Hullaba Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 26 2018

Lulu purple sofa

Lulu inside Valentino’s train, by Rob Goldstein

Hello, one and all.  Come on into my sanctuary and have a seat with Lulu and me, because this post is kind of a hodgepodge. 

Today I begin with a respectful moment of silence in observance of the coming Memorial Day (USA)Sometimes called Decoration Day it is a federal holiday in the United States originally meant for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.

I appreciate you being part of my Get Caught Reading Month. Special thanks to Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape for working with me on a two-part story for this year.  “Artie Meets the Alchemist” was a delight to co-write with everyone’s favorite Ape on Artie Meets the Alchemist.

Sarah Teri PolenYou’ve caught me reading one last book for this month. This time it’s Sarah, by the marvelous Teri Polen.  Teri writes exciting, suspenseful “young adult” stories.  This book is about a horror fan and a ghost and… Well, just hang onto your hat and keep the lights on!

She will publish another book this summer called The Gemini Connection.  You can also visit Teri at her blog, Books and Such.

Me?  I’m still in the edit/proof process with book-2 in my “Atonement” series, Atonement in Bloom.  I thought I might publish it this month, but… Well, as they used to say where I came from, “Mights (mites) grow on a chicken’s butt (well, that’s not the word they use, but you get the idea).  Anyhow, I cringe to think how long it’s been since I first said the book was “coming soon.” 

Huge thanks to those of you who have “gotten on the train” for my diesel-punk fantasy, Hullaba Lulu. 

Ghost train station with color

Art by Rob Goldstein

San Francisco artist Rob Goldstein makes wonderful virtual reality illustrations for the series.  Rob has also made several videos for the “Lulu-verse” — and in doing so, he has created a soundtrack for the series, filled with Roaring Twenties songs.  Here’s the one he made this week.  Rob talks about it in this post.

(You can see the entire collection of videos here.)

If you haven’t gotten on the train, you can catch up by clicking the Hullaba Lulu category on the right side of the page. You’ll meet Lulu, her Gramps, friends Rose and Pearl, and some other characters as they begin a journey with an enigmatic man who only calls himself Valentino.  Listen for the trumpet’s call and the conductor’s announcement, All aboard!   That’s here each week for Jazz Age Wednesdays.

I should also mention the Rolling Thunder. Bikers in droves from across the country gather here, partly to bring attention to soldiers missing in action. It’s a cool idea to have all those motorcycles, and it’s downright awe inspiring to see so many. Unfortunately to reach their destination many of them travel under an overpass 1/4 mile from my home.  So the “Rumble of the Rolling” is almost constant (if to a lesser degree than the gathering at the Capitol Mall) from Friday through Monday.  When significant portion of that group takes this route, it literally shakes the house.  Still an amazing thing though.

Thanks for taking time to visit.  I love your comments, so be sure to say hello.  If you are celebrating where you are, have a safe holiday weekend. 

You’re the cat’s pajamas!

***

Here’s my shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

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 © 2018 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. 

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 8

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Valentino Lulu Dance Hop Bot on horse RED Cotton Club-5-22-

Valentino and Lulu doing the Lindy Hop, by Rob Goldstein

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Today’s episode of Hullaba Lulu brings us to Chapter 8 of the series.  Rob Goldstein  is back with more gorgeous images and videos (Click here for the entire collection of videos.)  

A glimpse into my writing process 

Even though this is a diesel-punk fantasy, I try to add some real world tidbits for you.  Lulu seems to like to dance.  Early on she did a bit of the Camel Walk.  This time she’s doing an American dance which was born in Harlem, New York City in 1928 — the Lindy Hop.

This chapter has a bonus fourth thing.  I really try to stay true to the three things as they are sent. “Pittura Metafisica” was supposed to be one of the Chapter 7 things (last week), not “Bubblegum.” However, the scene I imagined for that artsy term was too long to fit into that chapter, so we have Pittura Metafisica in Chapter 8.  I didn’t want to leave a thing behind, so today there’s a fourth thing — Route 66.

vAL Grams Station_0011_007x

Valentino uses his trumpet to summon the train, by Rob Goldstein

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Lauren vanished on the tilt-a-whirl.  Gramps tried to go after her, but Valentino restrained him. 

“You can’t reach her!  The tilt-a-whirl never goes to the same destination twice!” Valentino repeated.  “What if that wasn’t even Lauren?”

The ground trembled.  I heard a loud bang!  Behind us the giant Ferris wheel lurched.  The A-frame structures holding the wheel collapsed. 

The great wheel rolled inexorably toward us.. 

It’s time for Chapter 8.  I think I hear Valentino’s trumpet.

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 8

Chanel No. 5, Pittura Metafisica, Videophone

and Route 66

Ferris wheel outside train Lulu Valentino

Lulu and Valentino as the Ferris wheel gets dangerously close to the train

The screech of twisting, tearing metal overwhelmed every other sound.  The great Ferris wheel, free of its frame rolled forward, crushing everything in its path.

In the distance I saw Tom Driberg running toward Valentino’s train.  The group of men in dark coats, the ones Tom told me were Russian spies, blocked his path.  Tom turned on his heel and made for the tilt-a-whirl.  In a flurry of lights, the ride came to life again, spinning impossibly fast, just as it had when Lauren vanished.  A moment later Tom was gone.

Valentino Tilt-a-Whril Tom_Travelin Sideways

Tom escapes on the tilt-a-whirl, by Rob Goldstein

The group of men didn’t see what happened.  They made a quick search of the ride’s cars and moved on.  I heard one of them say something about “a distraction.”  They turned away as if they heard something and then moved further into the park.

Movement caused me to look at the gilded fortuneteller booth.  Ask Sipsing was written in bright red script across the top.  Inside the window I saw a pair of knees.

Rose had prudently hidden inside the gypsy fortuneteller booth, folding herself up as well as she could.  As she squeezed out of the booth her purse caught on the latch and was pulled open.  I saw that it contained an expensive bottle of Chanel No. 5, complete with a ribbon and gift tag.  I would have bet anything the name on that tag was Tom Driberg.

Pearl Hat Fortuneteller_Visits Zoltar

Pearl at the fortuneteller automaton, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino turned to the mechanical fortuneteller and commanded, “Deal the cards.  Keep dealing until I tell you to stop.”

