Image courtesy of Chris Graham
Welcome, one and all! It’s been fun participating in Get Caught Reading Month. I hope my zany and bizarre story encouraged people of all ages to read. Last week my real-world schedule caused me to put blogging on the shelf. But look what grand company I had, thanks to Chris Graham!
When we left our heroes…
As many of you know, a few elite bloggers (and their pets) banded together with one quest — catch the Story Reading Ape reading. During the first chapter, I found a shimmering airship outside my window. The pilot looked suspiciously like Cornelis Drebbel. Before I knew it, I was in Time Square beginning a chase to “catch” the Story Reading Ape in the act of reading.
In Chapter 2 Suzanne from A Pug in the Kitchen and I met a number of author-bloggers (and their pets) who joined the quest to catch the illusive Ape. Mary J. McCoy-Dressel , Christoph Fischer, John W. Howell, and blogger Dan Antion.
Then last time a new duo was added to the intrepid band of bloggers – Hugh Roberts and adorable Toby. But to the astonishment of our intrepid band, everyone became anime characters when Cornelis Drebbel’s alchemy went wrong. Now for the conclusion of The Sign of the Ape.
Sign of the Ape 4
Image courtesy of Chris Graham
Toby barked frantically at the pavement and scratched at it with his little paws. Doubtless, the dog could hear John W. Howell, Dan Antion, and their pets in the tunnel beneath the street. Finally, Hugh couldn’t take seeing the Corgi so upset. He jumped back onto the big construction loader and started digging a hole in the road — much to the dismay of the drivers in the area.
My phone buzzed at me. When I answered, I was greeted with a loud chorus of meowing from Annette Rochelle Aben’s cats. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. And yes, that did remind me of the fuzzy ears and long tail that came with the anime version of me. I shot Cornelis Drebbel a nasty look and muttered that I’d get him for it. Then a second call got patched onto the meow-wow. The four naughty chimps translated for Annette’s kitties via text message.
“You’ve got to figure out how to get to London. The Story Reading Ape is there. He left Tokyo before your airship even touched down!” came the message from the chimps.
London? Well the chimps should know. They were tight with the Ape. But London? I hadn’t figured out how to stop being an anime yet! How could I possibly get to London? I sure couldn’t go as an anime — and especially not in that horrid schoolgirl uniform!
Although I was rather shocked that Mary J. McCoy-Dressel and Suzanne DeBrango seemed to take their cartoon situation in stride. Their dogs, Kasha and Percy, didn’t seem to think it was worth barking about. Maybe I would feel differently if I were a beautiful goddess or a cute giant-robot-driving future girl, I thought. I steamed and stewed… I’d never forgive Cornelis for putting me in such an outfit.
Toby gave an excited yip and Hugh turned off the loader. Once again I heard that crazy, funky guitar music of the original James Bond theme. Then a sports car roared up through the big hole dug by the construction loader.
John W. Howell and Dan Antion, along with dogs Lucy and Maddie, and MiMi the tuxedo cat were in the sportscar. Oddly I could have sworn I saw the Boxer, Lucy driving the car. But who am I to say that was strange. After all, I was an anime schoolgirl with cat ears and a tail…
I could see Dan wave from the back seat that everyone in the car was okay. John leaned out of the passenger window. He had a weird looking guitar. I asked where he got it.
“A strange taxi driver with bushy eyebrows gave this guitar to me,” John told me. “But no matter what notes I strum, it will only play that James Bond theme,” he added and played the chorus to demonstrate.
However, the music abruptly changed to the Goldfinger theme. Glittering clouds of golden dust formed in the sky. John put down the guitar, but it continued to play. The golden dust settled on everyone (and every pet) who had become anime.
I felt my stomach expand and contract like the beginning of a very unfortunate gastritis attack. The most embarrassingly loud belch escaped my lips. However, everyone else produced similar burps, so I was a little less mortified. We were anime no longer, but the dratted costumes remained. I muttered a new curse to Cornelis Drebbel about my uniform.
Then with sharp popping sounds, one by one, my friends began to disappear. Frightened beyond reason, I screamed at the alchemist for an explanation.
“My dear, do calm down,” he said in that droll voice. “Everyone is perfectly safe. I sent each of them directly to their homes,” the alchemist explained as I stammered and tried to ask why. “Darling, remember it is Get Caught Reading Month. May is almost over! How can they read anything if they are trotting around the globe with you? And you still haven’t finished “The Sign of the Four” for that matter,” he told me, adding a tsk-tsk sound for good measure.
Cornelis took my hand and suddenly we were inside the giant robot. “I’ve always wanted to pilot one of these,” he confessed with a giggle. “Next stop, London!”
As Cornelis flew the alchemically powered robot, I wandered, exploring the many nooks and crannies. It was more spacious than I expected. The sound of deeply pitched chuckling caused me to stop in my tracks. I strained to hear. It seemed to be only one voice, like someone talking on the phone. Ever so carefully I moved closer.
“You four truly are naughty,” the voice rumbled. “Sending all those bloggers on such a wild goose chase. Although I must admit, a free ride back to London in a magical giant robot is a memorable adventure. I will see you naughty rascals when I get home, but for now I have reading to catch up on. I think Gwydion may have just gone too far for Ralda to forgive him. I really must see what happens next in Atonement, Tennessee“
With a silent gasp I realized the Story Reading Ape was hiding right under my nose! I removed my cell phone from my skirt pocket and switched on the camera. I crept around the corner… Gotcha!
As I checked the image, the spoils of my victory, my long tail swished in a self-satisfied rhythm.
…Tail? I looked behind myself. The tail was still there…
“Cornelis Drebbel!” I yelled.
Here ends The Sign of the Ape.
Thanks to all of you for tuning-in for this zany chase. I’m glad you were “caught reading” here at Teagan’s Books. As you know, this is a workday, so I might be delayed in answering comments.
Special thanks to all the bloggers who participated in this madcap adventure — and to their pets as well!
The Sign of the Ape, furry family cast
Row 1: Percy, Crystal, Lucy, Kasha
Row 2: Claudius, Oh Kitty, and Sweeney, and Toby
Row 3: Wilma, Greta, Maddie, MiMi
Copyright © 2016 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 from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.
Special mention to Christopher Graham for the marvelous “Atonement, Tennessee” images.