The Armadillo Files, Episode 2 — Featuring Fraggle

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Cropped image from serial cover
Cropped image from serial cover

Hello, all.  Welcome back to The Armadillo Files.  I’m still racing to keep up. Even though I’d like to do a preamble with all the history tidbits that have been in the story so far, there just wasn’t time. Here I am again, staying up late to write the episode and format the post.

As you know this story is written according to my very own, Three Things style of story writing.  I didn’t know what set of three random things I would use, or what they would do to the story until I read down my story matrix just before writing this second chapter.  My eyes landed on the things from amazing photographer, C. J. Hyslop, aka Fraggle, who rocks her camera across the blogosphere.  Then the story started moving. 

Her things are Kodak camera, phonograph, and Nescafé freeze-dried coffeeOur dear Fraggle jumped into action when I asked if she had a photo of the Kodak camera.  Within minutes she created the beautiful image you’ll see in the post.  By the way, a few years ago she also did a review (and lovely photo composition!) of my “Atonement, Tennessee” series.

In case you missed it last week, here’s Episode 1, Where’s Fang?

All aboard!

2 — Why’d you do that?

Kodak ColorSnap-35 1959, by Cj Hyslop
Kodak ColorSnap-35 1959, by Cj Hyslop

TROLLEY

TROLLEY sorted data at a furious pace.  Something was off and it could be anything.  Astronomical, biometric, cause-and-effect… it could even be something as random as a photo from a Kodak camera.  The precise incongruity must be determined immediately.

Ever since TROLLEY had developed the capacity for intuitive thought, such strange, unanticipated discrepancies had become troubling.

The purple indicator light started blinking.  Ah, good.  A match.  Recent events had created the potential for the birth of a new constant.  The cosmic disruption had stabilized, becoming an unchangeable, fixed point in time — a constant.

“So that’s why the tragedy of February 3, 1959 bothered me.  The Day the Music Died was going to become a constant.  That’s dangerously close to the next potential convergence point.  May 28, 1959.  Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.”

“Time Rate Oscillation Lithium Link Enabler Yttrion, TROLLEY initiating convergence warning.  Awaiting instructions.”

♦ ♦ ♦

Delila Faraday

Armadillo Files beginning promo by Teagan
Promo image by Teagan R. Geneviene

Shrieking, I jumped backward, singed by the crackling pop that shot from his weird looking gun.

“Ouch!  What the―  Why’d you do that?  Buddy, you’re crusin’ for a brusin’!” I hollered.

Abruptly I took in his bizarre ensemble.  I looked him up and down, from the hat to the bright pink fishnets.  Somehow that made my head hurt worse.  Knowing I had been drugged, I wasn’t completely sure he was real.  Then I noticed that his hair was pink too.  Befuddled, I extended a hand toward his head.

He grabbed my hand and inspected it closely.  Recognition dawned on his face, as if he could tell more from the appearance of my hand than my face.  With a gasp he squinted at me.

“Dilly!  Delila Faraday, what are you doing here?  Oh, holy Time Manatees!  Oh no, this is terrible,” he cried, pacing anxiously in a circle.  “You have to leave right now.  This could ruin everything.  Oh!  Oh no.  Don’t you realize that it took me months to manipulate those bullies you work with into putting me on this rocket?”

“What are you talking about?  And who are you?  You’re not NASA personnel or a contractor either,” I accused.

A clatter outside was followed by a loud metallic screech.  The elaborate arrangement of scaffolding and platforms that provided access to the rocket was being pulled away.  Launch was imminent.  I inhaled a sharp breath.  It was too late for me to get to safety.

“Oh, sweet Mother of Convergences!  I have a way to get the door open.  Dilly, you’ll have to jump!” the very strange and upset man demanded.

“Are you insane?  I wouldn’t survive a jump from this height,” I yelled as he dragged me toward the hatch.

My voice was silenced by the rumble of the rocket.  We both fell to the floor.  Moments later the physical effects of the G-force on the human body caused me to lose consciousness.