I didn’t think automatons worked that way.  I started to tell him that you had to ask it a question.  However, sure enough, the “gypsy king” automaton started dealing the cards.

Beside the Wheel of Fortune, the automaton dealt the Tower and the Chariot.  Valentino nodded sharply.

“Sipsing, you can stop,” he muttered and the automaton stilled.  “Our chariot awaits,” he said calmly, as if there wasn’t a giant wheel headed toward us.  “We have to get back to the train.  This entire area has become unstable.”

Wheel of Fortune Gilded Tarot

The Wheel of Fortune, the Gilded Tarot

The great Ferris wheel continued to careen through the amusement park.  As it neared the main gate, we hurried to the train.

Metallic clattering caused us to turn.  Dynamite and Boob-boom dragged the gypsy fortuneteller automaton ― still inside his booth ― to the train.  Valentino looked aghast.

“Dynamite, what in the Sam Hill are you two doing?” I asked.

“Miss, we could not leave Sipsing behind.  He is no ordinary automaton,” Dynamite drawled.

“Yes, Miss.  His casing is golden like an angel-bot.  Plus, he already had a name!” Boom-boom added as if that cleared up everything.

The train’s door closed behind me.  I watched through the small window as the huge wheel crashed through the main gate.  The amusement park sign split in half and the pieces sailed toward the train.  I ducked reflexively, but it didn’t seem to strike the train.

Lulu Valentino control room Red

Lulu and Valentino with chaos in the amusement part outside the train

Valentino’s trumpet played wildly.  The uninhibited notes wrapped around my consciousness, seeping into my soul.  I shivered as goosebumps appeared on my arms.  I looked out the window again and the great wheel was mere feet away.  There was no way the train could get out of its way in time.

Notes of a passionate refrain seemed to swirl from the loudspeakers.  I felt the ground tremble beneath the train.  In the distance some of the structures in the park collapsed.  The Ferris wheel came closer.  It looked like I could almost touch it if I were to lean out the window.

The trumpet’s notes flared to a crishindo.  The train abruptly lurched with such force that the motion knocked me to the floor.  All I could see beyond the window was a blur.

***

The Station-Diner_043-

Lulu, Valentino, and Pearl in the automat, by Rob Goldstein

The train sped along.  I didn’t know where we were headed.  My wits were scattered after everything that happened in Atlantic City, whichever Atlantic City it might have been.  Gramps retired to his sleeper car.  I figured my grandfather needed some privacy, so I asked Dynamite to check on him, instead of going myself.

Rose, Pearl, and I headed for the automat.  My pals said they weren’t hungry, but I talked them into going with me.  The passages in the train seemed different.  Pearl said she hadn’t noticed, but Rose agreed.  It seemed to make her nervous and she kept looking over her shoulder.

We entered a very long compartment that I had never seen before.  The entire length of the extended car was covered in murals done in a strange surreal style.  Intricately detailed vignettes were tied together by a dark line that went from one end to the other.  Closer inspection showed me the line was a road, with tiny highway signs denoting Route 66.

Portrait of Gramps with stuff

Gramps and the angel-bots with examples of Valentino’s Pittura Metafisica

“What kind of art do you call this stuff?” I asked.  “It looks like some sort of zozzled dream, but I like it.  Horsefeathers, it’s so detailed!”

“That’s probably why you like it,” Pearl quipped.  “Speaking of which…” she added removing a flask from her garter.  “After all the scary stuff, I could use a jorum of skee.”

Attagirl,” I responded when she passed the flask to me.

“The style is known as Pittura Metafisica,” Valentino answered.

The enigmatic man stood in the shadows.  He held a paintbrush and palette.  I supposed the mural was his work.

Pearl offered him her flask and commented, “That sounds like Italian.”

“You are correct, Pearl,” he added but stopped short.  “Lulu, what are you doing?”

“It looks like I could walk right into the painting, just stroll into that bizarre dream,” I told him, mesmerized.  “It just moved!  I saw someone run down that street!”

Valentino many bots painting red

Valentino and angel-bots with painting, by Rob Goldstein

Hand outstretched, I stepped toward the painting.  Valentino dropped his art tools and lunged to put his hands around my waist, pulling me back.

“It looks like you could walk into it because sometimes you can walk into the painting.  You don’t want to do that.  It’s the most insanely dangerous thing anyone could do,” Valentino said heatedly.

His eyes bulged and a vein throbbed in his neck.  It was the first time I had seen Valentino rattled.

***

Burgers Lulu Recline

Lulu in the train’s automat, by Rob Goldstein

Later, I swallowed the last bite of a hotdog as I left the automat.  My Mary-Jane shoes clicked on the floor as I did a rock-step-triple-step of the Lindy Hop.  I saw Valentino up ahead.  He didn’t see me because he was messing around with some whatchamacallit that was part of the train.

The big orthophonic Victrola in the train’s control room blared out “Toot, Toot, Tootsie! Good-bye.”  An angry look flashed across Valentino’s face.  He hurried into the control room and the music abruptly stopped in the middle of another toot.

Naturally I wanted to know what would make him mad like that, so I quietly followed him into the room.  I stopped in the shadows just inside the door.

Lulu Valentino in the control room

Lulu and Valentino in the train’s control room, by Rob Goldstein

Valentino opened what looked like a large brass compact.  It was about the size of a dinner plate.

“You!  Haven’t you made enough trouble?  What do you want?” he spoke to the big compact.

I moved closer for a better look.  A voice came from the brass thing.  It was not familiar, but I had the unpleasant feeling that I should know that voice.  Valentino shifted his stance and I had a clear view of the thing he held.  It was a videophone!

There was an article about videophones in Science and Invention magazine, but I never thought I’d see one in person.  Moving silently, I finally got into a position where I could see the person on the videophone.  I recognized her.  It was the woman from the tilt-a-whirl.  It was Lauren, my mother.

“What I want is for you to tell my old man to beat it!  You know I’m done with that life.  You’ve got a lot of gall, letting him on your train.  He’s got nothin’ I want, including the brat.  Unless you’ve brought Priscilla back from the dead, I guess the redhead I saw was her.  I’m going to blouse.  Anybody who knows what’s good for ‘em won’t try to follow me.  Understood?” Lauren said from the videophone.

