Weekend Serial — Atonement in Zugzwang: Episode 11 part-1 — Featuring Jennie Fitzkee

Saturday, May 13, 2023

CGI by Teagan
CGI by Teagan

Welcome back to my sanctuary in the very strange little town called Atonement.  It’s a relief to be here with all of you. I admit that my “stuff” has made coping with an unpleasant neighbor situation even more difficult. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to write (or anything else for that matter). Please know that I’m not complaining, just explaining, because I wasn’t able to finish this episode. 

However, I’ve created an interesting history for our law enforcement officer, Fletcher N. Hodge.  It ties him firmly to the mysterious events that are transpiring in Atonement. It also elaborates on the “chess” angle.

Photo courtesy of Jennie Fitzkee

It’s still Get Caught Reading month, and my featured reader today is one of the greatest proponents of reading I know.  Please welcome Jennie Fitzkee from A Teacher’s Reflections.  Jennie supplied this episode’s three things: Nancy Drew book, emerald, and grandfather clock.  Although, today the first one is the only one I’ve used.

If you missed the previous episode, then click here.

Atonement in Zugzwang
Episode 11, part 1

3 Pigs reading book CGI Teagan
CGI by Teagan

As the gloaming settled upon the hills and trees, two small forms began to glow softly.  Deme and Honeybell hunched closer to the ground where they hid.  They spied on their friend Moccus, in hope of keeping him out of trouble.

Starting to get bored, Deme began to imagine herself and the other two otherworldly pigs as the characters in a Nancy Drew book she had found.  Casting herself in the title role, she decided Moccus would have to be Ned.  However, she was unsure whether Honeybell would be better as Bess or George.

Honeybell must have noticed Deme getting restless, because she started to quietly explain her theories and deductions about what was going on in the unusual town.

Not everyone in the town of Atonement is drawn there to atone.  Although they are few, in fact, only about one in a billion, some follow an inner urge that brings them to the town to serve as caretakers of the magic or as its protectors.

One such was Sheriff Robin Warden.  Deme and Honeybell were both fond of Robin the Warden of Atonement.  However, Deme took particular delight in teasing him and getting him to chase her.

Another was one of his deputies, Fletcher Napoleon Hodge.  Honeybell explained that the deputy was a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte, who in addition to the titles for which that emperor is best known, was a knight.  In 1805, King Carlos IV of Spain awarded the Order of the Golden Fleece to Emperor Napoleon and to two of this three brothers, Joseph and Louis.

The deputy’s family tree also included one of the Knights Hospitaller, a Catholic military order, founded in the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the 12th century.  So, declared Honeybell, Hodge was a knight twice over.

Honeybell said that she believed Fletcher could be the knight in the warning sent to Pepper Riley.

“After all,” Honeybell stated her hypothesis.  “The chessboard would have four nights in total.  If the kitten is the ‘queen’s knight,’ then the deputy could be the ‘king’s knight,’” Honeybell reminded Deme.

CGI image by Teagan
CGI image by Teagan

“Does that mean Pepper Riley is the queen of Atonement?” Deme asked skeptically.  “That seems unlikely.  The woman might be rare, but she’s not supernatural… at least I don’t think so.  No, ‘queen’ doesn’t feel right.”

“She would be the queen only for this game of chess,” Honeybell clarified.

“I’m not well versed in human boardgames, but I’m convinced that a bizarre version of chess is playing out in Atonement.  The pawns would be the first line of defense.  The knight pieces are protectors and messengers.  The bishop pieces are even closer protectors to the king and queen.  I think Bheema is the queen’s bishop in this strange game,” Honeybell added.

“And Bheema has already positioned himself close to the queen — if she is Pepper Riley.  He’s right next door to her,” Deme spoke thoughtfully, feeling she was following her friend’s reasoning.

Their speculation was cut short when they saw Moccus run after a car.

“That white car is following Pepper Riley and her friend Maudie Rocket,” Deme said, running after Moccus.  “Honeybell, come on!  Moccus is taking a shortcut that I don’t know.  We’ll lose him!” she called to her slower friend.