♦ ♦ ♦

Nescafe Instant Coffee ad 1948 Wikimedia
Nescafe Instant Coffee ad 1948 Wikimedia

A taste like a cup of Joe brought me around.  Unfortunately, it was also choking me.  It wasn’t liquid.  I coughed and spewed out brown crystalized powder.  Suddenly I realized that the weird guy cradled my head in his lap.  He had a glass jar and was trying to pour whatever the stuff was into my mouth.

“Good, you’re awake,” he remarked.

“What are you doing?  What is that stuff?” I demanded, taking the jar away from him.

“Not too bad, huh?  It’s Nescafé instant freeze-dried coffee.  But don’t get too fond of it.  It hasn’t been invented yet.  At least not this freeze-dried kind.  Anyway, now that you’re coming around…  Dilly, you’ve really thrown a monkey wrench into things by getting on this rocket,” he began, but was interrupted by a loud cackle from one of the primates.

“Sorry about the monkey remark, Miss Baker.  Just relax in you little capsule and you’ll be fine.  Anyhow, like I was saying, I might be able to fix this so that you don’t end up dead,” he said in the most exasperating sassy tone.

Abruptly, soothing classical music filled the cramped compartment.  For a moment I thought someone put a phonograph onboard.

“Holy—” he shrieked.  “Wait.  That’s mission control piping the high-brow stuff in here.  But why would they do that?  They don’t know we’re here.”

“That would be for one of the studies.  They’re monitoring the bio readouts from the monkeys when various music is played to them,” I replied, still trying to figure out the pink-haired, fishnet-clad person beside me.

“Oh yeah.  I knew that.  Okay.  That shouldn’t hurt anything.  At least as long as they don’t play anything from Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper or…  Oh no!  Holy Time Manatee, no.  No!” he cried.

“Alright little monkeys, now that we have readings for how Bach affects you, let’s see how you do with some rockabilly.  Appropriately enough, we have Heartbeat from—” a voice from Cape Canaveral came from the speaker.

“Not Buddy Holly!” he sobbed at the same instant the radioed voice said the name.

“Get ahold of yourself,” I told him.  “How can anybody hate Buddy Holly that much?”

“Dilly, you don’t understand.”

“And how do you know my name?” I interrupted.

“Buddy Holly.  The day the music died?  Don’t you see?  The plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper was such a powerful event when it happened a few months ago.  It was so impactful on present and future history that it became a constant!  A fixed, unchangeable point in time,” he babbled.

My lips tightened as I swallowed dry.  His rant didn’t make a lick of sense to me.  I was deciding whether I should slap him to bring him back to his senses when he continued.

“This rocket is passing by a time stream I wanted to study.  That’s why I got on it.  But it’s also dangerously close to the convergence point created the day the music died,” he said, with an irritated sigh at my befuddled expression.

“How can you not understand this?  Humans are on their way to outer space, or will be soon, and yet you have no concept of time!  Try to focus, honey.  Now that the new constant has unexpectedly been born, broadcasting anything related to it could be disastrous.  Hurry.  Go over there to the controls and tell them to stop!”

“I can’t, honey,” I countered with a sneer.  “You may not realize it, but monkeys can’t talk.  So the transmission is only one-way.”

Heartbeat, why do you miss when my baby kisses me…” came Buddy Holly’s voice on the record.

The rocket shook.  All my hair stood on end.  I felt like my insides were being pulled out, while the outside was being pushed inward.  Arcing flashes of purple light shot in every direction.

Maddeningly loud, a bell repeatedly clang-clang-clanged in my ears.

♦ ♦ ♦

Woot! We’re two episodes into the new serial.  I hope you’re having a great time on this crazy ride.  I love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a friendly comment.  Whether your comment is to me or another commenter, keep it friendly.  Hugs on the wing!

***

Dead of Winter — All the Journeys

Dead of Winter 8 Characters promo by Teagan
Dead of Winter 8 Featured Characters by Teagan

It’s with pleasure that I announce Dead of Winter: Journey 8, The Lost Library is available.

