The Armadillo Files, Episode 4 — Featuring Chris Graham the Story Reading Ape

Saturday, August 28, 2021

piper leads 7th Seaforth Highlanders 15th Scottish Division June 26 1944 Wikipedia altered
Bagpiper leads 7th Seaforth Highlanders 15th (Scottish) Division June 26, 1944. Wikipedia (altered)

Welcome back to The Armadillo Files.  For the moment we’re still on the Jupiter AM-18 rocket in 1959.  Better hang on tight.  The ride is about to get bumpy.

Historic Tidbits

First, here are a couple of historic tidbits.  If the image above is unexpected, that will be cleared up in a moment.  I mentioned last week that the bagpipes would be back.  That “random reader thing” led me to fictionalize a real life person. He might be back as a minor character in future episodes… Only the things know for sure.  The person is Daniel Laidlaw, a piper recognized for his heroics in World War I. 

For a little while longer, the Jupiter AM-18 rocket is still in 1959.  As you’ll recall, last time a strange vessel connected to the rocket.  The other two “things” caused me to design the interior of that ship. They also took me to the movies of 1959. The one I chose is Some Like It Hot. 

Some Like It Hot Monroe Curtis Lemon poster 1959 Wikipedia
Some Like It Hot, 1959 Wikipedia

While I was designing the interior of the spaceship, the third thing caused me to create “convergence alignment system” for it. That’s Teaganization, not science.  Speaking of it, here’s a bit about the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

About This Episode

As you’ve noticed this week’s random reader things are from Chris Graham, the Story Reading Ape.  Last time I described my use of bagpipes as foreshadowing.  I didn’t expect to use them again so soon. Actually, the minute I saw them, I had a character in mind… but that character abruptly changed when I researched famous bagpipe players. The idea of a traveler was born and everything changed.  I don’t explain the “traveler” part yet.  I do have to keep you on your toes, you know.

The other things for this chapter are the movie “See Here Private Hargrove,” and a Glenn Miller & His Orchestra record.

In case you are new to this zany ride, here are links to all the past chapters. Episode 1, Where’s Fang?  Episode 2, Why’d You Do That? and Episode 3, Who Are You Talking To?  

Previously

Previously, amid clanging bells an unseen vessel docked with the Jupiter AM-18.  That ship’s “physical support auxiliary pilot” intern, Frances, had asked the pink-haired man to get some of the catnip seeds from the rocket.  Then the guy shot his ray gun at Dilly.

Now, are you ready?

All aboard!

4 — What the heck is going on?

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

Barreling into my chest, the kitten caused me to move just enough that I didn’t get the full force of the zap.

“Gee whiz, Frances!  I nearly hit you.  What were you thinking?” the weird guy demanded, to which the kitten meowed loudly.  “You’ll get the catnip?  You don’t know where it is.  What do you mean I wouldn’t know the catnip from a cow’s butt?” he exclaimed.

Peggy Sue meowed something from the other ship.  Pink Hair made a wry face.  He pushed his hat back and put one fist on his hip.

“Dilly your hair looks like you stuck your finger in an electric socket.  Hold still,” he stated and pointed the ray gun at me, but the adult cat meowed again.  “Peggy Sue, I’m doing the best I can.  Wait… what?  Well, you told me to—  Oh.  I see.  Well, ain’t that a bite.  Sorry Dilly.  I was just supposed to bring you aboard the TROLLEY,” he added, turning back to me.

Just then the kitten ran past me with a packet of the plant-seed specimen in her mouth.  I ran after her, trying to get my seeds back.  It didn’t occur to me that I was leaving the rocket and stepping onto a spaceship.

“Well, that was easier than I expected,” the weird guy said in that saucy accent that was similar to the way Uncle Artie talked.

Abruptly the doors whooshed shut.  Frances, the kitten gave an unrepentant swish of her tail.  Carrying the catnip, she hopped up onto a control panel.

2 Cats drive TROLLEY Armadillo Files
Promo image by Teagan

I gaped in astonishment at my surroundings.  Futuristic whatchamacallits blinked and hummed from every nook and cranny.  A large screen nearly filled one wall.  I was astonished to see Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon displayed, trying to escape from the mafia in “Some Like It Hot.”

Unseen, bagpipes shrilled.  The ship lurched.  Though everything stayed in place, it felt like the rest of the world did a summersault.  The stars outside the window tilted.  Somehow the ship had moved or maybe rotated around us, but kept us stationary on the inside.  A second later the stars shifted back into place.

“Oh sweet Time Manatees!  We nearly hit a traveler.  We must have been within a decade of his transition date,” he wailed.

Numbers rapidly slid by on a screen beside Peggy Sue.  The feline pilot made a relieved noise.  The numbers stopped on a date.  June 2, 1950.  The cats hissed a warning.  The sound of bagpipes blasted throughout the ship.

“Quick! Dilly, jump over there and use the convergence alignment system,” he yelled over the noise of the bagpipes and waved his arm at a jukebox.

“The what?  I don’t understand,” I protested.

