The Armadillo Files, Episode 22 — Featuring Ginger

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Dilly & Fang go western, by Teagan Geneviene
Dilly & Fang go back in time, image by Teagan

You’ve reached The Armadillo Files.  I’m sorry that I’ve been absent from your blogs and social media.  Similar to most of my characters I have… issues.  Lately it’s been harder than usual for me to deal with them.  Thanks to those of you who asked offline about me and about Crystal. The vet said she looks great for 15, but that her bloodwork showed early onset of kidney disease.  I will keep a close eye on her, to make sure that she continues to feel okay and have a good quality of life. It’s not something I will mention again — that’s one of my issues. Onward.

Random Reader Things

Today’s random reader things are from a marvelous reader — Ginger.  She doesn’t have a blog, but she’s great about being part of my serials.  She left a few sets of “three things” for me.  Here are the ones that drive this episode: ballet flats, poodle cut, and The Old Man and the Sea (by Hemmingway).

Previously in The Armadillo Files

Somebody somewhere messed around with history. Fang started fading in and out of existence. The feline pilots took Dilly and Fang back in time where they hope to restore the timeline. TROLLEY had said that Henry Apesly was their only hope, but Henry has issues aplenty of his own.  We left Fang and Dilly somewhere near Martinsville, West Virginia, not long after the Great Railroad Strike.  You can find all the past chapters by going to the categories on the right side of the screen.  Click on Armadillo Files.

All aboard!

22 — What are you doing?

Woman Blue gown stone corridor iStock


Leaving the gazebo, we all hurried back to barn.  Henry Apesly had been in that era for quite a while, but Fang and I needed to change clothes before we went any place where we might be seen.

Other than the corset, which I let Fang have, I had to admire TROLLEY’s fashion choices for 1877.  I chose a pinstripe button-front top that had a center panel of solid periwinkle blue and ruffles at the elbow length sleeves.  The skirt was made of the same pinstripe fabric, with a deep flounce around the hem.  Thankfully there was a big fluffy periwinkle bow in back rather than a bustle.

I found a pair of button boots in the pile of things Fang removed from the roadster before the feline pilots left for parts and times unknown.  I yelped when I stuck my foot into the narrow boot.  My ballet flats were not appropriate to the era, but they would have to suffice.  No one would see my shoes under that long skirt anyway.

After hitching the horses to a wagon, Henry settled down into a corner of the barn for a nap.  He grumbled that he hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before.  Based on the distant sounds of gunfire that had come with him when he made his dramatic entrance into the barn, I figured that was true.

“Fang, where is that garter-transponder doohickey that TROLLEY said I should keep with me?” I asked quietly, not wanting to disturb Henry.  “Fang?”

Turning, I saw Fang bend over Henry’s snoozing form.  He held a curling iron and scissors.

“What are you doing?” I whispered in a hiss and Fang giggled.

“I’m giving Henry a poodle cut.  I know, I know.  It’s not appropriate to the era,” he replied, and I groaned.  “But it will look darling on him,” he added with a wicked gleam in his eyes.

Henry came awake with a snort.  Fang darted away, pretending he had been at the pile of clothing all along, and started changing.  Apesly didn’t seem to know anything had happened.  I decided the best thing I could do was keep quiet and hope he didn’t see his reflection anywhere.

“I guess we’d better get going,” Henry stated with a yawn, but he gave me an appraising look.  “I see you changed.  May I say that you look Dilly-ightful?” he punned, and I decided that he might deserve the poodle cut.

“Ouch.  I’ve got a crick in my neck,” he went on, and felt around in the pile of straw until he pulled out a book.  “Guess I fell asleep reading.  Can’t be leaving this behind.”

“More contraband?” I asked with a conspiratorial grin and he nodded.

He handed me the volume.  I had to smile.  Henry looked like an ape, but he certainly liked his stories.  The ragged dustjacket showed a boat on the water.  Bold lettering identified the novel as The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway.  I shook my head, knowing it wasn’t published until 1952.

“How long will it take us to get to Sweetwater, Tennessee?” Fang asked quietly.