I’m thrilled to find a wonderful review by D. L. Finn of Journey 7, Revenant Pass. Her post also includes two other reviews on works from amazing authors, Pamela Wight and Roberta Eaton Cheadle.  I welcome you to be a part of these Journeys.

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 8, The Lost Library

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Journey 7, Revenant Pass

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Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

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Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

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Journey 3, the Fever Field

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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

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

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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 © 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.

 


88 thoughts on “The Armadillo Files, Episode 2 — Featuring Fraggle

  1. Teagan, I loved this 2nd episode! Yes, whacky & so creative. The reference to Nescafé-freeze-dried coffee that I drank in the 50s & 60s. And OMG…Buddy Holly! In my book (final edit stage), a secondary character, a guitarist, sings True Love Ways (1958) to the main character. I’m listening to it now. Chills! So, the guitarist sounds like Holly, his favorite singer!

    Dilly is in a pickle! Can’t wait to read Episode 3 now. I’m convinced that your pantser writing is so perfect for you. Keep pantsing! Hugs, my friend! 🤗🎶Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Applesauce! You really are catching up, Kirt. I’m so glad you are part of the Journeys. I hope you are loving each one. #6 was one of the most difficult parts to write, and the biggest concern of all as far as editing.
      Thanks for being onboard for this new crazy serial. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very enjoyable as always–you’re consistently good, which is a wonderful fact considering how much material you turn out. By the way I think it is fine to go trhough periods with little sleep, but be careful, my friend that is doen’t lead to other problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind, David — thank you. I hope all is well in your world.
      Yes, I’ve had trouble sleeping since I was 12. Too much sleeplessness is a bad thing indeed. Last night was good though, and a blessing. Be well, be happy. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

      1. I’ve been laid up for two weeks, Teagan. This back-pain issue is new for me, and I’m not enjoying it in the least. Blah! I feel for anyone who has to deal with this all the time. Thanks for the kind hugs.

        Like

        1. Oh, gosh. That’s really bad. It’s so hard to get any sort of relief.
          I once bought a full seat-back kind of massager. The rolling balls never were in the right place and it was just more unpleasantness on top of the pain. Later I found this little shiatsu massager that’s about the size of a football. It doesn’t cover a lot, but at least it can go to a pain spot.

          Wishing you wellness.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, but it’s not exactly the same. In the episodes, I use the random things to drive the settings and story. The characters might come *directly* from a thing, but not always. However, they are always *inspired* by the things. For instance, Dilly Faraday gradually came to me as I looked over the combined list of things. If the things had been different, it would have been a different character. Oh the other hand, when Chris Graham left “bagpipes” as a thing, that directly inspired a character, However, he won’t come into the story for awhile. AND since the story continues to grow and change as I come to and use the random things, that character is only partially formed in my mind. Have a beautiful new week. Hugs.

      Like

  3. Wow!
    Seems like the ride will be going backwards.. I mean we are with Buddy Holly (love the song), but you were looking for things mostly from the 40’s!
    Guess I’ll just have to wait and see!
    Hugs.. on the wing!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s unbelievable how you managed to do this again, Teagan! Fishnet stockings are already a hit, but adding these three things to the story is phenomenal. Thanks for the reading pleasure. Now I’m almost through with the second episode of “Death of Winter”. I am just fascinated. Thank you, and enjoy a quiet weekend! Don’t forget: Sleep is the best. This is what someone writes to you, who has only slept three hours a night before. Big Hugs! Michael 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so kind, Michael — thank you. I’m happy that you are liking Dead of Winter! I realize you are basically translating as you go, so feel free to ask me questions. That could also help me as a writer, since many of my readers are from different countries.
      I’m sorry you can relate to my lack of sleep. Take good care of yourself. Hugs back to you.

      Like

  5. Dilly is definitely a “dilly”! I LOVE her and the pink-haired fishnet-clad person that I think is the armadillo, but I’ve been known to be wrong once or twice……okay,all my life!