Lauren La Garçonne -1x

Lauren by Rob Goldstein

My mother didn’t wait for a reply.  She broke the connection.

Valentino seemed to sense my presence.  He turned to face me. 

“Lulu…  I’m sorry you heard that.  Although, maybe it’s best that you did.”

I shook my head, stunned at the vehemence of Lauren’s words.  It made little difference that I was already pretty sure my mother was pure evil.  (Chapter 4)

“I’m just glad Gramps didn’t hear it,” I murmured.

***

The End

***

This Wednesday is a challenging workday for me. So I might not be able to attend comments as quickly as I’d like.  However, I hope you’ll still leave a comment.

Melancholy of Departure Giorgio de Chirico 1916

The Melancholy of Departure, Giorgio de Chirico 1916

Real World Notes

Pittura Metafisica: Marked by a strong sense of solitude and melancholy, the uncanny and dreamlike urban spaces and enigmatic iconography were typical of Pittura Metafisica or “Metaphysical Painting.”

Route 66:  Opened in 1926.  For some fascinating tidbits you might not know, click here.

Videophones:  Were first invented all the way back in the late 1800s, but they were refined in the 20s.  For more click here.

Chanel No. 5:  In 1921, a very clever designer and businesswoman created a scent that revolutionised the way women smell.  About a 100 years later, Chanel No. 5 is still the world’s most iconic fragrance.

The Lindy Hop:  Here’s how you do the foot-work!

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images there. He’s not just a brilliant artist, he’s also an advocate for several important causes. 

Horsefeathers!  I’ve got to admire Lulu for her composure and for being well-adjusted.  They escaped that rogue Ferris wheel unscathed.  

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The things driving Chapter 9 are Jukebox, Star of David, and Bloshies.  What would you do with those things to further this story? Applesauce… Right now I have pos-i-lutely no idea what I’m going to write…And what the Sam Hill is a Bloshie?

Where will that swell diesel-punk train will go next?  I’ll see you at the station when Valentino’s train rolls up next week!

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the cat’s pajamas! 

***

Now some shameless self-promotion for my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends. 

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

 

#GetCaughtReading 2018 — The Books & A Hullaba Lulu Extra!

Saturday, May 19 2018

Hello, one and all!  Thanks for being part of my Get Caught Reading Month.  Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape and I had a great time with the mini-series.  

You’ve caught me reading again. This time it’s The Sorcerer’s Garden by D. Wallace Peach.  Diana calls her blog Myths of the MirrorD Peach Sorcerers Garden

I got this book on my Kindle recently, and I finally found a moment to open it.  I can tell you that it did not disappoint.  Diana is an amazing talent with “high” fantasy.  She’s easily as good as Terry Brooks or Robert Jordan (my long-time favorites). Her world-building and prose are superb in this and everything I’ve read from her. And she’s written so many books!  Just pick one and see if you can stop. (As the old potato chip commercial used to say, “You can’t eat (read) just one.”

I asked everyone to let me know what I had caught you reading.  Your selections were so wonderful that I wanted to share the books here.  I’ve included purchase links too.  (Unfortunately I’ve only included Amazon, because… I have a real-world job and little time.) In no particular order, here’s what I caught you reading:

Caught You Reading!

The Contract    John Howell and Gwen Plano (soon to be released)

Return to Hiroshima     Bob Van Laerhoven

Mazie was Crazy         Bradley Lewis

Dead on Arrival       Karen Vaughan (Laura and Gerrie Series, Book 1)

Shopaholic and Sister      Sophie Kinsella

Circumstances of Childhood   John Howell

Ludwika        Christoph Fischer

Three Against The World      Sarah Stuart

The Bone Curse     Carrie Rubin

The Hidden Life of Trees     Peter Wohlleben

A Dead Guy at the Summerhouse    Marian Allen

The Golden Serpent    Luciana Cavallaro

Versions of the Self       Christy Birmingham

Thank you kindly to Robbie Cheadle, author of the Sir Chocolate Book Series for mentioning that she’s reading my The Three Things Serial Story.

Robbie Cheadle

***

Hullaba Lulu Extra!

Ferris Wheel Valentino alone

Valentino surveys the situation from atop the Ferris wheel, by Rob Goldstein

For those of you who are not “on the train” for my Jazz Age Wednesday feature, Hullaba Lulu… I’m collaborating with virtual reality artist, Rob Goldstein.  Rob sends images and videos to illustrate this series, and he’s sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive each chapter of this pantser story.  (You can see the entire collection of videos here.)

Ferris Wheel Lulu Valentino Light-3

Lulu and Valentino on the great Ferris wheel, by Rob Goldstein

The characters have landed in a strange version of Atlantic City, in a nearly empty amusement park where your entry fee is paid in cheeseburgers, and the rides do frightening things.  As I pantsered away to the action, I didn’t get to show Lulu and company on the rides.  So here are some images from Rob to flesh out that aspect of the story. 

Ferris Wheel Bot Lulu-6

A couple of angel-bots followed Lulu from the train to the park.

When the characters finally got onto Valentino’s diesel-punk train, I added some angel-bots to the cast.  Rob let them get off the train to enjoy the Ferris wheel. 

Ferris Wheel Valentino Bot Lulu-5

Valentino, angel-bot, and Lulu having some fun, by Rob Goldstein

I hope to see you at Jazz Age Wednesdays for more Roaring Twenties fantasy excitement with  Hullaba Lulu.  You’re the cat’s pajamas!

 

Now, promoting my “partner in crime” for this year’s Get Caught Reading story — Chris Graham.

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

A lovely book of poetry by Chris Graham’s mom

Amazon

Amazon UK

***

And my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

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 © 2018 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.

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 7

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Valentino, Lulu and Tom tilt a whirl

Tom, Lulu, and Valentino at the tilt-a-whirl, by Rob Goldstein.

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  Today’s episode of Hullaba Lulu brings us to Chapter 7 of the series.  I hope you are enjoying my diesel-punk change of pace from the “Pip-verse.”  

Once again I have more of the pos-i-lutely fabulous artwork from Rob Goldstein.  We’re also having inspiring discussions and he’s sending me “three things” to spontaneously drive each chapter of this pantser story. 