“Moccus is leaving Atonement!” Honeybell cried.  “Wait, Deme.  I know where they’re going, and I know a better way to get there.”

♣ ♣ ♣

I’ll be back next weekend with the remaining 2 “random reader things” from Jennie Fitzkee at A Teacher’s Reflections!  You’ll also meet a new supernatural villain I’ve been designing the past two days.  His name is Leonidas Gathright and he’s inspired by a legend from Chickamauga, GA — a place in the same region/area as Atonement.  Or it would be if it was real.

Also, if you want to know more about Deme’s relationship with Sheriff Robin Warden (from the novels) they have a couple of stories in The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.  I love to hear from you, so friendly comments are encouraged.  Hugs!

♣ ♣ ♣

The Atonement Series

Atonement kindle covers Cat eyes shelf 2023

Atonement, Tennessee

Full series of e-books with one click:  relinks.me/B087JV25JT

Kindle:  rxe.me/HGSVA8A

Paperback: relinks.me/1481826948

Also in Spanish, translated by Olga Núñez Miret! The title for the Spanish-speaking market is Expiación y Magia

Atonement in Bloom

Kindle:  rxe.me/5RRBLH

Paperback:  relinks.me/1726882128

The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Kindle   rxe.me/LTBDNH

Paperback   relinks.me/1725891972

♣ ♣ ♣

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 © 2023 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 used with permission, or from free sources.

57 thoughts on “Weekend Serial — Atonement in Zugzwang: Episode 11 part-1 — Featuring Jennie Fitzkee

  1. I’m late to this but glad I caught up, Teagan. The chessboard is starting to make sense now. And a great cliffhanger ending. I’m looking forward to the next installment. And I hope your week is calmer and that everything resolves well. 🙂 Happy Writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear you’re still having problems with your neighbors, Teagan. Sure hope that situation changes soon. But I still enjoyed this brief episode! Haven’t thought about Nancy Drew books for quite a while, lol.


    1. Thanks for your support, Teri.
      Neither had I. I wonder how well they’ve “aged” for modern reading… The creation of cell phones changed so much in regard to old stories seeming current or not. (Although a bit of research just now showed me that the latest one came out in 2021. Betcha that one has cell phones in it. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Honeybell, Moccus and Deme are becoming more than just mystic/magic pigs to me. I find them quite human, in a way.
    Love where the story is headed. Looking forward to the next move on the chess board, Teagan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Resa. They say pigs are quite intelligent, though I have never been acquainted with one. I try to make them sort of like rather odd children. I’m happy these three have a friend in you. Thanks for this lovely comment. Hugs winging back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for having me as part of this wonderful series! I loved the episode! If Dan the Tool Man shows up next week, that would be so cool. Do you know how many tools have already been in this series? A lot! I’m so sorry for your situation with a bad neighbor. How stressful! Many hugs to you, Teagan. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm… that’s a thought. I would have to make sure I mentioned some actual tools if I do that. I never know what’s going to happen in an episode until I finish it.
      Jennie, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Thanks for your kind words. Hugs winging back to you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with such horrid neighbors. Some people seem to live to make other people’s lives miserable.

    I got a kick out of the pigs playing at Nancy Drew. (Good choice by Jennie!)

