Saturday, February 26, 2022
You’ve reached The Armadillo Files. Stand by for a wild and… psychedelic ride. We’ll have mushrooms one more time.
“Stop children. What’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down…” Stephen Stills
I usually like 1960s original recordings best. But I do love some good swamp blues, especially when it’s Tab Benoit. Thanks for indulging me in this digression. It does relate to the story. That’s where I got the titular question for this chapter.
Random Reader Things
Today’s random reader things are from Lauren Scott at Bay Dreamer Writes. Her latest book is “More than Coffee.” Do click over and learn more. The things from Lauren that guided this chapter are fun. That made the Time Manatees fun-loving beings. Stand by for pineapple, puppies, and ping-pong.
Previously in The Armadillo Files
Henry Apesly accidently changed history. However, what our heroes don’t seem to realize yet, is that somebody was already messing around with the timeline, else Prime’s disgraced operative, Henry Apesly wouldn’t have been in 1877 in the first place. Anyway, the trio set out for Sweetwater, Tennessee and the Lost Sea, in search of the Time Manatees. Although Fang is literally fading fast. Will they summon the illusive creatures in… time? No pun intended. You can find all the past chapters by going to the categories on the right side of the screen. Click on Armadillo Files.
This is an extra-short episode.
24 — What’s that sound?
My mind had wandered. I only had a bite of the strangely colored mushroom, but I felt funny. A noise gradually wriggled into my consciousness.
“What’s that sound?” I asked, turning to look for its source.
Fang and Henry sat cross-legged at the edge of the underground lake. They made all sorts of whistling sounds, trying to summon the Time Manatees.
“It’s not working,” Henry Apesly growled. “Did you bring an offering? Don’t give me that disparaging look. You were near-on a hundred years into the future before coming here. You had access to more of their favorite things than I do.”
Fang searched his pockets. He pulled out a packet of dried pineapple. Henry glared at him. Fang shrugged, and then turned to ask me if I had anything “fun.”
I mumbled the word “Fun?” back to him and tried to focus.
“Regular humans don’t have much of a tolerance to the mushrooms, Pinky. They affect her differently than us,” Henry stated.
The odd sensations dissipated as suddenly as they had begun. I shook my head. The warped shapes ordinary things had taken on went back to normal. It had been a big tickle seeing the world that way, but I was glad to be back to myself.
Henry and Fang continued making all sorts of whistling racket for a little while longer.
“I think the trouble is that we don’t have the right offering to attract them,” Henry grumbled. “Sometimes they act almost like puppies, wanting a treat. Umm, no offense,” he added with a sidelong glance to the vast lake.
Apesly took out the stopwatch, grimacing at the amount of time remaining. I wasn’t sure that Fang had even as long as the amount of time Henry had said we should allow for the manatees. He picked up Fang’s penlight and moved to an adjoining area of the cave. We followed.
He looked at Fang and gave him a tight smile, upon noticing that the erstwhile armadillo was barely visible. Henry only seemed to have three facial expressions, that tightlipped smile, a toothy grin, and a pinched frown.
“The last time I was here, it took days before the manatees arrived. The operative I was partnered with set up a ping-pong table so we had something to do. But we can’t wait for them to show up at their leisure,” he added quietly with a glance at Fang.
“Anywho, the manatees were fascinated with the ping-pong. Maybe the sound of the ball bouncing back and forth will help attract them. Ah! There it is! The net’s useless, but the paddles and some of the balls are okay,” he exclaimed and picked up the items.
We played the game, standing at the edge of the lake. Half the time the balls went through Fang, and he had difficulty holding the paddle. I was no good at the game, so Henry played against the two of us.
Abruptly Fang stopped. The ball splashed into the lake. He looked Henry up and down, and put his fist to his chin thoughtfully.
“Maybe since your transformation got stuck more on the chimpanzee end than on human,” Fang eyed Henry and began. “Well, maybe there isn’t enough humanity in our frequency. Maybe we need to add Dilly.”
“Three is a good number. The Time Manatees tend to travel in threes,” Henry commented, seeming to evaluate me. “But I think her affinity is more toward plants than animals. Still, I guess there’s no harm in trying. Care for a snack, Dilly?”
Reluctantly, I took the stringy, brightly colored mushrooms that Henry held out to me.
♦ ♦ ♦
Manatee Vocalization Research
“Manatees have no vocal cords and yet they vocalize with audible squeaks and whistles. An Xaviar University research team, led by AAAS member Charles Grossman, has recorded thousands of manatee squeaks from animals held in captivity and in the wild.”
Now I’m starting to wonder about those Time Manatees, if magic mushrooms have to be used to “get on their frequency.” Do we anybody at this point? Tune in for more next weekend.
Elsewhere in the Teagan-verse…
I know that I keep saying “coming soon,” but I’m still working on “Dead of Winter: Journey 13,” doing the best I can to climb over the mounds of PTSD. Yes, even that remark is a repeat. Sorry. Yeah, believe me I’m sorry that’s still true. I actually managed to get some sleep the past two nights. I didn’t think I remembered how.
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
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
Journey 2, Penllyn
Journey 1, Forlorn Peak
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
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