“There’s no time.  Just press a button!” he shouted.

I pushed the first button I saw.  Sounds whirred from inside the jukebox-looking machine.  An instant later the numbers on Peggy Sue’s screen started moving again.  The bagpipes stopped.  Peggy Sue looked at Pink Hair and gave disdainful meow.

Whew, that was close.  I know, I know.  Never underestimate the power of music.  Even if you don’t like the instrument.  Besides, I can certainly respect the man’s bravery and achievements.  It’s no surprise that Daniel Laidlaw transitioned out of his human form to become a traveler,” he said earnestly.

“Traveler?  Now what are you going on about?” I demanded.

Pink Fairy Armadillo Wikipedia
Pink Fairy Armadillo, Wikipedia

“When you got on the rocket and pulled us off course—

“Hang on buddy!  You had no business being there either.  And I didn’t just get on that rocket.  I had to find my pink fairy armadillo.  Oh no!  I forgot about Fang.  We have to go back!

“Cool it, sister.  Haven’t you figured that out yet?  And whatever possessed you to name me Fang?  The name is Tatu Pinkerton, thank you very much.

“Huh…?” I began, but words failed me.

A sound similar to that of a record falling into place emanated from the juke box that he called a convergence alignment system.

The movie on the big screen turned to static.  Then it showed an old film from World War II.  I remembered my Uncle Artie loved those.  I had watched them with him at oldie matinees when I was little.  It was “See Here, Private Hargrove.”

Looking at the big screen, Peggy Sue growled.  Frances hopped to another set of buttons and frantically pushed one after another.  Her tail gave a frustrated slash.

“Uh-oh.  That can’t be a good thing.  That movie looks like it’s from the 1940s,” Tatu Pinkerton muttered.

“Will somebody please tell me what the heck is going on?” I demanded.

After one more click and whirl, music came from the jukebox.  At that instant the ship’s warning bells clang-clang-clanged.  Purple lights shot in every direction.  The music blasted out louder.  I didn’t know the name of the song but I recognized the lively instrumentals.  It was a record by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.

“Holy boogie woogie!  I was right.  Hang on tight, Dilly!  This will be a bumpy ride,” Tatu yelled, and his hat was knocked off as the spaceship spun.

He grabbed my hand, sniffed it and seemed to compare the appearance of my hand to my face, just as he had done earlier.  He helped me get to a seat and took the one next to me.  The seat seemed to mold itself securely around me, keeping me from falling as the ship moved violently.

“It’ll be okay.  You took care of me for years, and I won’t let anything happen to you.  Well, not if I can help it,” he promised, and sniffed my hand again.

I looked from his strange outfit to his pink hair.  Could he really be Fang?

Engulfed by the sounds of swing music and surrounded by purple lights, I felt reality was slipping away.  I sank against the embrace of the seat.

None of this can be happening.  I already knew the jerks in the lab slipped me a mickey.  So, maybe I just haven’t woke up yet.

 I watched the stars shift and stretch.  I felt the vibration of the spacecraft.

Yeah… it has to be drugs.

♦ ♦ ♦

So, that was Episode 4.  I warned you it would be a bumpy 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, the first 8 Journeys Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
Dead of Winter, the first 8 Journeys, by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

I’ve updated the blog page for Dead of Winter.  It has all the images I’ve made for that monthly series of novelettes as well as purchase links. Click here.  The current issue is Journey 8, The Lost Library.  Coming in September is Journey 9, Doors of Attunement.

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 8, The Lost Library

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09C6MPTYT

Paperback:  relinks.me/B09C34XR7P

 

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.

 


87 thoughts on “The Armadillo Files, Episode 4 — Featuring Chris Graham the Story Reading Ape

  1. Of course I love the music Teagan! Such a lot happening and I had lots of smiles – love the names Teaganization, Fang Tatu Pinkerton, and Peggy Sue reminds me of one of my sisters. Thank you for the ride x

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Good morning Teagan. Thank you for your message and I look forward to more Armadilo Files! Yes, I do still have a blog. This is the link to the latest post – I hope you don’t mind me sending it here so you can check? I use to have a different blog and I wonder if the link you are following is sending you to that one? Would you mind telling me where the link is that you have tried? I would like to check. Thank you for letting me know. https://cecilyswritings.wordpress.com/2020/08/19/smell-the-roses-in-death/

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Happy Monday, Cecily. I’m happy you left the link here.
              The link in the emails from wordpress goes to what is probably your old blog. There was something about HR topics — the link beside your Gravatar image goes to the same page.
              However, the title on the page is Cecily Writings.
              At that page it says “We’ve moved our HR blogs to our new website’ but the link circles to the same page.
              If you decide to take this to WordPress helpdesk, copy the details in my comment. Maybe that will help.
              You might be able to change the blog-link that shows in the wordpress email inside the details of your account, but I don’t know how.
              There’s certainly no harm done, if you decide to just leave it alone.
              I’ll be over to visit soon. Hugs on the wing!