Update: Rob just finished another video. 

I’m offering a little challenge.  Where would you take this story with pocket watch, Ferris wheel, and bubblegum?  Read on to see where those three things took my imagination.

If you need to catch up with past chapters, look to the right of the screen.  Scroll down to Categories, and click Hullaba Lulu*.  That will take you to all the past episodes.  Or click over to this post from Rob, which has links to chapters 1 through 5.2 and a video.

Tilt-a-Whirl Lulu, Valentino and man_the Spin a Twirl-2.

Art by Rob Goldstein

Previously with Hullaba Lulu

Bright lights flashed.  Metal gears shrieked.  Green smoke poured from the machinery and the cars.  The tilt-a-whirl slowed to a stop.  Lauren had vanished.

My eyes were drawn back to the clown sign.  His grin was vulpine, downright scary.  The gears of the ride groaned to a stop. listening.

Do you hear the Valentino’s trumpet call?

All aboard!

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 7

Pocket Watch, Ferris Wheel, Bubblegum

Gramps inside train

Gramps inside the train with Lulu in background, by Rob Goldstein

It seemed like the force of a bull elephant ran past me.  He barely brushed my shoulder, but it was so strong I stumbled to one knee.  My grandfather practically flew to the tilt-a-whirl car where Lauren had been. 

Of course, it was empty.  Gramps bolted to the ride’s controls.  He hesitated briefly.  He wouldn’t know what my mother had done to make the tilt-a-whirl behave so violently strange.  However, there were only a few levers ― a lucky guess was easily possible.

What if Gramps got on that ride and vanished the way Lauren did?  I always knew my mother had abandoned me when I was small.  Gramps never tried to sugarcoat the facts.  It was just as well with me if Lauren disappeared.  But not Gramps.  I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him.  The idea of him leaving me like that way… it was even worse.

His eyes held wild determination.  It frightened me to see his face transformed to an expression of such desperation.  I wanted to throw him to the ground to keep him away from the tilt-a-whirl, but few men would be capable of that.  I certainly wasn’t big enough.  Gramps wasn’t just the owner of a speakeasy, he was also the bouncer.  He was a physically powerful man.

Valentino Arcade _The Fly Cop-Dark

Valentino in the Arcade, by Rob Goldstein

I couldn’t let that stop me.  With a gulp of air, I moved toward my grandfather.  I heard the clip of the heel taps on those pointy toed patent leather shoes just before Valentino barreled past me.  I spun around, but at least I remained standing.

Valentino grabbed Gramps from behind in a bearhug.  To me, it seemed like a foolish thing to try.  I didn’t know anybody stronger than Gramps.  The two men struggled furiously.  At one point, Valentino leaned back, lifting Gramps’ feet off the floor.  My grandfather wasn’t able to break his hold.  I couldn’t believe anyone would be able to restrain Gramps like that.

His gold chain came loose in the struggle and an engraved pocket watch fell from my grandfather’s jacket.  The watch slid to a stop near my feet.  Gramps opened the watch every day, but he wasn’t checking the time.  He opened it to read the inscription.  “I’ll love you throughout time.  Priscilla.”  The watch was a present from my grandmother on their wedding day.

Once I had thought Gramps would make a match with the seamstress on the next block.  He chuckled and told me that Priscilla was his one true love and he would never try to replace her with anyone.  He lost Lauren too.  That was as bad because she wanted to leave, and her indifference to Gramps and me, made it even harder for him.

The men were yelling at each other.  Gramps refused to hear what Valentino was saying, so the enigmatic man kept saying it louder.

La Garçonne Rose n Valentino

Lauren and Valentino on the train, by Rob Goldstein

“You can’t reach her!  The tilt-a-whirl never goes to the same destination twice!” Valentino repeated.  “What if that wasn’t even Lauren?”

He wasn’t speaking to me, but the question left me cold.  What if it wasn’t Lauren?  I wasn’t sure I would recognize my mother if she walked up to me.  I just remembered she liked the tomboy styles and the more polished Garconne look.  It didn’t occur to me that the woman I glimpsed could be someone else.  Yet, why would someone else run away?  I guess I also wondered why Laruen would run, then or when she left us for that matter.  I pushed the thought away.

“It looked like her.  And that man’s suit.  She wore those clothes just to thumb her nose at everybody.  It must have been her,” Gramps growled between grunts as he tried to break Valentino’s hold. 

“This is no ordinary place.  If you get in that machine, you could be lost forever!  And the one thing that is certain is that you would not land in the place where she went!” Valentino shouted.

Valentino Trumpet_The Mystic_Dark-2

Valentino with trumpet, by Rob Goldstein

Finally, Gramps stopped struggling.  He looked into Valentino’s eyes and must have seen honesty.  His eyes turned to me and the tension left his body.  I heard him murmur my name.

“Lulu, I’m sorry,” Gramps began with a tear at the corner of one eye.  “I thought I could bring her back to you.”

His words surprised me.  I came to terms with my situation a long time before that day.  Apparently, Gramps had not.  He hung his head.

“Gramps, after everything I’ve heard about my mother…  After the things I read in the ‘return to sender’ letters you mailed to her―  Of course I read them!” I blurted out when he tried to interrupt me.  “I never wanted Lauren back in our lives!  You’re all I need, Gramps.”

He lifted his head.  Gramps looked at me like he’d never seen me before.  I took his big rough hand in mine.  Valentino cleared his throat.

“Not to intrude, but have you seen your friends, Lulu?  That journalist who was nosing around the speakeasy seems overly interested in Rose.  I saw him a moment ago.  I don’t like the cut of his jib,” Valentino said, bringing me back to the present.  “We should look for them.  Have you any idea where they would go?”

Pearl Hat Fortuneteller_Visits Zoltar

Pearl at Fortuneteller, by Rob Goldstein

I shook my head.  My mind was still working with what had just happened.  It didn’t have enough thoughts left over to work my mouth.

“There’s a big map of the park right over there.  Maybe you’ll see something that would interest Pearl and Rose.  Somewhere they may have gone,” he offered.

Valentino took my elbow to point me in the right direction.  I must have looked pretty distracted.  He kept his other hand firmly around my grandfather’s bicep as if he thought Gramps might bolt back to the tilt-a-whirl.

