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was really blown away by how long this journey has been…doesn’t feel like 2 years!! Your writing is incredible and that creative mind you have been blessed with spins the most most incredible stories. I admire your gift!! Thank you for a fantastic ride!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirt, what a wonderful comment. You’ve made my day. Thanks so much for being part of this crazy riverboat. I hope you’ll be onboard for whatever comes next. Be getting your set of “three random things” ready. Stay safe and well, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Now, this has been a fabulous adventure! Thank you, Teagan!
    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
    👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent ending to this one, Teagan. I liked the fact that you allow us to continue the story in our minds and crafted the ending to allow just that. Thank you for bringing the story to us. Hugs 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Kamal. That means a lot to me. I hope you will be a part of the next serial. In a few weeks I will put out a call for “3 random reader things.” Those will drive every aspect of the new serial. More on that soon. Meanwhile I’ll still be in the blogging world. Huge hugs, my chuckaboo!

      Like

  8. It’s sad that this serial is over, but the fantasy world it leaves us with is fantastic.

    I too am glad Emeraude did not accept Victor’s proposal. Not yet anyway. I was sure we would find out about the portrait and who it is that Emeraude resembles, but perhaps that’s a mystery the Pearl is hanging on to!

    All in all this has been a happy ending…….except for the “ending” part! 😂

    This has been quite an adventure for me. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. You are a gifted writer Teagan. I’m glad I showed up at the dock on time to get aboard the Delta Pearl.

    I hope you allow yourself a long rest before you start typing again. You (and Crystal) deserve it.

    So I guess on Saturday’s I will have to content myself with checking out my navel and other equally electrifying past times!!! Lol!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Ginger you slay me with the navel remark. 😀
      I’m happy you’ve enjoyed this story. Thanks for being aboard from the beginning all through the two year stretch.
      There have been a lot of details trickling in over these short episodes. I don’t expect anyone to catch everything. In Chapter 70 – Geostrophic, Malachite compares Émeraude to “the original,” hinting she is a descendant. He also reveals “Cécile Perle, mambo extraordinaire. A Voodoo queen of unsurpassed skill and beauty,” as the subject of the portrait. Émeraude also is certain that the two portraits are of the same woman. I didn’t pin down an exact connection between Émeraude and Cécile because I like for the reader to have freedom to imagine some parts of the story in the way they like best. That also leaves a little bit of something that could be in a sequel.
      I hope you’ll be onboard whatever the next serial turns out to be. Take care, my chuckaboo!

      Like

    1. Thanks so much, Deborah. Yes, you can use the Delta Pearl category button on the right of the screen to get to all the episodes. They’re in reverse order, but…
      Not much of a break awaits me, because I have other writing and editing projects demanding attention. But I’ll take a few weeks off from blog-serial writing, to lessen the load for a while. I’m happy you were a part of this riverboat. Stay safe and well, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Delta Pearl will always travel in my imagination, Teagan. This is a perfect ending. I cannot even find words to say more. I thoroughly enjoyed this journey with you! Hugs and have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderful conclusion, Teagan! Thank you very much, for all your efforts collecting and making all the wonderful images and collages, and writing this wonderful novel. You are really showing your master ability, and the usage of French terms has given the story a great cosmopolitanism. THANK YOU! Have a beautiful weekend! xx Michael
    P.S.: I am now reblogging/ reposting on https://books.eslarn-net.de. Better selfhosted in compliance with the unadapted German version of the GDPR, and a reopend blog. :-)) xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hooray! I was able to access your blog, Michael. This is exciting. My Internet went out yet again while I was browsing, but I look forward to exploring it.
      I’m delighted you have enjoyed this story. Thanks for your feedback about the occasional French dialect phrases. I will “book-ize” The Delta Pearl at some time next year. Thank you so much for reblogging. Be well and happy, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks Michael. I was able to look around a little before losing Internet again. It looks wonderful! I like the way you organized it. I didn’t see how to like or comment, but with all the posts you are sharing, I guessed that the blog doesn’t have like/comment — and that is fine. I think you did a terrific job. Thanks for showing my posts there. A beautiful weekend to you too, from Crystal and me.

          Like

  11. Love, love, loved the epic story of the Delta Pearl, its crew and passengers, Teagan. Your writing made this into a marvelous two-year adventure that we all wanted to follow week-to-week, even when your internet and schedule didn’t. The ending was fabulous because all our favorite characters made it through, Blue John was healed, Cecile was freed and Emeraude found her feet and her voice. You deserve a good rest after this, but I’m looking forward to the next Teagan Chapter and what she has to offer. It will be good, I am sure.