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic! You processed these really very “weird things” wonderfully in the story. The cat has already made provisions in order to be able to enjoy the beloved catnip somewhere else. 😉 Thanks for this nice further episode, Teagan! Sorry, the weekend was again time to sleep in for me. I hope you had a nice weekend! Enjoy the coming week! Big hugs, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael, I’m just glad to hear you got some sleep. I’ve had trouble with insomnia since I was 12 years, so I understand.
      Haha about the things. 😀 I tell Chris that he is really “good at random”. The “things” have to be unrelated to each other for them to work well in the story-writing part of my brain.
      Thanks for reading and commenting — and sharing. Hugs winging back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Diana. I meant to make episodes closer to 2000 words for this one, because I didn’t want it to run a really long time. But they’ve worked out to be short. I guess there’s already plenty of craziness to absorb in each episode as it is. 😀
      I know it’s hard for someone as active as you, but try to take it easy this week. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Resa. I have a compulsion to be different. LOL.
      I didn’t want this one to go more than a few months. However, the episodes have been shorter than will probably be necessary for that time-frame… However, that’s just the way they’ve come to me… It will be whatever it will be. Take good care of you. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Teagan, it must be the drugs!!! How could all of that be happening to poor Dilly. Oh, wait. It’s supposed to be a zany story! Well, it is quite a wild, creative ride. I love the whatchamacallits, and the names, Tatu Pinkerton (Fang), and the crazy dress! I can see it all unfold before my eyes, just like a movie. Can’t wait to read what happens next to Dilly, when the (drugs?) wear off. Happy weekend. Rest your mind a little, even though you say you’re behind. Hugs, my friend. 📚Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christine. I must be a glutton for punishment, but letting it be drugs or a dream would be like cheating. However, Dilly would have to consider that, since she’s is totally new to “Teaganization.” LOL.
      Ugh… I really am dreadfully behind… I had a third mug of coffee, so maybe the “go juice” will eventually kick in. Many thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs winging back to you. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Teagan, not cheating if down the line Dilly discovers the evil drug doings at the lab. You go…caffeine on board! I’ve even started drinking caffeinated coffee. This final editing process is a huge job! Hugs, back! 📚🎶❤️ Christine

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You can do it, Christine. Editing can be tedious and requires huge focus. Best to take your time.
          Caffeine doesn’t have a bad effect on me, but the acid does. For decades I drank Kava instant for the 99% acid neutralized part. That became impossible to get, then came back at an obscene price. I switched to ground, but low acid. Unfortunately one brand’s “low” is not the same as the next. Right now the only palatable one that works for me is “Lucy Jo” brand. Tallyho!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks, Teagan. The good news is that I’m working with an awesome editor/proofreader who knows my characters even better than I do. 🤣
            When I lived in Italy, I found out that Expresso ground coffee has the lowest acid content. So far, it’s true! No stomach problems. I do add a generous amount of lactose free 1% milk. Starbucks has Expresso! And cold brew is supposed to be low acid too. 📚🎶

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Terrific episode. Your imagination is working overtime. This story is going to zig-zag through time, galaxies, and pop culture of the past 100 years. Cat’s meow and also his pajamas. The Bees are lending you their knees and we’re all abuzz with anticipation. Hypersonic hugs hurling your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re picking up on great music and wonderful movies of old to blend together with the story! It’ll be a hot time in the old town (rocket) tonight!! 🚀🛸

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL. Thanks, Priscilla. When I saw that some readers hadn’t figured that out, I realized that the idea would be extremely difficult for Dilly to absorb. After all, Dilly is new to “Teaganization.” 😀 So, I had to give her a little doubt. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We’re certainly movin’ and groovin’ Teagan but I guess we have to wait to see where this new groove is taking Dilly and Fang, er, Tatu. What a ride, wooot.

    I love you use of “Futuristic whatchamacallits” – It’s a fun expression and it reminds me that Dilly doesn’t have a clue.

    “Some Like it Hot” is a great movie, I just recently watched and read about it. This has been a fun ride (maybe not for Dilly) to get this story off to a great start. I can’t wait to see where and when they end up.

    I hope you have a smooth easy ride this weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your fun and wonderful comment, Dan. I appreciate your specific feedback about “whatchamacallits.”
      No rest for the weary. LOL, or the wicked. I’ve got to put the pedal to the metal on Dead of Winter. Horsefeathers, I’m so behind! Time for extra rocket fuel, aka coffee. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Tatu Pinkerton! Fabulous name! This was a bumpy ride indeed, and I get the feeling that things are just about to get much more complicated. Thanks for another fabulous flight of the imagination, Teagan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for our Spanish-pink names discussion a few weeks ago, Olga. Even though I didn’t use the “pink” names, I wouldn’t have landed on tatu as the Portuguese word for armadillo without that brainstorming. Have a relaxing weekend. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

        1. Always a pleasure, Chris. My brain keeps itching with the thought of Artie and his time machine motorcycle dropping in. But that makes me want to connect it to the Pip-verse… and the prospect of connecting so many threads across stories makes my head hurt. o_O LOL.

          Liked by 1 person

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