“That’s one huge map,” I stated.  “Okay, lemme see.  Pearl and Rose both like the water, so they might look for the bathhouse.  But they didn’t bring a figleaf,” I commented, but noted the two confused looking faces.  “You know, a one-piece bathing suit.”

“There might be a boutique for that kind of thing.  Perhaps they went looking for a shop,” Valentino suggested and he and Gramps turned back to the map.

Men always seemed to want to take over when it came to map reading.  My stomach rumbled.  I wished I hadn’t exchanged that bag of cheeseburgers for tokens when I entered the park.  I saw a vending machine a few feet away and went to investigate, hoping it would have an apple, or even a cup of soda.  Unfortunately, it only dispensed stockings, stamps, and bubblegum.  With a sigh, I put a token in the machine and got some Wrigley’s Near Miss gum.

Lulu blowing bubble

Lulu, by Rob Goldstein

With a mouthful of bubblegum, I tried to chew away my appetite.  I thought I could probably make a pretty swell bubble.  Carefully, steadily expelling air into the chewy pink, I blew the biggest bubble of my life.  It was nearly as big as my head!  

My eyes darted around, but I didn’t see anyone to share my achievement.  Suddenly the bubble popped.  Sticky pink bits of various sizes plastered my face.  Instantly I switched from wanting someone to see me to hoping no one would get a look at me.  I jumped and tried to hide my face when I heard a voice behind me.

“May I help you, Miss?” came a familiar drawl.

“Dynamite!” I exclaimed.  “Oh, yes.  Can you help me get this gum off my face?”

The angel-bot delicately touched my face with cool metal fingers, picking away the gum.  I hadn’t noticed that he wasn’t alone.  The other angel-bot waited quietly, eyes downcast.

“There you are, Miss.  May I assist you with anything else?”

“I don’t suppose you know where my pals Rose and Pearl are?” I asked but received the expected negative reply.  “Who’s your friend?”

“This one works behind the automat,” Dynamite introduced his companion.  “Wicky, Wacky, and Woo told him that you had given us names.  He begs your indulgence.”

Bot inside Metropolis 08

Angel-bots, by Rob Goldstein

“Yes, Giver of Names, would you be so kind?” he asked in a British accent.

I heard clicks and whirrs as the angel-bot bowed.  Standing upright he glanced at my eyes but seemed too contrite to hold my gaze.

“Giver of Names?” I asked in astonishment.

A duet of “Yes, Miss” was the reply.  I was taken aback.  I wouldn’t just dish out a name willy nilly.  They took my pause the wrong way.

“We’ve been too forward, Miss.  Please accept our apologies,” Dynamite said and both angel-bots took a step backward.

“No, no.  I’d be tickled to give your friend a name,” I assured them.  “I just want it to be a good one.”

My eyes fell on the bright golden surface of the angel-bot.  It reflected like a mirror.  I could see Gramps and Valentino coming toward us.  The bots noticed them and shifted as if the presence of the men made them nervous.  I thought they might leave, but they settled and turned their attention back to me.

“If you’re pals with Dynamite,” I began as inspiration struck.  “Then you must be Boom-boom!”

With a soft click the angel-bot blinked his eyes.  The two clockwork creatures turned to one another.  I was afraid he didn’t like the name.  Then he lifted up onto his tiptoes a couple of times, almost like bouncing.  Both the angel-bots nodded.

“Boom-boom, yes.  Thank you, Miss.  I am grateful,” he said.

By then Gramps and Valentino were there.  My grandfather didn’t seem to think anything about the odd little scene.  The sheik was another matter.  He looked astonished.

“I’ve never seen an angel-bot leave the train before.  Yet these two disembarked to seek you.  And for a name?  It’s the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen,” Valentino commented wonderingly.

Morg-rose_009x

Rose and Pearl, by Rob Goldstein

I jumped and screamed at a sudden cold shock.

As ice slid down my back I whirled around to find Rose and Pearl, each holding a snow cone.  I demanded to know where they’d been.

“I ducked into a house of mirrors and I couldn’t find my way out,” Rose began.

“She was hiding from that nosey Tom.  He’s trying too hard to get her back if you ask me.  He gives me the creeps.  Anyhow, I saw Rose in one of the mirrors and went in to help,” Pearl finished.

“But I heard you scream,” I complained.

“That first distorted reflection scared the bejesus out of me,” Rose defended.

An annoying feeling, which I pushed aside, made me wonder if that was all there was to it.

Pearl Rose Lulu 2

Pearl, Rose, and Lulu

“Oh look!” Pearl cried.  “There’s the gypsy fortuneteller.  Rose, you have to get Sipsing to read your cards.”

We were near the brightly painted Ask Sipsing booth again.  The automaton inside wasn’t as “human” as the angel-bots.  Its voice had no infliction as it mechanically called out to us. 

“Sipsing the gypsy king knows all, sees all.  What would you divine?” it asked as it spread tarot cards on the small table inside its booth.

“What’s in my friend’s future?  Sipsing, will Rose find true love?” Pearl asked the machine when Rose wouldn’t ask it a question. 

I rolled my eyes.  All Pearl could think about was romance.

The gypsy automaton turned over the Wheel of Fortune card.  Behind me Valentino drew a sharp breath. 

The two angel-bots turned back toward the rides, watching intently.  Valentino went pale.  He whirled around seeming to look everywhere at once.  The ground trembled.  I heard a loud bang!  Behind us the giant Ferris wheel lurched.  The A-frame structures holding the wheel collapsed. 

The great wheel rolled inexorably toward us.

Wheel of Fortune Gilded Tarot

The Wheel of Fortune, the Gilded Tarot

***

The End

***

Real World Notes

Doublemint gum ad 1930 flapper

Double Mint Gum ad 1930

Bubblegum:  In 1928, an accountant invented bubblegum. Walter Diemer, was experimenting with new gum recipes. One recipe was less sticky than regular chewing gum, and stretched more easily. The original bubble gum was pink in color because that was the dye that Diemer had most on hand at the time. 

Ferris Wheel The original, sometimes also referred to as the Chicago Wheel, was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.. With a height of 80.4 metres (264 ft) it was the tallest attraction at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, where it opened to the public on June 21, 1893.