    I think I need to invest in Depends because this is absolutely going to be a very fast paced ride with no “pit stops” for old ladies and lots of laughs. And “laughs” plus “old lady” equals the need for Depends!
    Lol!
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha! Ginger you slay me. That had me wanting to give fishnet guy a Depends outfit, but they came along much too late.
      I’ll admit that you’re on the right track about him. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m so happy that you love these characters. Hugs on the wing.

      Like

    1. LOL, I’m so glad you mentioned that, Priscilla. I wanted to give that character a little bit of his own mythology — without slowing down the narrative by explaining it. Making an exclamation of it seemed the fun way to go.
      I learned about Buddy Holly through my curiosity about American Pie. Love that song.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness…pink hair, pink fishnets – a strange character indeed. It is true the tragedy that took the lives of Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper changed music forever. A great use of the references, Teagan. Can’t wait to see what adventures unfold for Dilly!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Teagan! I’m never disappointed in your serials and the stories you tell – they are always awesome – but this new one has me chuckling a bit – over the pink fishnets and the fact that I’ve been watching the DC Comics Arrowverse serials on Netflix where the space-time continuum and history seem to often be at play. I wonder what will become of Buddy Holly and his friends and if NASA packed enough MRE’s, Swanson’s TV dinners or coffee grounds for Dilly and her odd companion to survive the trip.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Mary J. LOL, I remember those Swanson’s TV dinners, and am thankful for the modern improvements in frozen foods!
      I saw a few early episodes of the Arrow. I do love Netflix.
      No superheroes or resurrected musicians are headed your way in this serial though. But there will be weirdness aplenty! 😀 Hugs on the wing!

      Like

  8. Well Teagan, I’m lost in space (and time and all of those other nouns and convergences you tossed into this chapter). I can’t even begin to guess where this is going–if I said so I’d be a monkey’s uncle (primate pun–intentional). Your imagination is on hyperdrive and working at warped speed. Baffled hugs hovering your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are getting everything included into one VERY original story, Teagan!
    (oops, it looks like Timothy Price has gotten ahead of little Army’s true identity.)

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Oh my – Teagan has time and space at her disposal. I don’t know where we’re headed, but it’s going to be fun and exciting.

    This is great, Teagan, We’re off, they’re off in space, and I love the fact that that plane crash has become a constant. Dilly is an interesting character. I look forward to following her adventures. Her crazy will has already put her in space, I can only imagine where she will end up.

    I hope you have a chance to rest and catch up. Hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Bwhahaha! (Rubs hands together evilly) Control over time and space — makes me feel less like Pinky and more like The Brain.
      Seriously though, thanks for your feedback, Dan. Rest *and* catch up… Not sure I can achieve either, but I’ll try! Hugs winging back to you. Happy Caturday to MiMi and MuMu.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This was quite a ride, Teagan, and we’re only in episode 2. This will be a wild serial, for sure! Love it already. And congratulations on the review! Mine should be coming up soon. 🙂 ♥

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s great to see you, Cecily. I know you love music. I had not thought much about it, but I just realized that it will might be as much a part of this serial as it was for “Brother Love — a Cross Road.” Music is a great way to anchor the era/setting of a story. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

  12. That’s pretty spacey. I’m thinking about the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with you unwittingly stuck on your way into space with your pink haired host, who is formerly, dare I say, a cute pink armadillo?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Tim. That’s a flattering comparison. Douglas Adams was brilliant. I hadn’t thought about the Hitchhiker’s Guide. Even though the story won’t stay in the era, I wanted to give it the vibe of quirky syfy of the 50s and early 60s. Although the movie examples I’ve been watching are very fatalistic, rather than quirky. Oh well… my uncharted course remains the same. Unknown, but still quirky. And yes, you’re on the right track. 😉 Happy Caturday to all the kitties. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. SiFi is often so fatalistic. There’s little faith in the future. Some things never seem to change. I’m looking forward to seeing what more unknown, unexpected quirkiness you will be pulling out of those Armadillo Files.

        Liked by 1 person

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