    Hugs and kudos from me, and a few great job purrs from Gibbs. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A thoroughly satisfying ending, which holds out faint hope that we may visit this world again sometime… I’m glad the leopard was able to be part of the harmony. I want to be a librarian on either Pearl. You outdid yourself Teagan. Take a well-deserved (but not too long) a break. I need something to look forward to until the next Journey. Will this cover be the new cover when you publish the Delta Pearl as a novel? Satisfied hugs chugging your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Pat. Yes, this has always been one of my favorite covers. As the rewrite grew the story, the cover worked even better. So I will certainly keep it when I “bookize” the story. Ahhh… isn’t it lovely to imagine living on such a wonderful traveling ship? To have home remain in one place, and still see amazing lands… Thanks for being on this riverboat. Hugs winging back to you, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Teagan, following the journey of the Delta Pearl was such a great experience. I didn’t want it to end, but this ending leaves me feeling good, optimistic and amazed. I love how you wrapped it all up, and I am leaving with my imagination full of adventures on the river and in the air above many foreign lands. I will raise a glass to two years of artful description, heart stopping cliff-hangers and steampunk wizardry all from your incredible imagination. Here’s to you, Teagan. Enjoy a well deserved rest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It means a lot to me that you feel that way, Dan. Your photos added more than you can realize, not just to the illustrations, but for keeping me inspired. Not to mention some great “random things.” I began to wonder how I would ever use “clock with a broken hand”, but I kept it in mind, because it was such an evocative “thing.” Finally in the library scene in Cairo, Ill. it really made the scene.
      I won’t rest much, because I’ll be toiling away on other projects. However, maybe the pantser-serial part of my brain can recharge a bit. Toasting you too, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, my dear! Here you show your master ability. My brother, as I do believe he was a good writer, told me once: The hardest parts of writing a novel is the beginning and the end! Here you made it. Brilliant! And as you uttered, it can be continued in our imagination; we are still All Aboard. 🤗💖🙏🥰😘😘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you dear, Magician. Yes, your brother was a very good writer. Thank you for sharing his book with me. I suppose that was years ago, but it doesn’t seem so long. My downfall is that I rarely can see the ending of the story when I start writing. So, I hone my “pantser” skills, flying by the seat of my pants, with no idea where it ends. I’m so glad you are still aboard. 🙂 Hugs, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Outstanding and sad all at once. I dearly hate to see the Delta Pearl go. You wove it all together like fine tapestry, Teagan – Bravo!
    (I do fear I missed something though. I do not recall who the portrait on the Pearl was, Cecile? And why such a connection to Em?)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There have been a lot of details trickling in over these short episodes, GP. I don’t expect anyone to catch everything. In Chapter 70 – Geostrophic, Malachite compares Émeraude to “the original,” hinting she is a descendant. He also reveals “Cécile Perle, mambo extraordinaire. A Voodoo queen of unsurpassed skill and beauty,” as the subject of the portrait. Émeraude also is certain that the two portraits are of the same woman. I didn’t pin down an exact connection between Émeraude and Cécile because I like for the reader to have freedom to imagine some parts of the story in the way they like best. That also leaves a little bit of something that could be in a sequel.

      You’ve been an important part of this riverboat from the beginning, GP. Thank you so much. Now, be getting those three random things ready to kickoff the next serial. 😉 It will probably start in about a month. Huge hugs, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Priscilla. I like to imagine that we could see music. Of course we can feel sound (vibrations anyway), but it’s interesting to try and write about the sensation. Thanks for being a regular part of this riverboat. Huge hugs, my chuckaboo!

      Like

    1. Hi Robbie. I’m delighted you think so. Victor proposing was my way of giving a nod to the readers who were so sure Victor would rescue her, I knew there would be some people (regardless of Émeraude’s age) who hoped for a romance-type ending. However, she is a free thinking young woman. It wouldn’t have been true to Émeraude’s character if she had jumped at the offer of marriage. Thanks for being on this riverboat from the beginning and throughout the story, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Teagan – I’ve just come over from Dan’s … I love your images – brilliant. The story too sounds intriguing … at some stage I’ll try and read through … but obviously you enjoy your creative writing and imagination skills – congratulations and here’s to the next voyage with the Geostrophic Pearl … enjoy the break – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Hillary! Thank you for your kind wishes. Yes, I will “book-ize” the Delta Pearl, but not until next year. First I have to finish my Amazon series, The Dead of Winter (a high fantasy) before I tackle editing the Pearl. You’re more than welcome to join in the next blog serial. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Fantastic ending, Teagan. And yes, I think “The End?” suits it better. It didn’t feel at all long, after this journey we’ve been on together. Have a great break (you deserve it, girl!), and I look forward to the next serial, whenever the time is right. Thanks for keeping the imagination flying and sailing! Big hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Olga. If I were giving awards, you would take the prize for the best “reader things.” So be getting a set of three random things ready for the next serial. It will be a full-on pantser tale. Who knows where it will go. Hugs, my chuckaboo!

      Like

  18. Oh nicely done, though that sounds rather weak… magnificently done and a naughty little cliffhangerette at the conclusion. Sneaky. Just keeping a foot in the door as it were. Well done on bringing this to a point. Not sure how you did that…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so kind, Geoff — thank you. LOL, or a leg in the door, as the case may be. 😀 There are some stories that just need the potential to have adventures continue to infinity, even if they are really a stand alone book. I’m happy you enjoyed this, my chuckaboo!

      Like

    1. Thanks for your feedback about the proposal, Denise. Because they were so sure Victor would rescue her, I knew there would be some people (regardless of Emeraude’s age) who hoped for a romance-type ending. So Victor proposing was my way of giving a nod to that. However, Emeraude has always been a “brickey girl” and a free thinking young woman. So of course she had to set her boundaries. Thanks for being on this riverboat from the beginning and throughout the story, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Yes, that’s how I wanted the ending to feel — as though it is also beginning. I hope readers will continue to imagine endless adventures for The Delta Pearl, and now for The Geostrophic Pearl as well. Thanks for reading and commenting, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Adored Ape, you’ve been such an important part of this riverboat — kindly sharing each episode from your tree-house. It means a lot to me. I hope you’ll get three random things ready for the next serial. It will be full-on pantser, just like with Pip’s first serial. Stay safe and well, my chuckaboo!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Excellent episode and ending. Sweet sixteen and finally a kiss. I loved that the leopard purred bass. “No, the circle won’t be broken.”

    Liked by 2 people

  20. A perfect end to a terrific tale. Most weeks I can’t wait for the next episode. This week I have the satisfaction of a well-ended story along with the bittersweet sadness of saying goodbye to book friends.

    Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

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