Sipsing:  I named the gypsy fortuneteller automaton for a real life gypsy king in England.  Spising is reputed to have ruled 11 years before being hanged for a murder in Wombourn, Staffordshire, having escaped the same fate earlier by seeking sanctuary in Westminster Abbey. (Wikipedia)

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images and videos there.  He also has a Youtube channel (click here.) 

Stay tuned for more spontaneously written fun.  The things driving Chapter 8 are Chanel No. 5, Pittura Metafisica, Videophone, and Route 66!  That’s right — four things.  I’ll have an extra challenge with a fourth thing.  Be sure to come back next week to see where those take our diesel-punk train.

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the oyster’s earrings! 

 

PS:  I can’t forget my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

 

Artie Meets the Alchemist Conclusion — #GetCaughtReading 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hello, everyone!  I’m back for more Get Caught Reading Month festivities.   Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape and I collaborated for a mini-series in honor of this event.  

Artie Meets Alchemist promo 1

But first…

Odd Job Girl Sally Cronin

You caught me reading another great book.  This week, you’ve caught me reading one of my favorites by Sally Georgina Cronin Just an Odd Job Girl.

Read the reviews of Sally’s books (and buy them) via a number of distributors. However, for my convenience in creating this post, here’s Amazon (click here), and Amazon UK (click here).

***

Now back to the 2018 Get Caught Reading mini-series…

Previously in Artie Meets the Alchemist…

Artie was testing how fast his motor cycle/time machine could go down Route 66.  Meanwhile Cornelis Drebbel was taking his road locomotive down to investigate, because the civilization alarm in the alchemist’s dirigible went off…

Over to Chris Graham…

Artie Meets the Alchemist

Conclusion

Artie Portable Time Machine cycle

Artie’s portable time machine, image courtesy Chris Graham

Using all his strength, skill and a sizeable amount of good luck, Artie managed to avoid a collision with the rapidly approaching road locomotive.  He basically ran off the road, over an embankment, somersaulting, while doing a 180 horizontally, and abruptly stopping on top of an unfortunate bush, (the only one for miles in any direction), miraculously still on his seat and gripping the handlebars…

From his vantage point, now facing the road, Artie watched the road locomotive stop with much clanking, squealing and copious clouds of steam.  A tall man in formal attire, complete with top hat, and impressively bushy eyebrows, stepped down and hurriedly walked towards him, appearing to be asking questions.  What the questions were, Artie didn’t have a clue at that time — he was still deaf and dazed by the unexpected acrobatics and abrupt stopping manoeuvres…

640px-Road_locomotive__John_boy__(5605531950)

Wikimedia Commons

Then, the man disappeared as the embankment quickly rose.  In fact, the bush had decided it had had enough and collapsed, depositing Artie and the time machine back onto the ground.

The man scrambled over the embankment and after a quick check for broken bones (there were none), helped Artie remove his safety helmet.  He barely paused at Artie’s simian features.

“Are you injured old chap?” he inquired in quaintly polite Teutonic English.

Artie shook his head, wondering at the stranger’s lack of reaction. 

“Yes, I’ve met chimpanzees similar to you before.  I’m terribly sorry to have suddenly materialised in front of you, old boy.  You did a terribly good job avoiding a collision.”

Artie grinned his appreciation of the compliment.

“Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Cornelis Drebbel, and you are…?”

Cornelis Drebbel Alcmariensis

Cornelis Drebbel

Artie put out his gauntlet clad paw, “Aristotle, but please just call me Artie.”

”Your machine looks quite impressive Artie, some kind of motorcycle, but not one I’ve seen before, did you build it?”

”Yes, I did, and your road locomotive is the best I’ve ever seen.  Regarding your sudden appearance, may I ask if you are a time traveler too?”

(Back to Teagan)

“A time traveler?  Oh, my goodness no.  Or well, I suppose you could say that I am.  My companions and I were out for a jaunt in my dirigible and it came to my attention that they had not brought any books along.  The jackalope has some but they were only about weather and empirical data.  So, I set the civilization alarm in hope of finding a library.  Do you happen to know of one?”

Artie sketch thinking color steampunk

Artie, courtesy of Chris Graham

Artie ponderated for a moment, thinking it was good that they had both landed in that world and time.  He gave Cornelis a big toothy grin.

The genius chimpanzee showed the alchemist an app specially adapted for his mobile time machine. 

“This will show us the libraries around the world,” Artie told him.

Library map

“Oh, that’s quite amazing.  Why there are more than two million libraries!  We should find mechanical engineering periodicals for Copper, and weather science volumes for Jack, and romance novels for me,” Cornelis enthused.  “Erm… I mean, history and science books for myself.”

“Indeed!” Artie agreed with a wink.

Then the very remarkable chimpanzee zoomed away on his converted motorcycle / mobile time machine.  With a burst of rainbow colored light, he disappeared.

Cornelis Drebbel shook his head in admiration.

“Copper will never believe this,” the alchemist murmured to himself as he turned on his communication device.  “Jack?  Copper?”

“Yes, Alchemist?” the jackalope answered.

“I’m ready to bring the road locomotive back up to the dirigible.  Could you give me a hand, old thing?” Cornelis asked.

Atonement Airship

Image by Chris Graham

“Of course, Alchemist.  Were you able to find a library?” Jack eagerly inquired.

“Millions of them!” Cornelis cried.

“Conrelis Drebbel,” Copper began.  “Why do you need help getting the road locomotive back up?  You better not have damaged it again.  I only just finished the repairs to it.”

Cornelis cringed momentarily.  He really didn’t mean to abuse Copper’s mechanical talents, but it was certainly a relief that she was so capable.  Besides, the main thing was he had found millions of libraries and there would be no shortage of reading material.

“Dear girl, you are going to be astonished at all the books you’re going to get,” he told her instead of answering.

“You wrecked the locomotive again, didn’t you?” Copper said in a resigned voice.

Cornelis wriggled his bushy eyebrows and smiled to himself.

***

The End.

Who won the drawing for a book from Teagan?

This month is all about encouraging people of all ages to read.  Last week I offered a Kindle version of one of my books to the winner of a random drawing.  I asked anyone who wanted to participate to leave a comment with the title and author of the book I’ve caught you reading.  And the winner is… (drum roll…) Viv Drewa the Owl Lady! 