My stomach lurched when I saw that he was transparent again.

“Maybe too long,” Henry whispered.  “We’d best get going,” he added in a normal voice.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Sweetwater TN park wikimedia
Sweetwater, Tennessee, Wikimedia

We bumped along in the wagon for several days, although it seemed like months.  Although based on how sore I was from the rough travel, I would have said it was years.  Worse, Fang was going “transparent” more and more often.  Once I thought he might fade out completely.

I tried to focus on my relief that no one had bothered us in all that time.  Although it was difficult to put the discomfort out of my mind.  How had the pioneers ever traveled across the whole country in horse-drawn wagons?

Finally, Henry said we were outside Sweetwater, Tennessee.  Our destination, known as the Lost Sea was nearby.  We passed a blacksmith shop.  In the distance I saw a wooden water tower.

Between bounces, I had to admit that the countryside was beautiful.  It was thick with trees.  White pines and hickory trees towered over tulip poplars and what I thought were dogwood trees, though they weren’t in bloom.  There were sugar maples and hollies…  Remember, I’m a botanist.  Of course, I was looking at trees and other plants.

Stopping the wagon, Henry hopped out and nimbly scampered up a very tall pine.

“What are you doing?” I called up to him.

“Looking for a trail wide enough for the wagon.  Most of them are just pig trails.  Ah!  There’s what I want,” he said.

A moment later, Henry was in the wagon, clicking his tongue at the horses.  We threaded our way along a tight path.  Fang brightened, but he had a look that I could only describe as… less.  He was not his vivacious, fun-loving, silly self.  He was also very quiet.  Everything about him was less than it normally was.

After a while, Henry grunted and jumped down from the wagon and ran into the woods.  I heard underbrush crashing and then a satisfied nonverbal exclamation.

Fang climbed eagerly from the wagon.  He seemed strong enough, despite the vague details that worried me — and the frequent episodes of transparentness.

When we caught up with Henry, he was pushing aside some thick juniper bushes.  The prickly foliage didn’t bother him the way it irritated my skin.  He revealed what was either a huge boulder or a natural stone wall.  However, he shifted his stance oddly.  I couldn’t see what he was doing.

Abruptly, I heard a noise like rumbling stone.  I flinched and looked upward.  The sound made me worry about a landslide.  Henry chuckled at me.  He gave me a toothy smile as what looked like a slab of rock moved aside.

Apesly walked into the black opening.  Fang took my hand and pulled me along into the dark unknown.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

I love to add a freebie when possible.  Today I have a link to the full audio book of The Old Man and the Sea. 

Fang is not getting any better.  Actually, I think he’s getting worse.  Henry used to bully Fang when they were rookies for Prime.  Now he’s led our friends to something hidden, and dark.  Do we trust him?  Tune in for more next weekend. 


Elsewhere in the Teagan-verse,

I’m still working on “Dead of Winter: Journey 13,” doing the best I can.  

With Valentine’s Day close at hand, if you haven’t read it already, you can get into a very whimsical romantical spirit withFiona Finch & the Pink Valentine.”  It’s not too late to send Valentines in the form of an e-book.

Universal Links:

Kindle:     Paperback:

Hugs on the wing!

 The history, particularly military aspects of this story probably make it difficult… However, this story isn’t really about religion or politics. So, please remember that this is my sanctuary — a place for all of us to be safe and away from political and religious commentary.  Kindly keep that in mind with your comments.


Journey 12 of Dead of Winter is now available.  

Dead of Winter — All the Journeys

DoW 13 Harbor


Universal Purchase Links

Journey 12, Goddesses



Journey 11, the Sumelazon Escarpment



Journey 10, Pergesca



Journey 9, Doors of Attunement



Journey 8, The Lost Library



Journey 7, Revenant Pass



Journey 6, The Fluting Fell



Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls



Journey 4, The Old Road



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


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.