    As others have noted, I really like the CGI images you’ve been generating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz, I couldn’t think how I could use the Nancy Drew because I was thinking of the various titles and storylines. Then it occurred to me that Deme would love the books (unlike Honeybell’s very intellectual taste in reading).
      Ha. Some time I should show some of the horribly bad CGI misses, just for fun. Thank you for your kind words. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Teagan. I’m sorry you have an asshat for a neighbor. I have one, too, and have come to the point of using him as motivation when I get to the Lord’s prayer part that asks for forgiveness of my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. By forgiving him, I seem to get an element of peace. When I plot how to have a Mosler safe drop from 50,000 feet onto his house, I recall the need to forgive as well. I enjoyed the episode, and you did indeed do enough to move it along. Like others have said, I enjoy the CGIs too. Strength and hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate that feedback, John — thank you.
      It’s not really about forgiveness or anger. It’s my CPTSD neurological reaction to confrontation>escalation>retaliation. I get immobilized — for everything I need to do. It wouldn’t be impossible to forgive those two women. But unfortunately one of them gets blind-belligerent-drunk about once a week and starts pestering me. (Them sitting in their car [next to my window] blasting the radio 4 or 5 times a week until the middle of the night is hard to ignore, but it’s not the real problem.) I’ve been being civil, but that just seems to trigger the same spite. Thanks for the strength and hugs. Hugs winging back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I liked the background history, Teagan! Another great episode 🙂 Sorry about the neighbor, I hope there is a good one or two to balance that out. I hope that gets better for you. Sending hugs xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Denise. I’m doing the best I can to handle it, but it hits the core of my PTSD problem. Anyhow, I appreciate your feedback on this short episode. I tried to avoid turning it into an “information dump,” but I wasn’t at my best. Take care. Hugs winging back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Leaving us with a cliffhanger! Can’t wait for the next episode and I’m glad to learn more about that chessboard and its pieces. Hopefully, Deme and Honeybell can catch up with Moccus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Noelle!
      Otherworldly pigs outside the protection of Atonement is a dangerous thing for them. And I’m afraid the Rowdy Rooster isn’t the ordinary bar/saloon it used to be… We’ll see what emerald and grandfather clock bring to the situation. Hugs.


    1. LOL, now and then I have to renew my title as “Cliffhanger Maven.” I haven’t been doing much of that with this story. I’ve been falling down on that job. 😀
      I actually do wish I could move. It seems like everything has gone wrong since I moved here. If I were physically, mentally, and financially able to, I’d put the house on the market today. Having that kind of alcohol-fueled hostility and confrontational behavior right next door is more than my PTSD & agoraphobia can handle. Anyhow, I appreciate you reading and commenting. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s very draining. I lived one place for a few years where the building next to mine was a revolving door of dysfunction. I was glad (finally) to leave it behind. The whole block had bad vibes. Four residences later I think I’ve found a place to stay for awhile.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s lovely to see you, Judi. I’m happy the glowing pigs have a friend in you.
      Any of your delicious recipes would be more than welcome. Maybe even one featuring peppers, for Pepper Riley, the main character. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs.


    1. Thanks for your support, Dan. Hummm… maybe there’s a walk-on part in part-2 for Dan the Tool Man. If you saw a towering evil looking guy with glowing green eyes in that old metal refining factory, what would you do? I had been thinking your “door” would be a good place for the Rowdy Rooster — with the place remodeled into the saloon.
      Yeah… I’m just going to hide in my house all weekend. Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL, Follow that car! Uh, follow those pigs!
      Thanks, GP. Yes, Deme the pig is the same kind of “device” that Lilith the cat was in “Atonement, Tennessee” — she is witness to/tells us the parts that Pepper Riley can’t see. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy weekend. I’m glad you enjoy them. They are computer generated images (CGI). There are several different apps to make them. However, there is a ton of trial and error to get a good image. It takes the right combination of “search terms” and choosing a “filter” within the app or software program. Usually I get figures with extra limbs in the wrong place, distorted faces or other body parts. (One image of the pig had the snout on the side of its head, that kind of thing.) I’ve learned not to put “hat” in the search terms, because those nearly always grow out of the person’s head in a weird shape. But now and then, the perfect images is generated. In other words it’s a lot more time and effort than expected. Take care. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope things calm down soon, Teagan, and you can have some well-deserved peace and quiet. I love the glowing pigs, so it was good to catch up with them, especially because they have given us some clues as to what is going on in Atonement. And we have a new villain coming up! I can’t wait! Oh, and your CGI images are fantastic. You have so many talents!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm, Olga. You are far too kind. The CGIs are hard to take credit for, but they really do require a lot of patience, and dogged determination to find the combination of search terms and filters that generate a decent image. I’m delighted that you enjoyed this. Big hugs.


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