Viv chose my 1920s stories.  Since The Three Things Serial Story is only a dollar, I threw it in with Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients 1.  Thanks to Viv and everyone who came out to play.

Next weekend I’ll show you all the books I’ve caught people reading.  Meanwhile, ankle over to Jazz Age Wednesdays for my current Roaring Twenties serial.  

Just because I can’t resist, here’s Rob Goldstein’s latest video for my Jazz Age Wednesday series, Hullaba Lulu.  

Thanks for visiting.  Mega hugs!

***

Now, promoting my “partner in crime” Chris Graham.

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

A lovely book of poetry by Chris Graham’s mom

Amazon

Amazon UK

***

And now my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

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 © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Christopher Graham

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.

Jazz Age Wednesdays ― Hullaba Lulu 6

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Lulu looking tub bot Metropolis 9

A bath on Valentino’s train, by Rob Goldstein

Hey, Sheiks and Shebas.  Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  The weekly three things and images, from my “partner in crime” Rob Goldstein, spontaneously guide what I’m writing.  Last week he did an image of an Art Deco angel as part of my mystical diesel-punk train’s controls.  That caused me to see more of the train.  I can tell you, Valentino has one luxurious way to travel!

I guess this is a spoiler, but it has nothing to do with the plot…  I had already given the train a control room with mystical gizmos for navigation and communications, and then an automat.  Now I have deluxe sleeper cars — with attendants.  Between Rob and me, Lulu freaked out when she suddenly realized the bath had attendants… 

Lulu Towel run or dance botsMetropolis 5

Lulu and the Sleeper Car Attendants, by Rob Goldstein

Rob did another video for us (below).  I’m happy to be able to feature more of the artwork of Rob Goldstein

Here’s another fabulous video from Rob. Click for the full post.

Today we have Chapter 6 of the Roaring Twenties fantasy series, Hullaba Lulu.  The “dieselpunk*” train has reached Atlantic City.

Previously with Hullaba Lulu, Chapter 5

From Chapter 5

In the distance ahead, I could make out bits of the boardwalk.  I saw the great Ferris wheel and the tallest hills of the old Loop the Loop.

 “Hold on a minute!” I exclaimed.  “Atlantic City took down the Loop the Loop in 1912.  I’ve only seen it in photographs.”

 In the midst of the strange flashing lights, the tilt-a-whirl spun wildly.

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 6

The Garconne Look, Tarot Cards, Kodak Brownie

Burgers Lulu Recline

Lulu in the train’s automat… with cheeseburgers

The loudspeaker had a calm voice as it spoke, “Nearing destination.  Prepare to disembark.”

It was the slightest shift, but I felt the train begin to decelerate.  Suddenly excited, I wanted to remember this adventure forever.  Plus, that Loop the Loop — I needed a picture of that so people would believe it was there.

I ran down the corridor toward Gramps’ sleeper car, hoping he brought his Kodak Brownie with him.  When I came to the spiral staircase that went up to the control room, I paused to look up the stairs.  Everything seemed quiet and dark.  I figured everyone was getting ready to leave the train.

A moment later I was at my grandfather’s room, but he wasn’t there.  I saw his open suitcase on the bed and moved to see if the camera was there.  Gramps might not think to take it with him.

A soft click caused me to turn.  My eyes bulged at what I beheld.

Single angel-bot

Angel-bot by Rob Goldstein

“May I help you, Miss?”

“You’re an automaton!” I exclaimed after a stunned moment.  “A golden angel like the sculpture in the control room… but you’re an automaton.”

With halting movements he bowed.  His eyes blinked with another quiet click.

“I’m the sleeper car attendant.  May I help you, Miss?  Your companions have gone to the amusement park.  You will need these,” he said with a slight southern drawl.

He handed me a brown paper sack.  The aroma of the contents reached my nose before I opened the bag.  It contained several cheeseburgers.

“Oh, thank you, but I just ate,” I told him.

“Yes, I see,” he said and touched the side of my mouth with a white linen napkin embroidered with the letter V.  “There was a bit of mustard.  The cheeseburgers are currency.  You will need them.  You’d best hurry.  Your companions have already disembarked.”

I followed the golden angel-looking automaton into the corridor.  We had to step aside when three more of the clockwork creatures needed to pass.  I noticed they held various cleaning implements.  I stopped them, and asked a bunch of questions. 

Metropolis 3 inside train

Art by Rob Goldstein

Angel-bots! I thought in amazement.

“Hang on just a minute.  How many of you clockwork people are on this train?  And no offence, but you all look just alike.  How do I know one of you from another?  Do you have names?”

“There are sufficient numbers of us to assist in keeping the train in good working order and take care of all the passenger needs as well,” the sleeper car valet told me as the other three made soft clicking noises.  “We haven’t had a need for names, so we have none.”

When I stood speechless, another of them inquired in a voice touched by the Bronx, “May we assist you, Miss?”

I found it unaccountably disturbing that they all looked so much alike.  It reminded me of the time I met triplets when I was very young.  I wanted to give them all rhyming names like the triplets, but I wasn’t any kind of poet.

The first one, with the southern accent seemed to understand that something bothered me.

“We all look very much alike, except for the red-gold attendant,” he said.

The three housekeepers made mechanical chuckling noises.  He turned his placid face toward them.  I had the feeling that he would have blushed if he could.  I felt a little sorry for him.

Bot inside Metropolis 08

Bots, by Rob Goldstein

“She’s a hotsy-totsy!” he confessed with a shuffle of his feet.  “I tried to learn flapper language when I heard the train was going to Atlantic City,” he added, sounding entirely practical.

“Red-gold?” I asked.  “She must be Ginger then, and Hot Ginger because I think she’s your blue serge!  So, my friend, that would make you Dynamite.”

Suddenly inspired by the Nagasaki song I turned to the other three and stated, “That makes you three Wiki, Wacky, and Woo, like the song.”

“The song, Miss?” Dynamite asked.

Hot Ginger and Dynamite!  Somethin’ something’ and wicky wacky, woo!” I belted out a bar of the tune, or the part I could remember anyway.

For a moment there was silence.  Then I was surrounded by clicking noises.  They started chattering to each other.  I thought they were excited to have names.  I know ― everyone thinks clockwork creatures don’t have emotions, but I was there.  I was sure they liked having names.