63 thoughts on “The Armadillo Files, Episode 22 — Featuring Ginger

  1. I am late to the party, Teagan, but it’s been a rough few days at work. This is a splendid episode and well worth waiting for. I also wear ballet flats. I have about 10 pairs have taken the saying “if the shoe fits, buy it in all colours” to heart when I saw them. I look forward to seeing how you will dig Fang out of this ‘hole’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohhh, I like where this episode leaves off! Well done.
    I can hardly wait for Apesly to see his poodle cut!

    Best to you and Crystal. My 2 babies are 13 & 14. I hear you! {{{hugs}}}

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great episode, Teagan 🙂 I’m worried about Fang and hope they figure it out soon. Sorry about Crystal and her kidney issues, hope she is doing better. Our oldest kitty, Rupert was ailing a few weeks ago, he recovered, but they found his kidneys were struggling and a thyroid problem that had nothing to do what he went in for. He’s back to his old self on special food and pills. Take care of yourself and Crystal hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope they figure out what to do about Fang’s transparency, and I can’t wait to see Henry’s reaction when he discovers his poodle cut! Lol. I wonder what’s in that cave too. A fun episode, Teagan. Take your time with all your projects, relax, and Happy Writing. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So good to hear from you again. Sorry you have not been feeling as well and energetic as usual. I am also worried about Fang. We are just a day or so away from Valentine’s day, wishing you much joy and a great day!. Continue your writing, you have a great talent! !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ginger gave you an odd set of three things, Teagan, but you handled them well. I winced a little when Dilly tried to work into those boots. A wagon ride is bad enough, at least her feet didn’t hurt. Poor Apesly, I hope he doesn’t have the explain that poodle cut. I hope they can help Fang. I am glad to see that he’s kept his sense of humor.

    The two M-girls send Tuxedo hugs to Crystal. I hope you have an easy weekend and a great week.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Dan. LOL — I’m sure Henry looked quite fetching in the poodle cut.
      I appreciate the good wishes from you and the M-girls. Crystal sends a purr. She just “killed” her string and took it to her lair, so she’s having a good morning despite my sleepless night. That’s all that matters. Happy weekend my friend. Big hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha! Thank you for using some of my “three things” in today’s episode! And for the audio of the book. Neat!

    Things are looking very bleak for Fang so I’m very hopeful that there’s a “cure” in that cave, or the cave leads to somewhere or someone that will restore Fang to his old self again….permanently!

    I wonder what Henry’s reaction will be when he sees his new hair style!

    Sending good vibes to you and Crystal. Our Australian Shepherd mix, Murphy, will be 14 on Valentines Day, and we are going through the same situation with her, just different medical condition. I’m thinking of you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ginger, I’m so sorry that you can relate. Sending good thoughts and healing vibes to Murphy and you.
      Thanks for all the things. These helped me get my thoughts going for this episode. LOL, hopefully Henry’s hat ruins the poodle cut before he ever sees it. Since he’s stuck halfway between human and chimpanzee, he wouldn’t be looking for any mirrors. 😀 Hugs on the wing!


  8. I hope Crystal is comfortable and I know she couldn’t have a more caring owner. Today’s episode made me think of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. I wonder what they are going to find inside. I don’t think it will be a treasure, will it, Teagan?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love to Crystal from all my pets.
    I’m not good with caves ever since I experienced a bat-hair interface in St Lucia so I’m rather nervy for next week. I’m also hopeful they’ve brought a light or a box of matches because I’m always the one who, when watching the teenagers going into the basement of the abandoned house is begging them to ‘turn the bloody light on’. Hope The Fangfade finishes soon…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s kind of you, Geoff — thanks very much.
      Haha! I love “Fangfade”. You’ve got a good point about the flashlight and the teenagers too. I went to St Lucia back in the bad old days. I try to remember the beautiful place without the rest of that trip. Bats in my hair would have been an improvement. Anyhow that cave has been in my head from one of the very first “things” so something will certainly happen there. Big hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. As a lifelong pet owner (primarily dogs), I know it’s hard to see them declining. We had to put one of our yellow labs down at the start of the pandemic when people were rarely leaving their houses except for essential services. We didn’t get a chance to grieve in typical ways. Gosh, I loved that dog! I hope you have some wonderful times with your animal.

    Liked by 2 people

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