***

Lulu hands behind head new dress

Lulu by Rob Goldstein

A familiar excited giggle drew me to a brightly painted booth.  Pearl had found a fortuneteller automaton.  It was much less sophisticated than the angel-bots on the train.  Its voice had no infliction as it prompted us.

“The gypsy knows all, sees all.  What would you divine?” it asked repeatedly as it spread tarot cards on the small table inside its booth.

“Go ahead, Lulu!  Ask it a question.  It gave me ‘the lovers’ card,” Pearl told me.

“You always ask about love, and they always tell you that you’ll find it.  I never know what to ask,” I complained.  “Oh, okay.  How is the Loop the Loop still here when it was taken down in 1912?  Did we go back in time?” I added in a softer voice.

The automaton stopped and looked right at me.  Something about the sudden change in clockwork movement gave me the heebie-jeebies.  The gypsy gathered the tarot cards and spread them again.  It drew out a card with a drawing of a man hanging by his foot.  The fortuneteller moved the card so that the man was laying down.

“Sideways,” was all the automaton said.

“We didn’t move east or west, or forward or backward…” I began.

“Sideways,” it repeated.

Morg-tom 031x

Rose and Tom dance, by Rob Goldstein

I gave a frustrated sigh.  Why couldn’t the blasted thing be useful?  I turned to Pearl and asked her where Rose was.  My fair-haired friend shrugged, then she giggled and asked the fortuneteller.

“Where is our friend, Rose?”

The gypsy automaton gathered the tarot cards, spread them, and turned over the Three of Swords.  The design on the card was like the leaflet I found in the automat.  There was an image of a heart pierced by three swords.  I shuddered.

“Betrayal,” the fortuneteller said.

The air was split by a loud scream.  The sound echoed around the amusement park.

“Rose?” I exclaimed.

I turned around, looking everywhere.  At first, I saw no one.  Then I saw a shadow that somehow made me think of the Ford with a bunch of G-men – or that’s what they looked like.  That was the night we met Tom Driberg.  I muttered his name.

Abruptly I realized that Pearl was gone.  She must have gone to look for Rose.  I took a breath to call for Pearl, when I the sound of feet pounding the pavement made me turn.

Lulu and Tom car

Lulu and Tom, by Rob Goldstein

“Speak of the devil,” I snorted.  “I should have known you were here when I glimpsed those G-men just now,” I told Tom Driberg.  “But how did you manage to get here”

“I heard Rose scream.  Where is she?” he asked.

He sounded suspiciously calm and I commented on the fact.

Tomato, didn’t anybody notice the handcar that hooked onto the end of the train?  I thought my stowaway jig was up when one of those clockwork angel things found me.  Anyhow, those weren’t G-men,” he told me in a voice tinged with contempt.  “Those are Russian agents.  They must have gotten to Margosha before I could.  I mean your friend Rose.  Margosha is her first name.  Rose is her middle name.  Didn’t you know?  Her monogram, MRM didn’t tell you anything?” he added with a condescending chuckle that grated my patience.

I looked around wildly for my friends.  Half panicked, I didn’t know what to do.

Rose Am I Blue

Rose, by Rob Goldstein

“Calm down.  They won’t hurt her.  They mean to use her to get to me.  You see, I quit them and they think dragging Margosha back into the spy business will force me to join them again.”

“What do you mean dragging her back?” I demanded.

The noise of screeching metal caused me to look away.  It sounded like something huge moving in a way that it had no business moving.  When I turned back to Tom, he was gone.  Twisting around in a circle I searched for any familiar face.  The scream could have come from any direction.  Tom could have run anywhere, so could Pearl.

Not knowing what to do, or where to do it, I started walking forward, farther into the park.  In the distance I saw a woman wearing the menswear inspired Garconne look.  Her face reminded me of one that I mostly knew from pictures.

I brought up the Kodack and aimed.  Abruptly she turned toward me.  I took the photo.

Lauren?

Lauren La Garçonne -1x

Lauren by Rob Goldstein

The woman who looked like my mother ran.  I followed.

Panting, I paused, hands on knees as I tried to catch my breath.  A brightly painted clown face marked the entrance to the tilt-a-whirl.  The clown had curved line for an innocent smile, and his eyes were little plus marks.  I looked beyond the sign to the ride.

I spotted her.

With a glance over her shoulder, Lauren did something, moving the levers on the ride’s controls.  She climbed onto one of the tilt-a-whirl cars.  It spun and turned, faster and faster.  Soon it looked like a blur.

Bright lights flashed.  Metal gears shrieked.  Green smoke poured from the machinery and the cars.  The tilt-a-whirl slowed to a stop.  No one was aboard the ride.  I ran to the car where Lauren had been.  It was as empty as all the others.

My eyes were drawn back to the clown sign.  The face had changed.  His eyes openly leered and his grin grin was vulpine, downright scary.  The gears of the ride groaned to a stop.

Pontchartrain beach Clown full face.png

***

The End

***

Well, I’m not sure what to say about that…  Except maybe that I will think twice before I get on a tilt-a-whirl again.  And where the Sam Hill did everybody go?

Next time, Chapter 7 — Pocket Watch, Pittura Metafisica, Bubblegum. 

 

I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  You’ll find more fabulous images and videos there. 

Thanks for visiting.  You’re the oyster’s earrings! 

 

PS:  Remember my other 1920s books — the original “three things” stories about Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip, and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

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.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 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.

 

Artie Meets the Alchemist Video! — #GetCaughtReading 2018

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Hello, one and all!  It’s Get Caught Reading Month.  I couldn’t resist making a video for the mini-series  Chris Graham – the Story Reading Ape and I are doing in honor of this event.  Please click here for episode-1 of Artie Meets the Alchemist*.  Video trailer follows.

 

Learn how to win a free Kindle copy of one of my books!

***

Artie Meets Alchemist promo 1

Now, promoting my “partner in crime” Chris Graham.

My Vibrating Vertabrae cover

A lovely book of poetry by Chris Graham’s mom

Amazon

Amazon UK

***

And my own shameless self-promotion…

Atonement Video Cover copy

Atonement, Tennessee

Amazon UK

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

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 © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene and Christopher Graham

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